Environment: Battle over the Red Lady

A Colorado Shangri-la in a classic struggle against development

A town is saved not more by the righteous men in it than by the woods and swamps that surround it.

—Henry David Thoreau

It has no nearby swamps, and especially since the ski runs and condos began going up, the forests can hardly be called primeval. But Crested Butte, Colo. (pop. 1,200), has no shortage of righteous men, or women. Largely young and well educated, many of them exiles from the crowded East, they are determined to preserve their town's picture-book alpine charm. Tucked away...

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