Western Slope Round-Up: Git Along Lil’ Doggie

This week, we have a mixed breed of stories-from possible wolves in the mountains to recycled snow for flushing toilets in Vail; to saving puppies in Cortez and dogging the methane gas from landfills near Aspen.

Please read on….Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketRaining Cats and Dogs in Rifle
A cold front produce heavy rain on the Western Slope on Sunday. Some west central counties were under a flash flood warning as temperatures dropped and a dusting of snow was expected in the mountains.

Wolves at Our Door?
Two men hunting east of Independence Pass near Aspen believed they spotted an adult wolf. The animal weighed over 100 pounds, one hunter estimated, and stood about three feet high.

From the Aspen Times:

Roger Eshelman said he was returning to a hunting camp with his brother-in-law when they spotted an animal roughly 75 yards off the backcountry road they were traveling.

Eshelman stopped his vehicle, took out a powerful pair of binoculars and concluded he was looking at a wolf.

Eshelman, 50, said he understands that some people will figure he just spotted a large coyote. As a self-described skilled hunter, he said he knows the difference.

“I’ve got news for ya, I’ve seen thousands of coyotes and this wasn’t a coyote,” he said. “I’m not making a claim. I saw it irrefutably.”

He’s also seen wolves in Yellowstone National Park, Canada and Alaska, so he has some experience to draw comparisons.

Eshelman said he probably scoped the animal out for about one minute before it realized it was being watched, then slinked closer to the ground and disappeared into the surrounding woods.

Eshelman didn’t want to pinpoint a location because he didn’t want a bunch of people searching for the animal.

The Division of Wildlife has been contacted.

This isn’t the first time a wolf has entered Colorado recently. A wolf wearing a collar identifying him from the Yellowstone area was killed on I-70 over Vail Pass several years ago.

Cortez Dogged by Too Many Animals
There are too many cats and dogs needing homes in Cortez – out of 1,500 unwanted pets, only about 466 were adopted last year.

To save more animals from euthanasia, the Cortez Animal Shelter has teamed up with Rescue Waggin’ Transport, a charity aligned with PetSmart. Cortez in one in only 34 shelters in the nation participating in this service and it has saved 72 puppies and dogs by moving them to shelters where they will be adopted.

According to the Cortez Journal, 17 puppies were picked up by the Rescue Waggin’ last week on their way to the Humane Society in Boulder where puppies are adopted within 72 hours on average.

Yellow Snow in Ever Vail
“Ever Vail” sounds more like a mortuary in town than a new housing development proposed by Vail Associates for the West Lionhead area. On over 9 acres, Ever Vail is going to be built as a green-themed village.

From the Vail Daily:

Vail Resorts will intersperse dozens of affordable, deed-restricted condos in Ever Vail village, the company said. That helps satisfy the town’s new, stricter affordable housing rules passed earlier this year.

There will be affordable studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom homes, totaling 123 beds, in the village, the company said. Stores, restaurants, a hotel, a park, offices and a parking garage are also planned for the $1 billion Ever Vail. It’s supposed to be completed in 2013.

Broomfield-based Vail Resorts also announced other green aspects of the village that it plans to use. They include: