News, January 21st


ASPEN- – The Summit County man killed in an avalanche near Marble 8 days ago, had skied the area earlier in the day and the week without any problems. 37 year old James Lindenblatt of Frisco died in the Jan. 13 slide. According to a report by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center Lindenblatt and three other skiers decided to ride on Marble Peak Ridge after making several exploratory trips there. The other skiers were able to dig him out of about 4 feet of snow in less than 10 minutes. When they pulled him out, he wasn’t breathing and had no pulse.
Lindenblatt was the second person to die in an avalanche in Colorado this season. The first avalanche death of the season occurred on December 30th outside the Snowmass Ski area. 49 year old Snowmass ski patroller Patricia Hileman was killed in the slide that she triggered.


DENVER (AP) – Federal environmental officials say a new policy should shield outside groups from liability if they try to mitigate dangerous chemicals leaking from abandoned mines in the Colorado mountains and beyond. The Environmental Protection Agency tweaked its policy after years of prodding by Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. Udall visited an abandoned mine on Friday and said the region’s water and air quality, wildlife and travel industry are at risk unless leaks are contained.
In Colorado, leaks from an estimated 7,300 mines have tainted 1,300 miles of streams. The new policy says “good Samaritans” no longer need a federal permit to do cleanups and offers the groups an understanding with the EPA that they would not be liable under the Clean Water Act.

GRAND JUNCTION– Sen. Mark Udall says western Colorado residents will have to support the idea of upgrading the Colorado National Monument to national park status if they want their congressional representatives to push the idea. Udall told residents that he and Western Slope Congressman Scott Tipton will decide by midyear whether to introduce legislation to convert the monument to a park. Park status generally brings more services than monument status. Proponents say it would attract more visitors, which would boost the regional economy. Udall and Tipton formed a citizens committee that spent a year studying the idea but disbanded without making a recommendation.


LAS ANIMAS (AP) – A group of lawmakers paid a visit to a former prison in southeast Colorado to consider whether to repurpose the prison as a treatment center for the homeless. Several legislative budget-writers planned to visit the former Fort Lyon Correctional Facility near Las Animas, which Gov. John Hickenlooper wants to use as a voluntary treatment center for the chronically homeless, especially veterans.