Mountain News: 

PooFest at Crested Butte a sign of spring

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. — PooFest is returning for a second year at Crested Butte, a dog-friendly town where a good many dog owners poo-poo the idea of cleaning up after their dogs through winter. With the snow now melting, those omissions are now becoming apparent.

Last year, 50 people turned out for PooFest and collected 875 pounds of dog-poop from streets, sidewalks, and yards. People picking puppy poop this year will get T-shirts – in a brown-and-white design, notes the Crested Butte News.

50 miles, a world of difference

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. — What a difference in weather just 50 miles can make! That difference has been evident this winter is snowfall amounts in Colorado.

The southern storm track that drenched Los Angeles also left the Crested Butte with a snowpack that in late March sat at 132 per cent of average. But northeast 50 to 75 miles, as the crow flies, the Vail area was only at 83 per cent of average. A little farther north, the Steamboat Springs area was at 80 per cent.

It is undeniably a big snow year for Crested Butte, Telluride, and Durango – leading to some talk about the "end" of the drought. Climatologists warn against such prattle. One year of poor snow does not create an extended drought, nor does one good year of snow end that drought.

Buildings starting to green up

DURANGO, Colo. — The beginnings of so-called "green" building are being noted in Durango. There, a clustered 10-home project is planned that will use both passive and active solar energy.

Meanwhile, city officials are informally pushing green building practices by promoting several forums on that topic, and they may yet formally incorporate green building practices into city codes.

But doesn’t green building make housing unaffordable for working stiffs? No, not really, reports the Durango Telegraph. The newspaper explains that "green" homes can be built for as low as $90 a square foot. The higher up-front costs can be recouped within three to five years. Within 30 years, given current energy costs, the owner of a 1,250-square-foot house can save $30,000 to $80,000.

Green building involves a different mind set, says the City of Durango’s Linda Lewis, "Instead of thinking ‘how big a house can we get for our money?’ people need to think in terms of ‘How sustainable of a house can we get for our money?’"

Hiking trails tied to caribou decline

BANFF, Alberta — The population of woodland caribou in Banff and Jasper national parks has been declining precipitously. In Jasper, the population has declined by roughly half in the last 30 years. Banff’s population has dropped from 20 to 30 individuals down to three to five.

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