Craig briefs: Yampa River running higher than normal

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Moffat County Emergency Management would like to remind residents that the Yampa River is higher than normal.

“Everyone needs to be careful around the rivers and streams,” Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Soos said. “River graphs were near bank flow. Elkhead Dam will start spilling over. The river is going to be running hard, and it’s going to be running fast.”

Forest Service co-hosts family bird event Saturday

In celebration of Inter­national Migratory Bird Day, the Routt National Forest will co-host a family-friendly event Saturday near Hayden, according to a press release.

The Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District has partnered with the Nature Conservancy, Yampatika and the Yampa Valley Birding Club to put on the free family activity.

The event will be held at the Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch, located just east of Hayden, from 8 a.m. to noon, featuring a bird walk, arts, crafts, an appearance by Woodsy Owl, story time, songs and a build-a-nest activity.

Information may also be found at http://fs.usda.gov/mbr, or you can follow the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland on Twitter @MBRNFsTBNG.

Comment period for project set to close

The comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the 400-mile Energy Gateway South Transmission Project is set to close May 22, according to a news release. The Bureau of Land Management encourages interested individuals to review and comment.

PacifiCorp, doing business as Rocky Mountain Power, is proposing to construct, maintain and operate the Energy Gateway South Transmission Project that would result in constructing a 412-mile, 500-kilovolt, overhead, alternating-current transmission line extending from south-central Wyoming to central Utah. When completed, the project would transmit about 1,500 megawatts of electricity generated at facilities in Wyoming.

The BLM is the lead federal agency for the National Environmental Policy Act review process for this project and is working with cooperating agencies in Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. Members of the public, government agencies and tribes are encouraged to provide comment on the Draft EIS during the 90-day public comment period. The U.S. Forest Service is a cooperating agency and will decide whether to issue a special-use permit for the project. Comments received during this comment period will be used to determine standing for the USFS objection process (found in 36 CFR 218).

The Draft EIS is available to download on the BLM’s project website at www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/nepa/documents/hdd/gateway_south.html. Comments may be submitted to the BLM by email to gate

waysouth_wymail@blm.gov or by mail to Energy Gateway South Project, Bureau of Land Management, P.O. Box 21150, Cheyenne, WY 82003.

Rankin is appointed to Joint Budget Committee

House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland, announced the appointment of Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, as the new house Republican member of the Joint Budget Committee, according to a press release. Rankin will replace Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, who is not seeking another term in office.

Rankin previously has served on the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources, Local Government and Appropriations Committees, as well as the Joint Technology Committee. He will continue to serve on the House Appropriations Committee as part of his duties on the Joint Budget Committee.

Boaters are reminded of their responsibilities

Boating season has begun across the state, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding everyone heading to their favorite lakes or reservoirs to be safe this year, according to a press release.

Following the state’s boating laws not only can help prevent deaths and injuries, it will help stop the spread of aquatic nuisance species, a serious threat to Colorado’s waters. In Northwest Colorado, several boating areas officially have opened for the season with more set to open as the weather warms up.

At Highline Lake State Park, northwest of Grand Junction, a dredging operation to remove a buildup of silt has been completed. The popular lake opened to boating and other water recreation April 14.

The required equipment may vary depending on the type of watercraft. At a minimum, boats must have one U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device per person on board. Youths 12 and younger are required to wear an approved PFD at all times while on a boat. Other required equipment includes an approved sound-producing device, a Type IV throwable device and a fire extinguisher on some motorboats.

In 2013, 20 percent of all boat accidents involved the use of alcohol, drugs or both. Boating under the influence can be punishable by a year in jail, a loss of boating privileges for three months, fines as much as $1,000 and 96 hours of community service.

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