Monthly Archives: September 2012

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6TH

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MAJOR STEAMBOAT SEWER PROJECT HAS BEGUN

As part of the ongoing maintenance of the Steamboat’s sewer system, the Utilities Department, in contract with Duckels Construction, has begun work to replace approximately 1,000 linear feet of sewer interceptor in West Lincoln Park. The existing piping is being replaced to improve flow in the line leading from the mountain area and downtown to the wastewater treatment plant.  The project will begin on the west side of the park and finish in the Library parking lot. 13th Street will be partially closed for a one week period sometime in October.  The Library will remain open throughout construction; however visitors can expect impacts to the parking lot between the river and the building. The Core Trail will also remain open during construction, which should be complete the first week of November.

 

BLM SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT ON COAL LEASE PROPOSAL

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on a preliminary Environmental Assessment looking at whether to offer 3,157 acres of federal coal reserves beneath BLM managed lands in Rio Blanco and Moffat counties in a competitive coal lease sale.  Blue Mountain Energy has submitted a coal Lease by Application to BLM for the parcel adjacent to its Deserado Mine, which is seven miles northeast of Rangely, and currently employs 164 people. The area being considered for lease is estimated to contain 21 million tons of saleable coal.  You can view the environmental assessment by clicking here.

 

CMEDP BOARD MEMBERS TO BE ELECTED LATER THIS MONTH

Members of the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership are encouraged to show up to to their annual meeting to elect directors to the board.  All members in good standing are eligible to vote or run for a position.  There are currently 3 officer positions open, each with a 3 year term. Ballots will be cast in person at the annual meeting. If you are interested in a position or need more information, call 620-4370.  The annual meeting will be held Wednesday, September 19th from 11:30 to 1 at the Moffat County Courthouse.

 

PARKS AND WILDLIFE LOOKING FOR NEW WILDLIFE MANAGERS

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has opened the application process for the next training class of district wildlife managers.  The wildlife manager’s role includes law enforcement, resource management, public education and applying biological expertise to benefit wildlife and people. The entry-level position is open to recent college graduates with a background in wildlife management, biology or closely related field. Applications are also accepted from existing, experienced natural resource professionals seeking a career change.  Applications will be accepted through Monday, Sept. 17.  If you would like to apply, click here.

 

CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION QUESTION WILL APPEAR ON BALLOT

An initiative to encourage Colorado’s congressional delegation to propose a U.S. constitutional amendment to limit campaign contributions and spending will be before voters this November.  The Colorado Secretary of State’s office said yesterday that supporters of the initiative collected enough signatures to put the question on the ballot. The proposal would also instruct state lawmakers to ratify the campaign finance limits if Congress chooses to pass them.  But the ballot question would be symbolic and have no practical effect if it passes because such a measure can’t require state or congressional representatives to support certain policies.  The proposal addresses 2010 U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United ruling lifted many restrictions on spending from corporations and unions in elections.  The question will appear on the Colorado ballot as Amendment 65.

 

MARIJUANA MEASURE MAY NOT LEAD TO IMMEDIATE TAX BENEFITS

A Colorado marijuana legalization measure got a skeptical review from a legislative panel that warns of possible legal challenges if the measure passes.  The panel crafting the so-called “blue book” that explains November ballot measures to voters added a disclaimer yesterday explaining that legalizing marijuana wouldn’t automatically produce a windfall from a new tax on marijuana.  That’s because legislators would have to refer it to voters for approval. Lawmakers say that poses constitutional conflicts that may result in legal challenges. Lawmakers also struck some of the suggested benefits from legalizing marijuana that supporters wanted voters to read.  The panel cannot change ballot language already approved, but they can change how proposals are described to voters.

In high school sports:
Today:

In volleyball:
Little Snake River Valley hosts H.E.M.
Moffat County is home against Rifle at 6.

In boys soccer:
Steamboat is on the road to Eagle Valley at 6.

Tomorrow:
In football:
Little Snake River Valley hosts Dubois.
Hayden is home against Day Springs Christian at 7.
Steamboat hosts Summit at 7.
Soroco is home against Justice at 7.
Meeker is on the road to Coal Ridge at 7.
Moffat County welcomes Rifle.  You can catch that game live in 93.7 & 102.3 KRAI with the pre-game at 6:45 and the kick-off at 7.  You can also listen online by clicking the link at the top of the sports page.

In volleyball:
Little Snake River Valley plays at Encampment.
Moffat County hosts a tournament with Steamboat attending.
Meeker hosts Hayden at 5.
Rangely heads to Plateau Valley at 6.

In cross country:
Moffat County runs in Grand Junction.

 

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5TH

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MOFFAT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS CONSIDER FATE OF LUTTRELL BARN

The Moffat County Commissioners are trying to figure out what to do with the aging Luttrell Barn.  The barn, on the east side of Craig, has been used for reserved gatherings in the community, but is only used during the summer months.  The commissioners say even in the summer, the barn gets minimal use.  The building is in need of renovations if it will continue to be used.  While the commissioners have budgeted $100,000 for those renovations, Director of Developmental Services, Roy Mason, says it will take more than twice that to do it right.  The commissioners requested a poll last week to see what the community would like done with the building.  The three options being considered were “tear it down”, “renovate it”, or “relocate it”.  Nobody seemed to want it torn down, so the commissioners are leaning toward moving the building.  They’ve already initiated conversations with Lou Wyman about moving it to the Living History Museum.  Due to the anticipated cost of renovations, the commissioners will continue those talks with Wyman.

 

CITIZEN UPSET ABOUT TREATMENT DURING FIRE TOWER DISCUSSION

A concerned citizen has written a lengthy letter to the Craig City Council, the Craig Fire Board, and any concerned citizen, chastising local government leaders for pushing through the fire board’s request for a $1.5 million training tower.  Al Cashion, an insurance agent in Craig, was involved in many meetings designed to explore the possibility.  Cashion says while the money being used for the tower was not intended to pay for the construction of any new structures, it was the Fire Board’s attitude that gave him hesitation.  In the letter, he accuses board members of alienating the community, by pushing through with a purchase the community is against, and scolded the Craig City Council for allowing it to go through.  Cashion also questions the need for the tower, noting the existence of a tower in Hayden that is available for training.  He says both entities have been condescending and insulting to those who have opposed the project, and singles each of the council members out.  Mayor Terry Carwile says while Cashion makes some good points about the facts of the project, he says Cashion’s beef is really with the Fire Board.  He says the council’s boards and commissions are responsible for researching the legalities and feasibility of certain projects, and then make their recommendations to the council.  He says this project came back with a unanimous recommendation.  While Cashion maintains the issue should go to a vote of the people, Fire Board President Byron Willems says people elect the board to make those tough decisions.  He says they are trying to plan for the future with the 5 story tower, as the Craig City Council has recently raised the maximum height limit on buildings from 3 stories to 5 stories.  Willems says he is also willing to discuss the issue with anyone who has questions.

 

BLM EXTENDS IT’S DEADLINE FOR WILD HORSE SANCTUARY PROPOSALS

The Bureau of Land Management says it is extending its deadline for private land wild horse ecosanctuary proposals to September 19.  The ecosanctuaries, to be publicly accessible with a potential for ecotourism, would help the BLM feed and care for excess wild horses that have been removed from Western public rangelands. Each proposed ecosanctuary must be able to support at least 100 wild horses.  For more information, please contact Susan Kaller, Grants Management Officer, at 775-861-6559 or Zachary Reichold, Senior Wild Horse and Burro Specialist, at 202-912-7261.

 

SECRETARY OF STATE SEEKS BIG VOTER REGISTRATION NUMBERS

Election officials are sending mailers encouraging people to register to vote and launching educational ads in what Secretary of State Scott Gessler says is the largest voter registration drive in state history.  Gessler said yesterday the mailers will reach about 961,000 people who are likely eligible to vote but aren’t registered. Television and radio advertisements, which can be heard on KRAI-FM and 55 Country, will also encourage people to register.  Gessler, a Republican, has faced criticism recently for his sending letters to nearly 4,000 registered voters questioning their citizenship. He says he plans move forward with a rule to hold hearings to challenge voter registration when citizenship is in doubt.  He maintains he’s committed to ensuring people’s right to vote and that the voter registration drive had been in the works for months.

 

FOREST VISITORS WARNED ABOUT LOGGING EFFORTS

Forest visitors traveling on the Hog Park Road may encounter delays this month as a result of hazard tree clearing.  Work will affect both sides of the road for about half a mile, while a private land owner works to remove hazard trees from the section of road that runs through their property. The work area is north of the Green Mountain Falls Trailhead at the North Fork of the Encampment River crossing.  Work will be conducted Tuesdays through Thursdays with no impacts on the weekends. The road will not be closed while work is being completed, however delays up to 30 minutes may be possible. Motorists should be aware of safety signing and flaggers directing them to stop and wait while trees are felled or loaded.  Also, logging equipment may be operating close to the road. Visitors should be aware of log trucks on Forest Road 550 and Highway 70.

 

CANDIDATE DENIED NAME ON COLORADO BALLOT

A naturalized citizen who wanted to run for president despite not being American-born has lost his bid to get on the ballot in Colorado.  Abdul Karim Hassan of New York state contends the Constitution’s requirement that presidential candidates be U.S.-born violates equal-protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.  A magistrate judge had ruled the amendment didn’t affect the validity of the Constitution’s distinction between natural-born citizens and naturalized citizens. Hassan appealed, saying that even if he can’t assume the office of president, Colorado election officials discriminated against him by blocking him from appearing on the ballot.  A panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday backed the judge, who found the state has a legitimate interest in leaving him off the ballot if he can’t assume the office.

 

 

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH

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COLORADO LAWMAKERS TO SPEAK AT DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

Representative Jared Polis is among the Coloradans scheduled to speak at the Democratic National Convention.  The congressman’s staff says Polis will speak this evening on the unity and inclusiveness needed to move America forward. Polis says diversity is part of America’s strength.  Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and Representative Diana DeGette also are among the scheduled speakers during the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

STATE LAND BOARD SEEKS COMMENT ON EXCHANGE PROPOSAL

The Colorado State Land Board wants to hear from the public on a land exchange proposal, which will amount to a sale.  However, the person acquiring the land must own adjacent land next to the parcel.  The parcel the state would sell off is 5.4 acres south of Highway 40, about 3 miles west of Milner.  State Land Commissioners have given their initial approval to the move, although it is still up for public review.  Bids for the land will be reviewed tomorrow.  Comments should be submitted to: Field Operations Section Manager Beverly Rave at 1127 Sherman St., Suite 300, Denver, CO 80203, or faxed to 303-866-3152.

 

SWEETWATER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE RELEASES MURDER INVESTIGATION DETAILS

The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office has released information regarding their investigation into the July murder of Rigoberto Alvarado.  A press release says the department, along with the Rock Springs Police Department, has conducted 110 interviews, and some of those have included polygraph tests.  They say one person scheduled for a polygraph skipped his appointment.  They also say they have collected hundreds of items of evidence, including DNA evidence.  The 17 year old Alvarado was reported missing July 30th, when he didn’t return home the night before.  His body was discovered August 19th by a group exploring the long-abandoned remains of coal camps and coal mining operations.  Detectives say he suffered several types of violent injury, any one of which could have been the cause of death.  A $5,000 reward is being offered for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.  You can call either the Rock Springs Police Department at (307) 389-0264 or the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office at (307) 350-4010.

 

MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATES PLAN FOR WELLNESS CONFERENCE

Mental health advocates in Northwest Colorado have announced the date for their Yampa Valley Wellness Conference.  The conference is a coordination of efforts between the Yampa Valley Medical Center, Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide (REPS), Colorado West Regional Mental Health, and local mental health professionals.  It will take place September 29th at the Steamboat Sheraton.  Speakers are scheduled as early as 8:30, and the conference is expected to last until 4.  Registration is free, but is required.  You can register online by clicking here.

 

WHITE RIVER MUSEUM TO SHOW OFF NEW LIGHTING PROJECT

The Rio Blanco County Historical Society and the White River Museum will celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Lighting Project at an open house reception and recognition ceremony this weekend.  The project is intended to preserve fragile and irreplaceable art and artifacts of the Museum’s extensive collections and to greatly improve visual comfort and presentation of exhibits with modern energy-efficient lighting.  Town and County officials are expected to attend, along with representatives of the project and the museum.  Refreshments will be served.  The open house is Saturday, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the Museum.

 

WEST NILE DEATH UNCONFIRMED IN MONTROSE COUNTY

An obituary notice says an elderly Montrose woman has died of complications of West Nile virus.  The obituary says Dorothy Iris “Irish” Meaker died Wednesday, days before her 87th birthday.  Montrose County Coroner Thomas Canfield said he couldn’t immediately confirm the death was due to West Nile. The state health department says at least 22 human cases of West Nile infection have been reported through August 27th, including at least three in Montrose County.

In high school sports:
Over the weekend:

In football:
Moffat County beat Ridgeview.
Steamboat lost to Eagle Valley.
Hayden beat Belleview Christian.
Soroco defeated Gilpin County.
Meeker lost to Grand Valley.
Rangely lost to Dove Creek.
Little Snake River Valley beat Ten Sleep.

In volleyball:
Steamboat lost to Glenwood.
Soroco topped Beth Eden Baptist.

In boys soccer:
Steamboat beat Centaurus.

Today:
In boys soccer:
Moffat County heads to Coal Ridge at 4.

Tomorrow:
In boys golf:
Moffat County hosts a tournament at Yampa Valley Golf Course with Steamboat and Rangely attending.

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3RD

GRAY WOLVES TO BE REMOVED FROM ENDANGERED LIST

Over the weekend, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced its intention to publish a final rule removing gray wolves from the federal list of threatened and endangered species in Wyoming. Wolves will be officially delisted and placed under state management in Wyoming on October 1, 2012. The earliest date wolves could be taken by hunters in Wyoming in the Wolf Trophy Game Management Area (WTGMA) is October 1. Wolves may be taken where designated as Predatory Animals on October 1, the date on which delisting becomes effective. Hunters should check the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website or contact their local WGFD office for the latest information regarding wolf delisting and hunting seasons.

“Due to the fact gray wolf management status is at the cusp of significant change in Wyoming, we are encouraging hunters and others who are interested to keep a close eye on the WGFD website to keep informed of the latest wolf information,” said WGFD Wildlife Chief Brian Nesvik.

The delisting action is the result of an agreement reached between Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Following that agreement, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission made changes to its wolf management plan, and the 2012 Wyoming Legislature made changes to state statues to allow delisting to move forward. The delisting process included thorough review by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and was peer reviewed on two separate occasions by independent wolf scientists.

In 1995 and 1996, the US Fish and Wildlife Service released gray wolves from Canada into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho. Wolf populations in the Northern Rocky Mountains increased rapidly and dispersed well beyond the original recovery area. Wolf numbers in this region met federal delisting criteria in 2002, but legal challenges have delayed delisting until now.

At the end of December 2011, there were an estimated 328 wolves in Wyoming, including 48 packs and 27 breeding pairs. This included 224 wolves, 36 packs, and 19 breeding pairs outside Yellowstone National Park.

Under state management, wolves in Wyoming are managed under a dual classification system. Wolves in northwest Wyoming are designated and managed as Trophy Game Animals. Wolves in the rest of Wyoming are designated as Predatory Animals. (See map below for Trophy Game Management Area boundaries.)

Wyoming’s wolf management plan also includes a “flex area” defined as the Seasonal Wolf Trophy Game Management Area (SWTGMA), where wolves are classified as Trophy Game Animals from October 15 to the last day in February of the subsequent year, and as Predatory Animals for the remainder of the year. This provision was included to help ensure genetic interchange with other wolf populations in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

“Wyoming’s wolf management plan is constructed to ensure the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has flexibility to adaptively manage wolves as conditions change,” Nesvik said.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has established wolf hunting seasons in 12 separate hunt areas in the WTGMA and SWTGMA. Hunting seasons in each hunt area will begin October 1 and end December 31 (except Area 12, the SWTGMA, which opens October 15 and closes December 31). Wolves in these areas will be managed under a mortality quota system. The hunting season in each specific wolf area will remain open until the quota for the area is reached, or until December 31, whichever occurs first. All hunters must call the wolf hotline daily (800-264-1280) to ensure the quota for wolves in each specific area has not been reached. Wolf hunting is prohibited in Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge.

“We are taking a conservative approach to wolf hunting seasons during this time of transition from federal to state management,” Nesvik said. “We need time to assume the important responsibilities of wolf population monitoring, sport harvest management, and meeting Wyoming’s commitments to wolf conservation in our state.”

Wolf licenses cost $18 for Wyoming residents and $180 for nonresidents. Wolf licenses will go on sale beginning September 14 at all WGFD offices and automated license agent locations in Wyoming.

Hunters who take a wolf in the WTGMA (or in the SWTGMA between October 15 and the end of February) are required to have a wolf hunting license and may only hunt during an open season.  (From March 1 through October 14, wolves in the SWTGMA are classified as Predatory Animals and may be taken at any time and without a license.) Hunters harvesting wolves in areas where wolves are classified as Trophy Game Animals are required to report the kill within 24 hours by calling 800-264-1280. Within five days, they are required to present the skull and pelt to a game warden, biologist, or other personnel at a WGFD regional office for registration.

In areas of the state where wolves are designated as Predatory Animals, no license is required to take a wolf, and there are no closed seasons or bag limits. Anyone who takes a wolf in areas of the state where wolves are designated as Predatory Animals is required to report the kill to a game warden, biologist, other personnel at a WGFD regional office, or by phone (800-264-1280) within 10 days. Anyone who takes a wolf in this area of the state is not required to present the skull or pelt, but the WGFD is encouraging them to do so to aid in department efforts to monitor wolf populations and genetic interchange throughout the state.

For more information on wolves in Wyoming, including Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan and regulations, visit the WGFD website.

 

Wyman Museum Announces Blacksmith Classes

Classes in blacksmithing will being September 7th at the Wyman Living History Museum, three miles east of Craig near Highway 40.  Classes which will conclude on September 22nd, will include all the tools and iron to make your project.  The cost for the classes is $60.  For information about the classes or the Wyman Living History Museum call 824-6346.

 

Flag Pole Dedication Today

The Craig VFW and the City of Craig invite the community to the dedication of the new flag pole at Alice Pleasant Park on Yampa Avenue in downtown Craig.  The ceremony is scheduled for 9 this morning.

 

 

Steamboat Labor Day Festivities


The Steamboat Labor Day weekend events conclude today.  The day’s event schedule is below.

Monday, September 3:
•8am Steamboat Springs Stage Race – Stage 3, Ski & Bike Kare Criterium
•9am – 6pm  Sidewalk Sales – downtown Steamboat Springs

 

Football scores from OVER THE WEEKEND

Steamboat fell to Eagle Valley 35-21
SoRoCo defeated Gilpen County 56-0
Meeker lost to Grand Valley 49-6
Hayden beat Belleview Academy 70-24
Rangely fell to Dove Creek 64-36
Moffat County defeated Ridgeview Academy 40-15
The defending state champions, Little Snake River Valley beat 10 Sleep 59-0

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2nd

STEAMBOAT LABOR DAY WEEKEND EVENTS CONTINUE

Wild West Air Fest and
Labor Day Weekend Schedule 2012

Sunday, September 2:
•8am  Steamboat Springs Stage Race – Stage 2, Moots Road Race
•9am – 3pm  Wild West Air Fest* – vintage aircraft & warbird static display and rides – Steamboat Airport
*No dogs and no smoking allowed at event site
•9am – 6pm  Sidewalk Sales – downtown Steamboat Springs
•10am 10K at 10,000ft., Running Series
•10:30am Special Guest Speaker
•11am – 3pm Downtown Hoedown and Chuckwagon Chili Challenge – downtown Steamboat Springs on 8th & Oak Streets
•12:15pm  Radio Controlled Airplane show – Steamboat Springs Airport
•1:30pm  Special Guest Speaker
•5:00pm  Rocky Mountain Bull Bash P.B.R. – Romick Arena in downtown Steamboat Springs (Gates open at 3:00 p.m. – Purchase your tickets at the Steamboat Visitor Center)

Monday, September 3:
•8am Steamboat Springs Stage Race – Stage 3, Ski & Bike Kare Criterium
•9am – 6pm  Sidewalk Sales – downtown Steamboat Springs

LABOR DAY WEEKEND SAFETY TIPS AND INFORMATION

The following information is from previous KRAI.COM  stories that have been updated

FIRE RESTRICTIONS
Outdoor activities are at their peak over the Labor Day Weekend – which can coincide with wildfire season in the Rocky Mountain Area. To keep the good times going this weekend, keep the following tips in mind:

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect in Rio Blanco County and Bureau of Land Management public lands within the Rio Blanco and Moffat Counties. Campfires are allowed in established camp sites in established fire rings.  When traveling, find out if there are fire restrictions in effect where you plan to visit and prepare accordingly.

– Smoke in cleared areas and dispose of cigarettes properly
– Consider bringing a camp stove for your camping trip or picnic.
– Leave the fireworks at home. Possession or use of fireworks on public lands is prohibited.
– Don’t park your vehicle in dry weeds or tall grass. The hot catalytic converter on your car can start a fire in a very short time.
– Make sure your ATV (dirt bike, 4-wheeler, 3-wheeler) has an approved spark arrester and current state registration.
– Bring a water container and shovel so you can make sure your campfire is completely extinguished before you leave. Smother campfire with water and dirt and stir embers until they are cool to the touch.
– Leaving a campfire unattended is a finable offense.

  • Scrape dead grass and other flammable materials away from campfire sites.
  • Keep campfires small and under control.
  • Keep a shovel and a water container nearby to douse escaped embers.
  • Put campfires dead out before leaving your campsite or going to sleep; this requires adding water and stirring hot coals until they are cool to the touch.
  • Do not park vehicles in tall dry grass, since hot tailpipes can cause fine fuels to catch on fire.
  • Do not use fireworks as they are strictly prohibited on federal lands.
  • Remember that any ignition – cigarettes, campfires, gunfire, vehicles – could cause a wildland fire, under the right conditions.

Minor changes to fire restrictions in unincorporated Moffat County are now in effect. The changes now allow small charcoal fires….and wood burning fires in contained stoves….and campfires in established fire rings. Now acceptable with a permit from the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office will be charcoal pits used for large cookouts. Permits for using welding torches are no longer required. Be aware that all other restrictions in unincorporated Moffat County including prohibitions on bonfires and open trash burning remain in effect. Note the restrictions specific to Dinosaur National Monument in the story below.

Dinosaur National Monument Reduces Fire Restrictions.  Superintendent Mary Risser announced that fire restrictions within Dinosaur National Monument have been reduced from Stage II to Stage I. The cooler weather and increased moisture have lessened the fire danger somewhat, but not to the point that all restrictions can be lifted.  To protect visitors and park staff in Dinosaur National Monument and the natural and cultural resources, open fire restrictions remain in place.  Building or using any open fire, campfire, or charcoal fire except within National Park Service-provided fire grates at developed campgrounds located at Green River, Split Mountain, Rainbow Park, Echo Park, Gates of Lodore and Deerlodge Park is prohibited. Charcoal fires or the use of charcoal in grills along the Harpers Corner Road and at Plug Hat Butte Picnic Area are still prohibited at this time due to the dry and windy conditions in this area. Stoves that use pressurized gas or liquid fuel are permitted. All backcountry camp fires are prohibited, including along the Green and Yampa Rivers. This includes building any type of fire in a fire pan.  Smoking is permitted only in enclosed vehicles, developed recreation site, or in areas cleared of all flammable material. Fireworks are strictly prohibited in Dinosaur National Monument.  These restrictions will remain in effect until such time as the fire danger in the park becomes less severe .

All fire restrictions on BLM managed land in Routt County have been removed, which now allows people to have recreational fires.  Restrictions are lifted for the Routt National Forest, unincorporated areas and state land in Routt County and for Oak Creek and Hayden.  In Yampa and Steamboat Stage 2 restrictions remain in effect.

In coordination with other federal, state and local agencies, fire restrictions are rescinded on the Brush Creek-Hayden and Laramie Ranger Districts of the Medicine Bow National Forest.  While several factors are considered in fire restriction decisions, increased fuel moisture, the reduced occurrence of human-caused fires, and favorable long-term fire weather forecasts helped influence this decision.  Despite increased precipitation in July and part of August, overall drought conditions are expected to persist over the next several weeks.  Forest visitors are advised to use caution when building and maintaining campfires.  Always make sure that campfires are dead out, meaning that coals and other burned materials are cool before leaving a fire unattended.  Due to ongoing warm and dry conditions, Stage 2 restrictions remain in effect on the Douglas Ranger District, which includes the Laramie Peak Unit of the Medicine Bow National Forest and the Thunder Basin National Grassland.  Under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions, no fires are allowed, even in developed campgrounds and picnic area.

BLACK BEAR ACTIVITY
Two backcountry campsites at Ely Creek, located along the Jones Hole Trail in the Dinosaur National Monument, are closed until further notice due to black bear activity in the area. “In an effort to reduce interactions between people and the bear and to reduce the possibility that the bear will get and become habituated to human food, we have decided to close the campground for the remainder of the season.”  Stated Superintendent Risser.  “Black bears start to prepare for hibernation in the summer, when they begin gorging on carbohydrate-rich nuts, berries, and other foods to gain weight for the upcoming winter,” explained Natural Resource Management Program Manager Joel Brumm. “It is important that bears be allowed to feed on wild food sources during late summer and fall to gain the weight they need for the upcoming winter. During this time, bears can gain as much as 30 pounds per week, and they require a total reserve of approximately 100 pounds of fat for their winter hibernation.”  “We have had numerous sightings reported to park staff over the past few weeks,” acknowledged Dinosaur National Monument Chief Ranger, Lee Buschkowsky. “The bear seems to be residing in the area – at least temporarily.” Park staff will not take reservations for the campsites. The Jones Hole Trail remains open at this time. The trail is very popular with fisherman and day hikers. The Jones Hole river campsites also remain open, but these sites are reserved for river rafting groups through September 14.  Visitors to the popular Jones Hole Trail are advised to be on the lookout for black bears. Although visitors to Dinosaur National Monument may not think of the monument as “bear country,” frequent sightings confirm black bears do live here. Hikers are encouraged to be alert for their presence and report bear sightings as soon as possible at a visitor center or ranger station.  Park visitors are reminded to store food, garbage, camp coolers, and other items that can attract bears in bear-proof storage boxes or hang any items in a bag from a tree. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods and helps keep park visitors and their property safe. Should you encounter a bear, never approach it. You should leave the area immediately.

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
As Coloradans head out on the roads this Labor Day Weekend, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and statewide law enforcement agencies have a warning: Don’t even think about drinking and driving because DUI patrols will be out in force.  Sobriety checkpoints and increased DUI patrols are under way across the state through early Tuesday morning.  The enforcement is part of the summer-long “100 Days of Heat” campaign and coincides with the National DUI Crackdown.  Since Colorado joined the national effort on Aug. 17th, law enforcement officers have averaged over 50 DUI arrests per day.  That number is expected to go way up because only half of the 110 participating agencies have reported their arrests so far, according to CDOT. During last year’s national DUI crackdown, police made 1,442 DUI arrests.  “There’s no day off this Labor Day weekend for hundreds of troopers, police officers and deputies who will be working tirelessly to keep impaired drivers off our roadways,” said Colonel James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol.  “Now is the time to make a plan for a designated driver or public transportation.  There are many big events across Colorado this weekend, from the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver, to the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally in Ignacio, and the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.  No matter where you are in the state, please take the time to designate a sober driver and don’t forget to buckle up.”  Here are “DUI Arrests By the Numbers”: Since the “100 Days of Heat” campaign began Memorial Weekend, Colorado law enforcement agencies have made 2,097 DUI arrests in Colorado during enforcement periods and at checkpoints.  According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s annual crime report, 26,146 adults and juveniles were arrested for DUI in 2011, making it an average of 72 DUI arrests per day in the state.    In addition to increased patrols and saturation patrols, the following agencies are conducting sobriety checkpoints:

Dead and Dying Trees Have Increased Risks
While many campgrounds and picnic areas have reopened following removal of beetle-killed trees, most undeveloped/general forest areas still contain extensive dead and dying trees that can fall without warning, endangering people and blocking roads.  Recreationists should consider the following guidelines to reduce their risk when traveling through or recreating in beetle-killed areas.- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid dense patches of dead trees.
– Stay out of the forest when weather forecasts call for strong winds. If you get caught in the forest when winds kick up, head to a clearing out of reach of any potential falling trees.
– Place tents and park vehicles in areas where they will not be hit if trees fall.
– When driving in remote areas of the forest, park close to a main road, rather than on a spur or one-way section.  If trees fall across the road you may be trapped.
– Bring an ax or chainsaw to remove fallen trees from roads to avoid being trapped.

  • Do not rely on cell phones for safety as there is no coverage in many areas of the forest.
  • Work to remove beetle-killed trees is ongoing.  Please be aware of and stay away from heavy equipment and log trucks.  Also, please respect associated road closures and do not try to drive around barriers.

NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1ST

 

LABOR DAY WEEKEND SAFETY TIPS AND INFORMATION

The following information is from previous KRAI.COM  stories that have been updated

FIRE RESTRICTIONS
Outdoor activities are at their peak over the Labor Day Weekend – which can coincide with wildfire season in the Rocky Mountain Area. To keep the good times going this weekend, keep the following tips in mind:

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect in Rio Blanco County and Bureau of Land Management public lands within the Rio Blanco and Moffat Counties. Campfires are allowed in established camp sites in established fire rings.  When traveling, find out if there are fire restrictions in effect where you plan to visit and prepare accordingly.

– Smoke in cleared areas and dispose of cigarettes properly
– Consider bringing a camp stove for your camping trip or picnic.
– Leave the fireworks at home. Possession or use of fireworks on public lands is prohibited.
– Don’t park your vehicle in dry weeds or tall grass. The hot catalytic converter on your car can start a fire in a very short time.
– Make sure your ATV (dirt bike, 4-wheeler, 3-wheeler) has an approved spark arrester and current state registration.
– Bring a water container and shovel so you can make sure your campfire is completely extinguished before you leave. Smother campfire with water and dirt and stir embers until they are cool to the touch.
– Leaving a campfire unattended is a finable offense.

  • Scrape dead grass and other flammable materials away from campfire sites.
  • Keep campfires small and under control.
  • Keep a shovel and a water container nearby to douse escaped embers.
  • Put campfires dead out before leaving your campsite or going to sleep; this requires adding water and stirring hot coals until they are cool to the touch.
  • Do not park vehicles in tall dry grass, since hot tailpipes can cause fine fuels to catch on fire.
  • Do not use fireworks as they are strictly prohibited on federal lands.
  • Remember that any ignition – cigarettes, campfires, gunfire, vehicles – could cause a wildland fire, under the right conditions.

 Leading up to the Labor Day Weekend, minor changes to fire restrictions in unincorporated Moffat County are now in effect. The changes now allow small charcoal fires….and wood burning fires in contained stoves….and campfires in established fire rings. Now acceptable with a permit from the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office will be charcoal pits used for large cookouts. Permits for using welding torches are no longer required. Be aware that all other restrictions in unincorporated Moffat County including prohibitions on bonfires and open trash burning remain in effect. Note the restrictions specific to Dinosaur National Monument in the story below.

Dinosaur National Monument Reduces Fire Restrictions.  Superintendent Mary Risser announced that fire restrictions within Dinosaur National Monument have been reduced from Stage II to Stage I. The cooler weather and increased moisture have lessened the fire danger somewhat, but not to the point that all restrictions can be lifted.  To protect visitors and park staff in Dinosaur National Monument and the natural and cultural resources, open fire restrictions remain in place.  Building or using any open fire, campfire, or charcoal fire except within National Park Service-provided fire grates at developed campgrounds located at Green River, Split Mountain, Rainbow Park, Echo Park, Gates of Lodore and Deerlodge Park is prohibited. Charcoal fires or the use of charcoal in grills along the Harpers Corner Road and at Plug Hat Butte Picnic Area are still prohibited at this time due to the dry and windy conditions in this area. Stoves that use pressurized gas or liquid fuel are permitted. All backcountry camp fires are prohibited, including along the Green and Yampa Rivers. This includes building any type of fire in a fire pan.  Smoking is permitted only in enclosed vehicles, developed recreation site, or in areas cleared of all flammable material. Fireworks are strictly prohibited in Dinosaur National Monument.  These restrictions will remain in effect until such time as the fire danger in the park becomes less severe .

All fire restrictions on BLM managed land in Routt County have been removed, which now allows people to have recreational fires.  Restrictions are lifted for the Routt National Forest, unincorporated areas and state land in Routt County and for Oak Creek and Hayden.  In Yampa and Steamboat Stage 2 restrictions remain in effect.

In coordination with other federal, state and local agencies, fire restrictions are rescinded on the Brush Creek-Hayden and Laramie Ranger Districts of the Medicine Bow National Forest.  While several factors are considered in fire restriction decisions, increased fuel moisture, the reduced occurrence of human-caused fires, and favorable long-term fire weather forecasts helped influence this decision.  Despite increased precipitation in July and part of August, overall drought conditions are expected to persist over the next several weeks.  Forest visitors are advised to use caution when building and maintaining campfires.  Always make sure that campfires are dead out, meaning that coals and other burned materials are cool before leaving a fire unattended.  Due to ongoing warm and dry conditions, Stage 2 restrictions remain in effect on the Douglas Ranger District, which includes the Laramie Peak Unit of the Medicine Bow National Forest and the Thunder Basin National Grassland.  Under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions, no fires are allowed, even in developed campgrounds and picnic area.

BLACK BEAR ACTIVITY
Two backcountry campsites at Ely Creek, located along the Jones Hole Trail in the Dinosaur National Monument, are closed until further notice due to black bear activity in the area. “In an effort to reduce interactions between people and the bear and to reduce the possibility that the bear will get and become habituated to human food, we have decided to close the campground for the remainder of the season.”  Stated Superintendent Risser.  “Black bears start to prepare for hibernation in the summer, when they begin gorging on carbohydrate-rich nuts, berries, and other foods to gain weight for the upcoming winter,” explained Natural Resource Management Program Manager Joel Brumm. “It is important that bears be allowed to feed on wild food sources during late summer and fall to gain the weight they need for the upcoming winter. During this time, bears can gain as much as 30 pounds per week, and they require a total reserve of approximately 100 pounds of fat for their winter hibernation.”  “We have had numerous sightings reported to park staff over the past few weeks,” acknowledged Dinosaur National Monument Chief Ranger, Lee Buschkowsky. “The bear seems to be residing in the area – at least temporarily.” Park staff will not take reservations for the campsites. The Jones Hole Trail remains open at this time. The trail is very popular with fisherman and day hikers. The Jones Hole river campsites also remain open, but these sites are reserved for river rafting groups through September 14.  Visitors to the popular Jones Hole Trail are advised to be on the lookout for black bears. Although visitors to Dinosaur National Monument may not think of the monument as “bear country,” frequent sightings confirm black bears do live here. Hikers are encouraged to be alert for their presence and report bear sightings as soon as possible at a visitor center or ranger station.  Park visitors are reminded to store food, garbage, camp coolers, and other items that can attract bears in bear-proof storage boxes or hang any items in a bag from a tree. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods and helps keep park visitors and their property safe. Should you encounter a bear, never approach it. You should leave the area immediately.

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
As Coloradans prepare to head out on the roads this Labor Day Weekend, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and statewide law enforcement agencies have a warning: Don’t even think about drinking and driving because DUI patrols will be out in force.  Sobriety checkpoints and increased DUI patrols are under way across the state through early Tuesday morning.  The enforcement is part of the summer-long “100 Days of Heat” campaign and coincides with the National DUI Crackdown.  Since Colorado joined the national effort on Aug. 17th, law enforcement officers have averaged over 50 DUI arrests per day.  That number is expected to go way up because only half of the 110 participating agencies have reported their arrests so far, according to CDOT. During last year’s national DUI crackdown, police made 1,442 DUI arrests.  “There’s no day off this Labor Day weekend for hundreds of troopers, police officers and deputies who will be working tirelessly to keep impaired drivers off our roadways,” said Colonel James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol.  “Now is the time to make a plan for a designated driver or public transportation.  There are many big events across Colorado this weekend, from the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver, to the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally in Ignacio, and the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.  No matter where you are in the state, please take the time to designate a sober driver and don’t forget to buckle up.”  Here are “DUI Arrests By the Numbers”: Since the “100 Days of Heat” campaign began Memorial Weekend, Colorado law enforcement agencies have made 2,097 DUI arrests in Colorado during enforcement periods and at checkpoints.  According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s annual crime report, 26,146 adults and juveniles were arrested for DUI in 2011, making it an average of 72 DUI arrests per day in the state.    In addition to increased patrols and saturation patrols, the following agencies are conducting sobriety checkpoints:

Dead and Dying Trees Have Increased Risks
While many campgrounds and picnic areas have reopened following removal of beetle-killed trees, most undeveloped/general forest areas still contain extensive dead and dying trees that can fall without warning, endangering people and blocking roads.  Recreationists should consider the following guidelines to reduce their risk when traveling through or recreating in beetle-killed areas.- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid dense patches of dead trees.
– Stay out of the forest when weather forecasts call for strong winds. If you get caught in the forest when winds kick up, head to a clearing out of reach of any potential falling trees.
– Place tents and park vehicles in areas where they will not be hit if trees fall.
– When driving in remote areas of the forest, park close to a main road, rather than on a spur or one-way section.  If trees fall across the road you may be trapped.
– Bring an ax or chainsaw to remove fallen trees from roads to avoid being trapped.

  • Do not rely on cell phones for safety as there is no coverage in many areas of the forest.
  • Work to remove beetle-killed trees is ongoing.  Please be aware of and stay away from heavy equipment and log trucks.  Also, please respect associated road closures and do not try to drive around barriers.

Wyoming Murder investigation focused on four areas

Law enforcement officials in Rock Springs yesterday today described the four areas of particular concentration in their investigation of the murder of 17-year-old Rigoberto Alvarado, whose body was found in a shallow grave outside Rock Springs on August 19 by a group exploring the long-abandoned remains of coal camps and coal mining operations.

Timeline
The case’s timeline – tracking Alvarado’s movements from 8:30 PM on the night of July 29, when he left his family’s home at the Imperial Apartments in Rock Springs – continues to be of prime importance, Sheriff County Sheriff Rich Haskell and Chief Mike Lowell of the Rock Springs Police Department said on Friday.  Alvarado’s father, Rigoberto Alvarado, Sr., reported his son missing to the Rock Springs Police Department the next morning, July 30, when he did not return home.   Investigators report that they have advanced the timeline considerably, and have identified several people who were in Alvarado’s company that night.

Interviews
110-plus interviews have been conducted by city and county detectives since Alvarado’s disappearance.  Polygraph examinations have come into play, and one individual who was scheduled for a polygraph failed to appear for an appointment.

Evidence
Detectives and crime scene technicians have collected hundreds of items of evidence in the case thus far, including DNA evidence, all of which has been submitted to the Wyoming State Crime Laboratory in Cheyenne for forensic examination and analysis.

Cause of Death
According to detectives, Alvarado suffered several types of violent injury, any one of which could have been the cause of death.  The nature of those injuries is being withheld for the time being while the forensic examinations are ongoing.   Alvarado, whose family moved to Rock Springs from the Pomona, California, area, attended the Rock Springs High School.  He was known as “Rigo” or “Junior” to his friends.  A $5,000 reward is being offered for information resulting in the arrest and conviction of persons involved in his death.  Anyone who has such information is asked to contact either the Rock Springs Police Department at (307) 389-0264 or the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office at (307) 350-4010.   Calls will be handled with discretion.

Football scores from friday night

Steamboat fell to Eagle Valley 35-21
SoRoCo defeated Gilpen County 56-0
Meeker lost to Grand Valley 49-6
Hayden beat Belleview Academy 70-24
Rangely fell to Dove Creek 64-36

In football today:

The defending state champions, Little Snake River Valley travel to play 10 Sleep at 2pm.

Moffat County defeated Ridgeview Academy 40-15

In Girls Volleyball Today

Moffat County, Meeker, Rangely and Steamboat travel for tournament play in Glenwood

In Boys Soccer today
Steamboat will host Centarus at 10am

Today in Rodeo action
Moffat County will compete at Motezuma-Cortez