Winter Park searching for a water bucket |

Winter Park searching for a water bucket

Allen Best

WINTER PARK – Winter Park continues to look for water buckets, as reservoirs are often called.Despite being in one of Colorado’s wettest corners, there is little available water, as most of it is diverted to metropolitan Denver. The resort squeaked through the drought two years ago, but a great deal of development is now being contemplated, requiring even more storage of the runoff from spring snowmelt.The latest idea is a relatively small impoundment of 660 acre-feet, or about enough to supply 2,500 people, not far from the base of the Winter Park ski area. But one of the first studies will be by a wetlands expert to see if the reservoir would inundate a type of wetlands called a fen.Fens cannot be replaced, which is why the previous best idea, a 20,000 acre-foot reservoir on Ranch Creek, has been virtually ruled out. Fens were found at the location. Yet another possibility is a 3,000 to 8,000-acre-foot reservoir on Vasquez Creek, but the site belongs to the U.S. Forest Service. Two years ago, the agency said maybe – but only as a last resort.Size and style an issue in scenic IdahoKETCHUM, Idaho – The size, and perhaps the style, of a home being planned in the Sawtooth Valley, 40 miles north of Ketchum and Sun Valley, is creating some controversy. Jon Christianson, a businessman based in China, wants to build an 8,500-square-foot home of logs on private land within the federal government’s Sawtooth Recreation Area. His right to build is not questioned, but the style and size is, as the Forest Service has an easement on the property that controls the type of construction.The easements governing the property, valued at $3.5 million, specify ranch-type character that is “a low profile, rambling, well-proportioned, rustic appearing, rough-sawn wood or wood and stone structure or group of structures harmoniously situated within a natural environment.”The Idaho Mountain Express explains that the visibility of the home from the adjoining highway is partly at the crux of the dispute.

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