COMMUNITY BRIEFS | RATs Swarm to Ridgway for Trail-building Event

05/07/14 | By | More

RIDGWAY – This weekend, the Bureau of Land Management staff and more than 80 volunteers will descend on the Town of Ridgway to help the nonprofit group Ridgway Area Trails (RAT) reach its ambitious goal to build 15 miles of new single-track, multi-use trails on BLM land just northeast of town.

Participants will include a group of students from Montrose High School, numerous local residents and individuals from across the Front Range. The effort is hosted by the nonprofit group Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, in partnership with the BLM Uncompahgre Field Office.

Trail-building takes place Saturday, May 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will stage at County Road 10 north of Ridgway, as well as at Ridgway State Park Loop C Dakota Terraces Campground, and then break into groups of about 10 with a crew leader for each section. Each group will be tasked with helping to clear corridor and construct a different segment of the trail.

Volunteers receive free meals in exchange for helping out. An educational talk is scheduled in Ridgway for Saturday night focusing on how to create a “defensible space” around your home to protect it from wildfire. Free camping for volunteers is available at Ridgway State Park.

According to VOC spokesman Stephen Wall, about 30 volunteer slots are still open. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old. Registration remains open through Friday, May 9. To pre-register, visit, call 303/715-1010 or e-mail

Love Your Valley Festival Next Weekend 

RIDGWAY – Bring your kids, your dog and your mother-in-law to the 18th annual Love Your Valley Festival in Ridgway next Saturday, May 17.

Music, beer and good times will be flowing at Ridgway’s Hartwell Park throughout the afternoon, from 1-6 p.m. Reggae band Funkdafari will be performing its blend of “RootsyAfroFunk,” and 17 Colorado breweries will be on hand. During breaks in the music sets, there will be fun games and contests for kids and dogs, courtesy of the Second Chance Humane Society.

Entry to the festival is free. Beer tasting costs $20, which includes a commemorative glass (please bring an ID).

The Love Your Valley Fest is known throughout the region as the first festival of the season. It began as a fundraiser for the Valley Land Conservancy, and is now under the purview of the Town of Ridgway. All proceeds raised through the beer-tasting will be used to fund the free Ridgway Concert Series in July. “Most of the brewers have been coming here all 18 years,” said Ridgway Town Clerk Pam Kraft. “They love coming here. It is an intimate setting, and everyone is interacting. The festival has a really good, local feel to it.”

Yoga Center Hosts Mindfulness Expert John Bruna

TELLURIDE –  The Telluride Yoga Center will host John (Chophel) Bruna Friday, May 16-Sunday, May 18, for a weekend of mindfulness, an opportunity to discover the many proven benefits of mindfulness, with an experienced, practical and warm teacher. To register, or for more information, call 970/633-0163 or visit The Yoga Center is located at 201 W. Colorado Ave., in Telluride.

Planned Power Outage in Redvale

WESTERN SAN JUANS – San Miguel Power Association members living and working in Redvale, Colo., and east of town along U.S. Hwy 145 to 36.50 Road may experience a power outage Wednesday, May 14 from 9-10 a.m. as SMPA de-energizes power lines in the area in order to safely install necessary equipment. Approximately 96 members will be affected by the outage. In the event that power in the affected area is not restored before 11 a.m., please call 970/ 864-7311 or 970/626-5549.

Alpine Bank Demonstrates Environmental Commitment 

WESTERN SAN JUANS  – This past winter, Alpine Bank worked with Clean Energy Collective to purchase solar panels in the community solar garden systems for Holy Cross Energy and San Miguel Power Association service areas, and now has plans to purchase panels in the Yampa Valley Electric Association service area once their array is complete, scheduled for summer 2014. At a total investment of roughly $700,000, Alpine Bank’s purchase included 175 panels of a community-owned solar array in SMPA service territory.

In addition to being good for the environment and local jobs, the bank’s purchase is a smart financial decision: The 175 panels in the SMPA deal alone are anticipated to produce 67,527 kWh of electricity in the first year, representing 50 percent of all electricity Alpine Bank purchases from SMPA. The Internal Rate of Return for the first 20 years of ownership in the SMPA Paradox Valley Community Solar Farm is projected to be 8 percent. For more information on Alpine Bank’s green initiative, visit

Fuelwood Permits on Sale May 12-Changes to System

DELTA –  Firewood permits for personal use in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests will be available for purchase beginning May 12.  Permits can be purchased for $10 per cord, with a two-cord minimum requirement.  The maximum limit is rwn cords per household each year.

The process for issuing permits has changed this year. Personal information will be entered into a database that will generate the permit. Initially, this process may take up to 20 minutes to purchase a permit; however, once the data is entered, it is anticipate that future year permitting will be faster.  Additional information will be required this year, including name, address and ersonal identifier information (e.g. a phone number or driver’s license number or tribal ID, or state ID number). Purchasing a fuelwood permit for someone else will no longer be permitted. A benefit of the new system is that it allows the Forest Service to accept credit and debit card payments in addition to cash and checks as a convenience to the public.

Road closures may still remain in areas; those interested in access for fuelwood cutting and/or recreation activities are encouraged to check on road status and area closures before venturing out.  Please be aware of fuel and fire conditions in the area, practice safe use and fueling with chainsaws, and be prepared with a shovel and extinguisher should a fire occur.

For more information about fuelwood permits, requirements/regulations and current road closures please contact the following offices:

Norwood Ranger District: 970/641-0471

Gunnison Ranger District: 970/242-8211

Grand Mesa District: 970/327-4261

Public Lands Center-Forest Service (Montrose): 970/240-5300

Paonia Ranger District: 970/527-4131

Forest Headquarters, Delta: 970/874-6600

Permits will be on sale from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on normal business days.

To view permit conditions and information, visit

 Learn the Basics of Fly Fishing in Montrose 

MONTROSE – Great trout streams can be found throughout western Colorado. So why not learn how to fly fish?

Attend a “Basics of Fly Fishing” class sponsored by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, May 17, at the agency office in Montrose, 2300 S. Townsend Ave. Staff members from Parks and Wildlife will lead the session. The class will include classroom work and casting practice.

The seminar is free, but space is limited to the first 25 people who register.

All ages are welcome. Fishing gear will be provided to those who don’t have their own.

Please wear comfortable clothes and a hat, and bring a water bottle and sunscreen.

To sign up for the seminar, contact Dawn Bresett at 970/252-6000 or by email at

Telluride Foundation Solicits Outstanding Citizen Nominations for 2014

TELLURIDE – Who makes this community great? Who are those unsung heroes? The Telluride Foundation created the Outstanding Citizen award to honor individuals who unselfishly make extraordinary contributions to the community. Nominations are now being solicited from the entire regional community for the 2014 award. This year, there will be a video testimonial about the finalists to help tell the story to the selection committee. The recipient will be announced in July. The nomination form is posted on the Telluride Foundation’s website at (under the Foundation tab). Nominations are due by 5 p.m. on June 3. Nominators will be contacted by the Telluride Foundation to create short nominations with a videographer to show to the Board of Directors at the bi-annual meeting in July. The 2014 recipient will be announced after the Telluride Foundation’s summer board meeting. Please contact Katie Singer at 970/728-8717 or e-mail with any questions.

Free HOA Guidance for Homeowners Associations and Professionals 

WESTERN SAN JUANS  – An ongoing series of free presentations will offer practical information about continuing changes in HOA laws and reserve funding strategies. The presenters include Grand Junction HOA attorney Mark Luff and reserve analyst Murray Bain.

Two identical presentations are scheduled in May in Mesa and Montrose counties. The presentations are sponsored by Community Associations Institute Rocky Mountain Chapter; CAI IS a national nonprofit homeowners association education and advocacy organization with chapters in all 50 states.

The western Colorado resort and rural outreach was prompted by requests to provide a more direct communication link between western slope and mountain HOAs and Denver lawmakers.

May events, titled Capitol and Capital, feature two specific presentations, as well as general Q & A sessions. Specific topics include HOA Law: What the Legislature Has in Store, which deals with recently enacted HOA laws, including implementation of the new debt collection law and the new penalties to HOAs that are non-compliant in required community policies; and Reserve Awareness and Planning, on avoiding the pitfalls of failure to plan and save for predictable future needs. The practical, how-to presentation will help communities avoid deferred maintenance, special assessments and possible lending impediments, including barriers to reverse mortgages.

This is CAI’s third free public education session in Grand Junction. CAI’s resort and rural outreach program is staffed by volunteers and funded by sponsors.  Future events are likely to move to other areas to make best use of limited resources.

All presentations are free and open to the public.  Preregistration is requested.

The Mesa County event takes place Monday, May 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Mesa County Central Library, 530 Grand Ave., in Grand Junction. The Montrose County event takes place Monday, May 12, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., at the Montrose Association of Realtors, 125 Merchant Drive, Montrose.

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