CO Parks and Wildlife – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 18 Jun 2020 18:47:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 http://www.pagosasun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cropped-sun-logo-512x512-1-32x32.jpg CO Parks and Wildlife – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com 32 32 Navajo State Park receives $8,830 GOCO grant for watercraft decontamination system http://www.pagosasun.com/navajo-state-park-receives-8830-goco-grant-for-watercraft-decontamination-system/ Sat, 20 Jun 2020 11:00:58 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=206014 By Lauren Lecy
Great Outdoors Colorado

The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) board awarded a $8,830 grant to Navajo State Park and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to install an on-demand watercraft decontamination system to prevent the spread of invasive species.

The grant is part of GOCO’s CPW Director’s Innovation Fund, a partnership between GOCO and CPW. The program is designed to fund small-dollar, innovative projects across the agency. 

Traditionally, boats are decontaminated using hot water pressure washers, which are noisy, require frequent refueling, and are expensive to maintain and operate. On-demand decontamination systems use propane-fueled water heaters, which are more effective in removing invasive species by keeping the water at a consistent temperature. These systems are also silent when running, allowing for clearer communication between operators and boaters and minimizing the risk of accidents. In addition, costs associated with maintaining on-demand systems are much lower than the existing pressure washers. 

Navajo Reservoir is one of the highest-risk bodies of water in the state for potential introduction of invasive animals and plants. The reservoir sees more large and complex boats than most others in Colorado, which pose a higher risk of transporting unwanted species. It is also a destination for out-of-state boaters due to its proximity to Arizona and New Mexico, and locals are more likely to venture to infested waters in other states. 

If introduced, zebra and quagga mussels, two invasive species that disrupt aquatic ecosystems, would have the potential to thrive in the habitat at the park. Once established, there are currently no known eradication methods in open water. Effectively killing and removing these species from watercraft prior to launch is important to avoid long-lasting ecological damage. 

To date, GOCO has invested more than $9.2 million in projects in Archuleta County and conserved more than 21,000 acres of land there. GOCO funding has supported Pagosa Skyrocket State Natural Area, Pagosa Springs Town-to-Lakes Trail, the conservation of Catspaw Ranch and the Archuleta County Fairgrounds, among other projects.

GOCO invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through CPW. Created when voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 5,300 projects in all 64 counties of Colorado without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.

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Navajo State Park to open for camping on Friday http://www.pagosasun.com/navajo-state-park-to-open-for-camping-on-friday/ Thu, 14 May 2020 21:00:50 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=203569 By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN

Camping at Navajo State Park will open Friday, May 15, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is happy to welcome back campers.

CPW wants campers to enjoy their time outdoors, but reminds everyone that social distancing must continue and that guidelines provided by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must be followed.

“We’re pleased that campgrounds are open, but our top priority is the safety of our guests and staff,” said Cory Chick, CPW’s southwest regional manager. “The reopening will closely abide by health department and CDC recommendations.”

Here are items campers must be aware of before heading out to one of Colorado’s state parks: 

• All camping is by reservation only. Check campground information and make reservations at cpwshop.com. 

• Bathrooms are open at the park, but showers, laundry and other group facilities will not be open.

• Visitors’ centers are not open. Campers can call the park office for information.

• It is advised that you only camp with members of your household. Campsites at Navajo are limited to six people.

• Cabins are not available for rental at this time.

• Individuals must maintain a 6-foot distance from other individuals, including park staff, in the campground.

• A mask should be worn in public areas or when close to others in the campground.

• If you or any member of your family is feeling ill, none of you should go to a state park campground.

• Bring all of your own food from your local grocery store; don’t plan on going out to eat at a local restaurant.

• Bring hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies. Please keep a clean camp and pack out your own trash.

• Do not invite others into your camp; give them a wave, a smile and a healthy hello from a distance.

• Check for park updates at CPW’s COVID-19 information page at cpw.state.co.us.

For more information about camping at Navajo State Park, call 883-2208.

 

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Camping at state parks and state wildlife areas remains closed http://www.pagosasun.com/camping-at-state-parks-and-state-wildlife-areas-remains-closed/ Sat, 09 May 2020 11:00:40 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=203112 By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN

Camping at Colorado state parks and state wildlife areas will remain closed until further notice as Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) works to implement system-wide safety protocols related to social distancing in campgrounds. 

Customer, volunteer and employee safety remain a top priority. CPW is committed to providing park services at the highest level possible while also ensuring public safety. System camping cancellations will be sent via email. Currently, no definitive date is known for when sites will reopen. 

“We understand the strain these continued closures put on all of us and we appreciate the public’s flexibility as we work through the process of reopening,” said Dan Prenzlow, director of CPW. “Our staff is working hard to make sure we can provide safe and enjoyable experiences for everyone.” 

CPW is working with federal and local municipal partners as well as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to determine a timeline for camping. This coordination can make predicting definitive opening dates difficult as each county faces its own unique circumstances. 

State park rangers remain on duty protecting the parks, and normal rules and regulations still apply. Park trail closures due to visitation or crowding will be reported on the Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX) App and the CPW website. 

Colorado counties, municipalities and land management agencies continue to update their COVID-19 guidance including travel restrictions, road closures and access limitations on the Colorado Counties Inc. Safer-At-Home map. Outdoor recreationists are responsible for researching and understanding park and county closures before participating in any planned local recreational activities. CPW encourages park visitors to follow trail safety etiquette and visit parks responsibly.

CPW asks all Coloradans to respect safer-at-home orders and stay close to your home and use local trails and parks for outdoor recreation. Limiting travel for recreation helps minimize the strain of visitors on small mountain communities and creates less burden for our search and rescue and emergency responders. 

For more information, visit the CPW COVID-19 Response website for updates on park closures, permits and licenses, and outdoor recreation policies.

 

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Report bear sightings and problems as soon as possible http://www.pagosasun.com/report-bear-sightings-and-problems-as-soon-as-possible/ Sat, 02 May 2020 11:00:34 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=202498 By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN

Bears are coming out of their winter slumber in southwest Colorado, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is asking residents to help in making sure bears live as long and as wild as possible. Please, report bear issues to CPW as soon as you see them at 247-0855.

Some bear sightings were reported in the Durango and Bayfield areas this week. 

Besides securing trash and taking down bird feeders, residents should call the CPW office as soon as they see bears knocking over trash cans, getting into bird feeders or hanging around an area for more than 15 minutes. Unfortunately, many people ignore what they might consider “minor” problems. Reporting problems early provides wildlife officers flexibility in dealing with the situation. But when a bear becomes aggressive, CPW officers have few options.

“We know that a lot of people don’t call CPW when a bear is causing problems in a neighborhood because they think our only course of action is to euthanize the bear,” said Matt Thorpe, area wildlife manager in Durango. “But if we hear early about minor problems, wildlife officers have a menu of options on how to handle the issue and can take action that will have a better outcome for the bear and for the neighborhood.”

If a bear is causing problems, it’s most likely because some type of food source is available — bird feeders, improperly stored garbage, garbage cans being left out or being put out the night before pickup, pet food being left outside, etc. Often, the food source can be found at one residence in a neighborhood. So, when CPW receives a report, for example, of a bear hanging too long around an area, a wildlife officer can go there and attempt to determine the source of the problem.

“Early reports help us to approach a situation with a lot of options available,” Thorpe explained. “Many times, it’s easy to find the food source and talk to a resident about that. We can make suggestions to the neighborhood or a homeowners association, work with the trash hauler, or even decide to trap and move a bear.”

But CPW needs cooperation from residents to make an early intervention.

“The last thing a CPW officer wants to do is put down a bear. Every wildlife officer absolutely hates to do that,” Thorpe said. “But if a bear moves from causing minor problems to acting aggressively and causing major problems, like breaking into houses or vehicles, we have no options. At that point, we are required by law to euthanize the bear. Human safety always comes first.”

The best solutions come when residents choose to work with CPW.

“So please, give us a call when you see problems,” Thorpe said.

Bear sightings and problems should be reported to CPW’s Durango office at 247-0855.

Following are simple and effective tips to keep bears wild:

• Keep garbage in a well-secured location.

• Only put out garbage on the morning of pickup. 

• Clean garbage cans regularly to keep them odor free.

• Use a bear-resistant trash can or dumpster, available from your trash hauler or on the Internet.

• If you don’t have secure storage, put items that might become smelly into the freezer until trash day.

• Don’t leave pet food or stock feed outside.

• Bird feeders are a major source of bear/human conflicts. Attract birds naturally with flowers and water baths. Do not hang bird feeders from April 15 to Nov. 15.

• If you must have bird feeders: clean up beneath them every day, bring them in at night and hang them high so that they’re completely inaccessible to bears.

• Do not attract other wildlife by feeding them, such as deer, turkeys or small mammals.

• Don’t allow bears to become comfortable around your house. If you see one, yell at them, throw things at them, make noise to scare them off.

• Secure compost piles. Bears are attracted to the scent of rotting food — and they’ll eat anything.

• Bears have good memories and will return to places they’ve found food.

• Allow grills to burn for a couple of minutes after cooking to burn off grease and to eliminate odors. Clean the grill after each use.

• Clean up thoroughly after picnics in the yard or on the deck. Don’t allow food odors to linger.

• If you have fruit trees, pick fruit before it gets too ripe. Don’t allow fruit to rot on the ground.

• Keep garage doors closed. 

• Lock your doors when you’re away from home and at night.

• Keep the bottom floor windows of your house closed when you’re not at home. 

• Do not keep food in your vehicle; roll up windows and lock the doors of your vehicles.

• When car-camping, secure all food and coolers in a locked vehicle after you’ve eaten.

• Keep a clean camp, whether you’re in a campground or in the backcountry.

• When camping in the backcountry, hang food 100 feet or more from campsite; don’t bring any food into your tent.

• Cook food well away from your tent; wash dishes thoroughly.

• Talk to your neighbors and kids about being bear aware.

• If you keep small livestock, such as chickens, keep animals in a fully covered enclosure that is electrified. Don’t store stock food outside, keep enclosures clean to minimize odors, hang rags soaked in ammonia and/or Pine-Sol around the enclosure.

• If you have beehives, install electric fencing where allowed.

For more information, go to the Living with Wildlife section on the CPW website: cpw.state.co.us.

 

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Turkey hunting seminar and youth/women’s mentored turkey hunt offered http://www.pagosasun.com/turkey-hunting-seminar-and-youth-womens-mentored-turkey-hunt-offered/ Sat, 14 Mar 2020 11:00:24 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=199150 By Doug Purcell
Special to The SUN
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) will offer a free Turkey Hunting 101 Seminar on April 17 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Archuleta County Extension office, 344 U.S. 84. The turkey hunting seminar is open to anyone interested in learning how to turkey hunt.
In conjunction with the turkey hunting seminar, CPW will also host a mentored turkey hunt for qualified youth and women applicants. The mentored hunting event will span the weekend of April 18-19, following the turkey hunting seminar. Hunts will occur on private properties around Pagosa Springs.
Youth (12-17) and women interested in participating in the mentored turkey hunting event must fill out an application which can be obtained from:
• U.S. Forest Service Office, 180 Pagosa St., Pagosa Springs.
• CPW Office, 151 E.16th St., Durango.
No hunting experience is necessary, but selected hunters must possess a valid hunter safety card and a spring over-the-counter turkey hunting license by April 17. Applications must be received by April 1 and selected hunt participants will be notified by April 3.
CPW can supply needed equipment (including firearms and ammo) for the hunt. Participants will need their own cold-weather clothing, footwear and camouflaged outerwear (turkey hunting starts in the cold early morning and camouflage is very important). Selected participants are encouraged to use their own equipment.
For additional information, please call District Wildlife Manager Doug Purcell at 799-0843.

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Elk archery licenses limited, must be obtained via draw http://www.pagosasun.com/elk-archery-licenses-limited-must-be-obtained-via-draw/ Thu, 20 Feb 2020 22:00:28 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=197834 By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer
Due to dwindling elk populations, hunters looking to hunt in the region will have to obtain their archery elk licenses via a draw.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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Elk population addressed at public meeting http://www.pagosasun.com/elk-population-addressed-at-public-meeting/ Thu, 20 Feb 2020 22:00:20 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=197832 By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer
At a public meeting on Feb. 6, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) representatives gave a presentation to interested citizens on herd management plans, as well as the various issues facing elk populations.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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Elk management meeting set for Pagosa Springs http://www.pagosasun.com/elk-management-meeting-set-for-pagosa-springs-2/ Wed, 05 Feb 2020 12:00:37 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=196317 By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is seeking public input on updating the management plans for the elk herds in Cortez/Dolores (E-24), Durango (E-30) and Pagosa Springs (E-31).
In an effort to give people an opportunity to learn about elk management and provide input, CPW is conducting three separate public meetings within the vicinity of each management unit:
• Pagosa Springs (E-31: GMUs 77, 78 and 771): The meeting will be on Feb. 6 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Archuleta County Extension office.
• Cortez/Dolores (E-24: GMUs 70, 71, 711, 72 and 73): The meeting will be on Feb. 4 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Dolores Community Center.
• Durango (E-30: GMUs 74 and 741): The meeting will be on Feb. 13 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the La Plata County Fairgrounds (upstairs).
Elk management plans are revised approximately every 10 years. Public input provides guidance to wildlife managers who attempt to balance the biological capabilities of the herd and its habitat with the public’s demand for wildlife recreational opportunities. These herd management plans drive important decisions, which include the license-setting process, as well as strategies and techniques to reach population objectives.
People are welcome to attend any of the meetings. Each meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to provide input on any or all of the plans.
For further information about the process and meetings, call 248-0855.

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Elk management meeting set for Pagosa Springs http://www.pagosasun.com/elk-management-meeting-set-for-pagosa-springs/ Thu, 30 Jan 2020 11:56:24 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=196274 By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is seeking public input on updating the management plans for the elk herds in Cortez/Dolores (E-24), Durango (E-30) and Pagosa Springs (E-31).

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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CPW seeks input on elk management plans http://www.pagosasun.com/cpw-seeks-input-on-elk-management-plans/ Tue, 28 Jan 2020 12:00:28 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=195978 By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is seeking public input on updating the management plans for the elk herds in Cortez/Dolores (E-24), Durango (E-30) and Pagosa Springs (E-31).
In an effort to give people an opportunity to learn about elk management and provide input, CPW is conducting three separate public meetings within the vicinity of each management unit:
• Pagosa Springs (E-31: GMUs 77, 78 and 771): Meeting will be on Feb. 6 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Archuleta County Extension office.
• Cortez/Dolores (E-24: GMUs 70, 71, 711, 72 and 73): Meeting will be on Feb. 4 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Dolores Community Center.
• Durango (E-30: GMUs 74 and 741): Meeting will be on Feb. 13 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the La Plata County Fairgrounds (upstairs).
Elk Management Plans are revised approximately every 10 years. Public input provides guidance to wildlife managers who attempt to balance the biological capabilities of the herd and its habitat with the public’s demand for wildlife recreational opportunities. These Herd Management Plans drive important decisions, which include the license-setting process, as well as strategies and techniques to reach population objectives.
People are welcome to attend any of the meetings. Each meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to provide input on any or all of the plans.
For further information about the process and meetings, call 248-0855.

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