NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7TH

BEARS EARS TEA PARTY PATRIOTS TO HOLD GUN RIGHTS DISCUSSION

The Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots will hold a discussion tonight regarding the 2nd amendment.  Recent gun control efforts have left some wondering what their rights are now, and what they might be in the future.  Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz will be the guest speaker.  The discussion will be held tonight at 7 at the American Legion post in the Shadow Mountain Subdivision.  Everyone is welcome, and there is no cost to attend.

 

BLM REMINDS PEOPLE TO OBSERVE SEASONAL CLOSURES

The Bureau of Land Management is reminding people to observe seasonal closures in place at Emerald Mountain near Steamboat to protect wintering and calving elk.  All areas south of the Ridge Trail in BLM’s Emerald Mountain Special Recreation Management Area are closed to human entry from Dec 1st to June 30th to protect elk during their sensitive winter and calving seasons. This includes the Beall Trail and Kemry Draw. This closure corresponds with Colorado Parks and Wildlife lands to the east of the management area and the Humble Ranch property to the southeast.  Little Snake Field Manager Wendy Reynolds says they have seen numerous violations of this closure this winter, and she’s worried it will have a negative impact on the wildlife.  Violating the closure will result in citations and a minimum $175 fine.  If you have questions, call the BLM’s Little Snake Field Office.

 

SURVEY SHOWS SPRUCE BEETLE EPIDEMIC IS SPREADING FASTER

An annual aerial survey of forest health in Colorado shows the mountain pine beetle epidemic is slowing dramatically, but the spruce beetle outbreak is expanding.  The U.S. Forest Service and Colorado State Forest Service said yesterday that the mountain pine beetle epidemic has spread by 31,000 acres, down from an increase of 140,000 acres reported last year. Since the first signs of the outbreak in 1996, the infestation has grown to nearly 3.4 million acres, or roughly 5,300 square miles. The infestation remains active from Estes Park to Leadville.  Meanwhile the spruce beetle outbreak spread to 183,000 new acres in 2012, bringing total infestation since 1996 to about 924,000 acres.  Beetle activity has increased as trees have been stressed by factors including dense stands of trees, drought and warmer winters.

 

CARDBOARD BOX DERBY TO HIGHLIGHT WINTER FESTIVAL

Cardboard sled enthusiasts in Craig are being reminded to get their sleds built within the next week.  The 6th annual Cardboard Box Derby takes place during the Winter Festival at Wyman Living History Museum February 16th.  Prizes will be awarded for most creative sled, people’s choice, and the fastest sled.  The day also features the 2nd annual ice fishing derby for kids 16 and under.  The Colorado Division of Wildlife will provide poles and will drill the holes in the ice.  There will also be prizes awarded in that contest.  Sled builders need to have their sleds registered in the Staging Area by 11 on the morning of the 16th.  Judging for people’s choice and most creative will take place at 1, followed by the race to determine fastest sled.  If you need more information, call 824-6346.

 

PARKS AND WILDLIFE FORMING SPORTSMEN ROUNDTABLE

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is forming Regional Sportsmen’s Caucuses and the agency is inviting all active hunters and anglers from the northwest region to meet and discuss wildlife issues with managers, biologists and agency officials in Grand Junction later this month.  In addition to the wildlife-related discussion, attendees will select two delegates to represent the region’s wildlife concerns at the newly formed Sportsmen’s Roundtable to be held in Denver next month.  The roundtable will provide hunters and anglers from the four regions of the state with direct access to agency officials, including wildlife commissioners.  Although any member of the public can attend and provide input at the local caucuses, delegates and members of the Sportsmen’s Roundtable must be licensed and active anglers or hunters. All participants in the roundtable must commit to attend the bi-annual regional caucuses and Sportsmen’s Roundtable meetings and serve a two-year term.  The Sportsmen’s Roundtable will consist of 24 members – 16 statewide members and two delegates from each of the four regions.  You can apply online by clicking here.

 

LEGISLATION INTRODUCED TO MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO PLEAD INSANITY

A Colorado lawmaker wants to make it more difficult for defense attorneys to prove their clients are not guilty by reason of insanity.  Republican Representative Frank McNulty is sponsoring legislation that would put a greater burden on defense teams to prove insanity by clear and convincing evidence, instead of the current standard where prosecutors have to prove defendants are sane.  The bill is up for its first vote in a House committee today.  The proposal seeks to address high-profile cases where the insanity defense is expected to come to play.  One of those cases involves Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes.  His attorneys have said he’s mentally ill. Holmes has not entered a plea yet.

 

STATEWIDE HOTLINE SET UP TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE

Colorado officials are setting up a statewide telephone hotline for people to report child abuse and neglect.  The plans are expected to be announced today.  The reforms follow the deaths of 175 children under state supervision over the past six years.  The state will also build a website where the public can see how county child welfare departments are faring at protecting children.

 

COLORADO GETS HIGH MARKS FOR ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATION

The Pew Charitable Trusts released its report showing Colorado in the top four states for election administration. According to its Elections Performance Index, Colorado ranked 12th for the 2008 election and improved to fourth for the 2010 election. And Colorado’s elections got even better for the 2012 election.  The Elections Performance Index gave Colorado particularly high marks for its high voter turnout, acceptance rate of military and overseas ballots, and online voter registration and lookup tools. The report also states, “Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin were among the highest-performing states during both the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.”  For the 2012 election, Colorado released the nation’s first web-optimized online voter registration and lookup and an expanded statewide electronic ballot delivery system for Colorado’s military and overseas voters.

In high school sports:
Today:

In basketball:
Little Snake River Valley is home against Saratoga.

In wrestling:
Hayden hosts a triangular with Soroco and Steamboat attending.

In alpine skiing:
Steamboat goes to Loveland.

Tomorrow:
In basketball:
Steamboat goes to Palisade.  The girls play at 6 and the boys at 7:30.
The Rangely boys hosts Vail Mountain at 7.
Soroco is home against North Park.  The girls play at 4:30 and the boys at 6.
Meeker welcomes Plateau Valley.
Hayden hosts West Grand.  The girls play at 7 and the boys at 8:30.

In wrestling:
Moffat County goes to Cedaredge.
Meeker goes to the Paonia Duals.

In hockey:
Steamboat is home against Fountain Valley at 6:30.

In girls swimming:
Moffat County competes at state.

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