Spring 2017 Newsletter
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Spring 2017 News

Seed Is Coming, Highway 9 Update, DCT Position Opening,  April 1 Snow Report, HPP Position Opening, Ag Burning Info, Hay Day 2017, Wildlife Friendly Fences, Bee Correct, Grand County Herbicide Giveaway, Wildfire Council Meeting, PAM & Pratt Gates, SRM Tour of BVR, Greater Sage Grouse Update, Last Chance for Trees/Perennials, Naughty Badger, CSFS Good Neighbor Agreement


You will be directed to our advertisers' websites if you click the business cards scattered throughout this newsletter.

Contact the Middle Park Conservation District at anytime by calling the office at 970.724.3456 or Katlin's cell at 970.531.0127

Seed is Coming

The Middle Park Conservation District's stocked mixes will be coming next week.  Our stocked mixes include:
Dryland Pasture Mix, Irrigated Meadow Mix, Forest Mix, Short Mix, Dura Turf, Ladak Alfalfa, Forager Alfalfa, Purple Top Turnips, Wildlife Mix, and Mountain Wildflower Mix. 

View our Spring 2017 Seed Price List

The HPP Clover and Alfalfa Seed will also be coming next week (after Wednesday).  Middle Park Habitat Partnership Program provides a limited quantity of clover, ladak alfalfa, and forager alfalfa seed to ag producers in Middle Park as a means of compensating for wildlife damage on ag lands.  HPP seed will be given away (at the NRCS/MPCD Office in Kremmling) on a first come, first serve basis .  This program is geared towards large acre ag producers. 
Highway 9 Update
(Written By Michelle Cowardin, CPW Wildlife Biologist)

On March 6, at the CSU Extension Hall, CPW Wildlife Biologist Michelle Cowardin presented the results from the State Highway 9 Wildlife Crossing Monitoring – Progress Report. The report was compiled by ECO-resolution, LLC and includes Phase I monitoring from December 2015 through March 2016. CDOT, CPW and ECO-resolutions will continue monitoring the effectiveness of the project through winter 2019-2020. As previously reported, there was a documented 90% reduction rate in wildlife vehicle collisions (WVC) in Phase I during the first winter (2015-2016). Since construction on Phase II ended in December 2016, there have been a total six WVC within the entire project area for winter 2016-2017. 

Phase 1 included the north overpass and three underpasses from Junction Butte to Harsha Gulch.  The report focused on summarizing mule deer movements only, although other species used the structures their number of movements were very limited during the first winter. There were 7,013 successful mule deer movements via the four crossing structures from December 2015 – March 2016. The overpass accounted for 4, 875 of these movements counted.  These were individual movements, not unique animals. The same individual could have made numerous crossing at a structure over the winter. The overpass had a 98% success rate of deer approaching and successfully crossing the structure. Success rates at the underpasses varied from 82-95%. Moose, mule deer and elk have all used the underpasses and overpass; there has also been limited use of the underpasses by pronghorn and one big horn sheep ewe.

CDOT, CPW and staff from ECO-resolutions have worked together to try and improve many of the wildlife mitigation features by tweaking the designs between Phase I and Phase II. CDOT added five round deer guards to various driveways to test if this design may be more effective at deterring wildlife from walking across the guards. Also, the escape ramps (dirt ramps inside right-of-way fence) in Phase II were built with a gentler slope to see if wildlife would utilize them more than the steeper design built within Phase I.

This winter there were a few times when there were openings in the fence either caused by a vehicle accident or in one case a fence seam wasn’t sealed during construction. Once these ‘holes’ were fixed in late January the number of wildlife on the highway seemed to decrease. However, CPW and CDOT want to remind people that wildlife may still get into the right-of-away, drivers should stay alert. In addition, elk and deer may begin to cross more at the south-fence end near Green Mountain Reservoir; caution should be used when exiting the project area.

CPW will continue to provide monitoring updates as the results become available. 


District Conservation Technician

The Middle Park Conservation District will be hiring a part-time, seasonal District Conservation Technician to provide TECHNICAL assistance to landowners for on-the-ground conservation practices through Farm Bill programs and standard NRCS conservation practices.  The hired technician will work 16 hours per week (on average) from June 1st to December 31st, 2017.  Specific job duties are detailed in the table below.  The technician will have access to an NRCS vehicle to fulfill his/her job duties.  Limited job training will be provided as needed.  Pay depends on experience but will not exceed $25/hr.  Applicants should have:
  • Previous conservation planning experience
  • Knowledge of Farm Bill and CTA practices listed below
  • Proficient computer skills
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision
  • Current driver’s license
 To apply, please send your resume, qualifications, and a least one contact for a reference to  If you prefer, you may mail your materials to Middle Park Conservation District, PO Box 265, Kremmling, CO 80459.  Call 970-724-3456 or 970-531-0127 with questions. 
All applications must be RECEIVED by May 8, 2017, at 5pm.
Work Product % Time Outline of Specific Job Duties
Farm Bill Practice Implementation 50 Survey and design irrigation structures, pipelines, springs, ponds, livestock watering facilities, and cross fences.
Farm Bill Practice Planning 10 Plan practices listed above
CTA Practice Implementation to NRCS Standards 15 Same as listed above that are not part of the NRCS cost-share programs (EQIP, RCPP, etc.)
NRCS 9 Step Planning non-Farm Bill 10 Planning on ranches that do not fit (or qualify) for EQIP
On-the-Ground Technical Assistance to District Programs 10 Follow-up on MPCD Irrigation Cost-Share practices from 2015 and 2016.  Assist with the MPCD grass seed recommendation and sales program.
Prepare/deliver technical information products (Landowner workshops, writing newsletter articles, etc.) 5 Assist with MPCD’s Hay Day in July of 2017 and assist with MPCD newsletter articles for the summer, mid-summer, and fall newsletters.
Snowpack Takes a Dive – But still 103% of average

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Kremmling Field Office snow surveyors Mark Volt and Vance Fulton took the April 1 snow survey measurements during the last days of March.
Snowpack for Middle Park and the upper Colorado River Basin stands at 103%.
Lack of snowfall and warm weather during March, which is usually our snowiest month, has melted all of the valley snow and most of the mid-elevation snow up to 8,500 feet. The snowpack at lower elevation snow courses suffered the worse and high elevation courses have plummeted off their near record highs.
Snow density is averaging 40%, which means that for every foot of snow there are 4.8 inches of water, which is unusually high for April 1st.
From this point on, spring runoff will be highly dependent on melting conditions (i.e., temperature and wind), as well as additional spring snow accumulation and/or rainfall.

Full April 1st Snow Report

Agricultural Burning
(By Amy Sidener, Grand County DNR)

All open burning in the State of Colorado, including Ag burning, is regulated by the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) under Regulation 9.  It states that all open burns require a permit, except:  campfires, non-commercial cooking fires, instructional training fires and agricultural burning. 

What, then, exactly constitutes an agricultural burn? 
According to the State, It is the burning of irrigation ditches and/or fields to prepare land for planting a commercial crop, and for other agricultural cultivation purposes.   This would also include material pulled from irrigation ditches, like willows or other shrubs but
does not include slash piles, fence posts, old hay, or garbage dumps as these are not for “cultivation purposes.”

These types of burns often contain toxic materials or prohibited materials that are never allowed to be burned by anyone.  Prohibited materials include:  tree stumps, tires, chemicals, plastics, construction debris, trash, asphalt shingles, aerosol cans, dimensional lumber, etc.  These items produce air pollutants and even toxic gases that are harmful to the environment and people. 

Slash piles fall under Grand County Natural Resources permitting and are only allowed during the slash pile burn season (winter).  Burning without a permit or burning of prohibited materials can lead to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per day (C.R.S. 25-7-123) from the State and up to $1000 per day from Grand County (Ordinance 8).  Recently, a CDPHE inspector was travelling in Grand County and happened to see an unattended “dump” burn occurring with prohibited material.  After investigation, the landowner was given a written warning. 

As ditch burning season is already occurring, we encourage burners to call Grand County Dispatch at 970-725-3311, so they can note it and address any phone calls (9-1-1) they may receive; and please check the local forecast before burning to make sure it is not a Red Flag Day. 

If you have further questions, please check the GCNR website ( for additional information or call our office at 970-887-0745.
Grand County Small Acreage Herbicide Give-Away

Grand County DNR will begin their small acreage herbicide give-away on Friday, May 26---in both Granby (County Shop, 469 E. Topaz) and Kremmling (Fairgrounds) from 9am-noon

After that, the herbicide give-away will be in Granby EVERY Friday throughout the summer (9am-noon at the County Shop).  The give-away will be in Kremmling ONLY on the LAST Friday of every month: 5/26; 6/23; 7/28; 8/25; and 9/29.  Again, the hours will be from 9am-noon at the Fairgrounds.  September 29th will be the last give-away for both Granby and Kremmling.

You must bring your own sprayer!!!

Call 970-887-0745 for more info.

Habitat Partnership Program (HPP)
Position Opening

Duane Scholl, long-time HPP member, is retiring from the committee.  As a result, the Middle Park HPP Comittee is looking for an ag producer in Grand or Summit County to replace him. 

If you are interested in helping mitigate wildlife/livestock conflict by joining the HPP Committee, contact one of the committee members below, or attend the June HPP meeting on
June 14, 2017, 1:00pm-CPW Office-HSS.

Middle Park HPP Committee Members:

Duane Scholl, Dave Hammer, Chuck Alexander, Barry Smith, Lyle Sidener, Doreen Sumerlin, RC Lopez, and Mark Volt

Hay Day 2017

Middle Park Conservation District is set to host Mountain Meadows Hay Day this summer.  The logistics are still being hammered out, but the place and date have been set...

Wednesday, July 12th
at Blue Valley Ranch

More details will come in our June newsletter!
Fencing for Wildlife

Now that winter is over, you  might be thinking about building and/or repairing fences.  Sadly, every year barbed wire fences claim the lives of deer, elk, pronghorn, and moose that attempt to cross them.

Though we cannot save them all, there are fencing options that landowners can use to minimize wildlife loss due to tangling.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife have a great brochure on various
wildlife-friendly fences. See the brochure link below.  

It includes options such as lay-down fences, rail fences, elk jumps, adjustable wire fences, and electric fences.  

Correction to Bumblebee Article in Winter Newsletter

Our winter newsletter featured an article on article bumblebees.  After going live with our newsletter, one our very smart readers wrote to us with a correction to bumblebee article we featured.  Read his view point below...

"Unlike honey bees, which do not fly when it is cold and do not live in cold climates, bumblebees do, and they do this not by shivering as the article suggested, but by two metabolic changes that are unique, both involving energy or heat production. The first is a "futile" cycle in which fructose (honey sugar or what bees get from flowers) is metabolized to a product that produces ATP for energy but then does not go further on, just recycles, so the process occurs rapidly over and over again, generating more heat as a result.
The other is less certain in bumblebees, but probably does exist.  In mitochondria, protons are pumped out of the mitochondrial inner space and then re-enter producing ATP for useful energy, but bumblebees have more of an uncoupling enzyme that prevents useful ATP energy production, resulting in wasted energy as heat. The latter mechanism is prominent in people who do not get fat no matter what they eat. We all could learn more from bumblebees!!!"
Grand County Wildfire Council Meeting

Thursday, April 27th
11:30 am
Granby Fire Department

Lunch will be provided!!!

Everyone is welcome!!!

Contact with questions.

Check out the GCWC website at
Save the Date: June 23, 2017
Blue Valley Ranch – Kremmling, CO (Middle Park)
Ranching with Wildlife Interactions in Western Colorado’s Middle Park

This training will take place on the Blue Valley Ranch located 10 miles south of Kremmling. The session will inform & educate participants about managing mountain park sagebrush-grasslands through good land stewardship practices and sound grazing management, while considering livestock-wildlife interactions and working toward common goals of all partners.

The Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management, together with the Middle Park Conservation District and Colorado State University Extension, are pleased to announce an exciting training opportunity tying forage, livestock, and wildlife aspects of ranching operations together.

This ranch has a unique story to share of how they operate their businesses; thinking outside of the box by applying grazing strategies (cattle & bison), common sense solutions and diversifying their operation.

The Middle Park area of northwest Colorado offers a unique venue of diverse landscapes and ecological sites that facilitate an exceptional learning experience.

Registration will be $15 per person and will include all informational materials, light breakfast, and lunch. Preregistration details and lodging/camping information will be forthcoming.

The CSSRM BOD will meet on Thursday afternoon, June 22nd at the NRCS office in Kremmling. All Section members & Ag producers are urged to attend.

For additional information contact the summer planning committee:
Ben Berlinger at 719-469-3895, Josh Tashiro at 719-221-4941, or Debbi Heeney at 970-723-4724.

Sponsored by the CO Section SRM and the Middle Park Conservation District

PAM For Sale

PAM, also known as Polyacrylamide, is a safe alternative to seal your leaky ditches.  When dumped into murky ditches, the white granules dissolve and become a slimy, snotty substance that binds to the sediment in the water.  As the sediment settles to the bottom of the ditch, the PAM lines the ditch and seals all the crack and crevices.

The best time for application of PAM is in the spring just as you turn the ditch on for the season.

Contact our office at 970-724-3456 for more information.


Pratt Gates

For those of you who will be looking to install culvert pipes (with gates) this year, you might consider contacting Dennis Pratt about his custom-made slide gates. 

Slide gates are essential for proper irrigation management, and Dennis' gates are so heavy duty that they will stand the test of time. 

Contact Dennis at 970-531-0625.

Greater Sage Grouse Population Update

The Middle Park Greater Sage Grouse Working Group met on March 9th at the BLM Office in Kremmling.  At the meeting, Michelle Cowardin, Wildlife Biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, updated the group on the 2016 Lek Counts in Middle Park.  The results are below....

The 2016 high male count (HMC) for 19 active leks was 334 males with a 3-year running average of 326 males. This is a 9% decrease from 2015
(367 total HCM). The HMC only included known active leks.  The Muddy Drainage accounts for almost half of the Middle Park population.

Last Chance for Tree Seedlings & Perennials

Spring tree seedling and perennial sales will end on May 1st.  That being said, many species are already sold out
(or are almost sold out).

If you are interested in getting seedlings or perennials this spring, you should send in your order form very soon!  Items will be delivered to Granby on May 23rd and to Frisco on May 24th.

Spring Seedling & Perennial Order Form

Please call or email Katlin prior to sending in your order form to verify that the items you desire are not sold out!
970-531-0127 or

Naughty Badger

Now that it's calving season, the fear of dead and disappearing calves is likely on the minds of many ranchers. 

Badgers are not usually blamed for such disappearance.  However, after watching the video below of a badger burying a whole calf, you might have second thoughts. 

Click here to watch the video!

(Image from Google Images)

Cross-Boundary Forestry Projects to Address Beetle-Killed Trees

GRANBY, Colo. – March 13, 2017 – The Colorado State Forest Service and Northwest Colorado District of the Bureau of Land Management have entered into an agreement to address beetle-killed timber on BLM-managed public lands in Grand County, which are adjacent to state and/or private lands where similar CSFS-administered management will occur. The five-year, cross-boundary projects are possible through exercising the Good Neighbor Authority, a national program that allows state agencies to conduct forest treatments on federal lands – through effective sharing of resources – to achieve landscape-scale impacts.

Areas of focus in the county are those that have been impacted by Colorado’s two-decade mountain pine beetle epidemic. The primary objective is harvesting timber to remove dead trees for beneficial use, which leads to creating forest stands that are healthier and more defensible from catastrophic wildfire events, and improved forest health for watershed protection across multi-jurisdictional boundaries.

“We still have a chance to harvest this wood before it’s all on the ground,” said Matt Schiltz, a forester with the CSFS Granby District. “By exercising the Good Neighbor Authority, we are able to address priority areas on the landscape quickly, and regardless of land ownership designations.”

The CSFS and BLM are working together to implement forest treatments and project prioritization strategies. Under the Good Neighbor agreement, the CSFS may handle various aspects of project design and layout and oversee contracts, depending on coordination with BLM foresters, while the BLM must complete environmental analyses as required by the National Environmental Policy Act for each project.

Most of the Grand County treatments will be accomplished through timber sales, but other non-sale treatments may be implemented including the creation of fuelbreaks and hazard tree removals. Two sites totaling approximately 690 acres of adjoining BLM, state and private lands are currently in the planning phase, with several other sites in the county also being proposed. Harvesting operations could begin late this year – most likely in winter, when frozen soil and a layer of snow help reduce impacts to the landscape.

“These beetle-killed stands are falling at an alarmingly rapid rate right now, and this is an effective way to deal with them,” Schiltz said. He adds that everyone should consider avoiding bark beetle-impacted lodgepole pine forests on windy days, and exercise caution in those forests even on calm days due to the risk of falling trees.

Although the current Good Neighbor efforts are being focused on Grand County, under the CSFS-BLM agreement, treatments could also occur in the future in Jackson, Eagle and Routt counties.

The CSFS Granby District has utilized the Good Neighbor Authority in the past to address cross-boundary projects with the U.S. Forest Service, but this project represents the first CSFS-BLM project in the district.
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 © 2017 Middle Park Conservation District, All rights reserved.

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