COAL FOR GROUSE HABITAT
Meeker / Craig—The coal mining industry in northwestern Colorado may be able to continue thanks to a trade between a company and the federal government. Today the Bureau of Land Management and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement gave preliminary approval to a plan that allows Colowyo Coal to continue mining in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties in exchange for the company’s donation of land for the greater sage grouse. Colowyo has been leasing and mining in the area since 1982. After reviewing the company’s plans and environmental assessment, the agencies determined the project would have no significant impact. Wildlife officials helped put the agreement together which calls for Colowyo Coal to give the state over 45-hundred acres as habitat for the greater sage grouse.
LOCAL SKIER SOUGHT FOR PUSHING A MAN OFF SKI LIFT
Aspen—Pitkin County authorities believe the man who shoved a fellow skier off a chairlift at Highlands last Sunday morning is a local. 28 year old Seth Beckton was shaken up but unhurt after falling some 25 feet, face-first. The fresh, deep snow cushioned the fall. According to reports from the Sheriff’s office and statements, Beckton says he made a comment to the man about the snow conditions that somehow offended him. Beckton says the next thing he knew, the man asked, “Are you making fun of me?, then pushed him off the lift. SkiCo spokesman Jeff Hanle says security video footage is being shared with the police and several witnesses have been interviewed. Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Steindler says the suspect is a local man but his identity has not been released.