Charlie Meyers, Outdoor Editor for the Denver Post, offers a brief recap of 2007 fishing, hunting and farming in Colorado. According to Meyers, everything was dependent on the water.
Archive for December, 2007
On Thursday, the federal government released a draft environmental study of the Bureau of Land Management’s commercial oil shale leasing program. This program calls for “1.99 million acres of federal land and mineral estate to be available for commercial oil shale leasing in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.”
According to the report, “commercial oil shale development in western Colorado is expected to supplant all current uses of the land in areas slated for oil shale leasing, urbanize small towns, dramatically affect regional air and water quality, stamp out agriculture, cause a decline in some property values and drive away thousands of recreation-related jobs while creating thousands more oil shale-related jobs.” This could have a major impact on western slope ranchers.
Read more about the report findings in Grand Junction’s The Daily Sentinel.
On the front page news of the Denver Post this morning – “Baca refuge open for drilling?“
“A Canadian energy exploration company plans to drill natural gas test wells on the Baca National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Great Sand Dunes National Park complex. San Luis Valley residents are outraged that the 92,000-acre refuge, recently acquired by taxpayers for $33 million to protect groundwater, delicate habitats and migratory birds, could now be open to drilling.”
The Canadian company, Lexam Energy Exploration, was the owner of the land before the company sold it to the Rio Grande Water Conservation District for creation of the refuge. Lexam has the right to drill since they still hold 100 percent of the mineral rights.
To find out more about mineral rights and how it pertains to your ranch property, contact the Mirr Ranch Group.
In Grand County, Colo., “a one-of-a-kind computer modeling project” aims “to give land managers, community leaders and the public a way to analyze fire risk and assess options as never before.” Check out the article in the NY Times.
Photo: Upper Colorado River Ranch, a ranch for sale in Grand County, Colo.
See the latest on the farm bill on CNN.com now. Click here.
In this month’s National Geographic, read the article “21st Century Cowboys, Why the Spirit Endures.” It explains the traditions of regional cowboy cultures, and also examines why young men (and women) continue in the profession despite low pay, tough weather conditions and no “off” time.
From around the web today, The Denver Post has an intriguing editorial entitled “Preserve the integrity of land easement program” and the Rocky Mountain News has an update on the task force meeting that took place today regarding the easements.
In other news, “shooters sanctioned by the National Park Service — primarily park staff members but potentially including some volunteers” — will kill up to 200 elk per year in Rocky Mountain National Park.
“U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., and U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, an Eldorado Springs Democrat, both have introduced legislation in Congress that would allow traditional hunters in the park to help manage the elk population and both were hesitant to embrace fully the new plan.
‘Hiring professional sharpshooters seems to violate the essence of the Rocky Mountain hunting experience,’ said Allard’s spokesman Steve Wymer. ‘Our state is home to the best hunters in the country. We should include them in the process.’
Park officials, however, contend that hunting would change the visitor experience in the park and raise safety issues.” Click here to read the article.
On AgDay this morning, a Palisade, Colo. farmer talks about how conservation easements have worked for his property and situation. (Mirr Ranch Group’s own Tommy Latousek handled the conservation easement transactions that protected this family’s orchard when he was a Land Protection Manager with Mesa Land Trust of Grand Junction, Colo.) The Land Trust Alliance (LTA) is advising to hurry and place these easements before the end of the year to take advantage of the current tax incentive.
In related news, Congress is trying to pass the new farm bill before the end of the year, and LTA is pushing for the current conservation easement tax incentive to be included.
To watch the program, click here. Click “Watch AgDay Online!” near the top of the page and play the Friday 12/7/07 broadcast.
Southeast Colorado ranchers and hunters were expecting a disastrous situation this year, “after devastating late December blizzards killed 75,000 cattle, numerous deer and antelope and, presumably, most of the game birds.” However, everyone is pleasantly surprised. The moisture from last year “produced bumper crops of grain, weeds and pheasants.” Read about this year’s pheasant hunting in the Denver Post.
The Bureau of Land Management announced Friday that it is has pulled 13 parcels encompassing 28,500 acres in the Upper North Platte Valley from it’s Tuesday oil and gas lease sale. Read about the decision by the BLM in the Casper Tribune.