Page 2

Friday, September 28, 2012

www.estesparknews.com

Estes Park NEWS,Inc.

Your Hometown News

7,800 copies distributed FREE every Friday to hundreds of Estes' popular locations. FREE ON-LINE VIRTUAL PAPER! at www.estesparknews.com Ph: (970) 586-5800 Fax: (970) 692-2611 Opinions of our columnists are not necessarily the opinions of this newspaper. Publishers: Gary & Kris Hazelton Estes Park residents and owners. Editor: Kris Hazelton Ads & Website Design Specialist: Andrew Donaldson ads@estesparknews.com Classifieds/Reception Chloé Hazelton Press releases to: kris@estesparknews.com All editorial, photographic content and graphic design is copyright of Estes Park News and can not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Estes Park News, Inc. ©2012 For subscription information contact us. EP NEWS Deadlines Monday: Space reservations today! Tuesday: Copy deadline by 4:00 p.m. Classifieds: Phoned in-12 p.m. Wed Submitted to website - Weds. 1 pm go to: www.estesparknews.com Our office/studio is located at: 1191 Woodstock Drive, Unit B Just down the road from B&B Food

Let's Keep Them Wild

An abundance of wildlife is one thing that makes Estes Park such a wonderful place. Being blessed with diverse wildlife comes with a responsibility for those who live and visit here to exist in harmony with these wild creatures. This summer we've experienced a few very unfortunate incidents with bears. Many factors have contributed to an increase in bear/human interactions in the valley the past few months. After several residents expressed their concerns at a Town Board meeting in July, we at the Town scheduled a community meeting to open a dialogue around bear/ human interaction and what we can all do to improve this relationship and keep our bears wild. At the standing room-only community meeting on August 9, a number of specific issues and recommendations were put forth by community members. To follow up, we assembled an ad-hoc working committee representative of those who attended the community meeting. The committee met on September 10 to come up with potential actions that the community could take to ensure both human and bear safety. The committee identified possible solutions within three categories: Education, Town Operations and Regulations. Education The actions of Estes Valley residents, businesses and guests have a serious effect on bear safety. Poorly managed garbage attracts bears to an easy meal, lures them into the human environment,

Fireworks Rescheduled For November 24

th

, 2012 Following More Holiday Activities

Businesses invited to join holiday decorating contest Due to fire danger early this summer, the annual Independence Day fireworks display over Lake Estes was postponed. The fireworks have been rescheduled for Saturday, Nov. 24 at 8:30 p.m. over Lake Estes. Other holiday activities that week include the annual Catch the Glow Parade at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 23. And, this year's Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place in Riverside Plaza from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 17. and invites conflict. An education campaign aimed at specific audiences could teach people how to "bear-proof " their properties and eliminate the attraction to bears. Messages need to be aimed at several audiences including residents, visitors, lodging facilities, and restaurants. To implement this educational effort, the Town, through the Public Information Office, is coordinating a Bear Education Task Force comprised of diverse community representatives. Invited to join us in this effort are citizen representatives, business/lodging owners, Waste Management and other trash haulers, Estes Area Lodging Association, YMCA, Rocky Mountain National Park, Bears Are Us, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Estes Valley Recreation and Parks District, Association for Responsible Development, Visit Estes Park, and the Estes Valley Library. Together, the members of this task force will develop an outreach plan to use throughout the community. This plan will be ready for the spring of 2013, when bears come out of their winter dormancy. Town Operations The Town owns and maintains approximately 140 trash receptacles within Town limits. We feel it's important that our operations set a good example for businesses, residents and guests alike. We have already altered some practices, such as emptying public trash cans more frequently, and doing so later each night. With 140 containers, we estimate that it could cost approximately $168,000 to replace them with bear-resistant containers. So, we will be pursuing grant funding to help offset the cost of this expensive conversion. We may have to New this year, the Town of Estes Park is inviting businesses to participate in a Christmas/holiday storefront and window-decorating contest. Interested businesses are asked to register by phone with Fairgrounds and Events staff at 970-586-6104 no later than Monday, Oct. 29. There is no entry fee. Judges will visit participating businesses the week of Nov. 12, and the winning businesses will be announced during the Nov. 17 Tree Lighting Ceremony. The Town is also seeking vendors for do this replacement in phases, starting in areas with more bear activity. We're also going to talk with leaders in other mountain communities, to learn from their experiences and see what types of containers worked best, both for bear-resistance and ease of use for humans. Regulation I think the Town can do a better job of enforcing the trash-related regulations we already have in place. The Police Department is increasing its enforcement of current trash ordinances. And, existing development requirements for more recent developments require bear-resistant trash containers -- yet some of these places are not in compliance. So, we will increase inspections to ensure compliance with these existing development regulations. In researching what other communities have done, there is a large spectrum of options that the Board of Trustees could consider to allow enforcement of best practices with trash management. These range from no regulation, to requiring everyone in Town limits to have bear-resistant trash containers. Nothing will be a magic silver bullet to solve the problem, but the Town Trustees have a menu of options to consider. We need to remember that the real solution rests with each of us. We need to do everything we can to not attract bears. Don't put your trash outside until the morning of collection. Otherwise, secure your trash in a bear-resistant container or structure. Don't leave pet food outside. Don't leave up bird feeders if you have bears in your area. We're a friendly lot here in Estes Park, and the bears are our neighbors. But this is one time when it's not OK to invite the neighbors over for supper. the Tree Lighting event. This is an opportunity to showcase local businesses to event participants. Interested business owners and managers should contact Fairgrounds and Events staff at 970-586- 6104 by Monday, Oct. 1. For a complete schedule of Town events, visit www.estes.org/events. To receive Town news in your email inbox, please email townadmin@estes.org. For this and other Town news, please visit www.estes.org/news.

You need to upgrade your Flash Player


You need to upgrade the version of your Flash Player to version 9 minimum.

Click here

Adobe Flash Player Download Center