Wild Turkeys

Not all of Colorado's turkeys are at the grocery store; our state has many wild turkeys, as well.  Just in time for Thanksgiving, the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife has published a new report on the Ecology and Management of Rio Grande Turkeys in the South Platte River Corridor.  The report takes a look at wild turkeys and their habitats, populations, movement and dispersal, survival, and nesting behaviors.  Rio Grande turkeys are found only in the eastern part of the state -- if you see a turkey in the mountains or in western Colorado, it's probably a Merriam's turkey.  Rio Grande turkeys are most common in Kansas, Oklahoma, and central Texas.  For more information on Colorado turkeys and turkey hunting, see the Division's turkey page.

Photo by David Hannigan, courtesy Colorado Parks & Wildlife


"Force of Nature"

What's the connection between rockfall mitigation and historic preservation?  The Colorado Dept. of Transportation explains in a fascinating 10-minute video, Force of Nature:  Passage and Preservation from Georgetown to Silver Plume.  Most of us have driven I-70 near Georgetown and seen the signs warning of falling rock.  The video explains how CDOT engineers are developing systems to protect I-70 drivers from falling rocks by building fences that can slow or stop the fall of boulders onto the interstate, while also helping preserve the historic character and contemporary livability of the silver mining towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume.  For example, CDOT engineers have designed the protective rockfall fences to be environmentally friendly and painted in colors that would seamlessly blend into the mountainside.  The video takes a look at the history of the silver mining towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume, and the importance of transportation to the area -- first in the form of the narrow gauge railroad, and then the highway.  By creation of a National Historic Landmark District, historic Georgetown was saved from destruction for the highway, which had been planned to snake right through the center of
town -- as a result, I-70 was built alongside the cliff, necessitating the need for rockfall mitigation. 

Today, the railroad has returned as a popular tourist attraction (the Georgetown Loop) and the highway is safer thanks to the efforts described in this interesting film.  For more information on the topics discussed in the brief film, visit our library's web catalog for resources.  Publications of note include:  
  • The Georgetown Loop:  A Capsule History and Guide
  • The Rise of the Silver Queen:  Georgetown, Colorado, 1859-1896
  • Geologic Hazards of the Georgetown, Idaho Springs, and Squaw Pass Quadrangles, Clear Creek County, Colorado
  • Active Surficial-Geologic Processes and Related Geologic Hazards in Georgetown, Clear Creek County 
  • Rockfall in Colorado
  • High-Capacity Flexpost Rockfall Fences
  • Highway Rockfall Research Report


Internet Speed Test

The State of Colorado's Office of Information Technology (OIT) is offering a new tool for Colorado residents and businesses to test the speed of their broadband internet connection.  The speed test will allow the OIT to determine and help improve internet speeds across the state.  By taking the test, you can put your part of the state on the map for determining broadband speed and availability.  For more information and a link to take the test, click here.


Colorado Outdoors: The Photography Issue

For seventy-five years, the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks & Wildlife) has published Colorado Outdoors, a bi-monthly magazine focusing on Colorado's wildlife and outdoor recreation.  Each year, the magazine publishes a special photography issue, which features the best in wildlife photography around the state.  Many of the images are stunning; others, just plain cute (like this year's cover photo of baby mountain goats).  Check out this year's photography issue (v.62, n.6, Nov/Dec 2013) for some great photos including a barn swallow with an attitude; a baby bear's important lesson; a moose reflecting on life in Colorado; some playful black-tailed prairie dogs; a busy beaver; and much, much more (and of course, more baby mountain goats).  Copies can be checked out from our library, or you can subscribe by visiting their website.  


Creative Districts

In 2011 the Colorado General Assembly passed legislation to allow for the establishment of Creative Districts in Colorado.  According to the legislation, a Creative District is "a well-organized, designated mixed-use area of a community in which a high concentration of cultural facilities, creative businesses, or arts-related businesses serve as the anchor of attraction."  They can be established in communities large or small, urban or rural, and businesses can be for profit or non-profit.  The Districts are certified by Colorado Creative Industries, formerly known as Colorado Council on the Arts.  The first Creative Districts were Downtown Salida and the Santa Fe Arts District in Denver.  Since then, five new Creative Districts have been certified, in Pueblo, Trinidad, Ridgway, Telluride, and the North Fork Valley, and more are expected to follow (see the press release here.)  The program highlights the many artistic and cultural attractions our state has to offer.  If your community is interested in certifying a Creative District, find out how here.


Mining Accidents

Yesterday a mine accident in Ouray killed two miners and injuried 20 others.  Authorities say the two miners died from carbon monoxide poisoning, possibly triggered by an explosion in the mine.  You can read about mine safety from the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining & Safety.  Additionally, our library has mine reports going back to the nineteenth century that list mine accidents, injuries, and fatalities.  Contact us for more information.


Replacing Important Papers

Did you lose any of your important personal papers in the recent flooding?  If so, you may be scrambling to remember everything that needs to be replaced, as well as figuring out where to go to get replacements.  The Colorado Division of Emergency Management has addressed this problem by posting a list on their blog with websites and contact information for obtaining birth, death, and marriage certificates; mortgage, property, and insurance papers; adoption, immigration, and military records; financial information; passports; drivers licenses and vehicle records; and more.  Even if you were not affected by the recent flooding, this is helpful information to keep on hand in case any of your important documents are ever lost or destroyed.

Please note, the list links to a federal government website for obtaining birth, death, and marriage certificates.  However, if the birth, death, marriage, or divorce occurred in Colorado, you can obtain these records from the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment's Vital Records Section.   


Hospice Care

Did you know that November is National Hospice Palliative Care Month?  If you are searching for hospice care for a loved one, be sure to select the best care possible by visiting the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment's Consumer Resources - Hospices webpage.  Here you will find the information you need on inspections, incident occurrences, and how to file a complaint, along with a directory of hospice care facilities in Colorado. 


Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day -- to all our veterans and active military out there, thank you for your service.  The State of Colorado offers many resources for veterans: 


Finish the GED in 2013

The GED is changing starting in 2014, so if you're currently working towards yours, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) encourages you to finish before the end of the year.  You can find information on the GED in Colorado by visiting CDE's website.  Here you will find testing locations, test preparation info, and information on accommodations and computer-based testing.  For more information on the year-end campaign see this press release from CDE.  For information and statistics on prior years' GED testing in Colorado, see Colorado GED Study and GED Testing in Colorado, available from our library.    


Uncovering the Past at the Colorado State Capitol

Yesterday's newspaper ran a story about original wall stenciling that has been uncovered in the House and Senate Chambers of the Colorado State Capitol.  The original designs, done in red in the Senate and green in the House to match the chambers' traditional colors, have been covered by acoustic tiles since the 1950s.  Uncovering the stenciling gives Coloradans a chance to see how the builders of the Capitol intended the chambers to look.  The stencils are being uncovered as part of a project to restore the chambers to their historic appearance.

Quoted in the article is Derek Everett, whose book The Colorado State Capitol:  History, Politics, and Preservation, is available from our library.  You can also learn more by visiting the "Mr. Brown's Attic" exhibit in the Capitol or, if you cannot visit in person, take the virtual tour courtesy of the Colorado Legislative Council.  Our library has a number of other publications on the history, art, and architecture of the Capitol, so be sure and search our web catalog for additional resources.

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