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The effort to stop the spread of harmful Aquatic
Nuisance Species continued successfully during
the 2013 boating season. Watercraft inspection
and decontaminations stations were available at
more than 75 locations across the state this year
including 41 Colorado Parks and Wildlife stations.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife and their numerous
partners performed more than 420,000 inspections
in 2013, each of which is an important public edu-
cational contact.
¡°Colorado boaters should be commended for
their knowledge and participation in protecting
our waters,¡± said Elizabeth Brown, CPW Inva-
sive Species Coordinator. ¡°Diligence in cleaning,
draining and drying their watercraft between each
and every use has directly helped to prevent the
spread of aquatic nuisance species. We have very
few aquatic invaders established in Colorado and
have had no new zebra or quagga mussel discov-
eries since 2008. We greatly appreciate our boater¡¯s
and angler¡¯s cooperation to keep our waters free of
invasive species.¡±
The threat of ANS hitchhikers coming into Colo-
rado on watercraft from another state is still quite
real. Quagga or zebra mussels were found on
14 boats this year, which were intercepted and
decontaminated prior to entering Colorado waters.
This year four boats were decontaminated at Lake
Pueblo State Park, three at the CPW Denver office,
two at Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Reservoir.
Blue Mesa/Curecanti National Recreation Area,
Vallecito Reservoir, Dillon Marina and Eleven Mile
Reservoir each intercepted and decontaminated
one boat this year. The infested watercraft came
from Wisconsin (3), Texas (2), Kansas (2), and one
from Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma
and Kentucky. This year¡¯s interceptions bring the
total to 64 contaminated boats kept from Colorado
waters in the last five years.
Additionally, more than 6,000 watercraft were
decontaminated because of standing water in the
boat, which can carry the microscopic young mus-
sels and other invasive species. It is very important
that standing water, such as in ballast tanks, bilge
areas or live wells be drained from watercraft, or
decontaminated, to prevent the spread of micro-
scopic mussel larvae or veligers, plant fragments,
diseases and other invasive animals.
¡°Colorado¡¯s program offers boaters green seals
and receipts when exiting waters to expedite the
inspection process at the next location, which
aides mostly resident boaters moving between
prevention waters,¡± said Gene Seagle, invasive
species biologist with CPW. ¡°Without a green seal
and receipt, watercraft with features which are
impossible to drain, such as ballast tanks, would
otherwise require decontamination.¡±
Colorado Parks and Wildlife places a high impor-
tance on preventing and controlling invasive spe-
cies like the zebra and quagga mussels to protect
not only our invaluable wildlife resources, but also
our recreation and tourism industry, water storage
and distribution systems, agricultural production
and the state¡¯s overall economy. ANS, especially
zebra and quagga mussels, can result in severe
impacts to water supply and distribution infra-
structure for municipal, industrial and agricul-
tural uses. These ANS species negatively impact
fisheries and all forms of water-based recreation.
ANS can cause damage to watercraft, motors and
inhibit access opportunities. The economic im-
pacts associated with mussel invasions can also be
¡°Keeping Colorado¡¯s waters free of invasive
species is critical to maintaining efficient water de-
livery and infrastructure systems, and providing
high-quality fishing and boating opportunities,¡±
said Brown. ¡°The program would not be possible
without our numerous partners and the support of
the boaters and anglers.¡±
For the latest information pertaining to boat ramp
closures, watercraft inspection sites and hours of
operation, please visit:
Nature & Wildlife
2013 November
Pg 10 - The Sunshine Express
than ski areas.
The public has 60 days to comment from Oct. 2,
2013, the date the notice was published in the
Federal Register. Instructions on how to comment
are included in the notice.
The allocation of federal land for ski areas covers
some 180,000 acres out of 193 million acres. The
agency averages 23 million visits annually to
ski areas, which has contributed $3 billion every
winter to the economy and created approximate-
ly 65,000 full and part-time and seasonal jobs in
rural communities. Under the new proposal, the
Forest Service estimates roughly 600,000 more
summertime visits would occur; that may create
and sustain up to 600 more full or part-time and
seasonal jobs with expanded recreation oppor-
tunities on ski areas. The addition of summer
recreation is expected to infuse almost $40 million
into local mountain communities near ski areas.
ences, in contrast to theme or amusement
parks where different customer expecta-
tions are accommodated.
This proposed rule change would establish
criteria to guide the agency when evaluat-
ing proposals. New activities should be
natural-resource based, encourage outdoor
recreation and enjoyment of nature, and
be consistent with the intent of the act. The
rule also would address the types of facili-
ties that would be permitted.
The agency also is proposing guidance on
the management of other recreational uses
within the operational boundary of ski ar-
eas by the non-paying public, such as snow-
shoeing and hiking. The proposed changes
also include guidelines for development of
aerial adventure courses at facilities other
New Rule may up visits by 600,000
US Forest Service Seeks Comments on
Year-Round Recreation Activities at Ski Areas
WASHINGTON, Oct. 21: The U.S. Forest Service
recently published a Federal Register notice [on
Oct. 2, 2013] seeking public comment on pro-
posed criteria to evaluate activities and facilities
allowed at ski areas on Forest Service lands under
the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhance-
ment Act of 2011.
¡°This is another step forward in how the agency
efficiently manages developed recreation areas,
such as ski areas, to accommodate the increasing
demand for outdoor recreation experiences from
the public,¡± said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom
Tidwell. ¡°It also opens the door for the prospect
of a larger economic boost to forest-dependent
communities and the nation.¡±
Most of the 122 ski areas operating on Forest
Service lands are authorized by the National
Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 for Nordic and
alpine skiing. The Ski Area Recreational Oppor-
tunity Enhancement Act of 2011 expanded the Ski
Area Permit Act to allow approval of additional
seasonal or year-round recreation activities,
including summer recreational activities where
the ski area¡¯s developed infrastructure could ac-
commodate an increasing demand for year-round
The revised law includes such activities as zip
lines, mountain bike terrain parks and trails,
disc golf courses, and ropes courses, which are
generally natural resource based and encourage
outdoor recreation and the enjoyment of nature.
These types of activities ties fit well with the
agency¡¯s mission in support of outdoor natural
resource-based recreation settings and experi-
Asphalt paving of the highway approaches to
the new roundabout in Telluride were com-
pleted on October 22. Concrete work on the
new roundabout at SH 145 at Society Turn is
complete and, weather permitting, the project
should wrap up by November 6. Traffic im-
pacts have been heavy. During the first week
of November, final inlaid pavement markings
will be done, requiring some lane closures,
although travel delays will be much shorter
that those experienced during paving. (Please
note, the pavement markings must be laid
during temperatures of 50 degrees or higher;
in the event of inclement weather, work may
be delayed a few days.)
The total cost of the project is approximately
$3.56 million, with $900,000 coming from Tel-
luride, $1.03 million for safety improvements
from Colorado FASTER*, and the remainder
from state and federal sources. The work is
contracted to Williams Construction of Nor-
*FASTER (Funding Advancements for Surface
Transportation and Economic Recovery) was
established by the Colorado General assembly
via Senate Bill 09-108 to fund the repair of
Colorado¡¯s structurally deficient bridges and
make safety improvements to Colorado¡¯s key
corridors. (source:
Telluride Hwy Delays to End
Gold Butte near Aspen officially reopened on
October 14 and is once again ready for rock
climbing. A popular spot with local climbers
in the ¡®70s and ¡¯80s before public access to the
private property was closed off, the area was
acquired by Pitkin County Open Space and Trails
in January.
Local climbers have been at work re-establishing
routes on the rock. Hardware has been bolted
into place, debris has been cleaned and new
trail access off McLain Flats Road provides an
easy hike from the Sunnyside Trail parking area
to Gold Butte. There are routes for climbers of
all abilities. Roughly a dozen routes have been
bolted since mid-summer. Info: 970.920.5355.
Popular Pinnacle Primed
CPW Thanks Boaters