Craig briefs: Coffee and a Newspaper to discuss school district | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig briefs: Coffee and a Newspaper to discuss school district

The Craig Daily Press will host its next Coffee and a Newspaper at 7 a.m. Aug. 6 at The Memorial Hospital's Mountain Café. Daily Press General Manager Renee Campbell and Managing Editor Noelle Leavitt Riley will discuss the state of Moffat County School District.

The Daily Press will provide free coffee and pastries. For more information, call 970-875-1788 or 970-875-1790.

Elk Springs Fire almost contained; new 1 arises

Sporadic rain showers and overcast conditions continued to aid in putting out the 450-acre Elk Springs Fire, which is 90 percent contained, according to a Bureau of Land Management press release. 

No cause has been determined.

On Monday, crews responded to the 430-acre Ladore Fire in Dinosaur National Monument and on BLM lands, the release stated.

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The fire is difficult to access because of rough terrain, but it is under a full suppression strategy. The Roosevelt Hot Shots, the Buena Vista Juniper Valley Crew, a National Park Service engine and a State Type 3 helicopter are fighting the fire. There is no containment at this time, and no cause has been determined.

Those same favorable weather conditions of light rain and high humidity also are helping with the Ladore Fire efforts. 

Transparency urged for Endangered Species Act

On Tuesday, the House passed legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., to increase transparency under the Endangered Species Act by providing updates to ensure that the best publicly available scientific data is being utilized by the federal government when making listing decisions, according to a press release from Tipton's office.

"Under the existing, outdated process, the federal government is not required to publicly disclose scientific data being used, or even consider data submitted by state, county and tribal governments when listing under the Endangered Species Act. If federal agencies are utilizing the best possible science to ensure the protection of a species, then there should be nothing to hide. Given the abysmal recovery success rate of 2 percent for the 1,500 species currently listed, I have more than a hunch that better scientific data is available and should be put to use — which is exactly why we need transparency," Tipton said in a statement. "We are seeing this lack of transparency right here in Colorado with regard to the proposed sage grouse ESA listings. Not only have federal agencies refused to disclose the scientific data on which they are relying to determine potential listings, they have failed to even provide preservation goals to the state, despite repeated calls to do so. The legislation we passed today in the House will bring greater transparency to the ESA process by requiring federal agencies to disclose scientific data, cooperate with state and local governments, and ensure that the listing process works to the best interest of a species and impacted communities, and not for self-serving bureaucratic ends or to advance the goals of special interests."

Udall backs bipartisan deal on reform for VA

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., who serves on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed the bipartisan deal Tuesday to improve accountability at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and provide veterans access to more timely, high-quality care, according to a press release from Udall's office.

Udall said Colorado's veterans deserved better than the weeks of intransigence by some lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives who held up the U.S. Senate's bipartisan Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014, the release stated

"Our nation's veterans shouldn't have to fight for access to the timely, world-class care they have earned. Today's bipartisan agreement helps to meet this obligation and confronts the systemic failures within the VA that have broken faith with those who have served," Udall said in a statement. "Although this is a welcome development, these common-sense reforms have languished for weeks unnecessarily. Colorado's veterans deserve better, and we cannot allow partisan politics to obstruct necessary reforms."

Udall has led efforts to resolve the systemic mismanagement at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and its facilities throughout the country, according to the release.

Udall also worked to ensure Western Slope veterans had ready access to essential surgical procedures for which they previously had to travel long distances. He pressed the VA Inspector General to investigate employee complaints at the Grand Junction Medical Center, and he has led congressional oversight of the Aurora VA medical center, the press release stated.