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Bright sunshine, clear skies, cold temps and low winds delivered a great day of ski racing Feb. 24 for the Lake County Middle School Panthers.

Alpine racers closed out their racing season with a slalom event at their home mountain of Ski Cooper on Black Powder.

Hunters hoping to draw a big-game license in Colorado in 2021 are urged to review the changes in license requirements and fees prior to the March 1 opening of the application period (March 1 – April 6 at 8 p.m. MT). For a good overview of what’s in store, watch CPW’s “What’s New” video for the 2021 big-game seasons.

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A Colorado Springs man who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor poaching charges in three counties likely will never legally hunt again in Colorado or 47 other states after a Colorado Parks and Wildlife hearing examiner permanently suspended his hunting privileges.

Nope. Almost there, but turn it around and head home. That was the first cancellation of the week for the Basketball Demons. The second came less than an hour before tipoff. Still, Buena Vista did get one game in last week.

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Buena Vista wrestlers defeated Gunnison 36-19 in their first home dual of the year. Buena Vista rescheduled Friday and instead of going to Woodland Park, travelled to the northeast to battle the defending 3A state champion Eaton and the 5th-ranked 3A home squad, Bennett. 

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After a bit of a slow start to the ski season at Monarch Mountain, snow storms have been steadily hitting the ski area during the last month.

The mountain has received 25 inches of snow in the last seven days as of Thursday and received a measurable amount of snow in 12 of the first 18 days of February, said Scott Pressly, Monarch’s vice president of mountain operations.

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When Charlie and I both wore the clothes of younger men, I owned a successful organization that provided hunting and fishing opportunities for folks in several states in addition to packaging trips to exotic locations worldwide in the same pursuit.

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February is only halfway over, but it’s already been one of the deadliest months for avalanches in the history of Colorado. Six people have died in avalanches already this month, including two more during the weekend, bringing the number of fatalities to 10 this season.

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In December, Chuck and Lindy Chicowitz sold the whitewater rafting outfitter they started on the Upper Arkansas River in 1983. Noah’s Ark will now have two longtime employees at the helm.

The fall season for Buena Vista High School’s newest athletic group, the Clay Target Team, wrapped up November in third statewide, and the 2021 spring season began in February.

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As temperatures dipped rapidly Saturday evening, Chaffee County Search & Rescue-North and a Chaffee County Sheriff’s deputy were called to Browns Canyon National Monument to escort a group of hikers back to the trailhead.

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Are you curious about our local wildlife? Join the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) for a virtual lecture, “A Wildlife Wander”, presented by Ryan Kempfer and Chris Kassar of Elk Raven Photography.

Third-ranked Buena Vista swept through a half-dozen wrestling matches last week, including win over a pair of Top 10 squads.

The Demons beats the hosts 54-21, Ellicott 57-4 and Salida 54-12 at Manitou Sprigs Feb. 2.

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The Demons battled through two solid wins last week and COVID uncertainty over the weekend to enter the week 3-0 on the young season.

The team was quarantined from Friday until Tuesday, when it was cleared following negative testing.

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Once delayed by heavy snow over Monarch Pass, the Lady Demons opened their season with a convincing win, then split action during week 2.

Buena Vista won 46-28 at Gunnison to open the season Jan. 28, fell to Colorado Springs Christian School and routed James Irwin last week.

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The Demons battled through two solid wins last week and COVID uncertainty over the weekend to enter the week 3-0 on the young season.

The team was quarantined from Friday until Tuesday, when it was cleared following negative testing.

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Once delayed by heavy snow over Monarch Pass, the Lady Demons opened their season with a convincing win, then split action during week 2.

Buena Vista won 46-28 at Gunnison to open the season Jan. 28, fell to Colorado Springs Christian School and routed James Irwin last week.

Buena Vista and Gunnison both survived the opening quarter of the season with the Cowboys leading 5-4. Both teams relaxed into the flow of the game and battled to a one-point outcome.

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After 3 consecutive years of negative testing, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has removed Green Mountain Reservoir in Summit County from the positive waters list for quagga mussels, a prohibited aquatic nuisance species.

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Monarch Mountain Ski Area remains open despite its inclusion on Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s list of outbreak sites across the state.

The inclusion on the list was made Jan. 14. Since that time several employees of the winter sports area have tested positive for the virus although Monarch’s general manager, Randy Stroud, issued a press release Thursday calling the inclusion “somewhat misleading.”

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“There’s just exceptionally weak snow around the whole state,” said Ben Pritchett, forecaster with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. “It’s not historically unusual, but it’s different than what we’ve had the last few years.”

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While many unknowns still linger about the lease of the Tennessee Pass rail line announced on New Years’ Eve, rafting outfitters are concerned about the return of train service on the tracks along the Arkansas River, which have been unused since 1997.

Conservation biologists at Colorado Parks and Wildlife are charged with keeping a close eye on sensitive wildlife – animals that sometimes are classified as “species of greatest conservation need” by the agency. One of those species is the southern white-tailed ptarmigan.

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The Buena Vista High School Demons will begin practice for Season B sports on Jan. 18, said district superintendent Lisa Yates.

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With 17 inches of new snow in the last week, skiers and riders got some of their first powder days at Monarch this season while the mountain also opened more trails and more lifts.

Local, regional and state organizations are nearly finished with the first phase of a conservation plan along the Arkansas River meant to promote public access and preserve land in southern Lake County.

The driving mission behind decades of work by Trout Unlimited is to conserve, protect and restore America’s cold-water fisheries and their watersheds.

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The town of Buena Vista Parks and Recreation Department released new guidelines Thursday, canceling all ongoing indoor sports programming scheduled through December, following Colorado Public Health’s decision to move the county to orange on the COVID-19 severity dial.

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Chaffee County Search & Rescue–North rescued three exhausted hikers on Mount Belford Sunday evening.

Search and Rescue was paged out to the fourteener at about 5 p.m., Nov. 29. According to an update on CCSAR-N’s Facebook page, the hikers were without headlamps for nighttime hiking or adequate winter gear.

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Monarch Mountain will open for the season today, officials announced Thursday.

“With the most recent snowfall to hit the central mountains, Monarch Mountain will be opening for the season on Friday, Nov. 27,” the ski area wrote in an email.

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Buena Vista High School found a sense of normalcy in an unusual school year with a brief homecoming-style parade Saturday afternoon. The caravan of floats traveled down Railroad Street from East Main to the school.

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Monarch Mountain is staffed, trained and has its building ready for the ski season.

Now it just needs more snow.

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A Colorado Parks and Wildlife search team's two-day recovery effort came to an end midday Monday when divers from Pueblo County Search and Rescue recovered a body in the water at Clear Creek Reservoir.

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife recently signed a partnership agreement with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics to help educate people on how to recreate responsibly to conserve Colorado’s natural resources.

CPW is the first state agency in the U.S. that oversees parks, fish and wildlife to partner with Leave No Trace and advocate for both public land and wildlife conservation.

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On Nov. 3, Coloradans voted to pass Proposition #114 - The Restoration of Gray Wolves, a measure directing the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to develop a plan to reintroduce gray wolves west of the Continental Divide. With this decision, the planning process for reintroduction will begin.

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As Colorado Parks and Wildlife opens Fishers Peak State Park for a limited “sneak peek” recreation opportunity, the agency continues to look ahead for future state park opportunities. Demand for accessible outdoor spaces remains high in the state, and CPW invites Coloradans to share their ideas for properties or partnerships that may become the next Colorado state park.

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With county sales tax revenues posting stronger collections than expected during the pandemic, the Chaffee Common Ground Citizens Advisory Committee will consider whether to recommend additional funding for strengthening forest health and reducing wildfire danger.

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As of now, Buena Vista High School is planning on beginning Season B of its sports seasons on Jan. 4, said athletic director Troy Baker.

The new, motorized singletrack trail in the Four Mile Travel Management Area, DudBobs, is open, but it took a team effort during the last several years to complete.

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Chaffee County Search & Rescue–North is seeking to recruit new volunteers as the busy summer season closes.

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Homeowners in the Chalk Creek drainage created more than 160 piles of slash in preparation for the Chaffee Chips neighborhood fire mitigation event taking place this weekend.

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The 2020 cross country season was an unprecedented one for Buena Vista High School – not only because of the looming omnipresence of COVID-19, not only because the Lady Demons finished the season undefeated, but because, for the first time in school history, the girls took home the Class 2A state championship.

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The Bureau of Land Management has enacted Stage 2 Fire Restrictions for lands throughout Southern Colorado, including those in Chaffee County.

The announcement came on a windswept fall afternoon one day after the Cameron Peak Fire north of Rocky Mountain National Park grew to become the largest wildfire in state history, breaking a record that had been set just 48 days prior when the Pine Gulch Fire north of Grand Junction grew larger than the 2002 Hayman Fire.

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Members of the Central Colorado Unmanned Aerial Systems Club and the Buena Vista Recreation Department broke ground Oct. 8 for the Buena Vista Drone Flying Park, which, when complete, will offer multiple ways for drone pilots to hone their flying skills.

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OpenSnow.com’s Joel Gratz speaks in Salida, says ‘odds are stacked in favor’ of an average winter