Extension to hold reception for director candidates


By Jim Smith

SUN Columnist

The CSU Extension Office would like to invite the public to come and meet the candidates who have applied for the position of CSU Extension Director in Archuleta County.

The reception will be held at the CSU Extension Building at 344 U.S. 84 on March 13 from 4:30-6 p.m.

Coffee and lemonade will be served.

Property management workshop

The Archuleta County Weed and Pest Department, along with the CSU Extension Office, are excited to offer the community a property management workshop on March 27.

The workshop will be held at the CSU Extension Building. Please preregister by calling the Extension Office at 264-5931 before March 18. Presentations will include Chemical Modes of Auction, Forest Health/Insects and Disease, Poisonous Plant ID and Animal Symptoms, Applicator and Public Safety and Property Improvement Methods.

Lunch will be served for a fee of $5. Please pre-register.

Integrated land, garden workshop

CSU Extension will be holding an integrated land and garden workshop Tuesday, March 12, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Avenue, Durango.

The workshop will focus on alternative enterprises operations including Heritage Apples, Composting, Chicken Production and Irrigation. Basics of Small Acreage Management, Beekeeping and Herbicide Carryover in Manure will also be reviewed.

For more information, contact Darrin Parmenter, 382-6464, parmenterdm@co.laplata.co.us, or go to www.laplataextension.org.

Bats and disease 

Rodents hugely outnumber bats, but bats are more likely than rodents to carry viruses that can be transmitted between animals and humans, according to new research by Colorado State University disease ecologists.

“There’s been a lot of speculation that bats might be special in some way as far as their potential to host zoonotic diseases,” said Angela Luis, a postdoctoral fellow who conducted the research with Colleen Webb, a professor at Colorado State.

Zoonotic are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans.

“We found that although there are twice as many rodent species as there are bat species, bats hosted more zoonotic viruses per species than rodents,” said Webb.

Bats are more likely to share viruses.

Luis and Webb scoured existing studies to produce their findings, which appear in the online edition of the “Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences.” The research was funded by Research and Policy for Infectious Disease Dynamics, or RAPIDD, through the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Bats carry SARS, Ebola, Nipah and Hendra viruses — all of which can be deadly to humans. The researchers found that bats were more likely to share viruses such as these between species and that viruses may pass more easily between different bat species that live in the same geographic range than between rodent species.

While humans should keep their distance from bats, the ecosystem benefits from healthy bat populations that eat insects and pollinate fruits, Luis said. Bats eat enough insects to account for as much as $3 billion worth of pesticide control annually in the United States.

“Even though this work shows that bats are special as far as hosting these nasty diseases, they’re really important ecologically,” Luis said. “We want to promote limiting bat and human contact, which will be beneficial for both bat conservation and human health.

Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Colorado counties cooperating, CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. No endorsement of products mentioned is intended nor is criticism implied of products not mentioned.


March 7 — Colorado Master Gardener Program, 9 a.m.

March 7 — Western Heritage Committee meeting, 6 p.m.

March 7 — 4-H Shady Pine Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.

March 8 — 4-H Cloverbud Program, 2 p.m.

March 9 — 4-H Dog Obedience Program, 10 a.m.

March 11 — Livestock Committee meeting, 6 p.m.

March 12 — Integrated Land and Garden Workshop, 8 a.m.

March 12 — 4-H Rocky Mountain Club meeting, 6 p.m.

March 12 — Farm Bureau meeting, 6:30 p.m.

March 13 — 4-H Beef Weigh-in, 3 p.m.

March 13 — 4-H Sports Fishing, 4 p.m.

March 13 — Reception to meet the Extension director candidates, 4:30 p.m.

March 13 — 4-H Pagosa Peaks Club meeting, 6 p.m.

March 14 — Colorado Master Gardener Program, 9 p.m.

March 14 — Mountain View Homemaker meeting, noon.

March 14 — 4-H Shooting Sports Program meeting, 4 p.m.

March 14 — 4-H Poultry Program meeting, 4 p.m.

March 15 — 4-H Wolf Creek Wonders Club meeting, 2 p.m.

March 15 — 4-H Rabbit Project meeting, 4 p.m.

Check out our webpage at www.archuleta.colostate.edu for calendar events and information.