Colorado Parks and Wildlife is looking to add members to its Summit County Wildlife Transport Team, an all volunteer group of citizens devoted to helping the agency respond to wildlife emergencies.
Interested residents can get more information at a May 16 information session, 7 p.m. at the North Branch Library in Silverthorne. During the session, CPW will screen applicants and review requirements and expectations.
“Volunteers help us by responding and assisting with certain types of wildlife calls, usually small mammals and birds that are injured or causing a nuisance,” said District Wildlife Manager Elissa Knox of Summit County. “Our current team has several seasoned volunteers that are an invaluable asset. We encourage people to join them and help us educate the public and help wildlife.” Continue reading “Volunteers needed for Summit County wildlife rescue team”→
Sometime around late March, when late-winter blizzards roar, a summer fever can set it. We can’t speed up the seasons, but through the lens, we can recapture a sense months gone by. This set highlights a few scenes from July and August 2015 and offers a promise of another summer ahead. Visit our online gallery to see more fine art landscape photography from Colorado and around the world.
FRISCO —I made it out for an early morning photo sesh/dogwalk today, heading to one of my favorite wrinkled areas along the shore of Dillon Reservoir. This particular stretch of shoreline is notched by deep coves, which is good for photography, because you can find different vantage points, in relation to the water and the mountains, to make the most of the reflections, and using the vegetation along the water’s edge to help frame the scenes. Once again, I was struck by how fast our area’s lodgepole pine forests are regrowing after the pine beetle outbreak that move through the north-central Colorado mountains in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In places that were logged early, many of the new trees are already two- to four-feet tall and growing densely, just like the old lodgepole pine forest. This morning’s clouds, fueled with moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Dolores, helped soften the light. Click on the images in this set to choose the full-size option, especially for the pano shot, and visit our online Fine Art America gallery for more Colorado landscape photography.
FRISCO — Ongoing efforts to improve fire safety in Summit County have paid off, as local communities saw their fire-insurance ratings improve, according to the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District.
Firefighter training, fire-prevention efforts and community outreach and education all helped improve the scores from the Insurance Services Office, an industry data-collection group that assigns a public-protection classification from 1 to 10 for more than 48,000 communities nationwide.
Larksput, one of the most delicate of meadow wildflowers. They are usually deep blue — this is the first time I’ve seen this shade.
In a meadow north of Silverthorne, Colorado, these wild lupines stood out as the only cluster of pink blooms in a sea of blue lupines.
Wildflower meadow in the Williams Fork Range.
Swan Mountain wildflowers at sunset.
Pussy paws, everywhere!
FRISCO — Wow! Colorado wildflowers are awesome most years. Even when things are on the drier side, the shady, cool nooks and crannies in the mountains yield abundant blossoms, but in a year like this, with prolonged spring rains, the plants have really responded. In some places where there may only be a few clumps in average or dry years, the entire ground is covered with a brilliant carpet of blooms. Get out there and enjoy!
FRISCO — Flows in the Lower Blue River, below Dillon Dam, are going up again.
With snowmelt speeding up under warm and sunny skies, Denver is boosting the outflow to 1,800 cfs to avoid a scenario where Dillon Reservoir spills at a level that causes outflows to go over that level.
That’s exactly what could happen without upping controlled releases now, Denver Water spokesman Matt Wittern said via email.
“Our experts predict that, if we maintained 1,700 cfs outflow and inflows remain around 2,400, Dillon Reservoir would be full and spilling within a week,” Wittern said. That could bring excessive flows and the potential for flooding below Dillon Reservoir.
Wittern said Denver Water is estimating the remaining snowpack in the Blue River as equivalent to between five and seven inches of water near Hoosier and Fremont passes.
That snow is melting fast, with no letup in sight. Inflows from runoff into Dillon Reservoir averaged 2,467 cfs Tuesday, which was well above current and planned outflows. And those inflows aren’t expected to drop below 1,700 cfs in the next seven days, which means Dillon Reservoir will continue to fill quickly, at the rate of about six inches per day. As of Wednesday, the reservoir was 3.25 feet below capacity.
Wittern also explained that Denver Water can’t legally divert water through the Roberts Tunnel if it’s not needed.
“Right now water levels are very high on the South PIatte River, eliminating this action as an option,” he said.
Troy Wineland, state water commissioner for the Blue River, said property owners in the Lower Blue who face flooding risks can prepare by perusing Summit County’s High Water Preparedness” manual which includes instructions on sandbag preparation and placement, as well as free sand / bag supply locations.
Wineland also said water users in the Lower Blue should be aware that higher flows will push more water through diversions, possibly over-topping in irrigation ditches.
*Story corrected at 2 p.m. Dillon Reservoir outflow to the Blue River increased to 1,600 cfs Monday, July 15.
FRISCO — Dillon Reservoir should be full within a week, according to the latest update from Denver Water, which just bumped up the outflow to the Lower Blue to make room for more runoff the next few days.
As of June 15, Denver Water was releasing about 1.600 cubic feet per second from Dillon Reservoir, with about 2,200 cfs flowing in from the Blue River and its tributaries. And Denver Water is expecting more high inflows for the foreseeable future, according to a recent email update:
“A fresh look at the estimated level of snowpack above Dillon Reservoir … tells us there is still eight inches of snow in some places, meaning high flows can be expected for the foreseeable future. The good news is that inflows to Dillon Reservoir – which have ranged from 2,206 to 2,623 over the past several days – appear to be trending downward.”Continue reading “Summit County: Dillon Reservoir expected to fill within a week”→