MULE DEER FOUNDATION EXPRESSES CONCERNS OVER SHUTDOWN
Yesterday, the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) and other major sportsmen’s groups from across the country held a conference call with members from the press to discuss concerns and impacts of the federal government shutdown. As hunting season kicks into high gear across the U.S., MDF President and CEO Miles Moretti noted one major concern is that Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management facilities and campgrounds are closed, leaving hunters, literally, out in the cold. Moretti also expressed concern that habitat projects, many long-term and ongoing, are being put on hold. He said some projects are time sensitive, and need to be done in the fall. They may not occur this year, or they may have to be postponed, and Moretti says that’s disturbing, because the projects are critical to the management of some wildlife species, especially big game animals. His third area of concern is the lack of work being done regarding the Sage Grouse Initiative. He says there’s a very short window before a decision is made about placing the bird on the endagered species list, and they’ve been working hard to keep that from happening.
PRESENTATION ON PROPOSED TAX PLANNED IN STEAMBOAT
A presentation will be held next week on the proposed accommodation tax question that will appear on ballots in Steamboat next month. Referendum 2A will collect money for trails expansion and open space purchases for a riverside promenade on Yampa Street. The Yampa River Promenade project and the Steamboat Trails Alliance will make the presentation, explaining the tax, and then answering questions afterward. The presentation takes place October 15th at 6 at Library Hall.
HUNTERS WITH TAGS IN FLOOD AREAS MAY GET REFUNDS
If you have a tag for Northeastern Colorado, a few game management units will have refunds offered for rifle seasons in response to the flood, but many units are huntable as additional lands and properties return to normal in that region. Colorado Parks and Wildlife previously offered exchanges or refunds and reinstatement of preference points for hunters in units and seasons adversely affected by the flood in the early seasons. All hunters are strongly encouraged to scout their hunting area in the daylight since the traditional hunting areas and the access paths have likely been considerably altered. Look out for debris including downed barbwire fences and expect to find minimal foot bridges to cross sloughs, as many of those have been washed away and have not yet been replaced. It is the hunter’s responsibility to know if they are on public or private land, and hunters are encouraged to carry property ownership maps to help them since fences and other boundary markers have been damaged.
LOTTERY CRITICIZED FOR STAFF BONUSES
The Colorado Lottery is getting criticized for its sales staff bonuses. State auditors say the Lottery has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars without tying the payouts the actual sale performances. An audit yesterday found bonuses from the Colorado Lottery rapidly increased from $68,000 in 2009 to $394,000 last year. That’s for about 30 sales staff. But lottery officials note that bonuses awarded before the recession, in 2008, were $406,000. Department of Revenue Executive Director Barbara Brohl says lottery officials are already making changes to the bonus program. Bonus payouts have been reduced by half, and officials are making sure they’re tied to sales goals. Since 1983, the Colorado Lottery has distributed $2.6 billion to state parks and wildlife, capital construction projects, and Great Outdoors Colorado.
ROCK SPRINGS MAN KILLED IN INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT
A Rock Springs man was killed in an industrial mishap early Sunday morning. In a joint release, Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell and County Coroner Dale Majhanovich said Mark Christopher Stassinos, 44, was operating a bulldozer at Bridger Coal east of Rock Springs a little after 2:30 in the morning, when the machine went off a high wall and plunged down to the wall’s base. Stassinos, the dozer’s lone occupant, was thrown from the cab and died from injuries he sustained. The Mine Safety and Health Administration was notified and will continue the investigation. Majhanovich said an autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday.
CRAIG CHAMBER’S CRABFEST IS SATURDAY
The Craig Chamber’s Annual Crabfest takes place this weekend. The night is a fundraiser. Dinner will be King Crab Legs, sides and desser. There will be live and silent auctions, and comedian Sam Adams returns to the event. Tickets are $50 and are available at the Craig Chamber. It takes place Saturday at 6 at the Boys and Girls Club of Craig. For more information call the Craig Chamber at 824-5689.
In high school sports:
Moffat County hosts Cedaredge at 5.
Steamboat welcomes Summit at 6:30.
In boys soccer:
Moffat County is home against Grand Valley at 4.