Craig briefs: Coffee and Newspaper to talk retail vacancies
The Craig Daily Press will host its monthly Coffee and a Newspaper at 7 a.m. on Wednesday at The Memorial Hospital. This month, Publisher Renee Campbell and Managing Editor Noelle Leavitt Riley will discuss retail vacancies in Craig. Free coffee and pastries will be provided. For more information, call 970-875-1788.
Winter trail markers removed on Rabbit Ears
U.S. Forest Service staff from the Routt National Forest began removing the marker poles for skier/snowshoe trails on Rabbit Ears Pass this past week, according to a press release.
Great spring recreation opportunities still exist, however, trail users should be aware of their location at all times since some temporary signage will no longer be in place. Recreationists should also use caution at creek crossings and in wet areas.
Removal of the temporary signage is an annual task for the Forest Service; this year it is just happening earlier than normal due to warm weather and subsequent snowmelt. The marker poles need to be pulled by staff before portions of the trails become inaccessible to over-the-snow travel.
This does not mean that area boundaries are no longer applicable. The boundary between the Rabbit Ears multi-use and non-motorized areas is still in place, and while trails are not marked, snowmobiles are still prohibited in the non-motorized area. The Forest Service has issued 30 violation notices this winter to snowmobilers for being in the non-motorized area on Rabbit Ears Pass, off trail in the Buffalo Pass permit area or in the Zirkel Wilderness.
All winter recreationists need to be aware of conditions and changing weather. With the warm weather trends, the entire snowpack is melting, causing changes in snow conditions and cover. Creeks are opening up and getting more difficult and/or dangerous to cross. Be aware and prepared when going into the backcountry.
For more information on the Rabbit Ears Pass area or other locations on the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District, call 970-870-2299.
USFS information is also available at fs.usda.gov/mbr, or you can follow us on Twitter, @MBRNFsTBNG.
State parks will open to boating Wednesday
RIFLE — Colorado Parks and Wildlife will open Harvey Gap and Rifle Gap State Parks to boating on Wednesday, according to a press release
Water lovers are invited to enjoy two of the most popular parks in western Colorado where people can fish, hike, bike and enjoy a variety of water-based outdoor recreation.
Rifle Gap also offers a variety of camping options. The clear water of Rifle Gap Reservoir attracts water-skiers, jet-skiers and boaters and also offers great conditions for sailing.
Harvey Gap is a great lake for small boats of 20 horsepower or less. Sailing and canoeing are popular, too.
“Fishing and boating are great here, and we look forward to a great season,” Park Manager Brian Palcer said in a statement. “But before you head out, we strongly recommend that you pay attention to a few things that will help keep you safe, and legal.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds boaters that attention to safety and responsibility on the water is required from all participants at all times. Before launching, be sure your vessel is registered, check that all of the required safety gear is on board and in good condition and remember that alcohol and boating do not mix.
“A fun day on the water can turn tragic very quickly if you’re not taking safety into consideration,” said Palcer. “We will be out everyday to make sure people are following the rules so that everyone can have a fun time.”
Palcer reminds boaters to always have the basic required gear, including personal flotation devices, a sound producing device, fire extinguisher, navigation lights and a current boat registration with visible registration numbers placed on the watercraft.
Colorado boating regulations require that all children younger than 13 wear a life jacket at all times while on the water.
CPW reminds boaters to de-winterize boats
As the spring season emerges and temperatures begin to rise, many parks again open for boating between now and April 1.
Now is the time to properly de-winterize boats to make sure they are functional before heading out on the water, according to a press release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
“When nice weekends start popping up, be ready to take advantage,” Kris Wahlers, CPW boat program manager, said in a statement.
“Instead of using a nice weekend to get the boat ready, or worse, get to the lake before finding out you have a problem, get it ready now.”
CPW recommends several things to check as you prepare your boat for the boating season. First, try to drain out any water that may have found its way into your boat during the winter season.
This will help avoid the accumulation of mold, rust, and any potential damage to components as temperatures rise.
With water muffs properly installed and working, start your boat at home to make sure it runs. Be careful to keep the water flowing and not let it run long or overheating may result.
It’s a lot less embarrassing to have a boat not start in the driveway than on a crowded dock.
Check the battery to see if it can still hold a charge after the cold winter months. This can be done by taking a conventional car battery charger and checking if the battery holds 100 percent of the charge that it is given.
If the battery has a full charge and the motor still won’t turn on, replace any fuses that may have broken during the winter.
Check fuel lines for cracks/leaks or signs of rodents chewing on them, make sure hoses are connected, check fittings and connections to make sure they are tight and make sure plugs are in good shape and installed before heading out on the water.