Winter 2016 MPCD Newsletter                                                                  View this email in your Web Browser

Winter 2016 News

Tree Seedling Sales, Irrigation Cost-Share Program, MPCD & MPSG Annual Meeting/Dinner, Middle Park GrSG Working Group Meeting, EQIP Funding Application Deadline, Highway 9 Update, Northern Water Year-in-Review, E-News Links, NRCS Snow Reports,  MPCD Guiding Documents,  New and Improved Website, Stockgrowers Scholarship, Leaving a Lasting Legacy Seminar

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Contact the  Middle Park Conservation District at anytime by calling the office at 970.724.3456 or Katlin's cell at 970.531.0127.
Tree Seedlings and Perennials Still Available

Tree seedlings and perennials are still available for sale to landowners wishing to conserve their properties.  Seedlings and perennials are grown at the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery in Fort Collins and can be purchased in bulk for really low prices.  Seedlings come in packages of 1, 10, 25, 30, or 50 and range in size from 5 inches to 14 inches tall.  There is no minimum acreage size, so landowners of all sizes can purchase seedlings or perennials. 

Tree seedlings can be utilized for a variety of conservation projects.  They can help stabilize soil on barren ground or steep slopes; reestablish logged forests; or grow up to be living windbreaks for livestock or households. 

Tree seedlings and perennials will be available for purchase through the Middle Park Conservation District until May 1st; however, some species have already sold out.  Thus, it is best to
Trees will be delivered to Frisco and Granby on May 24, 2016.
Please contact Katlin Miller with Middle Park Conservation District at
970.531.0127 or with questions or concerns.

2015-2016 Tree Seedling Order Form

Sold Out List
MPCD Irrigation Cost-Share Program 2015 Successes
For the last three consecutive years, the Middle Park Conservation District has received a Matching Grant from the Colorado State Conservation Board (CSCB) under the Colorado Department of Agriculture.  These grant funds are secured through the lobbying efforts of the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts (CACD) at the State Legislature.
Over the last three years, the Middle Park Conservation District has funded 29 projects in Grand and Summit Counties with a combined total of $61,719.61.  This year alone, the Middle Park Conservation District distributed $20,257.36 to 10 landowners in Middle Park.  Projects included installing check and turnout structures, gated pipe, underground pipe, plastic pipe, and diversion structures.

On average landowners can expect to get a 5% increase in irrigation efficiency over the coming years. Furthermore, several recipients went from having no control over the presence or absence of water to having some control via functional head gates.  Irrigation-induced soil erosion on these projects was also reduced to near zero.
The Middle Park Conservation District is grateful for the support of the Colorado State Conservation Board in our efforts to improve water efficiency and conservation in Middle Park.  We have applied for the 2016 CSCB Matching Grant to do more Irrigation Cost-Share Projects in Grand and Summit Counties.  We hope to receive notification in January if we are to be awarded that grant.

MPCD/MPSG Annual Dinner
The 2016 Annual Middle Park Conservation District and Middle Park Stockgrowers Dinner will be held...

Saturday, February 20th
Inn at Silver Creek
Social Hour/Cash Bar @5:15pm
MPCD Annual Presentation @ 5:45pm
Dinner @ 6:30pm

Dinner will be catered buffet-style by Smokin Moes out of Winter Park, including:
Hickory Smoked Ribs, BBQ Smoked Chicken, Hickory Smoked Beef Brisket, Smoked Baked Beans, Garlic Butter Red Potatoes, Caesar Salad, and Dessert.

Cost: $29/person

Please RSVP by sending the attached registration form and payment to Middle Park Conservation District by Friday, February 12th.

2016 Annual Dinner Registration Form
Middle Park Stockgrowers Association
Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Middle Park Stockgrowers will be held...

Friday, February 19th
CSU Extension Office, Kremmling, CO

Contact Katlin with questions @ 970-531-0127

Middle Park Greater Sage Grouse Annual Working Group Meeting
(Article and Photo taken from
Credit: USFWS

The annual Middle Park Greater Sage-grouse Working Group will be held on

Tuesday, January 12th

1pm – 4pm at the CSU Extension Hall at the Fair Grounds in Kremmling

This is our annual meeting where we review GrSG projects and activities from the previous year and line out action items for the year to come. Please come prepared with any project ideas (habitat, easements, research, or outreach) for 2016.

NRCS EQIP Funding Application Deadline is January 15th

Producers in Colorado who are interested in implementing conservation practices to improve natural resources on their private agricultural land have until Friday, January 15, 2016, to submit applications for FY 2016 funding through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). 

Eligible applications that are received after January 15 will be considered during a later time and will be processed throughout the fiscal year as needed.

EQIP is a voluntary incentives program that provides financial assistance for conservation systems such as animal waste management facilities, irrigation system efficiency improvements, fencing, and water supply development for improved grazing management, riparian protection, and wildlife habitat enhancement. 

“EQIP places a priority on water quality, water conservation, and promotes soil health practices by offering financial and technical assistance to address these resource concerns on eligible agricultural land,” said Clint Evans, NRCS State Conservationist, Denver. “We encourage all landowners who are interested in this limited funding opportunity to apply now.”

Applications MUST be received in your local Service Center by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, January 15, 2016.  Contact Mark at 970.724.3456 for more information.

NRCS continually strives to put conservation planning at the forefront of its programs and initiatives.  Conservation plans provide landowners with a comprehensive inventory and assessment of their resources and an appropriate start to improving the quality of soil, water, air, plants, and wildlife on their land.

Construction of Colorado’s First Wildlife Overpass on State Highway 9 South of Kremmling

Submitted By:
Michelle Cowardin, Wildlife Biologist,Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO

The first of two wildlife overpasses to be constructed in Colorado along with 3 wildlife underpasses were completed this Fall along State Highway 9 (SH 9). The final project will include 2 wildlife overpasses – Colorado’s first – and 5 underpasses on a 10.5 mile stretch between Kremmling and Green Mountain Reservoir. Such a comprehensive wildlife mitigation system is the first of its kind in the state, comprised of multiple large crossing structures interconnected with game-proof fencing. Additional mitigation components include small animal culverts, escape ramps, deer guards and pedestrian pass-thru gates. These structures are expected to improve safety conditions along this dangerous stretch of highway for both drivers and wildlife while maintaining habitat connectivity.

SH 9 is a major north-south transportation corridor serving Summit, Grand, and Routt counties. Over the last twenty-two years, 16 human fatalities have occurred on this section. The area is identified by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) as a high concentration winter area for mule deer. Blue Valley Ranch, a local landowner, with the help of CPW has been recording wildlife vehicle collisions (WVC) within the project area. This effort has documented over 610 WVC from 2005 to 2015, 97% of which involved mule deer.     

The safety issues along SH 9 provided strong incentive for a local effort to push for highway improvements. The CDOT SH 9 Colorado River South Wildlife and Safety Improvement Project involves extensive road upgrades and wildlife mitigation features, and established unprecedented design collaboration between CDOT, CPW, Grand County and local landowners.

This project also represents an exemplary example of funding support through private and public sources. The project is financed by CDOT’s RAMP funding (Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnership Program), with additional funds of over $9.2 million contributed from local governments and over 175 private individuals and organizations, including $4 million pledged by Blue Valley Ranch and $3.1 million from Grand County. A local grassroots group, Citizen for a Safe Highway 9, led the fund raising efforts. Approximately $10 million of the total $51.7 million cost is for the wildlife improvements.

Construction started in April 2015 and by winter shutdown the northern 6 miles of the project was finished. The completed work included the road rebuild and three underpasses measuring 42’wX14’h, one 68’wide overpass, 55,600 feet of game-proof fencing, twelve deer guards and 34 wildlife escape ramps. Construction of the southern half of the project will resume in spring 2016, with the entire project expected to be completed by winter shutdown 2016.        
In a continued partnership effort, CPW and CDOT have developed and are co-funding a wildlife monitoring study to determine the effectiveness of the wildlife mitigation features. CPW is also using GPS collars to track deer movement and behavior in response to the project. The results of the monitoring project will benefit the agencies by providing scientific results quantifying the effectiveness of the mitigation measures. The lessons learned will be used to aid future projects to decrease design cost and improve effectiveness.

The first month of monitoring has already shown some successes and identified areas in need of improvement. Successful passages, primarily by mule deer, have been documented through each of the completed structures. Although no analyses have yet been conducted, camera traps have captured regular movements on the overpass. Frequent use of the overpass may be attributed to the openness and visibility of the approach and overpass, or because there are higher deer concentrations at the overpass location. Long-term monitoring well help in answering this and other questions as wildlife adapt to the new mitigation features. Unfortunately but not unexpectedly, some deer are getting inside the right-of-way. However, they are also finding their way out by utilizing the escape ramps. CDOT, CPW and their partners are already working on solutions to decrease animals from entering the highway right-of way in the future.

For more information contact Michelle Cowardin, Wildlife Biologist, at the CPW Hot Sulphur Springs office (970-725-6200).

Herd of mule deer using one of the three completed underpasses on SH9.

Mule deer jumping off one of the escape ramps along SH9. On this day there were 8 deer within the ROW. Four deer successfully jumped off this ramp, 3 exited out of gates opened by CPW staff and 1 exited off of another escape ramp.
Northern Water E-Waternews: November 2015

The following article was published in Northern Water's November 2015 E-Waternews.  E-Waternews is a publication put out by Northern Water Conservancy District to discuss water projects and issues.  I am including this article because it discusses Lake Granby and Willow Creek Reservoir releases in 2015...just thought it would be of interest to many of you.

2015 Water Year Comes to an End

The 2015 water year (Nov.1 - Oct. 31) started slowly, but precipitation later in the spring more than made up for it. April and May storms brought much needed moisture to the mountains and plains, and set in motion another very good water year for Northeastern Colorado.
Deliveries in 2015 were more than the record low year of 2014, but were still below average. This year the C-BT Project delivered 187,291 acre-feet to East Slope water users. The historical average is 211,000 AF. Deliveries to agricultural users spiked in late summer due to dry conditions. These late-summer deliveries also made space available in Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake, which will allow water to be transferred from Lake Granby to the East Slope this winter. This will also create space in Lake Granby for the spring runoff.
In 2015, the total C-BT Project spill was 191,000 AF, with 148,500 AF from Lake Granby and 42,500 AF from Willow Creek Reservoir.
C-BT Project reservoir levels started the 2016 water year in good shape with more than 500,000 AF in storage. The average for Nov. 1 active storage is 442,413 AF.

CLICK HERE to receive E-Waternews in your inbox
E-Newsletter Resources

As you all know, e-newsletters are often a handy way to get important information and updates on relevant topics.  As such, I wanted to provide links below to some other e-newsletters that may be of interest to you.  Some of them provide weekly newsletters, while others are quarterly.  Either way, the topics discussed may provide you with the knowledge you need to better manage your property and animals.  

NRCS Snow Reports

There's no question that winter has begun; the freezing cold temperatures alone could make most locals think twice about booking that winter vacation.  Nevertheless, January marks the commencement of the annual NRCS Manual Snow Course Surveys. 

During the last week of the month (from January through April), NRCS snow surveyors and other snow course cooperators head into the back country to measure the snow depth, density, snow water equivalent (SWE).  When combined with the automated Snotel readings, these data tell us how our snowpack compares to the 1981-2010 average (also known as 'normal').

For more information on manual snow course surveys and specifically how they are performed, click here.  

Though we do not have any data yet this year for the manual snow courses, you can see the latest data from the nearest automated Snotel to you by clicking here.

For the latest statewide map of Colorado Snotel SWE calculations, click here. 

For a complete list of available snow-related data sets, click here.
MPCD Guiding Documents

Now that another year has come to an end and a new year has begun, the Board of Supervisors for the Middle Park Conservation District has recently approved our new MPCD Guiding Documents.

To read our newest documents, click the links below.  They describe our resource concern priorities, goals and objectives, and projected budget for 2016 and beyond.

Contact Katlin at or 970.724.3456 with questions or concerns.

Our current Board of Supervisors includes:
Deb Wood
Jay Yust
Justin Fosha
John Longhill
Dave Abbott

2015 Completed Annual Plan of Work
2016 Annual Plan of Work
2016-2018 Long Range Plan
2016 Budget

New and Improved Website

We have recently updated the MPCD website.  It has a whole new look and lots of new resources. 
Check it out at


Middle Park Stockgrowers Scholarship
Deadline: February 1, 2016

The Middle Park Stockgrowers will award one (1) scholarship in the amount of $1,000 to a graduating senior in West Grand, East Grand, or Summit, including home-schooled students.  Applicants should be planning to continue his/her education at any college/university, vocational or trade school in the arena of Agriculture, including but not limited to agronomy, agricultural business, animal science, equine science and natural resource management.

Based on the number of qualified high school applicants, current college students, including grad students and continuing education class students, will be considered on a secondary basis.

The award will be based on career goals, academic record, extracurricular activities, community involvement and financial need. 

Click Here for the Scholarship Application
Leaving a Legacy Seminar: Jan 13th in Craig
Presented by CSU Ag & Business Management Economists Jeff Tranel and Dr. Norm Dalstead, the Leaving a Lasting Legacy program will
help families plan for the passing of a lasting legacy from one generation to the next.
Wednesday, January 13th
9:30am-4:00pm at the Moffat County Extension Office, 539 Barclay, Craig 

$25 for the first family member, $10 for each additional family member; includes lunch and materials.
For more information, visit the Moffat County Extension Website
To register, call the Moffat County Extension Office at
The content of this newsletter is for Educational Purposes ONLY.  We have attempted to site opinions, beliefs and viewpoints from various sources and professionals.  These opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Middle Park Conservation District or its Board of Supervisors/Employees.  It is always recommended that you seek independent advice before implementing new management practices.
Copyright © 2016 Middle Park Conservation District, All rights reserved.

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