Mountain News: 

Polish students staff Four Seasons hotel

Page 5 of 7

School enrolments continue down

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — For several years now, the story has been much the same in the ski towns and resort valleys of the West. Despite rapid population growth, school enrolments have generally been flat or declining.

More of the same is being reported at Lake Tahoe, where the school district reported 4,200 students this fall, 188 less than last year. The school district superintendent, Dennis Williams, reported the slide in enrolment has been occurring for seven or eight years. "It is more extreme than we’ve been anticipating," he told the Tahoe World.

What’s going on? Williams surmises that at least partly it’s a matter of fewer younger families moving into the area or staying in the area because of rising housing costs. That’s been the conclusion in other mountain valleys of the West. As well, the Gen X generation, which is now in its 20s and 30s, was substantially smaller than either the Baby Boomers or their off-spring, the Echo Boomers. The latter is just now entering their child-rearing years.

However, in some areas, the story is starting to change. In Colorado’s East Grand School District, where Winter Park and Granby are located, enrolment this fall was up 3 per cent after being flat or declining since 2000. Officials in a district near Steamboat Springs also reported a minor increase after several years of enrolment declines.

Ski area addition contemplated

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. — Twenty-year old plans for Crested Butte’s proposed ski area expansion onto nearby Snodgrass Mountain are now being mulled anew by local as well as federal officials.

The expansion (technically, it’s a new ski area, because it’s separated by a short distance from the existing ski area) would provide 300 acres of mostly intermediate terrain. Ski area officials have identified intermediate terrain as the most pressing need to attract destination visitors and get them to return for a second year. Crested Butte officials say they have a relatively low return rate as compared to other ski areas, because there is so little diversity of terrain.

However, a new group called Friends of Snodgrass have an alternate plan for Snodgrass Mountain: nothing new.

Wolves could be "lethal reduction"

GRAND LAKE, Colo. — Reintroduction of wolves into Rocky Mountain National Park remains a possibility. For several decades, the park has been troubled by too many elk. Without predators – or human hunters – the elk are damaging the vegetation of the park. A recent study identifies several options, including killing of elk – called "lethal reduction" in the study – by National Park Service personnel or contractors, and also using birth-control mechanisms. Wolves are considered one form of lethal reduction.

Latest in Mountain News

More by Allen Best

© 1994-2019 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation