News in Brief |

News in Brief

Some Rifle-area recreationists say the Bureau of Land Management is headed down the right path with a proposal to permanently limit summer vehicle travel to designated routes on the Roan Plateau.

“None of us want anybody to go off trails whatsoever. We all believe in maintaining the integrity of a small, narrow path,” said Gary Miller, a Rifle mountain biker.

A temporary ban on off-road and off-trail travel has been in place since 2000 on the 56,000 acres on the plateau that Congress transferred from the Department of Energy to the Department of Interior in 1997.

Kyle Costanzo, who owns Rifle Performance Motorsports, notes that the White River National Forest also already limits summer vehicle travel to designated routes. If the BLM decides it needs to do the same in order to keep public lands open to vehicle access, that’s fine by him, he said.

The BLM’s Glenwood Springs field office currently allows off-road, off-trail travel on most of the 568,000 acres it oversees, in an area running from Vail to Parachute and Toponas to Aspen.

Greg Goodenow, the office’s planning and environmental coordinator, said some localized restrictions are in place where concerns have arisen. He said a concern about all-terrain vehicles creating new trails on the Roan Plateau was one of the biggest reasons for putting the temporary ban in place.

Jamie Connell, the BLM’s Glenwood Springs field manager, said public lands agencies have been moving for decades toward more restrictive travel.

The Salvation Army’s familiar Red Kettles and ringing bells are back.

Throughout the holiday season each year, roughly 20,000 Salvation Army Red Kettles serve as collection stations nationwide. Local donations support programs and services of the Salvation Army’s Glenwood Springs service extension unit, such as emergency rent and utility assistance, eviction prevention, prescriptions, repairs, transportation and lodging.

Area service groups manage kettle locations from Parachute to Aspen, with help from additional volunteers. Last year, 1,000 hours were volunteered at the kettles. The donations collected between Thanksgiving and Christmas will account for a large part of the local emergency aid budget for 2005.

Seven cases of rent assistance/eviction prevention at $300 each are provided each month on a one-time basis, totaling $25,200 for 84 cases annually. The local unit works collaboratively with LIFT-UP and Catholic Charities on specific cases requiring more extensive help.

Last year, kettles raised $93 million was raised nationwide, helping the Salvation Army provide assistance for nearly 33 million people in need. Locally, 18 kettle locations valleywide raised $43,870.

DENVER ” A year-long investigation into the poaching of a trophy bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park soon could lead to charges against a Tennessee man, federal officials said.

Jeff Dorschner, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver, said the investigation into the 2003 crime was complete and a decision on charges was pending. He did not release the man’s name.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents and Tennessee officials searched the man’s home and vehicle and found other evidence linking him to poaching violations in Colorado and Wyoming, Park Service spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said.

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