Steamboat briefs: US Forest Service issues reminder about fireworks

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— The U.S. Forest Service is reminding people to leave their fireworks at home if they are visiting the Routt National Forest this July 4 holiday. Fireworks are never allowed on national forests. Fireworks reach extreme temperatures and can start forest fires.

People also are reminded to be responsible with their campfires and to watch out for falling trees - a heightened danger with the large number of dead lodgepole pines from the bark beetle epidemic.

Contact the Hahn's Peak-Bears Ears Ranger District at 970-870-2299 or the Parks Ranger District at 970-723-8204. Call the Yampa Ranger District at 970-638-4516.

Howelsen trail closures begin today for Fourth

For safety reasons related to this year's Fourth of July fireworks show at Howelsen Hill, all trail access between Blackmere Drive and Howelsen Hill Stables will be closed today from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Blackmere Drive will be closed only Saturday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Howelsen horse tours to follow new route Monday

The Sombrero Stables commercial equestrian operations on Howelsen Hill will take horseback riders on a new route beginning Monday.

"In an effort to provide a trail surface that is more sustainable for equestrian operations, the new route uses existing service roads around Howelsen Hill," a city news release states. "This route will be easier to maintain with equipment and require less maintenance due to road base or natural stone mixed in with soils on much of the trail."

The former tour route followed the Bluffs Loop. The new route includes portions of Blackmere Drive and Alpine ski runs Long John, Mile Run and Ridge Run.

The city reminds Howelsen Hill users that horses have the right of way, followed by pedestrians. Cyclists must yield to all other users. Dogs are required to be on 6-foot, hand-held leashes, and dog waste needs to be picked up and disposed of properly.

For more information about times and costs for guided horse tours, call Sombrero Stables at 879-2306.

Weed, plant tour planned for Monday afternoon

Anyone interested in checking out the area's weeds and noxious plants is welcome to go on a free bus tour at 5:30 p.m. Monday. Greg Brown, Routt County's noxious weed supervisor, will attend, as will Extension Agent C.J. Mucklow and master gardeners.

The tour educates participants about invasive and dangerous weeds, Mucklow said.

Meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the parking lot by the Routt County Courthouse Annex at Fifth and Oak streets.

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