Montrose: Citizen group to manage Uncompahgre corridor through town

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From the Telluride Watch (Beverly Corbell):

Ben Tisdel, [Friends of River Uncompahre] boardmember said he and others were worried that the new committee might not follow guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency for development near rivers. “We want to make sure that there is an even balance of interests on the committee, and we want to have the positive hope that all interests are fairly represented,” Tisdel said. Montrose City Spokesman David Spear said he wants to assure FORU and others that the city council’s plan calls for a balance of members to represent five categories, including landowners, realtors and developers (in one category), river advocates such as FORU, river recreation advocates, and residents in general. Spear said he expects the river committee to have 11 members but just how many and when the members will be selected is up to the city council…

The city has held two open houses to give out information on preliminary plans to preserve the river corridor, which was the most highly ranked public objective of the 2008 Comprehensive Plan. The plan recommends a 100-foot buffer between the river and any pavement or structures and will be the basis for the new ordinance, said senior city planner Garry Baker earlier this year

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Precipitation (runoff) news

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From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (John Gardner):

The month of May was the third wettest month in Glenwood Springs since 2003, when Oscar McCollum began keeping daily records of temperature and precipitation in Glenwood Springs. McCollum, who records daily temperatures and precipitation for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, recorded 3.44 inches of rain for the Month of May in Glenwood…

Conditions for the Upper Colorado River Basin, according to an online report by the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation stated that April and May conditions measured at 120 percent and 105 percent of average, respectively. The overall water year precipitation rate through June 9, is 101 percent of average, the report stated…

The rain showers have kept the Colorado River swollen around 8,400 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of June 24, according to the United States Geological Survey. The Colorado River through the Glenwood Canyon peaked on May 21, at 9,900 cfs, which was still above average peak flow, according to the National Weather Service. The Roaring Fork River peaked on May 19, at 6,100 cfs, which is considered average peak flow for the river.

FIBArk recap

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Here’s a recap of last week’s FIBArk festival up in Chaffee County, from Scott Willoughby writing for the Denver Post. From the article:

Without question, FIBArk is Salida’s time to shine. The 61-year-old festival celebrating all things Arkansas River-related could be considered the town’s calling card, a five-day affair that began on a bet and blossomed into full-blown whitewater carnival complete with contests, clinics, parades, parties and the ever-popular Hooligan Race that attracts thousands of river enthusiasts each year. At this point, the original “bet I can beat you in a boat race down to Cañon City” almost seems secondary to the remainder of the multiring circus surrounding it. But the prestige of being “First in Boating on the Ark” (FIBArk, get it?) remains even after the race was shortened to the 26-mile marathon ending in Cotopaxi (won this year by Andy Corra of Durango). “It’s like nothing else in the world,” said Scott Shipley of Lyons, a former Olympic slalom kayak racer who is designing the whitewater course for the 2012 Olympics in London. “I’ve literally been to whitewater parks everywhere from the Czech Republic all the way to Australia, and this place is just such a part of the community. It’s a real community-type feel anyway, but they get behind this whitewater race like nothing else.”

More coverage from The Durango Telegraph:

A Durangoan earned “king of the river” status during last weekend’s 61st FIBArk Whitewater Festival in Salida. Andy Corra, the 48-year-old owner of 4 Corners Riversports, won the Wildwater Natioanl Championships on Saturday and the marathon 26-mile Downriver Race on Sunday, beating out racers a fraction of his age. The downriver race is the event that first got the FIBArk festival started in 1949. The 26-mile race through class III water runs from Salida to Cotopaxi and has always drawn some of the best boaters in the country and world to the starting line. Corra first won the race in 1985. This year’s race put him at six FIBArk victories, a record he shares with veteran boater Gary Lacy. “Obviously, the older you get, the harder it gets, but it’s such a technical sport and there’s so much boat-control and learning how to race an event like this, it kind of evens out,” Corra told the Pueblo Chieftan. “I was certainly stronger when I was 25, but I don’t think I’m much slower.” Fellow Durango boater and 1991 FIBArk champ Mike Freeburn finished second in the Nationals and offered a blow-by-blow account. “The start was chaotic,” he said. “(Andy) got out and I got stuck behind a whole group of people right away, so I lost contact with him. One guy turned sideways and I crashed right into him. My plan was to stay right with him and there was instantly a 20-meter gap, so once he had that little jump, it was really hard to make that up.” At the finish line, Corra offered props to Freeburn, who is 43, for keeping him motivated and competitive. “We’re doing it for the old guys,” he said.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Summit County: Upper Blue Sanitation District to kick off $27 million expansion

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From the Summit Daily News (Robert Allen):

Groundbreaking for Upper Blue Sanitation District’s $27 million expansion project at Farmer’s Korner is expected to occur in the next three weeks, said district manager Andy Carlberg…The contract for the wastewater reclamation facility was awarded to Glacier Construction at $7 million less than the $34 million estimated six months ago. Construction is expected to take less than two-and-a-half years…

The project includes two new buildings totaling 43,000 square feet. It is to be built north of the existing structure at the intersection of Highway 9 and Swan Mountain Road. Plant capacity is to expand from 2 million to 5 million gallons per day. The district will encourage participation of local labor and subcontractors throughout the project, Carlberg said.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.