June 9th - Blue Sky Trail Grand Opening...
The official dedications of the Blue
Sky Trail will be held from 10:00-11:00 a.m.
on Saturday, June 10, taking place at the
Soderberg Open Space Trailhead and the Coyote
Ridge Natural Area Trailhead near Fort Collins,
and the Devil's Backbone Open Space Trailhead in
Loveland. Visitors are encouraged to
celebrate this new regional trail constructed by
Larimer County and made possible through the Help
Preserve Open Spaces sales tax, a partnership
with the City of Fort Collins and several grant
awards. Parking is limited, so please carpool if
General information on
tomorrow's activities can be found below.
Dedication ceremonies 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Soderberg and Devil's Backbone open spaces, Coyote
Ridge Natural Area
(refreshments will be
distances between trailheads:
(distance is most direct route)
Shuttle service for hikers
and overflow parking: A shuttle
service will be available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00
p.m., running between the Devil's Backbone and
Coyote Ridge, and between Coyote Ridge and
Soderberg Open Space. The shuttles will
depart each trailhead every half hour and are
available for hikers only, starting at Coyote
Ridge. The last shuttle will leave Devil's
Backbone and Soderberg open spaces at 3:30 to end
at Coyote Ridge at 4:00 pm. Hikers are
encouraged to park their vehicles at their
destination point and shuttle to their hike origin
to avoid missing the shuttle at the end of the
Overflow parking for the Devil's
Backbone Open Space will be at the parking area
K-Mart and Home State Bank on US
Hwy 34 just west of Wilson Ave will be available
for overflow parking. A shuttle will run
continually from 7:30am - 12:00pm.
Overflow parking for Soderberg
trailhead will be at the Inlet Bay Marina.
Parking fees will be waived for the day.
Visitors can follow the trail north from the
marina 1/4-mile to the Soderberg trailhead.
Larimer County Volunteer Naturalists will offer
guided hikes and interpretive information. Guided
hikes will leave from the Devil's Backbone and
Soderberg trailheads at 7:30a.m., returning by
10:00 a.m. The Devil's Backbone hike will be
a much faster paced hike. The City of Fort
Collins Master Naturalists will be stationed at
the interpretive loop near the cabin on Coyote
Larimer County volunteers will staff an aid
station mid-way along the Blue Sky Trail to
replenish water bottles and provide fruit and
bagels to visitors. City of Fort Collins
will have a similar aid station at the cabin on
Coyote Ridge Natural Area, and Lory State Park
will have one on the South Valley Trail before it
connects to Horsetooth Mountain Park.
Things you should know
Horse trailers are urged to park at either
Soderberg Open Space or Coyote Ridge Natural Area.
Horse trailer parking at the Devil's Backbone is
limited to three spaces.
Dogs are not permitted at Coyote Ridge Natural
Area, but are welcome on the Blue Sky Trail.
If you bring your dog please access the trail
through the Devil's Backbone or Soderberg open
Parking fees at Soderberg Open Space will be
waived for the day, compliments of Larimer County.
There are no fees at Coyote Ridge Natural Area or
the Devil's Backbone Open Space.
Though horse water is seasonally available at one
point along the Blue Sky Trail, riders are advised
to haul their own.
Bring plenty of water, sunscreen and snacks for
along the trail.
For more information about the
trail dedication please call (970) 679-4577.
June 8th - Summer Ozone Season Begins...
The summer ozone
season is June 1 through Sept 1, and once
again Larimer and Weld Counties will be included
in ozone action alerts that are issued when
elevated ozone levels are expected. The Cities of
Fort Collins, Loveland, and Greeley are included
in the alert area. The ozone action alerts will be
issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health
based on daily forecasts of conditions that
produce higher ozone levels and are aimed at
helping people avoid health risks. The
message on any alert will be tailored to the
expected ozone level so that groups at particular
risk can be advised.
obtain a daily air quality advisory on-line at http://apcd.state.co.us/psi/advisory.phtml.
The State also operates a toll-free telephone
hotline to help keep Colorado residents informed
about current and predicted air quality
conditions. The number is 1-888-484-3247
(1-888-4-THE AIR). Alerts will also be
published in the Coloradoan on the Weather page,
and on Cable Channel 14.
There is good ozone
and bad ozone. Good ozone is located in the upper
atmosphere and blocks ultraviolet rays, protecting
us from skin cancer, cataracts, and possibly
immune system damage. Ozone pollution or bad ozone
is a gas that is formed when volatile organic
compounds (VOCs) (such as auto emissions) combine
with nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the presence of
sunlight. Ozone pollution causes breathing problems
and respiratory infections.
Although ozone is
more likely to cause breathing problems and
respiratory infections in the elderly, the young,
and those with pre-existing ailments, even healthy
people who exercise or work outdoors can
experience breathing problems when exposed to
ozone pollution. During ozone alert days, people
can lower their risk of developing symptoms by
limiting prolonged outdoor exercise.
The risk for
developing symptoms depends on personal health
factors and the concentration of ozone in the air.
Larimer County Director Health and Environment Dr.
Adrienne LeBailly, noted that physical activity
such as jogging or hard outdoor work causes people
to breathe more deeply, thereby increasing their
exposure when ozone levels are high. If
ozone levels are moderately elevated, unusually
sensitive individuals may experience symptoms.
Very high ozone levels can cause symptoms for
healthy people engaged in even moderate exercise.
The Denver metro area has experienced summertime
ozone readings that exceed the federal standard
for 8-hour average ozone levels. Northern
Colorado rarely sees very high levels although
moderate levels occur.
The sunny days of
summer, hot temperatures, and VOCs such as auto
emissions are the perfect mixture for creating
ozone pollution. Citizens can help out by taking
voluntary steps that reduce pollutants that lead
to ozone pollution.
pollution reduction measures have been recently
adopted in Colorado’s Ozone Action Plan, a
cooperative plan intended to bring the entire
region into compliance with the standard by 2007.
Local efforts to reduce ozone-forming pollutants
include the North Front Range MPO’s “Stop at
the Click” gasoline fueling outreach program and
the City of Fort Collins Lawn Mower Rebate program
and Gas Cap Replacement program.
your vehicle to help it run cleaner
- Stop at the
click when refueling your car or truck to
trips, take the bus, or postpone a trip during
an alert if possible
after dusk in the summer to avoid the period
of intense sunlight
using gas-powered yard equipment on high ozone
June 7th - Area Youth Takes 2nd Place...
An 11 year old girl from Storm
Mountain took 2nd place in the 2006 Loveland
Fishing Derby, held last weekend.
Samantha Funkhouser, of 1814
Storm Mountain Drive, won 2nd place with a 16½
inch, 2lb 1oz Rainbow Trout she caught on Saturday
Samantha and her family were
some of nearly 1000 people, young and old
alike, who enjoyed this weekend's
The fishing derby, a two day
annual event which was held on Saturday and
Sunday, is sponsored by the Loveland Police
Department and open to all area children.
Complete information on the
other winners and their prize catches is expected
to be released shortly in the Loveland
June 6th - Fatal Crash In Big Thompson Canyon...
A crash near the mouth of the
Big Thompson Canyon on Sunday evening has resulted
in the death of a Loveland man.
Loveland resident Tracy
Schroeder, 45, was reportedly westbound on Hwy 34
at around 4:30pm on Sunday when he apparently fell
asleep, with the street sweeper he was driving
veering sharply to the left and striking the rock
cliff nearly head-on, just west of the Dam Store.
The Big Thompson Canyon was
closed to all traffic in both directions for over
an hour as crews worked to extricate Schroeder
from the crushed cab of the vehicle.
Schroeder was subsequently
transported to McKee Medical Center, where he died
early Monday morning from multiple injuries
sustained in the accident.
June 4th - Photo Of The Week...
Taken on Saturday morning, this
week's photo features Hallett Peak, which rises to
12,713 feet from the green valleys and foothills
of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Hallett Peak reigns over the Bear
Lake area, and is one of the most photographed
peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park. Hallett
offers some of the finest technical routes in the
park, but it is also a favorite destination for
hikers. Views from the summit include Longs Peak,
Glacier Gorge, Loch Vale and the Continental
Divide, on which Hallett lies.
Tyndall Glacier lies just north
of Hallett Peak, and is easily visible to hikers.
Tyndall also offers a unique glacier climb, and is
To hike Hallett Peak start at
the Bear Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National
Park. Follow the Bear Lake Trail along the east
side of the lake and turn onto the Flattop
Mountain Trail approximately 1/4 mile from the
trailhead. Follow the signs up Flattop
Mountain Trail (4.4 mi), across Tyndall Glacier and
on to the summit of Hallett Peak. Use caution
when doing this hike as ice, steep cliffs and
sudden storms are common hazards at any time of the
Complete information on hiking
Hallett Peak is available at the Spirit
of the Rockies website, via the link provided
Profile for Hallett Peak
June 1st - Larimer County Adopts Fire Restrictions...
The Board of Larimer County
Commissioners today adopted fire restrictions for
noon tomorrow, Friday, June 2, 2006 through July
11, 2006. The restrictions are based on a
recommendation from Larimer County Sheriff Jim
Alderden. Unusually dry conditions have increased
the concern for dangerous wildfires. The situation
is extreme for forest and grass fires in Larimer
Today’s restrictions: prohibit
open fires (definition 1 below); the use of
fireworks (definition 3 below); and public
firework displays (definition 4 below) in the
unincorporated area of Larimer County. Contained
open fires (definition 2 below) are not restricted
at this time. Because ‘contained open
fires’ are okay, this is not a ban, but
restrictions. Any person who knowingly violates
the restrictions commits a class 2 petty offense
and can be fined up to $500 (five-hundred).
The County’s complete ‘fire ordinance’ is
available at: http://www.larimer.org/policies/.
Today’s restrictions mean
that no open fires are allowed, no open camp or
cooking fires, however campers can use camp stoves
and grills using gas or pressurized liquid. People
can also use permanently constructed, stationary,
metal or masonry fireplaces. Smoking in the open
is not allowed under these restrictions.
The Board also authorized
Sheriff Alderden to exempt any open fire (1), use
of fireworks (3), or public fireworks display (4)
approved in advance by the Sheriff, after
inspection of the containment structure,
surrounding vegetation and potential fire fuel,
and the immediate availability of fire suppression
apparatus. Open fires include the burning of
irrigation ditches except for those located within
and completely surrounded by irrigated farmlands
where such burning is necessary for crop survival
and specific written approval has been granted in
advance by the Sheriff of Larimer County.
fires shall mean: any open burning,
including camp and cooking fires; or welding,
or operating an acetylene or other torch with
open flame. Open fires shall not include:
in camp stoves or grills, fueled by
bottled gas or pressurized liquid, and
specifically designed for cooking or
in permanently constructed stationary
masonry or metal fireplaces specifically
designed for the purpose of combustion.
in commercially operated wood and/or
charcoal fired grills designed for
within an enclosed vehicle or smoking
within an area at least three feet in
diameter that is barren or cleared of all
flammable material. Smoking within
an enclosed vehicle shall mean that the
cigarette, cigar or other smoking
instrument is at all times contained
within the vehicle and is not allowed to
leave the vehicle or protrude or be held
outside the vehicle, including the window
of the vehicle. Butts and stubs must
be disposed of within a trash receptacle
or within the vehicle.
open fires shall mean: fires in
permanently constructed stationary masonry or
metal fireplaces specifically designed for the
purpose of combustion; or operating or using
any internal or external combustion engine
without a spark arresting devise properly
installed, maintained and in effective working
order meeting either Department of
Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a
or appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers
(SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and
J350(a). Contained open fires shall not
include fireplaces or wood stoves located
inside permanent structures.
shall mean: any article, device, or
substance prepared for the primary purpose of
producing a visual or auditory sensation by
combustion, explosion, deflagration, or
detonation which meets the description of
fireworks as set forth in the United States
Department of Transportation Hazardous
Materials Regulations, Title 49, Code of
Federal Regulations, Parts 173.88 and 173.100.
Fireworks do not include:
caps which do not contain more than
twenty-five hundredths of a grain of
explosive compound per cap;
flares, railroad fuses, ship distress
signals, smoke candles, and other
emergency signal devices;
rockets and toy propellant device type
engines used in such rockets when such
rockets are of nonmetallic construction
and utilize replaceable engines or model
cartridges containing less than two ounces
of propellant and when such engines or
model cartridges are designed to be
ignited by electrical means;
which are used in testing or research by a
licensed explosives laboratory.
fireworks displays shall mean: - any
display of fireworks conducted by a qualified
pyrotechnic operator in compliance with
article 78, section 7802 - fireworks - of the
uniform fire code, as amended, and conducted
only after the approval by the local fire
authority, and compliance with any conditions
imposed by the local fire authority.