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Colorado: New life for the Arkansas River

Major restoration project set for the summer

Historic smelting activity around Leadville helped build Colorado’s wealth but destroyed precious natural resources. PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

Acid mine drainage in the Upper Arkansas River Basin. PHOTO COURTESY EPA.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Decades of industrial-scale mining left parts of the Upper Arkansas around Leadville mostly lifeless, but restoration efforts at the California Gulch Superfund Site, along with treatment of contaminated water, should help boost some aquatic life to one of Colorado’s big rivers.

This summer’s project is a key part of the federal and state effort to restore an 18-square mile area where mining led to the discharge of heavy metals and acid at the headwaters of the Arkansas, making the river in that area unable to sustain healthy fish populations. The river currently supports a good trout population because of earlier mine cleanup efforts and will be further enhanced by the upcoming habitat improvements. Continue reading

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Colorado: Input wanted on High Country scenic byway plan

The Top of the Rockies National Scenic Byway.

June 8 open house set to discuss preservation and interpretation at Independence Pass

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Top of the Rockies National Scenic Byway is getting a makeover of sorts, and public input is wanted.

Specifically, the by board of directors and the U.S. Forest Service are updated the corridor management plan and interpretive master plan for the 115-mile loop through some of Colorado’s most spectacular terrain.

The Twin Lakes-to-Aspen section along Highway 82 was recently designated as part of the byway and an upcoming public meeting in Aspen will focus on how to improve and interpret the heavily visited summit area at Independence Pass, more than 12,000 feet high. Continue reading

Fatal crash reported between Copper and Leadville

A 33-year-old Leadville resident died in a single-car wreck between Copper Mountain and Leadville Saturday, Dec. 4.

Driver ejected from car in highway wreck

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Summit County coroner Joanne Richardson reported Saturday evening (Dec. 4) that 33-year-old Mark Mortimer, a Leadville resident, died in a single-car accident at mile marker 15 while headed south on Highway 91, between Copper Mountain and Leadville.

Richardson said Mortimer was a snow groomer at Copper Mountain Resort. She said Mortimer was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the car in the accident.

The exact cause of death has not been released pending X-rays and toxicology tests.

Leadville airport looks to Summit for business

A C-130 cargo plane about to touch down at the Ledville-Lake County airport. PHOTO COURTESY LEADVILLE AIRPORT.

Lake County officials looking for local connections to generate interest in corporate jet traffic

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Jet-setting Powdr Corp execs flew in and out of the Leadville airport at least 10 times in the months leading up to the sale of Copper Mountain, leading Lake County officials to think they might be able to tap into a new business niche for the country’s highest landing strip.

“We would like to be your airport,” said Zachary Colescott, asking the Summit County commissioners for some input on how to make local connections that could benefit the airport and meet the needs of people trying to get to Summit County. Continue reading

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