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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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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

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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.

Buena Vista’s drone flying park on a portion of the Rodeo Grounds will take off this week with a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday morning.

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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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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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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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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.

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Earlier this month, the Buena Vista board of trustees approved plans for a drone park on a section of the Rodeo Grounds property.

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.

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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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Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like every other car and truck coming to Buena Vista this summer has three or four mountain bikes with it.

I have a feeling the cars without bikes on them have hiking and trail running shoes, maybe even cowboy boots, in the trunk.

It’s more than just a feeling, the increase of trail users in and around Buena Vista is real.

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The Buena Vista board of trustees enthusiastically gave the go-ahead to the BV Rec department’s pursuit of a Great Outdoors Colorado grant that would assist in funding the creation of a multi-generational facility at the River Park including long-awaited pickleball courts, ADS-accessible trails and additional singletrack opportunities.

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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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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 Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce cancelled the 2020 Gold Rush Days event in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the footrace at the center of Buena Vista’s celebration of the Old West may still go on as a private race among members of the Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation, with no spectators.

Adventure Unlimited, which has run overnight camps for families in the Christian Science faith in the Buena Vista area since 1955, is responding to COVID-19 by opening up its ranch to all local families for week-long day camps.

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“Let’s just make sure everybody is being safe,” said Tappan Brown, AHRA river ranger supervisor. “We decided everybody in whitewater parks should be wearing one.”

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Colorado is home to a large population of black bears, with numbers estimated at 17,000-20,000 in the state. As humans venture into Colorado’s great outdoors to spend quality time in nature, it is important to remember that bears and humans can and do live in harmony in our shared outdoor spaces when humans take proactive steps to avoid conflicts with bears.

Ski Cooper, home of authentic skiing and snowboarding on top of the Continental Divide, has rolled back season pass pricing to 2010 numbers during the month of July only for the 2020-21 season.

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Although official data on visitation won’t be available until the end of the year, observations of the seven campgrounds along the Upper Arkansas River managed by the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area show that private boating usage on the waterway exploded after COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed.

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Rob White worked as park manager of the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area for 20 years before retiring last month. However, he said he enjoyed his position so much that it didn’t really feel like work.

“One of the nicest things of being park manager of the AHRA was the resources and the people,” White said. “Because of the resources and recreation the area provided, it was always a fun job because I got to be part of that experience. Going to work was something that I loved doing because I care about the resource and the people who use it.”

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As Chaffee County and the rest of the country begin to open up after months of shutting down to slow the spread of COVID-19, Buena Vista businesses are beginning to see a welcome rebound.

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The Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce will not hold Gold Rush Days this August, postponing the event until 2021 due to COVID-19.

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The appearance of people on motorized personal watercraft on the Arkansas River took some Salidans by surprise May 24.

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DENVER – A judge has ruled in favor of a Salida commercial outfitter which was sued by the estate of a man who died during recreational rappelling in 2017 in Lake County.

Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang issued a judgment in favor of Wilderness Expeditions Inc., on grounds that the man had signed a form releasing the company from liability.

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After being severely damaged in an act of vandalism late last year, a structure used to provide privacy when changing in and out of river gear in the Buena Vista River Park has been restored.

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At least 60 years ago, at about 6, I experienced a seminal landmark in my life. My parents owned a business back in Ohio where I grew up, they worked 6 days of the week and on Sunday there was church, so there wasn’t much time for family activities.

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The Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce is still looking forward to hosting its summer events, like the Old Time Fourth of July parade and festivities and August’s Gold Rush Days.

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The trails in the Midland Area that have been approved by the Bureau of Land Management will be completed this summer or next, depending on the status of COVID-19 safety practices.

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After months of hard work by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the engagement of more than 40 conservation partners, a new status report on Colorado’s big game winter range and migration corridors has been released that will inform future efforts to protect this invaluable natural resource.

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Is everyone enjoying themselves? Like so many, the past 45 days have been spent immersed in the new hobbies of weekly retail foraging, daily news data evaluation and my personal favorite, home improvement projects.