GUNNISON SAGE GROUSE DECISION BEING CHALLENGED IN COURT
Gunnison—The Colorado county that shares the name of the wild bird that has ruffled so many feathers recently is suing the federal government to keep it from being listed as a threatened species. Today officials in Gunnison County filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service saying last month’s listing of the Gunnison Sage Grouse wasn’t necessary. The birds are found only in Southwest Colorado and Southeast Utah and there are about 5,000 left. Gunnison County isn’t alone in this battle. The states of Colorado and Utah may file suit as well arguing local conservation efforts should be given a chance to work. On the flip side, environmental groups say the Gunnison sage grouse listing should go from threatened to endangered. A similar fight is occurring further north over the Greater sage grouse where Garfield County has been leading the effort to keep the bird off the endangered or threatened list saying it will have long term, devastating economic impacts. A decision on the Greater sage grouse is expected next year.
BATTLE MOUNTAIN PASS STILL CLOSED BY ROCKSLIDE
Vail—No one was hurt by Saturday night’s big rockslide but several vehicles were damaged as well as sections of the busy, windy, two-lane road between Minturn and Leadville known by locals as Battle Mountain Pass. Highway 24 is still closed in both directions even though C-DOT crews were able to break up several larger boulders with explosives. The section of road, south of Vail, will have to be repaired. In the meantime, C-DOT officials say drivers should use Colorado Highway 91 as a detour.
MORE SNOW FOR COLORADO ALONG WITH FRIGID TEMPERATURES
Undated—Nature is packing a frosty, one-two punch for Colorado. More snow along with bitter, bone-chilling temperatures are in store for the next couple of days. Some parts of the mountains are expected to get another 16 inches of new snow in the next 24 hours while parts of Denver could see another 5 to 10 inches. The snow, combined with the arctic system moving through the Rocky Mountains is expected to send the mercury plummeting well below zero in the region.