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Local News Briefs

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is accepting public comments on potential seasonal cave and mine closures to help prevent the introduction of White-nose Syndrome into sites managed by the Colorado River Valley Field Office.

White-nose Syndrome is a fungal disease that has killed more than 1 million bats in eastern states during the past four years.

The disease, which has wiped out entire colonies of bats, continues to spread westward. It has not been discovered yet in Colorado, but its introduction is feared to have similar consequences.



The BLM’s Silt field office is preparing an environmental impact assessment to evaluate targeted seasonal closures of caves and abandoned mines on BLM lands primarily in Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties.

Seasonal closures would likely occur between October and April and could affect at least 20 different bat hibernation sites in the three-county area. Year-round closures may also be considered at some sites, said Matt Thorburn, assistant field manager for the BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office.



The environmental assessment will also outline procedures for evaluating new bat hibernation sites.

Public comments should be submitted by June 3. A decision on the potential closures is anticipated this summer.

The scoping notice and additional information about providing comments are available at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/crvfo.html, at the BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office at 2300 River Frontage Road in Silt, or by calling 876-9000.

Ronald Eugene Noel, 49, who registered as a sex offender in Garfield County in February and was the subject of a widespread public awareness effort, is now being held in the La Plata County Jail on a Routt County warrant.

Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said he learned on Wednesday that Noel was arrested on Tuesday by La Plata County deputies.

Noel registered in La Plata County as a sex offender on May 5. Authorities there later learned he was wanted on the Routt County warrant, located him and took him into custody. Noel is now awaiting extradition to Routt County for failing to comply with sex offender registration requirements.

He registered in Routt County in 2006, and was due to check in again on Feb. 10, 2011. He allegedly failed to inform authorities there that he was leaving when he came to Garfield County, where he registered on Feb. 9.

“Sex offenders are required by the state of Colorado to de-register when relocating to a different location, which Noel did not do when he relocated to Garfield County,” Vallario said.


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