Wildlife: Sandhill cranes migrating through Colorado

Tours and viewing opportunities abound in San Luis Valley

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Sandhill cranes. Photo courtesy USFWS.

Staff Report

One of Colorado’s great wildlife migrations peaks this weekend, as vast flocks of sandhill cranes stop in the San Luis Valley on their way from New Mexico north to Montana, Idaho and Canada. By mid-march, the fields, ranches and wetlands in the valley may see as many as 25,000 cranes.

“People in Colorado should take time to see the cranes; the migration is truly one of nature’s wonders,” said Rick Basagoitia, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the San Luis Valley.

The annual San Luis Valley Crane Festival is scheduled for this weekend, March 13-15. The cranes start arriving in late-February, stopping in the valley to rest-up and re-fuel for the rest of the trip. Continue reading

Morning photo: Psychedelic skies

Summit stunners …


FRISCO — After a couple of grayish days here in the high country of Colorado, I got to yearning for some vivid colors, so I perused the Summit Voice photo archives for some Saturday morning eyecandy. Frozen or thawed, the waters of Meadow Creek, where they meld with Dillon Reservoir, offer a perfect mirror for a groovy sunset or sunrise. For daily photography updates, follow our Instagram feed, and visit our online gallery for an amazing selection of prints and greeting cards.

Morning photo: Mountainscapes!

… And more


FRISCO — From the pastels of a tender dusk to the Kodachrome intensity of a snow-covered fence, Colorado’s winter landscapes are inspiring and soothing. But you have to be ready for the chill to get some of the best images. All the shots in this set were taken either early in the morning or in the evening at temperatures well below freezing, except for the snow fence, which helps show the elasticity of snow, an amazing substance made of crystals that can behave like a plastic. For daily photography updates, follow our Instagram feed, and visit our online gallery for an amazing selection of prints and greeting cards

March storms bring Colorado snowpack to near average

Southern mountains get huge snowpack boost

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Early March storms helped bring the Colorado snowpack to near normal.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Colorado’s statewide snowpack continues to track near average for the winter, as two weeks of wet weather helped especially to bolster water supplies in the southern mountains.

But despite substantial accumulations statewide, the snowpack is still below average, at 87 percent of normal as of March 1. SNOTEL data shows that, during the nine-day period of February 20 through March 1, the state received 2.0 inches of snow water equivalent, 181 percent of the normal for that period.

Preliminary numbers from early March show an additional 7 percent gain between March 1 and March 5 — but with only 20 percent of the mountain snowpack accumulation season remaining, time is dwindling to close the gap and reach typical statewide peak snowpack levels. Continue reading

Colorado: House committee rejects clumsy GOP attempt to roll back renewable energy target

Playing politics with our future

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Got wind?

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Colorado won’t be lowering its 30 percent renewable energy target anytime soon, as lawmakers on a State House committee yesterday rejected a measure that would have cut the renewable energy standard from 30 percent to 15 percent. Continue reading

Morning photo: Winter wonders

Winding down …

FRISCO —Though the equinox is still a few weeks away, the last day of February marks the end of the meteorological winter, so you might see your local TV forecaster talking about spring. Here in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, this may well go down in history as one of the mildest winters on record, as both low and high temperatures ran well above average for weeks on end. We still had our share of snow and frost, but if these past few months are a harbinger of global warming, then we’re probably in trouble. Wouldn’t it be sad if our kids and grandkids couldn’t enjoy the gorgeous frozen landscapes shown in this set? For daily photography updates, follow our Instagram feed, and visit our online gallery for an amazing selection of prints and greeting cards.

More fracking woes in southwest Colorado

BLM rejects request for orderly master leasing plan

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The BLM’s new management plan for the Tres Rios area is spurring criticism.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Residents and elected officials in southwest Colorado say a new management plan for a vast swath of public lands in the region favors oil and gas companies over community interests.

According to critics, the BLM Tres Rios land resource management plan would allow drilling near the edge of Mesa Verde National Park, adding to near-critical air pollution woes and disturbing important wildlife areas.

Most importantly, the federal agency ignored requests by local governments to ensure the orderly and safe development of fossil fuels. Continue reading

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