Craig briefs: Logging closes roads in Routt National Forest

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 WALDEN – Hazard-tree logging operations in the Kings Canyon area of the Routt National Forest commenced last week, and forest users should prepare in advance for the accompanying travel route closures, according to a press release. 

Logging operations will continue throughout the year. 

The affected travel routes are on the Parks Ranger District in the northeast corner of the Routt National Forest and include Forest Roads 204 (Kings Canyon Road or Jackson County Road 46), 876, 879, 880, 881, 882, 884, 885, as well as their system spurs normally open to public travel. 

The road system will be closed at the forest boundary and no public travel will be allowed. This prohibition applies to wheeled motor vehicles and all other forms of motorized and non-motorized travel, including travel over snow on the restricted roads and their rights-of-way, adjacent public parking areas, non-forested areas adjacent to the Restricted Roads, and including any travel within a quarter mile either side of the center line of the Restricted Roads.

 Closures will be signed at C.R. 6E and 46 to allow for safe vehicle turnaround. The Kings Canyon area is adjacent to the popular North Sand Hills in Jackson County.

 The portion of National Forest north of Kings Canyon, near the Colorado/Wyoming state line will still be seasonally accessible via Forest Roads 213, 889 and 516.

 Forest visitors should expect to encounter log trucks traveling along Colorado Highway 127. Recreationists are also reminded to be aware of and avoid heavy equipment operating in the area. Do not enter areas that are posted closed, as they are closed for public safety. Visitors need to be aware of ongoing changes that may affect travel on the national forest.

 For more information about Kings Canyon or other projects please call 970-723-2700 or stop by the Parks Ranger District at 100 Main Street in Walden between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. 

Gas prices keep rising each week in Colorado

Average retail gasoline prices in Colorado rose 4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.58 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 2,158 gas outlets in Colorado. That compares with the national average that has jumped 3.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.47 per gallon, according to gasoline price website www.gasbuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Colorado during the past week, prices on Sunday were 5.4 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 39.1 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 18.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 19.1 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

“Unsurprisingly, the surge in the national average has continued over the last week,” www.gasbuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan said in an email. “As refinery maintenance season is now in its prime, and will be for several weeks, motorists could see additional volatility at the pump should issues or unexpected problems arise with this period of maintenance. There tend to be glitches and issues restarting these plants, and the progressive switchover to various blends of gasoline complicates matters further. Then, as refineries get back online, the volatility will ebb, and prices will slow their climb — but all of that light at the end of the tunnel remains several weeks away,” DeHaan said.

Sen. Udall promotes fire department grants

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., encourages Colorado’s fire departments to apply for competitive grants to help them meet their firefighting and emergency response needs and better protect Colorado communities, according to a release from the senator’s office.

Federal Emergency Manage-ment Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program gives Colorado fire departments the chance to compete for a portion of $32 million to more effectively protect communities from the threat of fire. This Fire Prevention and Safety Grant funds projects that reach high-risk populations and that decrease rates of injuries and death caused by fires.

To request a letter of support on behalf of an application, fire departments should contact Udall’s regional office nearest them. Call Mike Saccone at 202-224-4334.

Slash pile burning to generate visible smoke

KREMMLING — Smoke may be visible near Rand as crews from the Northwest Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit burn slash piles generated from Bureau of Land Management forest management and fuel reduction projects.

Fire personnel will burn slash piles about 5 miles west of Rand. Burning could begin this week and continue through March 20 depending on weather conditions and smoke dispersion patterns.

Crews will burn piles when weather conditions are favorable to lift smoke out of the area and moisture in adjacent vegetation is at acceptable levels to prevent spread. Slash piles are typically burned in the winter when the chance of the fires spreading is low.

The piles were generated last year from projects to reduce hazardous fuels for wildfires, improve public and firefighter safety, and improve forest health. The slash that resulted from those projects was piled and allowed to cure. The piles average 10 feet tall, 20 feet wide and 30 feet long.

Fifth-graders go to Liberty Day at Capitol

Students from Northwest Colorado will be traveling to Denver this week to join in the festivities for Liberty Day, an educational program about the workings of American government.

Liberty Day includes a field trip to the Colorado State Capitol, including tours, and kids can interact with legislators. Certain students will also be reading the Declaration of Independence on the House floor.

There will be 10 total fifth-graders representing the four Craig elementary schools, as well as two students from Jackson County’s Walden, all of whom will be making the trip with the help of the Augusta Wallihan Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The kids will join Englewood and Northglenn schools in attendance, marking the first time students from the Western Slope have joined in the activity.

“Everybody that I’ve talked to is really excited about kids from Northwest Colorado coming over this year,” said Debbie McClain, DAR member and organizer.

Several of the young envoys from Northwest Colorado will be leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Students can also test the visitors to the Capitol on their knowledge of the American Constitution.

“Liberty Day gives us the opportunity to pause from what we’re doing here in the State Capitol and reflect on why we’re doing it — so that our ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth,’” said Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, in a press release from the Liberty Day Institute.

Formed in 1996, the Liberty Day Institute is dedicated to promoting education about the American government, with March 16 the official date of celebration, commemorating the birth date of the author of the Constitution, President James Madison.

Community calendar is online and in print

The Craig Daily Press has a robust and thorough community calendar that can be found on page 4 of the Craig Daily Press or online at CraigDailyPress.com/events. Check out the newspaper’s calendar for your event needs. If you’d like to submit a calendar event, email the listing to editor@CraigDailyPress.com or call 970-875-1790.

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