Sept. 30 has been designated as the official Color Sunday on Grand Mesa. But the 10,000-foot scenic area apparently didn't get the memo because trees lining Hwy 65 are already popping with the gold and red hues of autumn.
After record snowfall followed by record drought, Mike and Rose Wenner, owners of Grand Mesa Lodge, are still standing and so is their new building. Their lodge is situated at 10,500 feet in a rustic area adjacent to Island Lake and it was recently reconstructed, virtually from scratch.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests' Grand Valley Ranger District will resume work on a road improvement project for the Grand Mesa National Forests' Flowing Park Road (NFSR #109), located southwest of Highway 65. Project work is scheduled to begin Monday of this week and will consist of crushing operations that will improve the road bed.
Grand Mesa National Forest, which previously was not affected by the fire restrictions in place on the rest of the GMUG, is now under Stage 1 restrictions. The remainder of GMUG is in Stage 2.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests' Grand Valley Ranger District has issued a temporary closure for the entire Lower Crag Crest Trail (#711.1A) and the eastern portion of the Crag Crest National Scenic Trail (#711). The closure will remain in place through the end of 2018.
The lakes and streams on Grand Mesa are thawed and ready for fishing. As for campgrounds, according to a spokesperson for Recreation Resource Management of America which operates the campgrounds on Grand Mesa, the following locations are to be open as of June 1:
Looking up at the Grand Mesa from Grand Junction in early April, it's good to see snow on its flanks. For too much of this past winter, they have been bare. Skiers felt the pain of the dry winter early; fish and ranchers will feel it this summer.
Clouds billowed over Grand Mesa last week, then parted to reveal a glimpse of higher elevation snow. This scene suggests the area's persistent drought may yet yield to seasonal moisture, but will it be enough and arrive in time?
According to a Facebook post, the Rocky Mountain Sled Dog Club has postponed the dog sled races on Grand Mesa from Jan. 27-28 to Feb. 17-18.
What began as a roof repair quickly evolved into something bigger for Mike and Rose Wenner, owners of Grand Mesa Lodge. Unlike lack of moisture during the current dry spell, last winter's snowfall on Grand Mesa was heavy -- especially at the lodge which is situated at 10,500 feet in a rustic area adjacent to Island Lake.
The U.S Forest Service, Grand Valley Ranger District has issued a temporary closure of the east end of the lower Crag Crest loop, Monday through Friday, through Aug. 25.
This closure will prohibit public access from the east trailhead at the Crag Crest Campground along the lower loop (NFST 711) to the intersection at Butts Lake/Bullfinch Reservoir #1.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests' Grand Valley Ranger District will be undertaking summer road work on the Grand Mesa National Forest. The work will primarily be on Flowing Park Road (NFSR 109) and Highway 65 in the County Line and Skyway areas.
A portion of the Crag Crest National Recreation Trail will be temporarily closed until July 21. This closure will prohibit public access from the east trailhead at the Crag Crest Campground along the lower loop to the intersection at Butts Lake.
A year of abundant snowpack bodes well for ag producers in the coming season.
And, as the snow has piled up atop the Grand Mesa, recreational users of the local winter playground have taken advantage of the bounty as well.
As the popularity of the Nordic trails on Grand Mesa has grown, an increasing number of cross-country skiers and snowshoers are visiting Grand Mesa -- often with their dogs.
Snow is a critical source of water, a major weather phenomenon, part of many ecosystems, and an important element in floods and other natural hazards.
A major portion of the national and global economies is impacted by snow, yet accurately measuring how much snow exists across the United States and the world is difficult.
Beginning this week, Delta Montrose Electric Association will be inspecting power poles on the Grand Mesa. DMEA is contracting with SBS Inspections to conduct the work.
The U.S. Forest Service and its partners are offering a chance for families to win a one-night stay in a cabin on the Grand Mesa National Forest during the summer of 2017. Drawings will also be held for a camping package (tent, sleeping bag and lantern) provided by Cabela's, and a Grand Mesa sweatshirt and two educational books provided by the Rocky Mountain Conservancy.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has authorized an emergency fish salvage at Big Eggleston Lake on the Grand Mesa starting Saturday, Aug. 6. The lake is being drained so that repairs can be made to a dam outlet structure.
On Saturday, July 30, the Grand Mesa Visitor Center put on its seventh annual Moose Day celebration. The event raises awareness and provides education on the moose population of the Grand Mesa National Forest, which initially started with 91 moose introduced to the environment from 2005 to 2007.
With local economic development ideas turning once again to themes of rural gentrification, lifestyle marketing, recreation and tourism there is one local economic development asset that provides a model and foundation of success to build on.
It is the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway.
The Women's Surface Creek Saddle Club, from Cedaredge, is once again hosting Island In The Sky, a competitive trail ride on the Grand Mesa. This year's event will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5-7 on the Lands End side of the Grand Mesa.
Visitors to the Grand Mesa last Saturday got a bonus to their weekend recreation with a program on native peoples of the area given at the Visitor's Center.
The Grand Mesa Visitor Center's summer interpretative programs schedule that began last month is continuing on Saturdays through Sunday, Sept. 25, which is Color Sunday this year.
Following several federal budget cycles with funding cuts, hopes are that the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway can now rebuild itself into a contributing link in local economic development efforts.
Just a few years ago, the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway consisted of a group of individuals dedicated to the area's greatest tourist and recreation asset -- Grand Mesa.
The Grand Mesa Visitor Center on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests has opened for the summer season. Summer programs will be offered on various nature topics every Saturday at 2 p.m. through Sept. 10.
The Grand Mesa Visitor Center on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests is open for the summer season. Summer programs will be offered on various nature topics every Saturday at 2 p.m., starting June 18 through Sept. 10.
This Saturday's program will feature Mike Gauthier, talking about weather.
The Grand Mesa Visitor Center is open for the summer. Seasonal Forest Service staff are on hand 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, including holidays.
It was the home run on the County Line Nordic ski trail on the Grand Mesa as groups of sixth graders from all Delta County schools, as well as fourth graders from Lincoln Elementary, glided to the finish. Their faces were lit up with exuberant smiles reflecting a new confidence achieved from completing the loop on cross country skis.
With the clanging sounds coming from a cacophony of cowbells, young ski enthusiasts from the age of three years and up were off on a circuit of fun, fitness, family and athletic skills development around the cross-country ski race loops at Skyway last Saturday.
From snowmobiling to cross-country skiing, ice fishing to sledding, fun abounds on the Grand Mesa during the winter. And this year's steady stream of snow has created an outstanding place to enjoy a winter adventure.
The Grand Mesa Island Lake fishing contest keeps growing.
This year there were 86 entrants in the event, up from 73 last year and about 50 in 2014.
The harvest and removal of trees out of the Sheep Flats Timber Sale area is slated to continue through December 31, 2015. The Sheep Flats Timber Sale, designed to treat spruce beetle infestation and improve the health of the forest in that area, is located on the Grand Mesa National Forest approximately 10 miles southeast of the town of Collbran.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests have contracted for work to occur on the Lands' End Road from the forest boundary for 9.3 miles, up to the boulder fields. The work will improve the sight distance and reduce brushy vegetation for 20 feet on each side.
The Grand Valley Ranger District of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests plans to burn piles within the Porter Mountain and Eggleston Lake areas of the Grand Mesa, possibly beginning as soon as Nov. 4, and continuing for several weeks until the project is complete.
On Oct. 27, the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests hosted a forest ecology workshop for 75 high school students enrolled in AP environmental science and AP biology from Delta and Cedaredge high schools. Resource specialists from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado State Forest Service and Western Slope Conservation Center led students in collecting field data on forest ecology specifically related to watersheds, spruce beetles, timber, recreation, wildlife and fire risk.
Volunteers spent Saturday, Sept. 26, clipping bushes, sawing tree limbs, clearing trails and generally "sprucing up" the cross-country ski trails on the Grand Mesa National Forest. Over 50 volunteers including the Colorado Mesa University cross-country ski team arrived at the Skyway parking area with gloves and tools ready to be assigned a task!
The U.S. Forest Service plans to burn piles in the Ward Lake and Island Lake areas on Grand Mesa. The Ward Lake piles consist of slash (branches and trees) from fuels treatment within the wildland urban interface and the Island Lake piles contain slash produced from a parking lot expansion.
On the evening of May 25, 2014, the longest landslide in Colorado's historical record tumbled down the West Salt Creek drainage on Grand Mesa, overtopped two adjacent ridges, and buried three men: Wes Hawkins, Clancy Nichols and Danny Nichols. The men were investigating irrigation disruptions and safety hazards from smaller slides earlier in the day.
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