Baxter Black: Spotted skunk saga

If it weren’t so ridiculous it would make you cry. The Endangered Species Act has popped up again like a stinky diaper at day care. This time it is the Plains Spotted Skunk, one of four species of spotted skunks that can be found almost anywhere from Canada to Mexico and coast-to-coast except, apparently, in the backyard of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Business Buzz: Custom Auto and Paint moves to new location

Custom Auto and Paint in Craig recently moved into the old Intermountain Appliance location at 395 School St.

Maybell resident to hold cannabis forum Friday night in Craig

Kris Brannan, of Maybell, wants to reverse the ban on retail marijuana in Moffat County. To fuel the effort, she’s hosting a cannabis forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion in Craig.

Baxter Black: Record snowfall

The President’s science and technology advisor - Jan. 11, 2014. I cringe at how ludicrous global warming climatologists must feel these last two winters. Nature is pooping in their nest. Did he mean “extreme heat” instead of cold? Can they have it both ways? However, they shouldn’t be making excuses. They should be elated that winter seems to be coming back with a vengeance. But what if it continues? It puts them in the position of hoping for bad news. It’s called schenfreude.

Tease photo

Yampa Valley Fiberworks brings all-natural fleece processing to Craig

About 10 miles north of Craig, tucked away just off Colorado Highway 13, is an indistinguishable warehouse, hugged in by fenced animals including sheep, alpacas and goats. The 4,000-square-foot building easily blends in with the agricultural area, surrounded by other properties marked with barns and livestock. But inside is a unique find.

Tease photo

Craig students teach, learn about agriculture

As part of National FFA Week, the members of the local chapter of the National FFA Organization took some time this week to impart their wisdom to the kindergarten students of Craig. The Wednesday event Barnyard Day let younger students get a look at the various activities that go along with working on a farm, including taking care of the furry and feathered denizens that reside in such a place.

Baxter Black: The human attachment

It had been a long day for Steffan. Frozen pipes, touchy tractors, cranky cows and a stuffy nose. A headache had kept him banging his head against the wall from 6 a.m. to sundown.

Tease photo

Moffat County farm kids weigh cattle for upcoming fairs

The market beef weigh-in took place Sunday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds, as youths from around the county brought in their bovine charges to be evaluated for competition later this year, such as the Moffat County and State Fairs.

Tease photo

Moffat County sheep ranching documentary moves into post-production

A documentary following the story of the Villard sheep ranch is moving into post-production. Yuri Chicovsky sought funds for his film, Sage Country, via the crowd-funding site, Kickstarter, and as of Friday surpassed his goal by more than $6,000. His next step is to pull the film together — and most of the work, from the soundtrack to the editing, Chicovsky will do himself.

Tease photo

Cowboy charity shoots to bring services to Moffat County by spring

Keith Brennise is the president of the non-profit organization Kids, Cancer & Cowboys, a program intended to give children diagnosed with cancer the chance to experience the Western lifestyle and brighten their attitudes about facing the disease.

Tease photo

Filmmaker seeks funding for sheep rancher documentary

After four years in the making, Chicovsky’s documentary about area sheep ranchers is moving into the post-production stage. The film “Sage Country” — focusing on the lives of the family and workers of Villard Ranch — can currently be found as a campaign on fundraising website Kickstarter, which allows independent filmmakers and others seeking money to get creative projects going through different avenues.

Pipi’s Pasture: Winter get-togethers at the ranch

The dining room is one of my favorite places to sit and write, especially in winter. For one thing, it’s warm and cozy. For another, there are three large windows on the west side of the room, and through them, I can check out the winter scene without having to be out in the cold (even though I spend about four hours per day outside doing chores).

Christmas at Pipi’s Pasture

Soft snow is falling on Pipi’s Pasture. It’s a Christmas card scene for sure. As I watch the snow fall, I’m thinking about this year’s Christmas season. I will remember it for the warm memories, particularly those memories of giving from the heart.

Baxter Black: Animal husbandry

As far back as 1628 “husbandry” was defined as agricultural produce, land under cultivation, farming. The word husband also implies a caretaker of land and livestock, a hands-on activity. From shepherds watching their flocks by night as described in the Bible, up to farm managers milking cows, showing fat steers and roping at the branding fire, animal husbandry was an appropriate title for a bachelor’s degree for a century.

Tease photo

Moffat County mink farmers denied permit to set up new location

A mink farm that’s been under pressure in the past week was denied a conditional use permit by Moffat County commissioners at their Tuesday meeting. The farmers pursued the permit even after their farm was raided by an unidentified individual or group. The Moffat County Sheriff’s Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating the incident. All of the farmers’ mink were set free in the raid, and although many were recaptured, all are useless as breeding stock. They can only be sold for their pelts. That decreases the price of the mink from more than $250,000 to about $10,000, the farmers said. In an anonymous e-mail, the Earth Liberation Front alleged it perpetrated the act and praised the individual or individuals who carried it out.