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The National High School Trail Championship race came down to a photo finish for the boys, as brothers Sullivan and Porter Middaugh raced across the finish line just 0.02 second apart, with Porter diving forward trying to beat his older brother.

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Wendy Skean of Nathrop and Raymond Ferbrache of Salida both won their divisions Wednesday at the 2021 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships last week in Winter Park.

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A new Chaffee Rec Adopters program that enables public lands stewardship begins this month.

Volunteers are needed to use a newly developed mobile app to inventory dispersed campsites at twice monthly meet-up and training events. Adopters also can inventory sites on their own and take actions in areas important to them, once they receive a short training.

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The Central Colorado Unmanned Aircraft Systems Club invited Chaffee County SWAT and Buena Vista school district representatives to their drone park Tuesday for a flight demonstration and presentation.

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The return of the Mountain Mania Car Show drew 126 entrants to East Main Street July 10.

Buena Vista resident Max Champie took home the Grand Champion award with his orange 1969 Chevy Camaro.

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Buena Vista nonprofit elevateHER has hired a new executive director, according to a June 17 press release. Daniela Wohlwend has taken over for Kristen Van Norman, who founded the organization in 2017.

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Central Colorado Conservancy, a Salida-based nonprofit, was recently awarded $390,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The money is from the foundation’s Restoration and Stewardship of Outdoor Resources and Environment (RESTORE) program.

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Envision Forest Health Council partners will treat the overgrown forest above the Arkansas River north of Buena Vista to improve wildlife habitat and reduce risk of wildfire and its potential effects on area residents and infrastructure.

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As FIBArk weekend approaches, Tom Waters, director of the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, said the river is getting close to peak flow.

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Local ranch co-owner David Puchi has partnered with RareWaters, a fly-fishing company based in Denver that offers affordable fly-fishing on private lands throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

Puchi is part of a small group that owns the historic Maverick Ranch in Wellsville. The ranch is about 5 miles outside Salida, and the Arkansas River runs through it.

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The Buena Vista Public Library hosted representatives from the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative and Chaffee County Search & Rescue–North for a talk with a crowd of about twenty hiking enthusiasts at McPhelemy park on Friday.

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The Chaffee Recreation Council offers opportunity for the public to review elements of the Chaffee Rec Plan starting today on the Envision Chaffee County website.

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After wading into the virtual world last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Buena Vista’s summer kickoff – CKS Paddlefest – is back this weekend with live-action river sports fun.

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The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association will accept entries from May 22-July 1 for its seventh annual photo contest for Upper Arkansas River Valley nature photos, celebrating the group’s 25 years of nature education and stewardship.

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After wading into the virtual world last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Buena Vista’s summer kickoff – CKS Paddlefest – is back this weekend with live-action river sports fun.

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The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association will accept entries from May 22-July 1 for its seventh annual photo contest for Upper Arkansas River Valley nature photos, celebrating the group’s 25 years of nature education and stewardship.

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elevateHER, the Chaffee County nonprofit that connects young women with the great outdoors, empowering them and building foundational skills for careers in the outdoor industry, will be hosting its first Climb-a-Thon fundraiser on Friday, May 28.

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Join Greater Arkansas River Nature Association executive director Dominique Naccarato for a fun, experiential introduction to birding in the Upper Arkansas Valley from 8:30-10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 8, at Sands Lake in Salida.

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Chaffee County Public Health issued a public health order April 23 that director Andrea Carlstrom said would be amended in the future to respond to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Work on the trail to the summit of Mount Columbia, long considered one of the more miserable climbs in Colorado’s repertoire of fourteeners, is nearly complete after five seasons of work, but for the time being the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative will be moving on to other projects.

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The town’s first Keep Bewnie Buena event, an expansion of the long-standing spring River Park Cleanup, drew about 150 people of all ages to pick up surface trash not just near the river, but throughout the town.

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The Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands Salida Ranger District is extending the dates for seasonal road closures in the Four Mile Travel Management Area which will now be in effect from Dec. 1-April 30 each year.

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After extending its 2020-21 season by a week, Monarch Mountain closed its season Sunday, setting a record for visitor numbers despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Randy Stroud, Monarch general manager, said in setting its season record, it broke the 200,000 mark for the first time.

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GARNA executive director Dominique Naccarato will host an hour-long Zoom lecture from 7-8 p.m., April 15 about birding, an exciting way you can interact with nature anytime and anywhere.

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The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association and Arkansas River Watershed Collaborative lead forester Andy Lerch will lead an interpretive hike through areas just above Monarch Park, where ARWC and the US Forest Service have worked to mitigate fire danger.

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Competitors have followed the path of spring runoff since 1999, skiing from the Continental Divide at Monarch Pass for 6 miles, then mountain biking in the shadow of Mount Shavano for a 17 mile ride to the banks of the Arkansas River where whitewater kayaks take paddlers into downtown Salida.

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The Arkansas River Basin has the best water supply outlook in the state with a streamflow volume forecast of 86 percent of average following recent storms that brought heavy snow accumulations to the eastern slope.

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It’s spring cleaning time and the Buena Vista Parks and Recreation department is celebrating with a neighborhood clean-up day Sunday, April 25.

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Mountainfilm on Tour brings a selection of culturally rich, adventure-packed, and incredibly inspiring documentary films curated from the Mountainfilm festival in Telluride.

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Snow in the mountains, sun in the valley and spring break have combined to inspire legions of people to visit Buena Vista recently. And while business owners and their staff members rejoice as visitor dollars help make up for a difficult year, the surge in tourism also brings challenges for the town’s trail network.

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One, near the Tunnels north of Buena Vista has been vandalized. Fourmile volunteer Alan Robinson discovered the damage to the sign, as well as damage to the newly built Bureau of Land Management restrooms at the CR375 parking area.

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In 2020, the Friends of Fourmile organization of the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association received a grant from the Chaffee Common Ground Fund with an ambitious objective attached.

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The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association is seeking the next generation of leadership for its board of directors.

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Signs officially marking the path of the Stage and Rail Trail, a planned 70-mile cycling trail that closely follows the rail line of the Denver & Rio Grande railroad between Salida and Leadville, were recently erected along CR 371, a big step in a very gradual process to create a long-distance cycling trail in Chaffee and Lake counties.

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While CKS Paddlefest “as it has happened in the past” will not be taking place this Memorial Day weekend, some of the land-based competitions that make up the riversports celebration are moving ahead.

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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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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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.”

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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.

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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.