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Water: Feds announce plans to drain Lake Powell

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Lake Powell will be drained in the coming years, the federal government announced April 1.

Drought-stricken reservoir to revert to pre-diversion conditions within 10 years

By Snob Beerwhine

SUMMIT COUNTY — In a classic “see-you-later” political move, outgoing Interior Secretary Ben Malabar announced that the federal government will start decommissioning Glen Canyon Dam and draining Lake Powell as soon as this summer.

Malabar announced the change in U.S. water policy in an April 1 memo that outlined how communities that depend on the stored water in Lake Powell can adapt.

Recent studies make it clear that, because of global warming, Lake Powell only has a few decades left anyway, so we’re going to get ahead of the curve on this issue,” Malabar said, adding that it’s high time that the Colorado River flows to the sea the way God intended. Continue reading

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Vail bails on Peak 6 skiing, plans EpicWildlife sanctuary

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Lynx kittens will have the run of Peak 6 as it becomes Colorado’s biggest wildlife sanctuary.

APRIL FOOLS!!!

Wolverine reintroduction part of the plan for new nature preserve

By Snob Beerwhine

SUMMIT COUNTY — In a surprise move, Colorado’s biggest ski company announced April 1 that it will not pursue the Peak 6 ski area expansion after all. Instead, Breckenridge ski area and the town will expand the Cucumber Gulch preserve into a full-fledged wildlife sanctuary encompassing part of the Tenmile Range from the valley bottom up to the ridgeline.

With sponsorship of the ski area, the new preserve will be called EpicWildlife, set aside for lynx, elk, moose and boreal toads. Partnering with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Breckenridge also plans to reintroduce wolverines to the area, where they will find great habitat in the alpine cirques and couloirs along the crest. Continue reading

World Meteorological Organization shortens winter

Changing weather patterns prompted world climate officials to officially shorten the winter season by four weeks in an announcement made April 1.

New parameter better match current climate reality, scientists say

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — After evaluating the latest satellite data from the past few months, the World Meteorological Organization announced April 1 that, starting this year, the official winter season will be shortened by one month, two weeks at either end.

A warming global climate, especially in the Arctic, requires the change in order to keep the seasons in synch with climatological realities, said Manny Fairweather, lead long-range climate analyst for the Geneva-based group.

Instead of beginning Dec. 21, winter will officially start Jan. 6, and instead of ending March 21, it will end two weeks earlier, on March 7.

“It just doesn’t make sense for winter to last for three months anymore,” Fairweather said at an April 1 press conference. “The reality is that we just aren’t seeing winter conditions in December, so we’ve decided to delay the start of the season until January. Continue reading

Natural gas drilling set to start beneath U.S. Capitol

Operation to include precendent-setting safeguards

Natural gas drilling, aided by fracking, will soon begin beneath the U.S. Capitol to help bolster America's energy independence.

By Summit Voice

Washington D.C. — Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers announced April 1 that natural gas deposits were discovered on U.S. Capitol grounds during the construction of the underground Capitol Visitor center. The discovery — made prior to the visitor center’s opening in 2008 — was announced today after mineral rights and jurisdictional issues were resolved allowing leasing to proceed and gas production oversight to be implemented.

An unsuspected natural gas bearing shale formation — similar to the Marcellus Shale underlying middle Appalachian states, the Barnett Shale in north-central Texas, and other shale gas plays around the country — was uncovered as the pit was dug for the several stories deep undergound Capitol visitor center.  The new visitor center was deemed necessary in the wake of 9/11 to mitigate the possibility of terrorist attack on the Capitol Building.

It is this type of shale gas, now accessible because of a recent gas production innovation known as horizontal hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) that has increased U.S. natural gas reserves to the point that President Obama made natural gas part of his Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future announced on Wednesday at Georgetown University. Continue reading

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