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No denying dead trees on golf course

Allen Best
Vail, CO Colorado

GRAND LAKE, Colo. ” As the snow melted this spring, the Grand Lake Golf Course presented a startling sight of luscious greens bordered by dying and dead pine trees, their needles turning rusty red.

The golf course is now planning a Pine Beetle Golf Classic, which the Winter Park Manifest explains is a combination of educational talks and then an afternoon of golfing.

CRESTED BUTTE ” The ski-free program at Crested Butte Mountain Resort will resume again for 20 days in early winter later this year. The resort had conducted a similar program from 1991 to 2000.

Company representatives say they want the public to “test drive” the ski area, to check out the “many improvements” since the ski area was purchased by Tim and Diane Mueller several years ago.

GRAND LAKE, Colo. ” Scientists are warning of heightened levels of both nitrogen and mercury in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Nitrogen levels are nearly 20 times pre-industrial levels, and scientists say the sources include car exhaust, farm fertilizers, and power-plant emissions. The Denver Post says that state air quality officials in June will consider regulations aimed at reducing air pollution.

The newspaper in December also noted mercury levels in alpine lakes in the park are four times higher than in pre-industrial times. Don Campbell, of the U.S. Geological Survey, said research suggests that 70 percent of mercury in the atmosphere is from industrial processes. The most likely source is coal-fired power plants, although it’s impossible to determine exactly where it is coming from.

Mercury gets spewed into the atmosphere where it can be held aloft in the air, pushed by winds, traveling the globe for months before being deposited on land and water. Higher elevations get more precipitation and therefore more mercury, Campbell said.

CRESTED BUTTE ” It was, said one shop-owner, the most interesting thing that happened in Crested Butte during the spring shoulder-season. A storage shed located in the town park spontaneously combusted.

Within minutes, 26 volunteer firefighters responded. Still, they were unable to stop the fire before a great number of items stored by the community’s parks and recreation department were destroyed or badly damaged. Investigators concluded the combustion was due to the improper storage of stain-soaked rags.


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