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Local news briefs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Natural Resources Conservation Service honored the 2005 Colorado Earth Team Volunteer winners during the recent 61st annual Colorado Association of Conservation Districts annual meeting in Denver. Award winners included the Bookcliff, South Side and Mount Sopris Conservation Districts headquartered in Glenwood Springs.The award winners were selected based on their dedication and commitment to conserving natural resources, their ability to meet the mission of the NRCS and demonstrated leadership in the community.During 2005, the volunteers assisted with local weed meetings, conservation planning, natural resource assessments, river riparian projects, flower and grass seeding, information and education presentations, tree workshops and more.In 2005, a total of 1,958 Colorado Earth Team members donated more than 36,000 hours working with NRCS professional conservationists.For more information about the NRCS go to http://www.nrcs.usda.gov or call the Glenwood Springs NRCS office, 945-5494, ext. 101.Colorado River District grants offeredThe Colorado River Water Conservation District is offering grants of up to $15,000 for water-related projects. The competitive grant program closes on Jan. 31. Recipients will be announced in April.The Colorado River District 2006 Grants Program considers projects that would:n develop new water supplies;n improve an existing water supply system;n improve instream water quality; n promote water use efficiency;n reduce sediment;n control tamarisk, a non-native plant that grows along streambeds.Project applicants should submit a grant request using the form found at http://www.crwcd.org. Check the Web site for more information.Completed applications can be hand-delivered, mailed or e-mailed to: David H. Merritt, chief engineer, Colorado River Water Conservation District, 201 Centennial St., Suite 200, P.O. Box 1120, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602; 945-8522, ext. 232; dmerritt@crwcd.org.The Colorado River Water Conservation District was formed in 1937 to protect Western Colorado water. The district includes all of Grand, Summit, Eagle, Pitkin, Gunnison, Routt, Garfield, Mesa, Delta, Ouray, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties and parts of Montrose, Hinsdale and Saguache counties.

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