#Colorado mountain biking program teaches girls to conquer trails, with an eye toward helping in other parts of life — @ColoradoSun

Photo credit: The Cycle Effect

From The Colorado Sun (Joe Purtell):

Not everyone who lives in Colorado’s resort communities has the means to get involved in the outdoor sports that help define the region. That’s why Brett Donelson founded The Cycle Effect, a nonprofit designed to improve access and develop skills and character that will stick with girls throughout their lives.

“I live in an area where there’s extreme wealth, and a whole bunch of lower-income people that don’t get to just enjoy the outdoors,” Donelson says. “Can we do this kind of model of this year-round training with athletes for kids that generally can’t afford it or don’t have those opportunities?”

Since 2013, 40 girls have graduated from The Cycle Effect, with many more participating for shorter periods. The nonprofit says all the girls who stuck with the program for at least two years graduated from high school and went on to college — and 75% of them were the first in their families to do so.

This year, 175 girls have been organized into four teams in Edwards and in Eagle and Summit counties. Each participant pays $140 for access to a bike and gear, coaching, and race fees. In 2018, The Cycle Effect says, 75% of participants were from minority or low income families — and that’s good news for Development Director Vikki Flynn.

“There weren’t a lot of Hispanic girls in the bike races and in the biking community,” [Vikki] Flynn says. “And so to see that now is pretty awesome.”

The Cycle Effect works to keep costs low to attract kids from every background, and counts on teachers and word-of-mouth marketing to generate interest in the program. The fee also covers after-school programs, summer coaching and race fees for girls who typically range from fifth to 12th grades.

While Donelson thinks getting someone out mountain biking can change lives on its own, he says the coaches use the sport to teach resilience. Essentially, toughness translates.

“I think we’re teaching them in a way to dream big, and realize, ‘Wow, I can do this.’ And then to go out and do it,” Flynn says.

@ColoradoClimate: Weekly #Climate, Water and #Drought Assessment for the Intermountain West

Click here to read the current assessment. Click here to go to the NIDIS website hosted by the Colorado Climate Center. Here’s the summary:

Last week for the Intermountain West region was dry with the exception of spotty precipitation in northern/central Wyoming, along the Front Range of northern Colorado, and southern New Mexico. Wyoming saw up to 0.25″ in most areas except for the northwest corner where counties such as Park saw up to 1.0” of precipitation and a dry spot with little to no precipitation over the southwest corner. Northern Colorado Front Range, Larimer, Grand, and Eagle counties, received 0.26-1.00” of precipitation. Southern New Mexico saw some spotty precipitation, with much of the area seeing 0.01 to 0.25” and Socorro county seeing over 1.00”. North New Mexico missed out on the moisture this week, along with the rest of the IMW region, receiving less than 0.10″ of precipitation.

Despite the dryness, temperatures were below average for the much of the IMW region. The exception is southern NM/AZ where some counties experienced near normal temperatures. However, most of NM/AZ experienced cooler than average temperatures, some northern counties such as Rio Arriba in NM and Navajo in AZ saw temperature departures of 6 to 9 degrees cooler than average. CO/UT/WY was even cooler with the entire area seeing temperature departures of at least 3 to 9 degrees below average while some areas such as western UT and northern WY were even cooler still with temperature departures of 9 to 15 degrees. This was a nice change from the past few months when the IMW experienced temperatures much above normal with Colorado and New Mexico seeing the warmest September on record.

Streamflows in the UCRB are starting to show the recent dryness with an increasing number of stream gauges showing below normal flows. The driest of the gauges are showing up in the headwaters of the Colorado River. The Basin as a whole is still in good shape with the key gauges seeing flows in the normal region.

Outlook is showing low precipitation probability over the whole IMW for the next couple weeks with below average temperatures in WY/CO/NM. UT and AZ are expected to see above average temperatures. A lack of precipitation and above average temperatures in southern UT and northern AZ is something to keep an eye on in the upcoming weeks.

#NM Environmental Department: Silver Wing Mine incident did not harm Animas River water quality in New Mexico — The Farmington Daily Times

Location map for abandoned mine near Silverton. The Silver Wing is in the upper right corner of the aerial.

From The Farmington Daily Times (Hannah Grover):

The additional discharge from the Silver Wing Mine into the Animas River did not have a negative impact on water quality, according to the New Mexico Environment Department.

The Silver Wing Mine discharged a larger amount of water than usual last week, causing some discoloration in the Animas River near Silverton, Colorado.

However, the discoloration was not visible downstream, and NMED does not see any evidence of negative impacts to water quality…

NMED has been monitoring water quality data for both turbidity and pH in the Animas River in Colorado and New Mexico. According to the slides, the Silver Wing Mine has not, to date, caused potentially harmful changes in turbidity or pH in the Animas River as it flows from Colorado into New Mexico at Cedar Hill.

Sliver Wing Mine: Photo credit: San Juan County Sheriff Bruce Conrad

@USBR allocates $8.9 million to develop innovative solutions for water and power management issues

Here’s the release from the Bureau of Reclamation (Peter Soeth):

The Bureau of Reclamation is providing $8.9 million to 27 new research projects and 114 continuing research projects through its Science and Technology Program. The funding from Reclamation is being matched by $10.9 million in partner contributions. The research findings will then be applied throughout Reclamation for the benefit of its water and power facility managers, customers and stakeholders.

“Reclamation faces many technical and complex challenges in managing water and generating power for the West,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “These new research projects will help Reclamation and its partners today, and also ensure that water and power demands will be met for future generations.”

Research proposals were sought in the following areas:

  • water infrastructure
  • power and energy
  • environmental issues for water delivery and management
  • water operations and planning
  • developing water supplies
  • The type of projects selected includes studies on invasive quagga and zebra mussel control, developing condition monitoring technologies to extend the life of water and power infrastructure, mitigating reservoir water quality impacts from harmful algal blooms, and new water operations and decision-support tools.

    Reclamation identified the research projects through an internal competitive call for proposals throughout the organization. The proposals were reviewed and ranked based on technical merit and relevance to Reclamation’s mission. Many of these projects partner with internal and/or external entities to produce robust and comprehensive solutions. Partners include entities from the federal government, state government, tribes, universities, private and local organizations.

    These new projects address research needs identified in the S&T Programs Science Strategy Implementation Plan that is published annually. This includes needs identified by Reclamation’s regional directors, which informs the development and selection of research projects to meet those needs.

    This research supports the President’s Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West by improving the use of technology to increase water reliability and improving forecasts of water availability.

    Learn more at Reclamation’s Science and Technology Program website.

    Survey work begins for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project on the Navajo Nation. Photo credit: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation via The High Country News

    Middle Colorado Watershed Council River Restoration and Cleanup, October 19, 2019

    Click here to go to their website:

    Join Alpine Bank, the Town of Silt, and the Middle Colorado Watershed Council at Silt Island Park for a River Restoration and Cleanup Saturday morning.

    Registration at 9:30.

    Restoration and cleanup starts at 10.

    Meet back at the park at 1 p.m. for lunch and awards.