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Norton: What are you reading?

If you are ever looking for a great conversation starter, try asking people what they may be reading. What people read can give us great insight to their hobbies, passions, and interests, and that helps lead into a fun and engaging discussion. This is also one of those questions I find myself answering as well. Depending on when that question comes my way will determine my answe,r as I have been following the same reading pattern for many years now.

In addition to my Bible, blogs, columns, and industry information, I read somewhere between 40 and 50 books per year. And the reading cycle that I tend to follow is this: A faith-based book, a business book, a biography, a history book, and then a fiction book.

For me, this provides a glimpse into the areas that help me personally and professionally, while also helping me to be prepared for conversations with family members, friends, people I meet socially, and my clients. I find the different perspectives extremely helpful in understanding how others view the things that are happening in our world.

At this time of year, the question about what I am reading comes up a lot. Many of you send me emails asking for recommendations throughout the year, and during the holiday season, as people are looking for gift ideas, the question comes up with greater frequency. So here is what I recommend this year as I follow the cadence mentioned above:

Faith-based: “2 Chairs” by Bob Beaudine, “Grace” by Max Lucado, ”Lead Like Jesus“ by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges, ”Bethlehem“ by Max Lucado, ”Hope for Each Day“ by Billy Graham.

Business: “The Expansion Sale” by Erik Peterson and Tim Riesterer, “Business Secrets of the Bible” by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, “10 Leadership Virtues for Disruptive Times” by Tom Ziglar, “The New Psychology of Winning” by Denis Waitley, “Traction by Gino Wickman.

Biographies: “Joy” by Joy Clausen Soto, “Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War” by Robert Coram,“ ”Where Men Win Glory“ by Jon Krakauer, ”Washington: A Life“ by Ron Chernow, ”Colin Powell: My American Journey“ by Colin Powell.

History: “True Raiders” by Brad Ricca, “The Journey of Crazy Horse” by Joseph M. Marshall III, “In the Hurricane’s Eye” by Nathaniel Philbrick, “No Easy Day” by Mark Owen, “The Johnstown Flood” by David McCullough

Fiction: “The Evening and the Morning” by Ken Follett, “Fast Ice” by Clive Cussler, “Win” by Harlan Coben, “Plum Island” by Nelson DeMille, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coehlo.

Maybe you have a different cycle of reading that you follow. Perhaps someone you know may be interested in one of the books I have mentioned here, so I hope this list is helpful in some way.

Each of us has our favorite books and authors. Some of us enjoy our books that we can physically touch and hold, myself included. Others prefer their e-reader. And there are many who enjoy consuming their stories through audio books.

Whatever our preferences are, whoever our favorite authors are, and however we choose to take a mental, emotional, and spiritual journey by engaging with our favorite books, the important thing is that we make time to broaden our horizons by reading as much as we possibly can and from as many sources as we possibly can.

How about you? Are you a fellow voracious reader? What are you reading these days? Is it time to mix it up a bit and start reading something new? Have you shared your reading list with others? I would love to hear all about what you are reading now, or even your favorite books from the past, at mnorton@tramazing.com. And when we can expand our thinking through what others are writing and sharing, it really will be a better than good year.

Vail’s Kai Owens earns first singles moguls World Cup podium

Kai Owens stands atop the Deer Valley dual moguls podium in 2021. She earned her first singles podium Saturday in chilly Ruka, Finland.
Rick Bowmer/AP

It was a day of firsts for the U.S. women’s mogul freestyle ski team Saturday morning in frigid Finland.

Park City Utah’s Olivia Giaccio, who competes for Steamboat Winter Sports Club, won her first career World Cup, handing France’s Perrine Laffont her first defeat since 2019. Laffont won all nine World Cups between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, including last season’s world championships.

Joining Giaccio on the podium was Australia’s Jakara Anthony and Vail’s own Kai Owens. It was the 17-year old Owens’ first singles World Cup podium in the mogul event. In 2021, she won a dual moguls World Cup event in Deer Valley.

“For me personally, the first event of the season is always super nerve-wracking,” Owens told U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Lara Carlton. “You’re coming off training and a huge break from competing. You don’t really know where you stand. It’s nice to know this is where I’m at and focus on how I can improve my performance from this.”

The athletes were greeted with frigid conditions in Ruka, where the sun currently rises at shortly after 10 a.m. and sets three-and-a-half hours later. The Olympic-style qualification format was contested under the lights, similar to the World Cup cross-country ski races the prior weekend. There were two rounds of qualification runs, with the top eight finishers advancing to the final rounds. Last year, Ruka was the site of Owens’s first super finals appearance, where she finished sixth.

“Ruka is an amazing course and it really highlights my skiing,” Owens told U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “It always has some big airs, I really like that bottom air, it’s drop-y and big. It’s early season, the first event, I was really nervous for every run, but that keeps me on my toes, keeps me ready and focused on my skiing.”

Owens’ jump package, which contained a top cork 720 to a bottom cork 720 grab, had the highest degree of difficulty in the field. “It’s exciting for me, keeps me challenged, keeps me chasing, striving and pushing,” she said about her aerial arsenal.

“But today I am most proud of my skiing, I made some big improvements from last season.”

Owens’ Ski and Snowboard Club Vail teammate Tess Johnson was another one of the five U.S. women who made the finals. She finished in eighth place. The tightly-knit women’s team showed pride over their peers’ performances, with the victorious Giacco, who overcame a season-ending injury in 2019, speaking toward the team’s many positives on the day.

“There were a lot of big wins from everyone today,” she said to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “Morgan coming back from injury, Tess doing her cork in competition. Cole making it into supers. It was cool to see, it’s one of the exciting aspects of competition beyond the numbers and results.”

The World Cup season continues in moguls Dec. 11-12 in Idre Fjall, Sweden.

American Finishers


5. Hannah Soar – 75.38

8. Tess Johnson – 75.27

14. Jaelin Kauf – 69.02

23. Morgan Schild – 66.74


PHOTOS: Flights of brews at Beers of Prey in Beaver Creek

Beers of Prey was in full effect at the Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS SKI World Cup in Beaver Creek Village on Saturday.
Madison Rahhal/Vail Daily
A server pours a beer Saturday at the Beers of Prey in Beaver Creek Village.
Madison Rahhal/Vail Daily
On a hot day of fast skiing, cold beers are the perfect way to celebrate in Beaver Creek.
Madison Rahhal/Vail Daily
Some of the beer selections on hand Saturday at Beers of Prey in Beaver Creek Village.
Madison Rahhal/Vail Daily
Smiles abound at Beers of Prey in Beaver Creek Village.
Madison Rahhal/Vail Daily
Beers of Prey at the Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS SKI World Cup in Beaver Creek Village.
Madison Rahhal/Vail Daily
Lindsay Hardy shares some beers with two pals at Saturday’s Beers of Prey festivities in Beaver Creek Village.
Madison Rahhal/Vail Daily

There is still time to purchase a permit to cut your own Christmas tree

The U.S. Forest Service is offering cut-your-own Christmas tree opportunities throughout the Rocky Mountain Region this year. A permit is required. Permits will cost $8 to $20, depending on individual Forest pricing. These permits are for personal use only and local restrictions may apply. There is a limit of two to five trees per household.

General rules for cutting your own Christmas tree:

  • The trunk size should not exceed 6 inches in diameter; this is strictly enforced in some areas, some local exceptions may apply.
  • Bring a handsaw to cut trees
  • You may not use chainsaws, snowmobiles, ATVs, or other off-road vehicles
  • Cutting trees marked with blue paint is strictly prohibited
  • Cut trees within 6 inches of the ground and below all live limbs, take the whole tree
  • Pets must be under control
  • No trespassing on private property
  • Be sure to keep the Christmas tree in water after it is cut

The Every Kid Outdoors initiative is offering one free Christmas tree permit to fourth graders who have a valid EKO pass. Vouchers for an EKO pass can be obtained at EveryKidOutdoors.gov. Fourth graders may obtain a free tree permit by visiting Recreation.gov. Apply by using the Every Kid Outdoors pass by checking the box indicating you have a pass and entering the pass number. A $2.50 processing fee will be applied.

Thinning stands of smaller trees by removing some as Christmas trees reduces competition among all trees, helps reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, and promotes healthier growing conditions for the remaining forest. For more information on Christmas tree cutting, safety, and directions to cutting areas within the Rocky Mountain Region, please check the Forest Service website at fs.usda.gov/detail/r2/recreation/?cid=fseprd562604

For the White River National Forest in Eagle County, permits are $10 each and can be purchased online through Recreation.gov. Details about designated cutting areas, cutting dates and types of trees that may be cut can be found at: fs.usda.gov/detail/whiteriver/passes-permits/forestproducts

Grand Hyatt Vail is honored by USA Today readers

Grand Hyatt Vail has been designated as the sixth Best Ski Resort within USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice travel awards.

Nominees for this category are chosen by a panel of experts which includes a combination of editors from USA Today, editors from 10Best.com, expert contributors and sources with USA Today’s readers casting votes for their favorites.

Qualifications for the list consider hotels and resorts that offer perks including mountain views, spa treatments, slopeside locations and ski-in, ski-out services.

Grand Hyatt Vail was named sixth Best Ski Hotel, one of four Colorado hotels on the list, and the highest ranked in the greater Vail Valley.

For more information, go to GrandHyattVail.com.

Vail Valley Charitable Fund lands $100,000 donation ahead of Colorado Gives Day

The Vail Valley Charitable Fund announced than an anonymous donor has pledged to match dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000 for those making year-end donations leading up to Colorado Gives Day on Dec. 7.

“This incredibly generous gift will enable us to support the ever-expanding need of locals in our community who are suffering from a medical crisis or long-term illness,” said Brooke Skjonsby, executive director of the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, in a news release. “In the midst of this on-going pandemic, local families have experienced an increased swift and crushing financial burden that too often accompanies sustained illness or a catastrophic injury, so we are grateful to be able to enhance our giving back moving forward.”

Over the past 25 years, the Vail Valley Charitable Fund has raised and distributed in excess of $8.4 million to assist more than 1,800 families in the Vail Valley community who have struggled owing to a medical crisis.

The community has helped the nonprofit grow to meet the needs of those in a crisis when they’ve truly needed it most, and the help the nonprofit affords is accomplished by contributions from individuals and organizations in the Vail Valley. The VVCF recently increased its direct aid grant maximum from $5,000 to $7,500 to provide enhanced assistance with medical bills and living expenses.

In addition to the direct aid grant program, the VVCF serves the community through the Eagle County Smiles children’s dental program, Eagle County Grins adult dental program, Eagle County Moves physical therapy program, and the Vail Breast Cancer Group.

“We are more than grateful for this extraordinary gift,” added Rohn Robbins, the founder of the Vail Valley Charitable Fund and its board chair. “The selflessness and goodness of such generosity fills our hearts and will enable us to further expand our mission of helping those in our community in need.”

For more information on Colorado Gives Day, and to make a donation, go to ColoradoGives.org/VVCF.

Curious Nature: Christmas murder, mayhem, and bird counts

During the Victorian era, Christmas card greetings, which were expensive to print and mail, were intended as conversation starters and often reflected the dark humor for which the British are known.
Courtesy photo

As the snow falls and the days get shorter, you might find yourself thinking about hot chocolate, candy canes and mailing out your annual Christmas or New Year’s cards. The first known Christmas card was published in 1843, before the iconography of the holiday was as established as it is today.

For many decades thereafter, the scenes and messages of many of these greetings seem rather morbid and bizarre by today’s standards. Images of mutant vegetables, murderous mice, kidnapped children and general mayhem were more the stuff of nightmares than scenes of peace and joy.

“A jolly Christmas” reads a card depicting well-dressed children who have come across a dripping wet boy who appears to have emerged from an icy pond. “Peace, joy, health and happiness” reads another card with a dirty mouse riding a lobster like a pony. A child writhes inside of a giant teapot while holding a note that says “a Christmas greeting with love.” Yikes.

During the Victorian era, these greetings, which were expensive to print and mail, were intended as conversation starters and often reflected the dark humor for which the British are known. They also reflected misconceptions about nature.

For example, Western naturalists such as Pliny the Elder believed that certain animals died in the winter and were resurrected in the spring. How else to explain the disappearance of (hibernating) frogs and (migrating) songbirds? This could explain why so many holiday cards depicted animals dying or murdering each other in anthropomorphic ways such as drowning in alcohol or stabbings.

The origins of dead bird imagery during the holiday season is tied to the tradition of Christmas wren hunts, which themselves have their origins in Celtic traditions, where wrens are sacrificed in order to bring in luck for the coming year.
Courtesy photo

Yet, as a bird lover, it is the trend of dead bird imagery that gets my attention the most. Why would someone want to look at an intricate portrait of a beautiful songbird, toes up on its back? The origins of this are tied to the tradition of Christmas wren hunts, which themselves have their origins in Celtic traditions, where wrens are sacrificed in order to bring in luck for the coming year.

This tradition spread throughout North America into the 19th century, where holiday “side hunts” had hunters competing for how many birds they could kill in one day.

The late 19th century was also the beginning of conservation in the Western world, and people grew concerned about declining bird populations from overhunting for tradition and fashion. An ornithologist and member of the recently-formed Audubon Society, Frank Chapman, proposed that people count birds at Christmas rather than hunt them. The first Christmas bird counts were held in 1900, and today it is the longest-running citizen science survey in the world.

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count attracts experienced bird watchers all over the world, and helps others experience the joy of bird watching for the first time. The data collected by volunteer observers is used by researchers, biologists and wildlife agencies to study the long-term health of bird populations. The data also helps to identify environmental issues and inform strategies to address them. For example, the Audubon Society has used this data to inform its predictions of which species will lose their ranges this century as a result of climate change.

Walking Mountains Science Center is hosting the Eagle and Dotsero bird counts Dec. 17, and all are welcome to join.

Today, the iconography of Christmas still conjures a lot of Victorian-era imagery, but with happy living creatures and peaceful snowy scenery. Whatever holiday traditions amuse you, we hope you’ll make the Christmas Bird Count one of them.

To participate or learn more about the Christmas Bird Count, please visit WalkingMountains.org/project/christmas-bird-count/.

Thomas: The signs weren’t missed, they were ignored

As has been the case with so many other school shootings over several years, last week’s murder spree at Oakland High School in suburban Detroit might have been avoided if actions had been taken in the face of several obvious warning signs.

Ethan Crumbley, 15, is charged with murdering four of his fellow students and wounding with intent to kill seven others. He has also been charged with terrorism.

There were a series of signs leading up to this tragedy — as there usually are — that should have alerted people that Crumbley was a serious threat.

He had displayed disciplinary problems for some time. On the day of the shooting, he was summoned to the school office after misbehaving. His parents were also called in, an indication that officials were taking this latest incident more seriously than previous ones.

Oakland prosecutor Karen McDonald told CNN there is a “strong possibility” Crumbley had the gun used in the killings in his backpack when he met with school officials and his parents. Did no one think it unusual, if not suspicious, that Crumbley would bring the backpack with him, instead of leaving it in his locker or the classroom? Why didn’t someone ask him to open the backpack and check its contents?

Crumbley’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, have been charged with four counts each of homicide and involuntary manslaughter. James Crumbley reportedly bought the gun Ethan is charged with using in the murders and gave it to his son. Why would a father do that, and why was the weapon not properly secured so it could not be taken anywhere without parental notice, permission and supervision, especially to school? Did Ethan ask his father to purchase the gun for him? What reason did he give? Did James Crumbley ask him? Why would a father give a gun to a son with a record of disciplinary problems?

In a bizarre twist, the Daily Mail reported Jennifer Crumbley wrote then president-elect Donald Trump in November 2016, thanking him for his support of the right to bear arms and describing her son’s struggles in school. She added that as a Realtor she is grateful for the right to carry a gun because it “(allows) me to be protected if I show a home to someone with bad intentions.”

In a search of Ethan Crumbley’s cellphone, police found detailed descriptions of his wish to kill classmates. They say he also had a journal and in at least one social media post expressed elation that he had access to a handgun purchased by his father. Did no one else — classmates, administrators or parents — see or know about any of this? If they did, why was it not reported to authorities? How many times must we hear “if you see something, say something” before someone says something? Why must we always wonder after the fact why no one spoke up?

At his arraignment, Crumbley’s lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Ethan is said not to be talking to investigators.

It is a sad commentary on the times in which we live that police officers are increasingly present outside and inside some schools and even churches. Will metal detectors be next? No parent should have to worry that sending their child off to school in the morning might be the last time they see them alive.

What happened at Oxford High School was pure evil, but evil can be resisted and overcome if people are pro-active in their thinking. It’s sad to think in these terms, but potentially much sadder and intolerable if we don’t.

Birds of Prey World Cup downhill: Aleksander Aamodt Kilde victorious again

Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde celebrates as he sprays snow flying into the finish area following his World Cup downhill run Saturday in Beaver Creek. Kilde won the race following his win Friday in the super-G.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

Different discipline, same course, same result.

A day after winning in super-G on the challenging Birds of prey course at Beaver Creek, Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde skied an aggressive line to capture Saturday’s downhill for his second straight World Cup win.

Kilde had surgery to repair a torn ACL less than a year ago, but you wouldn’t know it watching the 2020 World Cup champion tear down the course Friday and Saturday

The 19th skier out of the gate Saturday, Kilde grabbed the early lead with a time of 1 minute, 39.63 seconds, and his mark was never matched. Austria’s Matthias Mayer was second, 0.66 seconds back followed by Switzerland’s Beat Feuz a full 1.01 seconds back. The top American was Ryan Cochran-Siegle, who held the early lead after skiing second, but finished in sixth.

For the two-time Olympian Kilde, it is his eighth World Cup victory and 22nd podium. The 10-year veteran of the World Cup won the overall season title back in 2020, but is still in search of his first world championship and Olympic medal with the Beijing Winter Games just two months away. His resume also includes a super-G season crown from 2016.

A bald eagle takes in the view Saturday at the finish area of the Birds of Prey course in Beaver Creek.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

Feuz and Mayer are familiar names on World Cup downhill podiums. The 34-year old Feuz, who made ESPN headlines two weeks ago for lamenting about a second consecutive Olympics being held in a country lacking in traditional enthusiasm for skiing, is the four-time defending season downhill globe winner. Mayer won the 2014 Olympic gold medal in the downhill and another gold medal in the super-G in 2018. He snagged a podium earlier in Beaver Creek with his second-place super-G finish on Thursday but narrowly missed out Friday with a fourth-place result.

American Travis Ganong, who flew to a third-place finish in Friday’s World Cup super-G, ended his day in 24th. Veteran Steve Nyman continued to bely his age with an 18th place showing, tying another veteran in search of World Cup win No. 1, 40-year old Johan Clarey. Clarey was second in the downhill at Birds of Prey in 2020. The three-time French Olympian has not discussed any retirement plans, and will continue striving for that elusive top step of the podium in tomorrow’s bonus downhill event. Bryce Bennett, Jared Goldberg, Erik Arvidsson, were 22nd 36th and 38th, respectively to round out the American contingent.

Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, center, celebrates a first place finish while posing with second-place finisher Austria's Matthias Mayer, left, and third-place finisher Switzerland's Beat Feuz after Saturday’s men's World Cup downhill in Beaver Creek.
Gregory Bull/AP

Fifty-eight skiers took the course, revered on the World Cup circuit for its challenging technical sections under a Colorado bluebird sky. Designed by Swiss Olympic downhill champion Bernhard Russi, the challenging course begins at 11,427 feet and forces racers to navigate 1.7 miles of track descending some 2,500 feet in elevation. Racers hit speeds above 80 miles an hour and soar through the air on six jumps on course — including traveling some 140 feet through the air on the Golden Eagle jump. Earlier in the day, a ceremony for Birds of Prey legend and Olympic champion Ted Ligety took place to dedicate a section of track named in his honor — “Ligety’s Legacy.”

Saturday Men’s Downhill Podium

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, Norway – 1:39.63

Matthias Mayer, Austria – 1:40.29

Beat Feuz, Switzerland – 1:40.64

American Finishers

6. Ryan Cochran-Siegle, 1:40.87

18. Steve Nyman, 1:41.50

22. Bryce Bennett, 1:41.61

24. Travis Ganong, 1:41.67

36. Jared Goldberg, 1:42.38

38. Erik Arvidsson, 1:42.56

Glenwood Canyon monitoring project gets funding for second phase

Nathan Bell, a consultant with the Silt Water Conservancy District points to the sediment built up where the canal that takes water from the Colorado River feeds into the pump house. An upstream water quality monitoring project, which received funding approval from the Colorado Basin Roundtable, could help alert the district when mudslides occur in Glenwood Canyon.
Heather Sackett/Aspen Journalism

SILT — Water managers are dealing with the after effects of the Grizzly Creek Fire and subsequent mudslides in Glenwood Canyon by continuing a water quality monitoring program.

The Middle Colorado Watershed Council received funding approval this week for the second phase of a program that will continue to collect and distribute data about weather and river conditions downstream of the Grizzly Creek burn scar. The Colorado Basin Roundtable approved $72,200 in state grant money for continued data collection at seven rain gauges in Glenwood Canyon, which will provide information to the National Weather Service, an automatic water quality sampler, soil moisture sensors, a new stream gauge and water quality monitoring station in the Rifle/Silt area and a data dashboard for easy access of the information.

The first phase of the project, which was implemented early last summer before the monsoons, addressed immediate water quality issues, collecting data at the rain gauges every 15 minutes.

The second phase of the project amounts to an early warning system that will let water users downstream of Glenwood Canyon know when dirty water from mudslides is headed their way. The MCWC hopes to have all the pieces in place before spring runoff.

“With the way post-fire events happen, we are going to be looking at impacts for the next two to five years,” said Paula Stepp, executive director of the Middle Colorado Watershed Council. “The part I’m really excited about is the cooperation between stakeholders and downstream users.”

On July 29, a heavy rainstorm triggered mudslides in Glenwood Canyon, which left some motorists stranded overnight, and closed Interstate 70 for weeks. Because soils scorched by the 2020 Grizzly Creek Fire don’t absorb moisture, the rain sent rocks, sediment and debris flowing down drainages, across the highway and into the Colorado River.

But the mudslides didn’t just affect the river at the site of the rainstorm. The cascade of dirty water also had impacts to agricultural and municipal water users downstream in Silt, whose only source of water is the Colorado.

The sediment-laden water caused problems for the town of Silt’s water treatment plant, which had to use more chemicals to get the sand to settle out. The increased manganese and iron suspended in the water gave it a brownish tint at taps. It also fouled a set of filters, which the town spent $48,000 to replace. The filters normally last four to five years, but had to be replaced after just one, said Trey Fonner, public works director for the town.

“If we knew what was coming down the river, we could shut off the intake and we could let the river clean up a little bit before we turned it back on,” Fonner said. “If our tanks are full, we can shut off and let the worst part of it go by.”

Town of Silt Public Works Director Trey Fonner points out how the water treatment plant’s filters were affected by turbid water from the mudslides in Glenwood Canyon last summer. The town had to replace them at a cost of $48,000.Heather Sackett/Aspen Journalism

Conservancy district impacts

The mudslides also created challenges for the Silt Water Conservancy District, which delivers water from the river to about 45 headgates via a canal and pumphouse. Although the town can temporarily shut down its intake because it has about a three-day supply of water in storage, the conservancy district pumps water continuously and shutting off for a brief period of time is difficult.

“It’s not really a system that can be shut down easily,” said Nathan Bell, a consultant for the district and roundtable member. “It’s extremely cumbersome. It’s a nightmare.”

This earthen canal takes water from the Colorado River to the Silt Water Conservancy District’s pump house. Silt from the mudslides in Glenwood Canyon last summer has built up in the canal.
Heather Sackett/Aspen Journalism

The main problem for the district is that the earthen canal which takes water from the river to the pump station silts up. The turbid water also acts like sandpaper, causing more wear and tear on the machinery and reducing its lifespan. The district is planning on more frequent canal cleanings and installing drop structures to catch the mud before it makes it to the pump house.

The data generated from the monitoring project will allow the district to better plan and budget for the inevitable increased maintenance and repairs, Bell said.

“It reduces the variables you’re having to manage,” he said. “It lets us get ahead of the game.”

The Silt Water Conservancy District delivers water from the Colorado River to about 45 headgates using this pump house. The sediment-laden water from last summer’s mudslides acted like sandpaper, wearing down the machinery.
Heather Sackett/Aspen Journalism

The data dashboard will let downstream users and the general public set up text alerts for when a parameter of interest is too high or outside a specific window. Silt water users, for example, could set an alert for when rain gauges in Glenwood Canyon record a certain amount of rain, which increases the likelihood a plume of dirty water is headed their way.

The total cost of phase two of the project is nearly $1.3 million. The watershed council is asking the Colorado Water Conservation Board for about $650,000 in grant money and they also expect funds from the U.S. Geological Survey. Garfield County has committed to $15,000 over the next three years and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will contribute $50,000.

Aspen Journalism covers rivers and water in collaboration with the Vail Daily and The Aspen Times. For more information go to www.aspenjournalism.org.