The 14th annual American Renewable Energy Institute summit called AREDAY opened Monday, with one of its highest-profile guest speakers and panel moderators having a big role Tuesday morning.  Former Supreme Allied Commander and past Presidential candidate, General Wesley Clark, spoke exclusively to KSNO about why he’s in Snowmass Village for the conference…

General Clark chaired the panel on how moving toward more renewable energy can benefit national security.  He and his fellow panelists also pointed to the danger of labeling fellow Americans based on a history of “mis-branding” the climate change issue as one that’s only of concern to liberals.  He points out that a lot of very smart Republicans and conservatives are also paying attention to measures that could slow the planet’s rising temperature.  He adds that the American military are actually leading in the country’s journey away from fossil fuels to better, more efficient ways to power things.  He says getting better and more efficient are 2 ways to do what military folks have to do to avoid death…  win.  AREDAY’s seminars and meetings continue through tomorrow, wrapping up with a free concert by John Popper and Brother’s Keeper, on the hillside next to the Snowmass Village Mall.

More from General Clark and other summit attendees tomorrow, here on the Mammoth.  And one extra breaking news note–  Clark says he’s earned the t-shirt, so he’s done running for President.

Snowmass will become the newest ski area, the 5th on the lands of the White River National Forest, to open new summer activities on the mountain since the federal OK was given 6 years ago.  The clearance the Aspen Skiing Company was looking for came through Tuesday.  Skico already has a name for its new collection of attractions, scheduled to open next year.  It’ll be The Lost Forest, and will go up near Elk Camp.  The Lost Forest will include a climbing wall, a challenge course, ziplining through the tree canopy, more biking and hiking trails, and a year-round alpine coaster, much like that used over at Breckenridge.  That coaster, to be called the Breathtaker, is due to open early in the coming ski season, in December of this year.  As to the competition, Vail’s been adding items to its mountaintop, Copper Mountain is building its similar attraction, Arapahoe Basin’s been approved for one, and Breckenridge also has the OK to expand what it started with that coaster years ago.

The way dangerous drugs are handled in some overdose cases is significantly different now.  That, after the carfentanil-induced deaths of 2 El Jebel roommates this spring, in the Blue Lake subdivision.  Basalt first responders have changed their procedures, in order to protect police, paramedics, and others from the deadly compound, thousands of times stronger than morphine.  From now on, overall protective suits are going to be worn in clear overdose cases, and less obvious drug scenes may get additional scrutiny before action is decided upon.  The tranquilizer is so strong it’s used on elephants.  The deaths of those 2 men were the first involving it in the valley.  And even a tiny amount can kill, even without being ingested.  Merely touching it can be fatal.  Carfentanil is part of the national opioid epidemic, more powerful than fentanyl, that can have legitimate uses for people.  Both of them are often laced into heroin, and users most often don’t know.

And if you’re a hiker, more trails are available in Snowmass Village starting today.  The town is thanking everyone for their patience and respect for wildlife, as the elk migration and calving season is believed to be over.  So, on this 1st full day of summer, trails including Government, Tom Blake, and everything on Burnt Mountain are ready for you, and reopening.