KINKAID TO MEET WITH OTHER COAL COUNTIES AT NACO
Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid is taking advantage of the contacts being made at the National Association of Counties conference in Washington D.C. Kinkaid says county commissioners from Wyoming’s coal production areas have agreed to meet with him before breaking up to go home. They’ll sit down today to talk about how they can band together to fight for coal in both states. He says county commissioners from Utah are also interested in keeping coal relevant in the energy discussion. Kinkaid says he and other commissioners are convinced more progress is needed on the coal front. Kinkaid says he and the Wyoming officials will talk future strategy. Pictured: John Kinkaid
DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT RELEASES VISITOR NUMBERS
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 302,858 visitors to Dinosaur National Monument in 2012 spent $16,937,000 in communities near the monument. That spending supported 201 jobs in the local area. The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. That supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion. According to the report most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, hotels, motels and B&Bs, and other amusement and recreation.
SWARTOUT JOINS HICKENLOOPER’S STAFF
The man who has been helping Governor Hickenlooper gather critical information about sage grouse in the state, has joined the governor’s staff full-time. John Swartout was hired by Hickenlooper’s administration to gather information on how listing the bird would affect local communities. In his report, Swartout said that listing the bird would be devastating to certain community’s economies. The report has the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reassessing their options, but experts have said it appears the agency will list the bird anyway. Swartout, a republican, started his position in the governor’s policy office yesterday. In the past, Swartout has worked for former Governor Bill Owens, and Former republican Senator Wayne Allard. Pictured: John Swartout
NORTHWEST RAC TO MEET THURSDAY
The Bureau of Land Management’s Northwest Resource Advisory Council will meet Thursday in Silt at the BLM’s Colorado River Valley Field Office. Agenda items include the Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-grouse Environmental Impact Statement, air quality modeling and land use planning, the data management system for the White River Field Office, and field manager updates. The Northwest Colorado RAC meets quarterly in northwestern Colorado. It is one of several citizen advisory councils to BLM Colorado. Its 15 members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior and represent a broad range of public land interests, including environmental, local government, wild horse and burro, and commercial activity. Thursday’s meeting runs from 10 to 3 and is open to the public, with public comment periods scheduled for 11:15 and 2.
PARKS REPORT SHOWS SHUTDOWN COST MILLIONS
The Obama administration says the government shutdown last fall resulted in nearly 8 million fewer visitors to national parks, costing the parks and surrounding communities an estimated $414 million in lost visitor spending. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the shutdown was a striking reminder that national parks are a powerful economic engine for local economies across the country. The report released yesterday said five states, including California and Arizona, lost more than $20 million during the 16-day shutdown. Six states received permission to reopen national parks within their borders using state money. The report said those states generated nearly $10 in visitor spending for every dollar spent. Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New York, South Dakota and Tennessee all reopened parks. A bill is pending in Congress to reimburse those states.
STATE TREASURER REMINDS RESIDENTS OF UNCLAIMED ASSETS
Yesterday, Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton announced the start of the 2014 Great Colorado Payback, a campaign put on every year to raise awareness about Colorado’s unclaimed property division and encourage Coloradans to check for their name in the database that includes thousands of individuals, corporations, schools, hospitals and small businesses. Stapleton is safeguarding over $600 million of forgotten funds and assets. Unclaimed property and cash are turned over to the state once a business is unable to make contact with the owner for five years. To check the database, click here. Pictured: Walker Stapleton
IN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
The Meeker boys and girls basketball teams head into the 2A regional tournament in Palisade this week. In first round action, the girls will play Nucla, the boys will play Resurrection Christian. Also at the tournament in Palisade are the SoRoCo girls who will play Sangre de Cristo. The Rangely boys were placed at a tournament in Durango at Fort Lewis High School where they will face Sangre de Cristo in round 1. The regional brackets for the boys and girls.
The 3A State Championship Basketball boys and girls brackets have been released by CHSAA. Both Moffat County teams will host regional qualifying tournaments at Moffat County High School beginning Friday. In first round games the girls will play Middle Park at 6 pm. The Moffat County boys will play Sheridan at 7:30. Only the team that wins each regional qualifying tournament will advance to the great-eight games on February 13th at the Air Force Academy. 93.7 102.3 KRAI and KRAI.COM will carry live play-by-play of ALL Moffat County games.
In Wyoming 1-A, the Little Snake River Valley girls team will take on Kaycee Thursday at 6pm in the 1st round of the State Tournament. The boys face Upton at 7:30. All games take place at the Casper Events Center. The brackets for the State tournament can be accessed through these links: WY 1-A boys; WY 1-A girls