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Bear-sighting work deemed valuable

Last week, local Colorado Division of Wildlife area manager Jim Haskins publicly reaffirmed that data collected and entered into a Graphical Information Systems program by Steamboat Springs Middle School student Matt Holthausen is valuable information.

The work was organized with the DOW through the Yampa Valley Community Mapping project.

Holthausen mapped bear sightings reported in 1999 to the DOW. He also set up a Web site at http//:bearsightings@tripod.com for locals to report bear sightings on. People also can report sightings at 870-2197.

"We have very limited resources and this type of project helps us," Haskins said of the mapping project. "We are always getting into problems when hard data is needed and we don't have it. This is hard data."

Committee kills bill to fund study

The Appropriations Committee of the Colorado House of Representatives voted 10-2 last week to kill funding for an eight-year study to see if hunting coyotes would reduce mule deer numbers.

The study would have been undertaken by the Colorado Division of Wildlife with the help of federal hunters from the USDA's Wildlife Services. The purpose of the study was to see if limiting the population of coyotes could boost mule deer populations in two study areas in western Colorado. The study would have been conducted on a mixture of private lands and federal lands managed by the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.

Wendy Keefover-Ring, of Sinapu, a predator protection agency said the vote was a victory for predator advocate and avoids a possible federal lawsuit the agency was considering filing if the study was passed.

Bike path closing in Glenwood Canyon

Anyone scheduling a bike trip through Glenwood Canyon in April should think twice.

The Colorado Department of Transportation recently announced it will have the bike path closed through Glenwood Canyon in Eagle and Garfield counties during most of April.

The closure is due to a fiber optic installation project that will cause heavy equipment to be near or on the bike path. Also, crews will do restoration and cleanup work on the trail during April.

The operations are primarily isolated between the Grizzly Creek Rest Area and No Name and at the Bair Ranch Rest Area, according to CDOT.

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