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Intersection Safety Improvements to be made at US 160 and Bayfield Parkway SW COLORADO, LA PLATA COUNTY - The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will be working next week at the intersection of US Highway (US) 160 and Bayfield Parkway. Crews will be adding a westbound dedicated left-hand turn lane onto Bayfield Parkway, located on the west end of the town.

The work will take place Monday, June 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Earlier this week crews removed rumble strips from the roadway in this area, to ready the surface for new lane striping.  "The intersection has seen an increase in traffic because of the recent bridge replacement project within the town of Bayfield,"said Ronnie Medina, Traffic Striping and Signing Supervisor. "Drivers heading westbound on US 160 have been experiencing difficulty when attempting a left-hand turn onto Parkway, especially when there are vehicles coming up behind that turning vehicle.

With fresh striping and a lane shift, we'll now have a dedicated left turn lane and a dedicated westbound through lane, making this intersection much safer."  TRAVEL IMPACTS: The traveling public can expect brief delays while traveling through the work zone.  Drivers will experience lane shifts and single-lane, alternating traffic in either direction. Motorists will be guided by flaggers and/or pilot cars.

Delays of 5 to 15 minutes are possible. The public is advised to allow for extra traveling time.

The work should be completed in one day, Monday, June 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. STAY INFORMED: Road and weather conditions are available by dialing 511, 303-639-1111, or visiting www.cotrip.org. To sign up to receive project information and/or lane closure updates on state highways in the area of your choice, visit CDOT's website at www.codot.gov and choose the envelope icon at the bottom of the page.

Or, to see CDOT's lane closure reports for projects statewide, visit www.codot.gov/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html.

Rodney Atkins has fans here at the Mirror...we can't wait to see this artist at the 2017 Olathe Sweet Corn Festival - Official...do you have tickets yet?

Safety concerns about the coverings used on trenches and the length of time it is taking to complete the South 3rd Street project have been received by City Council. The utility work is near completion and paving is scheduled for August.

Read the Mirror on Monday for the full City Council reports.

Crews to Resurface CO 145 in Rico SW COLORADO, DOLORES COUNTY - Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) maintenance crews will be working next week on Colorado Highway (CO) 145 in Rico. Crews will be resurfacing the highway (Glasgow Ave.) for a one-mile stretch through the town from approximately mile point (MP) 46.3, just south of the town limits to MP 47.5 at the north end of Rico.

The chip seal process being used is a maintenance operation that will prolong the life of the roadway. Crews will work two days: Monday, June 26 and Tuesday, June 27.

TRAVEL IMPACTS: The traveling public can expect brief delays while traveling through the work zone. Drivers may experience lane shifts as well as traffic reduced to a single-lane, alternating intermittently in either direction, throughout the duration of the project.

Motorists will be guided by flaggers and/or pilot cars. Delays of 5 to 15 minutes are possible.

Travelers are urged to: Slow down - Higher speeds can cause loose stones to scatter and damage vehicle paint and windshields. Increase distance between vehicles - Space between you and other vehicles will help reduce damage caused by loose stones. Follow work zone signage - Use caution and consider worker safety when traveling through a work zone. Bicyclists and motorcyclists should use extreme caution during construction operations. STAY INFORMED: Road and weather conditions are available by dialing 511, 303-639-1111, or visiting www.cotrip.org. To sign up to receive project information and/or lane closure updates on state highways in the area of your choice, visit CDOT's website at www.codot.gov and choose the envelope icon at the bottom of the page.

Or, to see CDOT's lane closure reports for projects statewide, visit www.codot.gov/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html.

Combating Plague to Conserve Colorado's Wildlife DENVER, Colo. - New research from Colorado Parks and Wildlife and its partners shows that treating prairie dog colonies annually with a flea-killing dust or an oral vaccine can prevent their complete collapse when confronted with plague. In a three-year study conducted in northern Larimer County, dusted or vaccinated prairie dog colonies survived during plague outbreaks while nearby untreated colonies were devastated. Neither treatment was completely effective at preventing plague, but some prairie dogs did survive in the colonies treated prior to plague outbreaks. "The results of our field study showed that using insecticide dust to control fleas in prairie dog burrows or an oral vaccine to immunize prairie dogs against plague can help prevent the collapse of prairie dog colonies"said Dan Tripp, a scientist with CPW. Burrow dusting has been used by CPW since 2010 to protect select Gunnison's prairie dog colonies from plague in the Gunnison Basin and elsewhere. Those efforts furthered conservation of the species sufficiently that a federal listing as threatened or endangered was deemed unnecessary.

Dusting also has been used at sites scattered throughout the West in recent years to help restore the endangered black-footed ferret. Oral vaccination is a new tool for suppressing plague. The vaccine was incorporated into peanut butter-flavored edible baits that were distributed on prairie dog colonies. "The prairie dogs encountered them while foraging. We saw that most of the animals in a colony found and ate the baits, so they must have been a hit,"Tripp said.

"After eating one of the baits, the prairie dog's immunity to plague is boosted, so when exposed to the actual pathogen later at least some can fight off the infection and survive."  "We certainly appreciate the collaboration with our research partners. We couldn't have made these strides without access to field sites at Soapstone Prairie and Meadow Springs Ranch (owned by the city of Fort Collins)."  CPW partnered with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center where researchers worked with scientists at the University of Wisconsin to develop and produce the vaccine used in these experiments. "We're very appreciative of the work done by those scientists,"Tripp said. The results of this research will help guide management of imperiled prairie dog species and a handful of black-footed ferret recovery sites across the state. "We were happy to host Colorado Parks and Wildlife research on plague mitigation strategies at Soapstone and Meadow Springs,"said Daylan Figgs, Natural Areas Program leader with the city of Fort Collins. "We really need these plague-management tools to support the population of black-footed ferrets that were reintroduced in 2014,"Figgs said. Colorado's work on field vaccine effectiveness was done in collaboration with the federal National Wildlife Health Center to evaluate the new vaccine at 29 sites in seven states across the West.  "Our goal in developing an oral plague vaccine is to provide another tool for land managers to reduce the effects of plague outbreaks in prairie dog colonies,"said Dr. Tonie Rocke, who led the multi-state study for the wildlife health center.

"This reduction could have positive impacts on the conservation of prairie dogs as well as the survival of the endangered black-footed ferret, a prairie dog-dependent species."  The impacts of this work go beyond simply protecting prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets from plague. Major beneficiaries of continued progress in plague mitigation for wildlife will help Colorado's agricultural community and outdoor enthusiasts who recognize the importance of prairie dog and plague management to negate the need for further endangered species designations. "The successful development of these plague management tools will help Colorado's farmers and ranchers to use voluntary, incentive-based programs to conserve prairie dogs and recover the endangered black-footed ferret,"said Ken Morgan, Private Lands Program manager with CPW. "Successful plague mitigation will help to ensure that future federal endangered species listings for Colorado's three prairie dog species will be unnecessary."  Colorado's landowners and wildlife managers have for decades been vexed by plague as they've tried to recover the endangered black-footed ferret and conserve prairie dog colonies which make up their primary prey. Plague is caused by non-native bacteria transmitted by fleas. The first cases in Colorado were recorded in the 1940s.

Plague has been devastating to Colorado's wildlife, as it has become entrenched in the state. Outbreaks periodically kill vast swaths of prairie dog colonies that support a myriad of other wildlife species such as burrowing owls, badgers, insects and plant species. "Wildlife managers have really struggled to recover ferrets and manage prairie dog colonies in Colorado because we have had no ability to mitigate the devastating effects of plague,"Tripp said. "Hopefully the development and use of these new tools in select areas and with the support of willing landowners will help to limit the impact of plague on Colorado's wildlife."  How best to employ these tools in a cost-efficient manner will be the focus of continuing research by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. This and future CPW plague management research is funded through the Colorado Species Conservation Trust Fund thanks to annual severance tax funding authorized by the Colorado General Assembly. Read more about CPW's experimental evaluation of burrow dusting and vaccine as plague control tools in a new research article just published in the journal EcoHelath (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10393-017-1236-y).

LETTER TO THE EDITOR June 23, 2017 Dear Editor: If you saw the film or read the book "Me before you"then you understand there is a certain romanticism when choosing your own day to die.  In the film Sam Clafin's character is a quadriplegic due to a spinal cord injury.

If Sam Clafin's character lived here in Montrose today, he would depend on a service called "Home and Community Based Services"which Colorado Medicaid provides.  It is cheaper for the state and safer (infection risk) to provide care in a patient's home rather than in an institutionalized setting.

Medicare does not cover nor has it ever covered any kind of Long Term Care Services which is what Home and Community Based Services is.  Many people in this community depend on these services either as patients to live or as employees to feed their families.

Caregivers for a condition like Sam's are very hard to find which is why many times family members are paid to provide care.  I have a spinal cord injury like Sam's character from a rollover motor vehicle accident.  I was trapped in the car overnight..

It took two weeks in a critical care unit in 1989 to reach One million dollars in hospital charges.  Could you pay them if it happened to you? A catastrophic injury can happen at any time in the blink of an eye.

Medicaid allowed me to work for 17 years when my pre-existing condition prevented me from buying insurance.  Surely our elected officials can find another way to balance the budget??? Numerous barriers already exist because of the ruralness. Cutting services for the most vulnerable will only compound that.

Please contact Cory Gardner's office and let your voice be heard. 400 Rood Avenue, Federal Bldg., Suite 220 Grand Junction CO 81501 Phone 970 245-9553 FAX 202-228-7173 Tonja Clark, Montrose

Full Steam Ahead with June's second Sherb Talk on June 30th! Wrap up the month of June with Karl Schaeffer, as he presents on railroad facts both past and present.  The Sherb Talk titled, "Steam Returns to Ridgway,"will cover a spectrum of railroad topics including; the history of the railroad in Ouray County, the story behind the Motors/Galloping Geese, and discussion of the RGS 36(the original and the new steam locomotive at the Ridgway Railroad Museum).

The presenter for the evening, Karl Schaeffer, grew up in Montrose, and holds two degrees from the Colorado School of Mines, and an MBA from the University of Colorado. He worked for Denver and Rio Grande Western/ Southern Pacific/ Union Pacific Railroad for 22 years, maintaining the train cars and locomotives.

Karl is one of the 6 founders of the Ridgway Railroad Museum (founded in 1989), and has been the president of the museum for 10 years.  Doors for the talk are at 7:00pm with the Sherb Talk starting at 7:30pm.

$10 suggested donation at the door.