Craig briefs: Grobe appointed to Air Quality Control group
Moffat County Commissioner Chuck Grobe was appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper to the Air Quality Control Commission in April. He applied for the open position because he wanted to bring Western Slope insight to the policy process.
“I just want to bring the Western Slope perspective in air quality from an industry angle,” he said.
He will attend monthly meetings with the commission and help draft policy regarding air quality.
Fellow Commissioner Tom Mathers said he was glad a representative from coal country would be on the commission.
“The real thing is it’s real nice to have someone from Moffat County,” he said.
Gas prices fall slightly this week in Colorado
Average retail gasoline prices in Colorado dipped 1.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.50 per gallon yesterday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 2,158 gas outlets in Colorado. This compares with the national average that has increased 2.5 cents per gallon in the past week to $3.65 per gallon, according to gasoline price website http://www.gasbuddy.com.
Gas prices in Craig currently linger around $3.74 per gallon.
Including the change in gas prices in Colorado during the past week, prices Sunday were 5 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 7.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has increased 12.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 16.5 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
“While the national average has risen for the 12th straight week, it is likely nearing a peak,” GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan said. “Gas price increases have continued since early February but are likely nearing an end as oil refineries conclude seasonal maintenance, and the switchover to summer gasoline is nearing completion. Meanwhile, oil inventories are at their highest ever level as reported by the Energy Information Administration, which cited crude oil stocks at a record high of 397.7 million barrels, which should help propel oil prices lower in coming weeks as some storage facilities near capacity. For motorists, the peak to retail gasoline prices is likely very near, with some relief to follow in coming weeks as pressure eases on factors that drive gasoline prices.”
Browns Park to burn wetlands to reduce fuel
Browns Park refuge staff plans to burn the wetlands in Spitzie Bottom to reduce excessive fuel loads and to improve the wildlife habitat conditions in those areas, according to a Bureau of Land Management press release. The burn at Spitzie Bottom is being done to reduce the amount of area that cattails and bulrush cover the wetlands and for waterfowl habitat improvement. Smoke from the burns may be visible from Colorado Highway 318 and Moffat County Road 10 and 10N from now 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 only be initiated 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 ext. 102.
Community calendar is online and in newspaper
The Craig Daily Press has a robust and thorough community calendar that can be found on page 4 of the Craig Daily Press or online at CraigDailyPress.com/events. Check out the newspaper’s calendar for your event needs. If you’d like to submit a calendar event, email your listing to editor@CraigDailyPress.com, or call 970-875-1790.
Colorado farmers can grow industrial hemp
The Colorado Department of Agriculture has adopted the first industrial hemp rules in state history. The rules became effective Dec. 30, according to a release. Producer registration with CDA’s industrial hemp program opened March 1.
“These rules are the first step to allow Colorado producers to legally grow industrial hemp,” Colorado Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture Ron Carleton said.
Producers must register with CDA by Thursday if they would like to grow industrial hemp during the 2014 growing season. The annual registration fee for commercial production of industrial hemp will be $200 plus $1 per acre. The annual registration fee for production of industrial hemp for research and development will be $100 plus $5 per acre. All registrations will be valid for one year from date of issuance.
All registrants are subject to sampling of their industrial hemp crop to verify that the THC concentration does not exceed 0.3 percent on dry weight basis; as many as 33 percent of the registrants will be inspected each year. During the inspection, the registrant or authorized representative must provide the department’s inspector with complete and unrestricted access to all industrial hemp plants and seeds whether growing or harvested, all land, buildings and other structures used for the cultivation and storage of industrial hemp, as well as all documents and records pertaining to the registrant’s industrial hemp growing business.
The rules were developed in response to the recent passing of Amendment 64 and legislation enacted by the Colorado General Assembly. SB13-241 delegates to the department the responsibility for establishing a registration and inspection program.
“The General Assembly has made it clear that cultivation, for either commercial or research and development purposes, is not authorized unless the prospective grower first registers with the department,” Carleton said.
The rules and more information about industrial hemp can be found by visiting http://www.colorado.gov/ag/dpi.
Colorado treats marijuana taxes like ‘a piggy bank,’ but top lawmakers want to limit spending to two areas
The complaints from constituents and policy advocates are aimed at the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund, a depository for about half of the $272 million the state is expected to generate this fiscal year from marijuana-related taxes. The legislature has guidelines for how the money should be spent, but lawmakers can use it for just about anything they want. And in practice, they do, splitting the money among dozens of different programs, across more than a dozen state agencies.