Local News Briefs | PostIndependent.com

Local News Briefs

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

SILT, Colorado – Annual winter closures to motorized vehicles on certain lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management’s Colorado River Valley Field Office will go into effect Dec. 1 to protect critical big game winter range and prevent road damage.

These seasonal gate closures occur annually from Dec. 1 to April 30 at several points in the Castle Peak area in Eagle County, East Elk Creek in Garfield County, and on Light Hill and the Crown in Pitkin County.

All of the areas continue to be open to nonmotorized recreation opportunities such as hiking, snowshoeing, horseback riding and skiing.

The lower gate at Transfer Trail above Glenwood Springs was closed last week to maintain snow conditions for snowmobiling.

For additional information or to report violations in these areas call the BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office in Silt, (970) 876-9000.

PITKIN COUNTY, Colorado – The snowpack for the regional watershed is at 109 percent of average, according to the Roaring Fork Conservancy.

The Roaring Fork watershed is at 109 percent, while the Independence Pass measuring station is reporting 140 percent of average snowpack. Schofield Pass along the Crystal River is the lowest local watershed, reporting 89 percent of average.

Find more information at http://www.roaringfork.org.

DENVER (AP) – Colorado officials say the state has issued a record 276 permits this year for horizontal oil and gas drilling, a technique that companies say is making it possible to recover more resources.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission says 439 horizontal-drilling permits have been issued in the past three years. Commission Executive Director David Neslin says about 60 percent of active rigs nationally are drilling horizontal wells.

In horizontal drilling, a deep vertical well is drilled, and then the bit moves horizontally to create a shaft parallel to the surface.

The Denver Post reports that horizontal wells have been permitted in 15 counties this year, with most focused in Weld, La Plata and Archuleta counties.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado (AP) – The Colorado National Monument is closing the top section of Rim Rock Drive during the winter, which monument officials hope will cut plowing and maintenance costs.

Monument Superintendent Joan Anzelmo says closing the 14 miles to traffic could also provide more terrain for cross-country skiers and snowshoers if there’s enough snow. The interior section of the road will be closed to vehicles and bicycles starting Wednesday and will reopen March 1.

During that period, daily entrance fees will be reduced to $5 from $7 for vehicles and to $3 from $4 for pedestrians and cyclists.

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