Coyote Gulch


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  Thursday, May 3, 2007

Energy policy: Nuclear
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Say hello to the Department of Energy's UMTRA Project. They are responsible for cleaning up the Moab uranium tailings pile.

"2008 pres"
7:03:37 PM     

Republican Presidntial debate

Blogs for Bush: "2008 Republican contenders for the White House will face off for the first time tonight.

"Time: 8 p.m ET.

"Coverage: Broadcast on MSNBC; webcast on and

"Moderator: Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews."

"2008 pres"
12:55:09 PM     

ARG Polls

The Right's Field: "The American research group has released three polls documenting Republican preferences in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. The polls themselves show little to no movement among the Republican contenders indicating that there's still little movement in the race. One would suspect that overall support for the current frontrunner's are weak since McCain and Rudy have shown some fluctuations over the last few months."

"2008 pres"
7:09:49 AM     

Tien Grauch: It is very complex...not just one big bathtub
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The Valley Courier is running a story about the use of, "airborne geophysics to better understand the river basin in the San Luis Valley. Tien Grauch, USGS, outlined The San Luis Valley Airborne Geophysics Project to the Rio Grande Water Conservation District board during the board's recent quarterly meeting. The study area would involve the northwest Valley, including most of the Valley floor, and eastern Valley next to the mountain range. The information collected would improve the accuracy of the Valley's existing groundwater model, Grauch said, and 'help to guide in making decisions about things because you can see the bigger picture.' Grauch said the airborne geophysical work is able to strip off the overlying sediments to show scientists what lies beneath the surface. 'It is very complex,' she said. 'It is not just one big bathtub.' She added, 'Our purpose is to fill in the picture and help define the bottom of this basin better.' Measuring the physical properties of the sub surface helps scientists understand the geology and subsequently how that geology controls water flow, Grauch explained. Using methods such as the airborne technique bypasses the expensive and invasive method of drilling wells, Grauch said. It is easier to cross property lines in an airplane as well, she said. It is more cost effective to fly across the basin and cover a large area of ground, Grauch said...

"Grauch stated the project in the Valley would use two types of geophysical methods, aeromagnetic and electromagnetic, which provide different information about the basin's structure and substrata. The aeromagnetic portion would be divided into three pieces: 1) northwest Valley, using fixed wing airplanes, covering 9,900 line miles, estimated cost $300,000; 2) eastern Valley using helicopters, covering 3,900 line miles, estimated cost $400,000-600,000; and 3) aeromagnetic interpretive report which would involve USGS scientists' time and would be paid by USGS, estimated at $100,000-200,000. Scientists would need to use helicopters, which are more expensive, along the rugged mountain front but could use fixed wing airplanes over the flat terrain of the Valley.

Thanks to SLV Dweller for the link.

"colorado water"
7:03:51 AM     

Denver City Council runoffs

Here's a recap of Tuesday's election along with a look at the runoff elections from the Denver Post. From the article, "Denver officials said Wednesday that fewer people would have voted in Tuesday's city election, in which 78,000 votes were cast, if it were not for the mail-in ballots. While turnout was down from the last municipal election, when it was 47 percent, officials said the lackluster campaign season is best compared with the 1999 race. That year, like this one, featured only token opposition to the incumbent mayor and a largely incumbent City Council - factors that tend to drive down turnout. Just more than 51,000 voters - or 26 percent of the active voters in the city - headed for the polls in that election. Forty-one percent of active voters cast ballots this year...

"And the mail-ballot system meant a quick turnaround for the runoff elections. The Election Commission has not set a date for mailing ballots, but it is likely that voters will have ballots in a little over two weeks. That means a scramble campaign for Bailey and Carla Madison in District 8, Chris Nevitt and Shelly Watters in District 7, and Paul Lopez and JoAnn Phillips in District 3. On Wednesday, several of the runoff candidates said they were already out making calls or preparations. And the time crunch might have been worse. One race nearly delayed election results with a recount. Candidate Darrell Watson was just 74 votes short of Carla Madison in District 8. That put him behind by just over 1 percent. An automatic recount would have been triggered if he was within 0.5 percent. Watson's campaign manager, Wanda James, said he was monitoring the final tally, but they had no plans to ask for a recount. Dillard said residents can register to vote in the runoff election through Monday."

Here's a look at the City Council District 8 runoff from Denver Direct.

6:38:24 AM     

McPhee reservoir update
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From email from the Bureau of Reclamation (Vern Harrell), "The forecast shows that the Reservoir [McPhee] will fill but not spill. Things could change depending on weather and user demand."

"colorado water"
6:03:13 AM     

Outfitters: The Colorado is at the fun - but not yet scary - stage
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Runoff is starting on the Roaring Fork River and paddlers are hitting the water, according to the Aspen Times "reg". From the article, "Last weekend's high temperatures finally turned the Roaring Fork River muddy all the way to Aspen, and it has largely remained that way. The lower Fork and Colorado rivers well may be lost until sometime in June, from a fly-fishing perspective, but local kayakers are watching the daily flow rates eagerly. 'With the Fork coming up, everybody's starting to drool about paddling Slaughterhouse and the Fork runs,' said Chris Vogt, co-owner of Glenwood Canyon Kayak. The river was flowing at 517 cubic feet per second over Slaughterhouse Falls, below Aspen, at midday Wednesday...

"Cooler weather may slack things off a bit, which would be just fine with local rafting companies - they'd like to see the upper Roaring Fork get big for a prolonged period when there are more customers around to enjoy it, but both upper valley outfitters are ready to go, as are Glenwood Springs-based rafting companies. Blazing Paddles in Snowmass Village expects to put its first boat on the Shoshone section of the Colorado River late this week while it awaits runnable flows on the Fork, and Aspen Whitewater Rafting aims to start running the Fork from Woody Creek to Basalt late next week. Slaughterhouse may or may not be ready for rafting by then, as well, but kayakers don't need the larger flows that the raft guides want. Meanwhile, anglers who were enjoying clear water on the upper Fork through Saturday saw the river go muddy overnight - literally. However, cool weather may give the river some fishable spells for a bit yet in its upper reaches, said Tim Heng at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt...

"The Colorado River is now running above 5,000 cfs below its confluence with the Fork, and the Shoshone stretch in Glenwood Canyon edged above 3,000 cfs Wednesday afternoon. The Colorado is at the fun - but not yet scary - stage, area outfitters agreed."

More coverage from the Vail Daily News "reg". From the article, "The rivers are rising, the temperatures are warming, and Stevo Parker is taking to the water about three times a week. Parker, a local kayaker, has been on the Colorado River a lot so far this year, and this week, the Eagle River had enough water for kayaking, he said...

"The Eagle River was running at 1,010 cubic feet per second on Wednesday, double compared to last week...

"Vail and Beaver Creek mountains' snow totals this year were close to average. Vail had 347 inches for the year, compared to its average of 348 inches. According to the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, the snowpack for Vail Mountain, Fremont Pass and Copper Mountain peaked late last month at about 57 inches and is now dwindling. On average, the snowpack peaks at 60 inches on May 1...

"How it's flowing: Gore Creek above Red Sandstone Creek - 228 cubic feet per second; Eagle River near Minturn - 146 cfs; Eagle River below the wastewater plant - 1,010 cfs; Colorado River near Kremmling - 1,180 cfs."

The Mountain Mail has the lowdown on runoff in the Arkanas basin. They write, "The Continental Divide will be the dividing line this year in terms of river runoff in Colorado. Flows east of the divide will approach or exceed average; to the west, low water is expected. It's a unique situation caused by a season-long series of upslope snowstorms that favored the front ranges of the state. The Western Slope, on the other hand, struggled with snowpack. 'I can't recall in more than 20 years of doing this where we've seen an east/west split,' said Natural Resources Conservation Service snowpack expert Mike Gillespie. 'It's very unusual. Just about all the time we see a north/south variation.' Water temperatures off the southern Pacific coast that cause El Nino or La Nina conditions usually favor either the northern part of the state (during La Nina years) or the southern part (during El Nino years). The result is snowpack variation between northern and southern Colorado most years...

"Snowpack in the Arkansas River drainage peaked April 17, four days later than the average peak. At peak, the snowpack had 13.4 inches of water content, which is exactly 100 percent of average, Gillespie said...

"Gillespie estimated Arkansas River runoff at Salida will be about 80 percent of average through July. In an average year, 250,000 acre-feet of water comes through town in the form of runoff. Western Slope basins such as the Gunnison, Animas and Yampa can expect well below average runoff, he said. Only the South Platte River basin is predicted to have above average runoff. Melting is well under way, and the snowpack in the Arkansas basin has dwindled from a peak of 13.4 inches of water content to 11.9 inches as of Tuesday. When peak flows occur through Chaffee County will depend on the timing of heat spells, cold snaps and rainfall this spring."

"colorado water"
6:00:21 AM     

Uranium mining in Weld County?
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From the Fort Collins Coloradoan, "Opponents of a proposal to mine uranium beneath the prairie east of Wellington took their message Wednesday to farmers and ranchers of Weld County. Speaking to a crowd of about 200 people gathered at the Nunn Municipal Building, critics said the process Powertech Uranium Corp. plans to use in extracting millions of pounds of uranium from deeply buried ore deposits could contaminate local groundwater as well as a vast underground aquifer with radiation and heavy metals. The mining process known as in-situ recovery - which uses treated water pumped under high pressure to extract uranium - is dangerous because in part it is 'out of sight, out of mind,' said Lilias Jarding, of Fort Collins, who is working with local residents to fight the mining operation...

"Powertech has not yet applied to Weld County or state regulators for permits needed to mine in the area, said Richard Blubaugh, the company's vice president of environmental health and safety resources. But the company hopes to have final approval from regulators to begin mining by the end of 2009, he said. Blubaugh and other company officials attended the meeting, but did not address the crowd. The in-situ process is less polluting than traditional uranium mining techniques, he said. Safeguards would be taken to avoid contaminating the water, soil and air...

"The company has supporters, as well. Larry Cammeron, a local landowner, said the mining process is not understood and opposition to Powertech's plan is being driven by 'hysteria.' Mining operations would last 15 to 20 years, depending on whether pit mining is used on the southern end of the ore deposit, Blubaugh said. The Weld County uranium would be processed at a Wyoming facility and converted into fuel for nuclear power plants, he said."

More coverage from the Greeley Tribune "reg". They write, "Water and health hazards were the top concerns voiced by Nunn residents Wednesday during a meeting about plans to begin uranium drilling in the area...

"They fear that radiation and other harmful chemicals brought out during the mining would contaminate their water system and set up other health risks. Richard Blubaugh, president of environment, health and safety for Powertech said the mining process the company will be using at the Centennial site is called in-situ recovery, a process that is used for surface-mining techniques. The process is done by injecting a bicarbonate solution that will mobilize the uranium. He said he does not believe the site would cause danger to people living nearby, but he can understand their fears. 'We are going to be particularly careful to be protective of human health,' Blubaugh said...

"He said if the company decides to drill at the site, it would begin operations by late 2009. The process would take about 10 to 12 years to collect the uranium and then another four to five years to restore the land. According to the company's Web site, the Centennial project includes 5,760 acres of uranium mineral rights in Weld County with more than 3,000 drill holes totaling approximately 1 million feet of drilling already completed. Burkhart and others, however, said they plan to gain more community support to fight Powertech's plans by providing information about the health risks they say would be involved."

Say hello to, the website set up by opponents of uranium mining in Weld County.

"2008 pres"
5:51:42 AM     

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