News, September 28th

New Castle– The 257-acre Middle Elk wildfire that grew from an abandoned campfire north of New Castle is 30 percent contained. Fire officials say the fire is smoldering in mixed conifer and aspen stands in an area where some trees have been killed by beetles. The popular Meadow Lake campground was evacuated after the fire started Sept. 20, but has since reopened.

Denver– Oil gas industry officials are opposing new drilling regulations while supporters say the rules should be tougher.
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission director Matt Lepore said Thursday regulators are meeting with both groups because they want the state to get it right. Next week, commissioners will be asked to begin revising regulations established in 2008 as the drilling boom gained momentum. The industry wants uniform rules across the state rather than conflicting local regulations that would make it uneconomical to drill in some areas.

Vail–A Vail Valley man faces a fine after the shooting of a bear earlier this week. Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras says 26-year-old Joseph Giegling was ticketed with the unlawful take of a black bear that was shot Monday night. The fine for the ticket is over 13-hundred dollars plus 15 points against hunting and fishing privileges. With over 20 points, licenses are revoked.

Denver–Pro-life groups in Colorado failed to get enough valid signatures on a petition for the “Personhood Amendment” ballot proposal. Now, they’re suing to challenge the state’s ruling.
Personhood Colorado filed its legal challenge in Denver District Court. The group had submitted petitions to ask Colorado voters for a third time whether to ban abortions. Secretary of state Scott Gessler ruled last month that Personhood Colorado didn’t submit enough valid signatures and that there wasn’t time for the group to try to complete the petition before election day. The pro-life groups want a judge to review the signatures and clear the measure for ballots as soon as possible, either this November or in 2014.

Telluride– Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are reintroducing native cutthroat trout to a part of the San Juan Mountains where the fish once lived. State biologists recently took more than 250 native cutthroat trout that had been captured on the Uncompahgre Plateau and stocked them in Woods Lake southwest of Telluride. The hope is the trout will thrive and avoid becomming an endangered species.
Parks and Wildlife aquatic researcher Dan Kowalski says the area was once populated with native trout, but they haven’t been present for decades. Wildlife officials say habitat loss, water quality conditions and the introduction of non-native fish have contributed to the elimination of cutthroat trout in many western Colorado rivers and streams.