STAGECOACH TO HOLD FISHING TOURNAMENT
Steamboat Great Outdoors will be hosting the 3rd Annual Steamboat Great Outdoors Ice Fishing Tournament at Stagecoach State Park later this month. The tournament is limited to trout species only. Cash prizes will be awarded and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Oak Creek Fire Corps. The tournament is limited to 200 adult entries. Youth can participate for free and are eligible for non-cash prizes. Adult advance registration is $25 and the day of the event is $35. For tournament rules and registration forms please click here.
PARKS AND WILDLIFE TO UPDATE HUNTING REGULATIONS
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will meet January 9th and 10th to finalize 2014 big game hunting regulations, give final consideration to the wildlife mitigation plan for the proposed expansion of Chatfield Reservoir, and give final consideration to a ban on the use of “drones” for hunting or scouting. Other items on the January meeting agenda include a Thursday afternoon overview of hunting participation in Colorado. On Friday morning, Commissioners will vote on regulations that include a ban on the use of unmanned aircraft, or “drones,” in hunting or scouting. While drones are not commonly used currently, the increasing affordability of new flight and video technology has raised concerns about the possibility of drone use for hunting. Commissioners will consider two dozen other regulatory changes to the 2014 big game regulations that range from establishing new hunts in some units to developing a non-resident big game and fishing combination license. The January meeting will be held at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Hunter Education Classroom in Denver.
STATE PATROL WARNS AGAINST DRIVING HIGH
As marijuana becomes available for recreational use throughout Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) remind motorists that it is illegal to drive while impaired by marijuana. Similar to alcohol, there is an established impairment level in Colorado of five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the active psychoactive component of marijuana—per milliliter of whole blood. Driving while impaired by any substance is illegal and unsafe. According to the Colorado Judicial Branch, there were 24,742 DUI and DWAI cases filed in 2012 throughout the state of Colorado. CDOT has been working alongside the marijuana industry and other state and local agencies for the past six months to develop policies and education efforts to inform marijuana users about the dangers of driving while impaired. In addition to driving impaired, it is also illegal to consume or display marijuana on any public roadway, to have marijuana in the passenger area of a vehicle in an open container, container with a broken seal, or if there is evidence marijuana has been consumed.
BALLOT MEASURE WOULD ALLOW COMMUNITIES TO BAN FRACKING
A community activist says an organization is drafting a ballot measure to allow local governments in Colorado to ban or restrict oil and gas drilling in their areas. Cliff Willmeng says the Colorado Community Rights Network plans to submit the proposed amendment to the state constitution in the next week or so. Willmeng says the measure would allow communities to limit hydraulic fracturing, along with other projects from the planting of genetically modified crops to cyanide use in gold mining and the construction of dams. The measure, once submitted, would qualify for the November ballot if it receives 86,105 valid signatures. Doug Flanders of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association says such a measure would have negative impacts beyond oil and gas development.
PRISON GUARDS MAKE OVER $9M IN OVERTIME PAY
A legislative analysis finds that overtime costs for Colorado prison guards have increased by $9 million a year. The increase is reportedly due to provision a new law that turned a Fort Lyon prison into a facility to help the homeless. The legislation shortened the work periods for computing overtime for guards from 28 days to 14 days. It also required overtime pay when a guard works more than 85 days in a 14-day period and when guards work 12 or more hours in a day. The analysis says those provisions eliminated the Corrections Department’s discretionary ability to pay cash or compensatory time for overtime. The analysis says after the legislation went into effect in August, overtime jumped from $213,438 to $960,000 a month.