LAMAR, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is hosting several free fishing clinics for boys and girls in the lower Arkansas River Valley. The events are for children under 16 years of age and will cover tips and tricks for all kinds of fishing. Participants will also learn about types of flies and lures, water safety, fish identification and strategies for catching more fish.

A limited number of free fishing rods and fishing tackle will be available at each event but those with fishing equipment are encouraged to bring their own.

See below for the schedule of fishing clinics:

April 18 at Midwest Farms SWA, between Holly and Granada, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
April 24 at Shalberg Pond, Sheridan Lake, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
April 26 at Leonard Hudnall Pond, Las Animas, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
May 2 at Turk’s Pond, South of Two Buttes, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
May 3 at Jackson’s Pond, Eads, Noon – 4 p.m.
May 16 at North Gateway Park, Lamar, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
May 23 at La Junta City Pond, La Junta, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Sept. 12 at La Junta City Pond, La Junta, Noon – 3 p.m.

No registration is required. Anyone 16 years or older who wishes to fish after the events will need a valid fishing license. Fishing is limited to children only during the event. Participants should bring snacks, water, a lawn chair, sunscreen and hat.

For more information call 719-336-6600.



DENVER – 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 it is functional before heading out on the water.

“When nice weekends start popping up, be ready to take advantage!” said Kris Wahlers, CPW boat program manager. “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, make sure plugs are in good shape and installed before heading out on the water.

Sign up for a boating safety class. CPW hosts nearly 100 classes throughout the state from April – September, not to mention the online options for boaters over 15. Nearly 90% of boat operators involved in an accident last year had no or no known boating safety education, and that included the people who “have been boating all their life” and “… know everything there is to know about boating.”

Next, take a look at all boating safety equipment to ensure it is still serviceable. Boat safety items are required and include personal flotation devices, a sound making device, fire extinguisher, navigation lights, and 2015 boat registration with visible CL numbers. This is an important step because during the winter months many of these items are subject to cold weather elements which can cause them to wear or become unserviceable.

When you do get on the water for the first time, keep an eye on the temperature of your engine as sometimes after sitting in winter storage water pump impellers can fail and lead to a costly and potentially dangerous engine overheat.
There is no substitute for the professional advice of a local boat service center. If there are any concerns about the condition of a boat or ability to be functional out on the water for your first outing, call your local boat factory authorized center for professional advice.

“You can use these steps as a precaution to check your boat and lower the chances of there being any serious problems with your boat this boating season,” added Wahlers.

Get a 2015 boat registration now and avoid additional fees and fines out on the water. Learn more about all the 2015 boating regulations including registration at

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support our operations including 43 state parks covering more than 220,000 acres, big-game management, hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately six billion dollars in total economic effect annually throughout Colorado.

MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Tuesday blasted Republicans

MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Tuesday blasted Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives for assisting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an attempt to “take over” U.S. foreign policy from President Barack Obama.“I’ll get to the heart of this speech now,” Matthews told MSNBC’s Thomas Robertson.

“This man from a foreign government walked into the United States legislative chamber and tried to take over U.S. foreign policy. He said, ‘You should trust me, not your president on this. I am the man you should trust, I am your true leader on this question of U.S. geopolitics. To protect yourself, you must listen to me and not this president.’”“It was a startling situation,” he continued. “To allow someone to come in — knowing that was going to be their message — to the U.S. Congress. This was a decision made by Boehner and certainly complied with by Netanyahu and his ambassador [Ron Dermer]. They went into the U.S. Congress to take over U.S. foreign policy from the president.”“Think it through, what country in the world would let a foreign leader come in and attempt to wrest from the president control of the U.S. foreign policy?” Matthews asked.“This was a takeover attempt by Netanyahu with this complying America partners to take American foreign policy out of the hands of the president.”



CRAIG, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering two more young hunters a chance to earn a mentored, high-quality spring turkey hunt on private land, near Craig. Scheduled to take place the weekend of May 2-3, 2015, the hunt is made possible with the help and support of local landowners working in partnership with CPW wildlife managers.

As part of the agency’s Hunter Outreach Program, the hunt is a continuing effort to instill respect for wildlife, the outdoors, and the traditions of hunting in Colorado’s youth.

“This is the second year that we have offered this opportunity in this area,” said District Wildlife Manager Mike Swaro of Craig. “Last years hunt was fantastic. The kids had a great time and we expect that there will be high demand for the chance to participate this year.”

All novice youth hunters are encouraged to apply; however, those that have no prior hunting experience or have special family circumstances or health conditions that limit their ability to hunt will be given priority over experienced youths that come from hunting families.

Boys and girls under the age of 18 that posses a Hunter Education card are eligible to apply and must send a letter of interest postmarked by April 4, 2015 to:

DWM Mike Swaro
815 Ashley Road
Craig, CO 81625

The letter must include the youth’s name, address and hunter education card number. It must also include a phone number for the applicant’s parent or guardian. In addition, each letter must include an essay of 500 words or less about why the applicant should be selected over other youth applicants.

“Kids can write about their lack of hunting experience and desire to learn, or about any obstacles that have prevented the ability to hunt in past,” said Swaro. “We want to hear about why the youth wants to learn to hunt, why hunting is important in Colorado and how they plan to use this experience in the future.”

Swaro stresses that the essay must be written in the applicants own words.

The two participants will be selected based upon the essays and will be notified by CPW on or before April 8, 2015.

Anyone selected for this hunt will be required to attend a pre-hunt orientation at Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s warehouse in Craig, Friday, May 1, from 3 – 5 p.m., accompanied by a parent, guardian or mentor.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will provide shotguns, ammunition, blinds and calls. Selected hunters must provide their own camouflage clothing.

For more information, call the CPW office in Meeker at 970-878-6090.

To learn more about Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Hunter Outreach Program, go to


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HASTY, Colo. – John Martin Reservoir will be opening the East and West Boat Ramps for the summer season March 15. The water levels are similar to last year resulting in plenty of room for people to enjoy fishing, boating and other recreation on the reservoir.

The north shore waterfowl closure will also be lifted March 15 so that visitors will have opportunities to enjoy the remainder of the current seasons. Anglers will find luck with wiper, walleye and catfish on the reservoir and in the stilling basin below John Martin Dam, while bird watchers can still find some bald and golden eagles on the park.

Park visitors need to make sure that all of their licenses and registrations are up to date. Current boat registration, fishing and hunting licenses and annual parks passes for 2015 are all on sale now and can be purchased at the Visitor Center.

Please remember to be safe and responsible while you enjoy the many recreational opportunities we have to offer at John Martin. We look forward to seeing all of you this summer!

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This year boaters at Lathrop State Park can hit the water a month earlier than past years. Boat ramps to Martin and Horseshoe Lakes will open March 15 and remain open daily for the rest of the season from sunrise to sunset. The park will also open more campsites in March to accommodate visitors who want to enjoy spring break on the water.

In the past the park has had to wait until April 15 to open the gates because of a limited budget to hire boat inspection staff. “This year we are excited to be able to provide boating opportunities during a time of year that is great fishing weather and the time to enjoy spring break,” said Lathrop State Park Manager Stacey Lewis.

All boats are required to be inspected to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species such as zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil. Because of this all trailered vessels must be off the water before the gates close at sunset.

“Our boaters are familiar with the inspection process and why we need it to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species,” said Lewis. “But Lathrop has the extra challenge of being what is called a ‘containment park.’ We have an invasive plant called Eurasian Water Milfoil that we are trying to prevent from spreading to our neighboring lakes.” In order to do this, boats are inspected as they leave the park. “We are asking our visitors to help take on this challenge by bringing their boats off the water by sunset so that they may get an inspection while we have available staff.” Lewis said. She also added that although Colorado Parks and Wildlife treats the lakes at Lathrop for Eurasian Water Milfoil, it has not been eradicated.

Lathrop offers two types of boating experiences at its two lakes. Martin Lake offers motorized recreation such as waterskiing, personalized watercraft and tubing. Horseshoe Lake also allows motorized boats but boats must stay below a wakeless speed (5 mph). Many non-motorized boat users such as those with kayaks, canoes and paddleboards enjoy the quietness of Horseshoe Lake. Both lakes offer fishing opportunities for a variety of warm water species. For more information about Lathrop State Park visit or call 719-738-2376.

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Contact Name: Abbie Walls
Contact Phone: 719-227-5211



LAMAR, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering free help to hunters who wish to participate in the big game season this year. CPW will host a Big Game Application 101 class in Lamar on March 19, starting at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Hunter Education Room at the Lamar Service Center, 2500 S. Main St., Lamar.

This free course will cover the big game license application process, changes in big game regulations, tips and techniques on the annual big game license drawing and assist participants in applying for big game licenses.

Remember the deadline to apply for a limited big game hunting license is 11:59 p.m. on April 7.

For more information please call 719-336-6600

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Contact Name: Abbie Walls
Contact Phone: 719-227-5211


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2015 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

A free legal clinic for parties who have no attorney, will be featured from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM on the SECOND WEDNESDAY Of each month at the Springfield Public Library at 1260 South Main Street in Springfield. By computer link, volunteer attorneys will answer questions, help fill out forms, and explain the process and procedure for all areas of civil litigation, including family law, property law, probate law, collections, appeals, landlord-tenant law, small claims, veterans issues, and civil protection orders. Walk-ins are welcome, and everyone will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis.

Upcoming dates in 2015 are: February 11; March 11; April 8; May 13; June 10; July 8; August 12; September 9; October 14; November 11; and December 9, 2015



DENVER – The latest blast of cold and snow may place camping low on the New Year’s priority list, however, Colorado Parks and Wildlife suggests now is the best time to plan a spring or summer getaway at Colorado State Parks.

“Parks located on the plains such as Jackson Lake, John Martin, Lathrop, North Sterling and Trinidad, usually have moderate weather in early spring,” said CPW Reservations Coordinator Mercedes Schwall. “Our most popular camping sites fill up six months in advance so planning now could get vacationers a prime camping spot.”

Camping is good for your health too according to a study by University of Colorado – Boulder researcher Kenneth Wright, PhD. The CU Boulder release stated spending just one week exposed only to natural light while camping in the Rocky Mountains was enough to synch the circadian clocks of eight people participating in the study, meaning less differences between morning people and night people. Watch the video abstact here.

Harmonizing circadian clocks isn’t the only way camping can help.

“Getting outdoors improves my mood and helps manage stress,” said CPW Parks and Outdoor Recreation Assistant Director Ken Brink. “Camping at Crawford, James M Robb, Mancos, Navajo and Yampa or any of the other State Parks gives our family a place to socialize and engage in new adventures.”

Brink added that getting your reservation on the family calendar early ensures summer fun is scheduled instead of hoped for.

Plan a getaway this spring or summer at any of the more than 3,900 campsites and 50 cabins and yurts located throughout the state at elevations ranging from approximately 3,800 to 9,400. Check out all the options at

Camping fees range from $10 – $26, not including the reservation fee and park pass. Every vehicle entering the park, including RVs and towed vehicles, must have a parks pass for each day. Annual parks passes are $70, daily parks passes are $8 – 9. Visit our website or ask for detailed information at 303-297-1192?.

Campground amenities at many parks include restrooms, full-electrical hookups and shower facilities. Many parks also offer campsites or cabins for large groups. Almost 300 campsites are ADA accessible. Call 1-303-470-1184 or learn more at

Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, Colorado’s wildlife, and a variety of outdoor recreation. Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @COParksWildlife.

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KIM, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is seeking information about a poaching incident that occurred in southeastern Colorado, just east of the town of Kim, in Game Management Unit 143. On Dec. 10, the carcass of a small buck deer was found on the eastern edge of town by a private landowner.

Wildlife officers responded to the scene and found a fully skinned and field dressed animal with only the head and hide removed. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking for the public’s help in identifying any vehicles or individuals that may have been near the area starting Dec. 7. Officials would like to remind the public that individuals who deliberately engage in harvesting and wasting big-game steal both wildlife resources and opportunities from sportsmen and the citizens of the state of Colorado.

“It’s truly sad to see an entire animal wasted and left to rot when there are lots of people who could use the meat,” said District Wildlife Manager Mike Brown.

Individuals who kill big game animals in Colorado and abandon the carcass, only to take the trophy parts, may face felony charges, a permanent loss of hunting and fishing privileges, prison sentencing and substantial fines.

“It’s easy for hunters to get excited and make a mistake in the field, however dumping an animal on the side of the road and leaving the carcass is not a mistake, it’s a blatant disregard for wildlife,” said Brown. Brown is hopeful that someone within the Kim community will come forward with any information they might have.

Anyone with information should contact Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648, (877-COLO-OGT). Callers may remain anonymous and a $500 cash reward may be offered for any information that leads to a citation or arrest. Tips and information may also be emailed to


Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, Colorado’s wildlife, and a variety of outdoor recreation. Get your CPW park passes, camping, recreational vehicle registration and hunting and fishing licenses online at

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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2015 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

A free legal clinic for parties who have no attorney, will be featured from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM on the SECOND WEDNESDAY Of each month at the Springfield Public Library at 1260 South Main Street in Springfield. By computer link, volunteer attorneys will answer questions, help fill out forms, and explain the process and procedure for all areas of civil litigation, including family law, property law, probate law, collections, appeals, landlord-tenant law, small claims, veterans issues, and civil protection orders. Walk-ins are welcome, and everyone will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis.

Upcoming dates in 2015 are: January 14; February 11; March 11; April 8; May 13; June 10; July 8; August 12; September 9; October 14; November 11; and December 9, 2015



Contact Name: Abbie Walls
Contact Phone: 719-227-5211


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is taking to the skies in search of big game animals. Over the next two months CPW employees in the southeast region will fly across large portions of wildlife habitat in search of animals to classify by sex and age, while others will gather biological data on the ground. Late season hunters and outdoor recreationists are advised that they may see low-flying helicopters or airplanes and are urged to be patient while critical monitoring is conducted.

In the southeast region of Colorado, flights are conducted to the west of I-25 between Monument hill to the New Mexico Border and along the Arkansas River between the Kansas state line and Pueblo. CPW will also be capturing deer using helicopters north and east of the Arkansas River between Canon City and Leadville.

“These flights require quick maneuvering at low levels and expert piloting,” said Southeast Region Senior Terrestrial Biologist Brian Dreher. “If you were watching from the ground it would definitely generate some curiosity.”

Biologists will inventory thousands of animals to help provide a picture of the productivity and composition of big game in Colorado. This data will be used to form population models, management strategies and to set future hunting license numbers.

Disturbances by the flights will be short lived as the flights are conducted across a broad geographical area and typically only last a few minutes in any one area.

“The flights can cause a short-term inconvenience, but they provide long-term benefits like healthy wildlife populations and productive hunts in the future,” said Dreher. “It’s vital that we keep track of how our big game populations are doing across the state so we can effectively conserve them.”


Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, Colorado’s wildlife, and a variety of outdoor recreation. Get your CPW park passes, camping, recreational vehicle registration and hunting and fishing licenses online at


Contact Name: Mike Porras
Contact Phone: 970-255-6162


MAYBELL, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is investigating three additional incidents of illegally killed bull elk in high-quality hunting units in Northwest Colorado, adding to three high-quality bulls illegally killed in Game Management Unit 10 in early November, near the town of Dinosaur.

Two bulls were found along Highway 318 late last week, northwest of Maybell. Both were estimated to have been killed before Thanksgiving and were entirely field dressed. The other was found several miles away on Highway 10N, south of Irish Canyon. Thought to have been killed at the end of the Fourth Rifle season, only the front shoulders and backstraps were removed from that bull.

With the known total of illegally taken elk in this area now at six this year, CPW officials are asking the public for help, reminding of a unique, CPW reward program available to anyone that can provide information about the person or persons responsible for killing the high-quality bulls.

“We have a Turn In Poachers, or ‘TIP’ program in addition to our Operation Game Thief tipline,” said District Wildlife Manager Mike Swaro, of Craig. “Through TIP, if a hunter provides information about poaching incidents involving big game they may be eligible to receive a quality bull elk license in the unit where the tip was turned in if it results in a conviction for the take of an illegal 6-point bull elk or willful destruction.”

Officials say that instead of a license a person may instead opt for a preference point for any big game species of their choice, including bighorn sheep, for example.

Swaro adds that in the latest incident, the elk were taken in Game Management Unit 2 and 201, known for producing some of the largest bulls in the state. It may take a hunter up to twenty years to gather enough preference points to hunt in these units, he said.

“Someone knows who did this and we ask that they do the right thing and come forward,” added Swaro. “Along with the evidence we were able to gather at the scenes and additional information from the public, we should be able to find who did this in due time.”

To be eligible for points or a licenses through the TIP program, any person providing information must be willing to testify in court, in contrast to Operation Game Thief, a tip hotline that affords anonymity to any person providing information about a wildlife crime.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials remind the public that poaching is a serious offense that can lead to felony charges, significant fines, a prison sentence and the permanent loss of hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and 43 other Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact states.

“If you saw something or heard something, let us know right away,” Swaro said. “Even if it does not seem like a significant detail, it may be the information we need to find the people responsible. Poachers commit crimes that affect everyone and the public’s help is critical to bring them to justice.”

To provide information about these incidents, call Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Meeker office at 970-878-6090 or DWM Swaro at 970-942-8275. To remain anonymous, call Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648. Rewards are available if the information leads to a citation. Please specify which type of reward you are interested in, OGT or TIP.

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LifeStory Writing Workshop Nov 22, Lamar

Media Release – Oct. 30, 2014
Charley Kempthorne“The world is made of stories, not atoms,” as the poet said, and on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, 10 am to noon, those who come to the memoir and family history writing workshop at the Lamar Public Library will get a chance to show how true that is. Charley Kempthorne, a writer and teacher who has made a career of helping people write the stories of their life, will conduct a two hour workshop at the library at that time. Charley, who a pioneer in the “Memoir Movement” started the first reminiscence writing workshop anywhere in 1976 in his hometown of Manhattan, KS, USA. “Everyone can write stories,” he asserts, “and often the ones who have the least training as writers do the best job.”

So it was with his very first student in 1976, Jessie Foveaux, who didn’t publish her memoir for twenty years because she didn’t think it would be of interest to anybody but her family. But when it did attract the attention of the New York media it auctioned for one million dollars and left Jessie, by then 97 years old, a wealthy woman. (She died three years later at age 100; her book was Any Given Day, published by Warner Books.) “Not everyone will get a million dollars from a big publishing house for their memoir,” Kempthorne readily concedes, “but what they write will be worth much more–priceless really–to their family and friends. And it’ll be a valuable contribution to human history as well.”

Charley Kempthorne has done hundreds of workshops in the USA and Canada. He has written a popular book that is in most libraries, For All Time: A Complete Guide to Writing Your Family History, and he also publishes monthly a periodical called LifeStory for memoirists and family historians. His newest book, just out, is Narrative Journaling: 28 Days to Writing More or Less Happily for the Rest of Your Life.

The workshop is free, but space is limited and registration in advance is requested. Register by phone by calling the library at 719-336-4632. You may also register in person or by mail to the library at 102 E. Parmenter St., Lamar, CO 81052.

“It is no longer possible to characterize the writing of a life story as a hobby for old people. For many, if not most, the leaving of a written legacy has become a pre-occupation. When I started the first Reminiscence Workshop in the nation in Manhattan, Kansas in 1976, I had to work hard to get a few old people to sit down and write. They said, Who would care about my life? Who would want to read it? I can’t write, anyway.

“But all that has changed. The Memoir Movement is now in full swing. Now history is written not from the top down as it always had been, but is being finally written from the bottom up. It’s the history of the rest of us. This is bringing and will bring great changes to the way we look at the world.

“The people who come to LifeStory Workshops are only a few of the thousands, probably millions, of older people around the world who are coming to see that they need to write about their lives, to be debriefed on behalf of human history for the benefit of themselves, of course, but mostly for their children and grandchildren.” — Charley Kempthorne, The LifeStory Institute
Below, LifeStory workshop at the Mariposa Sr. Center near Yosemite National Park. Everyone wrote and many read aloud.

Hickenlooper wins Governor by a Hair and a Prayer, but votes are still being counted.

Hickenlooper Wins by a hair and a prayerIn a world where Republicans are dominating elections all over the country, this morning both NBC and FOX news has as declared John Hickenlooper the winner of the race for governor as he pulled into the lead early this morning.   Apparently at least 11000 voters chose to vote in person on election day. Last night Bob Beauprez was smiling and holding a child for the cameras while he spoke to the media with confidence appearing to be pretty sure of victory. This morning the news puts Hickenlooper ahead, capturing 48% of the votes to Beauprez’s 47%. As of the time of this post there are still thousands of votes to be counted and Beauprez was unwilling to concede the race until the final count is in, but the media is reporting Hickenlooper as winner. This has certainly been a close race for governor.

Democrat David Campbell Wins Sheriff Race, Republicans Dominate the State.

Republicans dominated the election in Baca County except for the race between republican Steve Salzbrenner and democrat David Campbell which was close with Campbell winning with 968 votes against Salzbrenner’s 790. Brad Viner collected 150 votes for Sheriff.

For Senator, Cory Gardner defeated democrat Mark Udall and in Baca County republican Bob Beauprez crushed democrat John Hickenlooper for the governor’s race and at 10:30 p.m that race was still too close to call Statewide.

Recreational Marijuana will still be sold in Manitou Springs and that’s the good news.

Pictured here are anxious voters and candidates waiting for the final results to be written on the board.

Baca County Election

Pheasant and Quail Season Opening Nov. 8.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s 2014-15 Eastern Plains Upland Forecast is just in time for pheasant and quail season opening Nov. 8.

Across much of Colorado’s core pheasant range, the effects of drought were clear and significant in terms of the total population of pheasants. Two successive years of drought have finally given way to above normal precipitation, and pheasant populations across the eastern plains of Colorado are slowly improving.

In 2014 Northeast Colorado pheasant call count surveys were down approximately 44% from 2013, averaging approximately 17.5 calls per station, and down 66% since 2012. The 2014 crowing count survey suggests that pheasant populations were much lower than any year since 2003, which is not surprising considering the severity of the recent drought.

In Southeast Colorado, counts were much lower, which is very typical for the area. It is important for hunters to note that crowing counts are simply an index of the cock pheasant population and represent an incomplete picture of the population. They provide a look at the population trend between years and over the life of the survey. The pheasant crow counts provide no information detailing or predicting nesting success or brood survival, both of which are critically vital to fall hunting populations.

Measuring nesting success and chick survival is an imprecise estimate when done without the costly task of radio-marking hundreds of hens and chicks. Instead, some states conduct summer brood counts where the surveyor drives a predetermined route, counting and classifying all pheasants seen by age and sex.

This method is occasionally used in Colorado and it provides a very unreliable index of the fall population because the method requires multiple replications during very specific weather conditions (high humidity resulting in dew, which forces birds to the roads to dry off in the morning).

In Colorado’s core pheasant range, the technique generally doesn’t provide much value, because in seasons with high humidity, vegetation growth along roadsides often hides pheasant broods from detection. Conversely, in dry years with little humidity, there is little reason for pheasant broods to congregate along a road. That being said, it is a safe assessment that as weather conditions became nearly optimal in many locations on the eastern plains, pheasant populations are doing better than in 2012 and 2013.

Hunters should not expect to see a complete recovery over a single year, as the level of the breeding population impacts recovery in addition to weather and habitat.

NE Colorado (Yuma, Phillips, Sedgwick, Logan, Washington, Morgan and SE Weld Counties):

Populations across the region are better than in 2013. During the initial stages of the nesting season, conditions ranged from poor to excellent across the region, suggesting that hunters would be wise to expect that the highest populations will be highly variable and spot specific this year. Beneficial precipitation continued throughout the summer in many areas, providing ample opportunities for unsuccessful hens to re-nest. There are some areas within this area that did not receive ample precipitation in 2014, or were subject to severe and widespread hail storms during the summer period, both of which contribute to the “spotty” nature of the forecast for 2014.

Habitat is in much better shape due to optimum, in some cases record, levels of precipitation that large portions of the area received in 2014. However, it is also apparent that precipitation did not fall equally across this region, leaving some areas relatively dry through the summer period. Also, it is important to note that total CRP acres are declining across the core pheasant range, a trend which will likely continue as many CRP contracts will expire over the next 2 years.

While drought concerns have moderated, fire danger is always a concern. Please be considerate where vehicles are parked. Refrain from smoking while in the field. Similarly, road conditions can deteriorate quickly when precipitation falls making unimproved roads virtually impassable. Also note that WIA sprinkler corners are closed to WIA hunting when the landowner is harvesting the associated crop. This closure is in effect to allow harvesters to work efficiently and to minimize safety concerns for hunters and harvesters. Corners are posted with closure signs in addition to WIA boundary signs. As of November 3, 2014, corn harvest ranges from 30-60% complete depending on the area, so hunters should expect to find some standing corn present on the opener.

South Platte River (eastern Morgan, Washington, Logan, Sedgwick):

Bobwhite quail populations remain a question mark for 2014 due to the impacts of higher water during the spring runoff period. Cover will be greatly improved from what hunters observed in 2013, but that will also impact hunting success because in some areas, cover may be too tall and dense to effectively hunt. Landowner reports have been highly variable in 2014, while CPW staff has reported some bobwhite broods and coveys on State Wildlife Areas. Hunter reports from the upcoming opening weekend will provide another clue as to bobwhite numbers in the South Platte corridor in 2014.

East Central Colorado (Southern Yuma, Kit Carson, Cheyenne, Kiowa Counties):

Pheasant populations should be higher than in 2012 and 2013. Expect similar conditions in the NE portion of Colorado with very site-specific conditions in terms of habitat and pheasant population recovery. While precipitation levels were much improved over the recent past, some areas experienced severe hail storms and populations will be lower in these areas, although the habitat may look very good.

Expect to find drier conditions in Cheyenne County, where conditions have improved but not to the degree that Kit Carson County has. Pheasant densities will increase within the areas that provide sprinkler irrigation fields.

Hunters should note that many areas in WIA in Kiowa County are enrolled primarily for their value for light goose hunting, including some fields that will offer little cover for pheasants and quail.

Extreme SE Colorado (Baca & Prowers Counties):

Populations of pheasants were severely impacted by drought from 2010 through the spring of 2013. Conditions have improved this summer to nearly normal precipitation in some areas, but recovery of the habitat and population will require additional years of good conditions. Even so, CPW observed a fair number of quail broods this fall. Expect that pheasant populations will be low across the area, although a bit higher in areas with sprinkler irrigation systems.

Some late hatches of quail have been observed, although both bobwhites and scaled quail breeding populations were reduced by the severe 2010-2013 drought. The general feeling is that quail populations are improving but not yet recovered from the recent drought, with some areas that will be better in terms of habitat and population.

Find out more about pheasant hunting at and Not sure where to go? Search more than 215,000 walk-in access acres available at

A reminder to hunters:

Hunting on private land requires permission. With the exception of land enrolled in Walk-In Access (Colorado Parks and Wildlife has leased WIA lands opening them to hunting), you must obtain permission to hunt private land, whether that land is posted or not.

Landowners are very perceptive to the actions of hunters, whether on their land, WIA properties, or their neighbor’s property.

Trespassing, leaving trash, carcasses or damaging property leaves a poor image with landowners, while courteous and respectful hunting gives a good image.

Fall harvest is a very stressful period for landowners.

Interrupting harvest or stopping a combine to ask for hunting permission is not a good idea. Standing at the end of the field waiting for the combine to flush birds is not recommended. Both are likely to draw the ire of the landowner and are questionable activities at best when considering how important landowner relations are to gaining and maintaining access.

Be respectful of other hunters.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, Colorado’s wildlife, and a variety of outdoor recreation. Get your CPW park passes, camping, recreational vehicle registration and hunting and fishing licenses online at

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Sixty cities and towns will be holding elections this fall.

Denver,Colorado (PR MediaRelease) October 23, 2014

Sixty cities and towns will be holding elections this fall. Most will take place on November 4th, and the Town of Breckenridge will hold a special election on December 9th. Four municipalities are cancelling their regular elections because they have uncontested races.

Following is a summary of ballot measures CML is aware of around the state:

• Debt – Center, $1.1 million for water tank improvements; Lafayette, $7.4 million for park improvements, Wheat Ridge, $40 million for city wide capital improvements (contingent on sales tax passing); Windsor, $16 million for rec center; Woodland Park, $10 million for aquatics center….

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Starburst Community Award to the Town of Pritchett


Good afternoon,
Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts, we won’t be able to present the Starburst award tomorrow in Pritchitt, but it has been re-scheduled for Nov. 18 at 7 pm. We hope to see you there!


DENVER, Oct. 17, 2014 – The Colorado Lottery has awarded a 2014 Starburst Community Award to the Town of Pritchett for using a $28,215 Lottery-funded Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant matched with $3,400 in Conservation Trust Funds (CTF), to renovate its only hard surface sports court with a new, more durable surface.

The only court of its kind in Pritchett, there is not another like it within twenty miles. During the planning process, local adults and youth expressed interest in using the new athletic court for recreational activities other than basketball. For example, the school district’s Vo-Ag program will donate time to construct portable skateboard ramps to be used at the court. For ten years, residents set aside funds to make the project happen. The Town of Pritchett is a small community with limited means, and without the Colorado Lottery and GOCO funding, this project might have taken decades to become a reality.

The Colorado Lottery Starburst Community Awards recognize excellence in the use of Lottery proceeds in community projects implemented to enhance a community’s environment.

In Fiscal Year 2014 alone, the Lottery distributed $130.1 million in proceeds. Since its creation 31 years ago, the Lottery has returned more than $2.7 billion back into the state of Colorado.

Lottery proceeds are distributed to three primary beneficiaries: GOCO, Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. These organizations then provide grants and direct funding for parks, recreation, and open space acquisition, trails, and wildlife and conservation education.