NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND

BLM APPROVES LEASE SALE FOR N.W. COLO COAL MINE

Yesterday the Bureau of Land Management signed a final decision to offer 3,157 acres of federal coal reserves in Rio Blanco and Moffat counties in a future competitive coal lease sale.  Blue Mountain Energy Inc. submitted a Lease by Application for this parcel adjacent to its Deserado Mine, which is seven miles northeast of Rangely, and currently employs 164 people. The BLM estimates the parcel contains 21 million tons of saleable coal.  The BLM conducted an environmental assessment that included two opportunities for public comment on the proposed lease. A 30-day appeal period follows yesterday’s decision. A sealed bid, competitive coal lease sale will be scheduled following the appeal period.  The decision and final environmental assessment is available by clicking here.  About 90 percent of coal deposits in Colorado occur on public lands.  Currently, there are nine producing coal mines (seven underground and two surface operations) encompassing 75,000 acres in the state.  In Fiscal Year 2011, coal energy production on BLM Colorado’s public lands directly contributed $884 million to the economy.

 

STATE WORKERS IN LINE FOR PAY RAISE

Colorado state workers may be getting bigger pay raises this year.  State employees have not had a raise in four years and they were forced to take furloughs and pay cuts during the recession.  Governor John Hickenlooper had recommended a 1.5 percent pay raise for state workers, with the potential for similar merit raise.  State lawmakers on Wednesday proposed a 2 percent pay hike.

NATIONAL PARKS SERVICE SEEKS TO UPGRADE INTERNET SERVICE

The National Park Service is partnering with a trade association to expand Internet service in national parks.  Proponents say the plan is not to wire every nook and cranny within the 59 national parks, which cover nearly 52 million acres across the U.S.  Instead, the emphasis by the National Park Hospitality Association is on boosting cellphone and Internet coverage at park entrances, lodges, visitor centers and major traffic corridors.  Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the crown jewels of the national park system, is not on the list of up to a dozen parks on the list for the experiment, but other Colorado national parks, including Mesa Verde in the southwest part of the state, may not be out of the woods yet.

In high school sports:
Yesterday:

In basketball:
Moffat County’s boys and girls beat Olathe.  (boys=36-35; girls=38-35).
The Steamboat boys and girls topped Summit.  (boys=39-35; girls=63-23).
Soroco’s boys and girls fell to Meeker.  (boys=64-43; girls=54-37).
The Hayden defeated Rangely (49-42) while the girls lost (49-35).
Little Snake River Valley’s boys and girls beat Encampment (boys=38-36; girls=46-29).

In wrestling:
Moffat County fell to Meeker (43-24).

In hockey:
Steamboat fell to Regis Jesuit (7-0).

Today:
In basketball:
Steamboat goes to Rifle.  The girls play at 4 and the boys at 5:30.
Rangely hosts Soroco.  The girls tip off at 2:30 and the boys at 4.
Meeker is home against Hayden.  The girls start at 1:30 and the boys at 3.
Little Snake River Valley hosts Manilla, Utah.
Moffat County hosts Gunnison.  You can catch all the action live on KRAI with the pre-game at 3:45.  The girls tip-off at 4 and the boys at 5:30.  You can also listen online.

In wrestling:
Steamboat goes to Thomas Jefferson.
Rangely goes to a tournament in Grand Junction.
Soroco is on the road to Center at 9.
Meeker attends a tournament in Coal Ridge

In hockey:
Steamboat is on the road to Dakota Ridge at 6:15.

In girls swimming:
Moffat County continues at Colorado Mesa University.

In Nordic skiing:
Steamboat goes to Lake County at 10.