Thursday, July 19, 2018

Updated cancellation policy will benefit campers at Colorado State Parks

Customers who need to cancel their campground reservations at a Colorado state park can now do so online at cpwshop.com or at 1-800-244-5613 at any time prior to or during their stay. The new policy allows greater flexibility for customers and helps CPW staff more easily track campground cancellations in real-time. The new system will also help CPW staff implementing the reservation-only camping pilot program allowing for last-minute reservations at six state parks.

The new rules are as follows:

14 or more days prior to arrival: Customers may cancel online or by phone and receive a full refund of the reservation use fees. (Customer is still charged the $10 reservation fee and $6 cancellation fee.)

13 days prior to arrival through the day of arrival: Customers may cancel online or by phone and receive a refund of the reservation use fees. (Customer is still charged the $10 reservation fee and first night's use fee.)

The day after arrival through the day of departure: Customers may cancel online or by phone and receive a refund of the reservation use fees. (Customer is still charged the $10 reservation fee and use fees for any nights the customer has stayed.)

Customers who wish to receive a refund outside of these rules will need to contact the park at which they have the reservation directly. Refunds of nights stayed, the reservation fee, or the cancellation fee will not be considered for bugs, bad weather, campfire bans, or low water levels.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Search Efforts Continue For Missing Man in Rocky Mountain National Park

Yesterday was day five of search operations for Brian Perri, day ten from the last time he was heard from. Unfortunately, no clues have been found throughout this extensive five day search effort. Yesterday, efforts were concentrated on search dog operations and Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) reconnaissance flights. The UAS was utilized in a segment of the search area southeast of Peacock Pool and a section of the north face of Mount Meeker. Ground search efforts were concentrated in and around Hunters Creek and Lookout Mountain.

Since Thursday, the search area has encompassed significant sections of 22.5 square miles. The area has been searched by helicopters, ground searchers, dog teams, and UAS reconnaissance, providing a great deal of coverage. Today, search managers are analyzing the UAS reconnaissance footage and information from the previous days search efforts and continuing to adjust search tactics accordingly.

Late Thursday July 5, park rangers were notified by Fort Collins Police that Brian Joseph Perri, 38, of Fort Collins, Colorado, had been reported as missing. Perri was last known day hiking on Saturday, June 30, in the Mount Meeker area of Rocky Mountain National Park. On June 30, Perri texted a friend a photograph of himself from the summit of Mount Meeker. After rangers were notified of the missing man, they located Perri’s car in the parking lot at the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead.

Perri was day hiking and was expected out on Saturday, June 30. Perri’s destination was believed to be the summit of Mount Meeker. This would be approximately 14 miles round trip from the location of his car. In the photograph he texted, he was wearing a tan full brim hat, sunglasses, and red backpack. He has minimal equipment and may have a yellow rain jacket and yellow orange puffy jacket. He had no known tent or camping equipment. Perri is 5’9” and weighs 160 pounds.

The search and investigation is ongoing. Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Mount Meeker area since Saturday, June 30. Especially those who noticed abandoned gear or other clues. Please call (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Update on Search Efforts For Missing Man Last Seen On Mount Meeker

Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue members continue search efforts today for Brian Perri. Perri’s last known location was the summit of Mount Meeker (13,911 feet) on Saturday, June 30. Northern Colorado Helitack is again supporting today’s aerial search efforts. Also assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue members today is Larimer County Search and Rescue and Rocky Mountain Rescue based in Boulder County. There are 64 people involved in today’s efforts, including 46 searchers in the field.

Search efforts will again concentrate on ridge lines and couloirs including the Loft Route via Keplinger’s Couloir, the Dragon’s Egg Couloir and Meeker Ridge, as well as lower sections of Mount Meeker.

Late Thursday July 5, park rangers were notified by Fort Collins Police that Brian Joseph Perri, 38, of Fort Collins, Colorado, had been reported as missing. Perri was last known day hiking on Saturday, June 30, in the Mount Meeker area of Rocky Mountain National Park. On June 30, Perri texted a friend a photograph of himself from the summit of Mount Meeker. After rangers were notified of the missing man, they located Perri’s car in the parking lot at the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead.

Perri was day hiking and was expected out on Saturday, June 30. Perri’s destination was believed to be the summit of Mount Meeker. This would be approximately 14 miles round trip from the location of his car. In the photograph he texted, he was wearing a tan full brim hat, sunglasses, and red backpack. He has minimal equipment and may have a yellow rain jacket and yellow orange puffy jacket. He had no known tent or camping equipment. Perri is 5’9” and weighs1 60 pounds.

Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Mount Meeker area since Saturday, June 30. Especially those who noticed abandoned gear or other clues. Please call (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Friday, July 6, 2018

Search Underway In Mount Meeker Area Rocky Mountain National Park

Late yesterday afternoon, Thursday July 5, park rangers were notified by Fort Collins Police that Brian Joseph Perri, 38, of Fort Collins, Colorado, had been reported as missing. Perri was last known day hiking on Saturday, June 30, in the Mount Meeker area of Rocky Mountain National Park. On June 30, Perri texted a friend a photograph of himself from the summit of Mount Meeker. After rangers were notified of the missing man, they located Perri’s car in the parking lot at the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead.

Late yesterday, before nightfall, a Flight For Life Air Ambulance assisted park staff by conducting a brief aerial search near the summit of Mount Meeker. Early this morning, Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members began ground search efforts. The search efforts will focus on the summit of Mount Meeker and ridge lines extending off of Mount Meeker above tree line. Northern Colorado Helitack will assist with aerial search efforts today, pending weather and conditions.

Perri was day hiking and was expected out on Saturday, June 30. Perri’s destination was believed to be the summit of Mount Meeker. In the photograph he texted, he was wearing a tan full brim hat, sunglasses, and red backpack. He has minimal equipment and may have a yellow rain jacket and yellow orange puffy jacket. He had no known tent or camping equipment. Perri is 5’9” and weighs 160 pounds.

Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Mount Meeker area since Saturday, June 30. Especially those who noticed abandoned gear or other clues. Please call (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Rocky Mountain National Park Announces Complete Fire Ban

Due to the continued extreme fire danger, extended weather forecast and current level of fire activity in the State of Colorado, park officials have announced a ban on all fires within Rocky Mountain National Park. This ban is effective beginning today, Friday, July 6, and will remain in effect until further notice.

Campfires, including charcoal briquette fires, are not permitted anywhere within the park. However, petroleum fueled stoves and grills will still be permitted in developed campgrounds, picnic areas and in designated backcountry campsites. Stoves must be able to be turned on and off. Smoking is also prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, or stopped within a developed paved area devoid of vegetation for at least three feet. Visitors are reminded to properly extinguish all lighted smoking materials and dispose of properly. Fireworks are always prohibited within the park.

Rocky Mountain National Park always has Stage 1 fire restrictions in place, where campfires are prohibited in the park, except within designated campfire rings in picnic areas and front-country campgrounds. The last time a total fire ban (Stage 2 fire restrictions) was in place in the park was in June of 2012.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Fire Restrictions Increase on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests

The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests is enacting Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on National Forest System lands on the all of Sulphur Ranger District and portions of the Clear Creek Ranger District within Grand, Clear Creek, Park and Jefferson counties. These restrictions are in addition to the Stage 1 Fire Restrictions on the Boulder, Canyon Lakes and Clear Creek ranger districts in Boulder, Gilpin and Larimer counties.

The Forest Service works closely with counties, monitors conditions as they change and continually evaluates with cooperators the need for restrictions. Fire restrictions further limit where and what type of activities and fires visitors may have and remain in effect until rescinded.

Within the Stage 2 Fire Restriction area on National Forest on the Clear Creek and Sulphur ranger districts within Grand, Clear Creek, Park and Jefferson counties forest visitors may not:

* Build, maintain, attend or use a fire, campfire, or stove fire. This includes charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves and sheepherder’s stoves and includes their use in developed camping and picnic grounds except devices using pressurized liquid or gas (stoves, grills or lanterns) which include shut-off valves are permitted when used in an area at least three feet or more from flammable material such as grasses or pine needles.

* Smoke, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building.

* Weld or operate an acetylene or other torch with open flame.

* Operate or use any internal combustion engine (e.g. chainsaw, generator, ATV) without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order. (See order for specific details).

* Operate a chainsaw without an approved spark arresting device as described above, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (8 oz. capacity by weight or larger and kept with the operator) and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use.

* Use explosives.

* Possess or use a motor vehicle off established roads, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle.

Within the Stage 1 fire restriction area on National Forest on the Boulder, Canyon Lakes, ranger districts within Boulder, Grand, Gilpin and Larimer counties forest visitors may not:

* Build or maintain a fire or use charcoal, coal, or wood stoves, except in permanent fire pits or fire grates 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.

* Use any internal or external combustion engine (including chainsaws) without a spark arresting device properly working and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher and a round point shovel.

* 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.

Additionally the Stage 1 and 2 fire restrictions for National Forest on the Boulder, Canyon Lakes and Clear Creek ranger districts within Boulder, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Park and Jefferson counties prohibit the:

* Discharge of a firearm unless in possession of a valid Colorado hunting license and lawfully involved in hunting and harvesting game.

Violation 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.

To view the fire restriction orders and maps, go to www.fs.usda.gov/arp. They will be listed in the “Alerts and Notices” box on the right. Please note that many counties are also under fire restrictions; information is available at www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Friday, June 29, 2018

Fire Restrictions on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions have expanded on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests to include all National Forest System lands on the Boulder, Canyon Lakes, Clear Creek and Sulphur ranger districts. The Forest Service works closely with counties, monitors conditions as they change and continually evaluates with cooperators the need for restrictions.

Stage 1 fire restrictions limit where and what type of activities and fires visitors may have. The current restrictions remain in place until they are rescinded. Within the fire restriction area on National Forest System land on the Boulder, Canyon Lakes, Clear Creek and Sulphur ranger districts within Boulder, Gilpin, Clear Creek, Grand, Jefferson, Larimer and Park counties forest visitors may not:

* Build or maintain a fire or use charcoal, coal, or wood stoves, except in permanent fire pits or fire grates 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.

* Use any internal or external combustion engine (including chainsaws) without a spark arresting device properly working and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher and a round point shovel.

* 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.

Additionally the Stage 1 Fire restrictions for National Forest System land on the Boulder, Canyon Lakes and Clear Creek ranger districts within Boulder, Clear Creek and Gilpin counties prohibit the : Discharge of a firearm unless in possession of a valid Colorado hunting license and lawfully involved in hunting and harvesting game.

Violation 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.

To view the fire restriction orders and maps, go to www.fs.usda.gov/arp. They will be listed in the “Alerts and Notices” box on the right. Please note that many counties are also under fire restrictions; information is available at www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html.

As July 4, approaches you should also note that fireworks are never allowed on National Forest System lands. Rangers need everyone to be careful as they enjoy the National Forest.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Monday, June 25, 2018

RockyMountainHikingTrails.com Adds Eight New Hikes

Hey all - I just returned from a late spring hiking trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, and as a result, have added eight new hikes to our website. Here's a quick rundown of the hikes we were able to do during our trip:

West Creek Falls - On our first day we decided to take a fairly easy hike and give ourselves a chance to acclimate to the altitude. West Creek Falls just north of Estes Park was the perfect choice. Though there is a short climb at the beginning of the hike, the trail was very pleasant, much of it passing through a montane forest of ponderosa pine with lots of wildflowers. The falls were very scenic as well.

Lake Verna - On our second day we drove over to Grand Lake to do our longest hike of the trip. Our ultimate destination, 6.9 miles from the trailhead, was Lake Verna. If the thought of trekking that far seems too daunting you could shorten the hike by ending it at Lone Pine Lake, or taking a really short hike and stopping at a low bluff that overlooks East Meadow where you'll have a great opportunity to spot moose and elk. No matter your choice, each destination passes Adams Falls near the trailhead.

Battle Mountain - Battle Mountain was supposed to be the highlight of our trip. Unfortunately haze from wildfires in the region swept through the park that day and blotted out the normally beautiful and expansive views. This "flattop" mountain is located just north of Granite Pass near Longs Peak, the tallest mountain in the park. Normally you can expect spectacular 360-degree views from this lofty perch.

Chasm Falls - If you're looking for an easy hike on your next visit I would definitely recommend Chasm Falls, arguably the most impressive waterfall in Rocky Mountain National Park. The waterfall is located just off the historic Old Fall River Road in the Horseshoe Park area.

Lawn Lake - I've been waiting to do this hike for a long time. The trail was closed for awhile after the September 2013 flood, which washed out a few sections of the trail. Fortunately park crews have repaired those sections over the last two seasons. This hike did not disappoint, and was probably the best day we had in the mountains. It was a quintessential Colorado day, with mild temperatures and bluebird skies. The lake and the surrounding 13K-foot peaks were absolutely spectacular.

Aspenglen Loop - Despite this being a horse trail, meaning lots of horse manure along the path, the Aspenglen Loop near the Fall River Entrance Station is a hidden gem. This short loop offers spectacular views of the Mummy Mountains, a wide variety of wildflowers, and a great opportunity to spot a wide variety of wildlife.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Friday, June 22, 2018

Old Fall River Road In Rocky Mountain National Park Expected To Open Tomorrow

Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is expected to open to vehicles this Saturday, June 23, 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. The road will close for the season on Monday, October 1, for annual maintenance, and reopen to bicycles and pedestrians from October 6 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
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Available for Public Review: Fall River Entrance Improvements Environmental Assessment

The National Park Service (NPS) has released for public review and comment an Environmental Assessment (EA) for Fall River Entrance Improvements in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Fall River Entrance is one of two major entrance stations on the east side of the park and is located on U.S. Highway 34, just inside the park boundary. The entrance station was constructed in the 1960s as part of the NPS Mission 66 Program enhancements and is within the Fall River Entrance Historic District. The main access road, Fall River Road (U.S. Highway 34), contributes to the historic district and is individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Originally designed for summer operations nearly 60 years ago, the facilities at the Fall River Entrance Station no longer meet the safety or operational needs of the park. When the entrance station was designed, the park had approximately one and a half million annual visitors. By 2017, annual visitation had almost tripled, to nearly four and a half million annual visitors. Improvements are needed to improve visitor access and convenience, reduce traffic congestion, and provide a safe and efficient space for park employees. The range of alternatives evaluated in the Environmental Assessment includes a no-action alternative and three action alternatives.

Rocky Mountain National Park is proposing to retain the Fall River Entrance at its current location and replace the existing buildings with new construction. Entrance improvements would update systems and facilities and include the installation of a fourth lane as a “fast pass lane” to ease congestion. In addition, improvements would be made to employee and visitor parking, ventilation systems in the kiosks, and the configuration of the entrance and exit lanes. Buildings and access ways would be designed to meet federal accessibility standards.

Public Comment
Park staff encourage public participation throughout the planning process. The park will host a public meeting on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Estes Valley Library in the Hondius Room, 335 E. Elkhorn Avenue, Estes Park, Colorado. 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.

The EA will be on public review through the close of business of Friday, July 20. If you wish to comment on this environmental assessment, you may post comments online at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/romo, the website for the NPS’s Planning Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) system. Look for “Fall River Entrance.” Or you can mail or hand deliver comments to:

Superintendent
Rocky Mountain National Park
1000 U.S. Highway 36
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 that we will be able to do so. Comments will not be accepted by fax, by e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Monday, June 18, 2018

Hazardous Fuels Reduction Work Continues In Rocky Mountain National Park Minor Delays Possible On Bear Lake Road

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 pile burns on 250 acres this past winter and completed over 125 acres of cutting and hauling along Bear Lake Road so far this spring. Upcoming projects for this year include treatment on 124 acres in the Mill Creek and Glacier Creek areas on both sides of Bear Lake Road, 50 acres along Bear Lake Road above the Sprague Lake Junction and road side fuel reduction between Deer Ridge Junction and Fall River Entrance later this fall. The upcoming projects will include some traffic control and park visitors may experience up to ten minute delays while work is taking place.

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 during 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. Please do your part and complete wildfire mitigation on your property. For more information on Firewise standards visit www.firewise.org.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Colorado Parks and Wildlife looking for bear after attack in Red Feather Lakes area

At 11 p.m. on Tue., June 5, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a bear attack in the Red Feather Lakes area of Northern Larimer County.

Area Wildlife Manager Ty Petersburg said the attack involved a family of four who were tent-camping in a dispersed camping area off County Road 67J (Prairie Divide Road) on U.S. Forest Service property and was likely food-attractant related. The bear trampled the tent and an adult male was transported to the hospital with injuries that are believed to be non-life threatening.

CPW is still trying to locate the bear and has set traps in the area and is actively using all available means to locate and remove the bear immediately.

CPW would like to remind the public to be “Bear Aware” when recreating outdoors this summer.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

#Hike4Hope to raise awareness and funds to end extreme poverty

Trey and Madison Cason, a young couple embarking on a journey to hike the Appalachian Trail, recently announced their intent to raise $219,000 for work to end extreme poverty through Global Hope Network International. Trey and Madison both gave notice to their employers, transitioning from well-paying professional positions, to become humanitarian aid workers this past month. To launch their career shift, the couple will begin hiking the trail from Maine on June 13th, which is expected to last until late fall 2018.

Madison shared, “Growing up with families who took us to different state parks to hike and camp, cultivated an appreciation for the outdoors and a love for nature. As a couple, we’ve been dreaming about hiking the Appalachian Trail for several years. We want to follow this dream while impacting the lives of those living in South Asia by offering a ‘hand-up’ not a ‘hand-out’.” When asked about personal comforts, Madison confessed, “While I officially get to put my record of not showering for six days to the test and Trey is excited to up his facial hair game from Duck Dynasty to Full Chewbacca!” This couple is serious!

Global Hope Network International (GHNI.org)

GHNI.org seeks to bring help and hope to the hidden and hurting through the empowerment of villagers seeking to end their own extreme poverty utilizing local resources and labor. With a small amount of donated funds ($12,000 to $18,000 annually), villages become self-sustaining in just five years. That’s only $60,000 to $90,000 total to bring an average of 1500 people out of extreme poverty!

Getting Involved

While Trey and Madison are excited to begin the journey, traveling with friends along the way and being encouraged along is an added benefit. Individuals can truly track progress and work to meet up with Trey and Madison along the way for short periods, hike locally near their home or even on their treadmill! Wherever you hike, get pictures and video and post them using #Hike4Hope. To join the fun financially, show your support by giving through Hike4Hope.Rocks or email daphne.keys@ghni.org to set up your own Hike4Hope donation page!

However, you participate, follow along the blog to learn how Trey and Madison process along their journey and if they run into any fun challenges! GHNI will be posting regularly at Hike4Hope.Rocks. Finally, you can check out this short message from Trey and Madison:





Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Monday, June 4, 2018

Rocky Mountain National Park Celebrates International Migratory Bird Day With Two Special Events On June 9

The Year of the Bird is the theme for this year’s International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD), to celebrate 100 years of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. On Saturday, June 9, 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 welcome. 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 showing of the award-winning film, “Winged Migration.” Learn about the world’s migratory birds and their truly miraculous journeys in this breathtaking film covering 40 countries and 7 continents. Running time is 1.5 hours; admission is free.

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



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Secretary Zinke Announces 19 New National Recreation Trails in 17 States

Continuing his work to expand recreational opportunities on public lands, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today designated 19 national recreation trails in 17 states, adding more than 370 miles to the national recreation trails system of more than 1,000 trails in all 50 states.

"By designating these new national trails, we acknowledge the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone," said Secretary Zinke. "Our network of national trails provides easily accessible places to exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas while boosting tourism and supporting economic opportunities across the country."

On Saturday, June 2, hundreds of organized activities are planned as part of National Trails Day, including hikes, educational programs, bike rides, trail rehabilitation projects, festivals, paddle trips, and trail dedications. Trails of the National Recreation Trails system range from less than a mile to 485 miles in length and have been designated on federal, state, municipal and privately owned lands.

"The network of national recreation trails offers expansive opportunities for Americans to explore the great outdoors," said National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith. "As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, I hope everyone will take advantage of a nearby national trail to hike or bike."

While national scenic trails and national historic trails may only be designated by an act of Congress, national recreation trails may be designated by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture in response to an application from the trail's managing agency or organization.

The National Recreation Trails Program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, in conjunction with a number of Federal and not-for-profit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National Recreation Trails website.

For more information on the newly designated trails, please click here.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Monday, May 28, 2018

Plan Ahead For A More Enjoyable Visit To Rocky

In 2017, Rocky Mountain National Park was the fourth most visited national park with over 4.4 million visitors. This visitation represents a nearly 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 continue to address what effect this level of visitation is having 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. These restrictions occurred most days in July and August, in addition to weekends in June and September. Park staff will continue to implement these short term efforts in 2018.

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: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/shuttle_bus_route.htm

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 10:00 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 10, your best option, and on some days your only option, will be to take the Hiker Shuttle from the Estes Park Visitor Center. This shuttle runs every 30 minutes from the Estes Park Visitor Center to the Park & Ride on Bear Lake Road. Expect wait times to board the shuttles. An entrance pass is required to use The Hiker Shuttle. Please see below for how to purchase a pass online. The Hiker Shuttle will not be stopping at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center this summer, due to congestion and limited parking.

•The Alpine Visitor Center parking lot is busy 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 2018, are September 22 and November 11.

For further 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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Saturday, May 26, 2018

New Camping Restrictions In-place for Guanella Pass

Concentrated impacts from visitors are causing safety concerns, resource damage and threatening the Town of Georgetown’s water supply. To reduce these impacts, parking, camping, campfires and all other uses are restricted between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. in undesignated areas within a quarter-mile of Guanella Pass Road, portions of Leavenworth Road and all of Silver Dollar Lake Road. Visitors may camp and have campfires in one of five developed campgrounds along the road corridor, including 70 developed campsites and 30 designated dispersed sites; park in designated parking areas at any time; hike the Mount Bierstadt Trail at any time; backpack out of the restricted area to camp; and use the area during non-restricted times for parking, picnicking, hiking, biking, fishing, hunting and viewing wildlife.

You can read the full Guanella Pass Dispersed Camping restrictions here.



Jeff
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Friday, May 25, 2018

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 on Friday, May 25. 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 31, due to a late May snowstorm. 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 October 27.

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. This year, crews ran into average or below average snowpack in many locations. Drifts were similar as past years, ranging from 10 to 20 feet in some locations. Rain and sun caused significant melting over the last two weeks. Recent storms that forecast snow accumulation at higher elevations, produced rain instead.

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



Jeff
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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Special Programs Offered Over Memorial Day Weekend At Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park invites the public to attend two special Memorial Day Weekend evening programs offered at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center at Rocky Mountain National Park. On Saturday, May 26, at 7 p.m. join park ranger Steven Lambert for 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, forests, wildlife, weather and people.

On Sunday, May 27, at 7 p.m. the National Park Service is honored to have the Navy Band Northwest Brass Quintet perform to honor veterans over Memorial Day weekend. Presenting the finest in brass chamber music, the Navy Band Northwest Brass Quintet performs over one hundred concerts, ceremonies, and outreach events each year. With an area of responsibility from "Alaska to Nebraska," musical variety from ancient renaissance to modern jazz, and technical virtuosity from the trumpets all the way down to the tuba. Their musical selections inspire feelings of patriotism to celebrate Memorial Day.

These programs are free and open to the public. Space is limited. 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, May 22, 2018

Help the Conservation Corps celebrate National Trails Day!

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

This year, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System. Help the Conservancy celebrate trails and send-off the Conservation Corps by joining us for a volunteer trails projects in Rocky Mountain National Park. The project will work on the Aspen Brook trail. Project description below:

The Aspen Brook trail was heavily damaged by the floods of 2013. Large sections of the trail were heavily eroded and in many sections large slides made the trail impassible. During the summer of 2017 Rocky Mountain National Park trail crews’ worked to build a new trail with a more sustainable alignment, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

Volunteers will work to rehabilitate the old trail while also continuing to build sections of new trail. There is about a 20 minute walk to the work site and volunteers will be asked to more brush and dirt and well as dig new trail with shovels, picks, and McLeods. There is plenty of work available for people of all activity levels.

After the volunteer work, the Conservancy will host a National Trails Day BBQ for all participants!

Who: Volunteer must be able to hike up to a mile and lift 20lbs.

What: Volunteer Trails Project (Flood Recovery)

Where: Aspen Brook Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park – Directions will be provided upon registration.

When: June 2nd at 9:00AM – 2:00PM

Why: Join the Conservancy and the Conservation Corps to celebrate the National Trails System!

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

To RSVP please complete the form: National Trails Day Volunteer Registration



Jeff
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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Celebrate International Endangered Species Day With Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park invites you to a special program at 7 p.m. Friday, May 18 at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. On this special day, America will celebrate endangered species success stories, including the protection and recovery of the American bald eagle and Rocky’s own peregrine falcon. This year, we will be showing the award-winning film from the Discovery Channel, Racing Extinction. By shedding light on the international wildlife trade, the filmmakers reveal forces that endanger wildlife on the land and in the sea, while introducing us to the brave people working every day to save vulnerable species. They are protecting habitats, changing behaviors, and holding illegal operations accountable.

Started in 2006, by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of the nation’s wildlife and wild places. The goal of Endangered Species Day is simple, to highlight the importance of protecting and recovering our rare, threatened, and endangered animal and plant species. In Colorado, the peregrine falcon is making a remarkable recovery thanks to efforts to protect these animals and their homes. Without these efforts, we might have lost these special falcons forever. Our commitment to protecting rare wildlife ensures that Coloradoans can enjoy living side-by-side with all plant and wildlife for generations to come.

One reason for the nation’s success in protecting wildlife is the passage, 42 years ago, of the federal Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act has successfully prevented the extinction of hundreds of species, including the humpback whale, Kirtland’s warbler, and bull trout. Many of our nation’s signature species, such as the Florida panther, Hawaiian monk seal, and Alabama red-bellied turtle, owe their continued existence to the protections of the Act. The significant success of the Act shows that only nine animals out of the more than 1,800 species listed as endangered under the Act have been declared extinct. This is in part thanks to the everyday actions that individuals can take to help protect our nation’s wildlife, fish and plants.

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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Sunday, May 13, 2018

The final section of the Colorado Birding Trail has been completed

The final section of the Colorado Birding Trail – encompassing the northeast region of Colorado – has been completed, finishing a major tourism initiative to promote outdoor recreation that started 15 years ago in time for bird enthusiasts to get out and celebrate the Year of the Bird.

The Colorado Birding Trail was started as a major nature tourism initiative to promote outdoor recreation, conservation of resources by private landowners, and a diversified income for rural economies. The trail is unique in that it’s not a physical trail, but a driving-tour map that brings together both public and private lands, with many of the private lands being open to visitation only through their participation as sites on the trail.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Statewide Public Programs Coordinator Mary McCormac has been involved with the northeast trail from the very beginning. She said the northeast region offers unique opportunities for Colorado birders.

“One of the special qualities of the northeast is urban birdin’, as we call it,” McCormac said. “Here you have some of the most populated areas of the state, yet there is quality wildlife habitat you can explore not too far from home. And for people who may not have the means to travel to sites, these places in their neighborhood may help connect them to wildlife and the outdoors.”

McCormac said colorful spiral-bound books are being printed for distribution to the public this summer, but birders eager to get a jump start on the recently completed northeast region can visit coloradobirdingtrail.com where all the current trail information has been updated.

“Getting out on the Colorado Birding Trail is a very easy way for people to get started caring about nature and the outdoors,” McCormac said. “They can choose what they want to do and where they want to go. They can travel to remote areas or stay close to home and discover new places they’ve never seen in their neighborhood. From there, you’re planting the seed of growing and fostering that love and appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors. Hopefully we then inspire conservation stewardship, and maybe even some future park rangers and wildlife officers to work for us or our partner agencies someday!”

The Colorado Birding Trail is a partnership between Colorado Parks and Wildlife, American Birding Association, Audubon Rockies, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, and Colorado Field Ornithologists. The trail was made possible by funding from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), which invests Colorado Lottery proceeds in outdoor recreation and land conservation projects across the state. Additional support for the project was provided by many federal, state, and nonprofit agencies.

“Whether folks are new to birding, real experts, or just headed out on the trail for fun with friends or family, we hope they enjoy their time exploring Colorado’s great outdoors along the Colorado Birding Trail,” said GOCO Executive Director Chris Castilian.

"The Colorado Lottery is thrilled that the development of the Colorado Birding Trail was made possible with Lottery proceeds,” said Colorado Lottery Community Relations Specialist Colin Waters. “Since 1983, we've given back more than $3.1 billion to wildlife and habitat preservation, education programs, and outdoor recreation. The Lottery encourages all Colorado residents and visitors to experience first-hand the hundreds of bird species that make Colorado home."



Jeff
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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Get out and celebrate Colorado Public Lands Day on May 19

Get out and celebrate Colorado! Colorado Parks and Wildlife, along with partners from federal, local and state agencies, are all celebrating Colorado Public Lands Day on Saturday, May 19. Free events, stewardship projects and outdoor adventures are being offered across the state to highlight the importance of our public lands.

Colorado Public Lands Day is an annual opportunity to give back to our lands and unify communities across the state. “Not only do public lands conserve critical habitat for fish and wildlife, they also sustain a vibrant economic engine for Colorado,” said CPW Director Bob Broscheid. “Whether it’s tourism, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking or dirt biking, our public lands are a vital part of Colorado’s allure and natural beauty.”

Colorado was the first state in the nation to establish its own public lands day. In May 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed the bipartisan bill into law. The purpose of this holiday is to celebrate the significant contributions that national, state, and local public lands within Colorado make to wildlife, outdoor recreation, the economy, and to Coloradans’ quality of life.

Some state park events include:

• Arkansas Headwaters: 27th Annual Clean Up/Green Up
• Lathrop State Park and Cheyenne Mountain State Park: Kids to Parks Day Activity
• Roxborough State Park: Volunteer at the Garden
• Stagecoach State Park: Free Community Lunch and Pre-Summer Trash Pick-Up
• Lory State Park: Mullein Control to Celebrate Public Lands Day!
• Colorado State Parks Photo Campaign

For event information, visit cpw.state.co.us/copubliclandsday.

Additional events can also be found at copubliclandsday.com.



Jeff
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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Rocky Mountain National Park Changes Entrance Fee To Address Infrastructure Needs And Improve Visitor Experience

The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that Rocky Mountain National Park will modify its entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs that enhance the visitor experience. Effective June 1, all of the park’s passes will increase. Rocky Mountain National Park is unique in that it offers a Day Pass. Rocky will continue to offer the Day Pass, it will increase from $20 to $25. The Seven-Day Vehicle Pass will increase from $30 to $35, the Seven-Day Motorcycle Pass will increase from $25 to $30. The park’s Annual Pass will increase from $60 to $70.

Last October, the NPS proposed a plan to adopt seasonal pricing at Rocky Mountain National Park and 16 other national parks to raise additional revenue for infrastructure and maintenance needs. The fee structure announced today addresses many concerns and ideas provided by the public on how best to address fee revenue for parks.

Revenue from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service and helps ensure a quality experience for all who visit. In Rocky Mountain National Park, 80 percent of entrance fees stay in the park and are devoted to spending that supports the visitor. The other 20 percent of entry fee income is shared with other national parks for their projects.

According to park superintendent Darla Sidles, “We appreciate all park stakeholders who engaged and commented on the proposed fee increase including elected officials, community leaders, park visitors and our neighbors. We are committed to keeping Rocky Mountain National Park affordable and providing visitors with the best possible experience. This fee increase is still an incredible value when considering other family and recreational experiences. Plus, 80 percent of those funds stay right here in Rocky to benefit visitors and improve the park, such as operating the park’s visitor shuttle bus system, providing food storage lockers at campgrounds, and restoring willow and aspen habitat. The additional revenue will also help us address the park’s $84 million deferred maintenance backlog on projects such as rehabilitating numerous trails like the Onahu Trail and Cub Lake Trail, renovating restroom facilities, replacing a failing septic system at Timber Creek Campground, and mitigating beetle-killed hazard trees in or near park facilities such as picnic areas and trailheads.”

National parks have experienced record breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Rocky’s 2017 visitation alone was 4.4 million visitors, making it the fourth most visited national park. Throughout the country, the combination of aging infrastructure and increased visitation affects park roads, bridges, buildings, campgrounds, water systems, bathrooms, and other facilities. Maintenance deferred on these facilities amounts to $11.6 billion nationwide backlog.

Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199.9 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.

Rocky Mountain National Park has had an entrance fee since 1939. The current fee rate has been in effect since October, 2015. The park is one of 117 in the National Park System that charges an entrance fee. The remaining 300 sites are free to enter.

The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80.



Jeff
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Friday, April 13, 2018

National Park Service Announces Plan to Address Infrastructure Needs & Improve Visitor Experience

As part of its ongoing efforts to address aging park infrastructure and improve the visitor experience, the National Park Service (NPS) announced today changes to the entrance fees charged at national parks. The changes, which come in response to public comments on a fee proposal released in October 2017, will modestly increase entrance fees to raise additional revenue to address the $11.6 billion in deferred maintenance across the system of 417 parks, historic and cultural sites, and monuments.

Most seven-day vehicle passes to enter national parks will be increased by $5 and will be implemented in many parks beginning June 1, 2018. Yosemite National Park for example will increase the price of a seven-day vehicle pass to the park from $30 to $35. More than two-thirds of national parks will remain free to enter. A complete list of park entrance fees may be found here.

All of the revenue from the fee increases will remain in the National Park Service with at least 80 percent of the money staying in the park where it is collected. The funds will be used for projects and activities to improve the experience for visitors who continue to visit parks at unprecedented levels. Increased attendance at parks, 1.5 billion visits in the last five years, means aging park facilities incurring further wear and tear.

“An investment in our parks is an investment in America,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Every dollar spent to rebuild our parks will help bolster the gateway communities that rely on park visitation for economic vitality. I want to thank the American people who made their voices heard through the public comment process on the original fee proposal. Your input has helped us develop a balanced plan that focuses on modest increases at the 117 fee-charging parks as opposed to larger increases proposed for 17 highly-visited national parks. The $11.6 billion maintenance backlog isn’t going to be solved overnight and will require a multi-tiered approach as we work to provide badly needed revenue to repair infrastructure. This is just one of the ways we are carrying out our commitment to ensure that national parks remain world class destinations that provide an excellent value for families from all income levels.”

The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80.

“Repairing infrastructure is also about access for all Americans,” Secretary Zinke said. “Not all visitors to our parks have the ability to hike with a 30-pound pack and camp in the wilderness miles away from utilities. In order for families with young kids, elderly grandparents, or persons with disabilities to enjoy the parks, we need to rebuild basic infrastructure like roads, trails, lodges, restrooms and visitors centers.”

Fees to enter national parks predate the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916. For example, Mount Rainier National Park began charging an entrance fee in 1908. Factoring in inflation, the $5 entrance fee the park charged in 1914 would be the equivalent of a $123 entrance fee today—more than four times the price of the new seven-day $30 vehicle pass.

Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.

In addition to implementing modest fee increases and enhancing public-private partnerships aimed at rebuilding national parks, Secretary Zinke is working closely with Congress on proposed bipartisan legislation to use revenue derived from energy produced on federal lands and waters to establish a special fund within the Treasury specifically for “National Park Restoration”. The billfollows the blueprint outlined in Secretary Zinke and President Trump's budget proposal, the Public Lands Infrastructure Fund.

The National Park Service has a standardized entrance fee structure, composed of four groups based on park size and type. Some parks not yet aligned with the other parks in their category will raise their fees incrementally and fully incorporate the new entrance fee schedule by January 1, 2020.



Jeff
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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

One week left to file your taxes and check-off for wildlife

This year’s tax season ends on April 17, offering extra time for last-minute filers to submit their 2017 federal and state taxes and to make a tax-deductible contribution to help Colorado’s wildlife. Colorado Parks and Wildlife asks those who have not yet filed to consider helping threatened and endangered wildlife when finalizing your Colorado state returns with a voluntary contribution through the Non-game Conservation and Wildlife Restoration Cash Fund.

CPW is one of the organizations included on Colorado state income tax form 104A as part of Checkoff Colorado, which allows taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to the organizations of their choice when filing their state income tax returns. Specifying a contribution on line No. 1 of Colorado tax form 104CH (the Voluntary Contributions Schedule form) supports CPW programs that support wildlife rehabilitation and preservation of threatened and endangered species in the state of Colorado. Specified donations to the Non-game Conservation and Wildlife Restoration Cash Fund are tax-deductible and help support around 750 species of wildlife that cannot be hunted or fished.

Funds go to projects that manage or recover wildlife including birds of prey, amphibians, reptiles, lynx, river otters, black-footed ferrets and others. The Non-game Conservation and Wildlife Restoration Cash Fund also helps support wildlife rehabilitation centers that work to care for injured and orphaned wildlife ranging from orphaned bear cubs to the great blue heron.

“We have a bit of fun with our campaign theme that wildlife doesn’t have an annual income to support their livelihood,” said Dan Zimmerer, CPW’s partnership coordinator. “But the truth is, some species are simply more vulnerable than others. These check-off contributions help us fund CPW projects and help support our rehab partners. These partners truly appreciate your help in doing their very important wildlife work.”

Coloradans contributed more than $180,000 last year to help a variety of species through the tax checkoff, making the Non-game Conservation and Wildlife Restoration Cash Fund the number one fund out of over 20 options for Colorado residents. Some recent non-game success stories in Colorado include the reintroduction of the Canada lynx and natural breeding after translocation of the endangered boreal toad. Be a part of our next conservation story by checking off for wildlife on your 2017 Colorado state taxes.

To learn more about the various species that benefit from your voluntary contribution, please visit cpw.state.co.us.



Jeff
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Friday, March 23, 2018

Public Input Requested on the Future of Cascade Cottages In Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is considering options for the future use of the 42-acre Cascade Cottages property acquired in March of 2017. For many decades Kansas school-teachers L.V. and Hazel Davis operated a privately-owned lodging business that was open seasonally from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Honoring the wishes of the family patriarch, the family approached park staff in 2009, offering to sell the property to the park. With assistance from the Trust for Public Land, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, and many donors, including the Estes Valley Land Trust, Larimer County, and the Town of Estes Park, the park was able to acquire the property. Park staff are now in the process of determining how the property should be used and/or preserved.

The Cascade Cottages property is bordered on the south by Fall River, and is named for a series of cascades on the river. The property is bisected by Fall River Road (U.S. Highway 34), and is located approximately 1 mile inside the Fall River Entrance to RMNP. The property office, 12 rustic cabins, and associated infrastructure are located on the south side of Fall River Road and lie very lightly on the land. The cabins are built on stone or concrete piers, and water lines run above ground. There is no well or permanent water system. Water was hauled to the site and stored in above ground tanks, and propane was delivered to the site. The only externally provided utilities are power and telephone. The property to the north of Fall River Road is undeveloped.

Preliminary Options
While no decision has been made on the future use of the Cascade Cottages Property, some preliminary options have been developed to initiate discussion. These preliminary options are:

Youth Conservation Corps Seasonal Housing
The park’s friends group, The Rocky Mountain Conservancy, funds a youth conservation corps every summer. The corps perform projects within the park such as trail reconstruction. Some of the existing cottages could be renovated and site improvements completed to provide housing that would only be occupied by the corps during the summer months.

Youth and Volunteer Outdoor Education
Some of the cabins could be renovated and minor site improvements completed to provide a rustic lodging and outdoor education facility for youth or park volunteers that have limited experience with the outdoors. Not as outdoorsy as camping, the rustic cabins could provide an outdoors experience without all the comforts of home.

Mothball the Structures
RMNP would terminate all outside services (power and phone), and would secure each building from entry using plywood coverings over windows and doors. While left unused, the buildings would not receive routine maintenance.

Remove the Structures and Restore the Site
The structures and infrastructure would be removed and recycled to the extent feasible. The ground would be scarified to break up compacted soil, and the area replanted with native grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees. The goal would be to place all disturbed areas on a trajectory where they would be restored to natural conditions in a matter of a few decades.

Other Options
If you have comments on the options above or an idea for the future of Cascade Cottages that is compatible with the mission of the National Park Service, please share your idea with us!

Comments must be received in writing by close of business on April 23, 2018. Comments can be submitted online by visiting: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/romo. Look for “Cascade Cottages.”

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.



Jeff
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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Moose Research Continues In Rocky Mountain National Park

Late last summer, park staff began a moose research project to better understand how moose use habitat in Rocky Mountain National Park. Moose presence has been increasing annually on both the east and west sides of the park, with recent reports showing animals observed in every major drainage in the park.

As part of this research, National Park Service staff are collaring up to 40 moose throughout the park. Seven animals were collared on the west side of the park last year, and staff will begin collaring moose on the east side of the park this year as well. This research project will occur for the next five years, through 2022.

Information on moose population size, population growth rate, and carrying capacity as well as habitat use will be gathered from this by excessive browse for decades. During the course of executing this adaptive management plan, new challenges have emerged, including a noticeably growing and expanding research. Moose have not been previously GPS collared in the park, and affixing collars will assist greatly in collecting this important information. Moose will also be monitored for chronic wasting disease (CWD) and baseline health metrics will be collected, which will allow biologists to better understand the overall health of the park’s moose population.

Since 2008, Rocky Mountain National Park’s Elk and Vegetation Management Plan has been undergoing efforts to reestablish the natural range of variation to the elk population, as well as aspen and willow communities which have been impacted by moose populations in the park. Moose are wetland specialists, and can consume significant amounts of willow during the summer months. Aspen and willow are critical habitat for a wide and diverse array of wildlife species.



Jeff
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Monday, March 12, 2018

Phase 2 of Rim Rock Drive Repaving Starts Today

Beginning March 12, road work will start on Rim Rock Drive near the east entrance of Colorado National Monument. From March 12 to 14, the construction company will close one lane and use pilot vehicles to escort cars through the construction zone. Motorists should expect delays of 15-30 minutes. Due to the expected rough and potentially loose surfaces the National Park Service is asking bicyclists and motorcyclists to avoid this stretch of Rim Rock Drive during this time.

The second phase of this multi-phased project involves repairing and resurfacing the east hill of Rim Rock Drive, from the Grand Junction entrance and through the intersection with DS Road and then following DS Road to the monument boundary. Crews will be milling and pulverizing the current road surfaces, preparing the surfaces for paving and then laying new asphalt and concrete.

Superintendent Ken Mabery stated, “The goal of everyone associated with this project is to accomplish the needed work in a safe and efficient manner for the long term access needs of community members and visitors.”

Starting on March 15, the east hill of Rim Rock Drive will be temporarily closed from the Devils Kitchen trailhead and picnic area to Cold Shivers Point overlook for about one month. During this time traffic into the monument and those traveling to or through Glade Park will need to use the Little Park Road detour. Devils Kitchen trailhead and picnic area may be closed for a day or two as paving is completed immediately adjacent to them. DS road will be open to one way traffic with a pilot vehicle escorting motorists through the construction zones.

Visitors traveling from the Fruita entrance will be able to access the visitor center and go as far as the Cold Shivers Point overlook, approximately 15 miles beyond the visitor center. They will be able to exit the monument using DS Road.

Spring hours are now in effect at Colorado National Monument. The visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. For additional information please visit www.nps.gov/colm or call 970-858-3617, ext. 360.



Jeff
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Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Colorado Trail Foundation Seeks Trail Crews

The Colorado Trail Foundation is seeking 10 trail crews - the most ever - to help with trail maintenance on the 500-mile trail.

Volunteer Trail Crews vary in length from one to eight days. The CTF provides training, tools, hardhats, meals (except for backpack crews), group camp equipment, and leadership. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to the crew location and for their personal equipment, including tent or camper, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, eating utensils, work clothes, and other personal items, as applicable. You can contact the crew leader for crew specifics.

For more information, please click here.



Jeff
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Thursday, March 8, 2018

National Park System Sees More Than 330 Million Visits

The National Park Service (NPS) today announced 330,882,751 recreation visits in 2017 – almost identical to the record-setting 330,971,689 recreation visits in 2016. While numbers were steady, visitors actually spent more time in parks during their 2017 visits compared to 2016.

Increased attendance at parks, 1.5 billion visits in the last five years, also means aging park facilities are incurring further wear and tear. President Trump has proposed legislation to establish a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund that would help address the $11.6 billion maintenance backlog in the National Park System. The fund would take new revenue from federal energy leasing and development and provide up to $18 billion to help pay for repairs and improvements in national parks, national wildlife refuges and Bureau of Indian Education funded schools.

“Our National Parks are being loved to death," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. "As visitor rates continue at a high level, we must prioritize much-needed deferred maintenance including aging facilities, roads and other critical infrastructure. President Trump's proposal to establish a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund is a step in the right direction. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, this is an American issue, and the President and I remain ready to work with anyone in Congress who is willing to get the job done.”

National Park System 2017 visitation highlights include:

• More than 1.44 billion recreation hours in 2017, an increase of 19 million hours over 2016

• Most – 385 of 417 parks in the National Park System – count park visitors

• 61 of the 385 reporting parks set new visitation records (about 16 percent of reporting parks)

• 42 parks broke a record they set in 2016

• 3 parks had more than 10 million recreation visits – Blue Ridge Parkway, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park

• 10 parks had more than 5 million recreation visits

• 81 parks had more than 1 million recreation visits – one more million-visitor park than 2016

• Half of national park visitation occurred in 27 parks

• The total solar eclipse last August brought visitors in record numbers to several parks


Top 10 Visitation National Parks: Recreation Visits (Deferred Maintenance Amount)

1) Great Smoky Mountains National Park: 11,388,893 ($215,451,902)

2) Grand Canyon National Park: 6,254,238 ($329,437,054)

3) Zion National Park: 4,504,812 ($65,291,893)

4) Rocky Mountain National Park: 4,437,215 ($84,234,245)

5) Yosemite National Park: 4,336,890 ($582,670,827)

6) Yellowstone National Park: 4,116,524 ($515,808,707)

7) Acadia National Park: 3,509,271 ($59,858,099)

8) Olympic National Park: 3,401,996 ($120,719,515)

9) Grand Teton National Park: 3,317,000 ($178,630,525)

10) Glacier National Park : 3,305,512 ($153,838,276)



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
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HikingintheSmokys.com

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Pikes Peak Summit Complex Project Proposal Moves Closer to Finalization

The Pikes Peak Summit Complex Project proposal Draft Decision Notice was released by Acting Forest and Grassland Supervisor Charles Oliver. Among other activities, the Draft Decision Notice would authorize a new Summit Visitor Center. The existing Summit House is proposed to be replaced with a larger, two-story facility set into the hillside. It would be positioned to visibly anchor with adjacent Mount Rosa, the location where Zebulon Pike first viewed Pikes Peak.

According to Oliver, “I’m excited to move this major project closer to completion. It follows years of planning and collaboration by many dedicated partners. Once approved, the new Summit House will certainly be a showcase for our nation and the U.S Forest Service.”

The Proposed Action Alternative protects the high-altitude tundra ecosystem and the cultural heritage of the landscape while addressing the need for access to the summit. The high-altitude tundra ecosystem will be protected to prevent damage from human infrastructure and activity. The structures and visitor center interpretive displays will reflect the rich history of Pikes Peak and the cultures that have called this area home.

The new visitor center, designated driving routes, parking areas, walking paths, and interpretive points, will offer a more natural and enhanced experience for all who visit or work at the summit.

Major annual events associated with Pikes Peak summit will continue, including the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. In addition, the Cog Railway, hiking trails, highway and viewing locations will all continue to be available.

This proposed decision is subject to objections. After this Decision Notice is signed, project implementation may begin as soon as this summer.

The City of Colorado Springs (City), Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain (PPAM), in partnership with Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), have proposed to design, construct and operate the Summit Complex in the Pike National Forest, in El Paso County, Colorado. The U.S. Forest Service is the federal lead Agency for this EA. The existing Complex is located on the top of Pikes Peak at an elevation of 14,115 feet. For additional information concerning this Draft Decision Notice, visit the Project website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=47229



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com