FRISCO — Getting to close to wild animals is never a good idea, especially when the critters stand eight feet tall and weighs more than 1,000 pounds. Colorado wildlife officials are once again warning of the dangers getting too close to moose, after an incident in Grand Lake.
Tuesday afternoon, a cow moose injured a 60 year-old woman as she walked her dog in a neighborhood southwest of Grand Lake, along County Road 4721.
“It’s an unfortunate situation for the victim in this case, and we hope she has a quick recovery,” said Lyle Sidener, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “This is a reminder that approaching these large animals can in certain situations be dangerous.” Continue reading “Colorado: Moose incident prompts warning”→
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.
Historic agreement hailed as start of a new collaborative era
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — A major water agreement aimed at ending decades of feuding and litigation between the Front Range and the West Slope moved one step closer to completion this week, as Denver Water, Summit County and Grand County representatives inked the deal at a ceremony in Hot Sulphur Springs.
Along with being hailed as a model of collaboration by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, the deal also gives all the parties some certainties as to the future management and disposition of the state’s most precious resource.
Against a backdrop of an intensifying mountain drought, Hickenlooper said this year’s dry conditions magnify the need for cooperative solutions and highlight the fragility of the state’s rivers in the face of possible climate change impacts and increasing demand from a growing population.
New settling pond will help improve water quality in Grand County stream
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — With its flows reduced by upstream tributary diversions, and its river-bottom cobbles choked by highway traction sand, the Fraser River has long been a symbol of the imbalance between resource protection and other uses of water in Colorado.
But the Grand County stream will soon get partial relief, as various agencies from both sides of the Continental Divide teamed up to construct a settling pond near the entrance to the Mary Jane ski area in a project tha symbolizes an emerging spirit of tran-smountain cooperation.
Better maintenance and capture of highway sand can help reduce impacts to tiny aquatic organisms that form the base of the food chain in the river, helping to sustain healthy fisheries. The larvae of the aquatic insects need a coarse bed of rocks at the bottom of the stream to thrive. When the sand fills in all the gaps between the rocks, the bugs have nowhere to go.
The settling pond will also protect municipal and resort water infrastructure and equipment.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Community leaders and water managers from both sides of the Continental Divide said Thursday that a proposed new water agreement should end decades of hostility and litigation over Colorado River diversions from the West Slope to the Front Range.
The deal was reached after five years of mediated negotiations and commits Denver Water to capping its service area and boosting water conservation and recycling efforts. Additionally, the utility will pay millions of dollars for stream improvements on the Colorado and its tributaries, and promises not to initiate any new West Slope water development projects without approval from the source area.
Key parts of the agreement, including changes in operations at Green Mountain Reservoir, and water use related to operation of the Shoshone power plant, still require buy-in from entities not party to the current agreement.
Though hailed as a “global” solution, the deal also would sanction an additional 15,000 acre-feet of diversions from the Colorado River headwaters to the Front Range, exacerbating an entirely different set of issues farther downstream — in the Grand Canyon, for example, where a recent report concluded that existing diversions are already damaging natural resources.
It covers existing diversions and projects, but conservation advocates were careful to point out that the agreement does not encompass the effects of two large Grand County projects currently under review — the expansion of the Moffat Tunnel collection system and the Windy Gap firming project, along the upper Colorado. Click here to read the full legal version of the deal.
“We have an obligation to the rest of Colorado … to develop, manage and use our water supplies responsibly and act with integrity,” said Denver Water manager Jim Lochhead. “We have taken responsibility for our impacts to the West Slope,” he added, acknowledging that decades of diversions have degraded aquatic habitat in numerous rivers and streams. Continue reading “Colorado: Proposed water deal could end decades of fighting”→
Technical meeting held to discuss ways to reduce environmental impacts from proposed new diversions in Grand County
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —Some impacts to Grand County streams from new diversions could be at least partially addressed by making channels deeper, managing stream-side vegetation to provide more shade and carefully timing reservoir releases to mimic natural flows, according to discussions at technical workshop held last week in Winter Park.