News, May 13th

HWY 82 ROADKILL FENCE DOING THE TRICK

CARBONDALE – The Colorado Department of Transportation says new fences on highways are reducing the number of wildlife accidents.
The agency says animal-vehicle collisions in the Carbondale area of Colorado 82 fell below 100 in 2010 from the roughly 175 the previous year, and were well under 50 by 2011.  C-DOT also put up fences and escape ramps for Interstate 70 east of Gypsum in Eagle County.  The agency says it is encouraged by the results and will begin a $4 million fencing project in another problem area for wildlife collisions, the I-70 stretch from west Rifle to Canyon Creek.

FIRE DANGER IN THE WEST

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says the nation is heading into a tough wildfire season made even more challenging because budget cuts mean fewer firefighters to battle blazes.  Jewell said Monday that a dry year is creating the potential for another extreme summer of forest and range fires.  Jewell spent the past two days touring the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise. She was joined by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who said a 7.5 percent cut to the 2013 U.S. Forest Service budget means 500 fewer firefighters on the ground this year.

MEDICAID EXPANSION IN COLORADO

DENVER (AP) – An expansion of Medicaid eligibility that’s expected to add 160,000 adults to public health care assistance in Colorado has been signed into law.
Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the measure Monday afternoon at the state Capitol. The expansion is part of the federal health care overhaul. Supporters of the expansion say it will reduce health care costs in the long run. But most Republicans voted against the expansion, saying the state’s cost can balloon once the federal government stops paying for growing the program. The federal government covers the entire cost of the expansion for the first three years.

BLM TO AUCTION O AND G LEASES IN GARCO, MOFFAT COUNTIES

SILT— The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to auction gas and oil drilling leases in Garfield and Moffat counties this August.  The leases include two tracts totaling 381 acres on U.S. Forest Service lands in the West Mamm Creek/Beaver Creek region of Garfield County. Three more parcels totaling 2,125 acres in Moffat County will be auctioned in Denver on Aug. 8.  The agency said it’s seeking public input before the auction.  The State of Colorado will receive 49 percent of sale proceeds with the rest going to the U.S. government.

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