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Colorado: State wildlife experts support grassroots push to improve wildlife safety along Highway 9

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Wildlife underpasses could help improve safety along Colorado Highway 9 between Green Mountain Reservoir and Kremmling.

Improvements would reduce costly and deadly vehicle-wildlife collisions

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado wildlife officials say they’re supporting a grassroots drive to raise money for wildlife overpasses and underpasses along Highway 9, near Kremmling. The goal is to reduce the number of vehicle-wildlife collisions on a 10.6-mile stretch of the highway between Green Mountain Reservoir and the Colorado River near Kremmling.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, wildlife collisions in this area have led to nearly 600 vehicular accidents in the last 20 years, including 16 human fatalities and almost 200 injuries. About 35 percent of the collisions were wildlife related. In addition, there have been nearly 450 animals killed — mostly mule deer — in the last eight years. Continue reading

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Summit Voice: Most viewed stories & weekend headlines

Health, environment and climate in the news

Dillon Reservoir.

SUMMIT COUNTY — A health story about the link between exposure to PCBs and breast cancer was the run-away top story of the week, garnering more than 4,000 page views, followed by a handful of environment and weather stories that each picked up between 650 and 900 views. Click on the headline to read the story and use the share buttons at the end of each post to share the love.

Weekend Headlines:

Morning photo: Lake Hill sunrise

Perfect sunrise

Full moon setting Sunday, Sept. 30, over Buffalo Mountain, Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO — Sunday morning’s session started out as a quest to capture a few shots of the moon set, but I was running a little late, so my hasty set-up at the Old Dillon Reservoir trail head didn’t yield the best shots. Once the moon dropped behind Buffalo’s broad shoulder, I meandered up the trail to the edge of the new Old Dillon Reservoir, which still awaits its first fill. It’s a great spot for morning panos, with a sweeping view from the Continental Divide near the Eisenhower Tunnel, to Grays and Torreys and west to a semi-compressed view of the Tenmile Range. With breakfast or school lunches to prepare, I had a little extra time to wait out the sunrise, a Rocky Mountain classic with multiple layers of clouds helping create some amazing light.

Instead of just squeezing off a few quick shots, I had time to experiment with different camera settings to maximize the dramatic light spilling down the canyons.

Continue reading

Colorado: Hazy skies may clear this weekend

Hazy skies from wildfires to the northwest should give way to a southwest flow and perhaps a chance for some precipitation late in the weekend or early next week.

Incoming storm should shift the winds and may drop a little rain early next week

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The hazy skies over Summit County and the rest of Colorado should clear this weekend, as a significant change in the weather pattern will bring southwest winds, along with a chance of showers, during the second half of the weekend and into the first part of next week.

The haze is from forest fires burning in the Pacific Northwest and the northern Rockies. The ridge of high pressure that has prevailed over the Rockies the past few weeks has brought steady upper-air winds from the northwest, carrying the smoke into the area. Continue reading

Colorado: Gore Range search for hunters ends well

Three helicopters help deploy search teams

Hunters reported as missing by their family were found between Black Lake (upper right) and Mt. Powell (lower left).

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — A major rescue operation at the north end of Summit County ended well as a group of hunters was found safe and sound a few days after they sent a couple of text messages to their family indicating they might be in trouble.

The initial texts were sent by the hunters as early as Wednesday, but the full-scale search didn’t start until Saturday, when three helicopters — including two brand new Lakotas — from Buckley Air Force Base joined in the mission.

Summit County Rescue Group, joined by teams from Clear Creek County and Vail, had as many as 18 people in the field in various parts of the Gore Range, said SCRG member Dan Burnett.

The hunters were all in good health and unharmed when a search party found them Saturday afternoon.

Morning photo: Monsoon moisture

Finally!

Early morning sunshine highlights dew drops on aspen leaves.

SUMMIT COUNTY —The rains came, at least for a few days, leaving the high country gloriously damp and sparkly in the early morning sunlight. Nuff said … Continue reading

Colorado: Forest Service to drop fees at Cataract Lake

Day-use at Green Mountain Reservoir will once again be free after years of wrangling over a federal lands recreation fee program.

Revised plan for Green Mountain Reservoir, Cataract Lake area gets provisional OK from advisory group

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — This land is once again your land for free, at least at the popular Cataract Lake trailhead in northern Summit County, where the U.S. Forest Service has been charging a feee to park and hike since the late 1990s.

But last week, a citizen advisory committee voted to a approve a revised recreation plan for the larger Green Mountain Reservoir area, including Cataract Lake, and the new plan ends the unpopular Cataract Lake parking and hiking fee, as well as day use fees at Green Mountain Reservoir. The new plan also reconfigures camping fees to a basic per-site charge, with extra fees for extra cars.

A couple of caveats: The vote by the Colorado Recreation Resource Advisory Committee apparently was incomplete, with a few members missing, so it’s not altogether clear if the vote will stick, Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest Supervisor Rick Cooksey, the designated federal official on the recreation advisory panel. Cooksey said he will speak with the members who were absent from the meeting to try and get their approval for the Green Mountain-area plan. Continue reading

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