Mountain News: When should store doors be closed? 

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When should store doors be closed?

BANFF, Alberta — In Banff, as elsewhere, there are complaints that leaving store doors open during cold winter months is an extravagant waste of energy, unbefitting a national park that celebrates the environment.

And, as elsewhere, there is pushback from shop owners, who say they need to leave the doors open, so that customers will walk in.

What to do? The council indicated that it wants to see a proposal from the town staff that would set a temperature threshold for when doors must be closed.

Drones used to spy

KREMMLING, Colo. – Drones have purposes other than picking off enemy soldiers. On Colorado's Western Slope, they're being used to peek on the sexual proclivities of sage grouse.

The Sky-Hi News explains that the small, unmanned aircraft loaned from the U.S. military are being used to study everything from contour surface mines in West Virginia to soil erosion in South Dakota. The drones are about 2kgs and have a wingspan of 140 cms, or about the size of a bald eagle.

In Colorado, the devices allow state wildlife biologists to track sage grouse, a species declining in population. The birds commonly mate during springs in areas called leks. Mud and lingering snow thwart travel in more remote areas, where the leks would likely be found.

Drones were also used to track the migration of sandhill cranes through Colorado's San Luis Valley.

Salt Lake's ozone wafts to Park City

PARK CITY, Utah – Park City is unique among destination mountain resorts in its proximity to a major metropolitan area. It's just 35 minutes from the airport in Salt Lake City to the resort, despite the fact they're on opposite sides of the Wasatch Range.

But that proximity also poses a problem. Park City and surrounding Summit County are sometimes awash in the pollution from the Salt Lake Valley.

The Park Record reports that ozone levels at one location in Summit County exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency's specified limits 10 days in 2012. Salt Lake City itself exceeded the limit for seven days.

Forum on immigration

ASPEN, Colo. — A forum about immigration is planned in Aspen, a place that depends heavily on labourers from outside the United States.

"The key is, how is the country going to positively address the fact that an estimated eight to 10 million illegal people are employed now?" said Warren Klug, a member of the board of directors of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association.

Klug estimates that half of the 55 people employed this winter at the Aspen Square Condominium Hotel, where he is the general manager, were born outside the United States. The hotel follows the law in checking the documentation of its foreign workers, but the law is not perfect, he said.

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