KVNF Regional Newscast: May 23, 2022

The Lamar School Board asked the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs to allow them to change their high school mascot from Savages to Thunder, in the face of a $25,000 fine. The request came during public comment at the end of Thursday’s commission meeting, which was adjourned without a decision.

Favorable weather conditions over the weekend helped firefighters put down the Simms fire outside of Montrose and achieved 70 percent containment. Officials from Ouray County, Montrose County, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management announced containment levels during a heated community meeting Saturday night. The Montrose Press reports that several people wanted to know what role an earlier Forest Service controlled burn had performed near Simms Mesa Road on May 16, during a month without rain and too high winds. The Simms Fire started Thursday near the Montrose-Ouray County border, burning down 373 acres and destroying a home, an RV with an attached trailer and an outbuilding. Early reports led many to believe that a controlled burn may have reignited. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

A federal judge has abandoned a plan for drilling and fracking in the North Fork and Thompson Divide areas. KDNK’s Morgan Neely has more.

POINT (:43)

A coalition of 30 environmental groups petitioned the Home Office to use longstanding authority under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act to put public lands front and center as a cornerstone of environmental and community resilience in the face of a changing climate. The Western Environmental Law Center tells KVNF News that the Interior Department’s overly permissive approach to oil and gas development on federal public lands has undermined the Biden administration’s ability to meet its climate commitments. Oil and gas companies own well leases on 26.6 million acres of federal land. Although almost 53 percent of these leased acres are not producing, 96,000 wells have already been drilled. Biden’s Interior has approved an industry stockpile of more than 9,000 additional drilling permits without imposing climate action. They also just announced their intention to sell an additional 144,000 acres of oil and gas leases. The regulatory framework recommended by the coalition would require Interior and BLM to adhere to science-based climate guard rails that the government has already agreed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the off-road season for many communities in Colorado. Off-highway vehicles will be permitted on a three-mile section of State Highway 149 in Hinsdale County from this weekend through the end of September. This pilot program allows OHVs access to the Alpine Loop, a backcountry service road connecting Lake City, Silverton and Ouray. Hinsdale County Sheriff Chris Kambish speaks with reporter Laura Palmisano about OHV education and enforcement.

FUNCTION (4:04)

This was Hinsdale County Sheriff Chris Kambish speaking to KVNF reporter Laura Palmisano. You can view OHV regulations at hinsdalecountysheriff.com.

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