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The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee yesterday advanced the Healthy Forest Management and Wildfire Prevention Act, or HR6089, which would increase state and local control in restoring forests to a healthy natural condition. The legislation, sponsored by U.S. Representative Scott Tipton, is supported by other Colorado House republicans, as well as by conservation districts, several boards of county commissioners, sportsmen’s groups, cattlemen and others. “The act would empower states to better protect their communities, species habitats, water supplies, and natural areas with preventative action to mitigate the conditions that lead to unhealthy forests and devastating wildfires”, according to Tipton. The act would increase state control over forest management decisions in high-risk areas on national forest service lands and lands under the jurisdiction of the bureau of land management.
The Moore Global Investment Fund, the hedge fund owned by Louis Bacon, announced yesterday that it will return $2 billion to investors, following 18 months of disappointing returns. The move would leave Bacon’s fund with between $5 billion and $6 billion in assets, according to the New York Times. But Bacon will still remain one of the wealthiest men in America with an estimated personal net worth of $1.4 billion. Bacon owns the 172,000 Trinchera and Blanca ranches on the northwest side of La Veta Pass. Since buying the ranches in 2007 for $175 million, bacon has spearheaded opposition to a power transmission line from the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo into the San Luis Valley. Yesterday’s announcement won’t impact Bacon’s proposal to put 90,000 acres of the Blanca ranch under a conservation easement with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The finalization of the easement and details on how it might restrict development on the ranch are pending the completion of an environmental review by the service.
A thunderstorm on Tuesday that dropped between 3 and 4 inches of rain took its toll on Colorado Highway 67, carving new depths into an arroyo under a bridge, buckling one of eight support poles, scouring the bottom of the bridge, then flowing over the top, causing the bridge to sink in the middle. Colorado 67 provides access between Florence and Wetmore. The highway remains closed to through traffic about five miles south of Florence. Colorado Department of Transportation workers were on scene yesterday to assess the situation while the bridge, which was built in 1952, made ominous creaking sounds. CDOT plans to have a temporary detour set up within a week’s time. The detour will allow the highway to reopen while the bridge is replaced. About 1,300 vehicles use the highway each day.
The dangers faced by highway workers each day was illustrated again this week following the death of Jeffrey Mosher, 20, of Coal Creek on Tuesday two miles south of Westcliffe on Highway 69. Mosher was working as a flagger for mountain barricade, stopping traffic on the highway in the work zone. The project includes widening the roadway to include shoulders. According to the Colorado State Patrol, the accident was caused by Robert White, 57, of Temple, Texas, a semi driver, who failed to observe that traffic was stopped and collided into the rear of the last vehicle that was stopped. Both Mosher and white died at the scene. Linda Niemeyer, 63, of Westcliffe, and a passenger were in the first car hit by the tractor trailer. Both sustained serious injuries and were flown to Denver for treatment. Joyce Brittingham, 55, of Westcliffe, was taken to Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo with moderate injuries. No one else involved in the accident was injured.
The Friends of the Alamosa Public Library will host a special Saturday book sale this Saturday, August 4th from 8:30am to 2pm, at the Friends’ shed north of the Alamosa Post Office and west of Cole Park. The sale can be accessed via the alley to the west of the post office. The friends will sell hardbacks and soft cover books, videos, CDs, and DVDs. Hardbacks will sell for $1, paperbacks for 50 cents, romance paperbacks will be five for $1, and children’s books will be three for $1. Some special books will be marked higher. Boxes and bags are available but are always appreciated. For more information, call Rhonda Borders at 719-580-2010.