HOT AIR BALLOON RODEO CANCELLED DUE TO FIRE DANGER
Routt County authorities officials have canceled this year’s 32nd annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo in Steamboat. One day after Steamboat fire officials said the annual festival wouldn’t create a fire danger, the Routt County Sheriff’s Office requested that the event’s permit be revoked. Undersheriff Ray Birch says he made the decision Tuesday after being contacted by a concerned citizen Monday afternoon. At the time, Birch didn’t know the event permit was issued by the County. Birch says his primary concern wasn’t the fire danger at the launch field, but rather by what might happen in the hay meadows and rural lands where the hot air balloons eventually land. Birch is acting sheriff while Garrett Wiggins is out of the office for a week. Chamber employees spent Tuesday night contacting hot air balloon pilots, FAA officials, local hotels, shuttle companies and event sponsors to notify them of the cancellation.
GROUP INVITES PUBLIC TO MEETING ABOUT PROPOSED CASINO
A meeting is planned for tonight to discuss putting a casino near Yampa Valley Regional Airport. The Sleeping Giant Group, a collaboration of business leaders from the Yampa Valley have been studying the idea, and would now like to hear from the public. There will be a presentation, and a chance for the public to meet the people behind the plan. The idea has been kicked around for a while, and already the group has conducted a feasibility study, and put together a site plan among other things. You can check those out at the group’s website, sleepinggiantgroup.com. Tonight’s meeting starts at 5:30 at the Haven in Hayden.
PARKS AND WILDLIFE TO DISCUSS WATER RELEASE FROM LAKE AVERY
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is inviting the public to a roundtable discussion regarding the planned release of water from Lake Avery into the White River. The release is an attempt to alleviate drought-like conditions threatening fishing on the river. Due to low flows, White River water temperatures have been reaching dangerous levels for cold-water fish during the hottest part of the day. If current climate conditions continue and water temperatures increase, wildlife officials could implement an official voluntary closure, similar to the one currently in place on the Yampa River in Steamboat. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials and the Colorado Water Conservation Board are working on a loan agreement to allow the release of the water. When the terms of the loan are completed, water from Lake Avery will be released into the White River with goals of increasing flows and preventing temperatures from rising to lethal levels. The meeting will be held Monday at 7 at Mountain Valley Bank in Meeker.
NATIONAL PARKS TO DISCUSS MANAGEMENT OF PRAIRIE DOGS
National Parks Service is working on a plan for managing white-tailed prairie dogs within Dinosaur National Monument, and they need the public’s help. White-tailed prairie dogs are native to the monument, but have negatively impacted some monument facilities, including weakening the berm surrounding the sewage lagoon near the Quarry Visitor Center. It is the policy of National Parks to treat a species that interferes with the management objectives of the park as a pest. Officials are in the scoping phase of the plan and are asking the public to comment on-line. You’ll find the comment page by clicking here. You can also mail your comments to the monument, but they have to be there by July 20th.
VILSACK QUALIFIES 62 OF COLORADO’S 64 COUNTIES FOR DROUGH ASSISTANCE
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says 62 of Colorado’s 64 counties qualify for federal disaster relief due to drought conditions. Gov. John Hickenlooper says Vilsack notified him Tuesday that he was designating all of the state’s counties, except Delta and San Juan counties, as primary disaster areas. The governor sent a letter to Vilsack last week seeking the drought assistance. The federal aid includes Farm Service Agency emergency loans, which farmers in eligible counties have eight months from Tuesday to apply for. A news release from the governor’s office says counties typically must meet certain crop loss criteria to qualify for USDA disaster assistance, and once those requirements are met, the governor can then request a disaster designation for that county. But this year’s severe conditions forced the special request.
PEABODY ENERGY LOOKS TO RECOGNIZE LEADERS IN EDUCATION
Peabody Energy has expanded its Leaders In Education Program to include Moffat and Routt Counties. Peabody is the parent company of Twentymile Coal Mine, one of the largest underground mines in the U.S. The program reflects Peabody’s commitment to make a positive impact in their employee’s lives. Starting July 15th, they will accept nominations. A committee of academic, business, and civic leaders will make the final decision, with the winner receiving $1,000 and a chance at the National title, which pays $5,000. The award is open to educational professionals of public, private, and independent schools in Moffat or Routt Counties. You can make a nomination by clicking here.
STEAMBOAT INSTITUTE TO HOST DISCUSSION ON OBAMACARE
If the recent Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare has you confused, you’ll want to attend a presentation hosted by the Steamboat Institute next week. The group will present Ilya Shapiro, editor in chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. Shapiro filed several briefs regarding ObamaCare with the Supreme Court. The presentation is Tuesday at 5:30 at the Ranch at Steamboat. The cost is $10 and organizers prefer you to RSVP. You can do that by calling (970) 367-6084.