Summer 2016 MPCD Newsletter                                                                                             View this email in your Web Browser

Summer 2016 News

Sprayer Calibration Exercise, Water Law in a Nutshell Workshop, PAM and Tire Tanks, 2016 Sage Grouse Data, Forest & Noxious Weed Workshop Summary, Herbicide Giveaways, Fencing for Wildlife, Rain Barrel Bill, Grilling Safety Reminders, Heifer Size


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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.


Sprayer Calibration Exercise:
Tomorrow (Friday, June 10th) @
Kremmling Fairgrounds (1:30-3pm)

Brought to you by Amy Sidener and Dick Broady from Grand County DNR.

Bring a sprayer to be calibrated (backpack sprayer, atv sprayer, tractor sprayer, etc...), and Dick and Amy will help you calibrate it.

If you plan to attend, please let Amy or Dick know by calling them at 970-887-0745 or 970-531-1958.
This is a great opportunity to learn how to properly calibrate your sprayer and know exactly how much herbicide you're putting on the ground.  I definitely recommend everyone take advantage of this opportunity; you don't get free professional help everyday.
'Water Law in a Nutshell' Workshop
July 1st in Frisco


‘Water Law in a Nutshell’ Workshop
July 1st, 8am-5pm
Summit County Senior Center in Frisco
Cost: $50, includes lunch and course packet

RSVP to by June 15th

The workshop is presented by Aaron Clay, Attorney of Law and former Water Referee for the Colorado Water Court, Division 4. The seminar will include discussions on appropriation, perfection, use, abandonment and enforcement of various types of water rights and ditch rights, and much more.
We welcome EVERYONE, including landowners, realtors, water district employees, and anyone else interested in water law.

This same workshop has been held on 3 separate occasions in Grand and Summit Counties.  Here’s what people had to say…

“As a small rancher with many water-rights issues, Aaron Clay's water law class was great. I have spent about 18 years learning about water rights on my own, and really wish that Aaron's class had been available when I started the learning process. Because of his lengthy experience in the water court, he had a vast reservoir of knowledge about what is important to laymen. The information he presented was practical and easy to understand. For $50, this class was a true bargain.” 
~ Drew McCoy

"Our subdivision owns and manages a reservoir which has minority interest partners and both absolute and conditional water rights. What seemed complex to us novices, Aaron made very understandable with his teaching style and course content."  
~ John Hart

“This was a fabulous class.  I appreciated the case law stories to illustrate the importance of gaining knowledge in this field.  The insight into what may happen in the future was extremely interesting from an investment standpoint as well.  As a realtor, I feel that any brokers with land/ranch buyers and sellers should be required to take this class!”
~ Sonia Chritton

Get your PAM & Tire Tanks Today!

Now that irrigation season has begun, you may find that you have a hard time getting the water to where you need it to go due to leaky ditches.  If this is the case, we have the right product for you.  It's PAM.

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.  It must be noted that PAM will only work if their is sediment in the water for the PAM to bind to; if the water is too clear, PAM will not work.  The best time for application of PAM is in the spring just as you turn the ditch on for the season.  We have PAM for sale in 15# jugs for $115.

We also recently received a new shipment of Tire Tanks for spring developments and stock water tanks.  Tire tanks are an alternative to traditional metal stock tanks for landowners trying to water their stock or wildlife.  Tire tanks are made from recycled heavy equipment tires that no longer provide safe driving conditions for operators.  In addition to being  large and durable, these tanks are freeze-resistant, self-thawing, and rust-free.  We have 8', 10', and 12' diameter tire tanks available from $500-$895, depending on the size you want. 
Contact us to buy PAM and Tire Tanks!  970.724.3456

2016 Middle Park Lek Greater Sage-Grouse Count Summary from Coloradio Parks and Wildlife (CPW)
(Written by Michelle Cowardin, CPW, Hot Sulphur Springs Area Office, 970-725-6200) 

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 10% decrease from 2015 (367 total HCM). The HMC only includes known active leks. Weather and access hindered lek counting efforts in April.  There are two new active leks that were found in 2015 and verified active in 2016, they were the East Kitchen Creek and Elliot Creek leks. These leks were included in the 2015 and 2016 data. A total of 113 lek counts were conducted for active leks in 2016.  Peak male attendance was documented the first two weeks of April from 3/29-4/4 (313 males) and 4/5-4/11 (227 males). Peak hen attendance was documented slightly later during the week of 4/5-4/11 (97 hens) and again from 4/19–4/25 (86 hens). A coordinated count effort for leks in the Muddy Drainage was conducted on 4/19/16 and a total of 142 males were counted for Mitchell (23m 9f), Antelope (21m 15f), Paine (37m 27f), Dunning (24m, 13f) and Kastle (37m 11f). The Muddy Drainage leks account for 43% of the Middle Park population. 

Four males were GPS harnessed on the Spruce Creek lek in April 2015.  In June one of these males moved south into Summit County near Ute Pass Rd and Hwy 9. The bird stayed near Ute Pass Rd until November when it flew back north around Harsha and Spruce Creek area. The other 3 males spent their time within a few miles of the lek of capture. All four birds were dead by March 2016.

Forest Disease & Noxious Weed Workshop Summed Up

The Middle Park Conservation District teamed up with the Granby District of the Colorado State Forest Service and Grand  County Division of Natural Resources  on April 22nd to host a Forest Insect & Disease and Noxious Weed Workshop.  We had approximately 20 attendees and learned tons of valuable information from Matt Schiltz and Amy Sidener. 

Matt spoke to the group about Mountain Pine Beetle, Spruce Beetle, Douglas-fir Beetle/Western Spruce Budworm, Western Balsam Bark Beetle, Dwarf Mistletoe, Pine Needle Scale, and Aspen Insects and Diseases.  Matt's main point was that you should manage for Overall Forest Health.  This includes selecting for age, species and genetic diversity; promoting individual tree health and vigor; promptly disposing of any infested material; and getting specific advice from your local forester (970-887-3121).

Amy presented about common noxious weeds in Grand County, as well as their native look-a-likes.  Some of the weeds she touched on were: whitetop/hoarycress, leafy spurge, dames rocket, oxeye daisy and chamomile daisy, orange hawkweed, yellow toadflax, common mullein, common tansy, diffuse knapweed, as well as the many noxious thistles.  Amy concluded that weeds are opportunistic and “jump” at the chance to establish.  You should be aware of what is “normal” in the landscape, have constant vigilance for what "out of the norm", and use your sources when weeds crop up (970-887-0745). 

To view the PowerPoints and handouts presented at the workshop, view the clinks below.

Forest Insects & Diseases Presentation
Noxious Weeds Presentation
Sprayer Calibration Instructions
Keys to Successful Grass Seeding
Herbicide Giveaways in Grand and Summit

 When weeds encroach on otherwise healthy habitats, it often creates a firestorm of events that deteriorate native habitats and pose a risk to the wildlife, livestock, ranchers, and recreationists that utilize those lands.  Noxious weeds compete with natives for resources; are often hardier and more prolific; and can sometimes wipe out all vegetative diversity in an area, creating a single monoculture.  Once established, controlling the spread of weeds may be very difficult, if not impossible.  Prevention and early detection are critical to proper weed management.  Grand and Summit County weed departments wish to help landowners control their weeds.  Accordingly, both departments have set up herbicide giveaways in their respective counties...

Grand County– The Grand County Division of Natural Resources provides weed information and herbicide to landowners on FRIDAYS  during the summer from 9am to noon at the County Shop in Granby (469 E. Topaz).  You must bring your own sprayer.  Herbicide is provided free of charge to interested landowners.    Contact 970.887.0745 for more information.  

Summit County– Summit County has a Backpack Sprayer Loaner Program for small infestations.  Cost-share programs are also available for large infestations; click this link for the Cost-share application.  Call Ben Pleimann at 970.668.4218 for more information.

Ag Producers–Middle Park Habitat Partnership Program gives up to $500 worth of herbicide to production agriculture folks in both Grand and Summit Counties.  Contact Amy Sidener at 970-887-0745.  The program is limited and starts around April 15th of every year. 

Fencing for Wildlife

Now that the snow has cleared and you can see the damage done to the fences over the winter, you may be considering rebuilding your fences. 

If that is the case, we strongly recommend you consider installing wildlife-friendly 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. Click the link below to read the brochure.  It includes options such as lay-down fences, rail fences, elk jumps, adjustable wire fences, and electric fences. 

You may also contact the Hot Sulphur Spring CPW office for more questions relating to wildlife and fences.  970-725-6200 

Fencing for Wildlife Brochure

Colorado's Rain Barrel Bill Passes

Until just recently, the collection of rainwater by backyard gardeners in Colorado has been illegal.  Colorado's Water Law (aka the Prior-Appropriation System) states that water shall me appropriated according to "first in time, first in right".  There has been much debate over the impact of rain barrels on senior water right holders.  Nevertheless, the Colorado Legislature has settled the debate (for now) with it's passing House Bill 16-1005, Colorado's Rain Barrel Bill.   Governor Hickenlooper subsequently signed it into law on May 12th, 2016.
Colorado’s Rain Barrel Bill (HB 16-1005) allows for the collection of precipitation from a residential rooftop if:
1.  A maximum of 2 rain barrels with a combined storage capacity of 110 gallons or less are used;
2.  Precipitation is collected from the rooftop of a building that is used primarily as a single-family residence or a multi-family residence with 4 or fewer units;
3.  The collected precipitation is used on the residential property on which the precipitation is collected;
4.  The collected precipitation is applied to outdoor purposes such as lawn irrigation and gardening.  A person shall not use precipitation collected for drinking water or indoor household purposes.
5.  "Rain barrel” means a storage container with a sealable lid that is located aboveground outside of a residential home used for collecting precipitation from a downspout of a rooftop.
Summer Grilling Safety Tips

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is the leading association for fire safety and information.  They provide the following tips to keep you safe this grilling season.  For more information on fire safety and education, check out NFPA Public Education

Grilling Stats
  • 8,900 homes fires every year are a result of grilling accidents
  • 16,600 patients went to the ER in 2014 with grilling injuries
  • 19% of all grill fires are due to failure to clean the grill
  • 17% of grill fires resulted from flammable items being located too close to the grill
  • Leaks and breaks caused 11% of grill fires
  • Statistically speaking, gas grills are more likely to cause a home fire than charcoal grills
Grilling Tips
  • Position your grill well away from the home and deck railing
  • Properly ignite your grill by FIRST opening the lid, SECOND turning on the propane, THIRD turning on the knobs of the grill burners, and LASTLY pushing the ignite button.
  • If your grill does not ignite initially, WAIT 5 MINUTES before trying again.  This will allow the propane to dissipate and reduce the likelihood of a fire.
  • To properly turn off the grill, FIRST turn off the propane, SECOND turn off the knob, and LASTLY close the lid. 
Are You Growing Your Heifers Too Big?

The following opinion was featured in an online newsletter called 'Beef Producer'.  I am neither promoting nor negating the opinion; I am just summarizing it for you.  I thought it was an interesting perspective worth sharing.  You may read the entire article at
Big ol' heifers make big ol' cows
If you would like to receive 'Beef Producer' in your own  inbox, subscribe at
Email Subscriptions

Big ol' Heifers Make Big ol' Cows

We've all heard the saying "bigger is better", right?  But is it?  According to this article by Alan Newport, the answer is not necessarily.  The figure below depicts the rise in mature weight of angus since 1990, yet mature height (i.e. frame size ) has remained steady.  Though ribeye areas have also grown over the years, the author notes that selecting for muscle over environmental suitability and fertility may come with a cost to the producer.

According to the article, "a bigger cow  (1,400 lbs) is 1.29 animal units while the 1,000-pound cow is the standard, 1.0 animal unit. That means you can run only 78% as many large cows as small cows. Put simply, on a ranch that can carry 1,000 animal units, that means you would run about 780 big cows versus 1,000 small cows.  A University of Wyoming study recently showed over several years a 5,500-acre ranch could carry 237 such smaller cows versus 186 similarly larger cows. Those smaller cows averaged 24,251 pounds more calf weight each year.  This and other data also has shown us you can often wean more pounds of calf per acre with the small cows, and do it at lower cost."


The article goes on to say, "Johann Zietsman, the Zimbabwean rancher and consultant, reminds us that good body condition is tied to more than just the amount an animal can eat and how much maintenance costs it has.  Appetite, climatic adaptation, and resistance to parasites and diseases is important, too, in addition to a frame size that allows lower maintenance requirements and more freeboard for reproduction within a given environment. All these things make an animal more efficient and are, in fact, the foundation for high reproductive performance."

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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