Colorado Parks Closing Shorelines at Blue Lake, John Martin

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are asking visitors to John Martin and Adobe Creek (Blue Lake) Reservoirs for help in protecting two rare shorebirds that nest in Colorado.

As in previous years, parks and wildlife managers will be closing access to some shoreline areas to protect the nests of Least Terns and Piping Plovers. The closures will run from early April through mid-August.

Ordway, Fowler and La Junta to Host 5th Annual Pedal the Plains Tour

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, The Denver Post Community Foundation and presenting sponsor Viaero Wireless have announced the route for the 2016 Pedal The Plains Bicycle Tour. Now in its fifth year, an estimated 1,000 riders will spin through southeast Colorado covering 151 miles over the course of 3 days. From September 16-18, participants will visit the host communities of Ordway, Fowler and La Junta, while touring a number of scenic, historical and agricultural stops along the way.

Arkansas Basin Water Forum begins Wednesday

By Joe Stone

The 22nd annual Arkansas River Basin Water Forum will offer a spectrum of informed presentations about basin water issues Wednesday and Thursday, April 27 and 28, at the SteamPlant Event Center, 220 W. Sackett Ave., in Salida.

Themed "The Color of Water," the forum will feature keynote speakers, expert panels and informal discussions in an open, collaborative setting that encourages learning about all aspects of water.

Illegal Hunting Nets Big Fine

Outdoors - Colorado Parks Wildlife Mountains Baca National Wildlife Refuge - USFWS

Thanks to a tip to Colorado Parks and Wildlife from a concerned hunter, a Fruita man is guilty of numerous charges of illegal big game hunting on the Uncompahgre Plateau.

Melvin Weaver, 59, whose last known address was in Fruita, pleaded guilty to two counts of illegal hunting, take and possession of big game; two counts of illegal big game hunting without a license; and one count of illegally taking a trophy elk, also known as the Samson Law. He was originally charged with 13 violations. The plea was accepted by the Mesa County court on March 15.

New Hunter’s Education Test-Out Option and Apprentice Licenses, Now Available

Outdoors - Colorado Parks Wildlife Mountains Baca National Wildlife Refuge - USFWS

Colorado Parks and Wildlife now offers apprentice licenses and hunter education test-out options. The changes, effective April 6, 2016 are intended to encourage people to get active in the outdoors and interested in hunting.

Hunter education test-out options are available for U.S. military and individuals 50-years of age or older.

"Safety is our primary concern," said Todd Schmidt, CPW's hunter education coordinator. "The new options help recruit those who have the hunter safety knowledge and experience to get in the field."

USDA Update

USDA Update


? March 15 - July 15th - Primary Nesting Season for CRP. No practice or management activity allowed. 

? April 19 - County Committee Meeting 

? May 2-5 - FSA employees gone to training - NRCS will be available 

? May 31 - Last day to request commodity loan for 2015 grain sorghum, corn and sunflowers 

? July 15 - Production submission deadline for 2015 NAP crops. 

? August 1 - Deadline to request farm reconstitution for 2016.