Mountain News: What goes well with eight or 10 drinks? 

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The agreement, reports The Telluride Watch, gives Idarado the water it needs to avoid unhealthy levels of zinc contamination in the San Miguel River from mine tailings, as required by a legal settlement.

But the town also gets the water it needs, even in drought years. The town was close to exhausting its supply in June.

"If we had had a big fire during Bluegrass, it could have been a very dangerous situation," said Kevin Geiger, alluding to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, which draws 10,000 to 12,000 people. "That's the advantage of Blue Lake. It is a large vessel of water that is there if we need to call on it at a certain time."

A bonus for Telluride is that it can also use the former mining company's water rights in its hydroelectric plant planned in conjunction with the new Pandora Water Treatment Plant. This will help the town reduce its dependency on fossil fuels.

Bear outwits trash container

ASPEN, Colo. — Aspen municipal employees thought they had outsmarted local bears in the design of trash containers.

They were wrong.

In mid-November, long after bears were believed to have retired for the winter to various shelters in the forest, a bear plucked a bag from a trash container in front of the Aspen City Hall.

The bear-proof containers had been in place for a decade. "After 10 years, we finally got a bear that was bright — brighter than we are," said Jeff Woods, director of the city parks department.

The long and short of it is that we are looking to modify the trash cans to be more bear resistant," Woods said.

The Aspen Daily News reports that nine bears were killed in Aspen and close-by areas this year, and another six were trapped and moved to other areas.

Meanwhile, says the paper, studies continue of bears in and around Aspen. One study resulted in 50 bears being collared and their locations tracked by GPS every half hour. In years in which berries and nuts were plentiful in the forest and meadows, they tended to feed there, sometimes in places just a 10-minute walk from the town. When natural food is absent, as has occurred every second or third year, they hit the town itself.


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