The Home Front: Prairie dogs, B&Bs and a lost-and-found in Great Sand Dunes

Airbnb use is soaring across Boulder County, reports the Boulder Daily Camera. The total number of guests booking with the short-term rental service increased 90 percent countywide from 2015 to 2016.

The Denver Post reports that prairie dog habitats occupy almost twice as much acreage statewide as expected, according to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife survey completed last week. That’s good news for the black-footed ferret, the nation’s most endangered species, as well as for the hawks, owls and foxes that feed on prairie dogs.

Diminishing open space in Lafayette has prompted the city council to consider a measure Tuesday to require more public land designation for future developments, reports the Longmont Times-Call this morning. Residents are fearful that a surge in development will eclipse the area’s increasingly rare natural space. “We are behind our neighbors in public land dedication,” resident Karen Norback told planning commissioners last month.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan fronts a story today about giving high school dropout risks a second chance — using marijuana funding. Opportunities Unlimited allows at-risk students at Poudre High School to take classes at Front Range Community College for free.

A New York man who spent five days lost in Great Sand Dunes National Park has been rescued, the Canon City Daily Record reports. “Bryan Skilinski was found just over a mile south of the park’s visitor center,” and was found “in relatively good health,” all things considered.

An early-rising black bear, brought out of hibernation due to warmer weather, will be relocated, writes the Loveland Reporter-Herald. The bear was tranquilized and captured in a Colorado Springs backyard Saturday after he was spotted in a tree.

Red Rock Canyon was considered a site for a Trump-branded property in the 1990’s, a Colorado Springs real estate has told the Colorado Springs Gazette. It’s unclear what President Trump had in mind for the $15-million refuge, but he ultimately passed on the property — on gold-embossed letterhead.

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.

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