Craig briefs: Craig Lions Club will sell Christmas trees

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Christmas trees will be for sale starting Dec. 1 in the parking lot on the west side of McDonald’s on West Victory Way. For more information, call Jane Hume at 970-640-5194.

CDOT reminds drivers about wildlife crossings

The Colorado Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers to watch out for wildlife crossing roadways, especially at night. CDOT is asking people to stay alert and follow the roadside reminders to slow down at night in specifically designated wildlife corridors. It’s up to motorists this fall to do what CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and numerous other agencies have always recommended and wildlife advocates.

CDOT announces Twin Tunnels lane closures

Concrete paving, barrier and electrical work and truck hauling operations are scheduled to take place next week, east and west of the Twin Tunnels and, at times, at the bottom of Floyd Hill, according to a Colorado Department of Transportation press release.

Lane closures are scheduled as follows, weather permitting:

Monday

■ 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. — one lane closed westbound

■ 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. — one lane closed eastbound

Tuesday

■ 3 a.m. to 5 p.m. — one lane closed eastbound

■ 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. — one lane closed westbound

Wednesday

■ 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. — one lane closed eastbound

■ 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. — one lane closed westbound

Thursday

■ 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. — one lane closed eastbound

Friday

■ 12 a.m. to 3 p.m. — one lane closed eastbound

■ 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. — one lane closed westbound

Drivers should be prepared for longer than normal delays while the above lane closures are in place — depending on traffic volumes.  CDOT recommends that drivers plan extra driving time for their trips through this area, primarily during daylight hours.

Association to host elk expeditions this fall

Rocky Mountain National Park experiences many changes as summer comes to an end and autumn arrives.

The Rocky Mountain Nature Association said that the arrival of fall also marks the beginning of the elk rut in Rocky Mountain National Park, which showcases elk mating behavior, such as sparring, bugling, posturing and herding.

For a closer look at this ritual, join the Rocky Mountain Field Seminars Program on an elk expedition. Educational Adventure by Bus Tours will occur Thursdays through Saturdays until Oct. 19 and will last from 5 p.m. to dusk. During the course of the tour, participants will gain a more comprehensive understanding of the elk rut, have an opportunity to observe elk mating behavior with the park and be able to see and touch an elk skull, antler and fur. All expeditions will be led by an experienced naturalist, according to a press release.

For more information about elk tours or other classes offered this fall, contact the Rocky Mountain Nature Association at 970-586-3262 or visit www.rmna.org.

BLM reminds hunters to stay responsible

With the big game archery season opening this weekend and the rifle seasons just around the corner, Bureau of Land Management offices across Colorado have started receiving numerous calls from hunters with hunting access questions, according to a BLM press release.

More than 8 million acres of BLM lands in Colorado are open to hunting, but there are a few things for hunters to understand about public access to BLM lands.

■ First, BLM land is open to hunting, but you have to have legal access to hunt it. Legal access to most BLM land isn’t a problem. However, some public lands are surrounded completely by private land. If there is not legal access through that private land, such as a county road, you need permission to cross the private land. You are not guaranteed access, even though you are trying to reach public lands. It is your responsibility to know where you are, so use maps and GPS units. It is illegal to post BLM land as private land, but every year, a few people give it a try. If you suspect someone has posted public land as private, contact the local BLM office to clarify.

■ Outfitting is legal on BLM land as long as the outfitter is permitted through the local BLM office. Big game hunting outfitters provide an important service that many hunters choose to use. Check with your outfitter or guide to ensure they are permitted for the area where you are hunting. The BLM issues special recreation permits to outfitters on a case-by-case basis to manage visitor use and protect resources. The BLM typically limits the number of big game outfitters permitted in a specific area to reduce conflicts, but these outfitter permits do not affect public access. Outfitters on public land do not receive “exclusive” use of public lands as they sometimes do on private lands. Call the local BLM office if you have questions about outfitting on public lands.

■ It is illegal to cross public land at corners. Some areas in the West are “checkerboarded” with public and private lands or otherwise have sections of public land that are difficult to reach. When the only place tracts of public land touch is at a corner, it may seem like a logical thing to step over the corner from one piece of public land to another. Every year, hunters armed with GPS units and maps give it a try. Unfortunately, it is illegal to cross at boundary corners.

■ Keep motorized vehicles on existing or designated roads. This includes retrieving downed game. Rules for motorized travel vary by office, and many offices are either updating or have recently updated their travel management plans. It’s best to contact the local office where you are planning to hunt to find out what is permitted.

■ Be sure to check with your local BLM office every year before hunting. Things like fire restrictions, road closures and rule changes can vary each year. The best way to make sure you know the latest to avoid disappointment or a citation is to check in with the local BLM office. Each office manages hundreds of thousands of acres, so be specific about where you are planning to go. You can find the local office you need by logging onto www.blm.gov/co.

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