Plan for Green Mountain Reservoir upgrades due soon

A map prepared by the Forest Service and its consultants early in the process shows one possible option for improvements at Green Mountain Reservoir. A full-size version of the map is at the end of the story.

Forest Service rangers say a draft environental study should be done in April, giving the public a chance to comment on alternatives; project to be funded with $1.4 million from federal stimulus package

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — A draft plan for improving camping facilities and upgrading access to Green Mountain reservoir should be complete sometime next month and available for public review and comment in April, rangers with the Dillon District of the U.S. Forest Service said last week.

Proposed improvements could include 40 new campsites at the Cow Creek area, on the east side of the reservoir, as well as road repairs and construction at various camping and recreational sites. Improving access from Highway 9 to the recreation areas is a key part of the plan, as is determining a potential location for a new marina.

Forest Service land specialist Paul Semmer said the draft environmental assessment will present a few different alternatives for public review and input.

“The Cow Creek area is emerging as the preferred option,” Semmer said, explaining that deeper water, shelter from wind, and the ability to control boat access to prevent the spread of non-native mussels are the main factors. Continue reading

Reward for Summit lynx poaching information increased

PHOTO BY TANYA SHENK, COLORADO DIVISION OF WILDLIFE. Conservation groups have teamed up to offer a $5,300 reward for information on an illegal lynx killing near Heeney in mid-January.

Conservation groups pitch in $5,300 to increase the reward for information on illegal lynx killing near Green Mountain Reservoir in mid-January

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Conservation groups have teamed up to increase the reward for information on a lynx poaching near Heeney in mid-January. Six groups pooled money to raise the reward to a total of $5,800.

“The Colorado Division of Wildlife understands that help from the public is critical in solving these kinds of cases,” said  Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton. “We appreciate the assistance of these organizations in stepping forward to help us catch the person responsible for this crime.”

Wildlife biologists picked up a mortality signal from the lynx’s collar Jan. 18. They found the collar and nearby evidence that the cat was killed illegally. The carcass was missing.

The thirteen year-old female, was one of the first  lynx to be released in Colorado when a reintroduction effort started in 1999. Known to researchers as AK-99-F05, she was brought to Colorado from Alaska and was released in the San Juan Mountains.  Over the next several years, she ranged hundreds of miles across Colorado, living for periods of time near Silverton, in Rocky Mountain National Park, and above Cataract Lake in northern Summit County, and crossing Vail Pass at least once.

Tips on the lynx killing can be made anonymously through the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-877-265-6648. Continue reading

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