MPCD Winter 2013-14 Newsletter
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Winter 2013-14

The freezing temperatures and winter snow storms have finally hit Middle Park. This change in the weather typically signifies the end of the busy season for ranchers; however, I hope the info in this newsletter will help you make it through the winter and prepare for growing seasons ahead.

Inside this issue of MPCD Eco-BiTs: 

PLEASE RESPOND!!!Annual MPCD and Stockgrowers Dinner, Conservationist of the Year, Water Law in a Nutshell Workshop, Middle Park Stockgrowers Meetings & Scholarship, Tree Seedling Sales, Back in the Black: Timber Sales, EQIP Funding Available, Herbicide Applicators Class

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Upcoming Events

First Tuesday of every month: MPCD Board Meeting-6pm @ NRCS/MPCD Office in Kremmling

January 3: Middle Park Stockgrowers Board Meeting-12:30pm @ Moose Cafe in Kremmling

January 6: Deadline to Register to Water Law Workshop

January 13: Grand County Weed Board Meeting-1pm, Commissioners Meeting Room, Hot Sulphur Springs

January 17: Water Law in a Nutshell Workshop in Granby-8am-5pm, $50

January 17: Signup Deadline for NRCS EQIP Funding 

February 20: The Blue & Colorado Rivers--Source to Sea
(Presentation hosted by Continental Divide Land Trust in Silverthorne)  Click here to read more about it!

February 22: Middle Park Stockgrowers & MPCD Annual Dinner-Sagebrush Grille in Grand Lake


You may remember from the Fall Newsletter that I requested everyone subscribe to our specialized newsletters.  I AM ONCE AGAIN ASKING THAT EVERYONE WHO DID NOT CLICK THE LINK BELOW LAST TIME TO DO SO THIS TIME.  

By clicking the link below, you are improving your own reading experience.  

 Our goal with these interest-specific newsletters is to relay information that is most pertinent to YOU. For example, we would have a specific newsletter for 'Ag Producers' relating to hay and livestock production.  A different newsletter would focus on 'Small Acreage Management' for smaller landowners.  Lastly, a 'Natural Resources Law' Newsletter would highlight Colorado Laws governing natural resources.  

Please click on the link below to subscribe to the different newsletters that most interest you.  You may subscribe to more than one newsletter if you'd like.

For those of you who have already subscribed to one or more of these newsletters, THANK YOU.  You do not need to do it again.
Subscriber to Our Newsletters

Annual Stockgrowers and MPCD Dinner Scheduled

You are cordially invited to the Annual Middle Park Stockgrowers and Conservation District Dinner set for SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2014.

This year's meeting will be held at the 
Sagebrush Grille in Grand Lake
 and will feature a Prime Rib or Grilled Salmon dinner with Baked Potato, Salad, and Dessert.  

The Keynote entertainment for the night will be the famous
out of Steamboat Springs!!!!

Click here for more info and a Reservation Form

 Please RSVP by February 19, 2014

Conservationist of the Year 

We are now accepting nominations for our ‘Conservationist of the Year’ award to be presented at our Annual Dinner on February 22, 2014. 

Nominees should live in Grand or Summit Counties that have performed significant conservation improvements on heir land or promote conservation ideals in other mediums.  

Please fill out the nomination form below and return to our office by
January 31, 2014.

Self nominations are welcome.

Conservationist of the Year Nomination Form
Water Law in a Nutshell Workshop 
The Middle Park Conservation District (MPCD) is excited to host another ‘Water Law in a Nutshell’ seminar on January 17, 2014, in Granby.

The presenter is Aaron Clay, Attorney of Law and former Water 
Referee for the Colorado Water Court, Division 4. The seminar is an all day event from 8am to 5pm and includes discussions on appropriation, perfection, use, abandonment and enforcement of various types of water rights and ditch rights. Further discussion may also include special rules for groundwater, public rights in appropriated water, and federal/interstate compacts.

The cost of the seminar is $50 and will include lunch.

welcome EVERYONE, including landowners, realtors, water commissioners, and anyone else interested in water law. 
Continuing education credits are available for realtors and CFMs. 

Twenty individuals are needed to make this seminar a success, so please call the Middle Park Conservation District at 970-724-3456 to sign up.

Click here for a downloadable Registration Form


Stockgrowers Quarterly Board Meetings & Scholarship

The Middle Park Stockgrowers has decided to open its quarterly board meetings up to PUBLIC.

Like the Middle Park Conservation District, the 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 Sandy Baker at 970.531.2483 for more info on the Middle Park Stockgrowers. 


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. 
Click here for a MP Stockgrowers Scholarship Application

Applications are due by February 1, 2014

Tree Seedlings Available For Sale

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 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 will be available for purchase through the Middle Park Conservation District until next spring; however, some species in particular sell out quickly.  Thus, it is best to order sooner rather than later.  All trees will be delivered in May 2014.

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


Back in the Black: Local Wood Markets Improve - Profits now Possible

The improving market for wood products is good news for forest landowners in Northern Colorado.  The tough economic conditions of the past several years really impacted the ability of private landowners in particular to treat their forest land economically. With housing starts in the US at record lows, the forest products industry closed mills and lost capacity in the United States.  Colorado’s timber industry was already pretty weak when the housing market collapsed.  A decline in milling capacity in Colorado coincided with a large increase of logs available on the market due to the mountain pine beetle epidemic.  Decreased demand and increased supply naturally led to decreased log prices.  The decrease in log prices and the desire to remove beetle killed trees created a significant amount of subsidized logging work.  This created a fairly confusing market situation for private landowners who, in many cases, have assumed they will have to pay to have logging done on their land.  
Recent developments locally, along with a slow but steady improvement in national wood markets, may be changing the situation for the better for local forest landowners that may be considering harvesting their timber.  The most significant change has been the addition of new or reopened mills in our region.  This has resulted in actual competition for logs, something that has been essentially missing over the past several years in our local log market.  Some of these new businesses include the recently reopened sawmill in Saratoga, Wyoming, a new sawmill facility in Parshall, a reopened mill in Encampment, Wyoming, and a new owner for a large sawmill in Montrose.  In addition to these new facilities, there are a number of small sawmills that have weathered the recession and continue to operate in our region.  There are also two pellet mills in Northwest Colorado, a new wood straw facility in Steamboat Springs, and a new biomass facility being built in Gypsum.  The net result is a healthier and more diverse wood market than we've seen in recent years.
Does all this mean that your forest trees now have value?  The answer is not simple.  The factors that go into considering the value of a stand of trees, dead or alive, include the quantity to be harvested, the general quality of the logs, the cost of logging the wood, the market, and the distance to the market. A significant part of the value of wood is taken up by the cost of harvesting the tree and putting it on a log truck for transport.    Larger harvests are more likely to be in the black for a number of economic reasons, mostly relating to economies of scale.  Distance to the mill is also critical, particularly for lower value biomass products.  If the price for wood delivered to the mill exceeds the costs of harvesting and shipping the wood, then the “extra” might be available as a stumpage payment (revenue) to the landowner.  Local timber sales of 30-40 acres, or more, have been profitable for many landowners.
This is a simplified explanation, of course.  Other factors add complexity.  Wood quality is important to value, and, as time goes on, the quality of standing beetle killed trees continues to deteriorate. Specific requirements of a logging job may add to the cost of operating, as will terrain, skidding distances and other factors.  You should consult a professional forester before harvesting any timber.  A professional forester can help you with your long term forest management planning as well as help you assess your more immediate options for harvesting or conducting other forestry operations. 

The Colorado State Forest Service in Granby is available to provide professional forestry services.  The Colorado State Forest Service-Granby District serves Grand, Summit and Eagle counties.  The mission of the Colorado State Forest Service is to achieve stewardship of Colorado's diverse forest environments for the benefit of present and future generations. 

Colorado Landowners Encouraged to Apply for FY2014 EQIP and WHIP Funding

Application Deadline: Friday, January 17, 2014
The Colorado Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications from landowners interested in implementing conservation practices to improve natural resources on farmland and wetland areas through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP).  
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.
EQIP is an 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. 
WHIP is a voluntary program for people who want to establish and improve wildlife habitat primarily on private lands.
Contact Mark Volt at the NRCS Kremmling Field Office for more information on applying for EQIP or WHIP!  970.724.3456

Applications MUST be received in your local NRCS Service Center by close of business on Friday, January 17, 2014

Herbicide Applicators Class

An Herbicide Applicators Class is currently in the works.  No date has been set and the logistics are still being hammered out, but keep this in mind if you wish to become a Certified Herbicide Applicator.  This certification will allow you to apply certain restricted herbicides that you could not apply without the license.
Contact the CSU Extension Office in Kremmling for more info or get your name on the interested attendees list!  970.724.3436
Copyright © 2013 Middle Park Conservation District, All rights reserved.

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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.