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Colorado: Powderhorn ski area to be sold at auction

Small area near Grand Junction has seen its share of financial ups and downs

Powderhorn Ski Area is located on the Grand Mesa, near Grand Junction, Colorado.

Powderhorn trail map.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — It’s not every day that a ski area goes up for sale, but Powderhorn, a small family oriented area on the Grand Mesa, near Grand Junction, is heading to the auction block August 4.

The property for sale includes four ski lifts, about 750 acres of real estate, a lodge with 16 guest rooms, as well as the mountain operations building, equipment maintenance facility, dry storage building and an administrative building. The ski area includes 600 acres of maintained terrain spread over 44 trails on national forest lands. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Tour de Colorado

Roadside sweet spots

Sunset on the Bookcliffs near Palisade, Colorado.

SUMMIT COUNTY — With a few really busy days on tap, I quickly reached into the archives to pull out a few favorite Colorado scenes from some well-known — and a few lesser-known spots. Colorado is an amazing state for scenery. Many of these shots were taken from turnouts along major highways. A few I’ve left unidentified. Can you guess where they are?

A Colorado school bus.

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Summit County: New campsites at Green Mountain Reservoir

The Forest Service will spend $1.475 million on improvements at Green Mountain Reservoir this summer.

Improved sites for hosts at Cow Creek South, upgraded highway intersection in the works

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — About $1.475 million in federal stimulus funding will be spent on improvements at Green Mountain Reservoir this summer, as the U.S. Forest Service finalized contracts for the work at the end of 2010.

The key projects are improving the intersection at Highway 9 and the Cow Creek campground access road, as well as a new camping loop with 13 sites at Cow Creek South with improved spots for campground hosts. Continue reading

Fire used to treat declining aspen stands in Colorado

Forest Service rangers will try and use fire to regenerate aspen stands affected by sudden aspen decline with a controlled burn in the Battlements Roadless Area in western Colorado. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN

500-acre prescribed fire under way near Collbran

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — As a Colorado landmark tree, the aspen gets a lot of attention, especially this time of year, when the stands are vibrant with fiery fall color.

This week, a different sort of blaze will roar through a 500-acre stand of aspens in the Battlements Roadless area north of Collbran, where land managers are using a prescribed burn to treat an area affected by sudden aspen decline, the term for a sudden die-back of the trees linked to stress from the 2002 drought.

The pace of the die-back has slowed considerably in the past couple of years, but Forest Service researchers are still trying to figure out how they might be able to revitalize some of the areas that were hit.

And even though sudden aspen decline has slowed in southwest Colorado, there is still a slower trend of aspen decline across the state, attributed in part to fire suppression, as well to over-grazing of young stands by elk.

Aspens are an important part of Colorado’s forest ecosystems. The groves provide good habitat for cavity nesting birds, and the understory is much more diverse than in many evergreen forests, with shrubs and berries that provide an important food source for many animals. Continue reading

Grand Mesa to celebrate ‘Moose Day”

Colorado's largest mammal is establishing a self-sustaining population on the Grand Mesa. PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO DIVISION OF WILDLIFE.

Large ungulates thriving in various parts of Colorado; see some video clips of moose in Summit County at the Summit Voice YouTube channel

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — With the Grand Mesa moose herd at 150 animals and growing, The Colorado Division of Wildlife and residents of the area have teamed up celebrate the big critters with a day of their own.

Saturday, July 31, is Grand Mesa Moose Day, with moose viewing information, presentations about moose biology and moose history, presentations on how biologists transplant and track moose, and even a puppet show, all from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the U.S. Forest Service visitor center atop Grand Mesa on Highway 65.

“Moose sightings are always fun for people and they’re becoming more common on the Grand Mesa as the population grows,” said Trina Romero, Colorado Division of Wildlife Watchable Wildlife Coordinator. “This event will teach people safe ways to see the moose and some great facts about moose in Colorado.” Continue reading

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