ROUTT COUNTY LAND OWNER DONATES PROPERTY TO FOREST SERVICE
Last month, Routt County recorded a Donation Deed for 120 acres to the United States in California Park, in the Routt National Forest. The donated acreage is in a valley, surrounded by National Forest and Colorado State land, with sagebrush hillsides and wide creek-bottom land. Two creeks, Armstrong and Elkhead, converge on the property and Routt County Road 80 passes through it. The Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District had been working with the private landowner to exchange or buy the property. The landowner had expressed desire for the Forest to own the land and ultimately decided to donate the property. Protecting habitat for all biological species found in the area will be a management focus, including emphasis on populations of boreal toad, Colorado River cutthroat trout, Columbia sharp-tail, greater sage-grouse, greater sandhill crane, mountain sucker and northern leopard frog.
PARKS AND WILDLIFE FINALIZES LATE YOUTH HUNT CHANGES
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission finalized 2013 big-game hunting regulations at its meeting in Westminster on Thursday and Friday. The largest change in regulations from previous years is a modification to the late youth elk hunt program. Originally developed to help address over-populations of elk on agricultural, private lands in western Colorado, the late youth elk hunting program is transitioning to continue offering hunting opportunity at a time when elk populations are being reduced to desired long-term levels. In 2013, youth with an unfilled limited cow or either-sex elk license will be able to hunt late seasons in the general area of their original license. While this is a restriction from larger late hunt areas allowed in the past, the Commission and Colorado Parks and Wildlife remain committed to find innovative ways to get youth hunters in the field.
STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT REPORTS SIGNIFICANTLY HIGH FLU ACTIVITY
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is reporting significant influenza activity in the state, with a total of 244 people from 22 counties hospitalized with the flu. In addition, two pediatric deaths associated with influenza also have been reported, one in Denver County and the other in Jefferson County. The two deaths occurred between mid-November and mid-December. Both children were under age 3, and one had underlying health conditions. In previous years, anywhere from 0-12 pediatric deaths have occurred. The CDC reports, based on limited testing thus far, the 2012-2103 vaccine is well-matched to influenza strains circulating nationally this season. You’ll find more information about this year’s strain by clicking here.
VETERANS CAN STILL GET FREE FLU SHOTS
Veterans can still get free flu shots at the Grand Junction VA Medical Center satellite site in Craig. Veterans are encouraged to get the shot even if they have already had the flu as there is more than one type. This is the most severe flu season in several years. Studies show the flu shot immunity lasts much longer than previously believed and the flu season has become increasingly unpredictable. Veterans do not have to be enrolled with the VA Medical Center to receive the shot. They just need to provide proof of military service. The Craig clinic is open from 8 to 4 Monday through Friday, and serves patients on a walk-in basis.
HICKENLOOPER PROMOTES HEALTH IN STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS
In the words of Governor John Hickenlooper, “Belief in a better tomorrow is the story of the West,” and according to his State of the State address, he believes the coming year can bring about positive changes to Colorado’s health care systems, both public and private. After previously announcing Colorado’s intent to expand the Medicaid program under the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act, Hickenlooper used the address to call on the State Legislature to help expand coverage in a way that “increases value, reduces expenses and doesn’t require additional General Fund dollars.” He also reflected on the passage in 2009, of HB 09-1293 that funded a number of Medicaid program expansions, including most recently coverage for 10,000 Adults without Dependent Children (AWDC). The Governor also talked about the need to continue working on other issues, like housing, that would greatly impact the homeless population.
COMPANIES LOOKING AT WELLNESS PROGRAMS FOR EMPLOYEES
Companies hoping to cut their health care costs are increasingly looking at adding wellness programs to improve employees’ health. Dr. James Hill of the University of Colorado School of Medicine says various studies have shown the programs can improve employees’ fitness and lower health care costs, but employees don’t always take advantage of the programs. Colorado-based TeleTech Holdings is among companies that have developed a wellness program to help manage health care expenses. Employee Michelle Ebert says it has helped her lose 80 pounds over the last two years. Meanwhile, the company says its health care costs have remained flat due to a combination of factors, including fewer emergency room visits, fewer health claims and changes in the design of health plans.
In high school sports:
Over the weekend:
Steamboat’s boys and girls both lost to Palisade, Friday (boys= 36-41; girls= 35-47), then lost to Delta Saturday (boys= 55-48; girls= 58-26).
The Soroco boys topped Vail Mountain Friday (80-35), then beat West Grand Saturday (68-65). The girls also beat West Grand (47-27).
The Hayden boys beat West Grand (85-47), while the girls lost (46-31). The Hayden boys also beat Vail Mountain (68-29)
The Little Snake River Valley boys and girls beat Big Piney (boys= 67-55; girls= 26-23). Both teams also topped H.E.M. (boys= 47-22; girls= 39-26).
Moffat County’s boys and girls topped Aspen (boys= 45-35; girls= 62-19).
The Meeker boys and girls beat Hotchkiss (boys= 52-37, girls= 51-46). The boys also beat Paonia (62-49), while the girls lost (47-35).
The Rangely boys and girls lost to Paonia (boys= 66-59; girls= 54-35).
Steamboat placed 4 wrestlers at Eagle Valley. Soroco placed 1.
Steamboat beat Cherry Creek (4-2).
In girls swimming:
Moffat County won their invite.
Soroco hosts Denver. The girls play at 4 and the boys at 5:30.
Rangely hosts Meeker. The boys play at 6 and the girls at 7:30.
Hayden hosts Steamboat’s JV squad. The girls play at 4:30 and the boys at 6.