Coyote Gulch


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  Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Green Mountain Releases: Blue to be running high for a few days
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From email from the Bureau of Reclamation (Kara Lamb): "If you were hoping for some big flows on the Lower Blue, it looks like you are going to get your wish.

"Today (May 15), around 3 p.m. or so, we will bump up releases from Green Mountain to about 600 cfs.

"Tomorrow, we will bump up again to about 725 cfs.

"The 725 will most likely remain through this weekend. We will re-evaluate the conditions Sunday and Monday. If runoff in the Lower Blue peaks as it is projected to, it is quite likely we could hit 1000 cfs next week (week of May 20).

"If flows remain low through the critical habitat for endangered fish on the Colorado upstream of Grand Junction, as part of our Coordinated Reservoir Operations participation, we might even bump up higher than 1000 cfs for a few days the last week of May.

"I think this means, and I hope I'm not getting too far ahead of myself here, that it should be a pretty decent Memorial Day weekend on the Lower Blue and maybe even for Gore. Let's hope I haven't jinxed it by saying that!

"We'll see what the weather brings. These are our current projections, but they are definitely subject to change! I'll keep you all posted.

"Must be runoff!"

"colorado water"
7:04:35 PM     


Captain's Quarters: "The Republican presidential hopefuls have one thing in common -- they have all turned hawkish on immigration. According to the Washington Post's Michael Shear, the three front-runners have run away from previously centrist positions in order to bolster their border-security credentials, leaving George Bush without much support for his bipartisan efforts to create a comprehensive reform plan."

"2008 pres"
6:52:50 PM     

? for President?

From the North Denver News: "Seven months before the Republican primary voters will first take the measure of presidential candidates, a stability has set in amongst the candidates.

"A new poll shows that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani maintains a 20% lead over John McCain among Republican primary voters. A poll conducted by Harris May 3-10, also shows Mitt Romney dropping in support, as undeclared actor and former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson has vaulted into third."

"2008 pres"
6:47:48 PM     

Roan oil and gas development delay?
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Colorado Confidential: "Congressmen John Salazar and Mark Udall are working together to delay oil and gas development on the Roan Plateau, a unique area of wildlife and fauna west of Rifle. They have asked a congressional appropriations subcommittee to cut the funding for leasing expenses from the Bureau of Land Management budget that would prevent drilling activities for at least a year."

"2008 pres"
6:44:43 PM     

R.I.P. Jerry Falwell

NewMexiKen: "Is he ever in for a surprise."

"2008 pres"
6:38:23 PM     

Global warming: The Earth is a beautifully complex system
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Live Science: "Warm temperatures melted an area of western Antarctica that adds up to the size of California in January 2005, scientists report.

"Satellite data collected by the scientists between July 1999 and July 2005 showed clear signs that melting had occurred in multiple distinct regions, including far inland and at high latitudes and elevations, where melt had been considered unlikely.

"'Antarctica has shown little to no warming in the recent past with the exception of the Antarctic Peninsula,' said Konrad Steffen of the University of Colorado, Boulder. 'But now large regions are showing the first signs of the impacts of warming as interpreted by this satellite analysis.'

"Changes in the ice mass of Antarctica, Earth's largest freshwater reservoir, are important to understanding global sea level rise. Large amounts of Antarctic freshwater flowing into the ocean also could affect ocean salinity, currents and global climate."

"2008 pres"
6:29:26 PM     

? for Denver City Council District 3

Colorado Pols: " Denver Post repeats weak blog hit on candidate. We're not going to spend much time on this, because we don't really care, but it's an interesting case of blog-hype manipulating the news--a subject that, even when we don't think it's justified, remains close to our hearts."

Denver Politics: "Say what you want about the question of Paul Lopez's candidacy (and frankly, folks ain't sayin' much...), but Lisa Jones of Dear Denver continues to churn out thoughtful and fact-based analysis of the situation, and ought to be commended."

"denver 2007"
6:19:51 PM     

Schaffer for U.S. Senate?

Former congressman Bob Schaffer has decided to run for Wayne Allard's U.S. Senate seat, according to the Denver Post. From the article, "Former U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer will run for the U.S. Senate seat that Sen. Wayne Allard is vacating in 2008, a race expected to be one of the nation's most expensive and competitive. Schaffer, 44, said Monday that he wants to rebuild the Republican Party. 'I am convinced that the Republican Party lost badly in the last two election cycles for lack of message ... and because it has temporarily lost its credibility.' That credibility loss, he said, is partly because Republicans have become 'indistinguishable' from Democrats on spending. Schaffer, of Fort Collins, announced his intention to run Saturday at the Boulder County Republican Lincoln dinner."

"denver 2008"
6:23:28 AM     

? for Denver City Council District 3

Paul Lopez is scrambling to ensure that he meets the residency requirements for his runoff election with Joann Phillips, according to the Denver Post. From the article, "[Former City Councilman Richard 'Rick' Taylor] and others questioned whether Lopez has lived in the district recently. Public documents connect Lopez to at least three addresses in the past year. Asked last month to clarify his residency, Lopez said he had lived in his family home his whole life. Presented with an August 2006 traffic ticket that listed his address on Lowell Boulevard outside of District 3, Lopez said he lived at the apartment to be closer to the University of Colorado at Denver. He said he still considered the family home his primary residence. Lopez said he moved out of the apartment in February 2006 - although his lease didn't expire until August - and had not renewed his vehicle registration at the time he was ticketed. On March 25, 2006, Lopez reported a burglary at the apartment to police. He said Monday that his sister was living there at the time. Last September, he changed his voter registration with the election commission back to the address of his family home. Records also connect Lopez to an apartment outside the district on West 38th Avenue. He said Monday his new wife and brother-in-law lived in the apartment, but he had 'paid a couple bills there.' The relevance of where Lopez lived while maintaining a permanent address in the district is a matter for debate, as Denver's city charter does not define the term 'residency.' Assistant City Attorney David Broadwell said the matter could only be disputed in court with an official election challenge. Lopez's campaign manager, Gia Irlando, said the election commission asked for more proof of residency as recently as last week. The campaign supplied 14 pages of bills, college financial statements and IRS statements with the District 3 address. Election commission spokesman Alton Dillard said Lopez's residence was first checked against information on hand prior to May 1."

Denver Politics: "In Council District 3, second-place finisher JoAnne Phillips trails frontrunner Paul Lopez by 30 points. Her prospects seem even worse in light of the fact that she didn't challenge him in a single neighborhood."

"denver 2007"
6:19:44 AM     

? for President?

From the Denver Post, "Tom Tancredo is talking about taxes. Education. And the war in Iraq. It turns out the Republican presidential candidate, often labeled a one-trick pony for his consuming hard-line stance on illegal immigration, has some other tricks tucked away in his political playbook. During a four-day campaign swing through eastern Iowa this past weekend, the Colorado congressman seemingly talked about everything, including the federal gasoline tax, national health care and school vouchers."

The Politico: "The 10 Republican presidential hopefuls meet for their second debate Tuesday night in a faceoff that is expected to focus on the defining theme of the still-young primary season: the candidates' contrasting views on social and domestic issues. With near-unanimity on an aggressive approach in Iraq and against the wider threat of Islamic extremism, it was topics such as abortion, evolution and stem cell research that illuminated the starkest differences in the field and dominated the headlines May 3 at the first GOP forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Though the venue will be quite different -- several thousand of South Carolina's always passionate Republicans will replace the sober trappings of the Reagan Library -- the ever-sensitive topic of values could dominate tonight's proceedings as well if the recent tone of the conversation on the campaign trail is any guide."

Thanks to Political Wire for the link.

Political Wire: "In South Carolina, a new InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion poll finds Sen. Barack Obama leading with 31% among Democratic primary voters, with Sen. Hillary Clinton at 27% and John Edwards at 16%. On the GOP side, Rudy Giuliani leads with 22%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 15%, Mitt Romney at 10%, Sen. John McCain at 9%, and Fred Thompson at 8%. However, a new WIS-TV survey of Republican primary voters in South Carolina shows McCain leading Giuliani, 25% to 20%."

Political Wire: "According to a new American Research Group poll, Sen. Hillary Clinton continues to lead among Democrats and Rudy Giuliani continues to lead among Republicans in national surveys of likely primary voters. Key findings: Clinton's strength is among women (where she leads 48% to 18% for Barak Obama and 15% for John Edwards). While Giuliani leads John McCain 29% to 20% among Republicans, 46% of independents saying they definitely will vote in a Republican primary or caucus choose McCain with 21% choosing Giuliani."

"2008 pres"
6:10:58 AM     

Lamborn introduces Pueblo Reservoir expansion bill
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From the Pueblo Chieftain, "A bill that revives the Preferred Storage Options Plan has been introduced in Congress. U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado, late last week introduced a bill that includes provisions from an unsuccessful 2004 version of PSOP. Lamborn's bill would authorize $4 million for study of excess-capacity contracts for Lake Pueblo storage to users within the basin and Aurora, as well as the enlargement of Lake Pueblo and Turquoise Lake. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., is the co-sponsor...

"The Lamborn bill is substantially different from Fryingpan-Arkansas legislation introduced earlier this year by U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo. Salazar's bill would authorize $10 million for a study of impacts of past water transfers in the Arkansas River basin, as well as $4 million for a water storage study that could include Lake Pueblo enlargement. The bill specifies that no construction could begin on Pueblo Dam enlargement until the feasibility study is complete. Salazar[base ']s bill also prohibits future excess-capacity contracts with out-of-basin users, including Aurora. Lamborn's bill will be discussed by the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, local sponsor of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, at its meeting Thursday and likely will be referred to the PSOP committee chaired by Director Harold Miskel of Colorado Springs. In April, Miskel said the PSOP committee would meet when there were alternatives to Salazar's legislation...

"The Lamborn bill reinserts those agreements and essentially uses the exact wording of a bill sponsored by former Reps. Joel Hefley and Bob Beauprez in 2004. Lamborn's bill also specifically authorizes the Bureau of Reclamation to enter long-term excess capacity contracts with Aurora."

"colorado water"
5:54:51 AM     

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Here's a report on the runoff on the Arkansas River from the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article, "An early runoff is expected as warm spring temperatures melt the snowpack in the Arkansas Basin ahead of schedule. 'We're looking at an early peak runoff in the next one or two weeks,' said Pete Juba, water resources supervisor for the Pueblo Board of Water Works. 'I'd say it's about two weeks early, depending on how cold it gets up there.' Pueblo's collection systems in Lake County still have 3-4 feet of snow on level ground, despite warm temperatures that are leaving the Arkansas River swollen with higher flows than usual. High temperatures in the mountains have shot up to the 60s-70s from the 40s-50s in the last week and river readings have increased dramatically from the beginning of May because of rainfall and snowmelt. Snowpack in the Arkansas Valley is about 80 percent of average, but precipitation is about 30 percent above normal. On Monday, the Arkansas River was flowing well above average in nearly all reaches...

"Lower flows in early summer could pose a problem for the booming rafting industry on the Upper Arkansas River, but will be offset by the Pueblo water board's releases of flows from Clear Creek Reservoir, Juba said. The water board is draining Clear Creek Reservoir in Chaffee County in order to make repairs, and so far has released about half of the water. The goal is to release all the water in the reservoir by Aug. 15. Some water was released this spring, but now the goal is to match releases with the water flowing into the reservoir. 'After the runoff, we'll release the rest in a way that will supplement the rivers and help the rafters,' Juba said...

"Snowpack in the Upper Colorado basin, where Fry-Ark water originates, is about 60 percent of average. Musgrove is optimistic about the ability of the collection system to bring the water through the Boustead Tunnel to Turquoise Lake north of Leadville. However, he is now estimating 49,000 acre-feet will be imported. After a Twin Lakes exchange, transit losses and evaporation are accounted for, that would leave about 39,000 acre-feet available for water users. That would be below the average allocation over the life of the Fry-Ark Project, and less than in 2005 and 2006, but above the average since the 2002 drought."

From email from the Bureau of Reclamation (Vern Harrell), "[McPhee Reservoir] We began increasing flows the morning of May 14 with the intention of going to an 800 CFS release by the end of the day to maintain storage in the reservoir. At present we are experiencing inflows in the range of 3000 CFS with reservoir demands near 500 CFS. Releases will be increased to as necessary to maintain reservoir elevation 6923.00. Releases could range from 1000 CFS to 2000 CFS beginning May 15 and possibly continuing through the weekend."

From email from the Bureau of Reclamation (Kara Lamb), "Last week, starting on Thursday, May 10, we began bumping up releases from Green Mountain Dam to the Lower Blue. The Blue River basin has one of the better snowpacks in the state, fortunately, and that snow is starting to melt. We can't store all of it, so we started increasing releases by about 100 cfs a day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Today, around 8:30 a.m., we bumped releases up about 70 cfs more. Sunday night, May 13, we had been releasing around 430 cfs. Tonight, we're releasing close to 500 cfs. The gage bops around between high 490s and low 500s. Once run-off starts to slow down, we might see a cut back in releases from Green Mountain to the Lower Blue. But, we have to see what happens further downstream on the Colorado River. If other tributaries do not pop up in flows like the Blue has done, the critical habitat on the Colorado River for the endangered fish might need some augmenting. If that is the case, we might use Green Mountain releases to contribute via the Coordinated Reservoir Operations Program. So stay tuned!"

"colorado water"
5:49:41 AM     

Wilderness protection for Rocky Mountain National Park?
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Details of the wilderness protection bill for Rocky Mountain National Park were released at a press conference yesterday, according to the Greeley Tribune "reg". From the article, "It's the kind of place that can inspire Mark Udall to hug Marilyn Musgrave, for example, and prompt Ken Salazar to thank Wayne Allard for taking him to breakfast. Rocky Mountain National Park was a scene of unadulterated bipartisanship on Monday, as Colorado's congressional delegation gathered to announce plans to designate parts of the park as protected wilderness. Democrat Udall and Republican Musgrave embraced in front of a vista of Longs Peak to congratulate each other for reaching the end of a rocky road for Rocky...

"The measure designates almost 250,000 acres of the park as federally protected wilderness, and adds another 1,000 acres to nearby Indian Peaks Wilderness so the two areas will be connected. The bill also exempts the Grand Ditch and area water rights from wilderness designation, and eliminates a liability clause that could have been costly for the Water Supply and Storage Co., which owns the ditch...

"The bill specifies that the ditch company would only be liable for damages to the park if it is negligent. In part, that language stems from a lawsuit the federal government filed against the ditch company in August of last year, after a stray boulder caused a major breach in the ditch in May 2003. Water surged through the breach and plunged to the valley below, excavating a gully about 167 feet wide and 60 feet deep that damaged old-growth forest, the upper Colorado River and wetlands inside Rocky's boundaries. The government sued under the Park System Resource Protection Act and said if the ditch company couldn't pay for the damages, the ditch should be condemned so the park's losses could be recovered. The lawsuit is still unresolved. If the 2003 breach had happened under the new legislation, the ditch company would have been protected, lawmakers said Monday. Musgrave said the bill will require the ditch company and the National Park Service to reach an agreement on ditch maintenance and operation, and when that's done, the ditch company will be protected...

"What the bill will do: Designate 249,339 acres in Rocky Mountain National Park as wilderness; that equals about 95 percent of the park; Guarantee that the park's back country will be maintained in its pristine state; Allow for the National Park Service to continue bark beetle and fire mitigation efforts as well as emergency response actions; Ensure wilderness designation will not affect water rights connected to the Colorado Big Thompson Project or the Grand Ditch; Allow possible construction of a bike trail near Grand Lake."

Here's the coverage from the Denver Post. They write, "The bills introduced Monday into both chambers designate nearly 250,000 acres as wilderness, add 1,000 acres along Lake Granby into the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and provide liability assurances for the owners of the Grand River Ditch within the park. The legislation also ensures that existing water rights connected to the Colorado Big Thompson Project and the Grand River Ditch will not be affected and allows the creation of a trail corridor along Grand Lake...

"Allard and U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, a Fort Morgan Republican, introduced their own wilderness bills last year that called for more guarantees for the Grand River Ditch owners. The ditch is a 17-mile water diversion project built before the park was created. Water Supply & Storage Co. of Fort Collins operates the diversion that supplies 20,000 acre-feet of water to 40,000 acres of irrigated farmland in Weld and Larimer counties. In 2006, the company was sued by the federal government for a 2003 breach in the ditch that damaged park property. That suit is still in litigation. The compromise bill does not affect that lawsuit, Udall said. It does remove the company from any future liability - as long as the company adheres to operating standards agreed on with the National Park Service."

More coverage from the Rocky Mountain News.

"colorado water"
5:27:45 AM     

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