Valley in Brief: Maintain landscaping as the drought worsens |

Valley in Brief: Maintain landscaping as the drought worsens

Daily staff reportsnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Drought conditions continue to deepen in Colorado, with 11 percent of the state, all in northwest Colorado, characterized as extreme. Drought intensity varies from “dry” to “extreme” throughout the state, and Eagle County is designated as being in a “severe” drought.The Eagle River Water & Sanitation District is encouraging residents to efficiently use water, especially in outdoor areas. To maintain a healthy landscape:• Water deeply and less frequently to encourage a deep root system. A healthy landscape should tolerate watering every three to five days.• Ensure that your irrigation system is operating well.• Turn your irrigation controller from automatic to “manual,” and learn to operate it when weather conditions call for watering, rather than on a set schedule.• Water when you leave footprints in the lawn.• Raise your mowing height.• Transplants do better when water is withheld for a few days to drought harden them before the move.• Water early in the morning or late in the evening to minimize losing water to evaporation.Officials say water available for irrigation and other outdoor uses may be less than normal this year due to this winter’s record low snowpack and continuing warmer and drier-than-normal conditions.For complete water use regulation information, go to or call 970-477-5451.

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colorado – The Colorado Department of Transportation will close one lane of eastbound Interstate 70 through the Twin Tunnels and near Floyd Hill next week. Drilling, surveying and design work continues to take place in advance of the upcoming I-70 widening project. Lane closures are scheduled as follows: • 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – work occurring in median outside Twin Tunnels. No lane closures but occasional, short (less than 15 minutes) traffic stops to move equipment. • 6 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday -one lane closed eastbound through the Twin Tunnels and near the bottom of Floyd Hill. • 6 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday – one lane closed eastbound through the Twin Tunnels and near the bottom of Floyd Hill. • 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday – one lane closed eastbound through the Twin Tunnels and near the bottom of Floyd Hill.• 6 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday – one lane closed eastbound through the Twin Tunnels and near the bottom of Floyd Hill. Lane closures will continue for the next several weeks, not including weekends and holidays. Weekly advisories will be distributed, detailing traffic impacts for the following week. To receive project updates via email, visit and click on the cellphone icon in the upper right-hand corner. The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including I-70 West, Denver to Glenwood Springs.

ASPEN, Colorado – Beginning tonight and continuing through Monday, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is hosting a public symposium at the Aspen Institute: “Forests at Risk – Conservation and Collaboration in a Changing World.” Tickets are $35 for center members and $45 for nonmembers. Tickets are available at The event begins at 6 p.m. today with National Geographic photographer Jim Balog’s stunning video images of melting glaciers and the premiere of his dramatic time-lapse images of dying forests in Colorado and Wyoming. Two internationally known experts – Robert Orr, of Oberlin College, and Maggie Fox, of the Climate Reality Project – will then highlight the unmistakable connection between our warming climate and declining forest health.After a greeting from Sen. Mark Udall, Monday begins with leading scientists explaining the demonstrable link between climate change and recent record wildfires in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, as well as our unprecedented bark-beetle outbreak. Leaders from the Nature Conservancy and Grand Canyon Trust, together with ski-area executives, will discuss landscape scale public-private collaborations to conserve and restore forests across the West. Executives from two major utilities (Denver Water and Southern California Edison) will share their efforts to safeguard the forests upon which they depend.The president of the Freshwater Trust will describe success at restoring rivers and wetlands through innovative partnerships with utilities and water-treatment plants.Two keynote speakers – Under Secretary of Agriculture Harris Sherman (whose office oversees the U.S. Forest Service) and National Forest Foundation President Bill Possiel – will offer real-world examples of using public-private partnerships to accelerate successful landscape restoration and forest conservation throughout the West.Finally, local leaders – John Katzenberger, of the Aspen Global Change Institute, and Morgan Williams, of Biochar Solutions – will describe initiatives to monitor bioclimatic changes in the Roaring Fork Valley, restore ecosystems and sequester carbon in the Central Rockies.Complimentary food and refreshments will be served tonight and again on Monday.

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