Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper will hold a Northwest Colorado Community Forum from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Nov. 25 at Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Academic Building Room 175 in Craig. For more information, contact Linda Rice, of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, at 303-866-6249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craig Daily Press launches Hunter Photo Contest
The Craig Daily Press is seeking hunting photo submissions for its Hunter Photo Contest. The newspaper will collect submissions through Nov. 30. Whoever submits the best hunter photo will receive a $250 gift certificate to Murdoch’s. Send photos to editor@CraigDailyPress.com. Additionally, many of the photos could appear in next year’s Colorado Hunter magazine. For more information, call 970-875-1790 or 970-875-1788.
Area VA clinics closed Thanksgiving, Nov. 29
The Veterans Affairs clinics in Craig, Glenwood Springs and Montrose will be closed on Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving.
The Grand Junction VA Medical Center’s primary care and specialty clinics will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but the emergency room will be open. The Medical Center will return to normal business hours Nov. 29.
Holiday decoration with wildlife in mind
As the holiday season nears and decorations begin to adorn houses, yards and trees, Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds the public to decorate with wildlife safety in mind. Outdoor holiday decorations and structures, like Christmas lights or trampolines, can cause problems for antlered animals.
During the mating season, buck deer rub their antlers against just about anything. If they rub against something with holiday lights, there is a chance those lights might end up adorning the animal’s antlers.
Although it is difficult to predict exactly what deer are capable of snagging, homeowners can reduce the risk by anticipating problems before they happen.
Wildlife officers recommend attaching lights to the house or above the reach of deer in large trees. Stringing the lights in low shrubbery could end up endangering the animal.
■ Avoid draping lights over shrubs and bushes less than 5 feet high.
■ Trees with trunk diameters of 2 to 6 inches are most likely to be rubbed by bucks and bulls, so only string lights on larger-diameter trees.
■ Use multiple short strands of wire plugged together versus one long strand so that if animals become entangled, they will have less cord to deal with.
■ Avoid stringing lights clothesline-style across open areas.
Salvation Army recruits holiday bell ringers
The Craig Service Extension Unit of the Salvation Army is planning its annual Kettle Campaign for Moffat County, according to a press release. The campaign will run weekends from Nov. 29 through Christmas Eve.
Volunteers are needed to ring the bells at various locations in Craig. Shifts may be as short as one hour or as long as four hours.
All of the funds raised during the Craig Kettle Campaign remain in Moffat County to help residents throughout the year. Rent, utilities and medical needs are some of the areas where the Salvation Army helps people in need. Ten percent of the donations are added to an emergency fund that only may be used in Moffat County.
The Craig Service Extension Unit volunteers work with Love INC to make sure that donations are used where they will do the most good.
For more information about the Salvation Army in Moffat County or to volunteer as a bell ringer, call Luann Kline at 970-824-5926.
Annual Great American Smokeout is Thursday
The Great American Smokeout is Thursday. Quitting tobacco usually takes multiple attempts, but studies show that support significantly can improve a person’s chance for success. The Colorado QuitLine offers free personalized cessation phone support at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. SmokefreeTXT is a mobile service providing encouragement and tips to help young smokers quit for good. To sign up, text QUIT to IQUIT (47848) or visit www.smokefree.gov. The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association offers counseling with a tobacco cessation specialist at no charge. To be connected with a cessation counselor in Craig or Steamboat Springs, call 970-871-7634.
Parks and Wildlife approves 2014 fishing regulations
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approved the 2014 fishing regulations and took other regulatory action during its November meeting in Lamar, according to a press release. Commissioners also began the two-step process of setting general regulations for 2014, including a potential ban on the use of drones for hunting or scouting in Colorado.
The newly adopted fishing regulations for 2014 will take effect with the April 1 start of the fishing license year. The new regulations add tiger trout and cutbow to the list of game fish in the state and apply daily bag and possession limits for those species. The regulations also restrict fishing methods and harvest on designated cutthroat trout conservation waters in the state. New regulations also seek to encourage harvest by removing bag and possession limits on brown trout on the Dolores River below the Bradfield Bridge, for yellow perch at Spinney Mountain Reservoir and for walleye in Stagecoach Reservoir.
Commissioners also set the 2014 regulations for turkey hunting in the state. The changes approved include regulations opening private-land hunting in Game Management Units 91 and 92 to over-the-counter in the spring; adding youth-only spring turkey licenses in GMUs 91, 92, 96, 101 and 102; and add private-land-only spring bearded turkey licenses in GMU 444.
In other action, commissioners approved the 2014 commission meeting calendar, which included the elimination of monthly meetings in February and October as part of the effort to reduce spending. Additional spending cuts were discussed that will help Parks and Wildlife trim the agency budget by $9.9 million beginning in fiscal year 2014, which begins in July.
Commissioners also approved the final “Path Forward” document, a strategic planning document for Parks and Wildlife that will be provided to the Legislature as part of the requirements of the legislation that merged Colorado State Parks and the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Parks and Wildlife hunter education staff provided commission members with an update about national trends in hunter education and discussed possible improvements to the Colorado hunter education program. A survey of recent hunter education graduates in Colorado will be analyzed in December, but initial results show high satisfaction by program graduates. Potential changes to the hunter education program will be analyzed and discussed further with a final proposal back to the commission in March.
Colorado statutes require anyone born after Jan. 1, 1949, to complete a hunter education class before buying or applying for a hunting license in Colorado. The statute was implemented in the 1970s and dramatically has reduced hunter injuries and fatalities in the state. With more than 300,000 hunters every year in the state, hunting ranks as one of the safest forms of outdoor recreation.