Saturday, September 16, 2017

Sprague Lake Dam Repair In Rocky Mountain National Park Section Of Trail Around Lake Will Be Closed

Repair to the Sprague Lake Dam in Rocky Mountain National Park will begin next week. Sections of the Dam were damaged when large trees were uprooted during a major wind storm in 2011. Much of the area will still be accessible however a one third section of the trail on the northeast portion of Sprague Lake will be closed through the duration of the project. This aspect of the project is expected to be completed in late October.

Glacier Creek Stables has closed for the season. The road leading to the stables will be closed for the repair work. The park shuttle bus stop, located near the stables, will be temporarily relocated to the Sprague Lake picnic area throughout the remainder of the shuttle bus season, which ends October 9.

For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.



Jeff
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

National Public Lands Days Volunteer Project in RMNP

Rocky Mountain Conservancy and Rocky Mountain National Park will celebrate National Public Lands Day by hosting a volunteer project in Rocky.

National Public Lands Day occurs on the last Saturday of September every year and helps us celebrate the protection of our beautiful public lands throughout the country. As part of the celebration, public lands agencies (including the National Park Service) provide free entry!

Help celebrate our public lands alongside the Conservancy and National Park Service staff by participating in a litter clean-up in RMNP. In the afternoon, you will be able to enjoy the fall colors and the elk rut in Rocky Mountain National Park.

After a busy summer, areas in Rocky are littered with trash and need your help!

Who: People of all ages welcome!*Must be able to walk short distances on uneven terrain.

What: Volunteer litter clean-up

Where: Beaver Point, Rocky Mountain National Park – Meet at the west-end of the parking lot at the Country Market, 900 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517

When: Saturday, September 30th at 9:00AM – 11:00AM

Why: Celebrate National Public Lands Day in Rocky Mountain National Park

For more information contact Geoff Elliot at Geoff.Elliot@rmconservancy.org or (970)586-3262.



Jeff
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Friday, September 8, 2017

Upcoming September Saturday Evening Programs At Rocky Mountain National Park

September is a great time to enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park and experience the fall season. Join a ranger on Saturday nights in September for a special series of evening programs held in the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Auditorium. These 45 minute programs start at 7 p.m.

Saturday, September 9 The Captivating Kingdom of Fungi
This program focuses on human uses of mushrooms, some of the most common edible and non-edible mushrooms in Rocky, and the ways that fungal diversity mirrors overall diversity in the park.

Saturday, September 16 Predators of Rocky
This program highlights the rare and common predators that live in the Rocky Mountains. Discover their power and the role they play in a healthy ecosystem.

Saturday, September 23 Rocky Rocks! 
The story of Rocky’s rocks is the foundation on which all the wonders we see are built - the mountain peaks, valleys, lakes, ecosystems, wildlife, and the weather. Join us for a journey through time to explore what helped sculpt this landscape.

These programs are free and open to the public. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.



Jeff
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Numerous Incidents Recorded Last Month in Rocky Mountain National Park

On Sunday afternoon, August 20, at 2:45 p.m. park rangers received an emergency call from climbers on the Petit Grepon in Rocky Mountain National Park. One of the climbers, a 28 year old male from Kennesaw, Georgia, sustained a 15 foot fall onto a ledge while climbing. He was approximately 700 feet up the climbing route at an elevation of approximately 12,200 feet in elevation. The man sustained numerous injuries from the blunt force of his fall. He was part of a group of three climbers. Shortly thereafter, the man was assisted by five climbers who were not affiliated with his group. They lowered him approximately 600 feet, which greatly assisted with rescue efforts. At 5 p.m. Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue team members arrived on scene and assisted the man down to a ledge approximately 20 feet above the talus slope. The man received advanced medical care from a park paramedic. The man and park search and rescue team members spent the night at that location. On Monday, August 21, at 6:30 a.m. Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members, assisted by Rocky Mountain Rescue, conducted an approximate 1000 foot technical rope lower over the steep talus slope between the base of the Petit Grepon and Sky Pond. At approximately 10:15 a.m. the man was flown from Sky Pond (10,950 feet) by Flight For Life Air Ambulance to Boulder Community Hospital.

On August 22, park rangers located a vehicle at the North Inlet Trailhead parking area that was connected to an advisory regarding a welfare check. The woman’s body was found near Tonahutu Creek close to the trailhead. The woman has been identified as Teresa Sajsa, 59, of Englewood, Colorado. The cause of death will be determined by Grand County Coroner’s office. No further information will be released at this time.

On August 23, park rangers were notified via cell phone that a 73 year old male had taken a tumbling fall while descending Mount Lady Washington in Rocky Mountain National Park above Chasm Lake. Bystanders who witnessed the fall aided the man by performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Rangers were nearby in the Chasm Shelter area and reached the man in 15 minutes. Rangers also performed CPR. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Friday morning, August 25, park rangers were notified by a ranger on a backcountry patrol that a 54 year old male hiker (hometown unknown) had suffered a leg injury above Black Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Additional rangers were sent to assist. Team members, in addition to five bystanders, helped move the man to a nearby alpine meadow where the man was flown at 3:45 p.m. by St. Anthony Flight for Life to Boulder Community Hospital.

On Saturday, August 26, rangers were notified of a deceased man a few yards from the Harbison Picnic Area on the west side of the park. The man has been identified as Michael McQuay, 71, of Estes Park, Colorado, and Laurel, Maryland. The investigation is ongoing, however the death is believed to be from natural causes.

On Sunday, August 27, rangers responded to a 22 year old male from Denver, Colorado, who fell approximately 15 feet below the viewing area at Adams Falls. The man suffered numerous serious injuries. Bystanders in the area assisted the man and notified park rangers at 5:45 p.m. A number of agencies assisted Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members with this extensive rescue effort including Grand County Search and Rescue, Grand County Sheriff’s Department, Grand Lake Fire and Grand County Mountain Medic Response Team. The man was evacuated via a wheeled litter. Teams reached the East Inlet Trailhead at 8:20 p.m. where he was flown by Northern Colorado Med Evac to Denver Medical Health Center.

On Monday, August 28, park rangers were notified around 5 p.m. regarding a 62 year old female from Mineral Point, Wisconsin, who fell from a horse near Granite Falls. She was roughly 6 miles from the Green Mountain Trailhead. Rocky Mountain Search and Rescue Team members reached the group of horseback riders at approximately 8:30 p.m. Grand County Mountain Medic Response Team also assisted on this incident. Due to the time of day and nature of injury, Search and Rescue Team members stayed with the group, including their horses, overnight. The woman was flown from a nearby meadow the next morning, Tuesday, August 29, by Northern Colorado Med Evac to Medical Center of the Rockies. Search and Rescue Team members reached the trailhead the following day at 1:00 p.m.



Jeff
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Friday, September 1, 2017

Volunteers receive national grant funds for trail projects

Volunteers for the Clear Creek Ranger District of the Arapaho National Forest applied for and were selected to receive grant funds of $19,000 earlier this summer from the national competition, Go The Extra Mile. In August more than 85 volunteers gathered, camped at the Loveland ski area and completed several important projects on the Herman Gulch trail, which is part of the Continental Divide trail.

Basia Trout, Acting Clear Creek District Ranger said, “We are so fortunate to have such a great group of volunteers on our District! Not only did they complete the application, compete nationally and win this grant competition, they rolled up their shirtsleeves and implemented the project. The result makes tremendous improvements to the heavily used Herman Gulch trail that all our visitors will appreciate and enjoy today and far into the future.”

Ralph Bradt, Recreation, Wilderness and Trails specialist for the District said that collectively this ambitious group installed or repaired 37 drainage structures and five rock steps; placed 28 straw wattles to stabilize erosion on a steep slope; closed 100 feet of social trails and completed 2,300 feet of trail maintenance.

Go The Extra Mile is a national competition sponsored by Michelob ULTRA in partnership with the American Hiking Society. The group selected only twelve participating trails throughout the United States to share funding of $140,000. Once selected the projects competed against each other based on votes, to distribute the total winnings per entry from the ULTRA website. Herman Gulch is also the only winning trail selected from Colorado this year.



Jeff
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Monday, August 28, 2017

National Park Service Ends Effort to Eliminate Sale of Disposable Water Bottles

In its commitment to providing a safe and world-class visitor experience, the National Park Service is discontinuing Policy Memorandum 11-03, commonly referred to as the “Water Bottle Ban.”

The 2011 policy, which encouraged national parks to eliminate the sale of disposable water bottles, has been rescinded to expand hydration options for recreationalists, hikers, and other visitors to national parks. The ban removed the healthiest beverage choice at a variety of parks while still allowing sales of bottled sweetened drinks. The change in policy comes after a review of the policy’s aims and impact in close consultation with Department of the Interior leadership.

“While we will continue to encourage the use of free water bottle filling stations as appropriate, ultimately it should be up to our visitors to decide how best to keep themselves and their families hydrated during a visit to a national park, particularly during hot summer visitation periods,” said Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds.

Currently only 23 of the 417 National Park Service sites have implemented the policy. The revocation of the memorandum, which was put in place on December 14, 2011, is effective immediately. Parks will continue to promote the recycling of disposable plastic water bottles and many parks have already worked with partners to provide free potable water in bottle filling stations located at visitor centers and near trailheads.



Jeff
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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Free Entrance to Mesa Verde National Park on August 25, September 30, and November 11-12

Mesa Verde National Park will offer free admittance on Friday, August 25, 2017 in celebration of the 101st birthday of the National Park Service. The park service is moving into its second century and we invite you find your park and discover Parks 101, an opportunity to discover the unexpected stories of the national park system.

The park will also waive admission fees on Saturday, September 30 for Public Lands Day. The annual event encourages everyone to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. September 30 also celebrates the second annual Bike your Park Day.

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Seven federal agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional, and local governments participate in the annual day of improving the health of public lands and encouraging shared stewardship through volunteer service. Other federal agencies waiving fees on September 30 include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Wetherill Mesa offers the perfect place to bicycle in the park, with easy rides on the 5-mile Long House Loop paved trail. Due to safety concern’s bicycle riding is not allowed on the road to Wetherill Mesa. Bicyclists should visit the park’s website to ensure they are familiar with the bicycle regulations at www.nps.gov/meve/planyourvisit/gettingaround.htm.

The final fee free days for 2017 are November 11 and 12 in commemoration of Veterans Day weekend. November is a great time to discover or reacquaint yourself with the self-guided aspects of Mesa Verde, including the driving loops, hiking trails and the Far View Sites.



Jeff
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Monday, August 21, 2017

Future of outdoor recreation on agenda during CPW public meeting in Grand Junction, Aug. 24

Colorado Parks and Wildlife's ability to effectively manage the state's wildlife and 41 State Parks continues to be a significant challenge in light of the agency's budget shortfall. If the situation persists, CPW officials say future generations may have less opportunity to enjoy some of the state's most important natural resources.

To help find potential solutions, CPW invites the public to learn more and provide ideas and feedback during several meetings in key communities across the state. In Grand Junction a public meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m., Aug. 24th at the new R5 High School, 455 N. 22nd St., at the corner of 22nd and Grand Ave.

"Operating with a strained budget is not just a problem for the agency, it's a problem for everyone in this state, whether you hunt, hike, fish, camp or boat, or depend on the revenue these activities generate for businesses and the state's economy," said Policy and Planning Supervisor Katie Lanter. "The public will need to be heavily involved and help decide how the management of some of Colorado's most important natural resources will be funded so they will be available for future generations."

Introduced last session, Colorado House Bill 17-1321 would have granted the CPW Commission - a citizen board made up of 11 voting members appointed by the Governor and tasked with setting CPW's regulations and policies - the authority to raise resident hunting and fishing license fees and park fees to meet projected funding shortfalls. After passing in the Colorado House of Representatives with bipartisan support, the legislative effort fell short when the Senate Finance Committee voted to kill the bill by a three to two vote last May.

"Funding is only one natural resource management challenge looming on the horizon," said Lanter. "Over the next 25 years, Colorado’ population is expected to increase by 2.5 million people, putting more pressure on recreation areas and wildlife."

Lanter adds shifting demographics are an additional challenge. By 2040, the number of Coloradans over age 65 will be three times as many as today. In addition, Colorado’s population is also becoming more racially and ethnically diverse.

"The public will have to decide what's important to them in terms of wildlife and parks management - more cuts and less opportunity, or find a way to increase operating revenue so that we can manage at the level expected by Coloradans." said Northwest Regional Manager JT Romatzke. "I can say that this agency has had to undergo severe belt-tightening and there is little room for more without severely crimping it's mission. We are at a crossroads and we need to find an effective solution quickly, or risk losing a critical part of Colorado's heritage."

Along with CPW representatives, members of the NW Region Sportsmen's Roundtable will be in attendance to listen to the public's solutions to enhance outdoor recreation opportunities now and into the future and relay these ideas directly to CPW leadership.

For more information about CPW's financial future, visit the agency's website.

Who: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

What: Public listening session-future of outdoor recreation

When: Thursday, Aug. 24, 6:30 p.m.

Where: The new R5 High School, 455 N. 22nd Street



Jeff
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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Mesa Verde Experiences Increased Bear Activity

Due to a late season snowstorm with freezing temperatures in southwest Colorado, buds and blossoms on many shrubs and bushes were damaged. As a result, some common food sources for bears, like acorns, chokecherries, and serviceberries, are present in much smaller quantities this summer. The absence of these food sources have left bears looking for alternative food sources across this area of the state, and have increased their contact with humans. Many private and public land areas across southwest Colorado have experienced increased bear-human contacts this summer, and Mesa Verde National Park is no different.

Bears may have a natural curiosity towards humans, but should be wary enough to prevent encounters, and they often keep their distance from humans. Increased contact between humans and bears will decrease this cautiousness, until the animal will display little fear or will actively approach humans. When animals, including bears, become habituated to humans, they begin to recognize humans can provide a source of food, whether from a person feeding them, unattended food in campground and picnic areas, or unsecured dumpsters or improper trash disposal. Wildlife, especially bears, can become aggressive when those food sources are denied, and can otherwise be destructive in attempting to reach those food sources.

Mesa Verde National Park is home to a small population of black bears. The exact number is hard to determine, due to their transient nature. Bear sightings are more frequent this summer, as the bears in the park look for other food sources. Increased bear presence in the Morefield Campground and Far View area have prompted wildlife and law enforcement staff at Mesa Verde to increase hazing of the bears, deterring them from human inhabited areas in the park. Relocating a habituated bear into an area with which it is not familiar and which already has a limited food supply is not a good option, as competition with existing bears in the area may lead to starvation of one or all bears in the area.

Law enforcement and wildlife management staff at Mesa Verde continue to haze the bears that are seen in inhabited areas. This is intended to cause the bears to return to that state of being wary of humans, and not seek them out. Regular patrols are conducted in Morefield Campground to ensure that campers have secured food, coolers, and trash. Campsites that are found not in compliance, will have items confiscated and campers will be cited. Volunteer outreach patrols will soon begin in Morefield Campground to educate campers about proper food storage and waste disposal. Park staff are also consulting other organizations and agencies to ensure we are employing best practices to reduce future bear-human contacts. Park management is working closely with all park staff, the park’s concessionaire, contractors, and visitors to ensure that bears do not have access to human food or garbage.

Park officials ask visitors to help keep the wildlife at Mesa Verde wild. While it is a great experience to see a bear or other wildlife in the park, please do not stop your vehicle to take pictures of them as this can lead to animal caused traffic jams and habituation. Park officials also remind visitors that it is unlawful to approach, feed, or harass animals in the park. Please stay in your vehicle. If you spot a bear in the park, please alert the nearest ranger.

Park staff are currently seeking volunteers to help with bear outreach communication at Morefield Campground. If interested, please e-mail park biologist, Paul Morey at paul_morey@nps.gov.



Jeff
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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Search In Longs Peak Area Rocky Mountain National Park

This morning, park rangers received a report of an overdue party on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. Family members indicated that Steve Elliott, 60, from Rockwell, Texas was overdue from the Longs Peak area. He began early yesterday with plans to summit Longs Peak on the Clark’s Arrow/Loft Route and descend via the Keyhole Route. Weather conditions were stormy yesterday morning with reported areas of ice on a variety of routes.

Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members are searching along the Keyhole Route in addition to the Chasm Lake area, Clark’s Arrow/Loft Route and Glacier Gorge. Weather in the area is quickly deteriorating, with numerous lighting strikes, hail, rain and snow mix. Flight for Life and Northern Colorado Medivac has aided with aerial search efforts along the Keyhole Route. Park searchers are also contacting numerous park visitors who are in the area as well.

Park rangers are asking for anyone who may have been in the Longs Peak area yesterday, Friday, August 11, to call the park dispatch center at (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
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Friday, August 11, 2017

Pavement Preservation Project Continues In Rocky Mountain National Park - Adjusted Schedule Due To Weather Delays

A major pavement preservation project continues in Rocky Mountain National Park. The work is taking place in a variety of highly visited locations in the park and includes some closures and delays. Weather permitting, work will occur in the following locations on the dates listed. No pavement work will take place on weekends.

Half of the Park and Ride parking area will be closed on Thursday, August 10, Friday, August 11 and Monday, August 14

Half of Longs Peak Trailhead parking lot will be closed to vehicles on Thursday, August 10.

The Moraine Park Discovery Center and parking area will be closed on Friday, August 11.

The Fall River Entrance will have significant impacts on Thursday, August 10, as all three lanes will be impacted from pavement work. Expect up to 20 minute delays through that area. There will be additional work on Friday, August 11, with minimal delays.

Expect up to 20 minute delays on Trail Ridge Road from the Fall River Entrance to Rainbow Curve - Thursday August 10 through Friday August 11 and Monday August 14 through Friday, August 18.

Alpine Visitor Center, Trail Ridge Store Parking Area and Old Fall River Road will be closed while the parking area is being resurfaced and then striped on August 17.

Sprague Lake parking area will be closed on Tuesday, August 15. Glacier Creek Stables will be accessible. The shuttle stop will be operational but there will be no parking available.

This important project is critical for the long term protection of park roads and parking areas.



Jeff
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Monday, August 7, 2017

Man Rescued From Pagoda Mountain In Rocky Mountain National Park

On Saturday morning, August 5, two hikers came upon a seriously injured man on Pagoda Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. The 34 year old from Berthoud, Colorado, had apparently fallen approximately 15 to 20 feet. They used their SPOT GPS location device at 9:45 a.m. to notify Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team members of the incident.

Due to the reported nature of the man’s injuries, his location in difficult terrain and the time it would take for rescuers to reach him, Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members requested assistance from Colorado National Guard to extricate the injured man from his location.

At 12:55 p.m. a Colorado National Guard helicopter lowered a litter and medic to the location. The medic and injured man were then evacuated via a hoist operation, using a winch operated cable. The Colorado National Guard helicopter flew to an alpine tundra site in the Wild Basin area and transferred the patient to a Flight For Life air ambulance that flew the man to St. Anthony’s hospital. Inclement weather during the operation provided additional challenges for air operations.

The aid provided by the two hikers who found the injured man, as well as the updates they provided to Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team members, was critical to the patient’s survival. Park staff are grateful for the assistance of the two hikers as well as the Colorado National Guard for their collective life-saving efforts.



Jeff
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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado Tackle 2A Trails Project

Approximately 70 volunteers from Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) will be in the Dry Lake area assisting with the 2A Trails project this weekend. The group will be working on one of the short loop trails near the Dry Lake campground and staging area.

This VOC weekend is a family camping weekend and Yampatika is providing environmental education opportunities for younger members of some of the families. Due to the VOC work in the area, the Dry Lake campground and parking lot will be closed from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. Public parking is available along the road in the vicinity of these facilities.

This is another example of partnerships helping for a greater good, adding to the list of partners helping with the Buffalo Pass Trails project including Routt County Riders, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, Smartwool, City of Steamboat Springs, Yampa Valley Community Foundation (YVCF) and Yampatika.

This is a City of Steamboat Springs 2A Project – funded with the accommodations tax. In November of 2013 the voters of Steamboat Springs approved a portion of the municipal accommodations tax to develop trails. Over ten years, there will be a $5.1 million dollar investment in the trail infrastructure in Steamboat Springs.

Individuals looking to invest in the maintenance of local trails can contribute to the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund, administered by the YVCF. This fund provides a permanent endowment supporting specific non-motorized trail and trailhead maintenance projects on public lands in Routt and Moffat Counties. Find out more at www.yvcf.org/trails.



Jeff
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Friday, July 28, 2017

Bear activity in backcountry increasing, campers urged to use care with food storage

Because of a recent significant increase in reports of bear activity in and around dispersed and backcountry camp sites in the Boulder Ranger District, forest officials are urging backpackers and others venturing off road to use bear wise camping techniques, including the use of portable bear resistant canisters for food and toiletries.

Bev Baker, Wildlife Biologist for the Boulder Ranger District said, “Bear encounters have been reported recently in dispersed camping areas across the District, and now more so in the backcountry. If a bear approaches your campsite, try to scare it away by making loud noises, such as banging pans together, or keep a whistle or air horn handy. Known bear attractants include food, drinks, trash, toiletries and pet food - please store them properly to help keep you safe and bears alive.” By keeping a bear-wise site, campers will reduce the risk of drawing bears into their campsites and becoming habituated on human food sources. A habituated bear is a problem bear.

All visitors are asked to report bear activity within the Boulder Ranger District as soon as possible by calling the bear activity reporting number at Colorado Parks and Wildlife: (970) 472-4462. For emergencies requiring immediate response please call 911. For information about recreating in bear country, please visit http://cpw.state.co.us/bears.



Jeff
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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What is it about moose? Find out during the Eighth Annual Grand Mesa Moose Day celebration

Colorado's abundant and varied wildlife is one of the best things about living in the state, but no animal gets the public's attention more than moose. To celebrate the state's largest, most charismatic species, CPW will host the Eighth Annual Grand Mesa Moose Day, July 29 at the U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center atop the Grand Mesa.

With the Grand Mesa moose population estimated at over 400 and statewide numbers exceeding 3,000, CPW says now's the time to learn about the giant ungulates, including where they live, what they like to eat, how they are managed and most importantly, how to watch them safely.

"Colorado has healthy and growing moose populations, including our local population on the Grand Mesa," said CPW's Northwest Region Watchable Wildlife Coordinator Trina Romero. "They really are fascinating animals and many people have a tremendous interest in seeing them and learning more about them. One of the most important things you can do if you love moose, and all wildlife, is learn all you can about them. Moose are extraordinary animals. The more you know, the more interesting and enjoyable the species becomes."

State wildlife managers first brought moose to Colorado's North Park area in 1978, followed by several additional transplant projects over the next 30 years. The Grand Mesa relocation effort began in 2005, concluding two-years later after wildlife managers transplanted a total of 91 moose from Utah and existing herds in Colorado. The phenomenal growth in their population makes the transplant project one of the most successful wildlife management efforts in the state, and the country.

"We've held this event for eight years now, and interest is still very high," said Romero. "Kids especially have a great time with the various activities, including a scavenger hunt, guided hikes and a variety of arts and crafts, all to celebrate moose."

Romero adds other activities for kids and adults include presentations about moose biology and how biologists transplant, collar and track moose. In addition, kids can hike with a wildlife officer and try their hand at wildlife tracking using radio telemetry. There will also be a fly casting lesson taught by CPW staff and personnel from Cabela’s.

This year, the U.S. Forest Service is offering a new way to learn with the unveiling of their 'Agents of Discovery' application on July 29. Similar to the popular Pokemon Go, the new app is an interactive, location-based reality game, giving kids an electronic alternative to learn about wildlife habitat on the Grand Mesa.

Forest Service personnel will be on hand to explain the app, teach everyone how to use it and take users on a guided hike around Cobbett Lake. There are 15 challenger questions on this trail and will be 15 along Island Lake Trail. After successfully navigating all of the various stops, players can redeem a Smokey Bear bandana at the visitor center.

Grand Mesa Moose Day partners include Colorado Parks and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, The Moose 92.3, Cabela's and the Grand Mesa Scenic & Historic Byway.

Take Highway 65 from Interstate 70 by Plateau Creek or drive up Highway 50 from nearby Delta and follow it up to the U.S. Forest Visitor's Center.

Anyone heading to the event is reminded to be attentive as it is increasingly likely to catch a glimpse of a moose.

•What: Grand Mesa Moose Day
•When: Saturday, July 29, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
•Where: U.S. Forest Visitor's Center - 20090 Baron Lake Drive, Hwy 65 - Top of the Grand Mesa



Jeff
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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pavement Preservation Project Continues In Rocky Mountain National Park: Highly Visited Areas Will Be Closed Including Alpine Visitor Center and Old Fall River Road

A major pavement preservation project continues in Rocky Mountain National Park. The work is taking place in a variety of highly visited locations in the park and includes some closures and delays. Weather permitting, work will occur in the following locations on the dates listed. No pavement work will take place on weekends.

Expect up to 20 minute delays on Trail Ridge Road from the Fall River Entrance to Rainbow Curve - Monday, July 24 through Friday, July 28, July 31, August 1 and August 7.

Longs Peak Trailhead parking lot will be closed to vehicles and half of Lumpy Ridge Trailhead parking lot will be closed to vehicles on Monday, July 31.

Alpine Visitor Center, Trail Ridge Store Parking Area and Old Fall River Road will be closed while the parking area is being resurfaced and then striped on August 1, 2 and 3 and August 17

Endovalley Road will be closed past the west Alluvial Fan parking area on Thursday, August 3.

Hollowell Park parking area and road will be closed on Wednesday, August 2 and there will be no shuttle bus service at that stop.

Half of Lumpy Ridge Trailhead parking lot will be closed to vehicles on Wednesday, August 2.

The road leading to Sprague Lake picnic area and the Glacier Basin Campground road will consist of one lane of traffic on Wednesday, August 2.

The Moraine Park Discovery Center and parking area will be closed on Thursday, August 3.

Half of the Park and Ride parking area will be closed on Friday, August 4.

The road leading to Moraine Park Campground will consist of one lane of traffic on Friday, August 4.

The Fall River Entrance will have significant impacts on Monday, August 7, as all three lanes will be impacted from pavement work. Expect up to 20 minute delays through that area.

Half of the Park and Ride parking area will be closed on Tuesday, August 8.

Sprague Lake parking area will be closed on Wednesday, August 9. Glacier Creek Stables will be accessible. The shuttle stop will be operational but there will be no parking available.

This important project is critical for the long term protection of park roads and parking areas.



Jeff
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Public Input Requested On Potential Improvements To The Fall River Entrance

Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is considering options for improving the Fall River Entrance Station, one of two major entrance stations on the east side of the park. The entrance station is located on US Highway 34, just inside the park boundary. The current station was constructed in the 1960s as part of National Park Service (NPS) Mission 66 enhancements and contributes to the Fall River Entrance Station Historic District.

Originally designed for summer only operations over 50 years ago, the once adequate facilities at the Fall River Entrance Station have exceeded their useful design life and no longer meet the safety or operational needs of the park. Due to increasing visitation and traffic congestion at the entrance and its impact on visitors and neighboring businesses, staff and visitor safety issues, as well as other operational concerns, the park is considering potential options for improving this entrance. These potential options include improving the entrance in the same location or nearby, or moving it to another location further west on US Highway 34. It is anticipated that the entrance improvements will update systems and facilities, resulting in better operations, and more convenient access for visitors.

The park will be preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) and invites public input in advance of the EA preparation. The public scoping process has begun and comments are invited through August 14, 2017. The EA will analyze a range of alternatives to meet project objectives, and will evaluate potential effects on visitor experience and park resources and values. The EA also will identify mitigation measures to lessen the degree or extent of potential effects on natural and cultural resources, visitor experience, and park operations.

The park is hosting a public meeting about the proposed project on Thursday, August 3, at the Dannels Fire Station Meeting Room, 901 N. St. Vrain Avenue, Estes Park. This will be an opportunity to express ideas, concerns, and recommendations about the potential improvements and have questions answered. There will be a short presentation at 6:15 p.m., and park staff will be available to answer questions until 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to visit at any point during the scheduled time to review materials and provide written comments.

Park staff encourages public participation throughout the planning process. There will be two opportunities to comment formally on the project – one starting now during initial project scoping and again following release of the EA. Comments received during the scoping period will be used to help define the issues and concerns to be addressed in the EA, while also assisting with analyzing the different alternatives.

Comments must be received in writing by close of business on August 14, 2017. Comments can be submitted at the public open house described above or online by visiting: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/romo. Look for “Fall River Entrance Improvements.”

Comments may also be sent to the following mailing address:

Superintendent
Rocky Mountain National Park
Estes Park, CO 80517

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. Although you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee we will be able to do so.

If you have questions about the project or would like more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.



Jeff
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hike highlighting early Estes Park landowner Dunraven and his book about Yellowstone National Park on tap Saturday

Cheyenne Mountain State Park’s popular “A Literary Walk in the Woods” program continues on Saturday, July 22, with a hike spotlighting the Earl of Dunraven in the Yellowstone National Park in 1874.

The 4th Earl Dunraven fell in love with the American West during hunting expeditions in Wyoming, Nebraska and western Kansas. He is familiar in Colorado for being an early property owner in Estes Park.

Dunraven developed a spiritual passion for the Yellowstone Country dating to March 1872 when explorers and geologists persuaded President Grant to create the Yellowstone National Park, the first in the world.

Dunraven was a forward-looking man who found in the American wilderness a school for resolving the conflicts of modern life. What he learned at the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone, and the summit of Mount Washburn, he took with him on his return to his home in western Ireland. His book, The Great Divide: Travels in the Upper Yellowstone in the Summer of 1874, recounts in flowing literary style the journey of a man seeking answers.

Dunraven’s book will be presented by Tamara Teale, a lifelong resident of the West and an independent scholar with degrees in literature and culture studies from the University of Essex, Colchester, England, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She specializes in British and French travel accounts of the American West.

The program begins in the Visitor Center classroom with a biography of the author. Participants then will take an easy one-mile nature walk on Zook Loop Trail to the Rock Garden for more about Dunraven’s book.

When: 9:30-11:30 a.m., July 22

Where: Cheyenne Mountain State Park

Cost: Program is free, but a $7 park day pass required

Reservations: Encouraged by not required. Call 719-576-2016



Jeff
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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Human DNA found on bear euthanized in Ward attack

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has confirmed that human DNA has been found on the claws of the bear euthanized after the attack of a 19-year old male Sunday morning in Ward. A full necropsy of the 4+ year old, 280 lb. male bear was performed at the agency’s Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins. Evidence collected was sent to a Wyoming forensics lab which confirmed the findings.

“We believe this is the bear that attacked the young man," said Mark Leslie, northeast regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “We know we have a lot of bears and a lot of people living and recreating in the Front Range foothills and mountains. This means bears will come into contact with more human-provided food sources and there is more potential for conflict. We encourage all residents and visitors to do their part to discourage bear habituation.”

The 19-year old male was attacked around 4 a.m. Sunday the ninth at Glacier View Ranch in Ward. The bear bit his skull, grabbed his head and dragged him 10-12 feet from where he was sleeping with other camp staff members. He fought off the bear and was treated at Boulder Community Health later that morning and released.

"We are glad the young victim is on the mend," added Leslie.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages ALL residents and visitors to take down bird feeders until after Thanksgiving, bear proof their trash, and discourage bears from getting comfortable near homes and campsites by blowing air horns, banging pots and pans and making every effort to make bears feel unwelcome and unwanted. Discouraging bears from coming close to humans will help the bears have a natural, healthy fear of people and keep them wild. It will also keep humans from getting injured, or having their vehicles or homes broken into by hungry bears.

There is a wealth of information on how to recreate and live safely with bears in Colorado on our website. Please visit: cpw.state.co.us/bears and work with your neighbors in bear country to remove attractants, manage trash, and discourage bears from getting too comfortable near humans.



Jeff
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Friday, July 7, 2017

Swift Water Rescue In St. Vrain River At Rocky Mountain National Park

On Wednesday morning, a 40-year-old woman from Tennessee fell into the St. Vrain River approximately one mile from the Wild Basin trailhead. She slipped on wet rocks and was swept 150 yards downstream before she was able to pull herself up on a rock and log. Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue members were on scene at 10:30. Members of Estes Valley Fire Protection District – Dive and Swiftwater Rescue Team played a critical role in this rescue operation.

Crews on scene got the woman a life jacket and helmet. Crew members hiked to her location on the south side of the St. Vrain River and helped move her to shore. She received medical care on scene. Crews then assisted her across the river, back to the north side, at a suitable location where there were downed logs. She began hiking out and then was carried via a wheeled litter to the Wild Basin Trailhead. She was taken by ambulance to the Estes Park Medical Center at 4 p.m.

Mountain streams can be dangerous. Visitors are reminded to remain back from the banks of streams and rivers. Rocks at streamside and in the stream are often slippery and water beneath them may be deep and will be extremely cold. Provide proper supervision for children at all times, who by nature, tend to be attracted to water. Powerful currents can quickly pull a person underwater.



Jeff
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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests Enacts Fire Restrictions on the Boulder and Clear Creek Ranger Districts

Stage I Fire Restriction went into effect this morning for all portions of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests that lie in Boulder, Gilpin, Jefferson, Park and Clear Creek counties due to a forecast of dry, warm conditions. The fire restrictions apply to all of the Boulder Ranger District and the Clear Creek Ranger District.

The Stage 1 Fire Restrictions limit where and what type of fires visitors can have, along with other restrictions. They are in place until October 1, 2017, or rescinded, whichever is first. See the Boulder Ranger District order and map and the Clear Creek District order and map for details.

Within the fire restriction area, forest visitors cannot:

· Build or maintain a fire or use charcoal, coal, or wood stoves, except within a developed recreation site (e.g., campgrounds where fees are charged).

· Smoke, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while in an area at least three feet in diameter cleared of all flammable materials.

· Operate a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher kept with the operator, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use.

· Weld or operate acetylene or other torch with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher.

· Use explosives, including fireworks.

· Discharge a firearm EXCEPT a person possessing a valid Colorado hunting license lawfully involved in hunting and harvesting game.

Violation of any of these provisions of Stage 1 Fire Restrictions could result in a maximum fine of $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for more than six months, or both. If responsible for causing a wildfire, one could be held accountable for suppression costs of that fire.

Forest Service staff will continue to monitor the situation and consider a variety of options to address conditions, including additional restrictions if weather remains dry and lessening or rescinding restriction if a rainy weather pattern starts.



Jeff
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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Special Evening Programs: Climbing Longs Peak

Join Rocky Mountain National Park’s Climbing Rangers to learn more about climbing Colorado’s Favorite 14er, Longs Peak. This program will be held on Friday, July 7, and presented again on Friday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. Their presentation will discuss various climbing and hiking routes and lessons learned, with a focus on how to prepare for and manage risks for a successful ascent of the classic Keyhole Route.

Rocky Mountain National Park’s Climbing Rangers are experienced climbers and members of the park’s Search and Rescue team. They patrol technical climbing and hiking routes on Longs Peak and elsewhere throughout the park. With decades of cumulative climbing, mountaineering, guiding, and search and rescue experience between them, they are excited to share their experience and help the public learn about the high mountain environment of Rocky Mountain National Park.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.



Jeff
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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Old Fall River Road Will Temporarily Close In August For Pavement Preservation Project

Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park opened on June 30th for the season. Old Fall River Road normally opens by the Fourth of July holiday weekend. This summer, during periods of high vehicle congestion, park staff may restrict vehicle access when needed on Old Fall River Road. Weather permitting, Old Fall River Road, Alpine Visitor Center and Trail Ridge Store Parking Area will be closed August 1, 2 and 3 and again on August 17, while the Alpine Visitor Center parking area is being resurfaced and then striped.

Old Fall River Road will close for the season to vehicles on Monday, October 2, for annual maintenance, and reopen to bicycles and pedestrians from October 7 through November 30. On December 1, the road will revert to trail status.

Old Fall River Road was built between 1913 and 1920. It is an unpaved road which travels from Endovalley Picnic Area to above treeline at Fall River Pass, following the steep slope of Mount Chapin’s south face. Due to the winding, narrow nature of the road, the scenic 9.4-mile route leading to Trail Ridge Road is one-way only. Vehicles over 25 feet and vehicles pulling trailers are prohibited on the road.



Jeff
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Monday, June 26, 2017

Multiple Incidents In Rocky Mountain National Park

On Saturday, June 24th, was a busy day for Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team members. One of the incidents was resolved this morning, when an 18-year-old male was rescued via a highline operation across the Roaring River above the Alluvial Fan.

On Saturday afternoon, the 18-year-old from Kansas had been rock hopping on this section of the Roaring River when he became stuck on the west side of the river. Park rangers were notified at 2:30 p.m. The young man’s family members were on the east side of the river. Rangers assessed the situation with members of Estes Valley Fire Protection District – Dive and Swiftwater Rescue Team, and after considering the complexity and length of time the rescue would likely take, it was determined that it would be safest to conduct the rescue this morning. Rangers provided the man with warm clothes, a sleeping bag and food overnight. A ranger stayed overnight on the other side of the river from the young man.

At 5:30 a.m. this morning rescuers gathered and at 7 a.m. the highline operation began. The young man was rescued at approximately 10:20 a.m. Over 20 people were involved in the operation and Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue team greatly appreciates the assistance from Estes Valley Fire Protection District – Dive and Swiftwater Rescue Team.

Other incidents on Saturday included a 15-year-old female falling in the St. Vrain River in the Wild Basin area. She tumbled downstream approximately 50 yards over an eight foot waterfall and through significant rapids. Bystanders and family members were able to rescue the girl prior to rangers arriving. She received leg injuries and was carried out via a wheeled litter to the Wild Basin Trailhead where she was taken by ambulance to the Estes Park Medical Center. Those who helped rescue the girl are to be commended for doing so from the shore line of the river, rather than getting in the swift moving water themselves.

Park rangers also assisted an injured 24-year-old male boulderer in the Chaos Canyon area who injured his leg after a fall, a 27-year-old female hiker on the Gem Lake Trail with a knee injury and a 26-year-old male hiker who had a seizure after taking a small fall at Emerald Lake. At 2:30 p.m. park rangers were notified of the incident above Alluvial Fan.



Jeff
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Sunday, June 25, 2017

USDA Announces $20 Million for Jobs for Young People, Veterans

USDA and partners committed $20 million in 21st Century Conservation Service Corps partnership agreements to provide 4,000 work opportunities for youth, young adults and veterans up to 35 years old, a move that will help the U.S. Forest Service accomplish mission-critical infrastructure and landscape restoration projects on the ground. The U.S. Forest Service is one of seventeen USDA Agencies.

The funding represents investments by USDA of $13 million and $7 million from partner organizations. Contributions by the Forest Service and partners are expected to reach $40 million by the end of 2017 and provide 11,000 work opportunities. Some funds are already placed with 21st Century Conservation Service Corps partnership agreements; other funds will continue to be obligated throughout the summer.

“The 21st Century Conservation Corps is not merely a summer jobs program,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “This is about nurturing our public lands as well as our veterans, youth and young adults through a variety of opportunities to develop leadership potential and professional and personal connections through work across many diverse landscapes.”

The work accomplished by participants will include hundreds of miles of trail maintenance and improvements, watershed protection, removal of vegetation as part of wildfire prevention, improvements to recreation facilities, and other essential work on lands managed by the Forest Service.

Since the program started in 2014, the Forest Service generated nearly 30,000 opportunities for youth and veterans to work on projects that benefit public lands. Corps partners provide hands-on service and job training while working with the Forest Service and other land management agencies to build America’s rural and urban economies, strengthen America’s infrastructure, and modernize the way government works.

Involving veterans in these opportunities helps them learn new skills while continuing to serve their nation and local communities. In FY 2016, 910 veterans were engaged on Forest Service volunteerism and service projects, of which 170 participated in 21st Century Conservation Corps projects. In FY 2017, the agency expects to hire 186 veterans.

About 20 percent of the 4,000 opportunities funded by this year’s commitment will be for Youth Conservation Corps jobs, a summer employment program on public lands that employ high school-aged youth. About 25 percent of the dedicated resources will support high-priority trail maintenance and improvements.

Projects will be on public lands in rural communities from coast to coast and will include diverse work experiences.

Annually, the Forest Service engages about 100,000 volunteers and 21st Century Conservation Service Corps participants. As part of an emphasis on strengthening and deepening connections with the public through outdoor experiences, the agency is committed to expanding its capacity for greater volunteerism and community service. The goal is to increase engagement to 115,000 volunteers by 2020 mostly through individual and partner organizations committed to the conservation of the public lands legacy.

To participate in the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps contact a member organization.

For additional information about funded projects, jobs, volunteering and other opportunities for young people, visit the Forest Service online Working with Us page.



Jeff
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Leak On Grand Ditch Closes Colorado River Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park

Late Saturday night, June 17, the Water Supply and Storage Company, who operates the Grand Ditch, notified Rocky Mountain National Park staff of a leak at an old culvert at the intersection of Lady Creek with the Grand Ditch. The resulting leak caused some of the ditch bank surrounding the old culvert to erode. Water Supply and Storage Company informed park staff that they made temporary repairs to reduce the leak and opened head gates to reduce water flow in the Grand Ditch, sending additional water to the Kawuneeche Valley.

Early Sunday morning, park staff began gathering additional information regarding resource conditions and potential impacts on trails and bridges in the upper Kawuneeche Valley. The Colorado River Trail is flooded 0.6 miles from the trailhead just beyond the Red Mountain Junction. A cautionary sign was posted at the trailhead. Additional assessments are ongoing.

It was also reported to park staff on June 18, that there was increased turbidity downstream near Shadow Mountain Reservoir. At this time, park staff do not have estimates of where or how much volume of sediment moved due to this event.

Currently the Grand Ditch road is closed to pedestrians from the junction of Little Yellowstone to the Ditch Camp. There are no other closures in place. Long Draw Road outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, which leads to this area, is closed this time of year and is scheduled to open for the season in early July.

Park staff are continuing to monitor conditions on the Grand Ditch, gathering additional information and data on resource and trail conditions and assessing sediment deposition in the upper Kawuneeche Valley.



Jeff
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hazardous Fuels Reduction Work Continues In Rocky Mountain

The reduction of hazardous fuels is a significant preventative management tool used in preparation for managing wildfire near structures and communities. As seen with the Fern Lake Fire, previous reduction of hazardous fuels aided firefighters in stopping the fire within the park when it made its more than 3 mile run on the morning of December 1, 2012. Ultimately, these projects are done to protect life and property and enhance the safety of firefighters and their ability to manage fire within the park.

Fire Management staff at Rocky Mountain National Park completed the final phase of fuels reduction on over 250 acres this past winter, burning around 1,600 piles. Firewood permits were also available by lottery to collect previously cut wood generated from hazard tree removals and wildland fuels reduction. The annual fuels reduction effort will continue this summer and fall with plans to work on 350 acres on the north and east slopes of Deer Mountain next to the park boundary and an additional 125 acres on the Glacier Creek to Mill Creek fuels reduction project. Crews will also reduce fuels within 200 feet of US 34 from the Fall River Entrance to Deer Ridge Junction, US 36 from Deer Ridge Junction past the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and maintain past treatments on Bear Lake Road between the Glacier Basin Campground and Sprague Lake.

Work will include removing dead trees, the lower limbs of remaining trees, ladder fuels, dead and down logs, and the removal of selected trees to increase canopy spacing. Resulting woody materials will be piled on site and burned in the following winters or may be used next year or in upcoming years for firewood permits depending on location.

These projects are not designed as a stand-alone defense against wildfires, nor are they guaranteed to hold wildfire in the worst conditions.



Jeff
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Monday, June 19, 2017

CPW Warns Public That Moose Will Defend Their Young Aggressively

Since early June, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have investigated two separate moose conflicts resulting in injuries to three people, and agency officials are cautioning everyone to be extra vigilant this time of year.

Because elk, deer and other wild animals are currently rearing their newborn offspring, it increases the possibility of a serious wildlife encounter. Though most wildlife will protect their young, one of the most significant concerns for human safety is the aggressive response of a large, powerful mother moose in defense of her calves.

According to wildlife officials, a major catalyst in serious moose conflicts is the presence of dogs, as was the case in both recent incidents. When people, dogs and a defensive moose interact there is a significant risk of serious injuries to humans and pets. In addition, because CPW officers will act to protect the public in any wildlife conflict, it could lead to the death of a moose.

"People need to know when any wild animal injures a person, regardless of whether it is the human's fault or not, the animal will have to be put down if we can identify it," said Northwest Regional Manager Ron Velarde. "It is by far the worst part of any officer's job, but they must and will act to protect the public. It is why we strongly encourage everyone being responsible around wildlife and giving them plenty of space, especially when they have newborn offspring."

On June 10 near Fraser, a woman allowed her dog to run loose near willows - typical moose habitat - when a moose suddenly charged her and her dog. The woman dropped to the ground, receiving a painful leg injury when the animal stepped on her before it quickly ran off. The woman told wildlife officers she was fully aware of the potential for a clash between a dog and moose; however, because she did not expect to see a moose on private property, she allowed her dog to run off-leash.

Doctors treated the woman at a nearby emergency room and released her the same evening. She expressed remorse that the encounter could have led to the death of the moose. After searching the area, wildlife officers were unable to locate the animal.

"When in moose habitat, expect to see a moose, whether in the backcountry or within developed areas," said District Wildlife Manager Jeromy Huntington of Granby. "Try to stay in open areas where wildlife can been detected from a distance, especially when walking with a dog. Whether the moose has young or not, the presence of a dog is more than enough to incite an aggressive charge."

Huntington adds the woman was lucky the moose was not more determined to stomp on her or she could have been severely injured if the moose had stepped on her torso or head.

In Jamestown, a woman gardening in her backyard on June 2 reported that a moose with two calves unexpectedly appeared and began stomping on her. Her dog had been roaming freely in the yard at the time. Another resident of the home came to help and she was injured in the conflict as well. Both sought medical attention but neither woman suffered serious injuries.

"The woman and dog were in their own backyard, minding their own business and not doing anything wrong when this occurred," said Boulder County Area Wildlife Manager Larry Rogstad. "But even if you are not in the wilderness, sometimes the wildlife comes to you. We recommend everyone in Colorado be aware of the potential of encountering wildlife anywhere and anytime. Get the facts like those on the CPW website and be prepared to respond appropriately."

Rogstad says the cow and calves in the incident were not located.

According to wildlife officials, moose react to all dogs as they would to a wolf - one of their primary predators - by attempting to crush it with their hooves. Because of this instinctive, aggressive response, CPW officials recommend keeping dogs on a leash and under control when recreating in the backcountry, or consider leaving the dog at home.

"In most cases the dog flees back to the owner bringing an angry moose with it, as was the case in the recent incident in Fraser," said Area Wildlife Manager Lyle Sidener of Hot Sulphur Springs. "The dog continues on to safety but the owner is unable to escape."

Since 2013, CPW is aware of at least 15 moose conflicts resulting in minor to serious human injuries, including the latest two incidents. In all but two occurrences, dogs elicited the initial response from the moose.

"There is a way to watch wildlife responsibly and we encourage everyone to take the time to enjoy this wonderful, natural resource," said Watchable Wildlife Coordinator Trina Romero. "But it is critical for people to learn the rules, and follow them. The main points to remember are don't feed, don't approach, don't harass and keep dogs on leashes and under control. If the animal responds in any way to your presence, you are too close."

CPW stresses the importance of education to prevent conflicts. For information about what to do if you encounter a wild animal, visit the CPW website.



Jeff
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pavement Preservation Project In Numerous Locations Throughout The Summer In Rocky Mountain National Park Alpine Visitor Center Parking Lot And Old Fall River Road Will Be Closed In Early August

On Monday, June 12, a major pavement preservation project will begin in Rocky Mountain National Park. The work will initially take place on a 12-mile section of US 34/Trail Ridge Road between the Fall River Entrance and Rainbow Curve. During this phase of the project, which should take approximately two weeks, crack sealing and patch work will occur. Park visitors should expect rolling delays of up to 20 minutes.

All three lanes at the Fall River Entrance will be patched on June 13. From approximately 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. the two south lanes will be closed to traffic. Once patch work has been completed, the two south lanes will re-open and patch work will commence on the north lane. The Fall River Entrance will remain open during the work.

Other areas of the park that will be impacted by this ongoing pavement preservation project include the Endovalley Road, Moraine Park Campground Road, Glacier Basin Campground Road, Sprague Lake Road and Parking Area, Hollowell Park Road and Parking Area, Moraine Park Discovery Center Parking Area, Park & Ride Parking Area, Longs Peak Trailhead Parking Area, Lumpy Ridge Parking Area and the Alpine Visitor Center Parking Area. Some parking areas will have full closures and others will have partial closures in order to complete the work. The work in parking areas will mainly occur in August and September. Weather permitting, Alpine Visitor Center and Trail Ridge Store Parking Area and Old Fall River Road will be closed August 1, 2 and 3 and again on August 17, while the parking area is being resurfaced and then striped. When specific work dates are scheduled for other areas this information will be disseminated.

This important project is critical for the long term protection of park roads and parking areas. Work will not take place during the weekends.



Jeff
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Monday, June 12, 2017

Save Time At Rocky Mountain National Park Entrance Stations Purchase Park Pass Ahead Of Visit

Rocky Mountain National Park visitors can now purchase a one day entrance pass or weekly entrance pass online. Visit go.nps.gov/rockyfees and follow the prompts. Your email confirmation will serve as your pass. Print out your email receipt, or show park staff at the entrance station your email confirmation on your mobile device. Take a screen shot of your email if you are concerned about your cellular coverage.

Purchasing an entrance pass online supports Rocky Mountain National Park and saves transaction time once you reach the entrance station kiosk. Plan on riding the Hiker Shuttle from the Estes Park Visitor Center? Purchase your pass online. Plan on visiting areas where fees are required but not collected such as Lily Lake, Longs Peak, Lumpy Ridge or the East Inlet Trailhead? Purchase your pass online.

Eighty percent of park entrance fees stay right here in Rocky Mountain National Park and are used on projects that directly benefit visitors. Entrance fees have supported a wide range of projects that improve the park and visitor experiences, including renovating all campground restroom facilities, rehabilitating and maintaining approximately 100 of the park’s 350 miles of trails, replacing trailhead signs, replacing picnic tables throughout the park, mitigating hazard trees in or near park facilities such as campgrounds, parking lots, road corridors and visitor centers, and operating the park’s visitor shuttle bus system.



Jeff
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Friday, June 9, 2017

Plan Ahead For A More Enjoyable Visit To Rocky Mountain National Park

In 2016, Rocky Mountain National Park was the fourth most visited national park with over 4.5 million visitors. This visitation represents a 32 percent increase since 2014, and a 40 percent increase since 2012. Over the last 100 years, the reasons people visit are the same; to experience nature, to seek solitude, to enjoy scenic grandeur, to watch wildlife, and to partake in outstanding recreational activities.

Popularity and high visitation during the summer and fall, particularly during 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. can mean full parking lots, congested roads, busy trails, and long lines and wait times at entrance stations. Park managers will continue to address what effect this level of visitation will have on visitor and staff safety, resource protection, visitor experiences and operational capacity. Last year during the summer and early fall, park staff restricted vehicle access in three specific areas, the Bear Lake Road corridor, the Wild Basin area, and Alpine Visitor Center when parking areas filled and heavy congestion warranted. This occurred most weekends from late June through September of 2016. We are continuing to implement these short term efforts in 2017.

Plan ahead for a more enjoyable visit to Rocky!

• Hike early or hike late.

• Check the weather forecast before you arrive at the park to better plan your day and destinations. If you plan to hike later in the day, it is critical that you know the weather forecast for the elevation of your destination.

• Carpool

• Take advantage of the park shuttle

• Trailhead parking lots fill early in the day:

Glacier Gorge Trailhead by 6:00 a.m.

Bear Lake Trailhead by 8:30 a.m.

Park and Ride by 10:30 a.m.

Wild Basin Corridor by 9:30 a.m.

• If you want to hike in the Bear Lake Road corridor and plan to arrive after 11, your best option, and on some days your only option, will be to take the Hiker Shuttle from the Estes Park Visitor Center

• The Alpine Visitor Center parking lot is often full between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• More than eighty percent of park visitors arrive through the east entrances of the park

• Camping is popular in the park. Reserve a campsite up to six months before your visit. The two first-come, first-served campgrounds fill up quickly. Timber Creek Campground, located on the west side of the park, fills up last.

• In September, visitation is 50 percent higher on weekends than weekdays

• Purchase a daily or weekly entrance pass online at go.nps.gov/rockyfees

Your email confirmation will serve as your pass and should save transaction time once you reach the park entrance station kiosk.

The remaining fee free days for 2017, are August 25, September 30, and November 11-12.



Jeff
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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"Helping Birds Along The Way" At Rocky Mountain National Park International Migratory Bird Day Two Special Events June 10

Helping Birds Along the Way is the theme for this year’s International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD), the only international education program that celebrates the migration of nearly 350 bird species between their nesting habitats in North America and wintering grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. On Saturday, June 10, park staff will offer two great events.

In the morning, go on a bird walk in Rocky Mountain National Park! Join us for an opportunity to learn more about migratory birds while exploring the park with experienced bird watchers. The event will begin at 8 a.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. After a short introduction, visitors and bird walk leaders will caravan into the park to view birds in a variety of habitats. The activity is free of charge, but park entrance fees will apply. This guided walk will have naturalists and expert birders to help beginners identify birds; all ages and abilities are welcomed. Bring warm clothes, water, good walking shoes, binoculars and a snack. The event will end at noon, but visitors are encouraged to continue their birding adventures throughout the day.

The second event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center with a special ranger program on “Magical, Mysterious and Mighty Owls.” Learn about the owl species in Rocky and what makes them such powerful predators.

From coastal estuaries and marshes to forests and grasslands, stopover sites support millions of migratory shorebirds, waterfowl, and songbirds. When birds migrate between nesting and wintering sites, they don’t just stop anywhere; they rely on a handful of resource-rich and strategically located sites where they may double their body weight as they acquire the energy-rich fat stores needed to fly thousands of kilometers across continents and oceans. These places are known as stopover sites. Some stopover sites are well known, such as along the coasts of Louisiana, New Jersey, and the Upper Bay of Panama, where birds stop after traveling along the shoreline. Others are inland, such as Rocky Mountain National Park, Venezuela's grasslands, wetlands in the central United States, and even urban parks and backyards.

Whether you learn about a stopover site in Rocky Mountain National Park or one near your home, visit one far away, or create a safe place for birds in your backyard, your support can mean a safe journey for a migratory bird. Join the celebration!



Jeff
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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trail Ridge Road Opens For The Season

Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is open for the season. Due to melting snow on the road visitors should be prepared for icy conditions. Alpine Visitor Center and Trail Ridge Store are anticipated to open later this week. At this time, night time closures will not be implemented. Because weather conditions may change rapidly, park visitors should be prepared to adjust travel plans accordingly and are encouraged to call the park’s Trail Ridge Road recorded phone line at (970) 586-1222. Park staff will update the recorded line during and after regular office hours, when the road status changes.

Trail Ridge Road historically opens on Memorial Day weekend; last year the road opened on May 28. The earliest the road has opened was on May 7, 2002; the latest June 26, 1943. Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, climbs to 12,183 feet and connects the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake. Trail Ridge Road officially closed for the season last year on November 18.

National Park Service plow operators normally begin clearing the snow in the middle of April. Crews from the west side of the park and crews from the east side of the park move along the road and eventually meet at the Alpine Visitor Center. The visitor center is the highest in the National Park Service, sitting at 11,796 feet above sea level. Spring storms often impact plowing activities. On May 18 and May 19 of this year, a major snowstorm occurred on the east side of the park, dropping more than 3 feet of snow in lower elevations of the park. Plow operators faced 8 to 14 feet of snow at higher elevations, hampering efforts to open Trail Ridge Road by Memorial Day weekend.



Jeff
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Monday, May 29, 2017

Mesa Verde Celebrates Wildflower Week June 4 to 10

Mesa Verde National Park invites you to join park staff and volunteers in celebrating the beauty of the park’s native wildflowers during Wildflower Week, June 4 through 10, 2017. On Monday, June 5 and Wednesday, June 7, park staff and volunteers will be available to talk to visitors at the Visitor and Research Center; on Wetherill Mesa (between the kiosk and Step House trailhead); and the Geologic Overlook trail from 10 am to 2 pm. On Friday, June 9, staff will be at the Visitor and Research Center from 10 am to 2 pm to help visitors locate good viewing areas for wildflowers in the park.

Not only are wildflower beautiful, they also help to maintain healthy ecosystems; improve air and water quality; and support pollinators, birds and wildlife. The park expects a diversity of showy wildflowers to bloom the first part of June including silver lupine, mule’s ear, Utah sweet vetch, sego lily, Indian paintbrush, fleabane daisy, scarlet gilia, evening primrose, beardtongue, and yucca. Good areas for wildflower viewing are the Geologic Overlook trail and along the roadside from Chapin Mesa to Wetherill Mesa. Wildflower viewers are reminded to use roadside pullouts, not enter into the backcountry of the park, and not to disturb or pick any plants or flowers. For more information about the plants and plant communities at Mesa Verde, please visit: www.nps.gov/meve/learn/nature/plant_guides.htm



Jeff
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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Trail Ridge Road Opening Delayed - Will Not Open Over The Memorial Day Holiday

Due to last week’s major snowstorm and continuing winter conditions at high elevations in Rocky Mountain National Park, Trail Ridge Road’s opening will be delayed and will not open over the Memorial Day Holiday.

According to Park Superintendent, Darla Sidles, “Last week’s snowstorm has hampered our efforts. Last Wednesday, we were on track to open the road and were digging out facilities. This week, our plow operators are facing 8 to 14 feet of snow on Trail Ridge Road. The extended forecast above 10,000 feet for snow, winds and overnight temperatures in the upper 20s will prevent us from opening the road this holiday.”

Park snowplow operators will continue to plow the road; the road will open as soon as it is safe to do so. Due to the extended forecast for winter conditions at higher elevations, it is too soon to predict when that might be.

Every year, Rocky Mountain National Park snowplow operators begin plowing Trail Ridge Road in mid-April. Crews from the west side of the park and crews from the east side of the park move along the road and eventually meet near the Alpine Visitor Center. Plow operators normally encounter drifts from 18 to 22 feet and are accustomed to plowing the same section of road over and over. Trail Ridge Road was completed in 1932. The earliest the road has opened was on May 7, 2002; the latest June 26, 1943. In 2011, the road opened on June 6.

Park staff expect a busy Memorial Day Weekend throughout Rocky Mountain National Park. The three reservation campgrounds in the park are full for the weekend. Timber Creek Campground on the west side of the park is first-come, first-served. Vehicle restrictions may be in place on the Bear Lake Road corridor if full parking lots and congestion warrants. Visitors planning to recreate in the park’s backcountry, depending on their destination, should be prepared for a variety of conditions including snow, ice, slush and mud. Today, the Bear Lake Trailhead has 30 inches of snow.

For further information about Rocky Mountain National Park please contact the park Information Office at (970) 586-1206, the Trail Ridge Road status recorded phone line at (970) 586-1222 or check the park’s website at www.nps.gov/romo.



Jeff
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Friday, May 19, 2017

Roads Reopening On The East Side Of Rocky Mountain National Park - Some Roads Remain Closed

Park snowplow operators have been working through the day to plow roads and numerous parking lots. Park rangers have also accounted for all wilderness camping permit holders who were camping overnight in the park’s backcountry.

Numerous roads are reopening on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Trail Ridge Road has reopened to Many Parks Curve. Access to the park from the Fall River Entrance and the Beaver Meadows Entrance has reopened. Bear Lake Road has reopened to Sprague Lake. The upper portion of Bear Lake Road above Sprague Lake, as well as the Bear Lake parking lot, are expected to reopen sometime tomorrow.

Roads still closed include the Endovalley Road from the US 34 junction, Moraine Park Road from the Bear Lake Road junction to the Fern Lake Trailhead, Wild Basin Road at the Sandbeach Trailhead, and Upper Beaver Meadows Road. Numerous parking lots have not been plowed and are inaccessible.

Trail Ridge Road on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park is open to the Colorado River Trailhead.

More snow is forecast for this evening in Rocky Mountain National Park; park visitors should prepare for winter driving conditions.

More than 3 feet of snow has fallen in the past 24 hours resulting in VERY DANGEROUS AVALANCHE CONDITIONS in Rocky Mountain National Park. Currently travel in avalanche terrain is NOT recommended. Visitors planning to hike, snowshoe or ski in the mountains this weekend should carry avalanche safety gear and have associated avalanche safety training and experience.

Park visitors should use additional caution when driving on roads as wildlife are now using cleared roads as easier travel routes. As always, please stay back and give wildlife the space they need, especially during this more stressful time as they travel through heavy, wet snow.

For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.



Jeff
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