Colorado Country Life February 2018 Grand Valley

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[contents] 4 5 6 7 12 14 16 20 22 24 25 28 29 30



Volume 49, Number 2


“Sunset Over Ute Mountain” by Carla Fox, an Empire Electric member.








[cover] Snowmass avy dogs get ready for a day on the slopes. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Swanson/ Vital Films. THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor; Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager/Designer; Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant; ADVERTISING Kris Wendtland, Ad Representative; | | 303-902-7276 National Advertising Representative, American MainStreet Publications | 611 S. Congress Street, Suite 504 | Austin, TX 78704 | 800-626-1181 Advertising Standards: Publication of an advertisement in Colorado Country Life does not imply endorsement by any Colorado rural electric cooperative or the Colorado Rural Electric Association. COLORADO COUNTRY LIFE (USPS 469-400/ISSN 1090-2503) is published monthly by Colorado Rural Electric Association, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216-1731. Periodical postage paid at Denver, Colorado. ©Copyright 2018, Colorado Rural Electric Association. Call for reprint rights. EDITORIAL Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216; Phone: 303-455-4111 | | | | COCountryLife | | Editorial opinions published in Colorado Country Life magazine shall pertain to issues affecting rural electric cooperatives, rural communities and citizens. The opinion of CREA is not necessarily that of any particular cooperative or individual. SUBSCRIBERS Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Colorado Country Life. Cost of subscription for members of participating electric cooperatives is $4.44 per year (37 cents per month), paid from equity accruing to the member. For nonmembers, a subscription is $9 per year in-state/$15 out-of-state. POSTMASTER Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216


COCountryLife posted: CREA’s 2018 Legislative Directory is available. It can also be downloaded as an app. #legislature #coloradolegislature


@ColoradoREA posted: Colorado Senate President Kevin Grantham opens the 2018 legislative session. The Colorado Rural Electric Association will follow the statehouse action and keep members informed on legislation that impacts co-ops during the 120-day session.


COCountryLife1 posted: Watch this video to learn how to make chicken and rice pup muffins.


COCountryLife posted: It’s National Bobblehead Day! Here’s our little collection at Colorado Country Life: we’ve got Power https://buff. ly/2Cnev9W, Pink Panther and Willie Wiredhand

Go online for your chance to win five packs of Zuke’s dog treats. Visit and click on Contests for information on how to enter. We will choose a winner on Wednesday, February 14.



Report looks at how electric co-ops & partners help low-income members BY KENT SINGER CREA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KSINGER@COLORADOREA.ORG A total of 380 low-income electric coop members are enjoying the benefits of solar power this winter, thanks to Colorado’s electric co-ops, a nonprofit called GRID Alternatives and the Colorado Energy Office. These three entities collaborated on several community solar gardens that specifically benefit income-challenged Kent Singer co-op members. With the 2017 completion of the last of these projects under a $1.2 million CEO grant, CEO released a comprehensive report that describes the details of the projects and the successful partnerships that made it all possible. All told, the community solar gardens expect to trim the electric bills of co-op consumers by $145,160 in the first year of the program and by more than $3 million over the life of the projects. The community solar model in Colorado was initiated back in 2009 when United Power in Brighton introduced its Sol Power program. The first-of-its-kind program allows United’s customers to lease individual solar panels from large solar photovoltaic arrays and receive credit for the power generated from those panels. This arrangement allows utility customers who either cannot afford a large residential system or who live in condos or townhomes to take advantage of renewable energy without having to make a large capital investment or having to maintain the system. The larger arrays are also more cost effective in general when compared to smaller arrays installed on homes. Community solar in Colorado got another boost in 2010 when a company called Clean Energy Collective partnered with Holy Cross Energy (Glenwood Springs) in the Roaring Fork Valley to establish its first community solar project near El Jebel. That 340-panel project was quickly fully subscribed, and Holy Cross and Clean Energy Collective added another 1-megawatt project at the Garfield County Airport a few years later. Clean Energy Collective has now built dozens of community solar projects across the United States. In 2015, Grand Valley Power (Grand Junction) continued the community solar movement, but with a new approach. Grand Valley worked with GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit focused on providing solar power to low-income utility consumers to help ease the burden of their energy bills. Grand Valley was the first co-op in the country to identify customers who needed a hand paying their utility bills and to allow those customers to offset their energy usage with power generated from centrally-located solar arrays. This community solar model provides a short-term “hand up” to those who need it, and it allows more co-op member-owners to benefit from the solar installation.



After the successful Grand Valley Power program, GRID Alternatives received a grant of $1.2 million from CEO to launch the “Demonstration Project.” The project included additional community solar gardens at six more electric co-ops: DeltaMontrose Electric Association in Montrose, Empire Electric Association in Cortez, Holy Cross Energy in Glenwood Springs, Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association in Fort Collins, San Miguel Power Association in Ridgway and Yampa Valley Electric Association in Steamboat Springs. Over the last two years, these co-ops worked with GRID Alternatives and CEO to install nearly 1.5 MW of solar capacity in 19 different counties in Colorado. These projects have allowed low-income co-op consumers to get a break on their utility bills, and they have helped integrate more renewable energy into rural areas. But while the benefit for co-op customers is clear, why would electric co-ops voluntarily sign up for a program that results in fewer sales of the one product they sell? Yes, it’s true that the community solar gardens helped the co-ops comply with their renewable energy requirements under state law and their individual co-op targets. It’s also true that the projects enabled the co-ops to get more hands-on experience with solar power and they helped co-ops diversify their power supply. But the main reason co-ops got involved in this project is the fact that co-ops are nonprofit, member-owned electric utilities. They don’t have an incentive to make money for shareholders such as insurance companies or hedge funds. Co-ops are in this business to provide members with the most affordable, reliable and environmentally-sustainable power possible, but we’re also in it to serve our communities. In some cases that means trying to find creative ways to support those who are having a hard time paying their power bills. The CEO-GRID Alternatives program increased the accessibility of solar to more than just the co-op members in middle to upper income households. Diane Johnson, CEO of Yampa Valley Electric Association, summed up the program: “YVEA is proud to help develop a renewable project that touches so many people. We expect that many ‘right’ answers exist for the future of energy, and we expect to embrace varied and innovative fuel choices.” These new community solar gardens that focus on a specific set of members are just one of those choices.

Kent Singer, Executive Director

[letters] Christmas Tree Memories

Almost 50 years ago my husband and I were financially-strapped college students. There was not enough money to purchase a Christmas tree — they cost $2 and up! We discovered that more affluent fellow students discarded their Christmas trees when they left for Christmas break. We scavenged the alleys and found one to take home. Your article on the Fein family’s Christmas tree project (December ’17) provoked this memory. I also recall how, when I was a teenager, friends were flooded out of their house just before Christmas. They stayed in an unfurnished house while their house was made livable. (One night) four of us set up a small tree and ornaments while they slept upstairs. Years later, tears still came when they recounted finding that tree on Christmas day. Lynne Kesel, Fort Collins, Poudre Valley REA member

Updating Borer Facts

I am a horticulture consultant and wanted to point out a couple of misstatements about the emerald ash borer (January ’18). While the article notes that the beetle migrated to Colorado, it was not by natural movement. The beetle likely ended up here via firewood brought by a human. Moving firewood is always a bad idea. Also, while the article says that the borer seems to prefer ash trees in the genus Fraxinus, all ash trees are in the genus Fraxinus. Ash species that evolved with the beetle in its native habitat are resistant, but few of those have been grown in America. Loretta Mannix, Loveland, Poudre Valley REA member EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to space limitations, the article did not elaborate on how the ash borer migrated to Colorado. The possibility that it was transported on firewood illustrates the point that, in an age of globalization, people play a major role in transporting pests and diseases. Our apologies if statements on the classification of ash trees were misleading.

Morton_CoCountryLife_1.18.qxp_Layout 1 12/5/17 3:09 PM Page 1

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[community events] [February] February 7-11 Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival Various Locations

February 10-11 Leadville Ice Fishing Derby Twin Lake 719-293-0567

February 8 Buena Vista Mineral Identification Presentation Sangre de Cristo Electric Meeting Room 6:30 pm •

February 11 Beulah Winter Watercolor Painting Saunter Mountain Park Environmental Center 1 pm • 719-485-4444

February 8-10 Colorado Springs RV & Outdoor Show Altered Reality Event Center

February 13-18 Denver “STOMP” Troupe Performance Buell Theatre 800-641-1222 •

February 9-11 Colorado Springs GalaxyFest Antlers Wyndham Hotel

February 14 Colorado Springs Warm Hearts Hike Bear Creek Nature Center 6-7:30 pm • 719-520-6972

February 9-18 Cripple Creek Ice Festival Bennett Avenue

February 14 Fort Collins DeVotchKa Concert Washington’s 7 pm •

February 9-11 Loveland Loveland Fire & Ice Festival Downtown Loveland 800-980-4155

February 15-18 Telluride Telluride Comedy Festival Sheridan Opera House 970-728-6363

February 9 Manitou Springs CarniBall City Hall 6-9 pm •

February 17 Kremmling Ice Fishing Contest Wolford Reservoir

February 10 Colorado Springs Bighorn Sheep Day Festival Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center 10 am-3 pm •

February 17 Loveland Spring Antique and Collectible Toy Show and Sale Larimer County Fairgrounds 9 am-3 pm • 970-214-1035

February 10 Estes Park Wine & Chocolate Festival Estes Park Events Complex 970-577-9900 •

February 17 Steamboat Springs Back Country Film Festival Chief Theater 7 pm • 970-871-9151

February 10 Grand Lake “Supers & Toons” Winter Carnival Various Grand Lake Locations

February 18 Durango Winter Photographer’s Train Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

March 2 Denver “Off the Clock: Kilts and Clovers” St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Denver Botanic Gardens 6-9 pm •

February 21-22 Snowmass Celebrity Ski Fest Various Locations

March 3 Pagosa Springs Giant Slalom Challenge Wolf Creek Ski Area 8:30 am • 800-754-9653

February 10 Leadville Cooper Olympiad Cooper Ski Resort



Chocolate Lover’s Fantasy Fundraiser

Buena Vista Community Center 715 E. Main St., Buena Vista February 10, 5:30-8 pm Indulge in a variety of chocolates and appetizers while helping to raise funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Chaffee County. In addition, enjoy live music, a wine tasting and a silent auction full of exciting items donated by local businesses. Tickets cost $25. For more information, call 719-539-7347 or visit February 23-24 Estes Park Stan Jam The Stanley Hotel February 24 Durango LifeGuard Banquet and Auction Fort Lewis College Ballroom 6 pm • 970-385-8451 February 24 Frisco Dog Skijoring Clinic Frisco Nordic Center 1 pm • February 24 Keystone Painting and Wine Event Warren Station at Keystone 6:30 pm •


March 5-11 Loveland Free Fly It Forward® Flights for Girls and Women Northern Colorado Regional Airport 10 am-5 pm • March 10 Fort Collins Seed Swap and Giveaway Old Town Library 970-221-6740 • March 10 Fruita Evening of Art Gala Fruita Community Center 6:30-9:30 pm •



Calendar, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; fax to 303455-2807; or email calendar@

Please send name of event, date, time, venue, brief description, phone number, a photo, if you have one, and email and/or website for more information.




Over the next several years, our country will see a major shift in the professional landscape. Many businesses are already noticing this change as the baby boomer generation moves into retirement and their children and grandchildren, members of the millennial generation, begin to move into the workforce and advance in their careers. The millennial generation is the largest population of adults to move into the workforce since the baby boomer generation. They are highly educated and, after weathering a recession during or immediately after trying to break into the workforce, they are motivated to gain work experience that can turn into a meaningful and rewarding career. Driven by values and attracted to a company’s strong mission and culture over salary and compensation, millennials are uniquely suited for careers at their local electric cooperative. Grand Valley Power’s dedication to our community and our focus on people, not profits, make it an ideal work environment for individuals seeking to develop meaningful careers.

We need people who will help us do this while ensuring we remain true to our mission: providing safe, reliable and affordable electric service and improving the quality of life for our members. Whether you’re ready to start your career or make a career change, take a closer look at electric cooperatives — we’re located in 47 states and, of course, Tom Walch we’re right here at home. Building and strengthening our community has always been our top priority. Developing the next generation of employees is critical to maintaining the success of our mission and our business model. To learn more about electric co-op careers at GVP or across the U.S., visit, and click on “About GVP” to explore the positions available.



Grand Valley Power board meetings are open to the members, consumers and public. Regularly scheduled board meetings are held at 9 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the headquarters building located at 845 22 Road, Grand Junction.

You are a member of a cooperative and your opinion does count. If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please let me know by writing to Ask the CEO, P.O. Box 190, Grand Junction, CO 81502, or send an email to me at Check out our website at

The monthly agenda is posted in the lobby of the headquarters building 10 days before each meeting and posted on the GVP website. If anyone desires to address the board of directors, please let us know in advance and you will be placed on the agenda.

Notice of Annual Meeting and Election Board of director elections will take place at the annual meeting on August 2, 2018, at Colorado Mesa University. Directors whose terms expire in 2018 are Dennis Haberkorn, Jim O’Connor and Bill Rooks. More information about the incumbents and election information will be forthcoming in the months ahead. You can also visit to read more about GVP’s election policy.

Offices are closed on Monday, February 19 for employee training.


82ND ANNUAL MEETING AUGUST 2, 2018 Colorado Mesa University





2018 BUDGET APPROVED The Grand Valley Power Board of Directors approved the 2018 budget at the December board meeting. The budget is the road map for the year and management will use it to guide the business. Conditions and situations may vary that could potentially change the budget during the year and during that time the budget may be amended. The following is a comparison of the 2017 budget, the estimated actual operations for 2017 and the 2018 budget.

2017 2017 2018 Budget Est Actuals Budget

Operating Revenue & Patronage Capital 32,414,774



Purchased Power







Distribution Expense: Operations




Distribution Expense: Maintenance




Customer Accounts Expense










Transmission Expense

Customer Service & Information Administrative & General

Total Operations & Maintenance 25,053,550



Depreciation & Amortization




Tax Expense: Property




Interest on Long-Term Debt










Interest Expense: Other Other Deductions

Total Cost of Electric Service 30,106,661 30,453,515 30,951,539 Patronage Capital & Operating Margins 2,308,113



Nonoperating Margins: Interest Nonoperating Margins: Other Capital Credits & Patronage Dividends










Total Patronage Capital or Margins 2,496,613




Always be aware of electrical and fire safety at your home or business. Watch for such warning signs as hot or discolored switch plates, cords or plugs; dimming or flickering lights; or buzzing or sizzling sounds. If you smell a burning odor, check it out immediately and unplug electric items in that area. 8




Understanding Grand Valley Power’s capital credit retirements and how they benefit our members, large and small


Cooperatives around the globe operate with seven principles. They have since the 1800s and Grand Valley Power is among them. Co-op principle three is members’ economic participation. But what does this mean? Simply stated, “Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative ... benefitting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.” One of the biggest benefits of being a part of a co-op is being invested in our business. As a member of Grand Valley Power,

Gateway Canyons Controller Bernd Feldhaus (center) is presented with the capital credit check by directors Janie VanWinkle (left) and Dennis Haberkorn (second from left), Grand Valley Power Chief Executive Officer Tom Walch (second from right) and director Rod Martinez (right).

Mesa County Valley School District 51 Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Ken Haptonstall (second from right) and Mesa County Valley School District 51 Board of Education President Tom Parrish (second from left) are presented with their capital credit check by directors Rod Martinez (left) and Carolyn Sandeen-Hall (right).

margins (or patronage capital) are allocated to each household in proportion to his or her contributions to revenue during the year. These margins are allocated as capital credits and, depending on the health and equity of the cooperative, credits are retired and paid to members in the form of a check. This winter, the Grand Valley Power Board of Directors retired $1,294,881 to our members. GVP staff met with four of the largest consumers in December and presented their capital credit checks. They were School District 51, Whitewater Building Materials, Collbran Job Corps and Gateway Canyons.

Collbran Job Corps Director Gove Aker (left) is presented with the capital credit check by directors Sylvia Spangler (center) and Rod Martinez (right).

Vice President of Whitewater Building Materials Mike Gardner (center) is presented with the capital credit check by director Rod Martinez (left), Grand Valley Power Chief Executive Officer Tom Walch (second from left) and directors Janie VanWinkle (second from right) and Dennis Haberkorn (right). 4






Grand Valley Power is undergoing some changes and you’ll begin to notice them with an updated logo, website and communication options available for members. GVP is excited to present its fresh look to you.


Key features of the website include a cleaner and more attractive design, a more engaging user experience with enhanced search and navigation, simpler menus and the ability to be more responsive to mobile devices and tablets. Visit mid-February to experience the new site.


In addition to the website, our logo maintains our co-op roots but now includes a solid golden bolt and our mission of “Empowering Lives with Hometown Service.” You’ll begin to notice this change on our bills, letters, communications and even our trucks throughout 2018.


During the course of this year, you’ll also hear from our member services department about the new ways we’re communicating with you and ensuring we’re meeting your needs. To start, be sure to like our Facebook page and Twitter pages for the latest news, and check out our most recent newsletters at We also will be asking for feedback through surveys on what you want to see in the future. We look forward to hearing from you and continuing to evolve to serve our members’ needs. As always, if you have any suggestions or comments, please email cwharton@ or call our office and ask for member services at 970-242-0040.

Empowering Lives with Hometown Service



For many DIYers, the workshop is a second home. Make sure it’s a safe place to work productively. With so many power tools in one place, it’s important take steps to prevent electrical shocks and other hazards: • Choose electrical outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters. Use portable GFCIs if outlets don’t have them. • Make sure metal workbenches are grounded. Hire a professional to do that work. • Check for damaged cords, plugs and signs of wear before using equipment. • Replace old, worn power tools and cords. • Use heavy-duty extension cords rated for the tools you plan to use. • Make sure the area is clean and dry before undertaking any project. • Store flammable liquids and materials away from the workbench and where sparkproducing tools like grinders and cutters are used. • Secure equipment and tools when not in use to prevent them from falling, being damaged or causing injuries. • Keep children and pets out of the workshop when power tools are used. Always stay focused when working with power tools. If you are tired or distracted, wait until another time so you can work safely and give the project full concentration. Learn more at

Apply by March 1, 2018

Scholarships Available Now! Learn more at



[news clips]

COLORADO PHOTOG WINS PHOTO OF YEAR Eastern Colorado plains storms can be scary and beautiful, exactly like the one photographed by K.C. Electric board member Dave Ritchey of Kit Carson last year. He was in the right place at the right time to capture this storm moving toward a co-op substation. He then entered it in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s RE Magazine monthly photo challenge and was named the October winner, beating out a runnerup photo of lightning striking a power line. For its final photo challenge of the year, RE Magazine asked readers and digital followers to vote for their favorite monthly winner. Among Ritchey’s competition was a photo of Mountain Parks Electric’s 1956 Sno-Cat (see pages 14 and 15). It was the September winner of the vintage utility vehicle photo challenge. And, while the Sno-Cat had a respectable showing, Ritchey’s “Storm” photo was declared the RE Magazine 2017 Photo of the Year.

Co-ops Prepare for Electromagnetic Pulse Event With a new study showing that a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse attack could have regional or local effects on power delivery, electric cooperatives and the electric utility industry are working with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies to protect the country’s electric grid. The Electric Power Research Institute recently released a report that analyzes the impact on the grid of certain simulated high-altitude electromagnetic pulse, or HEMP, events. “For years, the electric sector has been preparing for the possibility of events that could impact grid operations,” said Jim Spiers, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s

senior vice president for business and technology strategies. Co-ops are also partnering with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy to have preparations in place for electromagnetic pulse incidents. “Simulations and analyses like this help the electric industry enhance preparedness, safety, grid resiliency and reliability,” Spiers said. “America’s electric cooperatives work closely with EPRI.” Its research will continue in 2018. “We will continue on this path as we identify and test costeffective measures to reduce grid vulnerability to a HEMP event,” said Michael Howard, EPRI president and CEO.

Low-Income Solar Projects: A Bright Spot in 2017 for CEO

There are 380 homes throughout Colorado paying less for their electricity this winter thanks to several Colorado electric co-ops and a low-income community solar demonstration project overseen by the Colorado Energy Office. CEO awarded $1.2 million in 2015 to develop several solar arrays in the state that benefit low-income residents. Construction of these projects was completed last year in cooperation with Empire Electric Association in Cortez, Delta-Montrose Electric Association in Montrose, Grand Valley Power in Grand Junction, Holy Cross Energy in Glenwood Springs, Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association in Fort Collins, San Miguel Power Association in Ridgway and Yampa Valley Electric Association in Steamboat Springs. A recent report by CEO noted that the original projects were designed to help reduce energy costs for low-income households while helping CEO and the utilities understand how these projects can be structured to benefit the ratepayers as well as the utilities. The projects demonstrated the feasibility of community solar models assisting lower-income households. It is expected that 12


Grand Valley Power CEO Tom Walch welcomes visitors to an event celebrating the community solar projects benefiting low-income members.

these will be replicated by other co-ops, municipal utilities and investor-owned utilities across the country. Projects ranged from 3.2 to 5 kilowatts in size, and most projects can offset up to 100 percent of the subscriber’s electricity usage. These savings equate to, on average, $382 per year, per subscriber. For the 380 subscribers now benefitting from that program, that is a total savings of $145,160 for this first year and more than $3 million over the lifetime of the solar arrays.

[ news clips]

Colorado Co-op Adds State’s Largest Battery The state’s first commercial scale energy storage project is being planned by United Power, an electric cooperative headquartered in Brighton northeast of Denver. Located in Firestone, the 4 megawatt/16 megawatt-hour battery storage system will be one of the largest systems owned and operated by an electric co-op anywhere in the country. “United Power wants to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to integrating new technology that can help boost reliability and keep costs down. Energy storage will play an important role in the grid of the future, and we’re excited to be starting now,” said John Parker, CEO of United Power. The battery storage system, built by Tesla and installed by partner SoCore Energy, will store energy generated in the overnight hours when demand is low and discharge it during peak hours to reduce demand. Curbing peak demand will reduce costs and help improve the overall efficiency of United Power’s electric grid as it serves its more than 82,000 meters. The Firestone system is the first of several energy storage projects that United Power will roll out, piloting an innovative “community battery” strategy which allows users to purchase a share of the battery system’s output to directly reduce demand charges on their monthly electric bills. Back in 2009, “United Power was one of the first utilities in the country to experiment with the community solar concept with our Sol Partners™ program, and now there are community solar projects all over the country. Community batteries are the next big trend,” said United Power’s New Business Director Jerry Marizza. Community batteries allow co-ops and their members to address the demand components of the utility bill — the portion that can’t easily be addressed with solar energy alone. Batteries provide opportunities to reduce costs, increase choices for co-ops and their members while improving resiliency of the grid. Construction of the community energy storage project is expected to begin in the first half of 2018.

2017 Fourth Quarter: Half of New Power From Renewables About 25 gigawatts of new electricity was added to the U.S. electric grid in the fourth quarter of 2017. A report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that half of that was from renewable energy resources, including wind and solar. Between March and May of last year, nuclear power dropped as a resource for the first time in 33 years and renewable energy grew, the report noted. However, the August 21 solar eclipse that darkened midday skies across a significant portion of the country also dropped the output from solar power plants. The EIA report said that the eclipse resulted in solar power in California dropping to 60 percent below normal. The report was the result of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concerns about the reliability of the grid as it becomes more reliant on renewable resources. FEBRUARY 2018




The tale of a north central Colorado vintage snow machine

Mountain Parks Electric’s 1956 Model 423 Tucker Sno-Cat has a horsepower rating of 95, weighs approximately 2,500 pounds, has four gears (three forward, one reverse) and seats 4 passengers.



It looks like something plucked from Dr. Seuss’ doodle pad: Mountain Parks Electric’s 1956 Model 423 Tucker Sno-Cat appears to be a cross between a classic pickup and a snow transport, complete with steel sprockets, moving track wheels, dual front runner skis and a vintage grille and hood. Its once cherry red paint peels from a half century of exposure to ultraviolet rays at 8,000 feet in Walden, Colorado. Patches of its original orange coat and flecks of rust now bleed through. Some call it patina — an oxidized beauty for those who can see it. But even for people who aren’t “gearheads,” something about the vehicle’s contours awakens a curiosity, beckoning passersby to step inside the cab, crank over the Chrysler flathead six cylinder engine and answer that burning question: Does this thing actually work? Twenty years ago, after just one glance at the Sno-Cat, MPE’s Tom Sifers needed to answer that question for himself. The year was 1997, the same year the Dow Jones eclipsed 7,000 points and people all over the globe mourned the loss of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa. The Sno-Cat was 36 years old then, parked behind MPE’s silver Quonset hut on Main Street in Walden, fading from memory. It had been a decade since it was last dispatched. The sight of it immediately lured Sifers, a Missouri native and a longtime Ford Mustang enthusiast. “It’s a piece of history,” Sifers says with a youthful grin. “I had never seen one in person before. I had to know if it still worked. So I talked our lineman Stan Swaney in to turning over the ignition. It sputtered a bit, then fired right up.” More questions followed: What was the Sno-Cat’s history? How did MPE get it? How was it used? Finding the answers compelled Sifers to ensure that the machine was restored. 14


Acquiring the Sno-Cat On September 7, 1961, the Continental Oil Company sold its 1956 Model 423 Tucker Sno-Cat to MPE for $1,010, less than the sticker price of a new pickup truck. The Model 423 — a 400 series model with two tracks and three doors — was manufactured by the Tucker Corporation in Medford, Oregon. It offered dependable over-snow transportation and a heated cab. “No snow too deep … no road too steep,” Tucker’s slogan went. It was a claim that Continental Oil Company substantiated. Despite an average annual snowfall of more than 60 inches, the Walden snows were not too deep for the Sno-Cat to operate in the McCallum Oil Field. It only stood to reason that the snowfall would not be too deep for restoring power to Jackson County’s more remote areas either. There, heavy snows often buried roads, taxed overhead power lines and sometimes left rural Jackson County residents without electricity for days at a time. Ute Pass search and rescue The Sno-Cat became the centerpiece of MPE’s power restoration winter fleet through the 1980s. But with a fuel efficiency rating of approximately 7 miles per gallon and a top speed of only 15 miles per hour, it eventually fell out of favor, thanks to the technological advancements of modern snowmobiles. Even so, during its heyday, it surpassed all expectations for reliability and usefulness. In the 1970s, MPE’s Walden linemen Carly Norris, Carol Hale and Stan Swaney trucked MPE’s Sno-Cat south of Walden to the Ute Pass area in response to a small two-passenger plane crash. It was not the only time Sno-Cats were called on in the locality’s search-and-rescue

efforts. They were used extensively in the December 4, 1978, Rocky Mountain Airways Flight 217 crash one in Colorado’s Buffalo Pass, a remote area not far from Steamboat Springs. That day, under blizzard conditions, a small commuter plane full of skiers crashed en route to Denver. Remarkably, thanks in part to MPE’s Sno-Cat rescue operations, 20 survived. MPE lineman Norris was part of the rescue effort that day. He and Jackson County Sheriff Irvin Swayze, using a small receiver, identified the plane’s emergency beacon. Unfortunately, there were no survivors in a separate crash on Ute Pass. “That was a long, long day,” Swaney’s spouse, Dephane, recalls. “The families of the pilot and passengers were grateful for the help Mountain Parks Electric provided with its Sno-Cat, although that day the snow was soft, and snowmobiles did most of the work.” Photo contest glory Last year, MPE’s Sno-Cat once again found itself in the limelight. A photo of the snow machine won the “Vintage Utility Vehicles” category in a photo contest sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s RE Magazine. The winning picture was posted on MPE’s Facebook page and elicited a response from Patty Tucker (a descendant of the Tucker Sno-Cat founder). “My husband’s grandfather and sons built this,” she wrote. Future plans “The Sno-Cat is still 100 percent operational,” says Sifers, now MPE’s general manager. “We have had to replace the water pump on it a few times. From what we have learned, it is one of very few operational models left from the 1950s. It’s not part of our regular fleet anymore, but we plan to put it on a trailer and tow it in summer parades with

[ industry]

Mountain Parks Electric’s 1942 Chevy truck. That still works, too. Hopefully, with a little TLC, our Sno-Cat will still turn over on its 100th birthday.”

Robert Taylor is Mountain Parks Electric’s manager of communications and is a novelist and former columnist for the Sky-Hi Daily News in Granby, Colorado.

Tucker Sno-Cats have been used in the harshest winter conditions, including the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

MPE’s apprentice lineman Matt Reed fires up the Sno-Cat.

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[ feature]

Avalanche dogs work R hard to keep everyone having fun on the slopes


Regal, resilient and, just plain cute, the dogs working Colorado’s ski slopes are impossible to ignore. They play an important role for each resort’s public relations endeavors, and many of these dogs have an even bigger purpose, for the ski facility as well as the communities surrounding them.


Monarch ski patrol team. Photo courtesy of Monarch Ski Patrol.

“Are you ready to work?” “Search!” These are the typical commands an avalanche dog responds to on a rescue or recovery mission. They aren’t necessarily commands that are set in stone industrywide, but they are quite routine amongst avalanche dogs and their handlers in Colorado as a way to be consistent with one another. “They know when people are under the snow in case of an avalanche,” says Dan Berg, Snowmass avalanche dog coordinator, whose team of avalanche dogs, or “avy” dogs, consists of Piper, Odin, Mabel and Hatchet. “As ski patrollers, we do avalanche control so that people are safe on the hill. In the unlikely case that we do have an avalanche, we have them there to help us dig that person out.” The skill of these avalanche teams is not only utilized at the ski areas where they are employed, but also with organizations such as the local sheriffs’ offices, searchand-rescue teams and Flight for Life. Clearly, not just any dog can become an avy dog — it takes good genes, a strong hunting instinct, a trained handler, challenging drills and much more. “They’re identified and chosen when they’re still in the litter,” says John Reller, dog coordinator at Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment, or C-RAD. Sporting and working dogs, such as retrievers, Labradors, Australian shepherds and border collies, make good avalanche rescue dog candidates, he says. In addition, there is a puppy aptitude test that helps predict how the dog will train, search and work. “If a dog can exhibit a very strong drive and good motivation, then it’s a good candidate for the program,” says Rick LaRocca, a ski patroller at Winter Park and handler of Nuggit, a C-RAD certified avalanche dog. “Once you start

working the dog, you get a good idea of the individual personality traits and what hurdles you might have to jump with that animal, or if it’s even possible to put the dog through the program.” Training starts right away for puppies with such activities as “runaways.” One person holds the pup while the handler runs away with a toy in hand. The puppy is released and runs to find the handler to fetch the toy. There’s a lot of repetitiveness, high-pitched praise and celebration to keep the dog engaged. “Sometimes it’s harder to train the people because we can be, without knowing, very inconsistent and the dogs pick up on all those things,” Reller says. “A lot of people that train with me know that I call myself the dumb end of the leash. The dog is the smart end of the leash.” Several Colorado ski areas utilize the training and resources provided by C-RAD, which started pooling the expertise of search-and-rescue teams, Flight for Life, sheriffs’ departments and ski patrols in 1991 to create the avalanche deployment program. And the teams in the C-RAD program are continually honing their skills.

Snowmass patrollers and avy dogs prepare for an exercise. Photo courtesy of Vital Films.

[continued on page 18] FEBRUARY 2018




Three of Snowmass’ avy dogs get a ride down the hill. Photo courtesy of Vital Films.

[continued from page 18] It takes three heartbeats, as LaRocca describes it, to make a team: the avalanche dog, the dog’s handler and an avalanche technician. The avalanche technician is trained to identify areas that are at risk for an avalanche, perform controlled avalanches and assess the scene of an avalanche to determine whether it is safe for an avalanche rescue, recovery mission or public access. When the area is cleared, the avy dog and handler use their training and camaraderie to locate the avalanche victims. C-RAD, based in Summit County, puts the dogs and their handlers to the test through simulated avalanche drills, which includes a helicopter, snowmobile or car ride — routines the avy dogs become accustomed to. Each team is required to clear a 300-foot by 300-foot area in a maximum time of 20 minutes. Within that area are an unknown number of potential “victims” — handlers pretending to be buried in an avalanche — hidden beneath the snow in caves at varying depths, the entrances blocked with more snow. “I’ve personally been buried 6 feet and I was found by one of our dogs,” says Rich Rogers, lead avalanche dog handler at Monarch Mountain. The snow caves are dug beforehand, leaving plenty of room for the victim impersonator to lie down comfortably. “The first time it was a little unnerving. If you’re claustrophobic, that’s not the activity for you,” he says with a laugh.

Piper and her handler Dan Berg at Snowmass play tug-of-war after a successful training session. Photo courtesy of Vital Films.

The dogs use their heightened sense of smell and hearing as well as verbal cues and body language from their handlers to locate the victim. When a victim is detected, the dogs indicate their find by digging aggressively. The dogs continue the search until the area is cleared. The teams are graded on how the dog works, how the handler works and how they work as a team. Once a victim is found, the handler and dog play a game of tug-of-war to celebrate a job well done. The dog always wins. “That’s all they want to do,” LaRocca says. Trainers and handlers carry a specific tug toy to play with the dogs. It’s the same toy used in rescue simulations that the “victim” holds to get pulled out of the hole.

“This all goes back to the primeval hunt drive that they have,” LaRocca explains. “The tug is actually simulating the tearing of meat from the bone. It’s all kind of caveman stuff.” The handler uses a lot of animation and high-voice praise to let the dog know he did a good job finding the victim. “You might think that sounds strange at first, but it’s proven that they respond the best to crazy animated behavior and super high voices,” he says. “But it gets the dog’s hunt drive going and really is super effective.” Simulated avalanche drills are held often, once or twice a month for Monarch Mountain avy dog Anchin. “With workload, that gets [time] determined,” explains Rogers,

Read about the fun things ski resort dogs are up to by visiting 18


Anchin’s handler. “We’re not setting up scenarios when we’re super busy, but any time in between we’re trying to set something up and keep him on his toes; keep him ready.” “The number one goal of an avalanche dog, of course, is a live find: finding a live victim,” LaRocca says. “But the other great goal of a good working dog is to have them search for a half an hour, 40 minutes or longer with no find, but still reward them afterward to let them know they did a great job, just so they don’t get bored or depressed or distracted.”


An avy dog’s life is full of excitement, activity, praise and affection, but it’s hard work and comes with its fair share of hardships. “It is hard on these animals,” LaRocca says. “They don’t get their daily nap that a normal dog would get, which shortens their lives.” Just like any dog, avy dogs sense emotion. Reller tells the story of the search for a snowmobiler who, unfortunately, had to be recovered rather than rescued. Understandably, the victim’s wife began to sob at the scene. Initially, Reller’s focus was on the grieving widow. Then he heard a strange noise. “It was my dog making a wailing sound, but it was the same pitch as the lady. She was imitating her,” he explains. “She quickly reminded me that she was upset as well. “She had done everything I asked her to do,” Reller says. “I had to take her off to the side and go reward her so it stayed a fun game and she would continue to do it again in the future for me.” Avy dogs have a full workload at the ski resort, just like their

handlers. Although the dogs spend more time in the patrol shacks during busy times, such as big snow days, holidays and days when injuries are prevalent, avy dogs spend much of their time sharpening their capabilities. “Every day I’m up there, we’re working together from the start of the day to the end of the day. It’s a full eight- or nine-hour workday for them,” Rogers says. It can be dangerous on the hill for avy dogs when a lot of people are around. Things like snowboard edges, ski poles and heavy traffic could injure the dog, so handlers take precautions in regard to these dangers on the mountain. While an avalanche rescue is the most rewarding, recovery missions are vital and beneficial for all involved. “Almost all the time what we’re capable of doing is bringing closure to the situation, which helps friends, family, the town,” Reller explains. “To me, as a handler, to see them do exactly what we trained them to do is incredibly rewarding. Even in those situations, the closure that it brings to everybody else of having their loved one, that unknown [location] of them being out there, out there in the snow somewhere, it brings closure to that situation.” The emotional and physical toll that is placed on avalanche dogs — and, in fact, their handlers — can affect their overall well-being, so keeping spirits high in stressful situations is essential. “It’s a challenge for us to do things correctly and reward the dogs appropriately,” Reller says. “Keep in mind that they are part of the team. We test as a team, so we have to take care of each other as a team, too.”

The Snowmass ski patrol team digs for a “victim” Piper found during a drill. Photo courtesy of Vital Films.

[ feature]

Winter Park’s Nuggit waits for instructions. Photo courtesy of Carl Frey/Winter Park Resort.

In the end, for Colorado’s avalanche dog handlers, the fulfillment of the job outshines the difficulties by far. “It’s more rewarding than anything I’ve done in my life,” LaRocca says. “It is 100 percent the best to be dragged by my dog to go to work.” Amy Higgins is a freelance writer from Centennial who doesn’t mind a little slobber on the cheek if it means getting a little time with a friendly dog.

I’ve personally been buried 6 feet and I was found by one of our dogs. RICH ROGERS, lead avalanche dog handler at Monarch Mountain.






If your dogs are anything like mine, it’s difficult to dodge the doggy drool when I cook. However, it’s not wise to feed them people fodder, so I like to bake batches of treats specifically targeted to them. That’s exactly what the Colorado Country Life staff did this month. We found these dog treat recipes then tested them on our pups. While some recipes were more drool worthy than others, they’re all still a great foundation for you to experiment with in creating something salivating for your particular pup.

KEEP A WATCHFUL EYE ON YOUR PET If your dog hasn’t tried any of these ingredients beforehand, don’t feed him a full serving of these treats. Give him a small piece first and watch for any signs of food allergies.

TAKE A TASTE Never thought you’d try a dog treat? These recipes are all comprised of ingredients that are commonly found in human foods, so take a nibble. This gives you an opportunity to be more aware of what your dog likes and dislikes.

Chicken and Wild Rice Pup Muffins 1 cup cooked wild rice, mashed 1 cup cooked or canned chicken, diced fine or shredded 3 tablespoons rice flour 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, diced 1 egg, beaten Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until well blended. Spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Press mixture into each slot. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Recipe found at

Doggy Donuts 1 cup flour 1 cup oats 1/3 cup coconut oil 1/2 cup peanut butter 2 eggs Greek yogurt Bacon bits Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray doughnut pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, coconut oil, peanut butter and eggs. Mix until incorporated. Press mixture into each doughnut slot of doughnut pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Dip each doggy doughnut into Greek yogurt then sprinkle with bacon bits. Recipe found at

For more homemade dog treat recipes, visit 20



Drug Companies Fear Release of the New AloeCure Big Pharma stands to lose billions as doctors’ recommend drug-free “health cocktail” that adjusts and corrects your body’s health conditions. by David Waxman Seattle Washington:

Drug company execs are nervous. That’s because the greatest health advance in decades has hit the streets. And analysts expect it to put a huge crimp in “Big Pharma” profits. So what’s all the fuss about? It’s about a new ingredient that’s changing the lives of people who use it. Some call it “the greatest discovery since penicillin”! The name of the product is the AloeCure. It’s not a drug. It’s something completely different. And the product is available to anyone who wants it, at a reasonable price. But demands may force future prices to rise. TOP DOC WARNS: DIGESTION DRUGS CAN CRIPPLE YOU! Company spokesperson, Dr. Liza Leal; a leading integrative health specialist recommends AloeCure before she decides to prescribe any digestion drug. Especially after the FDA’s stern warning about long-term use of drugs classified as proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec®, Nexium®, and Prevacid®. In a nutshell, the FDA statement warned people should avoid taking these digestion drugs for longer than three 14-day treatment periods because there is an increased risk of bone fractures. Many people take them daily and for decades. Dr. Leal should know. Many patients come to her with bone and joint complaints and she does everything she can to help them. One way for digestion sufferers to help avoid possible risk of tragic joint and bone problems caused by overuse of digestion drugs is to take the AloeCure. Analysts expect the AloeCure to put a huge crimp in “Big Pharma” profits.

The secret to AloeCure’s “health adjusting” formula is scientifically tested Acemannan, a polysaccharide extracted from Aloe Vera. But not the same aloe vera that mom used to apply to your cuts, scrapes and burns. This is a perfect strain of aloe that is organically grown under very strict conditions. AloeCure is so powerful it begins to benefit your health the instant you take it. It soothes intestinal discomfort and you can avoid the possibility of bone and health damage caused by overuse of digestion drugs. We all know how well aloe works externally on cuts, scrapes and burns. But did you know Acemannan has many of other health benefits?...

HELPS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM TO CALM INFLAMMATION According to a leading aloe research, when correctly processed for digesting, the Aloe plant has a powerful component for regulating your immune system called Acemannan. So whether it’s damage that is physical, bacterial, chemical or autoimmune; the natural plant helps the body stay healthy. RAPID ACID AND HEARTBURN NEUTRALIZER Aloe has proved to have an astonishing effect on users who suffer with digestion problems like bouts of acid reflux, heartburn, cramping, gas and constipation because it acts as a natural acid buffer and soothes the digestive system. But new studies prove it does a whole lot more. SIDE-STEP HEART CONCERNS So you’ve been taking proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) for years and you feel just fine. In June of 2015 a major study shows that chronic PPI use increases the risk of heart attack in general population. UNLEASH YOUR MEMORY Studies show that your brain needs the healthy bacteria from your gut in order function at its best. Both low and high dosages of digestion drugs are proven to destroy that healthy bacteria and get in the way of brain function. So you’re left with a sluggish, slowto-react brain without a lot of room to store information. The acemannan used in AloeCure actually makes your gut healthier, so healthy bacteria flows freely to your brain so you think better, faster and with a larger capacity for memory. Doctors call it “The greatest health discovery in decades!”

body’s ability to break down and absorb calcium. Aloe delivers calcium as it aids in balancing your stomach acidity. The result? Thicker, healthier looking hair…more youthful looking skin… And nails so strong they may never break again. SAVE YOUR KIDNEY National and local news outlets are reporting Kidney Failure linked to PPI’s. Your Kidney extracts waste from blood, balance body fluids, form urine, and aid in other important functions of the body. Without it your body would be overrun by deadly toxins. Aloe helps your kidney function properly. Studies suggest, if you started taking aloe today; you’d see a big difference in the way you feel. GUARANTEED RESULTS OR DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK Due to the incredible results people are reporting, AloeCure is being sold with an equally incredible guarantee. “We can only offer this incredible guarantee because we are 100% certain this product will work for those who use it,” Says Dr. Leal. Here’s how it works: Take the pill exactly as directed. You must see and feel remarkable improvements in your digestive health, your mental health, in your physical appearance, the amount inflammation you have throughout your body – even in your ability to fall asleep at night! Otherwise, simply return the empty bottles with a short note about how you took the pills and followed the simple instructions and the company will send you...Double your money back!

HOW TO GET ALOECURE This is the official nationwide release of the new AloeCure pill in the United States. And SLEEP LIKE A BABY A night without sleep really damages your so, the company is offering our readers up to 3 body. And continued lost sleep can lead to all FREE bottles with their order. sorts of health problems. But what you may not This special give-away is available for readers realize is the reason why you’re not sleeping. of this publication only. All you have to do is Some call it “Ghost Reflux”. A low-intensity call TOLL-FREE 1-800-808-5114 1-800-808-4214 and provide form of acid reflux discomfort that quietly keeps the operator with the Free Bottle Approval you awake in the background. AloeCure helps Code: JC025. The company will do the rest. digestion so you may find yourself sleeping Important: Due to AloeCure’s recent media through the night. exposure, phone lines are often busy. If you CELEBRITY HAIR, SKIN & NAILS call and do not immediately get through, Certain antacids may greatly reduce your please be patient and call back.





BAFFLED BY BUTTERFLIES Where do butterflies go in the winter?



Last summer, I was so enthralled with the painted lady butterflies flittering around my garden that I mentioned it to my friend Jenny who lives in Kansas. She said they were also enjoying large numbers of painted ladies in the Midwest. Then Jenny asked where they go in the winter. Her question gave me pause. I wasn’t sure what happened to the butterflies when the season changed. I needed to do a little research. Even though most butterflies have a short life span — ranging from a week to a month — some do live longer. Many of these species migrate to warmer climates when it gets cold. In the United States, migrating butterflies, such as the painted lady, spend winter in the desert southwest or the Gulf Coast. This past year the painted lady migration was so great that some people mistook images on the National Weather Service radar as a bird migration. It’s as if the painted ladies were challenging the more notorious monarchs to a migration race.

3,000 miles or more to their overwintering sites. West of the Rockies, they go to small grove trees in California near Santa Cruz and San Diego. East of the Rockies, millions of monarchs find their way to their winter sites in Mexico and the Michoacán highlands. Unlike monarchs, other butterfly species may overwinter in Colorado in any of their four life stages: larva (egg), pupa (caterpillar), chrysalis and adult. After mating or as cold weather approaches, adult butterflies typically deposit eggs on the underside of leaves or burrow into leaf litter at the base of their host plants. While some species prefer flowering plants, such as asters, lumens or milkweed, others may prefer aspen, birch or cherry trees. They lay eggs on leaves of the preferred plant because the caterpillars that hatch are host specific and do not travel far to eat. Last year when we had an early frost, I had assorted potted flowers on my patio that I didn’t want to freeze. Instead of covering them, I brought them into the house. I

Painted lady butterfly But monarchs, which may live up to 9 months and travel long distances, provide stiff competition. They are unique in that they are the only butterfly that makes a two-way migration, much like birds. Around October when temperatures drop and food sources decline, the monarchs will travel

meant to take them back out but decided it would freeze again before long, so I didn’t bother. During the next few weeks, I kept finding caterpillars eating the plant leaves and squiggling across the floor. Believing these caterpillars might become butterflies, I didn’t have the heart to kill them. Instead I

placed the plants and caterpillars back outside hoping they could continue to the next life cycle stage. In the third stage, the caterpillars form chrysalises where they grow tissue, limbs and organs. Once this metamorphosis is done, new butterflies emerge and the cycle is complete. Regardless of their life stage, butterflies that spend winter in Colorado survive just like any hibernating cold-blooded animal. Their body temperature drops to that of their surroundings. As days shorten in autumn they secrete glycerol, a natural “antifreeze,” into their body fluids. Although the body temperature of hibernating butterflies falls extremely low, the glycerol in their body prevents ice crystals from forming. If ice crystals were to form, they would rupture cells and the butterflies would die. These hibernating species tuck into crevices in logs or underneath loose bark in trees, and tend to be the ones we see on the first warm days of spring. It’s a good idea to provide an overwintering habitat for butterflies because we need them to pollinate our gardens. Although butterflies are not as efficient as bees in moving pollen, they still do a good job in their own way. While perching on flower heads to collect nectar, they accumulate pollen on their long legs and body, and then they spread the pollen to other flowers as they flutter around. They are attracted to colorful flowers, preferring red most of all, but also find nectar by seeing ultraviolet light. If you want to attract butterflies in your garden, try planting wildflowers and native varieties of annuals and perennials that will bloom in succession. Last year in my garden, butterflies were drawn to salvias, alyssum, bee balm, cosmos, butterfly bush, lavender, hollyhock and catmint. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more.

More Online: Read previous gardening columns at Click on Gardening under Living in Colorado. 22



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Coyotes Coming to a Neighborhood Near You The once apprehensive creature is gaining confidence near and far BY DENNIS SMITH OUTDOORS@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

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We live on what used to be the extreme edge of a small farming community, where about the only thing between our house and the foothills was a rolling hodgepodge of shortgrass prairie, crop fields, cottonwood trees and cattail sloughs. Of course, that was more than 40 years ago and so much development has taken place along the Front Range since then. Now it looks more like Jersey City around here than little old Cowtown, Colorado. Subdivisions, shopping centers, banks, convenience stores, strip malls, supermarkets and fast food joints buried the once rural landscape under a growing catastrophe of concrete and condos. Apart from backyard bunnies, squirrels and songbirds, you’re not likely to see much in the way of wild animals here. Lately, though, coyotes have popped up in our neighborhood like potheads and weed merchants in downtown Denver. And they’re not behaving nicely. Of course, they’re not friendly out there in the boondocks either. Farmers and ranchers know all too well the havoc coyotes can wreak on livestock herds and flocks. In 2014, for example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that coyotes killed more than 33,478 sheep and lambs. That’s a lot of lamb chops. Rural coyotes also kill and eat newborn calves, goat kids, piglets, poultry and other barnyard critters, but they know to avoid humans for fear of ending up on the wrong side of a bullet. Not so with urban coyotes. A May 2017 Denver Post video headline stated, “Coyotes in cities are bolder and more aggressive than ones in rural areas.” Urban coyotes lost their natural fear of humans in the towns and cities

where they exist. Worse, they developed a taste for house pets and the occasional small child. They’re killing dogs and cats in their own yards with impunity, and have attacked several small children and bitten more than a few adults. A single Google search revealed at least a half-dozen coyote attacks in recent years on people along the Front Range, including a 2-year-old girl who was severely mauled by a coyote in a Colorado Springs city park, a 14-year-old boy in Greenwood Village and an adult male who was ambushed by a pack of three coyotes while walking to work in Niwot one morning. The adult beat them off with kicks, punches and a metal flashlight, but not before sustaining several bites and scratches to his hands, face and arms. Three weeks ago, a pair of coyotes was spotted trotting down the street, a block south of our house. A few days later, two coyotes snatched our neighbor’s dog in broad daylight right at her kitchen door and mangled it savagely before she could drive them off. It died of its wounds at the vet’s office. This was the first coyote attack in our neighborhood, and you can bet the beer money it won’t be the last. Dennis is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

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[ energy tips]



Selecting a Backup Generator BY JAMES DULLEY



Presented by



Printed copies of the directory are available for only $1. To get your copy, email or call 303-455-4111.


Many homeowners install portable or large whole-house emergency backup generators because most home activities require electricity in this day and age. Power outages are not from just storms or accidents. During the summertime, with high airconditioning loads, there are also sometimes brownouts (low voltage). When selecting a backup generator, determine what you want to keep running during an outage. This impacts how large (output capacity) a unit you need. Having enough power for cooking, refrigeration, lighting, television and operating a furnace blower are typical essential needs. To properly size your generator, check the wattage on the nameplate of each item you want to keep running. This is called the total “running wattage.” Appliances with electric motors are inductive devices so they require additional surge “startup wattage.” This can be as much as three times the running wattage. A sizing rule of thumb is to total the running wattages for the appliances you need to keep running. Add the additional startup wattage for the largest appliance to get the rated power for a generator. It’s important to note that it is unlikely all appliances will start at the same time. If you select a whole-house generator, which is attached to the breaker panel, install an automatic transfer switch with it for your convenience and for the safety of utility repair workers. When the ATS senses a power outage or brownout, it disconnects your house from the electric grid and starts the generator. Visit to learn more about backup generators. Look under the Energy tab. FEBRUARY 2018


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BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES HEALTH FOOD STORE & DELI: 2 turnkey businesses in one. Strong income/customer base. Gunnison, Colorado (970-641-5175), leave name & number. (252-04-18)

CLOCK REPAIR & RESTORATION www.clockrepairandrestoration. com DURANGO AREA. CLOCKS of all kinds repaired. Antique and modern. Clocks bought and sold. Call Robert 970-247-7729. (109-02-18)

ENERGY SOLAR WATER SYSTEMS — Livestock or any remote location. 3-10 gpm. Variable speed. Call Peterson High Reach for free quote. 719-688-0081. Windmills available. (316-06-18)

Find hidden treasure in the CLASSIFIEDS




100% GRASSFED YAK MEAT for sale. Delicious and nutritious. Delivery available. Quarter, half, or whole. 720-256-3364. (029-03-18)

LEGITIMATE WORK AT HOME opportunity. No sales, investment, risk. Training/website provided. Monthly income plus bonuses, benefits. Call Carrie 303-579-4207, OurAbundance (932-02-18)

GOLF, BIKE, HIKE — Colorado high desert climate. Sleeps 5. Airbnb. com Search PuebloWest/ Sojourn. 440-343-5814. (368-03-18)

FREE BUTCHER SUPPLY CATALOG — Meat grinders, saws, slicers, cutlery, seasonings — Everything for the home butcher. Pioneer Butcher Supplies in Loveland, CO, since 1975. 1-888-891-7057, toll free. (349-06-18)

FOR SALE OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS — $400 with warranty. Also sell portable concentrators and oxygen supplies. Repair and service of equipment. Aspen Concentrator Repair Service. 719-471-9895 (040-04-18)

FREE SOON CHURCH AND GOVERNMENT UNITING suppressing “Religious Liberty,” enforcing “National Sunday Law.” Be informed! Need mailing address only. TBSM, Box 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771. 1-888-211-1715. (eom814-1,3,5,7,9,11-18 WIN $25 by emailing the number of classified ads on this page to classifieds@coloradocountry with Cla$$ifieds as the subject. Include name/address/ phone. Deadline: February 14.

GRASS STOP FEEDING PRAIRIE DOGS. We’ll rent hunting rights from you. Seriously looking for duck & goose habitat. Encourage young sportsmen by providing safe, private access. You make the rules. 303-460-0273 (069-04-18)

Read through the ads and FIND the CCL classified explaining how to WIN $25. It’s easy. You could WIN.

POULTRY / GAMEBIRDS FREE COLOR CATALOG – 193 varieties, Cornish Cross, standard breeds, fancy chicks, ducks, geese, turkeys, bantams, guineas, pheasants, quail, supplies, video. 417-532-4581. PO Box 529, Lebanon, MO 65536. www. (876-07-18)

REAL ESTATE 35-ACRE MOUNTAIN PROPERTY — $110,000. S. of Guffey, Colo., in Fremont County. Wooded mountainside & grassy meadow. Magnificent views. 719-495-3295, (370-03-18) READY TO RETIRE? +-13 acres near Mancos, CO. Trout-stocked canyon lake, commercial greenhouse, gardens, lots of water, passive solar timber frame home. Reduced to $499,000. Jim, 970-769-1391, for pictures. (282-02-18) TWO ADJOINING residential city lots in Chama, NM. All utilities in street. Possible owner financing. Call for price & terms. 505-221-2549 (373-02-18) WE BUY LAND and/or mineral rights. CO TX NM KS. 1-800-316-5337 (099-04-18)

TICKETS NFR & PBR RODEO TICKETS — Las Vegas. Call 1-888-NFRRodeo (1-888-637-7633). www. A+ rated BBB Member. (912-04-18)

WANTED TO BUY CAST-IRON COOKWARE (Wagner & Griswold). Pyrex. Old toys in good condition. Vintage signs. Anything cowboy and Indian – hats, boots, spurs, rugs, etc. Antiques, collectibles, furniture, glassware, etc. We come to you! 970-7593455 or 970-565-1256. (871-01-19) ENGRAVED, old, fancy, Colt revolvers. 620-384-6077 KS (372-05-18) NAVAJO RUGS, old and recent, native baskets, pottery. Tribal Rugs, Salida. 719-539-5363, b_inaz@ (817-06-18) OLD COLORADO LIVESTOCK brand books prior to 1925. Call Wes 303-757-8553. (889-02-18) OLD GAS AND OIL items: Gas pumps, advertising signs, globes, etc. Pieces, parts, etc. considered. Also 1932-34 Ford cars and trucks, parts and pieces, too. Any condition. Brandon, 719-250-5721. (519-11-18) OLD MODEL AIRPLANE engines & unbuilt kits. Will pay cash & pick up. Don, 970-599-3810. (866-03-18) OLD POCKET WATCHES — working or nonworking and old repair material. Bob 719-859-4209. (870-06-18) WANT TO PURCHASE mineral and other oil/gas interests. Send details to: PO Box 13557, Denver, CO 80201. (402-03-18) WANTED: JEEP CJ OR WRANGLER. Reasonably priced. No rust buckets. 888-735-5337 (099-04-18) WE PAY CASH for mineral and oil/gas interests, producing and nonproducing. 800-733-8122 (099-02-18)

Are you reading someone else’s copy of Colorado Country Life magazine?

The January classified ads contest winner is Francesca McMillen. She correctly counted the 28 classified ads.

Start the new year with your own subscription.




in-state price

To order, call Colorado Country Life at 303-455-4111. 28


[ funny stories]


Colorado Country Life goes to Guatemala. Photo sent in by Kathy Simmons of Durango, a member of LaPlata Electric.

My neighbor, a handsome bachelor, recently attended his 60th class reunion in Pennsylvania. When he returned and paid me a visit, I asked, “How was it? I bet you were the youngest-looking classmate there.” “I think I was,” he admitted, then said, “but my high school prom date was there, too, and she looked like my grandmother.” Barbara Burke, Mesa, Arizona

Judy Lynn, a member of Sangre de Cristo Electric, celebrates her seventh continent, the new year and her birthday with Colorado Country Life in Antarctica. Bringing in the new year with CCL in Cancun is Oliver, grandson of GVP member Paula Wilbur of Grand Junction.

A second-grader came home from school and told her mother and grandma, “Guess what? Today, I learned how to make babies!” Shocked, mother and grandma exchanged looks. Keeping her cool, Mother said, “Well, how DO you make babies?” “It’s so simple,” her daughter replied. “You just change the ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘es.’” Penny Rafferty Hamilton, Granby While studying birds, my daughter Kristin was explaining to her 6-year-old daughter the different types of feathers birds have. She had just finished explaining the down feathers when Anya looked up and asked, “So Mom, where are the ‘up’ feathers?” Jim Skvorc, Dolores My grandson and I go out to breakfast the second Saturday of every month. On one outing, the waitress asked for my order. I told her sausage and eggs over easy. My grandson said he would have bacon, eggs and toast. The waitress asked what kind of eggs he wanted. After several seconds of thought, he said, “Chicken.” Joe and Ellen Luster, Loveland

WINNER: Judah and Noah, sons of La Plata Electric member Naomi Azulia, take CCL to the Dead Sea in Israel.

Judy Wolfe and Mike Duncan pose with CCL in front of St. Basil’s in Moscow.

TAKE YOUR PHOTO WITH YOUR MAGAZINE AND WIN! It’s easy to win with Colorado Country Life. Simply take a photo of someone (or a selfie!) with the magazine and email the photo and your name and address to We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Wednesday, February 14. NAME, ADDRESS AND CO-OP MUST ACCOMPANY PHOTO. This month’s winner is Naomi Azulai of Durango. Her sons, Judah and Noah, pose with Colorado Country Life in Isreal.

We pay $15 to each person who submits a funny story that’s printed in the magazine. At the end of the year we will draw one name from those submitting funny stories and that person will receive $200. Send your 2018 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email funnystories@ Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check.

$15 FEBRUARY 2018



Pets! GEAR UP Leading the Way Aurora-based Bold Lead Designs manufactures beautiful, durable leather dog accessories that any dog owner would appreciate. Take, for example, the bestselling, multifunctional 8-Way-Lead™. This product can be used as a standard leash — just clip it to your dog’s collar and go — or as a slip collar. With three fixed rings and one loose ring, the 8-Way-Lead™ can be adjusted to the dog owner’s preference, even over-theshoulder for a hands-free option. See how it works at The 8-Way-Lead™ ranges from $60 to $65. For more information, call 303856-3012 or visit

STOP THE STATIC It can really ruin the moment when you attempt an affectionate snuggle with your pup only to be greeted with a shock. Static electricity is a nuisance, and as the temperature drops it only gets worse. Aspen-based Static Schmatic cures this calamity. Simply spray on your pet’s bedding or directly on his coat. It’s safe, odor free and makes cuddle time more enjoyable. Cost is $8. Also available in human hair and clothes varieties. For more information and to order, visit

What a Treat!

A SENSATIONAL SPEC-TACLE As humans, we take caution when exposing our eyes to the elements. Why wouldn’t we do the same for our canine companions? With Rex Specs, you can prevent harmful debris, environmental hazards and UV rays from damaging your pup’s eyes. The Jackson Hole-based company designed these dog goggles with a dog’s physical attributes in mind. They offer full jaw motion, snug straps and, with curved lenses, a complete range of view. Available in small and large sizes and in a variety of colors. Cost is $79.95. For more information, call 307-203-0308 or visit 30


Rewarding a pup for good behavior is essential during the training process because it helps foster her desire to continually satisfy her owner. Lots of love, praise and mini mouthwatering treats can do the trick. Zuke’s® Naturals treats are free of artificial preservatives, colors and flavors. The Durango-based company uses natural ingredients, such as sweet potatoes, bananas and protein-packed meats, and leaves out the wheat, corn and soy, common canine allergens. Available in a variety of flavors and sizes at pet supply stores everywhere and online at

We’re seeing sunshine in a whole new light. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association supplies power to 18 electric cooperatives in Colorado. We are the #1 cooperative solar G&T in the country. That’s un-renew-a-believable!

Together, we generate possibilities.

Visit Randy at




Plant Faster, Easier With NEW SUPER PLUGS!


Pre-cut plugs are 10x bigger!



OR… Plant Your Way With FREESTYLE PLUGS!

NEW PRE-CUT SUPER PLUGS now available!

Cut any size plugs from sheets!

Stays lush and green in summer

Mow your Zoysia lawn once a month – or less! It rewards you with weed-free beauty all summer long.

7 Ways Our Amazoy Zoysia Lawn ™

Saves You Time, Work and Money!

CUTS WATER BILLS AND MOWING BY AS MUCH AS 2/3 Would you believe a lawn could look perfect when watered just once? In Iowa, the state’s biggest Men’s Garden club picked a Zoysia lawn as “top lawn – nearly perfect.” Yet, this lawn had been watered only once all summer to August! In PA, Mrs. M.R. Mitter wrote, “I’ve never watered it, only when I put the plugs in...Last summer we had it mowed 2 times...When everybody’s lawns here are brown from drought, ours stays as green as ever.” That’s how Amazoy Zoysia lawns cut water bills and mowing! Now read on!


IT STAYS GREEN IN SPITE OF HEAT AND DROUGHT “The hotter it gets, the better it grows!” Plug-in Zoysia thrives in blistering heat, yet it won’t winter-kill to 30° below zero. It just goes off its green color after killing frosts, and begins regaining its green color as temperatures in the spring are consistently warm.



NO NEED TO DIG UP OLD GRASS Plant Amazoy your way in an old lawn or new ground. Set plugs into holes in the soil checkerboard style. Plugs spread to create a lush, thick lawn, driving out weeds and unwanted growth. Easy instructions included with every order.


ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY No weeding means no costly chemicals. Since Amazoy Zoysia lawns naturally resist insects, you’ll save money, while helping to protect the environment. You’ll never have to expose your family and pets to the risk of weed killers and pesticide poisons. FOR SLOPES, PLAY AREAS, BARE SPOTS AND PARTIAL SHADE You can’t beat Amazoy Zoysia as the low-cost answer for hard-to-cover spots, play-worn areas, places that have partial shade and erosion on slopes.


Meyer Zoysia Grass was perfected by the U.S. Gov’t, released in cooperation with the U.S. Golf Association as a superior grass.

Thrives from partial shade to full sun.

Plant it from plugs.

Your Assurance of Lawn SUCCESS

Each Order for Amazoy Zoysia is


Guaranteed to grow new green shoots within 45-60 days or we’ll replace it FREE – for up to 1 year – just call us. We ONLY ship you living genuine Amazoy Zoysia grass harvested direct from our farms. Easy planting and watering instructions are included with each order. Every Reorder assumes success of previous orders (plantings), voiding any previous guarantees, but initiating a new one-year guarantee. ©2018 Zoysia Farm Nurseries, 3617 Old Taneytown Rd, Taneytown, MD 21787

Freestyle Plugs You decide how big to cut the plugs. Each grass





Your established Amazoy Zoysia lawn grows so thick, it simply stops crabgrass and most summer weeds from germinating!

1) Freestyle plugs come in uncut sheets containing a maximum of 150 - 1” plugs that can be planted up to 1 ft. apart. Freestyle plugs allow you to make each plug bigger and plant further apart – less cutting and planting – you decide. 2) New Super Plugs come precut into individual 3”x3” plugs ready-to-plant (minimum 1 per 4 sq. ft.). They arrive in easy to handle trays of 15 Super Plugs. Save more time and get your new lawn even faster! 3) Amazoy Approved Seed-As The Zoysia Specialists for 60+years, we finally have a Zoysia seed available that meets our standards and homeowners expectations. Learn why at or by phone at 410-756-2311.


1000 FREESTYLE PLUGS – Dept. 5034

Plugs only shipped to Continental USA & not to WA or OR.

Super Plugs Precut plugs 3 inches by 3 inches. READY TO PLANT Packed in trays of 15 Super Plugs. Plant minimum 1 plug per 4 sq. ft.

sheet can produce up to 150-1 in. plugs. Plant minimum 1 plug per sq. ft. Free Plugs

Grass Sheets*


+ Shipping


Super Plugs

Free Plugs










































33% 41% 48% 57%








Max Plugs* 150

Your PRICE + Shipping


34% 47% 50% 54%



All Available Exclusively at or 410-756-2311 ZOYSIA FARM NURSERIES, 3617 OLD TANEYTOWN ROAD TANEYTOWN MD 21787


We ship all orders the same day the plugs are packed and at the earliest planting time in your state.