NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR SUNDAY, MAY 5TH

Grass Fire South of Craig

The Craig Fire Department took about an hour and a half to extinguish a grass fire on South Ranney Saturday afternoon.  The fire, just south of the Yampa River Bridge along the east side of the road, burned less than an acre and no property was damaged.  The cause of the fire remains undetermined.

 

Pickup crashes into Eagle River near Wolcott

Two occupants of a pickup were able to walk away from a crash that ended in the swift-moving Eagle River on Saturday near Wolcott.   Just before 1 p.m., 21-year-old John Baker, of Eagle, was driving a 1996 Toyota Pickup westbound on Highway 6 in between Eagle and Wolcott when he drove off the right side of the road. After falling down about 20 feet off the edge road, the vehicle landed on its wheels in the middle of the Eagle River. Baker and his male passenger were treated on scene for minor injuries, and Baker was issued a citation for careless driving.

Parks and Wildlife Commission to meet in Grand Junction

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will finalize 2013 big-game hunting license numbers when it travels to Grand Junction for its May meeting on Thursday, May 9. In addition, the Commission will consider an emergency regulation to protect a population of stocked tiger muskies in Harvey Gap Reservoir north of Rifle.  The meeting will be held at the Doubletree Hotel located at 743 Horizon Drive in Grand Junction, beginning at 8:30 a.m. A full agenda and meeting details are available online.

Thursday’s agenda includes official Commission action to set the number of limited hunting licenses for deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and black bear for the upcoming 2013 fall big-game seasons. The Commission will also consider an emergency regulation to prohibit the use of spearfishing, archery or gigs for the take of northern pike at Harvey Gap Reservoir. Fishery managers plan to introduce a number of 22-to-24-inch tiger muskies into Harvey Gap to assist in balancing the northern pike population. As sterile fish, tiger muskies are also expected to grow rapidly and create fishing opportunity in the future. However, unlike northern pike, tiger muskies can’t reproduce so they pose less risk to endangered fish populations in the Upper Colorado River basin. To protect the newly introduced fish, methods that target larger fish such as spearfishing, archery fishing and gigging will be suspended at Harvey Gap if the measure is approved.  The Commission will also include staff presentations regarding proposed changes for the 2013-2014 migratory bird hunting seasons, proposed changes to the regulations for sanctuaries and commercial wildlife parks, as well as standard monthly updates on financial, legal and regional issues. The meeting is scheduled to adjourn at 5:15 p.m.  The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission sets regulations and policies for Colorado’s state parks and wildlife programs. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission meets monthly and travels to communities around the state to facilitate public participation in its processes. The commission is scheduled to travel to Walden, Gunnison, Trinidad, Montrose, Lamar and Pueblo later this year.

Members of the public who are unable to attend Parks and Wildlife Commission meetings or workshops can listen to the proceedings online. To access the live audio feed during the meeting, click on the “listen to live audio” link at the bottom of the commission webpage.

How to Make Your Garden More Environmentally Friendly

Spring is here, which means it’s time to slip those green thumbs into some gardening gloves.  And if you want to feel truly good about what you grow, consider upgrading your garden to be more planet-friendly.  Here are some ideas to consider:

Grow Your Own Dinner

Grow the vegetables, herbs and flowers that you would normally purchase for your dinner and floral arrangements.  Local is more sustainable because it reduces the carbon footprint associated with transport. And you can’t get more local than your own backyard!

Encourage Pollination

Pollination is crucial for agricultural production and the health of the ecosystem. Unfortunately, many pollinating insects are highly susceptible to environmental changes and have in recent years, suffered major population decline.  You can help local pollinators thrive by planting a variety of native species of varying colors and shapes and reducing your use of pesticides.

Be Bird-Friendly

No garden is truly complete without regular visits from birds. Encourage flying visitors by installing a feeder and bird bath.  According to a study published in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology, billions of birds die annually worldwide from collisions with windows.  So if you’re going to send out the mass invite to these beautiful creatures, don’t forget to make it hazard-free for their arrival.

Compost

By composting, you will not only reduce your home’s overall waste, you’ll also create a rich soil that can be used in your garden to cultivate plants naturally. Be careful what you compost, however. Sawdust from chemically treated wood, diseased plants, and even walnuts, when composted, can create soil that’s hazardous to both plants and people.

Home Ownership at 18-Year Low

Home ownership in the United States fell to the lowest rate in nearly 18 years, due largely to a rise in investor-owned rentals and tight credit for mortgage seekers.  The share of Americans who own their own homes was 65 percent in the first quarter of this year, down from 65.4 percent a year ago and the lowest level since the third quarter of 1995, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday.  The vacancy rate for rented homes fell to 8.6 percent from 8.8 percent a year earlier, while vacancies for owner-occupied homes also dipped slightly.  “Investors are buying single-family homes and renting them out to capitalize on demand among families unable to qualify for a mortgage,” Bloomberg disclosed.  Purchases by investors, many of whom pay in cash, are helping to push prices up. Home values in 20 cities rose 9.3 percent in February from a year earlier.    “Because lending standards remain tight, the everyday home shopper is often losing out to investors able to pay cash.”  The dwindling supply of available houses also is constraining home ownership. The number of homes on the market in March was down nearly 17 percent from a year earlier, pushing prices higher.  Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and San Francisco were the four cities with the highest year-over-year price increases in the Case-Shiller index, considered the most reliable analysis of home values.  Home ownership peaked at 69.2 percent in June 2004, due in large part to the easy credit that led to the housing bubble.

In high school sports over the weekend:

In girls soccer:
Moffat County beat Grand Junction Central (1-0).

In baseball:
Steamboat played a double header with Summit
Moffat County fell to Roaring Fork in both games of a double header 16-4, 7-1

In boys lacrosse:
Steamboat beat Grand Junction 11-9

In girls lacrosse:
Steamboat fell to Durango 10-8

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