Craig briefs: Motorists to save billions in gas costs during 2016 | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig briefs: Motorists to save billions in gas costs during 2016

— Motorists will be rewarded at the pump this year, spending $17 billion less compared to 2015, as the national yearly sags for a fourth straight year to $2.28 per gallon, according to GasBuddy's 2016 Fuel Price Outlook.

Aside from a national average that's forecast to be lower than 2015, the following highlights were included.

■ $325 billion will be spent on gasoline in the U.S. in the year ahead, $17 billion less than last year. That's considerable given consumers saved $134 billion on gasoline in 2015 versus what was paid for gas in 2014.

■ The winter-blend to summer-blend fuel transition mandated by EPA regulations will again deliver a consistent climb in retail gasoline prices this spring, but the compression that has occurred since 2012 likely will yield a peak for 2016 that falls below the 2015 peak of $2.82.

■ Expect the national average to peak in May in the $2.70 range. Most states will experience peak prices in April or May, while a minority will peak in June.

■ $3 per gallon of gasoline will be hard to find, except for areas of the West Coast.

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■ Diesel's yearly average price will be lower than gasoline for the first time since 2004.

Calling local artists, musicians, chocolatiers 

The annual Art Walk and Taste of Chocolate will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13.  

The Downtown Business Association is looking for artists, musicians and chocolatiers to fill our downtown businesses with art, food and music.

Artists and musicians can call LeAnn Davis-Kling with Downtown Books at 970-824-5343.

Chocolatiers should call Nadine Daszkiewicz with the Kitchen Shop at 970-824-8148.

Monument river permit lottery open until Jan. 31

The lottery is open until Jan. 31 for the noncommercial river permits for the high-use season on the Green and Yampa Rivers in Dinosaur National Monument, according to a news release from the monument.

Applicants can access and submit the form by logging onto recreation.gov. 

All lottery applications must be submitted by 10 p.m. Jan. 31. The lottery allows boaters to compete for the 300 permits that are available for the high use season.

Annual poker run slated for 9:30 a.m. Jan. 30

The Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club will host its annual Poker Run on Jan. 30 at Freeman Reservoir. Registration begins at the trail head parking lot at 9:30 a.m. The event's card stations are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $10 per hand or three hands for $25. Prices will be awarded at the awards banquet at 5:30 p.m. at the O.P. Bar and Grill, 534 E. Victory Way. Proceeds go to the local student scholarship fund. For more information, visit northwestcoloradosnowmobileclub.org.

CPW reminds readers not to feed big game

Feeding big game is not only illegal in Colorado, it is deadly for wildlife, according to a news release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

"There's no doubt that life's tough for big game during the winter, but feeding these animals can make them sick and kill them," Scott Wait, southwest region senior terrestrial biologist for CPW, said in a statement.

About this time each year, Colorado wildlife officers see evidence throughout the state of people feeding big game animals. The problem is most common in rural, large-lot subdivisions

The digestive systems of deer, elk, moose and bighorn sheep are specialized for natural food sources, not the common types of feed humans give to livestock and pets, such as hay, corn, grains, alfalfa, birdseed and pet foods. When big game eat food not suited to their systems, especially during the winter, they can develop digestive problems that can kill them within a few days.

As fall begins, the digestive systems of ungulates change so they can efficiently digest vegetation that is naturally dried out and low in nutritional value, such as leaves, twigs and grasses. When they eat nutrient-dense food, such as corn or alfalfa, their digestive systems produce high amounts of acid, which causes them to become dehydrated.

"When that happens, they'll become sluggish but also drink lots of water; I will get reports from people who tell me a deer is barely moving and eating snow. That's a sure sign people are putting out food," Conifer-area District Wildlife Manager Scott Murdoch said in a statement.

Recently, Murdoch has seen numerous dead deer that succumbed to digestive problems after eating food provided by people. Because feeding big game is illegal, Murdoch has issued one ticket and four other warnings during the past month. The fine is $70.50.

Anyone who suspects big game animals are being fed is asked to call the nearest CPW office. Tips also can be called in to Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648.

For more information, call any CPW office.