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2016 SnowCap Caucus Board Member Candidate Biographies


Chelsea Brundige
Areas of Interest:
Snowmass Creek protection committee,
Biota (Flora & Fauna) Committee

Chelsea Congdon Brundige is writer and producer with First Light Films, an independent film and television company based in Snowmass, Colorado. She also works part-time as a water policy strategist on projects on the Roaring Fork and Crystal Rivers with the Public Counsel of the Rockies in Aspen, Colorado.

Chelsea has worked on western water issues for decades and has helped direct the work of the Caucus in protecting Snowmass Creek and have been the recent chair of the water committee of the Snowmass Capitol Creek Caucus.

Chelsea serves on the Board of Western Resource Advocates in Boulder, Colorado, and the Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale, Colorado. Past board service includes the Aspen Valley Land Trust, the Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land, President of COMPASS, an organization supporting progressive education in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley.

And real joy is in sharing this journey with her teenage children Tashi and Miles, and living in this beautiful place.

David Chase
Areas of Interest:
Snowmass Creek protection committee,
Land Use Review Committee

David Chase’s career has included being a professor of finance at Northern Arizona University, managing member of a private equity firm and a having a life long involvement with cattle ranching.  David holds a BA, MBA (Tuck School) and Ph. D (Arizona State University).  Participating in and supporting cultural, educational, scientific and environmental organizations have been central.  David has served on the Boards of The Nature Conservancy of Arizona and New Mexico, the Santa Fe Conservation Trust and the Aspen Valley Land Trust.

Anything else you'd like to add:
Maintaining open space, preferably at scale, has been an important philosophical objective.  Having spent nearly 40 years in the range livestock business one gains great appreciation for the beauty and serenity of open country throughout all seasons.  This philosophy translates well within the Snowmass Capital Creek Caucus.  I respect property rights.  There remains much that can be done to insure that these valleys maintain their extraordinary beauty and openness for generations to come.

Chris Collins
Areas of Interest:
Land Use Review Committee,
Broadband (improving internet service in the caucus area)

I came to Snowmass in 1980 and stayed for 5 years in Colorado. I attended Colorado State University and graduated with a BS in Agriculture Business and Farm and Ranch Management. I have run McCabe and several other Ranches for the family for the past 30 years. I am a general contractor and Real Estate Developer in California. I have Developed Resort Hotels, custom homes and now concentrate on senior housing.

Anything else you'd like to add:
I have spent a lot of time in Snowmass and one day hope to make it my primary home. We love the valley and hope we can make a lasting impression on it's future. My number one mission is to preserve agriculture in this valley.

Richard Heede
Areas of Interest:
Land Use Review Committee,
Biota (Flora & Fauna) Committee

I am blessed to have lived in this beautiful valley since 1984, when I moved from Boulder for the clean air, the quiet, the stunning mountains, and the good people of Old Snowmass. I have raised a beautiful daughter here, worked on energy and climate issues with Rocky Mountain Institute from 1984 to 2002, have lived in both Snowmass and Capitol valleys, and built a passive solar home in Gateway in 1993. In 2002 I established a consulting practice focused on practicable and profitable ways for cities, corporations, governments, and individuals to mitigate our climate impacts through efficient use of energy (

In 2011 I created the Climate Accountability Institute ( as a not-for-profit organization to address responsibility for climate change and leverage corporate and international action to manage the transition to a low-carbon future in the United States and globally by 2050. The institute is funded by U.S. and European foundations, individual contributors, and leading scientific organizations. CAI's work rankles members of US Congress to the extent that a subpoena was issued by the House Science Space & Technology Committee in July 2016 (which we are fighting on First Amendment grounds), and followed by a subpoena from ExxonMobil Corporation in its tussle with Mass AG Maura Healey. If you don't want a potential felon on the Caucus Board, then don't elect me. Do they allow broadband in Federal prison?

I learned skiing, sailing, and environmental and social awareness growing up in Norway. These are values I bring to my positions on the Snowmass Capitol Creek Caucus in order to preserve our rural character and fostering appropriate scale of residential development with lower impacts on our land, water, and atmosphere.

Anything else you'd like to add:
I have been on the Snowmass Capitol Creek Caucus for  ten years or so, and have seen a lot of good folks contribute to the sound preservation of the beautiful natural environment and the community-building that is the life-blood of the Caucus. I still believe in the community of Old Snowmass, both valleys as one, and if elected to the board will work to broaden our community further. However, my intention going into this election is to strengthen the transition from the old board to the new, and will in all likelihood resign from the board in a few months, once the new board has its feet firmly planted.

George Johnson
Areas of Interest:
Snowmass Creek protection committee,
Land Use Review Committee,
Biota (Flora & Fauna) Committee

I possess a Master of Science degree and moved here in 1999.  I manage the Boram and White Ditch and a Roaring Fork Conservancy water quality stream team volunteer monitoring Capitol and Snowmass Creeks and Hospice of the Valley volunteer.  I was a former Little Elk Creek Homeowners Association Board member, secretary, Subdivision Manager and drafted the Little Elk Creek Drinking Water Protection Handbook (2012).  Before moving here I was a 20 year Lake Manager for Geneva Lake, Wisconsin, was an elected and appointed official and sat on numerous Committees, Commissions and Foundations.

Michael Kinsley
Areas of Interest:
Broadband (improving internet service in the caucus area)

Michael provides mediation, facilitation and strategic planning services valleywide ( And he’s a painter (  From ’83 to ‘16, he worked for Rocky Mountain Institute on sustainable communities and campuses. He was a county commissioner from '75 to ’85, the early days of Pitkin County’s transition to progressive policies — so he can talk about Aspen’s good ol’ days ad nauseum. He's lived on Snowmass Creek since '92 and was on the SnoCap Board from '98 to '10.

Aaron Oakley
Areas of Interest:
Website Maintenance

While my wife and I develop a viable agriculture livelihood in cooperation with our ranch on Capitol Creek, I seek to serve on the SnowCap Caucus board to further my connection with our community by contributing to the continuing effort to define and express our shared vision of natural resource protection, heritage, and land development and conservation.  I intend to actively pursue improvements in Caucus communication and balanced representation of all residents and land owners.

In addition to the ranch work that occupies the majority of my time, I drive a taxi in Aspen throughout the winter tourist season.  In the past I have been a project engineer for a small company in the poorly named clean-coal industry, lab assistant at the National Renewable Energy Laboratories and the Ultra-Fast Optics Laboratory at Colorado School of Mines, hotel bellman/driver, snowcat operator, US Army armor crewman, and shift manager in the fast-food industry.  I hold a B.Sc. in Engineering Physics and a M.Sc. in Engineering Systems – Mechanical Emphasis.

Jill Sabella
Areas of Interest:
Land Use Review Committee,
Website Maintenance

Jill has lived in the Capitol Creek Valley since 2000 and started coming to Aspen in 1963 from Minnesota to ski with her family.  She attended college in Denver, frequenting Aspen as often as possible, where she had a number of jobs from waitressing to writing.  She worked as a columnist for the Aspen Illustrated News in the late '60's and in the late 70's published a book of her photographs as staff photographer for the Aspen Music Festival.  She worked for National Geographic Society as photographer and writer on various projects.  While living in Seattle for 20 years, she worked as a photographer, doing fine art gallery work, commercial annual reports and advertising, and portraiture.
Over her life she has come and gone from the Roaring Fork Valley and was always drawn back because of the great community of people and the beauty of the area.  As an artist she has found much inspiration from the Capitol Creek Valley - especially the rural ranching character that still remains and of course the mountain landscapes.
In the last several years she was on the Board and several committees of the Red Brick in Aspen.  She has taught drawing and painting at the Art Base in Basalt, and has exhibited paintings and drawings in several venues in the valley.

Jeff Woodruff
Areas of Interest:
Snowmass Creek protection committee,
Land Use Review Committee,
Website Maintenance

Jeffrey Woodruff, LEED AP BD+C

Jeffrey’s hands-on approach to design and construction is seen in his furniture making, civic and residential work. His designs have been featured in Anderson Ranch publications, CU Denver Today, Westword and at the AIGA & Denver Art Museum's Design Council event Chaircuterie. Jeffrey lives in Old Snowmass and work with Harry Teague Architects in Basalt.



October 18 SnowCap Caucus Meeting


Dear Friends and Neighbors

The Snowmass Capital Creek Caucus meeting is slated for next Tuesday, October 18, at the Lazy O Ranch Fire substation, 7PM, per our usual schedule.  All residents of Old Snowmass are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Several items of interest and import have come up that need to be addressed before, during and after this meeting.

As most of you now know, a group of citizens moved to form a separate Caucus for the Snowmass Creek Valley area of Old Snowmass.  They went through all of the necessary steps to receive recognition from the BOCC at the regular meeting on September 14, 2016

Subsequently, for reasons that are still unclear, the BOCC voted to “reconsider” the matter.  As I understand it, this means there is only one official Caucus in our valley at present.

I know it is hard to keep track at this point, but there are important concerns at issue including, the final map/boundary of the respective Caucuses, and eligibility for the upcoming Board elections, which are scheduled for November 15th.

To avoid even more confusion, the Snowmass Capitol Creek Caucus has voted to postpone the Caucus Board election until such time as the Caucus(es) issues are clarified by the BOCC.  I am pressing for this to be addressed as soon as procedurally possible.  Therefore, the deadline for candidates to be nominated or apply for Board positions will be extended until a date is established for elections.

In the interim, we will use our upcoming meeting to again work towards a resolution of differences that lead to this discord in the first place.   This will include, but not be limited to, improved communication and outreach with residents and Governance issues addressing equitable Board representation between the Snowmass and Capitol Creek Valleys.

Prior to the meeting, I would encourage anyone who is interested to register as a candidate on the Caucus website. click the bulletin board link.   We will address the residency requirements once the Caucus/mapping issue is resolved.

Please email me with any questions or comments.  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Please use subject line “SCC ~ question or comment”

Thank you,

Rob Sinclair


A Water User's Guide for Protecting Flows in Snowmass Creek


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With the generous support of a Snowmass Creek neighbor, the Caucus has researched and produced a user-friendly booklet to explain water policy, and offer information on water management practices that can help protect local water resources. To view the Water Users Guide, visit the Stream Monitoring page or click here.


What's Up With Pitkin County?


The Pitkin County Commissioners hold weekly work sessions on Tuesdays and bi-monthly public hearings on Wednesdays in the Plaza One building (next to the Courthouse) in Aspen. Both meetings are televised live and repeated on locater CG12 TV. They are also streamed live and available on the County website. Agendas are posted in the Aspen/Glenwood newspapers and on-line at In this column, your District 5 Commissioner, George Newman offers his take on current matters. You can reach him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



At the time of writing this column, Pitkin County’s 2016 Budget had not yet been formally adopted by the BOCC. However, I hope to give you a good overview of what the 2016 General Fund budget will look like. The 2016 budget and 5 year plan continues with the major theme of “infrastructure renewal and modernization” introduced in the 2015 budget process. Both were developed in partnership with the County’s Financial Advisory Board and a Budget Review Team. The Financial Advisory Board is made up of citizens appointed by the BOCC and works closely with the Finance staff to develop revenue projections. With the help of the Financial Advisory Board, the BOCC continues to take a conservative outlook over the next 5 years.

The proposed 2016 budget for all funds is $104,599,377, representing a 9.3% increase from 2015. In addition to the General Fund, our entire budget includes several voter approved Special Revenue funds (Library, Open Space and Trails, Healthy Community Fund, Affordable Housing, Healthy Rivers and Streams) and Enterprise funds (the Airport and Landfill). The General Fund includes the County’s core services of Road and Bridge, Health and Human Services, Public Safety, Community Development, Administration, Clerk and Recorder, County Attorney and Public Works/Fleet.
pitco Expenditures

Read more: What's Up With Pitkin County?


New SnowCap Caucus Board

Thursday, 19 November 2015 15:45

On the evening of November 17th the ballots were counted in the Snowmass Capitol Creek Caucus board member election. 

The new board:
Patsy Batchelder
Gary Beck
Chelsea Congdon Brundige
Molly Child
Martha Ferguson
Gib Gardner
Mark Harvey
Rick Heede
Kevin Heinecken
Melinda Hildebrand
John McBride
Tim McFlynn
Katie Murch
Seth Sachson
Rob Sinclair
Helene Slansky
Kevin Ward

Thanks to all who voted!


2015 Community Picnic Slideshow

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 10:29


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Please click here to view the fun slideshow of our
2015 Community Picnic at Lost Dog Ranch!!


2015 Snowmass Community Picnic Thank You


picnic2015 Thanks 800

and special thanks to:
Ben and Cynthia Guill
The Ziegler Family
John and Rosemary Lowenberg
Paul Kovach and Katie Kitchen
David Hiser
Seth Sachson
Laurie McBride
Bob Rugile

Snowmass Community Picnic 2015
Photo Courtesy David Hiser




Aerial View of Old Snowmass

Thursday, 28 May 2015 14:48


Michael Kinsley’s brother Doug is a private pilot and sent these wonderful photographs that he recently took. Many of you know Michael from serving on the caucus board for many years.

AerialDowntown 725

Read more: Aerial View of Old Snowmass


Caucus Feedback Regarding Broadband Access

Monday, 06 April 2015 07:33


Dear Residents,

As you may be aware Pitkin County is gathering information about the future of broadband (high speed internet access) in the region and we want to hear from you and your caucus. We're interested in viewpoints from all areas of the County and the challenges of broadband access in the the Snowmass/Capital valleys. I believe some of you may have already received this information, but I want to ensure that all members are aware and encourage as many folks to join the conversation.

A mail-in survey is also being sent out to collect detailed information about broadband, but it is being sent to a random sample of households. But since everyone will not receive a mail survey, we are soliciting additional feedback at Please take a few minutes to give us your perspective and feel free to forward this email to anyone you think would be interested, regardless if they live in Pitkin County, or Eagle/Garfield/Gunnison County. And don't forget to return your mail survey if you received one.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 429-2815 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Kara Silbernagel
Pitkin County Administration
530 E. Main Street | Aspen, CO 81611
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


New Dates For Board Meetings

Friday, 23 January 2015 10:44


Snowmass/Capitol Creek Caucus Board meetings
will now be held on the third Tuesday of each month

  7:00 P.M.
OLD SNOWMASS FIREHOUSE, 1909 Snowmass Creek Road


Support The SnowCap Caucus With Amazon Smile

Tuesday, 25 November 2014 19:08



Many of you do your shopping online, especially during the holiday season.  If you use as a regular or Prime member, everything you purchase—whether a gift to others or shopping for yourself­­—enables you to give a gift at the same time to Old Snowmass.

By visiting you can designate the Snowmass Capitol Creek Caucus as your non-profit of choice and Amazon will donate a portion of every qualifying purchase you make to our cause. This costs you nothing and does not add on to whatever you are purchasing.

Once you have signed up you can select the Amazon extension button to be placed on the desktop of your computer; that makes it super easy to one-click the extension and be directed automatically to AmazonSmile/Snowmass Capitol Creek Caucus and start shopping every time.

AmazonSmile card

Thank you for your generosity and support.
The Snowmass Capitol Creek Caucus


2014 Haystack Hoedown Slideshow

Friday, 03 October 2014 12:55


Haystack Hoedown Slideshow

Selected photos from the Snowmass Capitol Creek Caucus Haystack Hoedown, benefiting preservation of Old Snowmass' water, land, open space and rural, ranching character.

Please click here to watch our slideshow of the 2014 Haystack Hoedown and don't forget to turn up your volume!


Monday, 08 September 2014 12:51



 SCC0026  SCC0048


Read more: 2014 Caucus Picnic Photo Gallery


Wildfire Evacuation Talking Points

Friday, 08 August 2014 09:56


logo PitCoSheriff

Wildfire Evacuation Talking Points

  • The best way to be prepared for an evacuation is to be ready ahead of time.
  • Although we cannot predict where you may have to go during an evacuation, we can tell you how to get the most current information during an emergency.
  • Be prepared ahead of time.
    • Have a "go bag" packed ahead of time that will allow you to survive for 72 hours, or three days on your own.
    • Have an evacuation plan.
      • Choose two locations where family members can meet if an evacuation order is given. One area should be in a community farther away, that likely wouldn't be impacted by the same situation, and one can be a more local meeting place.
      • Get a complete evacuation planning guide at

Read more: Wildfire Evacuation Talking Points


SnowCap Caucus in the News

Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:27


Ziegler Reservoir: Sustainable water management in Snowmass

Steve Alldredge
Special to the Snowmass Sun

Since the last ice age receded, water in Snowmass Creek has flowed from the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, carving out what’s known as the Snowmass Creek Valley. The water irrigates ranches and supports wells for a few subdivisions and scattered homes before joining the Roaring Fork River in Old Snowmass.

Over time, additional demands for water to support the development of Snowmass Village and snowmaking at the Snowmass ski area added to the pressures on Snowmass Creek, giving rise to concerns over the preservation of sustainable flows in the creek. But the inevitable conflict, which first existed between users in the Snowmass Creek Valley and those in the Brush Creek drainage over the water in Snowmass Creek, is now developing into a novel and promising partnership to manage and protect water that people in both valleys depend on.

The centerpiece in this partnership is Ziegler Reservoir.

Ziegler Reservoir holds roughly 82 million gallons of water and is about 252 acre-feet in size.

The creation of this off-stream reservoir provides the flexibility and water security to support a 21st-century approach to sustainable water management where water is shared between agriculture and a municipality and across two basins.

When the resort of Snowmass Village was created in 1967, senior water rights from Snowmass Creek pertaining to the underlying ranch lands were converted to serve the newly planned community, the tourist condominiums and hotels, and, eventually, snowmaking at the ski area. The Snowmass Water and Sanitation District was created to provide clean water and treat wastewater for a growing base of Snowmass customers at the new resort.

More than 96 percent of the district’s water flows from the Snowmass Creek Basin. East Snowmass Creek provides most of that water, with the rest coming from Snowmass Creek. Less than 5 percent of the sanitation district’s water comes from Brush Creek. All of the water from East Snowmass Creek is gravity-fed down to the water-treatment plant at the bottom of the Snowmass ski area.

Over the years, the shared use of Snowmass Creek water became a contentious issue between residents in Old Snowmass and the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District — particularly in the winter. The town of Snowmass Village needs the most water in winter around the holiday season, when the low temperatures of December and January cause the lowest flows in the creek. When the need for water for snowmaking was added in the ’90s, the pressure on Snowmass Creek increased.

Worried about the health of Snowmass Creek, the Snowmass-Capitol Creek Caucus challenged the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District and Aspen Skiing Co. over minimum stream flows in Snowmass Creek. In 1996, the Colorado Water Conservation Board established a stair-step minimum stream-flow baseline for Snowmass Creek in an attempt to balance human and environmental demands for the water. But tensions remained among the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District, the Snowmass-Capitol Creek Caucus and Skico because the minimum in-stream flow rights set by the state are not binding on more senior water-right holders like the sanitation district.

Chelsea Congdon is a member of the Snowmass-Capitol Creek Caucus and a leader in its efforts to protect Snowmass Creek.

“Snowmass Creek has shaped and defined the Snowmass Creek Valley, and it is literally the lifeblood of all the ecosystems of this valley,” Congdon said. “That creek is shared by people in two watersheds, and the caucus spent a lot of time and a lot of money trying to find a way to compel or convince (the sanitation district) to join in the effort to protect that creek.”

Read more: SnowCap Caucus in the News


A Science Classroom Without Boundries

Tuesday, 25 February 2014 19:08


Where is ACES Ed?

A Science Classroom Without Boundries


Since 1975, ACES Ed has partnered with local schools to bring science education to students in the classroom and outdoors. Each school year, ACES educators teach over 2,000 in-class lessons and provide experiential field programs for pre-school through high school students from 42 regional schools.

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Three dedicated classrooms in Aspen, Basalt, and Crystal River Elementary schools.

Read more: A Science Classroom Without Boundries


The New ACES Bird Club

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 09:26


We're excited to announce the launch of ACES Bird Club (ABC)!

As an ABC member, you will be immediately welcomed into a network of
fun, passionate birders and your membership will provide funds
to expand ACES' birding programs.

This $250 membership is for both novice and experienced birders and includes:
*  Unlimited birding with ACES - more than 20 birding outings throughout the year
    (monthly in winter, weekly in summer)
*  10% discount on binoculars, scopes, and other birding gear at The Fat Robin
*  Opportunities to attend birding migration trips and special birding events

ACES Bird Club was created to engage our birding community and is all about birders sharing
the wonder and excitement of birding in our valley, across North America, and around the world!


Don't miss Birding with ACES at Hallam Lake on Tuesday, February 4th.

Click here for more information about ACES Bird Club including
discounted punch passes!

Read more: The New ACES Bird Club


Habitat For Humanity ReStore

Habitat for HumanityAbout Habitat for Humanity ReStore

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a resale store selling a variety of household items at 50-70% off the retail price.  The money is used to help families right here in our community build homes.
Store Hours: We are open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm.
We offer free pick up service for donations- 5 days a week.  We have also just added delivery service for those large purchases that don't easily fit in your car.
We are located right off of Hwy 82 in the Cattle Creek Center strip mall with CapCo Tile and Little Bear Antiques.
Call 963-8555 for more information.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Have a great day,
Habitat ReStore Team

Monastery Mass Schedule


The liturgy schedule for St. Benedict's Monastery is as follows:

Sunday Mass is at 8:15 AM
From Monday thru Saturday mass is at 7:30 AM except on Thursdays when it is at 7 PM
Monday thru Saturday Vespers (Evening Prayer) is at 7 PM

For special liturgies on bigger feasts such as Christmas, etc, please dial our monastery phone number 927-3311 and press #8 when the welcoming message starts to be given the times for the special liturgies.

Fr. Joseph

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