Mountain News: Vacation homes friction heats up in Banff 

Compiled by Allen Best

BANFF, Alberta — The disagreement about second-home ownership in Banff National Park continues to become more heated. A group with egalitarian and environmental goals is now threatening to expose people it claims are living in the resort town without legally valid reasons.

Banff, the town, is unusual in that it is located within a national park and hence subject to special rules governing the national park. Among those rules is one, called the need-to-reside clause, that says people who own homes there must be involved in the local, tourism economy. That theoretically precludes vacation homes.

Not everybody likes this policy, of course, and an organization is being formed that intends to legally challenge it.

Those that support the policy believe that it’s not being enforced. A new Web site created by the environmentalists, www. banffresidency.com, alleges that an executive for a financial services company illegally lives in Banff National Park. The Web site also encourages people to volunteer information about others who live in Banff in violation of the need-to-reside clause.

An unidentified spokesman for the environmental group contacted by the Banff Crag & Canyon said the rule is commonly flouted to the incremental stress of the environment. "There’s only one Banff and it shouldn’t be for elite people to enjoy," the spokesman said.

The accused property owner retorted that his legal right to live there had been established. A local lawyer, Eric Harvie, characterized the Web site as "tattletale vigilantism." He said the environmental group does not understand the laws relevant in this case.

Grandpa-on-Ice strangest festival

NEDERLAND, Colo. — Colorado mountain towns have their fare share of off-beat festivals.

Crested Butte has Flauschink, which seems to be something of an off-beat bar crawl. Heeney, located in Summit County, has a festival that pays homage to ticks. And Fruita – it’s not a mountain town, but a lot of mountain bike riders go there – has a Mike the Headless Chicken Days, a celebration of the life of a chicken that survived for 18 months without a head.

Rivaling any of these for strangeness, however, is the Frozen Dead Guy Days festival, which is held in Nederland, located west of Boulder. Although there’s a ski area nearby, Eldora, Nederland is not really a ski town. There is only one hotel. However, it abounds with eccentricity.

In 1989, one Bredo Morstøl, a Norwegian, died of a heart attack. His grandson, Trygve Bauge, decided to freeze "Grandpa" in hopes that someday he could be returned to life. Such science is called cryogenics.

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