The GARNA 25th Birthday Bash, the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association’s annual fundraiser, will celebrate 25 years of nature education and stewardship from 4 p.m. to sunset Sept. 12 at River Runners in Buena Vista.

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People and their pets are encouraged to avoid contact with water in DeWeese Reservoir State Wildlife Area near Westcliffe due to a blue-green algae bloom that could be harmful if touched or ingested.

Central Colorado Conservancy, a Salida-based nonprofit, was recently awarded $390,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The money is from the foundation’s Restoration and Stewardship of Outdoor Resources and Environment (RESTORE) program.

As part of the continuing utilization and beautification of Mimi’s Corner, native grass seed was planted and covered in a wood chip mulch and is now awaiting spring moisture for successful germination. 

Hunters hoping to draw a 2021 big game license in Colorado will have until 8 p.m. April 9 to apply in the primary draw due to volume-related technological issues that kept some hunters from being able to apply before the original deadline of 8 p.m. April 6.

Monarch Mountain will no longer require lift tickets to be pre-purchased for weekends and holidays for the remainder of the season. 

Join the Greater Arkansas River Natural Association for “A Wildlife Wander,” a virtual lecture presented by Ryan Kempfer and Chris Kassar of Elk Raven Photography via Zoom Thursday from 7-8 p.m.

A new skate park, sand volleyball courts, new sidewalks and improved accessibility are among the renovations planned with work beginning this month on Holman Avenue and Centennial Park.

Salida Mountain Trails receives a Sustaining Sponsor donation of $2,500, Sept. 2, from Absolute Bikes. The money will be used for construction of new trails in the Arkansas Hills and Methodist Mountain Trail Systems. From left: Mike Smith, Jessica Downing, Dena Gillis, Marcel Sootheer, Spenc…

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The Solstice Trail is one of the newest additions to the Methodist Mountain trail system, but it’s already being threatened. 

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The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHFM) will temporarily close the Matchless Mine to the public starting Aug. 20 due to earthmoving operations that are part of a project to rehabilitate the No. 6 hoist house.

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The Perseid meteor shower is heading toward its annual peak light show Aug. 11-13. 

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Salida’s Troop 60 Scouts backpacked more than thirty-seven miles of the Colorado Trail, traversing portions of the Holy Cross and Mount Massive Wilderness areas at elevations up to 11,400 feet.  

In celebration of Colorado Day, and the 144th birthday of the state, Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers free entry to 41 state parks on Aug. 3. Although the state recognizes this annual holiday on the first of the month, state parks celebrate the occasion with free entrance on the first Mond…

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife is adding big game hunting lands to the Hunting Reservation System. The new properties will allow a small number of licensed big game hunters to reserve hunt sites at a select number of properties in Game Management Units (GMUs) 1, 11, 23, 40, 41, 211 and 441. 

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The Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce cancelled the 2020 Gold Rush Days event in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the footrace at the center of Buena Vista’s celebration of the Old West may still go on as a private race among members of the Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation, with no spectators.

A life jacket loaner station will be “up and running next week,” said Buena Vista Recreation director Earl Richmond.

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Bruce “The Hiking Viking” Bro, head of the National Foundation for Danish America, is welcomed at the U.S. 50 and Colorado Trail crossing west of Salida. Bro, an Iowa native who now calls Phoenix, Arizona home, started his trek on June 29 near Denver, and expects to complete the 485-mile hik…

Leadville local and wildflower expert, Robin Dunn, will host two Greater Arkansas River Nature Association educational wildflower identification hikes in the Upper Arkansas Valley. 

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Although official data on visitation won’t be available until the end of the year, observations of the seven campgrounds along the Upper Arkansas River managed by the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area show that private boating usage on the waterway exploded after COVID-19 restrictions were…

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The U.S. Forest Service, San Isabel National Forest – Salida Ranger District has closed the North Fork campground to overnight use and also closed the day-use parking area to vehicles. The closure is for public safety to prevent injury or damage from falling dead trees within and adjacent to…

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Airmail? A pair of doves rest on a D Street mailbox during a brief flight away from their nest. The soon-to-be parents don’t go far from home these days because they have two eggs in a nest nearby.

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A male osprey presents a fish to his mate. She is happy for the gift as she has been busy keeping this Springs young warm in the nest, Lea Frye writes. “I was able to watch as she fed two different hatchlings bits of the fish. They just recently hatched thus I could barely could see their he…

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Two baby hummingbirds crowd into a nest as they are soon to leave our backyard, James Woyar, Salida, writes. Photographers can share photos at themountainmail.com under the “Submissions” tab or by emailing them to pgoetz@themountainmail.com. Be sure to include when, where and by whom the pho…

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The Great Outdoors Colorado board awarded a $1,625,000 grant this month to Central Colorado Conservancy in partnership with The Trust for Public Land and Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust to help conserve four ranches covering more than 2,400 acres in Chaffee County.

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A new motorized single-track trail is being built in the Four Mile Travel Management Area near Buena Vista. 

The trail, which will be called “Dud Bob’s” after a couple of dirt bikers who spearheaded the effort, will be an intermediate 6-mile trail that connects with the Triad Ridge trails near Chinaman’s Gulch on Bureau of Land Management land.

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The U.S. Forest Service has postponed until fall its closure of CR 322, the Mount Princeton Road, for repairs. 

Jen Swacina, Forest Service customer service representative, said the work is required because of failed water bars that have caused erosion down the width of the road.

The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association will reopen youth programs this summer with two weeks of Nature Camp for Salida-area kids ages 7-11. 

Additional programs will be offered in Buena Vista, according to a press release.

The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association reminds photographers that they can enter GARNA’s sixth annual photo contest fundraiser until Sunday.

Those who enter the photo contest today will receive a voucher for five free votes to apply to any photo(s) of their choice. 

As more people head outdoors, Colorado Parks and Wildlife reported it is seeing an increase in the number of sightings of potential wolves in the state.

“Public reporting vastly increases our ability to know what’s happening across the state,” said Dan Prenzlow, CPW director.

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With Salida Mountain Trails’ ShinDig trail workdays paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization turned to a local professional trail builder to help keep the trails in tiptop shape. 

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Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area recently unveiled a new campground on the Arkansas River about 20 miles southeast of Salida near Howard.

The Point Barr campground is a former dispersed camping area that received a facelift in the offseason, according to a press release. Now it is a basic campground featuring 12 campsites, each with a tent pad, picnic table and fire ring.

In preparation for a native cutthroat trout restoration project, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will remove all bag and possession limits, starting Saturday, for fishing on Upper Sand Creek Lake, Lower Sand Creek Lake and Sand Creek in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

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by Cody Olivas

Mail Staff Writer

A fatal, highly infectious calicivirus that affects rabbits and other lagomorph animals has been found in Colorado but has not reached Chaffee County. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed that rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus serotype-2 (RHDV-2) was first found in wild cottontails April 17 in Alamosa County. 

Chaffee County Fairgrounds will reopen its riding arenas to the public beginning today, with hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In keeping with Gov. Jared Polis’ executive orders, all groups and individuals will be asked to limit riding in arenas to 10 people at a time, according to a press release.

After nearly a two-year wait, Colorado Parks and Wildlife hatchery staff and biologists in Durango have spawned a new lineage of Colorado River cutthroat trout that were rescued from a remote stream during the 416 Fire in 2018.

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