Poem: What you cannot-cannot do? — Greg Hobbs

What you cannot-cannot do?

What do you have inside yourself
you cannot-cannot do?

As the beaver innately does with
passionate intensity?

Or creature of your home who whines it’s time
for “our walk”, or surreptitiously cuddles up?

Must you, like a mountain storm dumps snow,
forks lightning, frees a scorching wildfire,

Clear whatever underbrush needs clearing?
Which mustard seed do you need to crack open

To let loose a freshet?
Carry the mountain and the prairie winds between

The beak of your string fingers?
Bake any delicious fully consumable dish,

Stitch a quilt for a Grandbaby?

Greg Hobbs 5/25/2020

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#Snowpack news: #Colorado is melting-out fast especially in southern part of the state

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Alex Zorn):

“We’re seeing above average melt,” said Brian Domonkos, a snow survey supervisor for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Colorado.

“As of this morning, the state snowpack is 62% of normal,” he said Friday. “Further southwest, snowpack numbers are even lower.”


The United States Department of Agriculture snowpack summary shows the statewide snowpack is not nearly as low as 2018 numbers.

The Colorado Basin is 76% of normal snowpack, and the Gunnison River Basin is at 47%. Both are below last year’s numbers but, as Domonkos explained, 2019 was an extremely high year.

The southwest part of the state has the lowest snowpack numbers with the Upper Rio Grande well below its normal numbers.

According to the USDA’s water supply outlook report for May, the month of April brought widely varying precipitation to Colorado, but all major basins received below- average monthly precipitation.

The basins of northern Colorado all received 77% to 84% of average precipitation.

Coronavirus makes summer hard to predict, but outdoor recreation maintains strong engagement with local residents — The Montrose Press #runoff

Rafters enjoy a day on the Gunnison River near Gunnison, Colo., on May 17, 2020. The Gunnison is flowing at about 80 percent of its normal volume for this time of year. Overall, Colorado’s snowpack is melting faster than usual. Along with lower river flows the presence of COVID-19 is creating challenges for commercial river running companies as well as private boaters. Credit: Dean Krakel/Special to Fresh Water News

From The Montrose Press (Josue Perez):

Warm weather and spring runoff signal the start of rafting season for many outfitters in Colorado.

Although the state currently has COVID-19 travel and recreation recommendations, recreation is still in full swing, even with safety measures in place.

The Bureau of Land Management’s public lands are open for use, including the Gunnison Gorge. However, BLM has recommendations in place:

  • Bringing own supplies
  • Packing out personal trash
  • Reduce cash payments, pay through http://recreation.gov.
  • Visitors are asked to follow state and local guidelines, which means groups must be limited to 10 people or fewer.

    The Gunnison Gorge has experienced similar activity from outfitters looking to raft and fish, said Eric Coulter, BLM public affairs specialist for Southwest Colorado…

    According to a report released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2019, 3.3% of Colorado’s economy was attributed to outdoor recreation. Its estimated $11.3 billion in value added 146,178 jobs…

    Joel Aslanian, owner of Gunnison River Guides, has plenty of Gunnison locals booking rafting trips. Though, at the moment, only those who fall under “essential travel” (having a second home locally means having reason for essential travel) are allowed to schedule float trips with a guide. This includes those who wish to fish on the river as well.

    According to Gunnison County’s public health order, beginning Wednesday, May 27, all non-residents are permitted to travel to Gunnison County as long as state and local governments allow them to visit.

    Since the guides are usually limited to three people or fewer per trip, Aslanian can guide under restrictions. He and others on the raft are required to wear a mask.

    June and July are usually when Aslanian sees most of his business. As restrictions begin to gradually loosen through the state’s orders, he anticipates people will still want to recreate, even if it’s slower than previous years…

    Ridgway State Park is open, said Joe Lewandowski, public information officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, but to camp, a reservation must be made prior to arrival.

    Showers, in-person service at the visitor center, and swimming at the swim beach are closed at this time. However, Lewandowski anticipates the swim beach will open in the next week or so.

    Lewandowski noted he’s seeing normal activity and there hasn’t been a lag in those who wish to recreate at Ridgway Reservoir. CPW is asking people to continue to maintain safety measures for guests and staff.

    Tri-State doesn’t feel a ‘sense of urgency’ in deciding water rights — The Craig Press

    Ice breaks up on the Yampa River as Spring invites warmer temperatures. Should the water that the nearby Hayden and Craig power plants use be allowed to stay in the river once the plants cease to operate, native and endangered fish species in the river would have a higher chance of survival. Photo credit: Bethany Blitz/Aspen Journalism

    From The Craig Press (Dan England):

    Tri-State Generation and Transmission doesn’t feel a sense of urgency in deciding what will happen to its water rights after 2030, when the plant closes. But it does feel everyone else’s.

    “Tri-State and our members are acutely aware of the importance of water to communities,” the company said in a January statement, “as a key element of future economic drivers.”

    …Tri-State uses 16,000 acre-feet of water a year…Residents are concerned about it being pumped over to serve the Front Range based on the Western Slopes past water history, and others hope that it’s reserved for local agriculture or even for turning Dinosaur Monument into a national park.

    Tri-State had a meeting with those community leaders to start the process of figuring out who may get those water rights and was planning more when the virus hit, meaning things are on hold for now. But that is OK, Stutz said, as he’s reminded officials, repeatedly, that the plant has quite a bit of time to reach a decision.

    That’s a decade, if you’re counting, and even after the plant closes, it will need the water to complete reclamation, which should last until early 2030 and maybe longer, Stutz said. That was the tone of the first meeting, said Moffat County Commissioner Ray Beck, one of the more heavily involved local officials in Tri-State affairs, as well as one of its biggest supporters…

    As with any discussion about water, it’s complicated, as Tri-State’s water rights are junior, meaning others have rights that take priority, and are for industrial purposes and therefore cannot be automatically transferred to another user, Beck said. Tri-State acknowledges that, stating that there’s more than one owner of the station as well as those other water rights to consider.

    Yampa River Basin via Wikimedia. Ranchers and farmers in the valley have largely ignored Division Engineer Erin Light’s order to install measuring devices as of December, 2019.

    Denver Set Rainfall Record Sunday With Most Rain In One Day Since Last July — CBS 4 Denver #COwx

    From CBS 4 Denver (Chris Spears):

    Mother Nature gave Colorado’s Front Range a much needed drink of water on Sunday with a widespread rain event that lasted several hours. Some of the precipitation fell as snow in the higher elevations just to the west and south of Denver.

    The rainfall created so much runoff that a flood advisory was issued for a brief time along Cherry Creek because it got out of its banks. There were no issues reported due to the flooding but it was a good reminder of how fast things can change when a lot of rain falls during a short period of time.

    Denver’s official total of 0.94 inches was the most rain on a calendar day at Denver International Airport since last July. It also broke a record for the date.