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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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.

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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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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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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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.

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

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When the Leadville 100 was cancelled this year due to COVID-19, 22-year-old Annie Hughes, a Buena Vista High School graduate who lives in Leadville and had been training for the ultramarathon, did the sensible thing and decided that she would run a course that was even longer and higher.

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The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association kicked off its annual fundraiser on Saturday, National Public Lands Day, honoring some of it’s volunteers while raising money to support its mission. The fundraiser, along with the organization’s Environmental Hero Awards, are being held online this year.

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Season pass holders will be able to ski any day they want to this season at Monarch, but people buying single-day lift tickets will need to plan ahead.

Monarch Mountain’s 2020-2021 operating plan includes wearing masks on chairlifts, limited capacity indoors and a push to get people to purchase lift tickets ahead of time, among other changes to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be conducting mandatory chronic wasting disease testing during the 2020 hunting season in specific Game Management Units as part of efforts to control the spread with its Colorado Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan.

Heavy July rains washed out parts of the Rainbow Trail, which was then closed to wheeled traffic.

The U.S. Forest Service, San Isabel National Forest, Salida Ranger District, announced Thursday it has reopened a section between roads 101 (Bear Creek) and 108 (Methodist Mountain) to all uses.

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“The seasons are out of whack!” writes roving photographer William Helms.  This photo was taken Saturday, Sept. 12, from the Collegiate Peaks Overlook off U.S. 24/285 near Johnson Village.  The mountains look like winter after our recent snowfall, while the vegetation and trees in the valley…

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A full-day volunteer event will take place on Friday, Sept. 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to revegetate an area in the Fourmile Travel Management Area to prevent further erosion and damage to trails, including Bacon Bits and Midland singletrack trails.

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Jon MacManus was doing a 500-piece puzzle in Lake City Sunday night. Looking at all of the pieces scattered on the table helped him put his recent feat in perspective.

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Buena Vista’s shoulder-season celebration 14erFest will not be held this year due to “too many uncertainties to juggle,” according to a Facebook post on the event’s page.

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The Monarch Pass Forest and Watershed Health Project has entered a new phase, and Miller Timber Services has begun work to remove beetle-kill trees on the steep slopes south of U.S. 50 using cut-to-length (CTL) logging equipment.

Great Sand Dunes National Park officials announced the closure of 100 yards surrounding Upper and Lower Sand Creek lakes and 100 yards on both sides of Sand Creek from where it exits each of the lakes and extends 5 miles downstream.

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Bureau of Land Management public affairs specialist Brant Porter announced the reintroduction of a Stage 1 Fire ban on BLM-managed lands in Lake, Chaffee, and Fremont counties Wednesday afternoon.

That announcement was quickly followed by a similar Stage 2 fire ban for unincorporated Chaffee County by Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze.

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For the first time since the 1960’s, boaters are able to travel down the entirety of the upper Arkansas River from its origin south of Leadville past Buena Vista and beyond without the need to portage.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis issued a statewide ban on open fires in response to major wildfires burning in the state, Colorado Public Radio and 9News in Denver reported Tuesday.

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologist Lance Carpenter and wildlife pathologist Karen Fox have initiated a study looking into a disease outbreak in mountain goats on the summit of Mount Evans.

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The body of a Nathrop man who had been missing for 5 days after going hiking alone in the area of the Three Apostles was found last Wednesday, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze reported.

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In response to recent and forecasted precipitation across the western Front Range, the Bureau of Land Management’s Royal Gorge Field Office is lifting fire restrictions on BLM-managed lands in three counties in central Colorado. Fire restrictions will be lifted on BLM lands in Lake, Chaffee, and Fremont counties effective July 30.

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Chaffee County Search and Rescue North, with assistance from CCSAR-South, REACH air medical services and Western Mountain Rescue, is searching for a missing Nathrop hiker in the area around the Three Apostles in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area.

CCSAR-N was dispatched Saturday to search for Terry Pann, 60, who was believed to have been hiking alone in the vicinity of the Three Apostles, having taken off from the Lake Ann trailhead near the ghost town of Winfield.

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The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service announced an amended management plan for the Browns Canyon National Monument Monday. The approved plan will guide the agencies’ oversight of recreation activities within the monument, while allowing for infrastructure that will help protect monument resources in anticipation of increased visitation and recreational use.

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The Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission voted unanimously to raise fees on river outfitter licenses at its meeting last week.

CPW boating safety manager Grant Brown said the fees have never been increased before and have been the same since 1995.

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The 12,126 foot high parking area at the summit of Cottonwood Pass was well attended midday Saturday, with a steady stream of vehicles passing in both directions between Buena Vista and Gunnison County, as well as hikers trekking up the ridge north along the Continental Divide Trail.