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Local News Briefs

The White River National Forest Supervisor’s Office will host two open houses in December and January to discuss a plan to restore forest health on 50,000 acres around the Roaring Fork Valley.The first open house will be held Wednesday from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Eagle County Building and Community Center in El Jebel. A second open house will be held shortly after the New Year, the supervisor’s office said in a press release.The meeting will be held to disclose details and answer questions about projects designed to improve wildlife habitat. About 26,200 acres will be treated by lighting prescribed fires; 19,400 acres will be treated with a combination of prescribed fire and mechanical treatments; and 4,300 acres will be treated by cutting individual trees or small groups.”The reality is that much of the wildlife habitat in the valley floor has been developed,” said Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams in the press release. “This makes the national forest lands above the valley floor even more important for wildlife. This landscape-scale proposal is essential for improving this habitat so we can continue to enjoy abundant wildlife.”A map and a full description of the proposed action is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver, then navigate to “Land and Resources Management/Projects.”Written comments must be submitted via mail, fax, e-mail or in person (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to Scott Fitzwilliams c/o Phil Nyland, P.O. Box 309, Carbondale, CO 81623; fax: (970) 963-1012 ; or by e-mail to comments-rocky-mountain-white-river westzone@fs.fed.us. Comments should be received no later than Jan. 18.

The Carbondale Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing tonight on a set of draft ordinances meant to regulate medical marijuana businesses in town.Among the considerations before the board will be a proposed moratorium prohibiting new medical marijuana operations in Carbondale, possibly until the end of 2011. The state of Colorado already has a de facto moratorium on such facilities until July 2011.Proposed local restrictions on medical marijuana centers are that they be no closer than 500 feet from schools, including preschools and the local Colorado Mountain College center. Dispensaries would be restricted to commercial zone districts, and commercial growing operations to industrially zoned areas of town.Certain restrictions would also apply to patient grows and caregiver grow operations in private residences.Tonight’s regular town board meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Carbondale Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave. The public hearing on the medical marijuana proposals is tentatively slated for 7:10 p.m. on the agenda.Also on tonight’s meeting agenda is a continued public hearing on the Village at Crystal River mixed-use development proposal, slated immediately following the medical marijuana discussion.

Registration for the eighth annual Soupskl is under way.Soupskl, part of the Winterskl celebration, will be held between Hunter Street and Cooper Avenue in downtown Aspen from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15, in honor of the late Reggie Barbour. Local restaurants that register offer free samples to visitors, who vote at the end of the evening for their favorite soup. The local restaurant with the most votes will receive the Soup Bowl Trophy.Last year’s winner of the Soup Bowl Trophy, Garnish Caf, returns to Soupskl, as well as 39 Degrees (Sky Hotel), 520 Grill, Aspen Valley Hospital, Bad Billy’s, Base Camp, Brunelleschi’s, Clark’s Market, Conundrum Catering, Elk’s Lodge #224, Flame Catering & Aspen Brewing Co., Kenichi, Red Onion, Sage at Snowmass Club, Sam’s Smokehouse, The Gant, Ullrhof, Ute City, Victoria’s Espresso & Wine Bar, and Willow Creek Bistro (Ritz). Space is limited. Call Julie Hardman at (970) 920-7146 to register or for more information.


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