Thursday, June 30, 2011

Keystne and Breckenridge Ski Improvements

They're not installing new lifts, but Keystone Resort and Breckenridge Ski Resort are asking for Forest Service approval for improvements to the skiing and biking experience and to the efficiencies of on-mountain infrastructure.

A letter was recently released asking for public comment on the proposals, which would likely be implemented late this summer. Comments are due June 24.

White River National Forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams wrote in the scoping letter that the proposed projects don't need an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement, however, he's calling for public feedback prior to making a decision.

Keystone hopes to:

Relocate a vault toilet from the top of the tubing hill to the top of the Peru Express chairlift;

Remove two trees near the wastewater treatment facility to improve snowcat parking;

Enhance less than .5 acres of small vegetation regeneration areas on the front side of the mountain by transplanting some species to other areas of the mountain, mainly those affected by the Mountain Pine Beetle;

Remove about 20 trees from the egress routes of the north and south bowls to improve skier exit from the areas as well as grooming of the routes;

Realign three mountain bike trails — Paid in Full, Let it Ride and Eye of the Tiger — to improve the overall bike trail system and decrease soil runoff; and

 Develop a Family Adventure Zone in the tree islands surrounding the trail Schoolmaster, involving timber removal and spot grading.

Breckenridge hopes to:

Install a water line on the Freeway trail on Peak 8 to improve snowmaking efficiency, involving 1,300 feet of ground disturbance;

Develop a ski school trail on Peak 7 between Swan City and Monte Cristo, approximately 14 feet wide with disturbance on about an acre;

Install about 2,500 feet of cable to support the race course on American;

Construct hiking trails, approximately 1,000 feet long, from the top of the Colorado SuperChair on Peak 8 and Independence SuperChair on Peak 7;

 Realign a trail 50-foot long connection between the Pioneer bike trail and Southside bike trail; and

Install about 1,500 feet of cable from the bottom of Chair 6 to the existing weather station to improve the station's capabilities.

To learn more about the projects, call Dillon Ranger District snow ranger Shelly Grail Braudis at (970) 262-3484.

To submit comments, address them to Scott G. Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor c/o Shelly Grail Braudis, Dillon Ranger District, P.O. Box 620, Silverthorne, CO 80498; or email them to Include your name, address, telephone number, organization represented (if any) as well as the name of the project and specific facts supporting any concerns.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

4th of July Shortbread Sundaes

Is there a better place to spend the Fourth of July than in our mountain towns? I don't think so. Fireworks, music, parades, craft fairs, good food, smiling people and a sense of community that is a true representation of what's best about our country. Yup, we've got a lot to celebrate!

With so much to do on Independence Day, nobody wants to spend time in the kitchen creating an intricate dessert. It's a day to serve something that's easy to prepare and sure to please folks of all ages. These Fourth of July Shortbread Sundaes fill the bill. The cookies can be made way ahead of time and frozen until the day they'll be used. The berries and ice cream that they accompany require no cooking at all; Just combine and macerate the fruit, scoop the cold stuff, decorate with the shortbread and you've got a tasty, pretty and patriotic ending to a wonderful day.

Vera Dawson, a chef instructor with CMC's Culinary Institute, lives in Summit County, where she bakes almost every day. Her recipes have been tested in her home kitchen and, whenever necessary, altered until they work at our altitude. Contact her at

Fourth of July Shortbread Sundaes

Adjusted for altitudes between 8,000 and 10,000 feet

Makes 8-10 sundaes




(This recipe makes from 20-30 star-shaped cookies of varying sizes)

1/4 cup of granulated sugar

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour

1 teaspoon of vanilla

2 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into pieces

1/2 cup of butter (8 tablespoons, one stick), softened if making with mixer, cut into eight pieces

1 pint of strawberries

1 pint of raspberries

1 pint of blueberries

1 pint of blackberries

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1 quart of vanilla ice cream


Make the star cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with a rack in the center position. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or aluminum foil. Don't grease it, the cookies might spread. Place a second cookie sheet under the one on which you'll bake the cookies to provide insulation and prevent the bottom of the cookies from overbrowning. With a food processor: Put the sugar and the flour in the bowl of the processor and pulse briefly to combine. Add the vanilla, the pieces of cream cheese and the cut-up butter to the bowl and pulse until the dough starts to come together but stop just before it forms a ball. Turn the dough out of the processor and gently knead until it is smooth and coherent.

With a mixer: Beat the softened butter with the softened cream cheese until very smooth. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is creamy. Stir in the vanilla, and then gradually add the flour, stirring only until it is no longer visible after each addition. When the dough starts to come together, stop stirring and gently knead until it is smooth & coherent.
Pat the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill until it is firm enough to roll out. (This takes about an hour in the refrigerator) Place the disc of dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll to a thickness of just under a fourth of an inch. Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap and, using star cookie cutters (I used three different sized cutters) dipped in flour before each cut, cut out the cookies and place them about an inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Re-roll the scraps of dough and cut out more cookies. If the dough gets so soft that it sticks to the cutter, chill it again before cutting out the second batch of cookies. Place the cut-out cookies, on the cookie sheet, in the freezer and freeze for about 7 minutes, until they are very firm. This helps prevent them from spreading while they are baking.


Bake in the preheated oven until the top is set and the bottoms and sides of the cookies are just golden. This takes about 9-13 minutes in my oven, but times will vary. Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately transfer them to a rack to cool. Store for two days in an airtight container at cool room temperature of freeze for longer storage.


Prepare the berries: At least one hour and up to four hours before serving, gently wash and dry all the berries, hull & quarter the strawberries and combine them with the others in a large bowl. Add the sugar and carefully toss (don't bruise the berries) until coated. Cover and refrigerate until serving time, stirring occasionally.


To serve, place a scoop or two of ice cream in each bowl, spoon the berries over and around them, making sure there are equal amounts of both blue and red berries. Top with a couple of the cookies and serve. You may have some berries left over.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pets in Summit County

As we roll into our summer season and the county begins to pack with visitors and seasonal residents alike, Summit County Animal Control reminds you of some very important pet owner responsibilities.

Dog licensing in Summit County is the law. All dogs over the age of 3 months are required to have a valid Summit County Pet Animal License after the dog has been owned, kept, maintained or harbored in the county for any consecutive 14-day period. Licenses may be obtained at the shelter in Frisco for all dogs residing in unincorporated county, Dillon, Silverthorne and Blue River. Dog owners need to bring a copy of their dog's current rabies vaccination record. The cost for a one-year license is $15 for a spayed or neutered dog and $50 for an intact dog.

There are many benefits that go along with licensing your pet aside from abiding by the law. First of all, you are more likely to have your pet returned to you by an animal control officer if your pet is wearing a valid license. If your dog is injured, the officer will be able to contact you. You also may avoid costly impound fees and fines if your dog is wearing a valid license. License fees support the animal control and shelter .

Even though it may seem like a good idea to take your pet along to run errands or accompany you on an outing, leaving a pet in an unattended vehicle can be deadly, and you may be ticketed. Animal control reserves the right to enter any unattended vehicle where an animal is in distress. The temperature outside may be comfortable, but inside, it can double or even triple within an hour. Even with windows cracked, your pet can be at risk of overheating and death. If you must leave your pet in a vehicle, remember to provide proper ventilation and water and park in the shade whenever possible. Check on your pet regularly to be sure they are not in distress from the heat. It is best to avoid the risk and leave your pet at home where he will be more comfortable.

In most areas of unincorporated county, the law is immediate control, unless otherwise posted. This means control of an animal by the physical presence of a responsible person, within 10 feet of the animal and such responsible person does exhibit voice control over the animal so as to prevent it from being a public nuisance or from being in violation of Summit County Animal Control resolutions.

The laws on bikeways, all wilderness areas, national forest campgrounds, including A-Basin are considered “physical control,” which means control of an animal by means of a tether or a leash no longer than six feet in length, attached to the animal and held by a responsible person; or, confinement within a locked vehicle or locked enclosure sufficient to prevent the animal from escaping or making contact with other persons or animals. Also be aware that dogs that harass wildlife may incur you a $300 fine as well as being dangerous to your pet.

When planning a hike with your dog, be sure to condition your best friend by working up to the distance and terrain you plan to tackle. Pay attention to your dog's feet when crossing scree and other rough terrain as their pads can get torn up causing the dog to become immobile. Remember to be courteous to other hikers and bikers on trails and keep your animals under control when approaching others. If your animal causes an accident or injury, you as an owner are responsible for all costs incurred.

Lastly be mindful of picking up after your pet. It's not only the right thing to do but is required by law.

For questions or concerns, contact the Summit County Animal Control and Shelter at (970) 668-3230, or log on to to view our laws and resolutions.