Pets & Animals
New dog management regulations along mountain backdrop
The first in a series of changes to dog management practices in the West Trail Study Area (West TSA) will take effect on Monday, April 15. The following areas will be posted with signage reflecting the following changes:
- Fern Canyon Trail (from where it leaves the Mesa Trail heading west to Bear Peak – Dogs on this trail will now be allowed to be off leash with the proper use of voice and sight control
- Lower McClintock Trail (from the wooden bridge just below the Chautauqua Auditorium along the short distance heading west until the Enchanted Mesa Trail) – Dogs will no longer be allowed on this portion of the trail
- Boy Scout Trail (located at the Flagstaff Summit) – Dogs will no longer be allowed in this area
These changes are the result of recommendations made and approved in 2011after a rigorous public process that brought constituencies together in the form of a Community Collaborative Group to develop a set of best visitor activity and environmental protection practices for the valuable ecosystem in the west TSA. Generally speaking, the West TSA covers from Eldorado Springs Drive (south) to Linden Avenue (north) and from Broadway (east) to the west side of the Flatirons.
The group made these recommendations related to dog management, as well as others that are likely to take effect around May 1. These will include the following changes:
- Towhee Trail – Dogs will no longer be allowed on this trail
- Old Mesa Trail (from Lower Shadow Canyon down to Eldorado Canyon) – Dogs must be leashed and on trail
- The Homestead Trail – Dogs will continue to be permitted off leash with the proper use of voice and sight control except for when crossing the riparian corridor, where dogs must be leashed
Be sure to check http://www.osmp.orgfor the exact dates when these future changes will go into effect and for general information about the provisions. If you have additional questions about these changes, please contact Dean Paschall at 720-564-2050.
The City of Boulder OSMP is temporarily requiring dogs to be leashed on the Mount Sanitas Valley trail, effective immediately, as a result of several encounters between dogs and coyotes. Although Voice and Sight control is normally allowed in this area, OSMP is enacting the temporary leash restrictions in order to provide the best possible protection for both dogs and coyotes. Advisory signs have been posted to educate users on the issues.
“In the last two weeks there have been several reports of dogs interacting with coyotes. In each of these cases the dog guardian had either lost sight of his or her dog or was unable to call the dog back and the dog charged a coyote that was seen near the trail. At least one of these encounters resulted in significant injuries to the dog,” Ranger Supervisor Joe Reale said.
The type of coyote behavior reported suggests there may be a den site in the area that the coyotes are defending. An off-leash dog may be viewed as a threat to a coyote that has young nearby.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer Kristin Cannon said, “This time of year coyotes will be active providing food and protection to young pups. It is important that we keep unleashed dogs away from areas where coyotes are hunting and raising young. Eventually the coyotes will disperse from the area, and the risk to both dogs and coyotes will be reduced.”
OSMP will monitor the situation at Mount Sanitas and will inform the public when it is once again safe to walk dogs under voice and sight control.
Please visit www.osmp.org for detailed maps and up-to-date information on regulations, closures, temporary or otherwise; or call 303-441-3440.
–CITY of Boulder press release–
900 Prairie dogs slated for move
A public meeting is scheduled to discuss a city proposal to relocate up to 900 prairie dogs from city-owned land around Foothills Community Park and from additional open space colonies to city open space land east of Highway 93, south of Coal Creek, and north of Highway 128, south of Boulder. This number has been scaled back to reflect on-the-ground and projected drought conditions. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 9, in the Foothills Elementary School Cafeteria, 1001 Hawthorn Ave. Staff from the city will be available to answer any questions, and to receive comments and feedback.
The city is intending to apply for a State of Colorado permit to relocate the prairie dogs from these areas, which are designated as removal areas in the Urban Wildlife Management Plan and the Grassland Ecosystem Management Plan.
The proposed receiving site was previously the site of an extensive 155-acre prairie dog colony that has since died off. The prairie dogs are being removed from multiple city sites with the dogs near Foothills Community Park being moved first.
CITY OF BOULDER PRESS RELEASE– FOR THOSE TOO IGNORANT TO KNOW HOW THE BUSINESS WORKS
March 25, 2013This report is an executive summary of an extensive personnel investigation into allegations ofserious misconduct involving Boulder Police Officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow. Somedetailed information is included, while other details have been excluded to protect informationbelonging to other agencies and/or the criminal case that has yet to be concluded.
FULL REPORT SEE HERE:
Some names have been redacted to protect department members’ personnel privacy rights. Investigative
reports on personnel matters are typically not made public. The decision to release this report
was made in the interest of transparency (to the degree possible) and due to the already public
nature of the incident, the degree of public concern expressed over the incident, and the fact that both officers are no longer with the departmentOn January 1, 2013, at approximately 2255 hours, Officer Sam Carter shot and killed an elk with
police issued shotgun on the corner of 9th and Mapleton while on duty. Officer Carter had
made prior arrangements with off duty Officer Brent Curnow to assist him in loading the elk in
Curnow’s truck for later processing. Officer Carter made no attempt to report that he had
discharged his shotgun or that he had killed the elk. (Officers sometimes have to euthanize
injured animals to prevent further suffering.) Officer Carter did not notify a supervisor, dispatch,
or file any reports about the incident.
On the morning of January 2nd, the department began to receive media inquiries about the killing
of the elk. The department had no knowledge of any officer involvement in the killing at that
time. The department continued to follow-up on reports that an elk had been killed by a Boulder
officer and learned on the evening of January 2nd that Sam Carter had killed the elk. The
department then began a preliminary internal investigation to determine the circumstances and
why Carter did not report the shooting to anyone. As information was developed, it became
obvious that there were serious questions around the circumstances of the shooting and the
actions of the officers involved.
On January 3rd, a formal Internal Affairs Investigation (IA) was initiated against Officers Carter
and Curnow (see attached complaints officially filed January 4th). Both officers were placed on
administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. At about the same time, a
criminal investigation was initiated by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife (CPW).
While information was shared with CPW, the investigations remained separate and distinct. The
goal of the department’s IA investigation was to determine whether Officers Carter and Curnow
had violated any department rules and/or policies. The criminal investigation was left to CPW
and eventually forwarded to the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office. We did not conduct
a personnel investigation into the actions of Deputy Jeff George. That responsibility fell to his
employer, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.
On January 18th Officers Carter and Curnow were arrested and charged with multiple offenses
related to the elk shooting. On the same date, both officers were placed on leave without pay and
given appointments to report to the police department for their formal IA interviews on January BOULDER POLICE DEPARTMENT
21st. Rather than appear for their interviews as scheduled, their attorney Marc Colin appeared
and announced that both officers would resign effective January 22nd. Boulder Police continued to investigate to determine the facts and whether other employees were potentially involved. The department did not find any other violations of rules or policies by any other employees. Some employees had overheard statements by Carter and or Curnow about
wanting to get the elk, or shoot the elk. However, the context in which these statements were
made did not lead those employees to believe either officer would illegally or without
justification shoot the elk. Both officers were hunters, as were other members of the department,
and would often talk about hunting, so this type of conversation did not seem alarming. Often,
job related joking occurs at briefings to start the day, so it is not unusual to hear officers make
statements in jest. As one officer put it, Carter was always making brash statements in briefing
but never did any of the things he joked about. No one took him literally when he said he
wanted to kill the elk. Officer Curnow also reportedly teased a Sergeant about putting the elk
down as he knew that Sergeant was an animal lover.
The elk in question had been around Boulder for many months and was admired by many
officers. Some officers even took pictures of the elk due to its size and beauty. After the
shooting, the officers who worked with Carter and Curnow were shocked, disappointed, and
angry that they would do such a thing.
All of the information gathered during the investigation was provided to supervisors and the
department’s 12 member IA Review Panel, (six community members and six department
members). All reviewers were unanimous in recommending the allegations against Carter and
Curnow be sustained. Chief of Police Mark Beckner agreed with these recommendations and
entered a sustained finding in the personnel files of both Carter and Curnow.
None of the reviewers or panel members believed any disciplinary action was appropriate for any
other officer. The Chief of Police also asked specifically for feedback from supervisors and the
IA Review Panel in regards to some decision making on the part of two other officers. One
involved a post on a Facebook page about the elk and the other involved being more timely in
letting the department know of Carter’s involvement. The consensus feedback was that both
situations were best handled as learning experiences to be addressed through documented
counseling with supervisors. The Chief accepted this recommendation.
The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) is temporarily closing areas in order to protect nesting and roosting burrowing owls and osprey. Properties where burrowing owls nest will be closed from March 15 through Oct 31. Properties closed for the protection of nesting osprey will be closed from March 15 through Sept. 10. Closures may be lifted early if monitoring indicates it is appropriate.
The following property will be closed for the protection of osprey:
Axelson (northwest of Boulder Reservoir; portions closed).
The following properties will be closed for the protection of burrowing owls:
- Damyanovich/Yunker (north of Marshall Drive, between Cherryvale Road and US 36);
- Jafay/Lynch (north of Lookout Road and east of 75th Street);
- Cosslett/Knaus (South of Lookout Road and east of 75th Street);
- Kelsall (north of High-Plains Trail, trail remains open);
- Mesa Sand and Gravel (east of 66th Street, south of Marshall Drive); and
- Superior Associates (north of High-Plains Trail, trail remains open).
These closures were established to protect sensitive species. Burrowing owls nest in prairie dog burrows and their populations are declining in Colorado. This bird is listed as threatened by the Colorado Division of Wildlife has been listed as endangered or as a species of “special concern” in 12 US states and in Canada. Staff will be monitoring these sites and others during the spring and summer to understand more about the distribution and breeding biology of this owl on city property.
City of Boulder relies heavily on the public to respect the closures, and the cooperation of visitors to avoid these areas is greatly appreciated. Trespass violations can result in a summons with penalties up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
More detailed information and maps can be found on the Open Space and Mountain Parks’ website: www.osmp.org. or call 303-441-3440.
Each year, the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department temporarily closes areas to the public in order to protect nesting and roosting raptors. The following areas and formations will be closed from Feb. 1 through July 31:
- Lefthand Canyon Palisades, at the intersection of Lefthand Canyon Drive and Olde Stage Road (Buckingham picnic area remains open);
- Mount Sanitas, First Buttress, accessible from the Mount Sanitas trailhead, a half mile west of Fourth Street and Mapleton Avenue (no closures to the bouldering areas along the ridge; Mount Sanitas trail will remain open);
- Gregory Canyon Amphitheater, including the Amphitheater Express Trail and the 3rd Pinnacle (the Amphitheater Trail to Saddle Rock will remain open);
- Third Flatiron, including the East and West Ironing Boards, Queen Anne’s Head and Jaws, and WC Pinnacle, accessible from Chautauqua trailhead;
- Flagstaff Mountain: the north side of Flagstaff Mountain will be closed (the Boy Scout Trail will remain open);
- Skunk Canyon, including Ridges 2, 3 and 4, the Aechean Pronouncement, the Dreadnaught, the North Ridge and the entirety of Sacred Cliffs, accessible from NCAR trailhead at the west end of Table Mesa Road;
- The Back Porch and The Box, accessible from the NCAR trailhead at the west end of Table Mesa Road;
- Bear Creek Spire, accessible from the NCAR trailhead at the west end of Table Mesa Road;
- Fern Canyon, accessible from the NCAR trailhead at the west end of Table Mesa Road (the designated Fern Canyon hiking trail will remain open);
- Shadow Canyon and the Matron, accessible from the South Mesa Trailhead (the Maiden will remain open and accessible from the east; the designated Shadow Canyon hiking trail will re-open in 2013 following post-fire maintenance);
- The Sphinx, accessible from the NCAR trailhead at the west end of Table Mesa Road;
- Diamond Head and SoBo Buttress, west of Shadow Canyon, accessible from South Mesa Trailhead (South Boulder Peak Trail will remain open);
- The entire Mickey Mouse wall, accessible from the Goshawk Ridge Trail.
High-quality cliff habitat and rich food resources on OSMP lands, as well as community cooperation in protecting nesting sites, sustains the mountain backdrop as a regionally important area for nesting falcons and golden eagles. OSMP volunteers and staff have been monitoring raptor nesting and roosting areas since 1984, and the program is an integral part of efforts to protect the species and adaptively manage the closures.
Trespassing violations can result in a summons with penalties up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. OSMP relies heavily on the public to respect the closures, and the cooperation of visitors to these areas is greatly appreciated. Closures may be lifted early, if no raptor activity is observed at these sites.
Some modifications have occurred to the Flagstaff and The Sphinx raptor closures. Please visit Open Space and Mountain Parks’ website at www.osmp.org for detailed maps and up-to-date information on raptor closures or call 303-441-3440.
Boulder police: Two Boulder police officers resign; internal investigation continues into elk incident0
The two Boulder Police Department officers involved in the death of an elk on New Year’s Day have resigned their positions, effective immediately.
Sam Carter and Brent Curnow both turned in letters of resignation to Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner. Chief Beckner has accepted their resignations.
Although both officers are no longer members of the police department, the internal personnel investigation into the circumstances and their behavior on Jan. 1 and Jan. 2, 2013 will continue.
Both officers faced termination for their actions on Jan. 1 and Jan. 2, 2013.
“The Boulder Police Department does not tolerate this kind of behavior,” said Chief Mark Beckner. “Police officers and other members of this department will be held accountable for their actions and behavior, and we want the community to know how seriously we take this breach of trust,” said Beckner.
The department hopes to complete its internal investigation quickly. In a separate criminal investigation, the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office charged Carter and Curnow with multiple crimes last Friday.
CU-Boulder, vet hospital team up for
clinical study to treat canine pain
A University of Colorado Boulder professor and her biomedical spinoff company Xalud Therapeutics Inc. of San Francisco are teaming up with a Front Range veterinarian to conduct a clinical study targeting an effective treatment for dogs suffering from chronic pain.
Distinguished Professor Linda Watkins of CU-Boulder’s psychology and neuroscience department said the study involves treating ailing dogs with a gene therapy using Interleukin-10, or IL-10, a protein and anti-inflammatory that both dogs and humans produce naturally. Watkins is working with veterinarian Robert Landry of Mountain Ridge Animal Hospital and Pain Management Center in Lafayette, who will be treating canine patients suffering from chronic and painful conditions, some of which already are being treated with various other medications with limited success.
Animals perceive and experience several levels of pain that are similar to humans, and chronic pain can be debilitating and also shorten the lives of pets, said Landry, one of only a handful of credentialed American Academy of Pain Management practitioners in Colorado. Landry currently is seeking Denver-Boulder area pet owners who have dogs suffering from chronic pain and who might be interested in participating in the study, which is free.
The new study is driven by research spearheaded by Watkins indicating a type of cell known as glial cells found in the nervous system of mammals plays a key role in pain. Under normal conditions, glial cells act as central nervous system “housekeepers,” cleaning up cellular debris and providing support for neurons, said Watkins. But glial cells also can play a pivotal role in pain enhancement by exciting neurons that both transmit pain signals and release a host of chemical compounds that cause problems like chronic neuropathic pain and other medical issues.
The team will use Xalud’s lead product candidate, XT-101, a gene therapy that harnesses the power of the potent anti-inflammatory IL-10 to normalize glial activity and eliminate neuropathic pain for up to 90 days with a single injection.
The gene therapy based on IL-10 has a number of advantages, including suppressing glial activity in the spinal cord, stimulating tissue regeneration and growth, decreasing the production of pro-inflammatory substances and increasing the production of anti-inflammatory substances, Watkins said. Landry and Watkins also have been working with the American Kennel Club on potential funding for additional clinical studies involving the treatment of chronic pain in dogs, said Watkins.
“We have already tested this new therapy in two pet dogs, and both have had remarkable reversals of their pain for long durations after a single injection of the therapeutic,” she said. “Our early peek at the potential of this therapeutic treatment in dogs shows essentially the same positive effects we have seen in laboratory rats used in our studies that have been treated with the therapy.”
Watkins said demonstrating the efficacy and safety of the new gene therapy in a second species of mammal is important in terms of moving it forward to eventually meet FDA regulations for human clinical trials.
In addition to studying what triggers glial cells to become activated and begin releasing pain-enhancing substances and ways to control chronic pain, Watkins and her research team recently discovered that clinically prescribed opioids also activate glial cells and cause them to release pain-enhancing substances. “Our ultimate goal is to find a means by which clinical pain control can be improved so as to relieve human suffering,” she said.
To contact Landry about possible participation in the study by family dogs suffering chronic pain and that might benefit from the experimental treatment, call the Mountain Ridge Animal Hospital at 303-665-4852.
For more information on CU-Boulder’s psychology and neuroscience department visit http://psych-www.colorado.edu/. For more information on Xalud Therapeutics Inc. visit http://www.xaludthera.com/. For more information on Mountain Ridge Animal Hospital visit http://www.mountainridgevet.com/.
The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department has begun the seasonal bald eagle closures at the Kolb and Weiser properties (near 75th and Valmont) and Coal Creek area (east of Highway 93 near Marshall Lake). The areas were closed Thursday, Nov. 1, and will remain that way until July 31, 2013, or until nest monitoring indicates that the areas are OK to open.
Bald eagles generally return to these nesting sites in November. At this early stage of the mating season, the birds are assessing areas as potential nest sites, and disturbances may deter the birds from continuing to nest in these areas. OSMP thanks the community for respecting these closures.
For more information, visit the OSMP website at www.osmp.org or call 303-441-3440.
Residents encouraged to secure trash and food sources to protect bears
With bears foraging for food in preparation for their winter hibernation, it is important that residents take measures to deter bears by securing any potential food sources on their properties. See the Inside Boulder News segment about recent bear activity.
Bear-proofing food items and trash is the best way for residents to minimize the chance that bears will show interest in their property. Common bear attractants include garbage, compost, fruit from trees, bird feeders, food from outdoor grills and pet food left outside.
City regulations require that curbside garbage/compost bins not be placed out for pick up until 5 a.m. the day collection occurs. Alleyway bins are exempt from these regulations.
To be safe, the city recommends that residents west of Broadway store all garbage and compost bins in a garage or shed until the morning of collection, or keep their waste in a bear-resistant trash container. Residents within Boulder city limits can contact their trash hauler for specific information about bear-resistant trash containers.
Bears that learn that people are a source of food are sometimes killed to keep the public safe. During the past six years, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has killed five bears in Boulder because of nuisance behavior or a threat to public safety. Please do your part to ensure that bears are not unnecessarily attracted to your property.
If there is a bear in your backyard, the following tips are recommended:
- Keep your distance. Back away slowly from the bear, ensuring it has a clear escape path;
- Never run. Running may cause a bear to chase you;
- Never approach a bear, or get in between a cub and its mother;
- Never provide food to a bear. This teaches it to approach people for food;
- Do not let the bear become comfortable around your home; and
- Once you are safely inside, do your best to scare the bear away. Yell, clap your hands and make other loud noises to encourage the bear to leave.
If the bear is observed within the city limits, call the Boulder Police Department at 303-441-3333. To report past bear sightings and encounters, call 303-441-3004.
The city is currently conducting an Urban Black Bear Education and Enforcement Pilot Program in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. For more information about the pilot program, contact Urban Wildlife Conservation Coordinator Val Matheson at 303-441-3004 or visit www.boulderwildlifeplan.net.
For a detailed discussion about bears in the urban/foothill interface, watch the “Bears in Boulder” segment of A Boulder View.
Leading quantitative conservation biologist named CU’s first Colorado Chair in Environmental Studies0
The University of Colorado Boulder has hired its first Colorado Chair in Environmental Studies, an endowed chair awarded to Daniel Doak, a conservation biologist known for his quantitative analysis of how different government policies could affect the populations of species ranging from sea otters, California condors, corals and rare plants.
The endowed chair in environmental studies was made possible by $4 million in gifts made anonymously in 2009 and 2010 toward the chair.
Sharon Collinge, professor and director of the CU-Boulder Environmental Studies Program, called Doak a perfect match. “He epitomizes what we’re looking for,” she said.
Doak is especially skilled in interdisciplinary research, she said. He brings expertise in policy to his analyses of risks of energy development, for example. And he is widely cited for his research in quantitative conservation biology, which combines sophisticated computer modeling with varying policy scenarios to project changes in populations of rare species.
For instance, the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science recently published a study co-authored by Doak concluding that the California condor is chronically endangered by lead exposure from hunters’ spent ammunition.
While the free-flying condor population has risen in the last three decades, that increase has been achieved through captive breeding, monitoring and veterinary care, the study found. Meanwhile, the primary threat to the endangered bird — lead poisoning from bullets and shotgun shells lodged in carrion — has gone largely unmitigated, the study said.
Doak and his fellow researchers found no evidence that California’s 2008 partial ban on lead ammunition yielded any decrease in lead exposure and poisoning in condors.
Since 2007, Doak has served as a professor of zoology and physiology at the University of Wyoming. Previously, he was a faculty member at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Scholarly papers have cited his work more than 3,000 times since 1998.
Doak said he was drawn to CU-Boulder’s Environmental Studies Program because of its breadth, spanning disciplines ranging from biogeochemistry to political science to philosophy. This interdisciplinary focus is necessary to confront some of the world’s most intractable problems, Doak and Collinge said.
“That’s the only way we can really address and resolve some of the major environmental challenges that we face,” Collinge said.
Working with experts from a wide range of disciplines, Doak added, provides a motivation and opportunity “not once a year but every day to confront your own ignorance and thus to appreciate and learn new ideas and approaches.”
It is not that interdisciplinary work is always best, he added. “We need to train ourselves and our students to determine when the problem we are confronting requires an interdisciplinary approach. If you want to build a bridge that won’t fall down, you don’t need an interdisciplinary team. You need a good engineer.”
The critical question, he said, is the following: “Is this problem a nail that requires a hammer, or is this a problem that requires a lot of tools? And most environmental problems require an entire chest of tools and the different people who know how to use them.”
Collinge said students sometimes grasp this distinction better than professors do. “Students who are interested in the environment understand very deeply that they have to know something about politics and policies and how we make choices and why we make choices,” she said. “They’ve essentially pushed us, encouraged us to provide that broad and deep training for them.”
Of the donor’s gift, Collinge said, “This was incredibly generous. And we are really grateful.
“For me, it validates or speaks to the importance of what we’re doing,” she said. “With more than 1,000 undergraduate majors in environmental studies and 50 graduate students, enthusiasm was abundant even before the gift that enabled the endowed chair.”
Increase in metal concentrations
in Rocky Mountain watershed
tied to warming temperatures
Warmer air temperatures since the 1980s may explain significant increases in zinc and other metal concentrations of ecological concern in a Rocky Mountain watershed, reports a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Colorado Boulder.
Rising concentrations of zinc and other metals in the upper Snake River just west of the Continental Divide near Keystone, Colo., may be the result of falling water tables, melting permafrost and accelerating mineral weathering rates, all driven by warmer air temperatures in the watershed. Researchers observed a fourfold increase in dissolved zinc over the last 30 years during the month of September.
Increases in metals were seen in other months as well, with lesser increases seen during the high-flow snowmelt period. During the study period, local mean annual and mean summer air temperatures increased at a rate of 0.5 to 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit per decade.
Generally, high concentrations of dissolved metals in the Snake River watershed are primarily the result of acid rock drainage, or ARD, formed by natural weathering of pyrite and other metal-rich sulfide minerals in the bedrock. Weathering of pyrite forms sulfuric acid through a series of chemical reactions, and pulls metals like zinc from minerals in the rock and carries these metals into streams.
Increased sulfate and calcium concentrations observed over the study period lend weight to the hypothesis that the increased zinc concentrations are due to acceleration of pyrite weathering. The potential for comparable increases in metals in similar Western watersheds is a concern because of impacts on water resources, fisheries and stream ecosystems. Trout populations in the lower Snake River, for example, appear to be limited by the metal concentrations in the water, said USGS research biologist Andrew Todd, lead researcher on the project.
“Acid rock drainage is a significant water quality problem facing much of the Western United States,” Todd said. “It is now clear that we need to better understand the relationship between climate and ARD as we consider the management of these watersheds moving forward.”
Warmer temperatures and earlier snowmelt runoff have been observed throughout mountainous areas of the western United States where ARD is common, but it is not known if these changes have triggered rising acidity and metal concentrations in other “mineralized” watersheds because of lack of comparable monitoring data, according to the research team.
CU-Boulder Professor Diane McKnight, a collaborator on the project, has generated much of the upper Snake River data through research projects conducted with her students since the mid-1990s. McKnight said students in her environmental engineering and environmental studies class like Caitlin Crouch — a study co-author who received her master’s degree under McKnight — are highly motivated to understand ARD problems.
“Student can see that their research will have direct applications to addressing a critical issue for Colorado,” said McKnight, professor in the civil, environmental and architectural engineering department and a fellow in CU’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.
In cases where ARD is linked directly with past and present mining activities it is called acid mine drainage, or AMD. Another Snake River tributary, Peru Creek, is largely devoid of life due to AMD generated from the abandoned Pennsylvania Mine and smaller mines upstream and has become a target for potential remediation efforts.
The Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety, in conjunction with other local, state and federal partners, is conducting underground exploration work at the mine to investigate the sources of heavy metals-laden water draining from the mine entrance. The new study by Todd and colleagues has important implications in such mine cleanup efforts because it suggests that establishing attainable cleanup objectives could be difficult if natural background metal concentrations are a “moving target.”
A study on the subject was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Other collaborators include Andrew Manning and Philip Verplanck of USGS. The data analyzed for the study came from INSTAAR, the USGS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Valmont Dog Park, located at 5325 Valmont Road, will reopen to the public this Friday, Aug. 24, after being closed since early May for major renovations and improvements.
Valmont Dog Park improvements included widening the parking lot access, putting in a new entry plaza, fencing, surfacing, landscaping and water hydrants. A portion of the new park will also include an enclosed, irrigated turf area, low berms, a new 16-foot square shade shelter (to be installed later this fall), and two smaller shelters. The shelters are funded by the Capital Improvement Bond passed by voters in November 2011. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is anticipated for later this fall.
Additionally, the Parks and Recreation Department is now offering dog waste composting at the newly remodeled Valmont Dog Park as part of the department’s efforts to create a more environmentally sustainable community. The city will be providing compostable dog waste bags for use by dog guardians to pick up their dog’s waste and place it into a specially marked container at the main entrance of the dog park.
The dog waste compost container will be emptied periodically and its contents will be made into compost using a special high temperature composting technique. Placing dog waste in your yard compost bin is not recommended. Dog guardians are encouraged not to bring plastic bags to Valmont Dog Park anymore, but instead use the compostable bags provided by the city. Please continue to donate unwanted plastic bags at any public park, trails and the other three dog parks in town: East Boulder (5660 Sioux Drive), Foothills (west of Broadway between Locust Avenue and Lee Hill Road), and Howard Heuston (on 34th Street, south of Iris Avenue and east of 30th Street).
Information: Boulder Parks & Recreation Department, 303-413-7200.
On Tuesday, Aug. 7, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is joining forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the “29th Annual National Night Out” (NNO) crime and drug prevention event. National Night Out, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and co-sponsored locally by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and Target, will involve over 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world. In all, over 36 million people are expected to participate in ‘America’s Night Out Against Crime’ on August 7th.
The Sheriff’s Office and its partners will be hosting five events this year. Each of the events will feature static emergency vehicle displays, animal control officers on hand to answer questions, meet and greet with canine deputies and their furry partners, SWAT deputies, patrol deputies, and other emergency service personnel:
San Lazaro Community Complex – 5505 Valmont Road
From 6:00 – 8:30 pm, the Sheriff’s Office and its partners will be hosting a community BBQ at the San Lazaro Community Complex, located at 5505 Valmont Road in unincorporated Boulder County. Boulder Sheriff’s K-9 partners, SWAT equipment, Patrol Vehicle demos, and fire apparatus from the Boulder Rural Fire Protection District will be present.
Heatherwood Community – 4775 Cambridge Street
The Heatherwood Community will be hosting an ice cream social and Green Event at St. Mary Magdalene’s Church located at 4775 Cambridge St. in unincorporated Boulder County from 6:00 – 8:30 pm. The Sheriff’s Office Mobile Command Post, fire apparatus from the Boulder Rural Fire Protection District, SWAT equipment, and Boulder Sheriff’s Office K-9 partners will be there to meet the kids.
Town of Superior Community – East Community Park, 1600 East Coalton Road
The Sheriff’s Office is also hosting National Night Out in Superior, located at East Community Park, near the 1600 block of East Coalton Road (just west of the Superior Safeway), from 6:00 – 8:30 pm. This event will also be an ice cream social of a rather large scale. The Boulder County Bomb Squad vehicle, fire apparatus from Rocky Mountain Fire Protection District, a Flight for Life Helicopter, and Boulder Sheriff’s K-9 partners will be on hand. There will be jumping castles, games, a petting zoo, and a face painter present.
Gunbarrel Commons Park – Indigo and White Rock Circle
The Sheriff’s Office is also hosting a National Night Out event at Gunbarrel Commons Park located at Indigo and White Rock Circle from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. This event will be an ice cream social accompanied by Patrol Vehicle demonstrations, fire apparatus from Boulder Rural Fire Protection District, SWAT equipment, and Boulder County Sheriff’s Office K-9 partners.
Town of Lyons – Sandstone Park, 300 Block of Broadway
Form 6:00 – 8:30pm, the Sheriff’s Office and its partners in the Town of Lyons will be hosting a community BBQ at the Sandstone Park, located in the 300 block of Broadway in down town Lyons. Boulder Sheriff’s K-9 partners, SWAT equipment, Patrol Vehicle demos along with the Sheriff’s Office new Rescue Vehicle, and fire apparatus from the Lyons Fire Department will be present.
The goals of the NNO events are to: (1) Familiarize the communities with the different facets of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and local Fire Protection Districts by providing events where members of the community and emergency service personnel can interact; (2) Distribute crime prevention and fire safety materials; (3) Provide community events such as a BBQ or ice cream social to promote and foster open communication and dialogue among community members; (4) Recruit members of the respective communities to participate in planning additional community events, including community service projects, social gatherings and community meetings.
If you have any questions, please contact Sergeant Jason Heathman at 303-441-3650. Additional information concerning the National Night Out events sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch is available on their website, www.nationalnightout.org .
Animal Control offers prevention tips
The Boulder Police Department’s Animal Control Unit is notifying dog owners about potential Parvovirus (also called Parvo) among some dogs in the city.
At least six puppies have tested positive for the virus, and one has died. The others are undergoing veterinary treatment. The infected dogs were in the area of 9th and Canyon, near the library and municipal building.
Boulder’s Animal Control Unit says vaccinated dogs are at a very low risk of contracting the disease. If your dog is not current on vaccinations, there is a higher risk of exposure. Talk to your veterinarian if you have concerns or questions about whether your pet is current on shots.
Parvovirus is a serious viral disease. It is extremely contagious and the risk of exposure is a year-round issue. Parvo is most often an intestinal disease, but the virus can also infect the heart muscles. Sometimes an infected dog doesn’t show any symptoms of the virus, although it generally presents itself quickly (sometimes as soon as 12 hours) after a dog has been exposed.
Signs of intestinal Parvo include:
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea (usually bloody and foul-smelling
- Intussusception– this is when a section of the animal’s intestinal tract telescopes into itself. This is an emergency which requires immediate veterinary attention.
There is no cure for Parvovirus. Veterinarians can give fluids orally if the infection is mild, or subcutaneously (under the skin) if dehydration is more extreme. Anti-vomiting medications, antibiotics and blood/plasma transfusions are also used in treatment.
Parvo is spread by dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces. People can carry the virus on their hands and clothes if they pet an infected dog or touch the leash or collar of an infected dog. The virus can also be carried on the bottoms of shoes if a person steps on feces or contaminated dirt, and can be transmitted from shoes to homes, workplaces and other areas.
The virus can remain “live” for up to seven months, so it’s important to properly disinfect areas which may have been exposed to the virus. Household bleach is the best disinfectant for surfaces like countertops and floors, or the bottoms of shoes. The dilution formula is one part bleach to 30 parts water. (Be careful with fabrics). Never, ever use the bleach solution on an animal. For people who are sensitive to the smell of bleach, there are commercially-available Parvovirus disinfectants which don’t smell as strong.
The best way to prevent your dog from becoming infected with Parvovirus is to vaccinate against the disease. Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions or need recommendations for your pet.