In Brief: Some bears still awake in Garfield Co., marijuana sales tail off |

In Brief: Some bears still awake in Garfield Co., marijuana sales tail off

Staff Report

Some bears still awake in Garfield County

Bears are still out and about, looking for their last snack before their long nap. Be sure to not give them a reason to stay awake or a place to shack up for the season.

One early morning Nov. 29, Oasis Creek resident Michael McCallum heard a thud outside. He discovered a bear had just pulled his grill out onto his back porch.

“It was a bear raid,” McCallum said. “He came in and destroyed my grill. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one this late in the year. I’m amazed that they’re still out and about.”

“Occasionally, you’re going to have the late stragglers,” Colorado Park and Wildlife Public Information Officer Rachel Gonzales said. “We get bears that linger out of the den in December in that area, but it is not normal. This year they are seeing more bears out later due to poor natural food conditions earlier this year, and in poor body condition and still trying to pack on calories from the fall.”

She said that the snowfall this weekend will hopefully remind them it’s time to hibernate, but residents should be following the same precautions as normal to avoid delaying that move.

“Why it’s important to ensure your home doesn’t have food attractants keeping them from doing what’s natural and going into hibernation,” Gonzales said.

Vail considers upcharge on plastic, paper bags

In response to the statewide Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023, the town of Vail is proposing changes to its existing disposable-bag regulations.

Going into effect with the new year will be a 10-cent fee statewide on all plastic and paper bags. A municipality may raise the fee higher by resolution or ordinance. 

Vail is proposing an increase to its existing 10 cents per bag fee to 25 cents per bag. The fee would be paid by customers and partially remitted to the town by all retailers with their monthly sales tax. State law requires the fee be split, with at least 40% going to the business.

Also, a ban on plastic carryout bags goes into effect statewide on Jan. 1, 2024. The ban affects large grocery and retail stores. Disposable paper bags made from 100%-recycled content can still be distributed with the bag fee. Existing regulations in Vail already ban single-use plastic bags at grocers 4,000 square feet and larger. 

Marijuana sales tail off statewide

Colorado’s marijuana industry knows what it’s like to feel the high, but now the buzz is wearing off. Marijuana sales have declined for more than a year in the state, threatening public programs funded by the tax revenue the sales produce.

In an industry that’s built on getting high, marijuana sales are now seeing record lows.

“Right now, the Colorado marijuana industry is going through the largest downturn that we’ve ever seen,” said Truman Bradley, executive director of the Wheat Ridge-based Marijuana Industry Group. “Our industry is going through big time layoffs. Thousands of people have lost their jobs and small business owners are going under. Unfortunately, I expect that to continue into the coming year.”

So why is this all happening now? It starts with supply and demand. When everyone was sent home in 2020, let’s just say there wasn’t much to do. That resulted in a big spike in marijuana sales during the pandemic. Now that people aren’t stuck at home, they aren’t buying as much weed.

“The medical market is down about 47% statewide and the recreational market is down about 20%. Those are huge, huge, numbers,” Bradley said. “To put that into perspective, that means there is a hundred million dollars less in marijuana tax revenue than there was a year ago. What that means is critical programs that are funded by marijuana tax revenue are at risk.”

— Channel 9, Denver

Steamboat more than 50% open

On Saturday, Dec. 3, Steamboat Resort opened five lifts and 46 trails, bringing the grand total of open terrain to about 1,500 acres, according to a social media post from Steamboat Resort. The resort is 2,965 acres, meaning it is more than 50% open just 10 days after opening day.

Saturday saw Morningside, Sunshine, and Sundown lifts open as well as Elkhead Express and South Peak. With those additions, 12 of 21 lifts at the resort are open.

Additionally, 105 of 170 trails are open.

Tahoe gets snow; more expected

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The multi day storm that entered the Lake Tahoe Basin on Saturday has dropped about a foot of snow at higher elevations and mostly rain at lake level.

Palisades Tahoe and Kirkwood Mountain Resort each reported receiving 14 inches of snow on Saturday, with 6 inches for Diamond Peak Ski Resort and 7 inches for Heavenly Mountain Resort.

The National Weather Service has a winter storm warning in effect through 4 a.m. Monday with 10 inches of snow possible above 7,000 feet and 1 to 5 inches at lower elevations.


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