The Home Front: 2017 was bad news for bears — 60 were euthanized statewide

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The Home Front: 2017 was bad news for bears — 60 were euthanized statewide

“A record number of bears were euthanized this year in La Plata County – partly the result of a poor natural food cycle and partly the result of food sources made available by humans,” reports The Durango Herald. “‘It’s definitely been a tough year,’ said Matt Thorpe, Durango-based wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. ‘None of us got into this job to hurt bears, but public safety obviously comes first.’ In 2017, a total of 60 bears were euthanized – 40 by CPW, 19 by landowners and one by Wildlife Services – across a region CPW calls Area 15, which extends from Pagosa Springs to the Utah border, and from the New Mexico border north to Silverton. Of that total, 36 bears were located in La Plata County. For reference, the last year of food failure in 2012 resulted in 20 bears having to be euthanized in all of Area 15. In 2007, another bad food year for bears, 17 bears were killed. ‘This was a bad bear year for everybody, certainly across the Western Slope,’ Thorpe said.”

“A slew of activist groups and two states are legally challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s suspension of its oil and gas methane rule, saying the action was taken with little heed given to public comment and will have environmental and fiscal consequences,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The attorneys general for New Mexico and California sued the government Tuesday, with 17 conservation and citizen groups filing a separate legal action.”

“Following news of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into Woodbridge, and the company’s subsequent bankruptcy, homeowners neighboring the company’s area properties could have to pick up the tab if Woodbridge can’t pay its HOA dues,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post Independent. “The company has substantial property holdings in two Carbondale-area developments, Aspen Glen and River Valley Ranch. At this point, managers at the two private communities wouldn’t speculate too much on what impacts there may be to their homeowners associations.”

“Even though Greeley is in the throes of one of its least-snowiest years on record, residents may still be able to look forward to snow on the ground Christmas day,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “According to Russell Danielson, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Greeley has received 2.6 inches of snow since July 1, which is about a foot less than what is typical by this time of year. That makes 2017 the fourth least-snowiest year on record for Greeley, after 1968, which had 2.5 inches, and 2014, which saw 2.4 inches. The least-snowiest year on record was 2010, in which just 2 inches of snow fell in Greeley. Contrast that with 1985, Greeley’s snowiest year, in which 36.3 inches fell in Greeley.”

“Longmont’s City Council took no formal or informal position Tuesday night on a study’s suggestions for how the Platte River Power Authority could provide a ‘zero net carbon’ energy supply by the year 2030,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “After nearly an hour-long presentation by the Power Authority and Pace Global, its consultant for the study, few of the council members made comments during the meeting. Councilwoman Marcia Martin suggested new wind turbine technology might reduce the future costs the study has projected for that source.”

“As the winter’s first real chill is set to come in Thursday, the El Pomar Foundation has arrived to help Pueblo homeless people in the nick of time,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The foundation has given a $10,000 grant to Posada to assist homeless people with motel rooms until a full-time warming shelter through the Pueblo Rescue Mission is established. “This is El Pomar’s donation to this community so that we have some options for shelter for single individuals until the warming shelter can be open. We are very excited. El Pomar always comes through when Pueblo has these kinds of issues,” Posada Director Anne Stattelman said Tuesday.”

“Loveland has moved forward on a study to measure public favor for an increase in sales tax and has finalized an agreement for an oil and gas lease of city property,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The Loveland City Council convened for a regular meeting Tuesday evening to hear an update on the assessed need for the sales tax and to vote to approve the lease, among other agenda items.”

“A day after announcing the disappearance of Fort Collins woman Kimberlee Graves, police said they are facing difficulties in their search for the mother of two,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Graves, 41, has been missing since early December. Fort Collins Police Services announced her disappearance Monday. On Tuesday, spokeswoman Kate Kimble said in a video statement that police have struggled to make contact with people who might have information about her disappearance.”

“After six rounds of interviews with five different entities, Eagle’s Town Board voted unanimously to offer its vacant town manager position to Brandy Reitter,” reports Vail Daily. “The board voted in a special session Monday evening, Dec. 18. They hope to have Reitter on the job by early January.”

“Ingrid Latorre, the Peruvian immigrant who took sanctuary at a Boulder church over the weekend, said being closer to her family will now allow her to focus on fighting her deportation order as she continues her battle to stay in the U.S. Latorre, 33, was introduced today at a news conference at Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, where she arrived on Saturday evening seeking sanctuary,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Thank you so much for being here today for me,” Latorre said through an interpreter as she addressed the crowd of congregation members and media gathered at the church today. “Thank you for opening the door for me and my family.” Latorre had recently been taking sanctuary at a church in Fort Collins, but said the church was too far away from her family in west Denver. She said it was particularly hard on her oldest son, who goes to school there.”

“The big blue frame that drew so much ire in Colorado Springs before it was removed from Garden of the Gods has many historic cousins,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “From Bulgarian-born artist Christo’s canceled plan to drape the Arkansas River with miles of shimmering fabric to the Army’s decade-long debacle to expand the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site, it’s a lesson Coloradans have been eager to teach: Mess with Colorado’s treasures, even in a small way, and you’re liable to be smashed by public opinion. Public relations expert Janet Stevens said there’s no mystery behind the uproar. It’s a factor of Colorado’s civic pride.”

“Gov. John Hickenlooper, in an effort to keep health insurance going for low-income children and pregnant women, Tuesday asked for emergency funds for the Children’s Health Plan Plus program (CHP+),” reports ColoradoPolitics. “Hickenlooper sent his request to the General Assembly’s Joint Budget Committee. “Vulnerable children and pregnant women are being used as bargaining chips,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “This request is not a cure. It’s a one-time only band-aid as we wait for Congress to do what’s right and secure CHIP funding.” CHP+ is a Colorado program that provides medical and dental care for low-income children and pregnant women whose income is too high to qualify for Medicaid but cannot otherwise afford private health insurance. Federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) ran out on Sept. 30. The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing has been able to cover the CHP+ program with existing funds. But that money runs out on Jan. 31, 2018.”

“The ground shook last month as construction workers made way for a 12-story, block-long condominium project to go in across from Sloans Lake,” reports Denverite. “Lakehouse is anticipated to be the crown jewel of the Sloans complex with water views, an urban garden, aquatics room and pet spa. As of early December, 15 percent of the 196 units were under contract or reserved and were going for an average of $728 per square foot, according to Trevor Hines, CEO of NAVA Real Estate Development. Two blocks east of Lakehouse, Koelbel and Co. and Trailbreak Partners are working on transforming the Kuhlman Building into 49 affordable housing units for people making 60 percent of the area median income or less. The Kuhlman and Lakehouse blocks are just two of the five blocks where construction is underway or imminently expected.”

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About the Author

Corey Hutchins

is a journalist in Colorado, and Columbia Journalism Review's Rocky Mountain correspondent for the United States Project. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyHutchins and email him at CoreyHutchins [at] gmail [dot] com.

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