Craig briefs: Pioneers “Old Timers” reunion meets June 7

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The Rio Blanco County Pioneers Association’s 102nd Anniversary “Centennial plus 2” Old Timers Reunion Dinner and Dance will be held June 7 at the Freeman Fairfield Community Center, 200 Main St., Meeker.

Members, guests and potential new participants also may access the RBC Pioneers website and download an invitation or register directly online at www.rbcpioneers.org, using the Eventbrite registration service directly from the website with a credit card. Please do not register any later than Thursday.

Check out the RBC pioneers Facebook link, as well, from the website. RBC Pioneers Association encourages new and younger memberships for those who may never have participated in this great historic event.

The 2014 theme is “How the West Was Fun” and will feature some new and exciting events, including a Pioneer Costume Contest for any period from 1885 to the present. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes. Entertainment will feature exciting performances, as well.

“Capturing our Culture” features video interviews of individuals, families and class reunions to reminisce and share stories that will serve as the basis for the RBC Historical Society “This is What I Remember” documentaries of county residents. Class reunions for all Meeker and Rangely High School classmates will be held, as well. Family and area reunions also are encouraged. The MACC Meeker Palooza art and music festival will be held concurrently, providing entertainment for all before the start of the reunion.

The 2014 co-presidents Sandra Bradfield and Robert Amick are assisted by co-vice presidents Sparky Pappas and Mary K. Krueger, as well as registrar and secretary Haley Kracht, treasurer Connie Theos and strategic chair Mary Ann Wilber. For more information, call registrar Haley Kracht at 970-878-4607.

Best of Moffat County contest in full swing

The Craig Daily Press has kicked off its annual Best of Moffat County contest. The contest runs through Monday.

The newspaper has added a new element to the 2014 contest — participants can vote every day through Monday. Every reader who participates by voting will be entered into a drawing to win $500 in Craig Chamber of Commerce Spree Bucks.

To vote for the 2014 Best of Moffat County, go to http://explorecontests.secondstreetapp.com/l/best-of-moffat-county-2014.

Craig Daily Press, KRAI host candidates forum

The Craig Daily Press and KRAI will host a Moffat County candidates’ forum at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Centennial Mall.

Currently, the Moffat County Commissioner District 3 race is the only contested race. Best Western Plus Deer Park Inn & Suites owner Frank Moe and Moffat County Emergency Manager Coordinator Tom Soos are running against each other for the commissioner seat, which is occupied by Tom Mathers.

Colorado’s primary election will take place June 24, when voters will decide which of the two Republican candidates will make it onto the November ballot. Other uncontested candidates also will have an opportunity to speak about why they’re running for elected office.

Moffat County mail-in ballots will be mailed to registered voters Monday, Moffat County Clerk and Recorder Lila Herod said.

Browns Park staff to burn some wetlands

Browns Park refuge staff plans to burn the wetland in Spitzie Bottom to reduce excessive fuel loads and to improve the wildlife habitat conditions, according to a Bureau of Land Management press release. Smoke from the burns may be visible from Colorado Highway 318 and Moffat County Road 10 and 10N until late May on the days of the burns and a few days after the burn.

Weather conditions will be closely monitored, and the burn will be initiated only if conditions are favorable for firefighters to contain the burn within the project boundary. Each prescribed burn conducted by the Browns Park NWR has a detailed fire plan developed in advance, along with appropriate smoke permits obtained from the State of Colorado. Prescribed fires are one of many tools public land managers use to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires while improving wildlife habitat and overall forest and range health. For more information, call Stephen Barclay, refuge manager, at 970-365-3613, extension 102.

BLM issues reminders about ag burning

Spring is here, and landowners have begun ditch and debris burning to clear fields and other areas of dead vegetation, according to a press release from the Buearu of Land Management Little Snake Field office in Craig.

Spring offers optimal conditions for this activity. Green-up is underway in grasses, but brush and timber are not yet in green-up. The dead vegetation in grass and brush will carry fire through green plants and can pose fire control issues, especially on windy days.

Observing the following proactive recommendations will provide a safer environment for debris and ditch burning.

■ Know the predicted weather conditions for your burn day — erratic winds quickly can push a fire out of control in dry fuels.

■ Don’t burn on windy days.

■ Visit www.crh.noaa.gov/gjt for weather information.

■ Notify your neighbors of your plans to burn so they don’t panic and call in a false fire report.

■ Have a shovel and water with you to extinguish the fire.

■ Clear and remove debris down to bare soil around power poles and state right-of-way fences to keep fire from damaging these structures.

■ Dig a fire line where you want the fire to stop if vegetation is continuous and will carry the fire beyond your planned burn area.

■ Never leave a fire unattended.

Should an agricultural or debris fire damage other private, state or federally managed lands, you could receive a fine or be held responsible for the cost of those impacts. This includes power poles and state-owned property. Call the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office before striking the match at 970-824-4495 or 970-824-6501.

Grants to help cut wildfire risk

The Colorado Department of Natural Resources is accepting applications for a third round of awards under the Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program, according to a press release. This phase will provide $3.5 million to reduce the risk of wildfire in areas where human development and forested lands overlap, often called the wildland-urban interface.

The program, created under Senate Bill 13-269 and passed last year by the Colorado General Assembly, is focused on projects that reduce the risk for damage to property, infrastructure and water supplies, and those that limit the likelihood of wildfires spreading into populated areas. Funds will be directed to non-federal lands within Colorado.

The first two rounds of grants, totaling about $5.9 million, have been awarded to 53 projects in 22 counties.

Eligible applicants include community groups, local governments, utilities, state agencies and nonprofit groups. Applicants must contribute 100 percent matching funds, which can include in-kind resources, for a 50-50 grant-to-match ratio. Applicants must identify plans to make use of the woody material resulting from the projects. Those plans can include using the materials for biomass energy and/or traditional forest products.

A more detailed overview of the grant program and its requirements and limitations, as well as the grant applications, instructions and other materials, is available through this link at the Department of Natural Resources website at http://dnr.state.co.us/wrrg.

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