On Dec. 28, 2012, Routt County recorded a Donation Deed for 120 acres to the United States in California Park, 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 (Forest Road 150.1) passes through it.

The Hahns Peak/Bears Ears (HPBE) Ranger District had been working with the private landowner to exchange or buy the inholding within California Park. The landowner had expressed desire for the Forest to own the land and ultimately decided to donate the property.

The National Forest System lands surrounding this inholding are designated through the 1997 Routt National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan as the California Park Special Interest Area (SIA), due to the diversity of the historical and biological resources values present. These values include pre-historic archaeological finds, homesteads and cabins, and historic stock driveways. The parcel will be managed to protect or enhance the characteristics of the SIA.

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.

The property includes approximately 14 acres of wetlands associated with Armstrong and Elkhead Creeks.  Federal ownership of this parcel ensures the unified management of one of the highest value watersheds on the HPBE Ranger District. The acquisition also protects the high-quality scenery of the corridor, and will protect the California Park SIA from the impacts of potential private development on the property.

Ultimately this land acquisition is in the public interest and meets goals, objectives and policies identified in the Routt National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan.


The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission finalized 2013 big-game hunting regulations at its meeting in Westminster on Thursday, Jan. 10 and Friday, Jan. 11.  The largest change in regulations from previous years is a modification to the late youth elk hunt program. Originally developed to help address overpopulations 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.


In the words of Governor John Hickenlooper, “Belief in a better tomorrow is the story of the West,” and according to yesterday’s 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 announcing Colorado’s intent to expand the Medicaid program under the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act last week, 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 another health achievement, 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.


The Hayden High School drama department is providing entertainment this weekend.  The department is presenting an evening of comedy with “The Boarding House”.  Performances will be at 7 tomorrow night, and again at 1:30 Sunday afternoon.  The show will be held in the high school’s auditorium.  If you have questions, or would like to get tickets, call 276-4533.


Veterans can still get free flu shots at the Grand Junction VA Medical Center and its satellite sites in Craig, Glenwood Springs, Montrose and Moab.  The medical center’s clinic is open weekdays 9 a.m. – noon, and 1 – 4 p.m. through the flu season.
The VA Medical Center’s satellite clinics have the following flu shot hours:

  • Montrose CBOC, Walk-In Clinic, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Monday – Friday or call for appointment (970) 249-7792
  • Glenwood Springs, Walk-In Clinic, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday. For details, call 970-945-1007
  • Craig, Maj. William E. Adams, TeleHealth Clinic, Walk-In, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday
  • Moab, Utah, Please call ahead (435) 719-4144

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.
For details on the flu vaccine visit .



Health officials are reporting widespread influenza outbreaks in 47 of 50 states, up from just a week ago. One age group hit particularly hard is children and the American Red Cross has some steps parents can teach their kids to help them avoid getting sick.

Some children have gotten so sick they have had to be hospitalized. According to the Centers for Disease Control, while some of the children hospitalized had underlying medical conditions such as asthma, more than 40 percent of hospitalized children had no other medical conditions.


WASHING HANDS Kids have a way of picking up colds and other illnesses. Parents should teach children proper hand washing techniques and how to correctly cover coughs or sneezes. Washing hands properly is an important step to avoid getting the flu. Wash hands with soap and warm water. When using soap and water:

·         Wash for at least 20 seconds, covering the entire hand including fingernails and under jewelry. Younger children can be taught to sing a short song like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” or the “Happy Birthday” song a few times, which will ensure they wash for at least 20 seconds.

·         Rinse and dry thoroughly with a disposable towel.

·         Use the towel to turn off the faucet.

If using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:

·         Rub thoroughly over the entire hand, including nail areas and between the fingers.

·         Continue to rub until the product dries.

In high school sports:

In basketball:
Steamboat’s boys and girls both lost to Palisade (boys= 36-41; girls= 35-47).
The Soroco boys topped Vail Mountain (80-35).
The Hayden boys beat West Grand (85-47), while the girls lost (46-31).
The Little Snake River Valley boys beat Big Piney (67-55).

In basketball:
Steamboat is home against Delta.  The girls tip off at 1 and the boys at 2:30.
Soroco welcomes West Grand.  The girls play at 1 and the boys at 2:30.
Meeker hosts Paonia.  The girls tip off at 4 and the boys at 5:30.
The Hayden boys are on the road to Vail Mountain at 1.
Little Snake River Valley travels to H.E.M.
Rangely hosts Hotchkiss.  The girls play at 2:30 and the boys at 4.
Moffat County hosts Aspen.  The girls play at 2 and the boys at 3:30.

In wrestling:
Steamboat, Meeker and Soroco are on the road to Eagle Valley.
Rangely continues at the Tournament of Champions in Vernal.

In hockey:
Steamboat goes to Cherry Creek for a game at 6.

In girls swimming:
Moffat County hosts a meet at 10.

In Nordic skiing:
Steamboat hosts an event at Howelson Hill at noon.

The Denver Broncos host the Baltimore Ravens in a Divisional playoff game today.  You can catch all the action live on 55 Country, with the pregame at noon and the kick-off at 2:30.

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