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Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderdan

Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderdan

Wednesday, February 1st - Recent Fires Do Not Warrant County Fire Ban... 

Some questions have arisen concerning recent fires in Larimer County. 

Sheriff Jim Alderden said, “For a number of reasons, we have decided not to request a fire ban at this time.  When implementing a fire ban, we have set criteria agreed to by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and federal agencies with land in Larimer County.  Even thought it is dry, the criteria have not been met for requesting a ban.”

Sheriff Alderden added, “We have also had to consider the causes of the recent fires.  We are seeing very few campers this time of the year so there are very few campfires.  The campfires we do see are in permanent grates which are typically exempt from bans except under the most serious conditions.  The recent fires have been caused by electrical malfunctions or other accidental causes.  A fire ban would not have prevented any of these fires.”

The greatest danger right now is people failing to properly extinguish cigarettes before throwing them from a vehicle.  While LCSO can reinforce this with our fire bans, this practice is already against the law so a ban would have had no impact.

“We realize the public is concerned and we share that concern,” said Sheriff Alderden.  “Please be assured that we will continue to monitor the situation.  Meanwhile we ask for cooperation from the public regarding prudent use of outside grills, ash disposal from fireplaces, cigarettes and, even though illegal, trash burns and fireworks.”

Sheriff Alderden would like further to remind the public of the following:

  • Any person convicted of Firing Woods or Prairie, a class 2 misdemeanor, will be assessed a fine of not less than $250 and not greater than $1000.  This fine is mandatory.  A sentence of three to 12 months might also be imposed.

  • Littering is a class 2 petty offense punishable, upon conviction, by a mandatory fine of not less than twenty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars upon a first conviction, by a mandatory fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars upon a second conviction, and by a mandatory fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars upon a third or subsequent conviction.

  • Any person throwing lighted cigarette, cigars, matches or other burning material from a vehicle on a highway will be issued a summons and must appear in court.

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Larimer County Hot Topics

Larimer County Hot Topics

Tuesday, January 31st - County Proposes Changes To Livestock Regulations... 

On January 18th, the Larimer County Planning Commission was presented with proposed amendments to the current equine and livestock regulations. These proposed amendments would not effect established livestock operations.

Larimer County has had livestock regulations in the Zoning Resolution since 1963. These regulations have evolved somewhat in the last 43 years however they do not adequately address all the various types of animals we now have in the county. 

County Staff would like to thank all those who served on the Animal Task Force and those who now serve on the Agricultural Advisory Committee. These folks spent a great deal of time working through the animal issues and have provided recommendations that were used to write the proposed regulations.   

There was an attempt to write a recommendation based solely on the impacts of animal uses, however everyone realized that such regulations would be very difficult to interpret and enforce. 

The result is a mix of impact assessment through the Minor Special Review and Special Review Processes along with an animal unit equivalent table to give guidance on the number of animals that would be allowed. 

The following proposed animal unit equivalent table was provided to us by the Larimer County Extension Office.

Stocking Rate: The number of animals allowed on a parcel based on one animal unit equivalent (AUE) per acre of land available for animal use.

Animal Type AUE per Animal Animals per AUE
Cattle 1 1
Bison 1 1
Mule 1 1
Horse 1 1
Miniature Horse, Pony 0.5 2
Ostrich 0.5 2
Swine 0.5 2
Sheep 0.2 5
Llama, Alpaca 0.2 5
Goat 0.2 5
Emu 0.125 8
Poultry 0.02 50
Rabbit 0.02 50

We should note that any existing, legally established livestock or equestrian use will not be affected by the new regulations. These established uses may become non-conforming which means they can remain in place in their current size and configuration. They cannot be made to go away by the new regulations. 

An existing livestock or equestrian use can be abandoned for up to three years and then reestablished if there was conclusive evidence of the previous use. Barns, corrals, pens and other such improvements would be evidence of the previous use.

The complete amendment proposal is available for download below.

Amendment Proposal - Jan 18th

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NASA to launch SuitSat on Friday

NASA to launch SuitSat on Friday

Monday, January 30th - SuitSat To Transmit Live Information From Space... 

On Friday, February 3rd astronauts onboard the International Space Station will throw a spacesuit acting as a satellite overboard. SuitSat can be heard by anyone on the ground. "All you need is an antenna and a radio receiver that you can tune to 145.990 MHz FM.  

"We've equipped a Russian Orlan spacesuit with three batteries, a radio transmitter, and internal sensors to measure temperature and battery power," says Frank Bauer of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "As SuitSat circles Earth, it will transmit its condition to the ground."   

Unlike a normal spacewalk, with a human inside the suit, SuitSat's temperature controls will be turned off to conserve power. The suit, arms and legs akimbo, possibly spinning, will be exposed to the fierce rays of the sun with no way to regulate its internal temperature.  

Tune to 145.990People in our area and across the world can listen in to the live transmissions from space. A police band scanner or a hand-held ham radio should work just fine. Students, scouts, teachers and ham radio operators are encouraged to tune in.   

Observers in the United States will find that SuitSat passes overhead once or twice a day—usually between midnight and 4 o'clock in the morning. At that time of day, SuitSat and the ISS will be in Earth's shadow and, thus, too dark to see with the naked eye. You'll need a radio to detect them.

"Point your antenna to the sky during the 5-to-10 minute flyby," advises Bauer, and this is what you'll hear:

SuitSat transmits for 30 seconds, pauses for 30 seconds, and then repeats. "This is SuitSat-1, RS0RS," the transmission begins, followed by a prerecorded greeting in five languages.

Next comes telemetry: temperature, battery power, mission elapsed time. "The telemetry is stated in plain language—in English," says Bauer. Everyone will be privy to SuitSat's condition. Bauer adds, "Suitsat 'talks' using a voice synthesizer. It's pretty amazing."   

Use Science@NASA's J-Pass utility to find out when SuitSat will pass over your area. The online program will ask for your zip code—that's all. Then it will tell you when the ISS is going to orbit over your area. (Be sure to click the "options" button and select "all passes.") Because the ISS and SuitSat share similar orbits, predictions for one will serve for the other.  

SuitSat's batteries to expected last 2 to 4 days, although longer is possible. After that, SuitSat will begin a slow silent spiral into Earth's atmosphere. Weeks or months later, no one knows exactly when, it will become a brilliant fireball over some part of Earth—a fitting end for a trailblazer.

SuitSat local flyby times for the Storm Mountain and surrounding area are as follows:

Friday, February 3rd - 4:39 to 4:49AM   
Saturday, February 4th - 3:28 to 3:38AM
Sunday, February 5th - 3:52 to 4:02AM   
Monday, February 6th - 2:41 to 2:51AM   

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Heading Into Estes Park On Saturday Afternoon

Heading into Estes Park on
Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, January 29th - Photo Of The Week... 

The spectacular backdrop of Rocky Mountain National Park is featured in this week's photo. Taken on Saturday afternoon on Highway 34 in Estes Park, heavy snow from recent storms can be seen blanketing the Front Range peaks.  

While the mountains continue to get abundant snowfall, the foothills and plains to the east are remaining unseasonably dry, with fire concerns increasing throughout the area. Hopes remain that Spring upslope conditions will bring relief in the form of much needed precipitation.

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