Avalanches in Colorado

While it may seem that the snow cover is simply a beautiful winter’s blanket, it is
more complicated and dangerous than many people realize. Snow avalanches are a geologic hazard for anyone who lives in or travels through the mountains of Colorado. Several publications in our collection contain information on avalanches in the state. Two interesting publications are from RockTalk published by the Colorado Geological Survey. The October 2000 issue discusses avalanche formation and release as well as safety tip and gear, and educational opportunities for the winter sport enthusiast. The July 2004 covers the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), history and statistics of avalanche in Colorado (avalanche fatalities —1860 to 2004. Total known deaths are 643), an in depth discussion of why the snow pack in Colorado is more prone to avalanches than in other areas of the U.S., and a brief look at how avalanche forecasting helps CDOT keep the winter highways safer. Check out these or any of the other 30 items in our collection that discuss avalanches.

Historic Georgetown, Colorado

September and October can be great months for visiting Colorado's high country, with fairly pleasant weather and the gorgeous fall foliage (but be prepared for a snowstorm nonetheless). Instead of just driving up for the scenery, though, check out some of Colorado's historic mountain towns while you're there. These towns are a fun place to spend the day and offer a wealth of history to explore.

One of my favorite historic mountain towns is Georgetown. This is a great destination if you just want to get away for the day and don't want to drive very far. Georgetown is special, too, because it has one of the highest percentatges of historic structures still standing of any town in Colorado. Visiting this little town is truly a step back in time. Here at the State Publications Library we have a variety of resources that tell the story of this scenic mountain mining town:

-The Rise of the Silver Queen: Georgetown, Colorado 1859-1896
-Hotel de Paris and Louis DuPuy in Georgetown

-William A. Hamill: The Gentleman from Clear Creek
-The Georgetown Loop: A Capsule History and Guide
-The Pelican-Dives Feud: A Study in Frustration and Terror

Also check out the guidebook Colorado Museums and Historic Sites for information on Georgetown museums like the Hotel de Paris and the Hamill House, and the Colorado Historical Society has information on the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Additionally, check our catalog for resources on other historic mining towns like Leadville, Silverton, and others.


Our Changing Forests

Anyone driving in the mountains of Colorado cannot help but notice the dead trees due to the pine beetle epidemic affecting the western states. This will change the look of our mountains dramatically, and in a short time. Information about the attack on trees that have been weakened by years of drought and fire suppression can be found online in the following publications:

Colorado’s Common Insects and Diseases
Preventive Spraying for Mountain Pine Beetle
Mountain Pine Beetle
Mountain Pine Beetle fact sheet
Report on the Health of Colorado’s Forests 2005

Recent news about the aspen forests is disturbing as well. Aspen trees throughout the west are dying off and scientists do not know why. The above issue on the health of forests has information on our aspen forests as well, but watch for the next issue which may have information on this latest development.

A broader look at Colorado’s forests can be found on the Colorado State Forest website. In addition, search our online catalog for information not found online.


More Ideas for School Papers

Recently updated and on the Colorado State Publications Library (CoSPL) web site is a resource list called “School Research Topics: Notable Internet Resources from State Government”. The staff of CoSPL, Colorado State Library, is pleased to publish this list for educators, librarians and students. State agency web sites are a valuable resource in education from grade school through high school.

While the sites listed below are all available via the Internet, the CoSPL staff can help you find publications in printed format, too, deliverable to you via interlibrary loan or your closest depository library.

Web site URLs may have changed since the printing of this list. If a web address does not connect, go to http://www.colorado.gov/ and search by subject keyword. As with any use of the Internet by minors under the age of 18, educators and parents may want to monitor children's use.

· General Information
· Corrections
· Criminal Justice System
· Driving Information
· Education
· Environment/Energy
· Government
· Health
· History
· Kids' Pages
· Law
· Outdoors and Wildlife
· Social and Mental Health Programs


Colorado Information for Grade School Students

Now that school is in session, our library can expect to receive requests for information from grade school students assigned to do reports on a state. Middle grade school students and up typically request information on such topics as Colorado industry, recreation, history, fun facts, and state emblems and symbols. The State of Colorado has assembled help for young students on a site called Grade School. The links on this site are chosen by the kinds of information students typically want, and they lead to sites that are easy for young people to understand. Check it out.


Remembering Sept. 11

Next Monday marks the five year anniversary of Sept.11, and CoSPL has a few resources dealing directly with the tragedy, as well as information on what Colorado's government is doing to protect our state.

CoSPL's materials concerning Sept. 11 include a number of publications produced by CU-Boulder's Natural Hazards Research Center. These include:
-Emergency Management in the 21st Century
-Community Response in a Terrorist Disaster
-Victim Identification and Management Following the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers
-The September 11th Attacks on America
-Field Observations of Lower Manhattan in the Aftermath of the World Trade Center Disaster
There are others so search our catalog with the search term "September 11" for more.

In addition, we have some resources on Colorado homeland security, including the 2005 document "State of Colorado Homeland Security Strategy."


Labor Day Revisited

Actually, the Labor Day weekend is now a memory, but how many of our thoughts turned to the workers of Colorado during that time?

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has web pages full of information for and about the workers, as well as, the employers of our state. Some of the topics are listed below:

Colorado’s Economy and Job Market –
Economy &Job Market
Employment/Unemployment Data
Job Vacancy Surveys
Occupational Wages

Current Labor Statistics- data for July 2006

Labor Laws- including youth employment laws

Unemployment Benefits- with link to a claimant handbook

Worker and Job Seeker Benefits- lists workforce center locations

Employer Services- post jobs here

Workers Compensation- compensation rules and how to file electronically

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