Mountain News: 

Three governments pool funds to hire sustainability boss

TELLURIDE, Colo. — The towns of Telluride and Mountain Village, along with San Miguel County, are hiring a sustainability co-ordinator while also planning to hook up with the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.

The group is to develop a "sustainability inventory," which is supposed to help local decision makers maintain the "integrity of their natural resources over the long term, promote a prosperous economy, and create a vibrant, equitable society."

What exactly does sustainability mean? Art Goodtimes, a county commissioner, points to two definitions. A United Nations report defined it as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Writing in The Telluride Watch, Goodtimes points out that this definition is similar to the Seven Generations principle – that the decisions of today should take into account the well-being of the next seven generations.

The big election spenders

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — When it comes to big money and politics, no place — resorts or otherwise — comes close to Jackson Hole.

Jonathon Schechter, writing for the Jackson Hole News & Guide, reports that people in Teton County last year gave a combined $2.13 million to candidates and political organizations. This works out to be $114 for every man, woman, and child in the county.

As you might expect in the home turf of Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a home in Jackson Hole, Republicans were the greater beneficiary of the largesse, getting $1.08 million as compared to the $867,000 given to Democrats. This is despite the fact that in voting, Democrats had a strong edge from local to national elections this year in Jackson County.

Not even Aspen and Pitkin County, the second in line, came close to this kind of electioneering. The per capita donation in Pitkin County was $84. Way down the list were Telluride and San Miguel County, at $33 per person, followed by San Juan in Washington State and Blaine County (Sun Valley/Ketchum) in Idaho at about $23, and Eagle County (Vail/Beaver Creek) at $21.

Further yet down the list, behind several resort areas in Massachusetts and Florida, were the two Summit counties, in Utah and Colorado, at about $10 per capita, and Routt County (Steamboat) Colorado at about $5.

Looking at it a little differently, in terms of places where contributions were of more than $200, the chart is somewhat different. There, the Vail crowd looks more impressive, although still trailing the Aspen and Jackson Hole big-spenders.

Women catching men?

SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. — Some think female skiers are catching up with the guys. Case in point: Ingrid Backstrom authoritatively skied a 1,500-foot shot in three turns at Bella Coola, B.C., bettering the six-turn run on the steep slope a year before by Shane McConkey.

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