Spring 2014 MPCD Newsletter
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Spring 2014 Eco-BiTs


Inside this issue:

Tree Seedlings , Annual Dinner Recap, Irrigation Cost-Share FundingStockgrowers MeetingSpruce BeetleSnow Survey, Weed Workshop, Vitazyme

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Tree Seedlings For Sale till May 1

The Middle Park Conservation District is once again offering tree seedlings for sale to landowners wishing to conserve their properties.  Seedlings 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 4, 25, 30, or 50 trees and range in size from 5 inches to 14 inches tall.  You can choose from over 60 different options!

Tree seedlings will be available for purchase through the Middle Park Conservation District until MAY 1st; however, some species in particular sell out quickly.  Thus, it is best to order sooner rather than later.  

Click here to see the SOLD OUT list.  

The Colorado State Forest Service has also removed its minimum acreage requirement, so landowners of all shapes and sizes are welcome!

Click here to download the 2014 Order Form
Annual Dinner BIG Success

The 2014 Middle Park Conservation District and Middle Park Stockgrowers Combined Dinner turned out to be a BIG Success with 91 people in attendance.  The dinner was held at the Sagebrush Grille in Grand Lake on February 22.  Guests were served a delicious prime rib or salmon dinner and were entertained by the amusing Yampa Valley Boys out of Steamboat Springs.  

The Middle Park Conservation Districts wishes to congratulate Pinto Valley Ranch as the recipient of the 2014 Conservationist of the Year.  Over the years, Pinto Valley Ranch and Tim Thomson have done a lot of work on irrigation and range improvements, spring developments, fencing, and wildlife habitat.

The Middle Park Stockgrowers also wish to congratulate Jace Linke as the 2014 recipient of the Middle Park Stockgrowers Scholarship valued at $1000.  Jace plans to continue his education in the field of Agriculture Business.

Irrigation Cost-Share Applications Due APRIL 1ST

The Middle Park Conservation District recently received grant funding through the Colorado State Conservation Board to assist landowners with on-the-ground irrigation projects.  Depending on the number of eligible applicants and projects submitted, each recipient may receive $3,000 or more of matching funds.

Application criteria included:
1.  Projects must address irrigation or irrigation-induced soil erosion control;
2. New or replacement of old structures;
3.  Landowners shall be a Grand or Summit County ag producer or smaller landowner with water rights;
4.  Landowners will provide a 50% match with the District;
5.  District Funds will only pay for materials;
6.  Specs must meet NRCS approval;
7.  Landowner must have the ability to complete project by November 20, 2014.

The Middle Park Conservation District received this same grant in 2013 and dispersed nearly $19,000 to landowners for irrigation projects.  Projects included installation of check and turnout structures, head gates, underground pipe, and gated pipe.  


Call Katlin at 970.531.0127 right away if you wish to apply and have not submitted an application yet!

Spring Seeding Right Around the Corner

Spring is right around the corner, and as we all eagerly wait for the the first sign of green grass to pop, the time has come to start thinking about spring seeding.  Spring is an ideal time to spread seed because there's lots of moisture in the ground and the temperatures are warming up just right.   

Whether its for your dryland pasture, irrigated meadow, forest, or yard, the Middle Park Conservation District has the mix for you.  We carry a variety of mixes on hand or can custom order any type of seed you want.  

Seed should be spread after the snow melts off and preferably before meadows are drug in order to assure good soil to seed contact. 

Contact us at 970.724.3456 for more info on our seed sales!

Middle Park Stockgrowers Meeting--APRIL 4th 

Like the Middle Park Conservation District, the Middle Park Stockgrowers work to promote land stewardship and enhance agricultural lifestyles, and more specifically beef production, in our communities.  The Middle Park Stockgrowers do so by working on Government Affairs, Issue Management, Communication and Outreach, Member Services and Benefits. 

Together, the Stockgrowers can accomplish things no one individual can do alone.

Quarterly Stockgrowers Board Meetings are held the FIRST FRIDAY OF EACH QUARTER (January, April, July, October) at 12:30 at the Moose Café in Kremmling.  These are informal meetings for attendees to discuss current issues facing ranchers in Middle Park.

Contact Katlin Miller at 970.531.0127 for more info on the Middle Park Stockgrowers.
Middle Park Spruce Beetle ~
Current and Future Outlook

As you may have heard there is a new forest pest currently affecting large swaths of Colorado’s forests.  Based on the 2013 Aerial insect and disease surveys 398,000 new acres have been affect by the spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) across Colorado’s forests.  Most of the newly identified acreage is located in the southwestern part of the state, mainly in the San Juan Mountains and the Sangre de Cristo range. 

However, Grand County is experiencing its own infestation on a smaller scale. The main infestation areas are located along the Grand, Routt and Jackson county lines; these include areas in the Rabbit Ears range, Willow Creek pass, north and south supply areas of Stillwater pass and high elevation forests in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The infestation levels have identified approximately 12,000 and 15,000 acres for 2012 and 2013, respectively.   The infestation levels found throughout Grand County are generally light to moderate activity levels.

The spruce beetle is similar in many aspects to the Mountain pine beetle; however the spruce beetle has a two year life cycle and a majority of the trees take at least one year before the needles turn red.   Signs of infestation can be identified by boring dust and pitch tubes, although pitch tubes may not always be present.  Typically a wind event that causes large areas of blow-down is the major cause for an outbreak beginning.  Spruce beetle generally survive and thrive in these conditions but as the population grows live standing trees are a suitable host.

If you have concerns or a spruce beetle problem on your property contact the Colorado State Forest Service for management recommendations at

Snowpack Remains Way Above Normal

 Snowpack for Middle Park and  the upper Colorado River Basin stands at 144% of average.  We were at 79%  last April 1st. and 135% in the high year of 2011and  62% in the drought year of 2002.

Snowpack in the mountains above Middle Park now ranges from114% to 206% of the 30-year average. The Granby snow course near C Lazy U Ranch set a new record high for the second month in a row. It has been read since 1949. Snow density is averaging 31%, which means that for a foot of snow there are 3.72 inches of water.  Irrigators, towns, river runners and other water users can expect higher than normal river levels this summer. Reservoir storage remains higher than last year. From this point on, spring runoff will be highly dependent on melting conditions (i.e., temperature and wind), as well as spring snow accumulation and/or rainfall.

Reported average readings for the major river basins in Colorado are as follows:  Colorado River Basin1287%; Gunnison River Basin, 111%; South Platte River Basin,135%; Yampa and White River Basins,124%; Arkansas River Basin, 101%; Upper Rio Grande Basin, 84%; San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, and San Juan River Basins 90%; and  Laramie and North Platte River Basins, 139%.

Most of the snow courses around Middle Park have been read since the 1940s.  Snow course readings are taken at the end of each month, beginning in January and continuing through April.  March is historically the snowiest month, and the April 1 readings are the most critical for predicting runoff and summer water supplies, as most of our high country snowpack peaks around that time.  Manual snow courses will be read for the final time this year at the end of April.

Click here to read the entire April 1 Snow Report.

Preserving the Beauty of our Land

A community workshop highlighting the Importance of Weed Control in Maintaining the Integrity, Function, and Aesthetics of Private Land


July 17, 2014: 10am-2pm  

RSVP to MPCD (970.724.3456) by July 1, 2014 

Cost: $10 (Lunch included)

Come join the Middle Park Conservation District, Summit and Grand County Weed Departments, Summit County Extension, and Friends of the Lower Blue for an informative session on Weed Management.

You will learn all about: 
  • Weed ID
  • Where Weeds Come From
  • Why Weeds are a Problem
  • Options for Weed Control
  • Chemical Selection, Application, and Timing

Vitazyme: Secret to Success?

In an attempt to educate landowners on available products in the marketplace, we have included this article for your information.  Please note that no one at the Middle Park Conservation District has actually tried this product, so we CANNOT verify its claims.  Thus, we neither endorse nor reject this product for application on your ag land.  Our sole purpose is to educate you so that you can decide for  yourself if it is something you want to give a try.  

The information provided is taken directly from the PlantDesigns website at  Check out their website for additional information or questions.  

Vitazyme is an all-natural liquid “biostimulant” for soil organisms and plants that contain certain biological activators, which are by-products of a proprietary fermentation process. These active agents include vitamins, enzymes, and other powerful but gentle growth stimulators such as B-vitamins, triacontanol, glycosides, and porphyrins.

Vitazyme contains “metabolic triggers” that stimulate the plant to photosynthesize better, fixing more sunlight energy in the form of carbon compounds to increase the transfer of carbohydrates, proteins, and other growth substances into the root zone. These active agents may enter the plant through either the leaves or the roots. Root growth and exudation are both enhanced. This enhancement activates the metabolism of the teeming population of rhizosphere organisms to a higher level, triggering a greater synthesis of growth-benefitting compounds and a faster release of mineral for plant uptake. The plant microbial symbiosis is stimulated.

Very small amounts of these metabolic triggers in Vitazyme are needed to greatly improve plant and rhizosphere microbe response. This is because of the enzyme cascade effect. Successive tiers of enzymes are activated in plant and microbial tissues to yield a large physiological response from very little applied activator.

In short, Vitazyme enables the plant to better express its genetic potential by reducing the stresses that repress that expression.

For more information on VitaZyme check out the website above or click here for the 2013 Vitazyme Field Trials Summary.  

Symbiotic Cycle


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 © 2014 Middle Park Conservation District, All rights reserved.

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