Wildlife Crossings

As Colorado's population and number of drivers increases, so has the number of vehicle crashes involving wildlife. Therefore, CDOT and the Division of Wildlife have been working together to reduce the number of animal-vehicle crashes, which will help to save the lives of both humans and animals. On Monday a design was announced for a new tree-covered wildlife crossing zone on I-70 near Vail. (See the article from The Denver Post for a picture of the design). Also, during the 2010 Legislative Session the General Assembly passed HB10-1238, which allows fines to be increased for speeding in wildlife crossing zones. Finally, CDOT produced a research report titled Identifying the Best Locations Along Highways to Provide Safe Crossing Opportunities for Wildlife, available from our library.


Water supply

Skiiers are not the only ones carefully watching the snow totals up in the high country. Winter snow amounts have a great effect on the water supply for Colorado communities. The Colorado Water Conservation Board has released a draft report from the Statewide Water Supply Initiative which identifies Colorado's current and future water needs, and provides recommendations and strategies to meet those needs. Colorado's population is projected to nearly double by 2050. Passive conservation will not be able to meet future water needs. The SWSI report has 16 recommendations for addressing the predicted gap between needs and water supply, along with the following objectives:
  • Meet Municipal and Industrial Demands
  • Meet Agricultural Demands
  • Meet Colorado's Environmental and Recreational Demands
  • Promote Cooperation Between Water Supply Planners and Land User Planners
  • Promote More Cooperation Among all Colorado Water Users
  • Optimize Existing and Future Water Supplies
  • Promote Cost-Effectiveness
  • Minimize the Net Energy Used to Supply Water
  • Protect Cultural Values Linked to Water Resources
  • Provide Operational Flexibility and Coordinated Infrastructure
  • Promote Increased Fairness When Water is Moved Between Areas
  • Comply with all Applicable Laws and Regulations
  • Educate all Coloradoans on the Importance and Scarcity of Water
The full report and recommendations of the Statewide Water Supply Initiative can be found on the Water Conservation Board website.


Prison-Trained Dog Program

Colorado Correctional Industries, a division of the Colorado Department of Corrections, helps prisoners learn valuable job skills during their incarceration, including furniture making and agriculture. One of CCI's most special programs, however, is their Prison-Trained Dog Program. The program takes rescue dogs and trains them for use both as family pets and as service dogs. The dogs also receive veterinary care. The program also accepts pet dogs for board-in training, which usually lasts about a month. Visit the program's website to learn more about these special dogs, browse photos of available dogs, and more.


Livestock and Animal Industry

With the National Western Stock Show in town this month, cattle and horses have been in the spotlight. If you are curious about ranching, take a look at the Animal Industry website from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. They have videos on the legacy of cattle, ranching and sheep herding. If you are already in the industry, the Department of Agriculture website has a wealth of information on brands, livestock diseases, livestock market resources, a list of state veterinarians, and information on applicable laws and regulations.


State of the State

Today at 11am, Governor Hickenlooper will deliver his first State of the State address to the members of the state legislature. Streaming audio and video can be accessed from the General Assembly website. If you'd like a historical view of the state from a governor's perspective, we have copies of past speeches from Governors Ritter, Romer (GO39.14), and Lamm (GO38.2/ST2/).


Inauguration Schedule of Events

Tomorrow's inauguration of the new governor, as well as swearing-in of other statewide officials (State Treasurer, Attorney General, and Secretary of State) will take place on the Capitol steps at 10:00 am. Wednesday, the Legislative session begins and all Legislators will be sworn in at 10:00 am in the House and Senate chambers. Thursday, Gov. Hickenlooper will give his first State of the State Address at 11:00am in the House Chambers. For a complete schedule of events surrounding the inaugural, see this schedule from The Denver Post.


Changes in Colorado Government

Next week, Colorado's 42nd Governor, John Hickenlooper will be sworn in. His inauguration will be just one of many changes that will occur in state government. As current Governor Bill Ritter completes his final week in office, his website details some of his accomplishments during his 4 years in office, as well as his executive orders, letters and proclamations, speeches, press releases, and more. Although the website will disappear on January 11, our library retains much of the content, including all of the Executive Orders, budgets, and State of the State speeches. Other content will be saved by the State Archives. We also have captured and cataloged some of Ritter's Accomplishment Reports. As Hickenlooper comes into office, we will begin saving these same materials from his administration, for future generations.

On Wednesday, the 2011 session of the Legislature will begin, with more than a quarter of the state's lawmakers there for the very first time. The Colorado House, formerly held by the Democrats, now has the Republicans in the majority while the Senate retains the Democratic majority. For more information on this year's legislative session, see the General Assembly's homepage. Here you will be able to track bills, find contact information, and much more. The site includes an archive of bills from the past several years' sessions, however, if you need older information, you can always contact us and we will be happy to research for you.

Finally, this year will be focused on the very important issue of redistricting, which happens following the census every 10 years. The process will be completed in 2012. You can find the reports for the past three decades' redistricting by following these links: 2002 report; 1992 report; 1982 report. You can also visit our library to view House and Senate district maps from the 1982 reapportionment.


Energy Savings Tips

If one of your resolutions for the new year is to start saving money on energy costs, check out this Energy Action Planner from the Governor's Energy Office. It has a list of projects to make your home more energy efficient, and includes other steps you can take to save energy and money. You may also want to take a look at their Residential Energy Savings Guides on insulation, heating and cooling, lighting and many other topics.

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