Upper Ark gets first look at budget

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From The Mountain Mail (Ron Sering):

Cost-cutting in several areas totaling about $79,000 is part of the preliminary 2010 budget presented to Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District directors Thursday. District general manager Terry Scanga presented the initial budget draft, proposing cost reduction in key areas, including legal and engineering. “I have told our engineering people and our attorneys to prioritize our projects a little better, to focus their activities and get our expenditures down,” Scanga said. “If this all works with our income numbers we have here, we should have about $30,000 in actual surplus revenue.” Included in district plans is money to hire a staff engineer. “I think we need to look in earnest to get somebody hired.” Scanga said. A public hearing regarding the final budget is tentatively set for the November board meeting.

More Upper Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District coverage here.

Littleton: Operation Medicine Cabinet

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From the Littleton Independent (Holly Cook):

Operation Medicine Cabinet, in partnership with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office Community Resource Unit, Home Instead Senior Care, Brookdale Senior Living and the Arapahoe Library District, will be joining efforts Oct. 17 to help keep families safe while caring for the environment, by properly disposing of out dated and unused medication and keeping it out of landfills and water supplies. “The first event was a great success, not only did we collect loads of supplies for Project Cure, but we also collected over 125 pounds of loose, expired medications that were later destroyed by the Littleton Police Department,” said Kim Dahlquist, who leads the project in the area. Starting at 9 a.m. and lasting until 1 p.m., Operation Medicine Cabinet will host a drive-up, drop-off site for old medicines, thermometers, or used syringes at Koelbel Library, 5955 Sout Holly Street and Smoky Hill Library, 5430 South Biscay Drive.

More water pollution coverage here and here.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park turns ten

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From the Montrose Daily Press (Kati O’Hare):

“The national park status is very special,” current park Superintendent Connie Rudd said. “What’s important is that the canyon is still the same and that means we’ve done our job.”[…]

Former legislators, along with Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service leaders, discussed their decades-long endeavor involving perseverance and public involvement that gave the canyon its new name.

More Gunnison River Basin coverage here.

Colorado Tourism Office: Three ‘snow virgins’ to win expenses-paid trip to Colorado

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If you have never seen snow you’re eligible to enter the contest at http://www.snowatfirstsight.com/. The website lauches a video so turn your speakers down at work.

Here’s a report from The Durango Herald (Catherine Tsai).

CWCB: Lower Blanco restoration update

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From the Pagosa Sun (Randi Pierce):

The Lower Blanco Property Owners Association, working with Riverbend Engineering, was awarded $150,000 from the Colorado Water Conservation Board to move forward with the 2010 phase of the restoration…

The current phase, the fifth, according to Chris Pitcher of Riverbend Engineering, is slated to be complete by the end of October. The project focuses on habitat enhancement through the use of habitat rocks and rock structures in a 1.6-mile section of the river. LBPOA President Bob Hemenger said the group hopes to accomplish more in the current phase than originally planned, extending it past the current proposed completion date since the funding is available. Also planned during the current phase is the planting of native woody, riparian vegetation in flood plain areas. “This phase will improve river morphology by creating flood plain benches and adjusting the channel width,” Pitcher said. The rock formations and flood plain area work will also serve to slow down the river through narrowing and deepening of channels to alleviate possible flood issues on adjacent properties, while protecting the integrity of the river’s banks. “The purpose of the project is to restore aquatic life function that was lost,” Pitcher said…

Diminished fish and wildlife habitat, as well as changing overall dynamics of the river, affected portions of the Lower Blanco starting in 1971, when the Chama River diversion was opened, removing about 70 percent of the Blanco’s water to be sent to New Mexico. The restoration project began in 1997 and, after a hiatus, picked up again two years ago with the hiring of Riverbend. It aims to ultimately restore a nine-mile section of the Lower Blanco. The previous four phases combined have completed about five miles.

More restoration coverage here.