Craig briefs: Kinkaid to return from DC, event to follow

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The Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots is hosting an event for Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid, who recently visited Washington, D.C., to attend steering committees on environment, energy and land use. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Center of Craig. For more information, call Matt Winey at 970-326-7580.

Cranes make annual return to San Luis Valley



MONTE VISTA — In the San Luis Valley, nature again is putting on one of its most memorable displays: the spring migration of greater sandhill cranes, according to a press release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

In appreciation of this wildlife spectacle, area organizations, businesses and wildlife agencies are holding the annual Monte Vista Crane Festival from Friday to Saturday. Cranes are among the oldest living species on the planet — fossil records for cranes date back 9 million years.

The cranes start arriving in mid-February, flying from their winter nesting grounds, primarily in New Mexico. The large wetland areas, wildlife refuges and grain fields in the San Luis Valley draw in about 25,000 birds. The cranes stop in the valley to rest and refuel for their trip north to their summer nesting and breeding grounds in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. 
 


The birds that migrate through Colorado are the largest of the North American sandhill subspecies, standing 4 feet tall, having a wingspan of as long as 7 feet and weighing in at 11 pounds.


For more information about the Monte Vista Crane Festival, visit www.cranefest.com.
To learn more about sandhill cranes, visit http://cpw.state.co.us and click on the “wildlife species” tab.
 


Gas prices continue to rise across the state

Average retail gasoline prices in Colorado jumped 6.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.53 per gallon as of March 2, according to a press release compiled by GasBuddy.

The organization composes daily surveys of 2,158 gas outlets in Colorado. The increase in gas prices compares with the national average that has jumped 3.2 cents per gallon in the past week to $3.44 per gallon, according to gasoline price website www.gasbuddy.com.

Conservation Hawks hosts photo contest

Bigfork, Mont. — Sportsmen and women throughout the United States are encouraged to enter their photos in a contest hosted by Conservation Hawks, a group of hunters and anglers working to defend the nation’s sporting heritage, according to a release.

The photo contest started Thursday and runs through March 21. Photographers are urged to submit photos in two different categories: “Angling” and “Climate Change.”

Photos that receive at least 25 “likes” are eligible to win prizes that include Patagonia waders, wading shoes, packs, jackets, gear bags and hats. The retail value of the prizes is more than $5,000.

Contest rules, along with a full description of the prizes, are available on the Conservation Hawks website.

AAA urges drivers to know driving laws

With schools dismissing for spring break this month, many Coloradans are planning road trips. AAA Colorado recommends motorists know these rules of the road before embarking on interstate travel or renting a car at their spring break destination.

In Colorado, text messaging is prohibited for all drivers. Persons younger than 18 are prohibited from using a wireless telephone while driving.

Udall links Ukrainian crisis, state’s natural gas

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., a senior member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the situation in Ukraine shows the urgent need for the U.S. Energy Department to leverage Colorado and the nation’s natural gas reserves as a counterweight to Russian aggression.

Udall, who also serves on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, said he would keep pressing the Energy Department to expedite the export of natural gas, including the swift approval of additional liquefied natural gas terminals.

“The situation in Ukraine shows the urgent need for Colorado and the nation to export more natural gas. When foreign powers like Russia are able to exploit their monopoly on energy exports to coerce their neighbors, it weakens the international community’s ability to promote stability and avert conflicts,” Udall said in a statement. “This international crisis sharply illustrates how Colorado can play a leading role in exporting natural gas and promoting global security and stability. The Ukrainian crisis provides a clear example of why the U.S. Energy Department needs to quickly approve more liquefied natural gas facilities and cut through the red tape slowing LNG exports.”

Udall has been a strong supporter of developing Colorado’s clean-burning and job-creating natural gas resources.

Earlier this year, Udall supported the Grand Junction Economic Partnership’s effort to study the effect liquefied natural gas exports could have on the Western Slope’s economy. Udall also has made natural gas development a cornerstone of his ongoing statewide energy tour, including visiting a DCP Midstream facility in Weld County. For more information, contact Mike Saccone at 202-224-4334.

Tipton votes for relief from high heating costs

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., highlighted legislation being considered in the House this week that would help provide relief for families struggling to pay rising costs to heat their homes, according to a press release from the congressman’s office.

The legislation includes measures to provide relief to families by eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic restrictions that drive up the cost of energy production and increase the time it takes to transport energy resources to the communities that need them.

With Tipton’s support, the House passed the Home Heating Emergency Assistance through Transportation Act of 2014 (H.R. 4076) on Tuesday. The bill would make it easier to transport heating fuels such as propane and natural gas to areas experiencing shortages, helping to stabilize the supply and lower costs.

“Families in my district already on tight budgets are struggling to make ends meet because the cost to heat their homes this winter has been so high. For propane users, costs have increased as much as 70 percent over the last year. Excess federal regulation has contributed to heating fuel shortages in many communities, cost increases and missed opportunities to create jobs. We can provide immediate and long-term relief if government would just get out of the way,” Tipton said in a statement. “The legislation we are considering in the House this week would expedite the transportation of heating fuels, advance needed infrastructure projects that are ready to go to provide greater accessibility to home heating resources, and lower the cost of responsible production by cutting red tape, easing the cost burden on families and businesses.”

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