News, April 29th

FEDERAL COURT RULING TODAY A VICTORY FOR SNOWMASS SKI AREA

DENVER (AP) – A federal appeals court has upheld a U.S. Forest Service decision allowing new ski terrain on Burnt Mountain in the Snowmass ski area.  The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday rejected a challenge by the environmental group Ark Initiative. The group argued the land, which is in the White River National Forest, should have been protected as a roadless area. The Forest Service and a district court rejected Ark’s argument, so the group appealed. A three-judge panel of the 1st Circuit said the Forest Service action wasn’t arbitrary or capricious and didn’t violate the law. Ark and a landowner filed another suit seeking to block the widening of an access trail to Burnt Mountain.

HASH OIL EXPLOSION IN LEADVILLE

LEADVILLE. (AP) – Authorities are investigating a hash oil explosion at a home in Leadville.
The Lake County Office of Emergency Management says butane being used to make hash oil caused an explosion on Monday which shattered windows in the home in the historic mining town. Photos posted on the office’s Facebook page show the home’s kitchen in disarray, with a counter tilted away from the wall. Emergency management spokeswoman Betty Benson says the explosion blew the door off the refrigerator. It’s at least the fourth suspected hash oil explosion in Colorado in the last week.  Hash oil is a high potency extract of marijuana. Authorities say the butane can easily find an ignition source and cause an explosion.

FRONT RANGE DRILLING BILL DEFEATED

DENVER (AP) – A divisive proposal to commission a new study about the health effects of drilling along Colorado’s Front Range has been defeated. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted against the study Tuesday. The measure had already passed in the House. The bill would have ordered the state Health Department to study “health and quality of life effects” of drilling in Adams, Boulder, Larimer and Weld counties. Business groups and mineral-rights owners called the proposal unnecessary nd predisposed to decry oil and gas drilling. Two Democrats joined Republicans Tuesday in shelving the idea. They say the study would still be done if the Health Department chooses.
The sponsor of the study says that Front Range residents feel their concerns about drilling aren’t being heard.

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