Runoff news: Tubing still restricted on Routt County streams

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From Steamboat Today (Matt Stensland):

The partial-use restriction forbids using “single-chambered, air-inflated devices such as the inner tubes and air mattresses typically found on the Yampa River during tubing season. Officials say they are looking out for the safety of would-be tubers as well as the emergency responders or bystanders who might attempt a rescue should tubers get in trouble…

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the Yampa downtown was running at 2,650 cubic feet per second Tuesday afternoon. That is significantly higher than the 559 cfs July 5 average. Commercial tube operators oftentimes are accommodating hundreds of tubers a day by now, but Backdoor Sports owner Peter Van De Carr said the river has to drop to 700 cubic feet per second before he can start inflating tubes. Even at that level, tubing is limited to adults, and they are required to wear a life jacket.

From Steamboat Today (Tom Ross):

Records kept by the U.S. Geological Survey show that Wednesday morning’s flow of 2,630 cubic feet per second at Fifth Street eclipsed the old record for July 6 of 2,430 cfs set in 1957. A significant portion of that flow was attributable to Fish Creek, which was flowing at 695 cfs Wednesday morning. Fish Creek, which enters the Yampa upstream from Fifth Street, was flowing at 1,400 cfs as recently as July 3, or three times the median flow of the Yampa on that date. The Elk River near its confluence with the Yampa west of Steamboat was also flowing at a record level of 3,660 cfs Wednesday. The previous record on the Elk was even older — a flow of 2,990 recorded in 1917…

Winter’s last bastion in Colorado is plainly Buffalo Pass, northeast of Steamboat Springs on the Continental Divide, where the snow remains almost 5 feet deep.

The Natural Resources Conversation Service’s remote sensing instruments showed a measurement of 59 inches of snow containing 29.9 inches of water Wednesday morning. And U.S. Forest Service personnel who visited and photographed a weather station maintained by Steamboat weather observer Art Judson on Tuesday supported that data. They measured two snow stakes not far from the NRCS Tower site that showed 66 inches and 50 inches of snow, respectively.

Wellington Lake open to the public for camping

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From The Fairplay Flume (Mike Potter):

Wellington Lake will reopen to the public on July 1 following an agreement between Jefferson County and the Wellington Reservoir Co., the entity that owns the popular recreation spot east of downtown Bailey. The agreement was reached just before a trial scheduled for June 23. The trial was to deal with an alleged violation of Jefferson County’s zoning provisions by Wellington Reservoir Co…

John Akolt, the attorney for the Wellington Reservoir Co. board, said the agreement calls for 75 campsites to be made available to the public for day and overnight use. That’s a decrease from the roughly 100 to 150 campsites previously used. The lake will be a rustic campground area, he said, with no store, and no amenities. Prior to the closing in June 2009, the lake had a general store that was open to campers. That store would not be reopened under the agreement with Jefferson County. “It’s straight camping and all the things that are associated with camping,” he said.

More South Platte River basin coverage here.

Energy policy — nuclear: Powertech Uranium Corp fails to reach agreement on two parcels for their Centennial Project

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Here’s the release from Powertech Uranium Corp:

POWERTECH URANIUM CORP. (“Powertech” or the “Company”) announces the termination of an option agreement dated June 30, 2009 (the “Agreement”) with Howard and Donna Diehl and M.J. Diehl & Sons, Inc. (the “Optionors”) pursuant to which the Company was granted an option to acquire certain properties, together with associated mineral rights, related to the Company’s Centennial Project. The Company has determined not to exercise the option, which required the payment of US$6.16 million, and has been unable to renegotiate the terms of the Agreement on terms deemed favourable to both the Company and the Optionors. It remains the objective of both the Company and the Optionors to continue to explore a relationship or transaction to work together to develop the uranium resources held by the Optionors. As a result of the termination of the Agreement, the reported indicated and inferred resources at the Company’s Centennial Project will be reduced by approximately 1.1 million pounds.

The Company also announces the termination of an option agreement with Thomas Varra and Dianne Varra (collectively “Varra”) pursuant to which the Company was granted an option to purchase certain properties related to the Company’s Centennial Project from Varra. These properties contain no uranium resources and were determined to not be necessary for the development of the Centennial Project.

From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Bobby Magill):

The British Columbia-based company announced Tuesday it has terminated an option agreement struck two years ago to purchase more than 3,500 acres of land from Howard and Donna Diehl of Carr and Thomas and Dianna Varra of Nunn. The land is in Weld County about 15 miles northeast of Fort Collins. “The company has determined not to exercise the option, which required the payment of $6.16 million, and has been unable to renegotiate the terms of the agreement on terms deemed favorable to both the company and the optioners (landowners),” the company announced in a statement…

“I’d rather not comment,” Powertech USA President Richard Clement said Wednesday, citing disapproval with previous Coloradoan news coverage about the Centennial Project…

The future of Powertech’s controversial aquifer pump test, which would help the company determine the viability of its proposed in situ leach uranium mining technique, is uncertain because the land on which the test is scheduled to be conducted is owned by the Diehls…

Powertech’s option agreement with the Diehls and the Varras included the 3,585 acres of land and the associated water and mineral interests, all of which would have cost Powertech $11.45 million. In June 2009, Powertech paid $197,000 for the exclusive rights to the property, and paid an additional $1.53 million in July 2009, with another $375,000 payment made last year, according to the Canadian securities filing.

More coverage from Joey Bunch writing for The Denver Post. From the article:

The change takes about 3,585 acres out of the original 9,615-acre Centennial Project near the town of Nunn. The change would reduce the expected haul of 12.7 million pounds of uranium by 1.1 million pounds. The Varra property didn’t have any uranium on it, and the Diehl property was stuck on a price of $6.16 million. Clement said negotiations could resume later, as the project advances, the economy improves and issues are resolved from the Japanese nuclear disaster.

Clement said the company has been focused on permitting and other issues at a site near Edgemont, S.D., which Clement hopes to have worked out by the end of 2012. “And then we’ll really focus on Colorado after that,” he said.

More Powertech coverage here and here.

Trinidad: The State Engineer orders the town to drop the level their water supply reservoir impounded by the North Lake Dam

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The dam elevation must be lowered by 5 feet this year, under an order from State Engineer Dick Wolfe. There have been long-standing concerns about the dam, located about 30 miles west of Trinidad…

Trinidad already has spent $847,000 to design and build a new concrete outlet works and drain, but engineers estimate another $1.8 million is needed to reinforce the dam and rebuild the spillway. The reservoir must be emptied slowly to avoid triggering a historical slide area along Colorado 12 if the reservoir is emptied too quickly. Still, there’s little comfort for Trinidad, since further restrictions may be needed. “One reason we want to get this done this fall is that the elevation could be lowered even more,” [Utility Superintendent James Fernandez] said. “We’ve got to get this done or we’re out of business. We have a small back-up supply, but are seriously threatened.”

More Arkansas River basin coverage here.