Monthly Archives: August 2012

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEW FOR SUNDAY, AUGUST 19TH

TODAY IS THE FINAL DAY OF THE ROUTT COUNTY FAIR

There are a few changes to note for the final day of the Routt County Fair.  The team pull scheduled for today has been canceled, and the admission charge for  events at the fair has been eliminated.  Yesterday’s BBQ drew a huge crowd, and KRAI and 55 Country served nearly 400 free Coca-Cola floats to fair goers.  Pictured above KRAI staffers; Mandy Cramblett, Marci Marumoto, Mike Fuller and Frank Hanel.  Below is today’s Routt County Fair schedule:

8am Exhibit Hall Opens
Exhibition Hall, Vendors & Midway open, Inflatable Rides
9am Pretty Baby Contest
10am Mayors Brownie Contest & Commissioner’s Cookie Basket contest (EH)
10am Coloring contest judging
10:30am Flattops Ranch Supply Team Pull Competition
11:30am DeLine Land & Cattle Co./North Forty Fencing Mutton Bustin’
12:30pm Hunters Hot Shots Horse Races
1pm Youth Bull Riding
2pm RANCH BRONC FINALS – Adopt-A-Pig, pre-registration & fee required (immediately follows horse races)
2-6pm Open Class payout, Home Arts Exhibits released

A COMMON SIGHT IN CRAIG

This large buck was seen on Lucuyer Drive in Craig Saturday afternoon.  The deer was unconcerned with human activity while it was grazing on bushes and the lawn.  The deer finally bounded away when the automatic sprinkler system turned on.

 

MANNING LEAD TWO SCORING DRIVES, THROWS TWO INTERCEPTIONS

Peyton Manning drew his biggest ovation on an in-completion.  Blasted by defensive end Bruce Irvin, the four-time MVP who missed all of last season with a neck injury that required four operations bounced right back up, shook it off and threw a 22-yard bullet to Brandon Stokley on the next play.  It was the highlight of a mostly forgettable home debut for Manning, whose Broncos lost 30-10 to the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night after Denver’s backups were outscored 21-0.  Manning had shown throughout training camp that his arm strength was back along with his accuracy. The only question left was whether he could take a hard hit after undergoing neck fusion surgery last September.  The answer came with 1:25 left in the first half when Irvin beat right tackle Orlando Franklin and had a clean shot at the quarterback.

 

Tech Tips To Prepare Students For The School Year

Preparing children for a new school year is no longer just about stocking up on pencils and notebooks. The face of education is changing, and a well-equipped student should know how to use new technology to personalize the learning experience and succeed in school. “Digital resources and applications can stimulate and engage students by providing a more interactive learning experience,” says Dan Caton, president of McGraw-Hill School Education. “Some of the best digital learning tools personalize learning, adapt to children’s individual strengths and help them overcome unique challenges.” While digital learning may come naturally to children, parents should get up to speed on technology as well to better understand how new tools and resources can help their children learn.Here are some great back-to-school tech-tips for parents:

• Talk to your children and their teachers about what they want to accomplish this year and how they can use traditional and new learning tools to meet goals.

• Encourage children to use computers and other web-enabled devices for more than just games and Facebook.

• If you think books are the same as when you went to school, think again. New digital textbooks available for download through applications like iBooks2, allow you to highlight text, make notes, or search inside the book. You can even have your tablet device read the book to you. Learn how this technology works so you can keep up with your kids.

• Some forward-thinking schools are using innovative programs like CINCH Learning, which makes the complete K-12 math and 7-12 grade science curricula accessible online. Programs like these go beyond the textbook, so talk to your children’s teachers to learn how to maximize the program’s interactive tools and games from home devices.

• Nearly half of all high school students who take Advanced Placement (AP) exams fail. But new subscription based programs like the ONboard series from McGraw-Hill Education are providing students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in these advanced courses. Parents of high school students should encourage teens to take advantage of such study aids before senior year.

• Pick a regular time each day dedicated to beefing up vocabulary, improving spelling, reading together and just talking about new topics and ideas. The International Reading Association (IRA) recommends giving children choices in what they read — browse the ever-growing selection of age-appropriate books and periodicals available for download to your e-reader.

• If you’re on a budget, don’t stress. Not all technology will break the bank. In fact, with a bit of effort, you can find e-readers on sites like eBay for much less than retail cost. And as more devices come onto the market, prices will become even more affordable. Many public libraries offer access to computers so you can familiarize children with basic technology and a range of digital resources, such as free ebooks.

For more information on how digital technology is changing the way kids learn, visit www.mheonline.com. Help make this school year successful for your children by learning about new educational tools.

 

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEW FOR SATURDAY, AUGUST 18TH

BLM RELEASES ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF LANDS UP FOR LEASE

The Bureau of Land Management Little Snake Field Office has released a preliminary environmental assessment for public review that evaluates offering 20 parcels in Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties in the Feb. 2013 competitive oil and gas lease sale.  The parcels total 12,038 acres of federal mineral estate, with 47 percent being under BLM-managed lands and 53 percent under non-federal lands.  BLM considered but deferred offering an additional 39 parcels totaling 51,100 acres because they were in preliminary priority Greater Sage-grouse habitat. These parcels were primarily in Moffat County.  The EA, a list of the parcels and the attached stipulations are available online, by clicking here.

 

OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT SCHEDULED FOR HAYDEN

The Hayden Congregational United Church of Christ and Hayden Police Department will hold a free family night August 24th at the church.  There will be a potato bar & root beer floats.  The night starts at 7:30. Those who show up will also be treated to an outdoor movie & popcorn beginning at dusk.  You’re encouraged to dress representing your favorite football team.

 

AUGUST/LABOR DAY CRACKDOWN

If you drink and drive in Eagle County beware, the Gore Range DUI Task Force is joining with law enforcement throughout the nation for the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign August 17 to September 3, 2012.  The strong nationwide impaired driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb alcohol impaired driving in August and through the Labor Day holiday weekend.  The Gore Range DUI Task Force said its Officers, Troopers and Deputies will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired.

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR FRIDAY, AUGUST 17TH

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RESULTS EXPECTED FROM CARBON STORAGE STUDY

A coalition of public and private agencies are planning to unveil test results of a program to store carbon from power plants and industrial sources.  The Rocky Mountain Carbon Capture and Sequestration Partnership has spent several months drilling in northwest Colorado to determine the potential to store more than 4 billion tons of carbon.  Scientists are seeking ways to store carbon waste to reduce what some believe is a major contributor to climate change.

 

STEAMBOAT SALES TAX UP FOR THE YEAR

June sales taxes in Steamboat increased by 4.39% over June 2011 collections. Year-to-date through June the income increased by 1.96%. The City budgeted for a 7.2% decrease for 2012. Sales tax collections for June 2012 exceeded last year in all categories, but the largest percent increases were seen in lodging and liquor stores. All reported areas saw an increase from 2011 with the exception of West Steamboat which was down by about $5,000 in tax collections.  When sales tax collections are compared to other mountain communities, Steamboat is at the low end of year over year increases with a 1.96% increase year-to-date. Aspen has seen the highest year over year increase year to date through June with 9.44%.

 

ROUTT COUNTY FAIR RUNS THROUGH THE WEEKEND

The Routt County Fair finishes up this weekend.  There are several livestock shows on tap today.  The big event tonight is the Demolition Derby at 7:30.  Music will be provided by Total Entertainment.  Tomorrow, the Lion’s Club Parade will start at 10, and runs through downtown Hayden.  The Beauty and the Beast contest is at 11.  The event features Saddle Bronc riding, Mutton Bustin’, Youth Bull Riding, and Barrel Races.  The Presale Barbecue starts at 3.  During the barbecue, KRAI and 55 Country will be serving free Coca-Cola floats.  The Junior Livestock Sale is at 5:30, and a barn dance will follow at 8:30 with live music by the Justin Lane band.  Sunday morning at 9 starts the Open Draft Horse Competition and the Pretty Baby Contest.  The Mayor’s Brownie and Commissioners Cookie Basket contests are at 10.  The pull team competition that was scheduled for 10:30 has been cancelled.  There will be Mutton Bustin’ at 11:30, Horse races at 12:30, Youth Bull Riding at 1, and bronc riding at 2.  For a complete schedule, click on the Routt County Fair tile on this page.

 

FOREST SERVICE AND C-DOT PLAN TO REMOVE BEETLE KILLED TREES

The U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) are removing beetle-killed trees along major highways. Motorists can expect to see crews working along Highway 40 over Berthoud Pass, I-70, and State Hwy 125. The trees pose a threat to public safety as they weaken over time and may fall without warning.  Most work will take place on National Forest System lands within the C-DOT right-of way in the counties of Jackson, Grand, Clear Creek, Eagle, and Summit which are located on the Routt, Arapaho-Roosevelt, and White River National Forests, respectively. No roads will be closed, but lane closures and temporary delays are a possibility along routes.

 

SECRETARY OF STATE PLANS TO VERIFY VOTER CITIZENSHIP

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has mailed letters to nearly 4,000 registered voters asking them to verify they are naturalized citizens, or voluntarily withdraw their voter registrations.  Gessler’s office said yesterday the letters went to people who presented non-citizen documents like a green card when they applied for driver’s licenses and then registered to vote. It is illegal for non-U.S. citizens to vote.  Gessler says his office will work with county clerks to decide how to handle people who don’t respond to the letters.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security had said it would expand access to an immigration database so that states can use it to remove non-citizens from voter rolls, but Gessler says his office is awaiting a final agreement from the federal government to use it.

 

COLORADO’S BYWAYS PROJECTS GET FUNDING

Colorado’s Scenic and Historic Byways program is receiving more than $1.5 million for 10 projects as part of the 2012 federal funding cycle from the Federal Highway Administration.  There are 9 specific projects around the state, none of which are in Northwest Colorado.  However, the 10th project is a statewide one that will use $462,000 of the money for conservation and development planning along the state’s byways.  That project aims to establish economic development plans for three byways that model how sustainable economic growth contributes to and benefits from natural resource protection.  It also expands conservation efforts on five byways to support public access and commerce.  It provides new conservation outreach, planning, and implementation resources to eight byways and shares economic modeling and conservation tools with those byways.  And lastly, it develops educational materials, showcasing the relationship between byways, land conservation, and economic development.  Over $35 million dollars will be awarded to 125 projects nationwide.

 

STATE PATROL FOOD DRIVE ENDS NEXT MONTH

The Colorado State Patrol Women’s Resource Network partnered with Food Bank of the Rockies earlier this summer to start a food drive. That campaign is coming to an end on September 2.  Drive organizers say they are thankful for all of the donations they have received so far.  Items they still need include paper towels, bath tissue, toiletries, canned goods, and monetary donations. All contributions will help in providing necessities to families in Colorado.  To make a donation in person, drop off items at your local Colorado State Patrol Troop office.

 

MOFFAT COUNTY STUDENT COUNCIL PLANS TRIP TO D.C.

The Moffat County High School Student Council is sending 4 of their officers to the January Presidential Inauguration, but they need your help.  The group is starting to come up with fundraising ideas for the trip.  Along with attending the inauguration, the group of students will take advantage of the trip to visit Washington D.C.’s memorials and museums.  Their first step is to let community members know about the trip, and the benefits it will have on their education. No specific fundraisers have been announced yet.  You can make a contribution now by contacting a member of the student council.  The officers planning to make the trip are Nicole Ferree, Caitlin Harjes, Abigail Gonzales, and Derek Maiolo.

 

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR THURSDAY, AUGUST 16TH

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OIL AND GAS COMMISSION RECOGNIZES COMPANIES’ EFFORTS ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has announced its selections for outstanding operators in 2011. The awards recognize the accomplishments of the oil and gas industry in operational and environmental areas as well as in community involvement.  Those with ties to Northwest Colorado include Encana Oil and Gas, which was given the commission’s Environmental Protection and Reclamation Award.  Encana uses a “one touch” method to reclaim disturbed sites in the Piceance Basin that makes it appear the area was never disturbed.  The Recycling and Reuse Award went to Oxy USA, which has developed methods to recycle and reuse produced water within the Piceance Basin by filtering up to 10,000 barrels per day for use in its drilling, completion, and fracturing operations.  WPX which maintains a network of pipeline in the Piceance Basin, was given the Environmental Protection Through Footprint Reduction $ Waste Management Award.  The monitoring of the pipelines is automated, which reduces the need for workers to disturb the land by being onsite.  This round of awards marks the 16th year the agency has highlighted top operators.

 

CONGRESSMAN SCOTT TIPTON WRAPS UP STEAMBOAT VISIT TODAY

Congressman Scott Tipton will continue his visit in Steamboat today.  Tipton was in town to address the Colorado Water Congress yesterday, but has stuck around to visit with residents and business owners.  Tipton will take part in a roundtable discussion with local farmers and ranchers this morning on issues impacting their operations.  That starts at 10:30 at Centennial Hall.  The Congressman will then tour B&K Distributing at 2 this afternoon.

 

BLM TO RECEIVE LETTER REGARDING OIL SHALE OPERATIONS

Individuals, business leaders, outdoor recreation organizations, farmers, ranchers, and others on the Western Slope have sent a letter sent to the Bureau of Land Management to ask for a smart approach to oil shale development that protects Western water.  Facing a severe drought that has impacted every region of the state, they want to ensure that any water impacts are fully evaluated before commercial development of oil shale rocks.  While the group is not opposed to oil shale development, they say the industry should be required to conduct the necessary research prior to commercial leasing to prove that oil shale is economically viable and that it will not pose a dangerous risk to drinking water, the agricultural industry, and rivers.  The letter comes just one month before the BLM is set to finalize its plan to allow oil shale research and development on over 460,000 acres of federal public lands. The decision is expected September 14.

 

OPEN HOUSE TODAY AT MESA SCHOOLHOUSE IN STEAMBOAT

The Mesa Schoolhouse in Steamboat will host another Open House today, for those who didn’t get the chance to be there last week.  Tours will be given of the historic schoolhouse, where visitors can see what school life was like at the turn of the century.  Organizers say you’ll learn about historic toys and recess games, Routt County school history, and much more.  Kids can even play with some of the historic toy replicas.  There is no RSVP necessary and there is no charge.  The open house will be held from 10 to 2 today.

 

ROUTT COUNTY FAIR CONTINUES THIS WEEK

The Routt County Fair continues today.  Livestock shows dominate the day, starting with the 4-H and FFA Rabbit and Poultry show at 8, and ending with the Market Lamb show at around 4.  The Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry will take place on the east side of the grandstands at 6:30 tonight.  Make sure and take the kids tomorrow, as First National Bank of the Rockies in Hayden will sponsor a “Ride Free ’til Five Fun Friday”, where all inflatable rides are free until 5 in the evening.  Livestock shows continue tomorrow, and the Dress Your Animal Contest starts at 9:30 in the Multi Purpose building.  The wine and beer contest starts at 6 and the Demolition Derby begins at 7:30, with music provided by Total Entertainment.  If you’d like a complete schedule of events, click on the Routt County Fair tile on this page.

 

UDALL HOSTS A HEARING TO DISCUSS WILDFIRE MITIGATION

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall held a hearing in Colorado Springs yesterday to discuss forest health and recent western wildfires.  Udall said he wants to find out what lessons can be applied to future suppression, recovery and mitigation efforts.  Udall says federal officials need to review wildfire challenges the West faces as well as solutions to help restore forests and reduce the damage to communities and the economy.

 

CAMPAIGN AD BLASTS REPUBLICANS

A new campaign against Republican lawmakers in Colorado was inspired by a civil unions bill – but the proposal isn’t mentioned in the $100,000 campaign.  The campaign blasts Republicans for shutting down debate late in this year’s legislative session.  The shutdown was caused by some Republicans who opposed a civil unions measure giving same-sex couples the same rights as married couples.  The campaign is funded by a left-leaning political group. It seeks to oust Republicans from their narrow majority in the state House.  No specific lawmakers are mentioned, nor is the civil unions bill.  Campaign organizers said they chose to focus on bills that didn’t pass because of the civil unions standoff.

 

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15TH

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FIRE RESTRICTIONS LIFTED IN ROUTT COUNTY/EXTENDED IN CRAIG

As of yesterday, fire restrictions have been lifted in Routt County.  However, fire officials want to remind residents and visitors that it doesn’t mean the fire danger no longer exists.  It simply means the danger is not as high, and that higher humidity and cooler days have reduced the risk of a wildfire spreading.  Outdoor enthusiasts should remain cautious and should continue to practice fire safety.  Campfires should never be left unattended, and use existing fire rings when building them.  Make sure fires are completely extinguished before leaving them.  Fire officials in Routt County are pleased with the lack of wildfire activity this year, and say it is a result of the cooperation of residents and visitors alike.  While things are looking better in Routt County, that’s not quite the case in Moffat County.  Last night, the Craig City Council voted to extend their fire ban for the next 60 days.  Craig Mayor Terry Carwile says Craig just hasn’t gotten the rain, surrounding communities have been getting, and they wanted to extend the ban before it expired this week.  He says the city is not bound to the 60 days, and can rescind the restrictions as soon as the conditions improve.

 

COLORADO HAZE COMES FROM OUT-OF-STATE WILDFIRES

Colorado is experiencing a haze from several wildfires burning in western states.  There are no large fires burning in the state right now, yet the sky has darkened in some areas of the state.  Meteorologists say it’s from fires burning in other states, such as California, Montana, and Washington.  Weather patterns should push the smoke out of the area by sometime tomorrow.  Forecast rain will also help.

 

TIPTON TOURS BUSINESS/PARTICIPATES IN MEETINGS IN STEAMBOAT THIS WEEK

Congressman Scott Tipton is in Steamboat this week, addressing the Colorado Water Congress.  Tipton has made water one of his priorities while in office.  Tipton’s first appearance will be at 3:30 this afternoon at the Steamboat Sheraton, where he’ll participate in a panel discussion on legislation and policy at the Colorado Water Congress.  Tomorrow, Tipton will be at Centennial Hall at 10:30 to take part in a roundtable discussion with farmers and ranchers on issues impacting their operations.  At 2 tomorrow afternoon, the congressman will tour B&K Distributing as part of his ongoing economic listening tour of the 3rd Congressional District.

 

TIPTON TO ANNOUNCE NEW CAMPAIGN AGAINST REGULATION OVERLOAD

Representative Scott Tipton, along with several Colorado Business owners will announce tomorrow the launch of a new campaign aimed at stopping “President Obama’s Regulatory Tidal Wave”.  The effort is part of a nine-state education campaign focused on elevating the stories of its small business members in order to educate the public about the impacts these regulations could impose on small business growth.  The National Federation of Independent Business says poll after poll demonstrates that regulatory burdens are a top reason why small businesses are not hiring at pace with previous years.  In fact, a Gallup poll earlier this year found 85 percent of small businesses surveyed weren’t hiring and about half cited government regulations as the reason.

 

SMART WATER METERS IN STEAMBOAT AFFECTING WIRELESS INTERNET CUSTOMERS

Smart water meters in Steamboat may not be so smart after all.  Two local broadband providers are worried that the thousands of new wireless water meters could disrupt Internet service to as many as 150 of their customers.  The meters are using the same frequency band as wireless Internet users and crossed wires could hurt both sides.  City officials say the company is responsible for fixing any problems.  The company says the wireless water meters are needed for long-distance customers.

 

ROUTT COUNTY FAIR GOING ON THIS WEEK

The Routt County Fair is going on this week.  Market swine and showmanship classes will be held this afternoon.  The FFA alumni fundraiser barbecue will be held at 5 in the Multipurpose Building.  Jackpot roping starts at 6:30 tonight in the outdoor arena.  Then everyone is invited back to the Multipurpose Building for an Ice Cream Social at 7.  There are several livestock shows going on throughout the day tomorrow.  Most take place in the Multipurpose Building, with smaller animals being shown in the Small Animal Barn.  The Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry starts at 6:30 tomorrow evening on the east side of the grandstands.  For a complete schedule, click on the Routt County Fair tile on this page.

 

PAUL RYAN VISITS COLORADO

Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of about 2,000 supporters yesterday in Colorado.  Reports say the crowd broke into song while waiting for Ryan to show up.  While making his case for the White House, Ryan acknowledged the difficult situation that the president inherited, but said Obama has only made things worse.  Ryan says the only way to get back on track is to stop spending money the government doesn’t have.  The Wisconsin congressman is well known for taking an aggressive stance against running deficits.

 

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR TUESDAY, AUGUST 14TH

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COMMISSIONERS OF SEVERAL COUNTIES SIGN LETTER CRITICIZING BLM AT FEDERAL LEVEL

A group of Colorado Commissioners and interest groups are sending a letter to the State Director of the Bureau of Land Management, expressing their disappointment with the Federal Office’s method of making decisions on public land…especially when it comes to the Sage Grouse.  The group has been working for years on a plan to protect the bird, while also protecting the various other interests of the land, such as grazing, energy development, and recreation.  A Memorandum Of Understanding between Moffat County and the BLM was signed by the commissioners yesterday.  That document says the BLM will provide detailed information about certain decisions yet to be made.  While Natural Resources Director Jeff Comstock says the agency has been doing that very well, the other aspect of the MOU is being completely ignored.  The document says the BLM will give significant weight to recommendations by local planning boards.  Comstock says recent decisions on plans for the Vermillion Basin and the Sage Grouse, among others, have shown that the Interior Department has no interest in the results of local planners.  The letter asks the State Director to encourage those at the federal level to use the cooperating agencies they’ve set up.  The letter is being signed by the Moffat, Jackson, Rio Blanco, Routt, and Grand County Commissioners, and the White River and Douglas Creek Conservation Districts.  The Garfield County Commissioners are also expected to sign it.

 

BRETT BARKEY NAMED 14TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Governor John Hickenlooper has appointed Brett Barkey as the 14th Judicial District’s District Attorney.  The announcement was made yesterday.  Barkey is taking over for Elizabeth Oldham, who is leaving to take a job on the Front Range.  Barkey will also be trying to win the spot from the people in this November’s election.  The 14th Judicial District covers Moffat, Routt, and Grand Counties.

 

CRAIG CHAMBER SEARCHES FOR NEW BOARD MEMBERS

The Craig Chamber of Commerce is looking for four board members to serve two year terms.  Four members’ terms are expiring.  Those members are Gene Bilodeau, Jared Schultz, Audrey Anna Charchalis, and Bob Johnson.  The terms will be from 2013 to 2015.  Those who are interested should send a letter of interest to the chamber by email, or drop it off at their offices on East Victory Way.
The email address is director@craig-chamber.com.

 

ANGLERS ASKED TO MONITOR WATER TEMPERATURE WHILE FISHING

Drought conditions and low water flows throughout the state have Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminding anglers to monitor water temperature when they are out fishing. Several water-specific recommendations have already been released this summer; however fish can be stressed due to temperatures in many different coldwater fishing locations.  A senior biologist for Parks and Wildlife says handling fish in waters that are 68 degrees and above can put undue stress on them, causing mortalities. He says anglers should try to fish early in the day for the best opportunities.  For more information about fishing in places not affected by low flows, click here.

 

STEAMBOAT LAKE STATE PARK PLANS FOR WEEKEND ACTIVITIES

Steamboat Lake State Park’s interpretive programs continue through the Labor Day weekend. The programs are fun and educational for all ages and encourage an appreciation for wonders found in the wild. The programs run Thursdays through Sundays and include interpretive hikes, educational games and crafts, as well as talks and guest speakers.  The majority of the programs are free, but each vehicle entering the park must have a daily or annual park pass. The cost is $7 per day or $70 per year.  You’ll find a list of this weekend’s programs at krai.com.

Thursday, Aug. 16
10 a.m. What’s in the Water? This is an interactive program that educates children on the aquatic wildlife living in Steamboat Lake. Meet at the Bridge Island Foot Bridge.
1 p.m. Sensory Safari – This is wildlife education for children focusing on using their senses followed by a scavenger hunt. Meet at the Swim Beach.
Friday, Aug. 17
10 a.m. Tombstone Nature Trail Guided Hike – This is a one mile, guided hike to learn about the area and see one of our most popular trails. Meet at the Tombstone Trailhead.
12 p.m. Crawdad Craze – This is an educational program about crawdads followed by crawdad catchin’. Meet at the Bridge Island Foot Bridge.
Saturday, Aug. 18
9 a.m. Flotilla – Come take a boat tour of the lake while learning about the wildlife and history of the area.  This program costs $5 per child, $8 per adult, or $20 for a family of four. Space is limited and reservations are recommended. Call the Steamboat Lake Marina at 970-879-7019 to make reservations.
10 a.m.  Medicals and Edibles – Come learn about the medical and edible uses of plants in the area from Ranger Christine Hoang. Meet at the Visitor Center.
8 p.m. Colorado Mountain Lions – Join our guest speaker, Mike Middleton of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, as he talks about the miraculous creatures known as mountain lions.

 

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO BUY MEAT FROM STRUGGLING U.S. PRODUCERS

The Federal government is buying meat from U-S producers, to keep those sources running financially.  The Unites States Department of Agriculture will buy up to $170 million worth of meat and fish.  The agency says this year’s drought has devastated farmers and ranchers across the country, and buying the meat will help them get through it.  The USDA has declared all of Colorado’s Counties disaster areas.

 

FEDERAL GRANT WILL STRENGTHEN “WORK SHARING” PROGRAMS

The U.S. Department of Labor yesterday announced the availability of nearly $100 million in grants for states to implement or improve existing short-term compensation, commonly referred to as “work sharing,” programs. This funding has been made available through the bipartisan Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 signed by President Obama in February, which authorized states to set up programs to give employers an alternative to layoffs. The state of Colorado will receive over $1.8 million.  Work sharing allows employees to keep their jobs and helps employers to avoid laying off their trained workforces during economic downturns by reducing the hours of work for an entire group of affected workers. Workers affected by reduced hours can have their wages compensated with a portion of their weekly unemployment compensation payments.  The legislation requires each state to submit a complete application to the Labor Department in order to receive a grant.   For more information, click here.

 

STATE COMMISSION TO REVIEW LOWER NORTH FORK FIRE

A state commission met yesterday to hear from experts and residents about mistakes and cleanup efforts for the deadly Lower North Fork wildfire in March.  The five-member commission is reviewing legislation or policies that could improve the response to future blazes.  The March wildfire killed three people and damaged two dozen houses, causing at least $11 million in property damage.  It started when a prescribed burn on state forest land flared up a few days after it appeared to be extinguished.

 

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR MONDAY, AUGUST 13TH

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75 YEAR OLD CALIFORNIA MAN DIES IN MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT IN MOFFAT COUNTY

A 75 year old California man was killed in a motorcycle accident on Moffat County Road 112 yesterday.  The man’s name hasn’t been released yet.    The Colorado State Patrol says the man lost control of his Harley Davidson while entering a curve.  After skidding off the road and into an embankment, the rider was thrown from the motorcycle.  He was taken to The Memorial Hospital at Craig where he was pronouced dead.  He was wearing a helmet at the time.  Troopers say the man was likely driving too fast for the curve.  The accident remains under investigation.

 

FOREST SERVICE ROADS CLOSED FOR LOGGING

Beginning August 20, the Parks Ranger District portion of the Buffalo Pass Road will be temporarily closed to the public for removal of beetle-killed hazard trees. This is a popular route between North Park and the Yampa Valley that provides year-round recreation access.  Initially, while logging operations occur along isolated sections east of the junction with the Hidden Lakes Road, the closure will be intermittent with one-hour delays for the first few days. Once logging operations reach the junction with Forest Road 20, the road will be closed by gates at this junction as well as near the summit at the junction with Forest Road 310. The road is expected to be closed Monday through Friday, 7 to 5. The work is expected to be finished by December.  Around August 20, Forest Roads 625 and 627 are also expected to be closed at their junctions with the Teal Lake Road for hazard tree removal. Forest Road 625 is located about 1 mile northwest from the junction of Forest Roads 60 and 615. Forest Road 627 is located about 1.5 miles north of the Teal Lake Campground.  Depending on when work is finished on Forest Road 60, the contractor may begin clearing hazard trees on Forest Road 615 until snow shuts down their operations.

 

USDA ANNOUNCES $2 MILLION IN DROUGHT ASSISTANCE

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Phyllis Ann Philipps recently announced nearly $2 million in financial and technical assistance to get much-needed help to landowners and producers in Colorado who are facing extreme and exceptional drought conditions. With this limited funding, higher priority will be given to those who have been in the exceptional drought (D4) areas of the state the longest and will include additional criteria based on erodible soils and other sensitive areas. This will ensure that the funds provided will be applied to the most vulnerable areas of the state.

 

COLORADO RIVER DISTRICT TO HOLD WATER SEMINAR NEXT MONTH

“Past, Present and Future” is the theme of the Colorado River District’s Annual Water Seminar set for September 13th at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction. The cost to attend is $25 and includes morning coffee, pastries and a lunch.  Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Department of the Interior, is the keynote speaker. Seminar topics start with the 75-year history of the Colorado River District and a new book on the organization by author George Sibley, “Water Wranglers.” Other topics to be covered during the day are the drought, the Bureau of Reclamation/7 States Colorado River Basin Study results and a look at the November elections. After the seminar, starting at 4, the Colorado River District is holding an Ice Cream Social and Open House at the Two Rivers Convention Center to celebrate its 75th Anniversary.

 

BLM TO AUCTION OFF OIL AND GAS LEASES

The Bureau of Land Management has posted the list of parcels for the quarterly competitive oil and gas lease sale scheduled November 8th at the State Office in Lakewood.  The BLM will offer 48 parcels totaling 21,088.45 acres for lease within the Royal Gorge Field Office. To see a map of the proposed parcels, visit the BLM’s website.  The deadline for submitting protests is September 10th. All protests must be received by the BLM Colorado State Office.

 

NEW POLL SAYS MARIJUANA QUESTION LIKELY TO FAIL

A new poll released this week by Public Policy Polling shows that a proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution that would legalize marijuana for recreational use is headed for failure. The poll found only 47% of Colorado voters support Amendment 64.  Amendment 64 would make Colorado one of the first states to fully legalize marijuana for recreational use.  Pollers say ballot measures usually require a much higher level of support at this point in an election cycle because the default position for most voters is no, especially when it comes to amending the Colorado Constitution.