Mountain town headlines and links delivered weekly in Summit Voice in the mountain news roundup.
Sage grouse conservation in Wyoming, Olympic luge death final report and a Tom Chapman in this week’s mountain town headlines
Construction down in Aspen
The Aspen Daily News reports that all aspects of the building industry have declined during the recession, including the average value of building permits, from $800,000 in 2007 at the peak of the bubble to only $166,698 this year to-date. Building officials said they’re no longer seeing pie-in-the-sky speculation, but more remodeling jobs. The total amount of building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits is averaging 62 per month, down from a high of 176 per month in 2007 and 116 last year. The story goes on to describe impacts to the Aspen economy, along with interviews with local builders. Get the details here.
Property rights in Telluride?
The Telluride Daily Planet caught up with notorious land speculator Tom Chapman, known for buying private land like mining claims surrounded by national forest land and then selling them or trading them for a profit. In his latex move, Chapman bought a series of mining claims bordering Telluride ski area terrain, and said he won’t permit skiing on those parcels. In a rare interview, Chapman describes himself as a staunch advocate for private property rights, “evening things out” with the federal government. He claims that Telluride in particular, and Colorado in general, don’t respect private property rights. Kudos to the Telluride paper for nabbing the interview. It’s a great read.
Meanwhile, the Telluride Watch ran another story on Chapman’s plans to build a 25,000 square-foot home on the highest point within the boundaries of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. To be clear, the home is to be built on a private inholding in the park. The Telluride Watch story describes some of Chapman’s previous inholding developments, including construction of a log cabin on an inholding in the West Elk Wilderness near Paonia. He stopped construction of the cabin after negotiating a land trade with the Forest Service for 105 acres near Telluride. He later sold that property for more than $4 million. Park officials said there’s little they can do, while public land advocates accused Chapman of manipulation. Read the full story in the Watch here.
More mountain headlines and links after the break … (more…)
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