Tuesday, August 27, 2013

RMEF Grant to Help Wolf Management in Wyoming

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently announced that a $50,000 grant from the organization will assist the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) with its wolf management plan.

The funding will expand WGFD’s knowledge of predator-prey interactions between wolves and elk. It will also expand the radio collar program to help managers better understand the home range, territory size, pack size and other biological traits and actions of the wolf so they can better implement management techniques.

“It is vital that state agencies have a firm grasp on predator populations in order to properly implement science-based management practices,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “This grant will help WGFD gain more knowledge to better understand its wolf population so it can better implement its approved wolf management plan.”

"Our partnership with the RMEF is extremely valuable to us and this grant shows how this relationship continues to develop great opportunities for conservation," said Tom Ryder, Wildlife Assistant Division Chief for WGFD. “This grant will help the Department execute its adaptive wolf management plan by helping to increase our knowledge of wolf/elk interactions, wolf home range, and pack and territory size. Each of these biological components is important for the management plan and to our shared constituents."

In keeping with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, RMEF supports state-regulated hunting and trapping as the preferred tools of wolf management. RMEF staunchly supports management to balance and control wolf populations.

RMEF also remains committed to learning more about wolves through research efforts. Since 1989, RMEF invested nearly $664,000 in research grants to advance scientific understanding of wolves, wolf interactions with other species, and overall wolf management. The total includes $174,079 in Wyoming-specific research projects and more than $200,000 in science grants in just the past five years. Most of the contributions paid for independent research by leading universities, state and federal wildlife conservation agencies and tribes.

“Part of RMEF’s mission is to ensure the future of elk and other wildlife,” said Allen. “This grant helps managers do just that in Wyoming by helping them know how many wolves are out there, where they travel and what effect they have on elk, deer and other ungulates.”

RMEF will allocate nearly $2.9 million for elk and wildlife-related conservation projects in 27 states with wild, free-ranging elk populations in 2013. Additionally $570,000 will also be allocated to hunting heritage programs in 49 states.


Monday, August 26, 2013

U.S. Forest Service to Begin Fall Tours of Picket Wire Canyonlands

The U.S. Forest Service will offer guided tours into Picket Wire Canyonlands south of La Junta on the Comanche National Grassland. Fall tours begin Sunday, September 1st and run through October 19th , 2013, and will take place on Saturdays. This year two Sunday tours (September 1st and October 13th) will also be offered.

These primitive canyons are home to the largest dinosaur track site in North America.

Guided auto tours are the easiest way to visit Picket Wire Canyonlands and learn about its rich, colorful past. During the tour, knowledgeable guides show visitors difficult to find dinosaur tracks and point out the interesting prehistoric, historic and natural features of the canyons.

All day tours (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) are offered on Saturdays and selected Sundays in May, June, September and October for a small fee. Due to rough roads, visitors will need their own four-wheel drive vehicle. To make reservations go to: www.recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777.

For additional information about Picket Wire Canyonlands or the Comanche National Grassland, call the U.S. Forest Service at 719-384-2181 or visit the website.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Young Gulch Trail Volunteer Day

As part of the continuing effort to restore forest trails following the High Park Fire, the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV) are coordinating a volunteer day for the Young Gulch Trail in the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests on September 7th.

Volunteers of all skill levels can participate, but must be at least 18 years old. Work will include moving rocks to create water dams, stabilizing stream crossings, building a retaining wall, weed management and moving down trees to help with soil conservation – restoration that will help stabilize the trail and limit erosion. Forest Service crews have done some work along the trail to make it safer for volunteers, including cutting hazardous trees along the route.

Up to 100 people could participate in this event. Volunteers are asked to carpool due to the limited parking at the trailhead. Volunteers need to wear long sleeved shirts and pants (no shorts), gloves, and work boots. Hard hats and tools will be provided. Be sure to bring lunch and water.

To register, or for additional information, please click here.

Please note that an area closure is still in place for much of the High Park Fire burn area. This is due to both safety concerns from flash floods and restoration efforts. For more information about recreation opportunities on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District, please call visitor information at 970-295-6700 or check the web at www.fs.usda.gov/arp.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Climber’s Body Recovered

Corey Stewart's body was recovered yesterday morning by helicopter from Lumpy Ridge, an area just north of Estes Park in Rocky Mountain National Park. His body was transferred to the Larimer County Coroner's Office. Stewart, a twenty-two year old man from Newton, New Jersey, fell on Thursday, August 22nd. Stewart was enrolled as a student at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Park rangers were notified around 12:30 p.m. yesterday, via cell phone that he had fallen 30 feet while climbing Batman Pinnacle on Lumpy Ridge, a popular rock climbing area within the park. Minutes later people on scene started CPR on the victim. He did not recover.

No further information is available at this time.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Another Climbing Fatality In Rocky Mountain National Park

Park rangers were notified yesterday around 12:30 p.m. via cell phone that a 22-year-old male had fallen 30 feet while climbing Batman Pinnacle on Lumpy Ridge, a popular rock climbing area within the park. Minutes later people on scene started CPR on the victim. He did not recover.

His body is located approximately 2 miles from the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead in steep, rugged terrain with loose rock and scree. Since the incident, numerous severe thunderstorms have moved through the area with intense lightning and heavy rain causing wet, slick rocks. Due to the current conditions and location of the man's body, recovery efforts will take place today, weather permitting. Rangers planned to remain on the scene through the night.

The approach to Batman Pinnacle and Lightning Rock formations will be closed until recovery efforts are complete.

The man is from New Jersey but was currently living in Fort Collins. His body will be transferred to the Larimer County Coroner's Office. His name will not be released until next of kin are notified. No further information is available at this time.

Last week a man died while climbing the Keyhole Route on Longs Peak. The next day another climber suffered serious injuries after taking a 50-foot roped fall on the same mountain.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

U.S. Forest Service hazard tree removal, temporary road closures in Clear Creek County

As part of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland Hazard Tree Removal Decision, U.S. Forest Service contractor crews are scheduled to fell dead and dying trees along Bard Creek and Stevens Gulch Roads.

Bard Creek Road work, south of Empire, Colo., begins this week and Stevens Gulch Road work, leading to Torrey’s and Grays Peak Trailhead, begins Sept. 3. Cutting operations could last up to two weeks at each location.

Drivers on Bard Creek and Stevens Gulch Roads may encounter traffic delays lasting up to 15 minutes. Signs will be posted in project areas and crew members in orange will be present to maintain safe traffic flow. Hunters and hikers on foot should avoid tree felling activities. Equipment operations may be audible to visitors or seasonal residents.

Dropped trees will not be removed from the site. Firewood from these areas will be available with an appropriate firewood permit and can be purchased at the Clear Creek Ranger District Visitor Center at 101 Highway 103 in Idaho Springs, Colo. For more information call Visitor Information Services at 303-567-3000.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Learn about wolves, wolf-hybrids at Navajo State Park

If you've ever wanted to learn about wolves, you should plan on attending a special event on Labor Day weekend at Navajo State Park.

Wolfwood Refuge, a wildlife sanctuary in Ignacio, will be bringing Trinity, a full-blooded wolf, wolf-hybrids and other dogs to the park and present a program about these special animals. Staff members of Wolfwood will talk about wolves, explain the role of sanctuaries and about their work to preserve wolves. Those attending the program will be allowed to interact with the animals.

Wolfwood is a state-licensed non-profit facility that promotes the understanding of wolves and their relationships with humans. The organization travels throughout the state and makes educational presentations.

All wolves and wolf-hybrids in Colorado are captive. There are no wild wolves in Colorado.

The Wolfwood program is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, August 31st, at the visitors' center at Navajo State Park. The program is free. Entrance to the park costs $7 per car.

Navajo State Park is located about 30 miles southwest of Pagosa Springs. For more information about the park or the program, please call 970-883-2208.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fall Elk Viewing at RMNP

The following is a guest blog by Outdoor Look: 

You can always see wildlife at Rocky Mountain National Park – the variety and abundance is amazing all year around, but the fall brings the opportunity to see Elk in full antlered glory as the rut or mating season takes place. The large bulls travel more and are less shy during this time period, thus providing more viewing opportunities, and the sounds of their calls can be heard echoing across the meadows and fields.

If you want to take advantage of this opportunity there are important tips to remember. First and foremost is that viewing wildlife is best done from a distance. A quality pair of binoculars is both safer and allows for better viewing than attempting to get as close as possible. The goal should be to observe elk in their natural environment and acting naturally. The closer you get the more likely you are to disturb them from their natural routine. While not considered overly dangerous, elk are large animals and you should take heed of their strength and ability to do harm if provoked or scared.

There are many ways to search for elk but the key to all of them is patience. Using binoculars to glass a meadow as you wait patiently is more productive than hiking through the woods and trying to “sneak up on them”. You’re certain to spot many other interesting animals while waiting, from small squirrels to mule tail deer, black bear, or even an outside possibility of a mountain lion. Particularly in the case of bear or lions, prudence is best. Don’t ever approach them, and follow the safety tips provided by the park service. The truth is you are far more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by a lion, but common sense should be heeded.

Sitting still in one place for long hours patiently waiting is far more comfortable if dressed for the occasion. If you hike into a likely spot you should have a warm jacket available, as well as a hat and gloves. That rugged outdoor look in dressing has a purpose - to stay warm. Good waterproof outer layers will keep you from cutting your day short, or risking hypothermia trying to stick it out after becoming cold and wet. Having extra layers to add after reaching your destination will provide comfort, and won’t cause overheating or sweating during your hike, which will make the cold more noticeable once you stop moving.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Climbers Body Recovered From Longs Peak

Paul Nahon's body was recovered yesterday morning by helicopter from below The Narrows on Longs Peak. His body was transferred to the Boulder County Coroner's Office. Nahon, a twenty year old man from Springfield, Missouri, fell approximately 150 feet on Thursday morning, August 15.

As rangers were beginning the recovery efforts on Friday morning, August 16, they were notified of a fallen technical climber on the east face of Longs Peak who took an approximate 50 foot roped fall and suffered numerous serious injuries.

Resources gathered for the recovery efforts on Friday, were then focused on assisting the 34 year old climber, Christian Mason from Arvada, Colorado. The resources that were already in place and the timeliness of the response were critical in getting Mason advanced medical care. Rangers performed a technical lower of 500 feet down the North Chimney. The team carried Mason in a litter to Mills Glacier, at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, August 16. He was flown by St. Anthony Flight for Life to St. Anthony's Hospital.

No further information is available at this time.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Routt National Forest Visitors Reminded of Access and Camping Options During USA Pro Challenge

Stage 3 of the 2013 USA Pro Cycling Challenge will be visiting Steamboat Springs this Wednesday. Due to the closure of US Highway 40 over Rabbit Ears Pass for the race, Forest visitors should be aware that access to this part of the Routt National Forest will be temporarily affected. Closures are being coordinated with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and are expected to run between approximately 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on August 21st.

In addition to all Forest access roads that intersect Highway 40, this short-term closure will affect access to and from several popular picnic areas, campgrounds and trailheads accessed from the highway.

Race spectators who will be camping on the National Forest near the race course are reminded to contact the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District for details on acceptable dispersed camping locations and regulations.

Campers are reminded of the following restrictions.

· Except in marked sensitive areas, dispersed camping is allowed in most locations.

· Campers should rehabilitate their dispersed site by removing fire rings, or not have campfires.

· No camping at the East Summit Parking Lots.

· No camping within 1/4 mile of Meadows or Dumont Lake Campgrounds, including the access road to Meadows Campground.

For information about alternative National Forest access points, developed recreation areas, or dispersed camping opportunities, contact the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District at 970-870-2299.

For more information on the USA Pro Challenge, please click here.


Saturday, August 17, 2013


In this episode of the Colorado Parks & Wildlife outdoor survival video series, outdoor expert Peter Kummerfeldt discusses signaling for help in the backcountry:


Friday, August 16, 2013

Longs Peak climber falls - Suffers numerous injuries - Recovery efforts delayed for man who died yesterday

This morning at 7:30 a.m., as recovery operations were beginning for Paul Nahon, the man who died yesterday after falling from The Narrows along the Keyhole Route, Rocky Mountain National Park rangers were notified of another incident. A technical climber on the east face of Longs Peak took an approximate 50 foot roped fall and suffered numerous injuries.

Resources gathered for the recovery efforts are now being focused on assisting the 34 year old climber. A park ranger/park medic came up the North Chimney and reached the man at 11:30 a.m. Two additional rangers rappelled from Chasm View to the man. Operations are underway to conduct a technical rescue. Rangers will perform a technical lower 500 feet down the North Chimney and connect with other resources. The team will then carry the patient in a litter to an area where he can be flown to further medical care, if weather and time permits.

Park rangers are being assisted by Rocky Mountain Rescue and Larimer County Search and Rescue.

Recovery efforts for Paul Nahon's body will be delayed until completion of this current rescue. Park staff will evaluate available aircraft, weather conditions and personnel necessary to complete the recovery.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Fatality on Longs Peak This Morning

Rocky Mountain National Park rangers received a 911 call shortly after 8:00 a.m. this morning, reporting that a 24 year old male fell roughly 150 feet from The Narrows on the Keyhole Route on Longs Peak. Initial reports from bystanders indicated the man suffered multiple traumatic injuries. An off-duty park volunteer was in the area with a radio. He and his climbing party descended to the patient. The man survived the fall but later succumbed to his injuries. The group performed CPR but the man perished.

Park rangers began efforts to recover the man's body using a helicopter. Due to high winds the recovery operation was unable to take place this afternoon. Recovery efforts will take place tomorrow, weather permitting. The man's body will be transferred to the Boulder County Coroner's office. Sections of the Keyhole Route may be temporarily closed during air operations.

The man is from Springfield, Missouri. His name will be released when next of kin are notified.

Ice was present along several locations along the Keyhole Route at the time of the incident.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tell it on the Mountain

What crosses 60 mountain passes, 19 canyons, 7 national parks, 3 national monuments, 24 national forests and 33 federal wilderness areas? If you answered the Pacific Crest Trail, you would be correct.

Ever since reading Skywalker and Dances with Marmots over the last year, my interest in the 2663-mile Pacific Crest Trail has been piqued. In fact, the section of the PCT that follows along with the John Muir Trail is something I would absolutely love to tackle someday. Then, last week, I received an email from Shaun Carrigan asking if I would be interested in reviewing a new film that he's produced about the trail. Well, naturally, I jumped on the opportunity.

Tell it on the Mountain - Tales from the Pacific Crest Trail follows several thru-hikers as they attempt to hike the first national scenic trail (designated at the same time as the Appalachian Trail in 1968). This included veteran PCT hiker Scott Williamson who happened to be attempting a yo-yo - that is, hiking from Mexico to Canada, and then back to Mexico - in the same season!

The two books I read did a great job of documenting what the authors experienced and what it takes to hike the trail from a personal perspective. However, the film provides multiple viewpoints, as well as the opportunity to actually see many of the places described in those books.

When I first watched the trailer (below), I was a little concerned that the film might fall into the reality TV trap. Fortunately the film-makers didn't stoop to this tired format.

In addition to providing an insider's view into what it takes to spend a half-year living in the wild, Tell it on the Mountain provides a much better understanding of the substantial planning and logistics it takes to tackle a major adventure, such as a thru-hike. The DVD also provides a few video extras, including an extended interview with Donna Saufley, the trail host at "Hiker Heaven" in Agua Dulce, California.

My only complaint, albeit only minor, is that the film didn't spend enough time exploring the magnificent beauty of the trail, especially as it passes through the High Sierra, Yosemite and the other national parks along the way. 

All in all, however, I really enjoyed watching the film. If you've ever considered thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail or any other long distance trail, or if you're just looking for a fun "couch" adventure, I highly recommend this film. You can purchase the DVD (or digital download) on Tellitonthemountain.com or through Amazon.

Here's a sneak peek from the film:


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Participation in Outdoor Activities Hits Six-Year High

Participation in outdoor recreation reached a six-year high in 2012 with 142 million Americans, ages six and older, enjoying the outdoors. That is an increase of about 800,000 outdoor participants since 2011 and equates to a participation rate of 49.4 percent. The findings are part of The Outdoor Foundation's 2013 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, the leading report tracking American participation trends in outdoor recreation with a focus on youth and diversity.

The Outdoor Foundation's seventh annual Outdoor Recreation Participation Report helps the outdoor industry, public agencies and community organizations better understand the trends in outdoor recreation participation, enabling groups to address America's inactivity crisis and the disconnect between children and the outdoors. The report is based on an online survey of more than 40,000 Americans ages six and older and covers 114 different outdoor activities, making it the largest survey of its kind.

The study, which provides an in-depth look at youth, shows mixed results about outdoor participation among America's youngest generations. While youth and young adult participation remained steady since 2011, adolescent participation dropped. The low participation rate can be attributed to a six-percent loss in participation among adolescent girls. On the other hand, adolescent boys' participation continued to rise, adding three-percentage points since 2010.

The insights detailed in the 2013 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report are critical to national efforts seeking to understand outdoor participation and continuing to reverse America's inactivity crisis. Some of the additional findings include:

- While 13 million Americans started participating in outdoor activities in 2012, 12 million stopped. This is a net gain of one million total outdoor participants and a churn rate of 6.8 percent.

- The number of total outdoor outings increased, reaching an all-time high. Americans took 12.4 billion outdoor excursions in 2012, up from 11.5 billion excursions in 2011.

- Adventure racing grew the most over the past five years. The sport increased participation by 211 percent.

- Stand up paddling had the highest number of new participants in the past year. More than half of stand up paddling participants tried the sport for the first time in 2012.

- Almost one-quarter of all outdoor enthusiasts participate in outdoor activities at least twice per week.

- Running, including jogging and trail running, is the most popular activity among Americans when measured by number of participants and by number of total annual outings.

- Youth who do not participate in outdoor activities say they are not interested in the outdoors. For young adults, lack of time is a bigger barrier than lack of interest.

- Introducing outdoor recreation and physical activities early in life has a lasting effect. Among adults who are current outdoor participants, 75 percent had physical education and 42 percent enjoyed outdoor activities in elementary school.

- As seen in previous reports, outdoor participation is highest among Caucasians and lowest among African Americans.

- Although Hispanic Americans have one of the lowest outdoor participation rates, those who do participate go outside as often as Caucasians, who have the highest participation rate.

To download a complete copy of the 2013 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, visit The Outdoor Foundation website.


Monday, August 12, 2013

The National Park Service Turns 97 on August 25th

On Sunday, August 25th, the National Park Service turns 97 years old. To help celebrate, admission to all national parks will be free so that everyone can join in the festivities taking place from coast-to-coast.

“National parks belong to all Americans, and we invite everyone to join us and celebrate this special day,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “From kite-building demonstrations at Wright Brothers National Memorial, to a river paddle at New River Gorge National River or a scenic railroad ride at Steamtown National Historic Site, America’s national parks offer something for the whole family.”

You could also plan a day of hiking at your favorite park, such as in Great Smoky Mountains, Glacier National Park, or Rocky Mountain National Park.

In partnership with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, the NPS has created an online hub to help you plan your own personal National Park Service birthday trip at www.npsbirthday.org. Join the NPS to share birthday wishes or stories, pictures, or video from your latest or favorite national park adventure.

If you can’t make it to a park for the big day there are still many ways you can join the fun. The work of the National Park Service extends beyond park boundaries into communities across the country. The National Park Service works with partners to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities that revitalize neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life. You can visit www.nps.gov/communities/states.htm to see how they help in your community.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Map & Compass

In this episode of the Colorado Parks & Wildlife outdoor survival video series, outdoor expert Peter Kummerfeldt discusses the use of maps and compass in the field:


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Jones Hole Trail Reopens in Dinosaur National Monument

Superintendent Mary Risser announced that the Jones Hole Trail will reopen today, August 10, 2013 at 6:00 am. A portion of Jones Hole Creek will remain closed from the NPS/USFWS fish hatchery boundary to downstream of the rock slide zone. Anglers will be able to access the creek either on USFWS property or starting downstream of the slide area to the confluence with the Green River.

While the rock slide remains potentially active, a recent analysis by a geomorphologist with the National Park Service Geologic Resources Division determined that the trail lies on the outer edge of any potential impact zone. Signs will be posted along the trail that inform visitors that they are entering an active slide and should not linger in the area. If they hear cracking or popping noises from the cliff face, they should leave the area immediately.

The portion of the creek below the slide, however, is within the impact zone and due to the greater potential for injury from falling rocks, it will remain closed indefinitely. "Based upon analysis from our Geologic Resources Division, the risk to anglers in this portion of the creek was quite high," stated Superintendent Risser. "Unlike hikers who will be quickly moving through this area, anglers may be more stationary, giving them a longer exposure to any falling rocks in the area. Also, the sound of the stream impairs the ability of anglers to hear any cracking or popping sounds that may provide warning of any falling rocks." Signs will be posted along the closed section of the creek. Though this ¼ mile section of the creek will remain closed to the public, the remaining 3¾ miles of the creek within Dinosaur National Monument will be open to fishing.

"We know that this is a very popular area of the monument, and we appreciate everyone's patience while we worked to ensure that we could safely reopen the trail and creek to monument visitors," expressed Superintendent Risser.

During several events between June 18 and June 20, 2013, over 2400 m3 (3140 yd3) of rock estimated to weigh over 6,000 metric tonnes (6,600 tn) was released from Weber Sandstone cliffs. The rock fell from a height of 340 m (1,115 ft) into and across Jones Hole Creek about 600 m (1970 ft) downstream from the Jones Hole trailhead and National Fish Hatchery.

According to the report received by the monument, the June 2013 rockfall events initiated on parallel fractures or sheeting joints on the cliff. In the absence of clear triggering events, such as intense or long duration rain storms or an earthquake, it is likely that the cause of the rockfall is related to cycles of thermal expansion and contraction caused by diurnal and/or annual changes in temperature or other rock weathering processes, such as frost weathering. Regardless of the underlying causes, it is likely that there will be more rockfall from this source until the scar more closely resembles previous scar sites where the majority of the material in front of fracture on the cliff has been cleared. It is not possible to determine how long this process will take.

The Jones Hole Trail is a popular hiking trail that connects the Jones Hole Fish Hatchery with the Green River. It's approximately 4.25 miles long one way. The area is also very popular with anglers due to the access to Jones Hole Creek.

For more information on Dinosaur National Monument, please call (435) 781-7700.


U.S. Forest Service to update Magnolia Trails System, seeks public input

U.S. Forest Service Boulder Ranger District (BRD) staff is seeking comments on the proposed action of creating a sustainable non-motorized trail system in the Magnolia area immediately south of the town of Nederland. Comments need to be submitted by email, postal mail, fax or hand delivery before the close of business on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.

BRD officials propose to re-route, create and close specific system and non-system trails. In the proposed action some roads and non-system trails will be converted into official classified trails. Designated trail miles are expected to increase. Social trails not identified on the proposed project map will be scheduled for obliteration. For more information on the proposed action or see a project map, click here.

Additional proposed actions include: obliterating unauthorized trails, prohibiting snowmobiles to protect resources, and restricting mountain bike and equestrian use to designated system trails.

This project would also allow BRD officials to seek opportunities for improving connectivity with Boulder County’s current trail planning project on nearby County Open Space and the Nederland Area Trails Master Plan.

Recently, the West Magnolia fuels reduction project south of the town of Nederland and an analysis of the area’s trail system were completed. The large network of system and non-system trails has experienced a substantial increase in recreation use over the past several decades with substantial resource damage and unmanaged recreation use.

U.S. Forest Service staff will host an informational public meeting at the Nederland Community Center on Monday, August 19, 2013, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. This meeting will be in open house format.

To email comments, send to: comments-rocky-mountain-arapaho-roosevelt-boulder@fs.fed.us To use postal mail send to: Attn: Cat Luna 2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301. For hand delivery to staff, bring to the Boulder Ranger District during office weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., except holidays. To fax written comments use fax number 303-541-2515, Attn: Cat Luna.

The purpose of the public comment period is to identify issues, concerns and suggestions related to the proposed action. In addition, this activity may identify information and management opportunities that could be incorporated into the proposed action, or assist in formulating alternatives to the proposed action.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 included a provision directing the Secretary of Agriculture to replace the Forest Service appeal process with a pre-decisional objection process. Beginning March 27, 2013, this provision went into effect for the Forest Service for NEPA analysis when documented in either an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement.

In order to have standing to object to the project, you must submit a specific written comment during this public scoping and comment period. More information about the Objection Process can be found here: http://www.fs.fed.us/objections/


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Colorado National Monument invites the public to attend listening sessions

Colorado National Monument will host a third listening session at the Glade Park Community Building on Tuesday, August 13th, from 5 to 7 p.m. This series of meetings is designed to gather input from the public about the types of visitor uses, events or activities at the monument.

Monument Superintendent Lisa Eckert said the Glade Park gathering is intended to continue the community dialogue about what commercial and visitor activities are most desired – and appropriate – in the park. On July 9 and 10, similar meetings were held in Fruita and Grand Junction.

"We hope these summer workshops foster an open conversation with folks in the valley about the monument," Eckert said. "We want to hear what uses the community would like to see at the monument, and help build a shared understanding about the monument’s resources and how they are managed. We hope as many people as possible will join in this conversation."

The meeting will be facilitated by CDR Associates, a respected Colorado mediation group. The Glade Park Community Building is located at 101 16.5 Road, just north of the intersection of DS and 16.5 Roads in the vicinity of the Glade Park Store.

For more information, visit the monument’s website at www.nps.gov/colm (or call 1-970-858-3617)


Monday, August 5, 2013

CMC Hike to Black Lake This Friday

The Shining Mountains Group of the Colorado Mountain Club is a leading a hike to Black Lake in the Glacier Gorge area of Rocky Mountain National Park this Friday.

Black Lake is a spectacular alpine lake that fills a deep cirque basin carved out of the base of McHenrys Peak and Chiefs Head Peak. From its north shore you'll also be able to see The Arrowhead and The Spearhead.

Along the way hikers will also visit Mills Lake, Jewel Lake and Ribbon Falls.

Those planning to participate will meet at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center parking lot - at the far end from the buildings at 7:30 AM this Friday, August 9th. Hikers will then carpool to the Glacier Gorge or Bear Lake parking lots. Construction on Bear Lake Road is still going on, so carpooling will be encouraged.

For more information on this CMC hike, please click here, or email: billptrsn@earthlink.net. For more information on hiking to Black Lake, please click here.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Temporary Closure: Devil’s Head Lookout Tower

Volunteers will join skilled instructors from Colorado Preservation, Inc. to restore the deteriorated historic lookout cabin located on Devil’s Head Mountain of the Pike National Forest. The popular Devil’s Head Lookout Tower will be temporarily closed to visitors August 13 - September 6, 2013 due to construction work. Visitors will be able to hike Devils Head Lookout Trail and the stairs leading to the Tower. However, temporary closures may be necessary for safety reasons while materials are transported in and out of the work site.

In addition, the lookout cabin may be open to the public August 31 - September 2 during the Labor Day Holiday. This partnership between Historicorps and the US Forest Service aims to preserve this nationally significant historic site. This project was funded, in part, by a Colorado State Historical Fund Grant from History Colorado and the Colorado Historical Society.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Moose injures hiker near Peaceful Valley

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding the public about the dangers of approaching moose after a woman was injured by a cow moose on Monday, July 29th.

Around 4:15 p.m., a 55-year old woman was hiking with her dogs off leash on the Middle St. Vrain Trail above Camp Dick near Peaceful Valley in Boulder County. She encountered a moose with two calves, which her dogs ran towards. When she moved toward the moose to gather her dogs, she was struck by the adult moose, knocked to the ground and kicked. The injured woman was taken to Longmont United Hospital and then later released.

"I've spoken with the victim in this unfortunate incident and we certainly hope she is feeling better soon," said Larry Rogstad, Area Wildlife Manager for Boulder. "It's important that all recreationists know there is always the potential to encounter moose, as well as bears, elk, and lions in the back country and along Front Range trails. Keeping dogs on a leash and keeping your distance from wildlife is essential for the health and safety of all involved."

Wildlife officers searched the area Monday night and Tuesday afternoon, but could not locate the moose.

Moose do not differentiate dogs from wolves - their natural predator - and will instinctively attempt to stomp them in self-defense. If the dog runs back to its owner for safety, it can bring an angry, thousand pound moose with it, putting people at risk as well.

Late spring is calving season and cow moose will aggressively protect their young through the summer. Wildlife officials advise that people watch all wildlife from a distance with binoculars or a spotting scope. In addition, people should keep their dogs on leashes at all times, especially in areas where moose are common. With their large size and their habit of standing quietly in wet meadows moose may appear to be calm and passive animals. However, when people and their dogs move too close the moose’s disposition can change in the blink of an eye as they charge and aggressively defend their space.

According to Rogstad, “that extra step taken to get that great photo of a moose can result in a tragic outcome for the person and the moose. Please stay back and enjoy wildlife from a distance--that’s what telephoto lenses are for, and when large animals are encountered on the trail please stay back and let them move off.”

For more information about living with wildlife, click here. For more information about how to safely enjoy moose, click here.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Three Visitors Rescued in Three Simultaneous Incidents in Rocky Mountain National Park

NPS Digest is reporting this morning that Rocky Mountain National Park rangers had to respond to three separate incidents at the same time, each one involving a visitor suffering significant lower leg injuries.

On Thursday, July 25th, while climbing on The Left Book formation on Lumpy Ridge, a 23-year-old woman sustained a serious lower leg injury when she took a 20-foot fall on the lower section of the White Whale route. A mountain guide from Colorado Mountain School, the park climbing concessioner, was nearby and provided assistance.

Responding rangers climbed to her location, provided advance life support care, and lowered her to the base of the route. A belayed, low-angle litter lowering and wheeled litter evacuation brought her to Black Canyon meadow, where she was transferred to a ground ambulance. Thunderstorms with rain and lightning added to the challenge of the rescue, precluding use of a helicopter.

Meanwhile, a 45 year-old man was hiking off-trail on the northeast shore of Lake Haiyaha when he took a short fall off a boulder. Unable to walk due to an ankle injury, he notified the park communications center via cell phone and requested assistance. Due to the rugged and challenging terrain along the shores of this lake, responding rangers carried an inflatable raft to the scene, floated the man across the lake, and then carried him a short distance to the designated trail. From here, he was transported to the trailhead via horse.

While resolving the Lake Haiyaha incident, rangers also responded to a motorcycle accident near the east side NPS utility area. The operator of the motorcycle sustained serious lower leg injuries when he dropped his bike while maneuvering a turn. He was treated on scene by rangers then transferred to a ground ambulance.