Coyote Gulch


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  Friday, May 18, 2007

? for President?

From today's Denver post, "Conservative Christian evangelical leader James Dobson said Thursday that if Rudy Giuliani receives the Republican nomination, he may not vote in a presidential election for the first time in his life. Citing Giuliani's three marriages, an extramarital affair, and his support of gay rights and abortion rights, Dobson said that if he's forced to choose between Giuliani and Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, he will either vote for an 'also-ran' or not vote."

"2008 pres"
6:50:07 AM     


Blogs for Bush: "Checking around the right side of the aisle, I don't find too many people happy about the proposed immigration/border security reform. The point that sticks in the throat is the fact that the 12 million or so illegals in country will be given legal status prior to their return home to re-apply for entry into the United States. The reasonable worry is that once they are legalised, all the rest of the provisions (fines, need to eventually go home for a period) will be tossed aside and we'll have de-facto amnesty, followed by 24 million more illegals flooding into the country (the previous amnesty, back in 1986, covered about 1.2 million; today's would cover ten times that number, so it is reasonable to figure that the next batch would be at least double the size of the current group)."

Elevated Voices: "Details and reaction to immigration compromise."

Colorado Luis (via SquareState): "If there is one thing Colorado Media Matters has managed to demonstrate during its first few months here, it's that racism (perhaps more accurately, white supremacy) lies at the heart of conservative misinformation in Colorado. This is what we're up against. Fight it, or cooperate with it -- you make the call."

"2008 pres"
6:41:18 AM     


Left In the West: "The thing is, distrusting power is the American way. It's the basis for our system of government and the civil liberties we enjoy. The authors of the Constitution were well aware of the abuses of power held in a single hand - they had just severed themselves from a King they thought tyrannical, and desperately wished to avoid repeating the experience of living under another despot. In fact, the Constitution was written under the assumption that those in power would attempt to agglomerate it, and that, among the safeguards to liberty, a free and independent press was necessary."

"2008 pres"
6:39:42 AM     

Farm disaster on the South Platte
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Here's an update on the water trial for the wells in the South Platte alluvial aquifer that were shut down last year, from the AG Journal. From the article, "Over 200 farming operations in northeastern Colorado are awaiting a decision bound to decide their fate. A major water trial ended recently involving wells located within the Well Augmentation Subdistrict (WAS,) managed by the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District of Greeley. Those wells were shut down last May following a court ordered decree stemming from a hearing where more senior water rights holders claimed injury from the operation of those wells...

"The Central district's team of engineers and attorney's have been struggling the past couple of years to meet Colorado's very strict guidelines in order to bring the WAS wells into compliance. Meanwhile, the objectors were becoming increasingly frustrated over the situation, because the WAS wells were not operating with an augmentation plan approved for a permanent basis, while their operation was continuing to also cause depletions in the South Platte Basin, they further argued. Central has filed an augmentation plan, which calls on Judge Klein to consider allowing about half of the currently shut-down wells to operate in future years; 220 wells out of 449. Central, meanwhile, continues it's efforts to secure additional augmentation water through leasing and purchasing agreements, while also undertaking the development of a number of water storage projects within their district, all in an attempt to help assure such a situation doesn't occur again if at all possible. In addition to making a ruling on the future of the WAS wells, Judge Klein will also decide what amount of augmentation water, if any, the district does in fact owe to the South Platte River Basin, a major point of contention during the entire trial and preliminary hearings. The wells are chiefly located across Weld, Adams, Morgan and Logan counties. Those four counties are among the top ten money making agricultural counties in the state according the US Department of Agriculture; with Weld County being #1, Morgan being #3, Logan #4 and Adams #9. Together the counties provide nearly 2 billion dollars to the state's economy annually...

"Meanwhile, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter has recently intervened by forming a special task-force to look into the well shut down case more extensively. Those expected to serve on Ritter's special panel include; State Representative Kathleen Curry D-Gunnison, who chairs the state's House Ag Committee, as well as Representative Mary Hodge D-Brighton, and State Senator Brandon Shaffer D-Longmont. And also serving on the task-force will be Colorado's commissioner of agriculture, John Stulp and Harris Sherman, the executive director of the Colorado Division of Natural Resources (DNR.) The newly formed task-force is a part of the Colorado General Assembly's interim Water Resources Review Committee, which is one of many state organizations currently studying the state's natural water resources situation. The task force will soon begin to meet on a regular basis to see what options, if any, are available to assist well dependent farmers in the northeastern section of the state."

"colorado water"
6:30:06 AM     

Bayfield lifts construction moratorium
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Here's an article about the lifting of Bayfield's moratorium on sewer taps from the Pine River Times. They write, "The district is committing to approximately $500,000 in interim improvements to the existing sewage lagoons and to reduction of organic loading from five commercial and institutional customers. The district board approved those improvements last month. One of them, sludge removal from the second and third lagoons, is happening this week at a cost of around $100,000.The most expensive improvement is a $315,000 sand filter to further clean effluent after it has been through the lagoons, before it goes into the river. 'The interim improvements and the reduction of organic loading are meant to offset any impact to the wastewater facility that results from new growth until the construction of a new mechanical plant is completed,' [Town and sewer district manager Justin Clifton] said.

"He said the tap moratorium could be re-imposed 'if we fail to meet our milestones for interim improvements; if we are unable to reduce (organic) loading from the five commercial folks; or if the plant goes downhill and we are having effluent violations.' He continued, 'The draft (consent order) has 40 to 50 conditions. We have to try our hardest to make sure the plant runs well. We'll get some leeway (on a minor violation of conditions) if it runs well.'"

6:14:58 AM     

Stormwater regulations for oil and gas development extended 5 years
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State regulations for runoff from oil and gas development are good to go for another 5 years, according to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent "reg". From the article, "Regulations controlling storm-water runoff from construction sites, including oil and gas well pads and roads, will stay in place, at least for another five years. The Colorado Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) held a public hearing Monday in Denver to take testimony on whether or not the regulations are working and should continue. The regulations have been a bone of contention between conservation groups and the oil and gas industry, as well as the WQCC and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The most positive outcome of Monday's hearing was lack of opposition from the oil and gas industry to the regulations...

"The storm-water regulations took effect on June 30, 2006, and cover gas well sites of one to five acres that are under construction. Operators disturbing more than one acre of ground are now required to file a storm-water management plan with the Water Quality Control Division and obtain a discharge permit. The commission has regulated larger construction sites under a separate rule since 1992. The regulations do not apply once well pads, roads and pipelines are built, because they're covered by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Storm-water permits are used to help limit runoff of sediment when earth is disturbed by construction-related activities. 'Any time you build roads you're going to have runoff and sedimentation,' said Bob Elderkin, president of the Colorado Mule Deer Association. 'There's no way that a lot of it isn't going to land up in the river.'

"COGA and the Colorado Petroleum Association had filed a lawsuit to block the WQCC from adopting the regulations, arguing that the Energy Policy Act of 2005 makes clear that oil and gas development activities do not require federal storm-water permits, even if they are considered construction-related. They maintain that because of the federal law, states are prohibited from mandating that it obtain storm-water permits. The groups have since dropped the suit."

"colorado water"
6:03:27 AM     

Ruedi Reservoir outlook
A picture named ruedidam.jpg

Here's a report about operations for Ruedi Reservoir from the Aspen Times "reg". From the article, "A below-average snowpack in the Fryingpan Valley won't ruin the summer for boaters on Ruedi Reservoir or anglers in the Fryingpan River, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said Thursday. The bureau, which operates the dam at Ruedi, said the reservoir will fill high enough to use boat ramps from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The sweet spot in the reservoir for use of the Aspen Yacht Club and Dearhammer boat ramps is 85,000 acre-feet. Ruedi marina is usable at lower levels...

"The reservoir is expected fill to its capacity of about 102,000 acre-feet by late June or early July, according to the bureau's projections. It will fill even though inflow of water is expected to be only 89 percent of average because of the low snowpack. The agency's statistics show that the average inflow was 88,700 acre-feet between 1975 and 2003. This year, it is expected to be 78,900 acre-feet. The inflow spiked earlier this month when warm weather hit, but it is still expected to peak in the second week of June.

"The bureau altered its usual water management strategy at Ruedi this year to offset the low snowpack. The agency typically uses releases to draw the water level down to about 60,000 acre-feet to prepare for the spring runoff. It allowed the water level to drip just below 70,000 acre-feet this year. Anglers on the Fryingpan River below the dam can expect lower flows than usual in late May and June, [Kara Lamb] said. In 2006, outflow peaked at 800 cubic feet per second for one week in late May. The bureau coordinated water releases from Ruedi with other reservoirs in the state to benefit riparian areas in the lower Colorado River that are habitat for endangered fish. This year, the agency is forecasting more moderate releases but for a longer time period. One possible scenario has releases of between 300 and 400 cubic feet per second throughout June. If Ruedi participates in a coordinated release program with other reservoirs, releases could top 400 cfs for a short period in July, Lamb said."

"colorado water"
5:53:55 AM     

Water Resources Development Act and the Arkansas Valley Conduit
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Here's an article about the Water Resources Development Act that passed the U.S. Senate this week, from the Pueblo Chieftain. They write, "On paper, the Arkansas Valley Conduit is moving closer to reality. But the reality comes with a bunch of strings attached. The U.S. Senate Wednesday passed a $14 billion Water Resources and Development Act on a veto-proof 91-4 vote over administration objections about the expense. That follows a $15 billion water projects bill passed 394-25 last month by the House. The Senate bill includes $10 million for the conduit requested by U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo. The House version includes $69 million requested by U.S. Reps. John Salazar, D-Colo., and Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo. The difference will be decided in conference committee, and Rep. Salazar has requested a seat on the panel, said Christine Arbogast, lobbyist for the Southeastern district...

"But authorization would only be the first step, and no money accompanies the bill. 'Authorization for the conduit does not mean there is an appropriation,' Arbogast explained. 'It's hard to guess how many years funding will take.' There's also the question of raising local funds to match the federal dollars. The WRDA bill includes a requirement for 35 percent local funding, a requirement of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which would supervise the work...

"There's also the question of raising local funds to match the federal dollars. The WRDA bill includes a requirement for 35 percent local funding, a requirement of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which would supervise the work. The Southeastern district is pushing separate legislation for a 20 percent local match for the $330 million conduit that would provide drinking water for 42 communities east of Pueblo. Under that scenario, the Bureau of Reclamation would contract the work. Southeastern has obtained a $60.6 million loan from the Colorado Water Conservation Board to pay the local share of the Reclamation plan. The CWCB grant would have to be modified in order to use it for matching funds in the WRDA bill, said Executive Director Jim Broderick."

"colorado water"
5:46:36 AM     

Fry-Ark water divvied up by Southeastern
A picture named fryingpanarkansasproject.jpg

The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservation District met Thursday to vote on allocating Fryningpan-Arkansas Project water, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article, "The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District Thursday allocated 35,700 acre-feet of water to cities and farms in the Arkansas Valley. The water is brought into the valley from the West Slope through the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project...

"A total of 51 percent of allocations will go to municipal users, along with 3.59 percent to a new category based on the amount of water formerly allocated to dried-up farmland in Crowley County. That means 19,489 acre-feet will go to cities, with the remainder, 16,211 acre-feet set aside for agriculture. Another 5,673 acre-feet of agricultural return flows will be resold for well augmentation. Municipal return flows are typically purchased by the cities.

"The Fountain Valley Pipeline will get 9,086 acre-feet, while 518 acre-feet will be used to begin to pay back Colorado Springs for water it released during the safety of dams program. The allocation to the Pueblo Board of Water Works is 3,570 acre-feet. Cities east of Pueblo will get 4,545 acre-feet, while cities to the west will get 1,524. For the first time, Pueblo West and Manitou Springs will receive allocations of Fry-Ark water under the policy approved in April. Pueblo West will get 121 acre-feet, the first allocation it has received since joining the district. The district formed in 1958, before Pueblo West existed. When it joined, part of the agreement was that the community could not receive allocations until other needs were satisfied. The policy change allowed some water to go to Pueblo West this year. Manitou Springs was a charter member of the district, but was not able to get water until two years ago, when it signed a carriage agreement with Colorado Springs Utilities. Manitou never joined the Fountain Valley Authority, so could not take advantage of a pipeline...

"Agricultural water users were willing to pay for more than 100,000 acre-feet of water, but will get just 16,212 acre-feet. Fort Lyon Canal will get 6,006 acre-feet, based on acreage adjustments that exclude land owned by Pure Cycle, a water marketer, Hamilton said. Other ditches receiving large amounts are: High Line, 2,179; Bessemer, 1,882; Catlin, 1,848; and Holbrook, 1,609...

"Reclamation estimates 47,600 acre-feet will be imported this year, but only has made 35,800 acre-feet available based on a Twin Lakes exchange, transit loss and evaporation. The Southeastern District set aside another 100 acre-feet to build up its emergency pool."

"colorado water"
5:38:14 AM     

Jefferson County groundwater rules?
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Jefferson County tried again this week to set up new groundwater rules for development. The meeting was continued until June 6th, according to the Rocky Mountain News. From the article, "The ongoing debate focuses on rules proposed by the county's professional planners and opposition from the volunteer planning commission, builders and developers. In April, the Jefferson County Commission rejected a set of rules approved by the planning commission but which lacked requirements recommended by the planning staff.

"At Wednesday's hearing, which will continue June 6 because no decision was made, staff planner Pat O'Connell explained the newest recommendations. To get a single building permit, a well yield report would be required, said O'Connell. Today, only a well permit is required. New subdivisions and rezoning requests would require a hydrogeological report that would include information on precipitation, recharge, proposed consumption and other factors that impact wells. The rules would not apply to the sales of existing homes, O'Connell said. The hydrogeological study would cost about $3,000 to $5,000 per subdivision, he said."

"colorado water"
5:27:41 AM     

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