Local News Briefs | PostIndependent.com

Local News Briefs

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The city of Glenwood Springs is hosting an opening celebration for the Atkinson Canal Trail at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday on the new trail bridge below the 27th Street Bridge.

The Atkinson Canal Trail runs 1.4 miles from the Sunlight Bridge to Midland Avenue near Glenwood Park. It was built in two phases, with the most recent work completed by Gould Construction.

The trail parallels the Roaring Fork River along the Atkinson Canal, a former irrigation ditch that historically irrigated the Wulfsohn Ranch. The trail features an innovative bridge over the Roaring Fork River beneath the Sunlight Bridge and scenic views of the river corridor and its riparian habitat.

Everyone is invited to the grand opening. A ribbon cutting will be followed by a brief reception.

There is no parking at the Sunlight Bridge trailhead. Limited event parking will be available at the old Racquet Club site. Attendees are encouraged to walk or ride bicycles to the event.

The Glenwood Springs RiverTrail is financed with a dedicated sales tax which provides approximately $500,000 annual funding for the construction and maintenance of trails.

For more information, contact Andrew McGregor at the city of Glenwood Springs, 384-6429.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The U.S. Forest Service has begun conducting national visitor use monitoring (NVUM) surveys across the White River National Forest. The surveys will be conducted through September 2012 in randomly selected recreation sites and along roads within the forest.

The national survey program samples every national forest in the country on a five-year rotation. This is the third round of surveys for the White River National Forest.

Surveys are done to update the information gathered five and 10 years ago, and to look at recreation trends over time.

The information is useful for forest planning and gives forest managers an estimate of how many people actually recreate on federal lands, where they come from, what they do on the forest, and how satisfied they were with their visit. The survey also assesses the economic impact of forest recreation visits on local economies.

Forest employees will be conducting the surveys. They’ll be wearing bright orange vests and be near a sign that says “Traffic Survey Ahead.”

Surveys are generally done as visitors are exiting an area, and they take eight to 13 minutes. Answers are confidential, and participation is voluntary.

The questions visitors are asked include: where they recreated; how many people they traveled with; how long they stayed on the forest; what other recreation sites they visited; and how satisfied they were with the facilities and services provided.

About a third of the visitors will be asked to complete a confidential survey on recreation spending during their trip.

For more information, visit the National Visitor Use Monitoring website at http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/nvum or call Kay Hopkins at 945-3265.

RIFLE, Colorado – Having raised the fees charged to county residents at the Garfield County landfill to $58 per ton in 2010, the Garfield County Commissioners reversed themselves this week, dropping the fee back down to $42 per ton.

The change was made “for the benefit and in the best interests of the citizens of Garfield County,” according to the resolution formalizing the change passed on Monday.

But Deb Ficus, landfill manager, pointed out to the commissioners that a lower fee is likely to make the landfill more competitive with other area landfill operations.

That, she said, should translate to more business from local haulers, and “the more tons we have, the less it costs us per ton to operate.”

The new fee structure takes effect on Saturday, Oct. 15.

GLENWOOD CANYON, Colorado – Xcel Energy has contracted with Garney Construction Co. to repair the Shoshone Dam. The work is being done over the Hanging Lake Rest Area access road, requiring a one-day closure of the rest area to vehicle access.

As part of the project, expected to wrap up by the end of November, Garney will be staging equipment in the area from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday.

To reach the Hanging Lake Trailhead, visitors can walk or cycle in from the Bair Ranch Rest Area, three miles to the east. The canyon trail remains closed from the west due to flood damage sustained this spring.

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