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Motorcycles tearing up forests

Allen Best

CRESTED BUTTE – Everywhere, it seems, there are complaints about the invasion of dirt motorcycles onto the public lands of the West.

“The damage that dirt bikes are doing to our trails – and off the trails, on new routes that motorcyclists are wantonly making across the forest floor – is horrendous,” says letter-writer Peter Bridges in the Crested Butte News (Aug. 29).

One two-track trail has, in only two years, become a three-tracked trail that in places is a four-tracked trail.

While some dirt bikers are volunteering to repair damage, he notes, those efforts cannot begin to keep up with the steadily increasing damage. Dirt motorcycle riders cite their contribution to the local economy, but this letter-writer isn’t buying that excuse.

Form faces off with function

FIELD, Alberta – Form and function are battling once again, this time in a dispute over the color of an ice-skating rink inside Banff National Park.

The community rink there sits in a prominent position, and as such, Parks Canada requires the building be painted a dark color, to better blend into the landscape.

However, the townspeople of Field insist on painting it a bright white, so that the sun’s rays won’t be absorbed as easily. That strategy, they tell the Rocky Mountain Outlook (Sept. 11), lengthens the ice time five weeks every spring.

One outraged local resident describes Parks Canada as the “Grinch that stole Christmas.” Others wonder whether tourists really care.

But other towns in close proximity, including Banff, have rinks that are not painted white. In Canmore, officials plan to use concrete surfaces in future ice rinks as a way of extending ice time.

Tag-team ski passes sold

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. – The concept of tag-team ski resorts continues to evolve. The latest is an add-on to ski passes for Crested Butte and Durango, which are about 150 miles apart in southwest Colorado. A holder of a pass to Crested Butte, for example, can ski for three days at Durango Mountain Resort, and vice versa.

Durango has been at this game for awhile. It has similar partnership agreements with Taos in New Mexico. It also has a similar deal with California’s Kirkwood, which makes sense, since they are owned by the same company.


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