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GRAND VALLEY POWER

JUNE 2021 Empowering Lives with Hometown Service

A Day with a Tornado

REMEMBERING THE 2008 EF3 TORNADO IN WINDSOR

PLUS SATISFYING SUMMERTIME SALADS

11

CROSSING THE DOLORES CANYON

20

FOCUS ON HISTORY: THE DOTSON CABIN

28


Advanced Technology Allows Macular Degeneration Patients To See Again And Allows Many Low Vision Patients To Drive Again While there is currently no cure, promising research is being done on many fronts. everything and anything possible to keep a person functioning,” says Dr. Stamm, “Even if it’s driving.” A scene as it might be viewed by a person with age-related macular degeneration

For many patients with macular degeneration and other visionrelated conditions, the loss of central visual detail also signals the end to one of the last bastions of independence driving. Colorado optometrist, Dr. Robert Stamm is using miniaturized telescopes which are mounted in glasses to help people who have lost vision from macular degeneration and other eye conditions. “Some of my patients consider me their last chance for people who have vision loss,” said Dr. Stamm, one of only a few doctors in the world who specializes in fitting bioptic

Same scene of rancher as viewed by a person without macular degeneration

telescopes to help those who have lost vision due to macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases. Imagine a pair of glasses that can improve your vision enough to change your life. Bioptic telescopes may be the breakthrough in optical technology that will give you back your independence. Patients with vision in the 20/200 range can many times be improved to 20/50. Bioptic telescopes treat both dry and wet forms of macular degeneration as well as other vision limiting conditions.

bioptic telescope is that the lens automatically focuses on whatever you’re looking at,” said Dr. Stamm. “It’s like a self-focusing camera, but much more precise.”

For more information and to schedule an appointment today, call:

Robert Stamm, O.D. Low Vision Optometrist Member IALVS Offices Throughout South Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska

Toll Free:

(877) 393-0025

www.ColoradoLowVisionDoctor.com


Number 06

Volume 52

June 2021 THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Mona Neeley, CCC, Publisher/Editor mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org Cassi Gloe, CCC, Production Manager/Designer cgloe@coloradocountrylife.org Kylee Coleman, Editorial/Admin. Assistant kcoleman@coloradocountrylife.org ADVERTISING Kris Wendtland, Ad Representative advertising@coloradocountrylife.org | 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 2021, Colorado Rural Electric Association. Call for reprint rights. EDITORIAL Denver Corporate Office, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216 mneeley@coloradocountrylife.org | 303-455-4111 coloradocountrylife.coop | facebook.com/COCountryLife Pinterest.com/COCountryLife | Instagram.com/cocountrylife Twitter.com/COCountryLife | YouTube.com/COCountryLife1 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

On the Cover JUNE 2021

A Day with a Tornado

REMEMBERING THE 2008 EF3 TORNADO IN WINDSOR

During tornado season equine veterinarian Bruce Connally, DVM, MS, remembers the EF3 tornado that touched down that caused so much damage in North Central Colorado on May 22, 2008. Photo by Dave Neligh.

coloradocountrylife.coop

“Following Poppy” by Kimberlee Hutcherson, a consumer-member of La Plata Electric Association.

4 VIEWPOINT

5 LETTERS

6 ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT

7 YOUR CO-OP NEWS

11 RECIPES

14 NEWS CLIPS

16 COVER STORY

A DAY WITH A TORNADO

PINTEREST SNEAK PEEK COCountryLife pinned: This summer enjoy a satisfying summertime salad. Be sure to try the Curried Chicken and Rice Salad. Recipe provided by The Tennessee Magazine, a sister electric cooperative publication.

20 ENERGY CONNECTIONS

22 GARDENING

23 OUTDOORS

26 MARKETPLACE

28 FOCUS ON HISTORY

29 READER POETRY

29 YOUR STORIES

FACEBOOK CHATTER Colorado Rural Electric Association posted: Gunnison County Electric Association was given approval to begin development of a local, small hydroelectric generating plant at the Taylor Reservoir Dam within Gunnison County. The hydroelectric plant would be considered a “small hydro” installation, with a maximum generating capacity of 400kW.

30 DISCOVERIES

Monthly Contest Enter for your chance to win an 11-ounce hummingbird feeder from Laura’s Glass Garden in Evergreen. For official rules and how to enter, visit Contests at coloradocountrylife.coop. Photo by Steve Grizz Atams.

INSTAGRAM PIC of the month Colorado Country Life posted: The snow in Denver earlier this week wasn’t enough to keep these hardy lilacs from blooming. And they smell as pretty as they look! What’s blooming in your yard today? COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

3


VIEWPOINT

THE 2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION CREA wraps up a year of going to bat for electric co-ops BY KENT SINGER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

T

he Colorado General Assembly will wrap up the 2021 legislative session this month after adopting legislation covering a wide range of issues. CREA follows the activities of the legislature closely to protect the interests of Colorado’s electric co-ops and this year was a particularly busy one. Now that the session is coming to an end, it’s time to take stock of how the legislature’s work in 2021 will impact Colorado’s electric co-ops. The legislature considered over 800 bills this year on topics that included public safety, transportation, energy and myriad subjects in between. Since we represent Colorado’s electric co-ops primarily on energy issues, I’ll focus on the energy-related bills that passed this year.

Electric co-op governance The legislature passed H.B. 21-1131, a bill that makes changes to the practices of electric co-ops related to board meetings, annual meetings and the election of directors. After working with the sponsors of the bill to clarify some of its provisions, CREA supported the bill. Many of the bill’s requirements relating to transparency in governance are already followed by most co-ops. We appreciate the willingness of Rep. Judy Amabile (D-Boulder) to listen to CREA’s concerns.

Net metering The legislature also considered a bill sponsored by Sen. Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder) that changes the rules for utility consumers who want to generate power from their own behind-the-meter facilities (such as rooftop solar). Co-ops already provide net metering to thousands of customers and we support the current co-op net metering law, which limits consumer-members to generating only enough power to provide for their needs. S.B. 21-261 eliminates this cap on generation in the state law, but only for investor-owned electric utilities. It retains the limits for electric co-ops. Electric co-ops support the efforts of their consumer-members who desire to install distributed generation such as solar panels, but the co-ops do not support customers using the co-op grid to export power in large quantities beyond what they need. We appreciate Sen. Fenberg recognizing our concerns and making sure the co-op limits stay intact.

Organized electricity markets The legislature passed S.B. 21-72, a bill sponsored by Sen. Chris Hansen (D-Denver) that directs Colorado electric utilities to

4

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

move toward joining a KENT SINGER regional transmission organization, or RTO, by 2030. Colorado’s electric co-ops supported Sen. Hansen’s bill because we believe that in order to comply with the requirements of H.B. 19-1261 (the bill requiring 80% reductions of greenhouse gases from the utility sector by 2030) we will need to have a regional power grid. If an RTO can be created, it will facilitate the transfer of significant additional amounts of wind and solar power supply from across a broader region than what is available only in Colorado.

Building performance standards A bill requiring owners of buildings in excess of 50,000 square feet to meet energy efficiency performance standards also required electric co-ops to provide energy data to the building owners. We opposed this bill because it would require co-ops to purchase expensive software to upload the data to the Colorado Energy Office. While we support the efforts of co-op consumer-members to use electricity in the most efficient manner possible, electric co-ops should not be required to spend large sums of their consumers-members’ money to comply with this law; we’re seeking amendments to address this concern.

Accelerated greenhouse gas reductions Two years ago, the legislature passed H.B. 19-1261, a bill that requires electric utilities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions 80% from 2005 levels by 2030. Since then, all of Colorado’s electric utilities have worked to develop power supply portfolios that will meet those targets. This year, the legislature is considering S.B. 21-200, a bill that would accelerate that process and set sector-specific limits on greenhouse gas emissions from a variety of industries. We believe this bill amounts to “moving the goalposts” in a way that does not recognize the challenges of making major new investments in power supply and will negatively impact electric co-op consumer-members. Each year when the speaker of the House uses the gavel to start a new session, it reminds me of the umpire in a baseball game hollering, “Play ball!” You can be sure that CREA will always go to bat for rural electricity consumers to keep power affordable and reliable. Kent Singer is the executive director of CREA and offers a statewide perspective on issues affecting electric cooperatives. CREA is the trade association for your electric co-op, the 21 other electric co-ops in Colorado and its power supply co-op.


LETTERS

FROM THE EDITOR

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

The winds of warning

BY MONA NEELEY

Weathering the Cold Snap

EDITOR

I

n Iowa, where I grew up, tornadoes are a fairly common occurMONA NEELEY rence. It seems like I always knew what a tornado sky looks like, what to watch for, what it means when the wind shifts and a warm breeze takes on a freezing edge on a spring evening. The last time I felt that was in college. There was a drive-in movie theater behind our dorms. On weekend nights, we would all take our blankets and snacks and gather just beyond the drive-in’s chain-link fence to watch whatever was playing. On this particular evening — after a day of kind of wonky weather — it was still nice enough to be outside, so we went to the movies. As the sun set, the clouds started turning that weird green-gray that spells trouble and about 20 minutes into the movie the winds shifted direction and carried that cold bite that means warm and cold air are starting to rotate. My roommate (whose hometown was once flattened by a tornado) and I looked at each other, screamed, “TORNADO!” to everyone around us and raced for our dorms. We were glad to be inside, in a basement, when the rain started. And sure enough, the tornado sirens began screaming. A tornado had been sighted. That was no surprise. Mona Neeley is the statewide editor of Colorado Country Life, which is published in coordination with your local electric cooperative. Its goal is to provide information from your local electric co-op to you, its consumer-members.

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I read the recent article on February’s Texas cold with interest. [It seems] the laws and activists conspire to prevent the use of fuel oil-powered backup power plants during times of great need. At that point our cooperative may be just like Texas, paying exorbitant spot prices for natural gas. We should not omit other sources (oil, coal) that can be stockpiled and used in emergency situations. Steve Helmreich, Black Forest Mountain View Electric consumer-member

The huge surprise of surcharges some Colorado electric customers have to pay is an eye-opener. We’ve all heard that natural gas and coal electricity is “always on” and wind and solar are not. But in the recent Texas power outage, a university engineer said, “Far, far more than everything else combined were the shortfalls from natural gas.” Solar actually increased. It would be nice if, instead of paying the surcharge, we could put that money toward diversifying our electricity sources and creating the Super Grid, so when one area loses power, we can use electricity from parts of the country that have excess. Lee Cassin, De Beque Grand Valley Power consumer-member Please stay diversified. I continuously read the terms 100% renewable or carbon free. This scares me. After the February snowstorm, the Poudre River Power Authority (Fort Collins) called for us to conserve energy because wind turbines were shut down and solar panels were covered with snow. We were getting “close” to energy supply issues. The PRPA stated that the coal-fired Rawhide power plant saved our bacon and, yet, they seem to want to shut it down ahead of schedule. We all saw how Texas suffered devastating power shortages and is now looking at building new natural gas power plants to weather future storms. I wish we would stay diversified in our energy sources. Lloyd Horn, Windsor Poudre Valley REA consumer-member

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5


ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT tools or your own feet, which can be dangerous. Cordless drills are easy to Four efficient cordless tools use, and the technology has improved so they have more power and hold a charge for Dad for Father’s Day longer. Light-duty drills are smaller and BY PAT KEEGAN AND BR AD THIESSEN less powerful but easy to use for smaller ather’s Day is approaching and if the projects. men in your life enjoy tackling home 2. String trimmer projects, rechargeable tools are excel- If your family uses an old gas trimmer around the yard, it’s time for a change. lent gift ideas. Quality cordless tools are usually less Two-stroke engines pollute the air and expensive if you buy them as part of a set require regular maintenance. Electric instead of one tool at a time. Since each line trimmers are more energy efficient and of tools uses a unique battery, you can’t mix quieter. You can find a variety of models and match between brands, so it may cost between $50 and $150, and it’s worth paying less in the long run to buy a cordless starter a little more to get a highly rated model that

Drilling Down

F

kit with a few helpful tools and a battery than it would be to add tools to the set as needed. Here are a few cordless tools that the father in your family should love: 1. Power drill Using a corded drill can mean constantly moving the cord around furniture, other

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will last longer. 3. Leaf blower If the father in your family uses a gas-powered leaf blower, you can do him (and your neighbors) a favor by giving him a cordless leaf blower, which is more energy efficient, much quieter and less polluting.

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4. Flashlight Today’s LED flashlights can produce 20 times as much light as the old incandescent ones, and they come in a variety of options, from tiny key chain lights to headlamps to waterproof spotlights. A flashlight often comes as part of a cordless tool set, or you can buy a single unit that recharges using a USB port on a charger, a USB wall socket or a mobile phone battery.

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YOUR CO-OP NEWS

GVP BOARD HEARS FROM XCEL BRASS BY TOM WALCH

M

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

embers of the Grand Valley Power Board of Directors and management team recently had the opportunity to sit down with Alice Jackson, president of Public Service Company of Colorado, our wholesale power provider. Public Service Company of Colorado acts as Xcel Energy’s operating arm in this state. The primary purpose of the session was to share information regarding the February winter storm event, and the impact it had on Grand Valley Power and its consumers. We wanted to know Xcel’s position regarding the role that its shareholders would pay in bearing the $1 billion cost impact of the winter storm. The message, loud and clear, is that shareholders will not bear any of this burden unless a regulator — either the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) — requires it. This is particularly disheartening considering a recent news report indicating that Xcel’s first quarter earnings were $362 million, compared with $295 million last year. Jackson indicated that FERC is investigating the actions of natural gas traders and operators who earned windfall profits as the result of the tightening of the natural gas market during the February winter storm event. If there was market manipulation or other wrongful conduct, those profits may be disgorged and returned to aggrieved parties. Jackson confirmed that if any costs are paid back to Xcel, the refunded amount will be returned to its retail and wholesale customers, including Grand Valley Power. Besides recovering our losses, Grand Valley Power is seeking to enlist Xcel’s support in reforming the Fuel Cost Adjustment (FCA) clause in our contract and related processes so that a price spike like this does not happen again. Again,

Jackson’s response was less than satisfying. She acknowledged that poor communication between Xcel and its wholesale customers contributed to the situation and pledged to take steps to address this, but details were lacking. More importantly, she held fast to the position that Xcel shareholders will not bear any of the consequences of fuel cost spikes like this in the future. This is troubling because Xcel controls all details of fuel procurement strategy and has unlimited discretion in executing trading desk transactions that the customers must pay for. Common sense tells us that the best way to ensure that Xcel manages fuel costs effectively is to require Xcel to bear some of the risk associated with its efforts. Jackson says this is a nonstarter. The most she would commit to would be to support changes to the FCA that allow wholesale customers like Grand Valley Power to execute financial natural gas hedges, at their expense. Jackson also shared Xcel’s Electric Resource Plan and Clean Energy Plan, which were filed with the CPUC. These plans include a $1.7 billion investment for the construction of 560 miles of 345 kilovolt double circuit transmission line on Colorado’s eastern plains to facilitate the development of wind generation; converting the Pawnee coal generation facility to natural gas; reduced operations and early retirement of the Comanche 3 coal generation facility; and acquisition of 4,300 megawatts of wind, utility-scale solar and storage facilities. According to Jackson, these plans would reduce Xcel’s carbon emissions by 80% of 2005 levels by 2030. With these plans, the cost of power for Xcel’s retail customers, which has hovered around 10 cents per kilowatt-hour for the past 10 years, will gradually increase to 13 cents per kilowatt-hour. The cost for wholesale

TOM WALCH

customers is expected to be slightly higher than this. While we appreciate Jackson’s willingness to sit down with us and provide Xcel’s perspective, we are extremely disappointed in the position that shareholders of a very profitable company should bear none of the risk of runaway fuel cost spikes — now or in the future. We do not like any plans or actions by Xcel that cause the cost of electricity for GVP consumers to increase. We will press our case with regulators and policymakers, and we will continue our efforts to keep consumers informed on all developments. COMMENTS TO THE CEO 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 twalch@gvp.org. Check out our website at gvp.org. BOARD MEETING NOTICE Grand Valley Power board meetings are open to the members, consumers and public, but due to current COVID-19 health concerns, please call us at 970-242-0040 if you are interested in attending our meeting remotely. The June board meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on June 17 at the headquarters building located at 845 22 Road, Grand Junction, CO. 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.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

7


YOUR CO-OP NEWS

WATER AND ELECTRICITY DON’T MIX BY CHRISTMAS WHARTON

I

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

t’s summertime again on the Western Slope. The 2017 National Electrical Code With Highline Lake down the road and requires marinas and boat docks to post Lake Powell just under four hours away, electric shock warning signs where elecfor many people, swimming and boating tricity is used near water. are synonymous with our available outdoor 2. Put it to the test — Be sure your boat activities. is properly maintained and consider However, there are many electrical having it inspected annually. Ground hazards that come along with these leisurely fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) and summer activities. Just like your home, your equipment leakage circuit interrupters boat should also be inspected regularly by (ELCI) should be tested monthly to a licensed electrician. You should also be ensure functionality. Conduct leakage familiar with the electrical system so you can testing to determine if electrical current identify and correct any potential hazards. is escaping the vessel. Along with understanding your boat’s elec- 3. Use the right tool — Never use housetrical system, it is critical for the safety of boat hold cords near water. Use only portable operators and swimmers to understand the GFCIs or shore power cords (including hazard of electric shock drowning. “Y” adapters) that are “UL Marine The Electrical Safety Foundation Listed” when using electricity near water. International, a non-profit organization 4. Know your surroundings — Know dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical where your main breakers are located safety, recommends the following five steps on both the boat and the shore power for boat owners before jumping on the water: source so you can respond quickly in 1. Swimming safety — There is no case of an emergency. Be aware of any visible warning for electrified water. potential electrical hazards by checking Never allow swimming near the boat, for nearby power lines before boating, marina or launching ramp. Residual fishing or swimming. Window Coverings Thermostats Lighting current could flow into the water from Outdoor 5. Learn the code — Regularly have your the boat or the marina’s wiring, potenboat’s electrical system inspected and tially putting anyone in the water upgraded by a certified marine electriat risk of electric shock drowning. cian to be sure it meets your local and state safety codes and standards.

Did you know that 76 percent of

Consider installing a smart and

Look for outdoor LED lighting

sunlight that enters your home

programmable thermostat to

products and fixtures to

becomes direct heat? During

improve the efficiency of your

luminate steps, porches, and

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home’s heating and cooling

pathways. Several outdoor

to keep your window coverings

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closed to block the sun’s heat

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turning up your thermostat 7°-

shut-off and motion sensors.

cool.

10°F for eight hours per day

Unknowingly, many swimmers and boat and marina operators place themselves in danger by swimming near electric-powered boats and docks. This innocent act of fun can turn tragic as electric shock drownings occur each year. Knowing what to do and reacting quickly can help prevent electric shock drowning or other electrical injuries while out on the water. What to do if you see electric shock drowning taking place: • Turn power off • Throw a life preserver • Call 911 • NEVER enter the water — you could become a victim, too. If you are swimming and feel tingling or shock, swim away from the dock or any other electrical source. “If you feel a shock, swim away from the dock” is a good way to remember this. While electric shock drowning is an invisible danger, knowing how to prevent it, what to do if you think you are approaching electrified water and how to properly help someone else can definitely save your life or someone else’s life. For more information about safety around electricity, visit SafeElectricity.org. For more information on boating safety, visit BoatingSafety.com.

during the spring and summer.

SUMMER ENERGY SAVINGS

Outdoor Cooking Efficient Landscaping Cooling Systems 8 COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

Window Coverings

Thermostats

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gvp.org/energy-efficiency | Source: energy.gov


YOUR CO-OP NEWS

5 Low-Cost Ways to Harden Your Home for Wildfire Safety BY CHRISTMAS WHARTON

I

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

n 2020, Mesa County developed and wildfire can destroy homes up to a mile to prevent ember entry. Install weather adopted a revised Hazard Mitigation Plan away and are responsible for the destruction stripping to gaps greater than 1/16-inch with the purpose of identifying natural of most homes during a wildfire. Taking the in garage doors to prevent ember intruhazards mitigation and to reduce or elimi- necessary measures to harden (prepare) sion. The stripping must be compliant nate long-term risk to people and property your home can help increase its likelihood with UL Standard 10C. When it’s time from natural hazards. A part of thisDid process of survival when wildfire strikes. Here are to replace your windows, replace them you know that 76 percent of Consider installing a smart and Look for outdoor LED lighting in developing the plan involved partners, ways harden your home this year: with multipaned windows sunlight thatsome enters yourto home programmable thermostat to products and fixtureswith to at least becomes direct heat? During improve the efficiency of your luminate steps, porches, and including Grand Valley Power, to form the 1. The roof is the most vulnerable part one pane of tempered glass to reduce the the hot summer months, be sure home’s heating and cooling pathways. Several outdoor Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee. of your home. Homes with wood or chancelighting of breakage in a fire. to keep your window coverings system. PRO TIP: Save up to 10 solutions have efficient the sun’sroofs heatare at percent in energy costs by features likeyour automatic It’s comprised of key stakeholders,closed partic-to block shingle a high risk of being 4. Identify where waterdaylight supply and keep your home feeling turning up your thermostat 7°shut-off and motion sensors. ipating jurisdictions and state and federal destroyed during a wildfire. Regularly is. Consider having multiple garden cool. 10°F for eight hours per day agencies. During the risk assessment phase, clean your roof, during gutters, hoses that are long enough to reach all thedecks springand and summer. it was determined that floods, wildfires, rock the base of walls to avoid the accuareas of your home and other property falls and landslides are the most common mulation of fallen leaves, needles and structures. If you have a pool or well, hazards that can occur in our beautiful part other flammable materials. Block any consider getting a pump. If your water of Colorado. Our goal with our involvement spaces between your roof covering and comes from a well, you should have a has been on-going, including joining the sheathing with eave closures, also called gasoline-powered generator to operate Two Rivers Wildfire Coalition, where we bird stops. your well pump during a power failure or help provide resources or mitigation efforts 2. Surfaces within 10 feet of the building public safety power shutoff. The generand offer education and outreach much like should be built with ignition-resistant, ator MUST be installed with a safety this article. noncombustible or other approved transfer switch to prevent feedback into For the past couple years, we’ve typically materials. Create an ember-resistant power lines. talked about creating defensible space and zone around and under all decks and 5. Vents on homes create openings for have provided a checklist on the best ways make sure that all combustible items are flying embers. Cover all vent openings you can maintain your property. So, what removed from underneath your deck. with 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch metal mesh. does “harden your home” mean? There Remove all dead or dying grass, plants, Do not use fiberglass or plastic mesh are three ways your home can be exposed shrubs, trees, branches, leaves, weeds because it can melt and burn. to wildfire: direct flames from a wildfire or and pine needles within 30 feet of all For additional information or further checklists to help prepare your home for wildfire hazards, visit gvp.org/ a burning neighboring home; radiant heat structures or to the property line. WildfireSafety or call us at 970-242-0040. All tips have from nearby burning plants or structures; 3. Heat from a fire can cause windows to been adapted from ReadyForWildfire.org. and flying embers. Flying embers from a break. Close all windows and skylights

Window Coverings

Outdoor Lighting

Thermostats

Outdoor Lighting

SUMMER ENERGY SAVINGS

Outdoor Cooking Efficient Landscaping Cooling Systems

and

Look for outdoor LED lighting

When the weather is nice, put

Plant trees and shrubs to shade

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gvp.org/energy-efficiency

Source: energy.gov

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

9


YOUR CO-OP NEWS

Member Capital Allocation Notice

E

ach member who purchased electricity from Grand Valley Power in 2020 will receive their member capital allocation notice in the mail by mid-June. As a member of Grand Valley Power, you participate in our cooperative’s financial success with every electric bill you pay. Member-owned, not-for-profit electric

co-ops set rates to generate enough money to pay operating costs, make payments on any loans and provide an emergency reserve. At the end of each year, we subtract operating expenses from the operating revenue collected during the year. The balance is called an operating “margin.” Revenue over and above these expenses is allocated

back to the members each year as member capital, based on the amount paid in by each member. This member capital is used to help pay for the construction and maintenance of our electric distribution system. When its financial status allows, Grand Valley Power will refund or “retire” a portion of this member capital in the form of Cashback Credits As a not-for-profit, any funds remaining after expenses have been paid, are allocated paid to the members. How You Get to your Member Capital account. Member Capital is allocated based on how much electricity you use in a given year. The co-op keeps a permanent record of each Cash Back Cashback Credits member’s capital account, which grows each year that you remain on our lines. Over Time checks are typically Co-op mailed in December. Margins T he p ay me nt of Margins leftover after all expenses are paid, are allocated to each member as Member Capital based on electricity use. Cashback Credits is Revenues Expenses made at the discreMember Capital tion of the board of Member Capital Allocation notices are sent usually in late spring or summer, to notify you of your Member Capital directors. funds for the previous year. Sometimes, this occurs later in the year after the audited financials are presented and approved by the board.

When Member Capital is not retired, it is used to improve the distribution system and should be viewed as the member's equity investment in the Cooperative. The equity investment minimizes the amount the Cooperative has to borrow. Member Capital is returned over time to all members over the course of 20 years.

Director Petitions Due June 21

T

here are three director seats up for election at Grand Valley Power’s annual meeting in August. Nominating petitions are currently available and can be obtained by calling the office at 970-242-0040. Signed petitions must be returned no later than close of business on June 21, 2021. A couple of reminders for those running for the board: 1. To be eligible to become or remain a director, a person must be a Grand Valley Power member for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the election and receive electric service from Grand Valley Power at the member’s primary residence. 2. A director cannot be engaged in a

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

Ongoing System Improvements and Maintenance

competing enterprise or in other businesses involving a conflict of interest. Grand Valley Power’s bylaws provide in-depth information on director qualifications, terms, elections, meetings and officers. 3. Your safety is our first guiding principle. With this in mind, we adapted the petition packet to adhere to increased safety measures while gathering signatures necessary for the petition. This is detailed within the packet. Election procedures for the board of directors are governed by Colorado statute. The cooperative’s bylaws and election policy comply with statutory requirements. These bylaws and policies can be found on GVP’s website at gvp.org/director-elections. Upon

To find out more about how you benefit from credits, visit gvp.org/CashBackCredits.

request, these written documents can be picked up at GVP’s headquarters or mailed to you. Members participation requested! As a cooperative member, each Grand Valley Power eligible account holder or spouse has the right to vote for up to three directors to be elected. Members have only one ballot per election, regardless of the number of accounts with Grand Valley Power. Ballots will be mailed during the month of July. Members can return these ballots by mail or they can be placed in the ballot box in the office lobby. At this time, the annual meeting is scheduled to be in person at Colorado Mesa University on August 5, 2021. Please stay tuned and read upcoming issues of Colorado Country Life magazine for meeting updates.


RECIPES

Satisfying Summertime Salads

Watermelon and Pickled Red Onion Salad

Give your greens great flavor and texture BY AMY HIGGINS

is a great, healthy meal option: Get the recipe at coloradocountrylife.coop.

| RECIPES@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

Light, flavorful & nourishing salads

W

hen the heat is on, there’s something refreshing about noshing on a big bowl of greens, especially when you’re looking for healthier meal options. Salads are a superb source of fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C to name a few, and they can aid in minimizing your waistline. What you add to your salads can amplify — or hinder — those perks as well. The following recipe is brimming with benefits. This month’s recipes were provided by The Tennessee Magazine, one of our sister electric cooperative publications, and we are happy to share them with our Colorado consumer-members.

Shrimp and Tabbouleh Salad

Yield: 6 servings

1 cup bulgur wheat* 1 cup boiling low sodium chicken stock 2 cups salad shrimp (if frozen, thawed and drained) 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped 4 green onions, sliced 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon black pepper Mixed lettuce leaves Place the bulgur wheat in a heatproof glass bowl and add the boiling chicken stock. Stir, cover and allow to stand 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the shrimp, tomatoes, onions, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic salt, lemon zest and pepper. Fluff the bulgur wheat and let cool to room temperature. Add the bulgur wheat to the shrimp mixture, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving over lettuce leaves. *Or you can substitute an equal amount of farro; however, follow the package directions for preparation.

Fill ’Er Up Include proteins such as meats, legumes or nuts to your salad for extra texture and flavor. An added benefit: You’ll satisfy your hunger better by eating a salad with proteins. A common complaint with bare salads is never feeling full.

Recipe by Tammy Algood. Photograph by Robin Conover.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

11


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Seniors born before 1956 get new medical alert device with no monthly bills ever It’s just what seniors have been waiting for; a sleek new medical alert device with no contracts, no deposits and no monthly bills that instantly connects you to free unlimited nationwide help with just the push of a button for a one-time $149 price tag that’s a real steal after today’s instant rebate The phone lines are ringing off the hook. That’s because for seniors born before 1956, it’s a deal too good to pass up. Starting at precisely 8:30am this morning the Pre-Store Release begins for the sleek new medical alert device that comes with the exclusive FastHelp™ One-Touch E 911 Button that instantly connects you to unlimited nationwide help everywhere cell service is available with no contracts, no deposits and no monthly bills ever. “It’s not like old style monitored help buttons that make you talk to a call center and only work when you’re at home and come with hefty bills every month. FastHelp comes with state-of-the-art cellular embedded technology. That means it works ■ FLYING OUT THE DOOR: Trucks are being loaded with the new medical alert devices called FastHelp. They are now at home or anywhere, any- being delivered to lucky seniors who call the National Rebate Center Hotline at 1-866-964-2952 Ext. HELP2762 today. (Continued on next page)

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Everyone is calling to get FastHelp, the sleek new medical alert device because it instantly connects you to unlimited nationwide help everywhere cell service is available with no contracts, no deposits and no monthly bills ever.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021


SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE (Continued from previous page)

the unveiling of FastHelp. It’s the sleek new cellular embedded medical alert device that cuts out the middleman by instantly connecting you directly to highly trained 911 operators all across the U.S. There’s absolutely nothing to hook-up or install. You don’t need a land line and you don’t need a cell phone. Everything is done for you. “FastHelp is a state of the art medical alert device

designed to make you look important, not old. Old style monitored help buttons you wear around your neck, or require expensive base station equipment or a landline are the equivalent of a horse and buggy,” Lawrence says. “It’s just outdated.” Millions of seniors fall every year and spend hours lying on the floor helpless and all alone with no help. But seniors who fall

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

13


NEWS CLIPS

Photo credit: EDP Renewables North America

New Wind Farm Adds to Renewable Resources

Colorado electric cooperatives are benefiting from the new 104-megawatt Crossing Trails Wind Farm south of Seibert, Colorado, in K.C. Electric Association’s Kit Carson and Cheyenne county service territory. The facility began generating electricity for commercial sale in May and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which supplies power to 17 of Colorado’s 22 co-ops, is buying all of the electricity generated for its member cooperatives.

Crossing Trails, built, owned and operated by EDP Renewables North America, consists of 20 4.3 MW and five 3.6 MW wind turbines. Crossing Trails will produce enough electricity to annually power the equivalent of approximately 45,000 average Colorado homes. With blades stretching more than 240 feet, the 4.3 MW wind turbines are among the largest and most advanced turbines installed in Colorado to date.

Tri-State CEO Duane Highley noted that, “Crossing Trails is the first project to come on line since we announced Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan in January 2020, under which we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while significantly increasing renewable resources, lowering our wholesale rates and expanding member flexibility.”

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Drop

Co-op Magazine Still Planting Trees Colorado Country Life has been planting trees for the last three years to offset the trees used in the production of the paper it is printed on. Since 2018, CCL has partnered with PrintReLeaf, a reforestation company, to plant about 300 tree a month on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. In that time, more than 11,500 trees were planted in areas previously ravaged by fires.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions dropped 1.7% in 2019 compared with those reported in 2018, according to a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last month. The annual report noted that the decrease was mostly driven by lower carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion, such as that from coal-fired power plants. Part of that drop was due to a 1% drop in total energy use as well as a shift away from coal toward natural gas and renewable energy resources. This was a shift from the year before when there was a 3% increase in emissions, but a 13% decrease compared to 2005 levels. The electricity sector is responsible for an estimated 25% of greenhouse gas emissions, behind the transportation sector, which is responsible for an estimated 29% of these emissions. The industrial sector is estimated to be responsible for 23%, the commercial and residential sector for 13% and agriculture for 10%.


NEWS CLIPS

XPrize Winners Contain CO2 Inside Better Concrete In the culmination of a six-year engineering competition, the final winners of the Carbon XPrize, partially sponsored by Colorado’s Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, were announced. They are CarbonBuilt and Carbon Cure. Each will receive $7.5 million to continue advancing their carbon utilization technologies. The contest was created to encourage the study of capturing and managing carbon emissions from coal-based power plants. The result was a low CO2 concrete replacement. Its process permanently embeds CO2 into the concrete, which lowers emissions by utilizing the CO2 and by reducing other emissions associated with the raw materials. The development of the team’s core technology began at

This concrete block outside the Integrated Test Center is among 10,000 produced using carbon capture technology. (Photo Courtesy: XPRIZE)

the University of California, Los Angeles in 2013 and, with support from the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the team was able to produce 10,000 concrete blocks.

A public-private partnership between the state of Wyoming, Tri-State, NRECA and Basin Electric Power Cooperative, the Integrated Test Center was initially funded in 2014 and the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE was the first tenant to sign on to test at the facility. “Technology advancement drives economic development and cleaner energy,” said Duane Highley, Tri-State CEO. “The Integrated Test Center’s hosting of the Carbon XPRIZE enabled the advancement of novel technology solutions to carbon challenges, and as more innovators come to Wyoming to evaluate technologies, the work of the ITC will continue to deliver important results.”

Co-ops Operate Under Seven Core Principles There are seven core co-op principles that govern the activities of Colorado’s electric cooperatives, as well cooperatives around the world. These seven principles are a key reason that Colorado’s electric cooperatives operate differently from other electric utilities, putting the needs of their consumer-members first.

The second principle is: Democratic Member Control.

SE Colorado Ranch Wins Leopold Award The May Ranch of Lamar was selected for this year’s Colorado Leopold Conservation Award, which is partially sponsored by electric co-op power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. The May Ranch is owned and operated by the Dallas and Brenda May family of Prowers County. The conservation practices that the Mays have implemented on their cattle ranch have improved the wildlife habitat, water quality, and grass and soil health. Recipients of this award, named for conservationist Aldo Leopold, are real-life examples of conservation-minded agriculture.

This principle is especially obvious this time of year, when Colorado’s co-ops are hosting annual meetings and conducting elections for their boards of directors. These directors are elected from among the local co-op’s consumer-members and represent the concerns of their neighbors, friends and family.

Find all seven principles at electric.coop/ seven-cooperative-principles.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

15


COVER STORY

A DAY WITH A TORNADO BY BRUCE CONNALLY,

“That cloud is terrifying!” Abby’s hushed voice reflected the trepidation we all felt. The roiling, churning black cloud was an EF3 tornado, which had just torn a half-mile-wide swath through Windsor, Colorado.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

DMV, MS

A

frantic call from local farmer Gordon to the Colorado State University veterinary school was why three vet students — Abby, Don and Katelyn — and I were driv­ing east toward the violent storm. “The tornado went right over us,” Gordon panted into his cellphone. “We rode it out in the basement. The house isn’t hurt too bad, but I have one horse down in the al­falfa field and I can’t find the other one yet. I need you now!” “I hope that thing keeps going north,” Don said from the back seat of the truck. Highway 257 was taking us east right along the back edge of the tornado. To our left we could see black clouds, constant lightning and sheets of rain as the monster churned over farmland and scattered hous­es. To our right the sun had emerged again and revealed the carnage caused by a storm with 135 mph winds. The cornfield beside us looked like a woven placemat with ar­eas of punk rock hair.


COVER STORY Cottonwood trees were twisted into long yellow splinters or standing and pointing at the now-clearing sky with completely naked branches. There was muddy, brown water lapping at the edges of the county road that led to Gor­don’s farm. The beautiful tan stucco house showed little damage; Gordon was waiting for us between a horse barn and machine shed that were not so fortunate. His black and white mare appeared to be resting in the alfalfa beside the mangled remnants of a center-pivot irrigation system. She at­tempted to stand as we approached, but was only able to get up on her front legs. Sheet metal from the barn roof had sliced through her rear legs, leaving them useless. After a short consultation with Gordon, I administered an IV solution that ended her suffering. The vet students and I spread out to help Gordon search for his missing horse. “Harold is a big black gelding that I team rope on,” Gordon told us. “I really like that horse,” he added, almost as an after­thought. We didn’t get to search for long. “Are you the vet?” a woman’s voice called through the wind. “My horse got hurt in the storm.” A woman in tall chore boots and a green slicker was running up the muddy driveway. “My house is across the county road but you’re gonna have to walk ’cause the trees are down.” “You better go help Linda,” Gordon said. “I’ll keep looking for Harold but I don’t think he is here.” We drove the vet truck down Gordon’s drive to the county road. After moving several big branches and using four-wheel drive to get through the mud, we made it to Linda’s road. There, a huge fir tree had been snapped off, covering the road and her metal gate. The stu­dents grabbed surgical equipment, a stainless steel bucket and drugs. We crawled through the top of the fir tree and over a wooden fence into Linda’s yard. Her house and barn were completely intact.

Veterinarian Bruce Connally, DVM, MS, visits his horse at his home near Berthoud.

The only signs of a storm on this side of the downed fir tree were lakes of muddy water and a nervous bay Arabian mare tied to the fence with a bloody T-shirt wrapped around her front leg. “I got the bleedin’ stopped but she’s pretty shook up,” Linda cautioned. My vet student team, fueled by adrenaline, sprang into action. In 20 minutes the mare was sedated, the wound cleaned and sutured and a bright purple bandage replaced the bloody shirt. Linda’s cellphone rang as the students wrapped the leg. “My neighbor on up the road,” Linda explained. “She says her horse is hurt bad.” There were power lines down across the road so we couldn’t drive up to the big yellow house. Carole met us and led the rest of the way on foot. Only the west wall of a log barn was still standing: The rest of the barn was nowhere to be seen. The dark clouds were gone now, allowing a strangely reddish afternoon sun to shine through a window in the re­maining wall and down on to a palomino Shetland pony. The pony was not hurt but the big chestnut warmblood gelding on the other side of the corral was not as lucky. He had a bloody wound on his left side be­hind his elbow that was as big as the top of my hat. The skin and muscle were completely missing. Sand and dirt mixed with the clotted blood. The three massive ribs that were exposed

had been strong enough to repel whatever the tornado had tried to drive into the big horse’s heart. “I’ll sedate him,” I told Katelyn, the quietest of the three vet students. ‘’You get a big syringe and start lavaging the sand out of the wound.” In 15 minutes the wound was clean enough to evaluate. “I think he was very lucky,” I told Carole. “The ribs are intact and there does not seem to be any penetration into the chest cavity.” “Thank goodness!” Carole replied. “Now if we can find our dog everything will be OK. He disappeared during the tornado and hasn’t come back.” As Katelyn finished with the wound and Don administered an antibiotic, my cellphone rang. “Bruce, this is Steve, your neighbor. The tornado just went through your place. I don’t know how much damage you have, but your new foal is out on the county road.” We threw everything in the truck and navigated the treacherous roads back to Interstate 25. The fear in my heart made me drive a little faster than the speed limit north toward my home. As we pulled into the drive I could see the 12-by 24-foot metal shed where the mare and 8-day-old foal had been kept was gone. All seven of my horses were standing unusually close together in the larger corral. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

17


COVER STORY “We got the foal back into this pen with the others,” Steve explained as I jumped out of the vet truck. “None of the fences are down so I think the tornado picked the little feller up and put him out on the road.” A quick inspection showed that my five saddle horses were not hurt. The foal had a swelling on his knee but was walking fine. His mother had some minor cuts on her chest where she had apparently tried to get through the fence to her baby. We were back at Carole’s house the next day treating the chest wound on the big warmblood. Katelyn was flushing the wound and I was us­ing gauze to remove the remaining sand. As we worked, a Chesapeake Bay retriever trotted into the corral and sniffed the bloody gauze on the ground. “Jake, you’re back!” Carole screamed. “Where have you been?” The big dog seemed a little tired but completely un­harmed from the ordeal.

Storms can frighten horses, including Trooper (above) as he heads in as recent dark clouds approach Bear Creek Stables in Morrison.

“Must have been a long walk,” Don

The devastation from the tornado was

commented. Gordon was giving me an update a couple days later. “We found my big black horse. He was in a hayfield about a half mile from home. All the fences were up and the gates closed so I think he learned to fly! I don’t think Harold likes to fly though because now when the wind blows he runs into the barn and stands there trembling.”

amazing. One man lost his life. Many people lost homes and animals. The cost to the community was in the millions of dollars. “I haven’t named my foal yet,” I told the students as we drove back toward the vet school. “Maybe I will call him Twister.” Dr. Bruce Connally practices equine medicine in central Wy­oming and northern Colorado from his home in Berthoud, Colorado. His story originally appeared in the Wyoming Rural Electric News magazine.

THE CO-OP AND THE TORNADO BY MONA NEELEY

EDITOR

P

oudre Valley Rural Electric Association serves the area near Windsor that was devastated in the May 22, 2008, EF3 tornado. It was a surprise for many area residents, including PVREA Operations Superintendent Craig Harney, who was a lineworker back in 2008. “I am from the Midwest and have seen and been near tornadoes before, but never in a million years would I expect to see one in northern Colorado this close to the foothills,” Harney said, thinking back to the fateful day. Fellow employee Matt Organ, now a supervisor for distribution design at PVREA, agreed. “This tornado went from southeast to the northwest — not the usual direction.”

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

Both men remember the chaos in the aftermath of the tornado. With winds as high as 150 miles per hour, it carved a mile-wide path of destruction for roughly 39 miles, taking out the power for 17,225 PVREA consumer-members. The twister went through several miles of transmission line and damaged 11 of the co-op’s substations. But the men also remember how quickly the co-op and its employees began repairs that Thursday. Lineworker Greg Rink, who is still at PVREA, remembers working through to early the next morning to get the initial poles reset and wires back up. Western Area Power Administration provided help in getting the transmission lines up and operating. Rink recalls working, with little

rest, until late Saturday to get power to the city of Windsor’s water treatment plant and other entities providing essential services. Other crews were working in the Wellington and Waverly areas and all the places where there was damage. “The storm response was a total cooperative team effort with engineering and management coming out to the field to assist with materials and meals,” Rink said. The storm caused $1.2 million in damage to PVREA’s system. For more recollections of the day by PVREA employees, read this entire story at www.coloradocountrylife.coop.


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ENERGY CONNECTIONS Tri-State Transmission and Generation completed the Dolores Canyon segment of the Montrose-Nucla-Cahone transmission project in October 2020.

CROSSING THE CANYON Montrose-Nucla-Cahone — a transmission project beyond the numbers

BY JONAH MARTIN

MANAGER , MNC PROJECT MANAGEMENT OFFICE

E

ven by the standards of other major utility construction projects across the nation, the numbers behind Tri-State Generation and Transmission’s recently completed, 230-kilovolt Montrose-NuclaCahone (MNC) transmission project are staggering. Throw in a worldwide pandemic during the construction phase and we have a real story to tell. The basic facts are impressive for a project built in remote areas of the Rocky Mountain West. The project began in May 2013 and required the approval of nearly a dozen local, state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and Colorado Parks & Wildlife. MNC traversed more than 80 miles of often challenging terrain, and the associated severe weather, through portions of Dolores, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties in Colorado, at times reaching elevations of more than 11,000 feet above sea level.

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Substation expansions The MNC included a substation expansion in Montrose, completed in May 2017; the new Maverick substation, which Tri-State energized in April 2020; and improvements at the Cahone substation. The Maverick substation was to initially operate at 115 kV, while accommodating a future need for 69 kV of service. The decision last year to decommission Tri-State’s Nucla Station power plant and the associated Nucla substation earlier than planned required the Maverick substation build to take place earlier as part of the initial construction phase.

backbone between Grand Junction and Albuquerque. Even these figures do not begin to tell the whole story. The crowning achievement of this challenging project included the crossing of the historic Dolores Canyon just east of Dove Creek. The Dolores Canyon, characterized by red Wingate Sandstone, old-growth ponderosa trees and the winding Dolores River, begins in the southern San Juan Mountains and meanders toward the Utah border. The Juan Rivera expedition viewed the Dolores Canyon in 1765 while exploring trade routes in Ute country.

Dolores Canyon a significant crossing Transmission lines and fiber optics The transmission line project also included more than 300 miles of access improvements and significant vegetation management along nearly 60 miles of federal land. In total, MNC required 435 wood structures and 131 steel structures; 1.37 million feet of conductor; and nearly 475,000 feet of optical ground wire. The optical ground wire is part of the regional fiber optic communications

For Tri-State, the crossing of Dolores Canyon presented several unparalleled challenges in the U.S. transmission industry, with the exception of the smaller, original (and still existing) 115 kV wood-frame crossing of the canyon completed in 1958. Even if the Gateway Arch in St. Louis were placed in the 1,100-foot canyon, it would not be visible, except to someone standing on the rim of the canyon.


ENERGY CONNECTIONS The Tri-State crossing effort required a span of nearly 6,600 feet between two 85-foot-tall lattice towers on the north and south rim of the canyon. When counting distances from the “dead ends,” which hold the weight of each of the five 20,000 pounds of conductor and optical ground wire tensions, the distance was 8,000 feet. The line dropped some 400 feet between the lattice towers into the canyon. Tri-State made five crossings of the canyon: three with conductor and two with optical ground wire. A helicopter first pulled a 5/16-inch rope from the south to the north end of the canyon, and then winch equipment pulled back a 3/4-inch rope back to the south. At that point, the rope then pulled the conductor and optical ground wire back from the south to the north rim. This work started during the week of September 28 and was completed by October 10. To put some of this in perspective, the transmission line over the Dolores Canyon spans about 1.25 miles between lattice towers and more than 1.5 miles between the dead ends. Only three other spans worldwide are known to be longer, although on much larger towers: an 8,714-foot span between the Jintang and Cezi islands in China; the crossing of the Norwegian Sognefjord at 15,082 feet; and the Ameralik Span in Greenland at 17,638 feet.

Tri-State Transmission and Generation uses air support to complete the Montrose-Nucla-Cahone transmission project. This project includes crossing the Dolores Canyon, which spans nearly 6,600 feet between two 85-foot-tall lattice towers, one each on the north and south rims of the canyon.

In fact, the Dolores Canyon segment wasn’t the only significant crossing. Workers previously crossed Glade Canyon, 2.5 miles north of Dolores Canyon, which was a 2,800-foot crossing, or just over half a mile, and would have been a significant effort for any other transmission line project but now the second largest on MNC.

The Montrose-Nucla-Cahone transmission line project benefits The MNC transmission line was energized in October and was complete — aside from reclamation work — by the end of 2020. The project cost nearly $105 million and required 65,000 labor hours for construction.

Completion of this project brings a number of immediate benefits to Tri-State and the bulk electric system. Greater reliability and lower maintenance needs, greater operational capacity and flexibility, and the ability to accommodate load growth in the area are just a few of the immediate impacts. MNC also paves the way for future benefits, including the ability to support Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan and the growing interest in generation interconnection projects throughout western Colorado. Numerous departments and dozens of employees throughout Tri-State left their marks on this once-in-a-career project. Without the hard work and dedication of the MNC project team, none of the amazing numbers, accomplishments and benefits could have been achieved. Jonah Martin is the manager of the Montrose-NuclaCahone project management office and an employee of Tri-State Generation and Transmission. Tri-State is a wholesale power supply cooperative, operating on a not-for-profit basis, with 45 members, including 42 utility electric distribution cooperatives and public power district members in four states that together deliver reliable, affordable and responsible power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the West. For more information about Tri-State, visit www.tristate.coop.

Two Tri-State Generation and Transmission staff view the process of the Montrose-NuclaCahone transmission project. The project cost nearly $105 million and 65,000 labor hours of construction. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

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GARDENING

Vines to Attract Hummingbirds Plants that lure in little aviators BY VICKI SPENCER

MASTER GARDENER | GARDENING@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE .ORG

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eaders frequently ask how to attract hummingbirds to their gardens. I favor cultivating a continuously blooming garden over maintaining bird feeders, but both are effective. One way to keep your garden flowering from spring to fall is to add flowering vines. They don’t necessarily need a lot of space, but they do need support, such as a fence, wall or trellis. Before buying plants and climbing structures, it helps to know how vines grow and what kinds of support will be most effective. Some vines climb with tendrils that coil around anything within reach. There are two types of tendrils: shoots that grow out of the stem or modified leaves that emerge from a leaf node. Other vines grow their own suction cups or have adventitious roots (roots growing along stems) that need walls or fences with texture to climb. Several stem tendril vines grow well in Colorado and attract hummingbirds. Trumpet vine is well-known for the allure of its scarlet clusters. It thrives in full sun and poor, dry soils, but it can be invasive. Passionflower is treasured for its deep green leaves that provide a backdrop to showy, purple flowers. It grows up to 25 feet long. Another favorite is wisteria with its fragrant, deep purple flowers. It should be planted in a sheltered area to protect early buds from

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frost. Perennial sweet pea is a drought tolerant vine that blossoms in the heat of the summer. Since it reseeds and suckers freely in the garden, it needs heavy pruning in early spring. Honeysuckle is a vigorous twining vine that grows 10-20 feet in full sun. Avoid invasive Japanese honeysuckle in favor of trumpet honeysuckle with fragrant, reddish-orange trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer. All of these stem tendril vines tend to become heavy and need the strong support of a fence or wall.

Purple passionflower

In contrast to these weighty stem tendrils, clematis and climbing nasturtium have twining leaf tendrils that can’t adhere to large lattice trellises. Instead, they twist around slender wires, string or small twigs for support. Clematis is perhaps the most popular and most often planted flowering perennial vine. Its success depends on

planting in a sunny location with ample organic matter and proper pruning. Jackmanii clematis is a good variety with royal purple flowers that bloom late spring to early summer. Climbing nasturtium is easy to grow as an annual. Its seeds can be planted directly in the soil next to a fence or planted in a container with a light trellis. As soon as you see leaders on the twining leaf vines, loop them around the strings or wires of your support. English ivy and euonymus are examples of adventitious vines that grow well in Colorado. The small, pinkish-white flowers of euonymus are less likely to attract hummingbirds than bright red or purple flowers, but they are valuable sources of nectar for other pollinators. Regardless of your choice, all of these flowering vines will add color to your garden and enjoyment for you and hummingbirds alike. Gardener Vicki Spencer has an eclectic background in conservation, water, natural resources and more.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Read previous gardening columns at coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Gardening under Living in Colorado.


OUTDOORS

CARP ON THE FLY BY DENNIS SMITH OUTDOORS@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

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ong before I became enamored of fly fishing for trout, I’d fish for anything that had fins and swam. And I’d use whatever bait, lure or method I thought would work. Worms, grubs, slugs, nightcrawlers, minnows, frogs, crawdads, hellgrammites, grasshoppers, chicken livers, hot dogs, bacon and homemade dough balls were all up for grabs. If I could get it to stick to a hook, it was bait. If it didn’t catch fish, I might eat some of it myself. This was due chiefly to childhood innocence (or ignorance), geography reality and my financial status at the time: I was 9 or 10 years old, lived on the banks of a large warm water creek and the sum annual total of my discretionary income was roughly $60 a year. We caught bass, bluegills, crappies, perch, eels and bullheads on a fairly regular basis, but because it was a first-generation tributary of New York’s famous Hudson River, stripers, herring, white perch, shad and white bass would sometimes find their way into the creek. There was no telling what you might latch onto when you tossed a baited hook out there. Of all the species we chased after, though, carp were the “ne plus ultra” (on the ultimate) for the majority of us kids in those days. They

were big — enormous, in fact — compared to the bass, bluegills and crappies we normally caught. And to a kid who fishes, nothing is more impressive than a 20-pound carp. I know; I caught a 29-pounder once and got my picture in the paper. That was a big deal for an 11-year-old. The blasted things are smart too, and spookier than a cave hermit. They’ll freak at the slightest sound or disturbance — your footsteps on the bank, your shadow on the water, the soft plop of a worm breaking the surface. At first, we caught them on willow poles rigged with about 25 feet of Dacron line and baited with manure worms — or rather we

tried to. We’d get hookups, but without a reel and some line to help us play the brutes, we’d break most of them off on the first good run. I still fish for carp, and occasionally I’ll even whip up a batch of anise-flavored dough balls out of sheer nostalgia, but mostly I fly fish the farm ponds for them with a heavy fly rod and a handful of drab subsurface patterns. One is a modified version of the standard woolly bugger tied with a strip of rabbit fur for the tail instead of marabou. I tie it in three basic colors: black, brown and olive. I sometimes add a small pair of dumbbell eyes to the thing to get it down on the bottom where carp do most of their feeding, but I’ve found it’s often better to use a sink-tip line and a short leader because the sound of that little weighted fly striking the water can terrify a carp feeding in the shallows. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

MISS AN ISSUE? Catch up at coloradocountrylife.coop. Click on Outdoors under in Living in Colorado. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

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UPGRADE TO ELECTRICITY AND SAVE IN YOUR HOME At Tri-State, we’re doing our part so that electricity benefits you. By 2030, 70% of the electricity our members consume will come from low-cost renewable energy, and you can take advantage by switching from fuel-powered technologies in your home. Switching to electricity can save you money with these home electrification ideas.

LEARN MORE AT WWW.TRISTATE.COOP/BE Tri-State is a not-for-profit power supplier to cooperatives and public power districts in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.


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POWER UP YOUR GARDENING TOOLS Electric garden tools can last longer and are emissions-free, meaning you’ll smell the scents of summer, not the smell of exhaust. Plus, with modern technology, they are just as effective as gas-powered alternatives. Just charge the battery and go! • Low maintenance – no oil changes or need to treat fuel, change spark plugs or filters. • No need to purchase and store gasoline • Electric models are lightweight and easy to handle

SAVE WITH AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) Sales of light-duty electric vehicles rose by 43% in 2020. On average, EVs have a lower cost of operation over their lifespan, and buyers are taking notice. • Less maintenance • Increased savings compared to gasoline • Fun to drive because of torque

REBATES FOR YOUR HOME Contact your local electric co-op or public power district to find out more on available rebates and incentives


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READER PARTICIPATION is the backbone of CCL magazine. SEND US YOUR COMMUNITY EVENTS & WE’LL POST THEM ON OUR WEBSITE Calendar, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; fax to 303-455-2807; or email calendar@coloradocountrylife.org. 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.


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Bottling Up Secrets of The Mediterranean Diet Early in our interview with AGHG, we asked where they got their inspiration for AloTRIM. They explained that it stemmed from their fascination with the Mediterranean culture, specifically their diet. Thousands of studies have shown the those following this diet have had incredible success in losing weight and burning body. The American Diabetes Association states that it can lower your risk of serious blood sugar by 83%. Most experts say success with this diet is directly correlated with it being “plant-based”. Tons of fruits and veggies and very few calories. On the surface this makes sense. However, we now know the real secret can be attributed to what’s hiding in these foods. More specifically, in two popular fruits.

Natural Compounds That Trigger Weight Loss There are countless reasons why you might be

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FOCUS ON HISTORY

The Focus On section is a monthly spotlight on something special in our state. Have a fun suggestion for a feature? Email info@coloradocountrylife.org.

VISIT BEULAH

Uncovering What Time Forgot

When a 150-year-old cabin was discovered inside the walls of a 1950s-era home on a ranch near Beulah, a link to Colorado’s history was revealed. The cabin, built of milled timbers, was the home of Peter and Emily Dotson when it was featured in a national magazine in 1879. Then, through the years, rooms were added, drywall was added and the cabin was encased in newer-looking buildings. Starting with a $10,000 donation from San Isabel Electric Association, the local electric co-op, the Beulah Heritage Preservation League was formed and it relocated the cabin to a park across from Beulah School.

WHERE IS THE CABIN? How was the cabin found?

What makes this cabin special?

When local historian James Campbell learned about the Dotsons, their home and the Harper’s Weekly story, he contacted current ranch owners Reeves and Betsy Brown. They were planning to tear down a ranch building that, unbeknownst to them, might include the Dotson Cabin. Painstaking removal of stucco and drywall uncovered the old cabin.

The large logs hewed by a skilled craftsman and the dovetailed joinery show special skills. There is also the history of Peter Dotson, a former U.S. marshal. Peter, with his involvement in ranching, mining and politics, played a role in developing southern Colorado in the mid to late 1800s. He was known as “Uncle Pete” and his place became a destination for travelers wanting to see a real Colorado ranch after the national magazine article was published.

Photo courtesy of the Beulah Heritage Preservation League.

LEARN MORE ONLINE

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Beulah Heritage Preservation League 8674 Schoolhouse Lane P. O. Box 12 Beulah, CO 81023 Email: beulahhpl@gmail.com

Is it open for visiting? The Beulah Heritage Preservation League is raising money to finish the interior of the cabin. Donations are being accepted through its website at beulahhpl.com. Plans are to have the cabin open for limited hours on weekends by mid to late summer. Check the website for information.

3D Virtual Tour: Walk through the newly discovered Dotson Cabin located in Betsy’s Park. Visit the Focus On section at coloradocountrylife.coop. Look under Living in Colorado.


YOUR STORIES

READERS’ PHOTOS

DO YOU WRITE POETRY? Send us your best work; we’d love to read it.

FUNNY STORIES

Submit your best works via email to: info@coloradocountrylife.org or mail to: Colorado Country Life 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 Include your mailing address and name of your local electric co-op.

Celebrating Earth Day in Florida! Betty Dethmers, a consumer-member of Sangre de Cristo Electric Association, stands in front of Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach, Florida.

READER POETRY Campfire Light A certain feeling comes along at night When you are in the woods by the campfire light. It has nothing to do with spooks or fright But more with forest sounds and dim lit sights; Like hot snapping embers that hiss and crack And shadows beyond the trees, thick and black;

Peter Magielnicki’s kids enjoy the green of spring at Thomas Jefferson’s Rotunda in Charlottesville, Virginia. They are consumer-members of Empire Electric Association.

Or the sound of a loon calling us back To the places of moose and beaver track. The night is for resting and warming our feet And drying our socks by the campfire heat. Then standing and turning to warm our seat, And feeling at last that the day is complete, Chris Langseth, Fort Garland San Isabel Electric consumer-member

Pinyon Pine Paranoia

WINNER: Larry Pieper takes his copy of CCL to the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, Texas. He is a consumer-member of San Isabel Electric Association.

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, address and your local co-op to info@coloradocountrylife.org. We’ll draw one photo to win $25 each month. The next deadline is Tuesday, June 15. Name, address and co-op must accompany photo. See all of the submitted photos on Facebook at facebook.com/COCountryLife.

What’s that? Whispers to me. Fine spines of pinyon pine. In a voice west southwest at ten. Caught by surprise, I pass with no reply. Inspired. Onward downwind. Fawning greetings await. One kilometer down the road. Here’s the Russian olive I’ve come to see. Silence. Not a murmur. Fallen leaves are speechless. Barren limbs and twigs disregard. As I wonder if the breeze was poisoned. Ben W. Wiley, Walsenburg San Isabel Electric consumer-member

During a recent family dinner, I told my greatnieces that they were living through history. “Just think,” I said, “someday you will be able to tell your children that you survived the pandemic of 2020.” The 13-year-old jumped out of her chair and responded, “No kidding. If I ever hear them say they are bored, I’ll say you don’t know what bored is!” Mary Graziano, Fruita Grand Valley Power consumer-member Many years ago, Beth, my wife, and I were team teaching at an outdoor education facility. The fourth-grade class took a mid morning break. When the kids returned, one of the girls raised her hand and said, “My teacher told us that you are married.” She paused in thought, then said, “But you talk like individuals.” Herb Folsom, Mancos Empire Electric Association consumer-member I had a bad cold for a week and my son got all the grandchildren together to say a prayer for Grandma’s recovery. After they prayed for me to get better, my 4-year-old grandson, Josiah, said, “And don’t let Grandma get hit by a truck.” Where that came from, I don’t know, but I’ll take all the prayers I can get. Regina Jameson, Beulah San Isabel Electric Association consumer-member

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 2021 stories to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or email funnystories@coloradocountrylife.org. Don’t forget to include your mailing address, so we can send you a check. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE JUNE 2021

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DISCOVERIES

Explore Colorado History These lesser-known museums are amazing and awaiting your arrival Wyman Living History Ranch & Museum, Craig

Wyman Living History Ranch & Museum Lou Wyman started his collection of historic relics in 1949 with an abandoned 1932 Lincoln and ultimately opened the Wyman Museum in the Yampa Valley in 2006. Today you can peruse his collection of saws, military items and license plates; an old-timey hearse and sheep wagon; as well as a blacksmith shop, a 1918 barn, a one-room schoolhouse and more. Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. For more information, call 970-824-6346 or visit wymanlivinghistorymuseum.com.

Cheyenne County Jail Cheyenne County Jail (Old Cheyenne County Jail Museum) opened in 1894 and was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Designed by Denver architect Robert S. Roeschlaub — whose projects include East High School in Denver, the Isis Theatre in Aspen and the First Congregational Church of Manitou Springs, to name a few — the jail housed the area’s bad guys as well as the sheriff and his family. For more information, visit tinyurl.com/43tj4kxs. Photo by Jimmy Emerson, DVM, via Flickr

Fort Morgan Museum Fort Morgan’s rich agricultural, military and railroad history is prominent at the Fort Morgan Museum. Here you will also find a Native American history exhibit, a railroad display and a scale model of the Fort Morgan area that represents the area in the early 1900s. And don’t forget about Glenn Miller. The famous musician went to high school and started his career here, and the museum created an auditorium in his name. For more information, call 970-542-4010 or visit vimeo.com/451805892.

San Juan County Historical Society The San Juan County Historical Society has helped to preserve several historical sites in the San Juan County area since 1964. If you’re in Silverton, be sure to visit these sites, which include the Mining Heritage Center, the 1902 Jail, the Old Hundred Boarding House and more historical gems. The SJCHS continues its mission to preserve these sites and is supported by a variety of Colorado and national historical organizations, private foundations and visitors. For information, visit sanjuancountyhistoricalsociety.org.

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1 Offer not available in all areas. Discount applied by retailer representative at time of contract execution and applies to purchase of 4 or more windows and/or entry or patio doors. Buy two windows and/or doors, get the second two windows and/or doors, of equal or lesser value, 40% off. Discount applied to lowest priced window and/or door products in purchase. Cannot be combined with other offers. Initial contact for a free Window and Door Diagnosis must be made and documented on or before 6/30/21, with the appointment then occurring no more than 10 days after the initial contact. No payments and deferred interest for 12 months available to well qualified buyers on approved credit only. Not all customers may qualify. No Finance Charges will be assessed if promo balance is paid in full in 12 months. Renewal by Andersen retailers are independently owned and operated retailers, and are neither brokers nor lenders. Any finance terms advertised are estimates only, and all financing is provided by third-party lenders unaffiliated with Renewal by Andersen retailers, under terms and conditions arranged directly between the customer and such lender. Window Warmth, LLC d/b/a Renewal by Andersen of Colorado. “Renewal by Andersen” and all other marks where denoted are marks of Andersen Corporation. ©2021 Andersen Corporation. All rights reserved. ©2021 Lead Surge LLC. All rights reserved. All sales, marketing and installation of windows is conducted by Renewal by Andersen of Colorado, an independently owned and operated affiliate operating in CO and NM.


Profile for American MainStreet Publications

Colorado Country Life June 2021 Grand Valley  

Colorado Country Life June 2021 Grand Valley

Colorado Country Life June 2021 Grand Valley  

Colorado Country Life June 2021 Grand Valley

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