Craig briefs: Hunter Photo Contest judging open to readers

The Craig Daily Press Hunter Photo Contest has ended, but the newspaper needs your help judging the photos. Go to the Craig Daily Press’ Facebook page to view the photos. The photo with the most likes by Dec. 20 will win the contest and receive a $250 gift card to Murdoch’s. For more information, call 970-875-1790 or 970-875-1788.

International Films series offers screening

Colorado Northwestern Community College’s ongoing International Films series will hit the screen at 7 p.m. Friday in Room 175. CNCC will present a free screening of “Whale Rider.” This New Zealand film explores social and cultural issues facing the indigenous Maori people, of New Zealand, while offering an affirming message of hope and family. Free refreshments will be provided by the CNCC Student Activities group, and all community members are welcome to attend.

Enroll for classes at CNCC to receive gift

Students that enroll for spring semester by Monday will be put into drawing for an iPad. Call the Merc at CNCC at 970-824-1124 for more information. Free burritos and breakfast sandwiches will be available Monday for those registering.

Moffat County Tourism Association agenda

Location: Yampa Valley Bank, 435 Mack Lane

Note that the board may discuss any topic relevant to MCTA business, whether or not the topic has been noted specifically on this agenda. Minutes will be recorded for these formal meetings.

Wednesday

11 a.m. Call to order/roll call; welcome guests

Review of minutes and financials

Conflict of interest disclosure

11:05 a.m. 2014 Bear River YoungLife Car Show event funding — David Pressgrove

11:15 a.m. 2014 GOWD-WWW event funding application — Kandee Dilldine

11:25 a.m. Visitor services funding MOU

11:30 a.m. 2013 year end supplemental

11:40 a.m. 2014 dues

11:50 a.m. Colorado/Wyoming snowmobile association memberships

Noon Directors report — questions

Public comments

Public comments partner updates

Adjournment

Wildlife projects keep CPW busy in winter




Although the main big game hunting seasons have ended, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s researchers and biologists are preparing for another busy time of the year. Through late March, CPW employees will climb aboard aircraft and fly across large swaths of wildlife habitat in search of big game animals to classify by sex and age while others will gather biological data on the ground.

Late-season hunters and outdoor recreationists are advised that they may see low-flying helicopters or airplanes and are urged to be patient while critical monitoring is conducted.
In addition to a thorough inventory of thousands of animals, CPW staff will coordinate the helicopter capture and radio-collaring of 75 elk, 90 moose, 20 desert bighorn sheep, 25 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and 1,300 mule deer, including 800 does, 400 fawns and 100 bucks.

With the data collected, agency researchers and biologists will be able to track the progress of several wildlife management efforts and ongoing studies. They also will gain a clearer picture about the overall health of big game, allowing wildlife managers to form population models, management strategies and set future hunting license numbers.

Drivers are cautioned about I-70 sun glare

The Colorado Department of Transportation is reminding drivers who travel Interstate 70 about the sun glare problem that affects drivers at this time of year on Floyd Hill.

Beginning in early November and continuing through early February, morning drivers can encounter blinding sun glare as they head eastbound up Floyd Hill (mile markers 244 to 247 east of Idaho Springs). The glare occurs from about 7 until 8:30 a.m. However, it is especially severe from 7:30 to 8 a.m. The problem is created by the sun’s angle during mid- to late fall and early winter, along with the highway’s configuration going up Floyd Hill.

Other driver recommendations include:

■ Making sure the windshield is clean — inside and out.

■ Wearing a good pair of sunglasses to provide shading.

■ Anticipating traffic slowdowns and adjusting speed to avoid sudden reactions.

■ Letting off the accelerator and slowing down gradually instead of slamming on the brakes if suddenly blinded by the sun.

■ Avoiding eastbound travel on Floyd Hill, if possible, between 7 and 8:30 a.m. 

CDOT also is reminding motorists of Colorado’s Move-It Law, a joint effort between CDOT and law enforcement agencies that encourages motorists to follow a state law requiring drivers involved in minor crashes on interstates to move their vehicle immediately out of traffic to a safe location. The insurance industry also encourages compliance with the Move-It Law, reassuring drivers that there still will be a full investigation of the crash to determine fault.

Road conditions can change quickly this time of year. Drivers can receive updated road and weather information by calling 511 or by visiting www.cotrip.org

Slow down for wildlife moving on highways

With the surge in holiday travel, the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol are reminding motorists that Colorado’s wildlife are on the move. They still are migrating to wintering habitats, which means more wildlife-vehicle collisions on highways.

“As more people travel and make family visits a priority during the holidays, be sure to watch for wildlife,” said Captain Jeff Goodwin, of the Colorado State Patrol. “Animal-caused crashes rise during this time of the year in some parts of our state so please be diligent and respectful of wildlife crossing, particularly where signed warnings are in place.”

Updated data for the period from 2003 through 2012 show WVCs were on a slight downward trend since 2006, hovering at or below 3,500 collisions per year. However, 2012 has seen those collisions rise to 4,016 for the year.

“It’s difficult to identify exactly what’s behind the changes in collision data, as the numbers can be affected by a variety of reasons, such as changes in migration and weather,” CDOT Traffic and Safety Engineer K.C. Matthews said. “However, it’s important to note that one year of data does not constitute a trend; we’ll see what the numbers look like this spring.”

Wildlife-vehicle collisions happen year round, 24/7. However, there is always an increase during migration seasons — typically November for fall and June for the spring — and the majority occur during the hours between dusk and dawn. These collisions are not only a matter of safety, but can be quite costly, as well.

According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, the insurance industry pays out nearly $1.1 billion per year in claims for all wildlife-vehicle collisions nationwide.

While wildlife near the roadsides can be present nearly anywhere in Colorado, CDOT will typically post static signs (the yellow sign with jumping deer symbol) in areas where there have been upwards of five WVCs per mile per year. Travelers this time of year will often see electronic variable message signs with wildlife warnings as well. And travelers will continue to see roadside reminders to slow down at night in specifically designated wildlife crossing, per 2010 legislation.

Slow down. Stay alert. Wildlife are on the move.

Bella Voce Chorus seeks new members

The Bella Voce Chorus members of Sweet Adelines International are searching for women singers in the Craig, Meeker, Steamboat and Baggs areas. The group wants to grow its chorus. Celebrating its 30th year, the Bella Voce Chorus, formerly the “Yampa Valley Chorus” was founded in Craig in 1983. Now led by the group’s new director, Jeana Womble, the women range from 11-year-olds to grandmothers and all are from diverse backgrounds. Women of all ages who enjoy singing are invited to attend the chorus’ weekly rehearsal at 7 p.m. Thursdays at the Craig Middle School auditorium. The internationally renowned Bella Voce Chorus is one of the hundreds of Sweet Adelines International choruses that make up this worldwide organization of women who sing four-part a cappella harmony.

Musical knowledge is not necessary to join — every rehearsal is like a voice lesson. Any woman of average singing ability, with or without vocal training, will find a part that fits her voice range. For more information, contact Jeana Womble at 970-824-6472 or gladiam@live.com.

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