Community Agriculture Alliance columns

This weekly column about agriculture issues is written by area farmers, ranchers and policymakers. It publishes on Fridays in the Steamboat Today.

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Community Agriculture Alliance: Spring snowpack could mean many things for Routt National Forest

While it is still too early to tell what will come from the current above average snowpack in the Yampa River Basin, it could mean many things for the Routt National Forest’s resources and visitors in the coming months.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Noxious weed management

As citizens of Colorado, we have a responsibility to manage noxious weeds as designated under the 2003 Colorado Noxious Weed Act, Title 35, Article 5.5. The law states that it is the duty of all persons to use integrated methods to manage noxious weeds if the same are likely to be materially damaging to the land of neighboring landowners.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Deep snow in mountains, dry farmland down below

As of the first week of April, the statewide average snowpack in Colorado is at 113 percent of average. Only the southwestern watersheds are lagging behind.

Community Agriculture Alliance: All about barns

Ever wondered how many historic barns there are in Routt County? Hundreds! The results of an optional survey posed by the USDA in 2007 reported 149 pre-1960 barns owned by agricultural operators in the county.

New plan could simplify the Routt County permit process for those seeking to grow and sell food locally

Lettuce growers, an experimental cheese maker and a poultry producer all engaged with the county in the past two years and found out that when it comes to producing food on a commercial basis, there are rules that must be followed.

Community Agriculture Week returns to Yampa Valley

Community Agriculture Week returns with a focus on connecting people.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Planning for 'wet water'

The Yampa White Green Roundtable met last week in Craig to further discuss Northwest Colorado’s Basin Implementation Plan that in July will be sent to the Colorado Water Conservation Board to be implemented into the 2015 Colorado State Water Plan.

Community Agriculture Alliance: The role of education in forestry

One of the core missions of the Colorado State Forest Service is to promote public understanding about the role and value of Colorado’s forests and other natural resources while also engaging the younger members of our community to be active participants in their stewardship.

Community Ag Alliance: Naked and hungry

As a way of connecting all of us to agriculture, Community Agriculture Alliance is coordinating several events and activities during National Ag Week. From March 23 to 29, National Ag Week is a time to recognize and celebrate the importance of agriculture around the theme, "Naked and Hungry."

Community Agriculture Alliance: Much ado about things

I’ve always been intrigued by the assertion, “The more things change, the more things stay the same.” Attributed to the 19th century French author Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, I had to write an essay proving or disproving this idea when I was about 17 years old for one of those standardized tests like the SAT that kids take prior to college. I’m sure what I wrote back then is not worth remembering, but now that I’m much older and theoretically a little wiser, I’d like to ponder this premise again and relate it to historic preservation.

Community Agriculture Alliance: The untold impact of 4-H

Six months until fair time, and Routt County 4-H is going strong. Already, we have more than 270 local youths involved in 4-H traditional learning projects in the county, not to mention the hundreds of kids who participate in our other 4-H youth development activities. 4-H is not just about livestock and the fair.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Eat your view

Eat your view is the mantra of the local food movement, but when one stands at the quarry on Emerald Mountain, dismounts the chairlift on the top of Storm Peak or descends the West Summit of Rabbit Ears Pass, what does he or she see? Snow ... lots and lots of snow.

Community Agriculture Alliance: The worth of water

To paraphrase Ben Franklin, we know the worth of water when it is gone, in short supply, polluted or tied up in a state or federal water court. Otherwise, we don’t give much thought to the water that shows up in our faucets, irrigation ditches, streams and rivers. We often take it for granted.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Union supports continued PILT funding

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union sent letters to the Senate and the House urging support of Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILT, funding. The PILT program provides federal payments to local governments to help offset losses in property taxes because of non-taxable federal land within their boundaries. These resources help pay for critical services like search and rescue, road maintenance and fire protection.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Keep learning alive in the summer months

As advanced as our logical thinking skills are, we can get caught up in “believing the hype.” Some of that hype — otherwise known as urban myth — may prevent us from doing, acting and engaging.

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