No more water for Aspen - for now

  Aspen Ski Co. lost a bid for expansion when the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in June that the company could not drain a creek to make more artificial snow for its Snowmass Resort. The court agreed with the Aspen Wilderness Workshop and the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund that the Colorado Water Conservation Board had no right to give Aspen Ski Co. 40 percent of Snowmass Creek's water, despite testimony from a hydrologist hired by the ski company. But the loss is a minor stumbling block, says Brent Gardner-Smith of Aspen Ski Co. "It's merely a process question," he says. "We stand behind all the information we've presented so far." The company is reviewing the decision before deciding whether to appeal. Environmentalists say the court's decision sets an important precedent. "This means that we can hold the government accountable when it tries to give away public (water) rights," says Lori Potter of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund.


* Shea Andersen