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WHITE RIVER ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION

OCTOBER 2020

Painting a Bright Future

PLUS

WILD BIG-GAME GRUB

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Volume 51

Number 10

October 2020 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 2020, 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.

Painting a Bright Future

4 VIEWPOINT

5 LETTERS

6 ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT

7 YOUR CO-OP NEWS

12 RECIPES

14 NEWS CLIPS

16 COVER STORY

24 OUTDOORS

26 MARKETPLACE

28 COMMUNITY EVENTS

On the

29 YOUR STORIES

Cover

30 DISCOVERIES

FACEBOOK CHATTER Colorado Rural Electric Association posted: Poudre Valley REA is working hard to restore power in fire-damaged areas northwest of Fort Collins.

Monthly Contest Win and support a local business This month enter for your chance to win a $100 gift card or certificate to the local business/restaurant o f yo u r c h o o s i n g . Go to Contests at coloradocountrylife.coop to learn how to enter.

coloradocountrylife.coop

COCountryLife pinned: Want to learn to cook the perfect prime rib? Get the Foolproof Prime Rib recipe from Kasy Allen of Hot Sulphur Springs. Check out her blog Mountain Girl Camp: Wild Food Adventures at mountaingirl.camp for more recipes.

20 INDUSTRY 23 GARDENING

Cody Oldham, 16, is photographed by his dad, Chris Oldham as he paints.

PINTEREST SNEAK PEEK

PAINTING A BRIGHT FUTURE

POSTMASTER Send address changes to Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216

OCTOBER 2020

“I Want That Branch” by Kevin Pollard, a consumer-member of Sangre de Cristo Electric Association.

INSTAGRAM PIC of the month Colorado Rural Electric Association posted: The Champion Market Beef just went for $50,000 at the Colorado State Fair Jr. Livestock Sale sponsored by #ColoradosElectricCoops. It was shown by Ema Richardson from Yuma. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

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VIEWPOINT

2020: RISING TO THE CHALLENGE Electric co-ops support local communities through crises BY KENT SINGER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

O

n December 8, 1941, one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave an address to a joint session of the United States Congress. In the first sentence of his speech (which he wrote himself), Roosevelt declared that December 7, 1941, was “a date which will live in infamy.” Thirty-three minutes after the speech ended, Congress declared war on Japan.

“A date which will live in infamy.” — President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

FDR is often considered the patron saint of the electric cooperative program because he created the Rural Electrification Administration, or REA, by signing an executive order in 1935. Congress passed legislation the following year creating the administrative and financial framework for the REA program, but it was FDR’s leadership that led to the establishment of more than 900 electric co-ops that provide power to rural America today. For Colorado’s electric co-ops, and indeed electric co-ops all around the country, it appears that 2020 is a year that will also live in infamy. No, we are not at war, but it sure seems as though just about every other possible challenge to running an electric system has hit us this year. In early August, Tropical Storm Isaias knocked out power to thousands of co-op

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

consumer-members in the Chesapeake Bay region of Virginia and North Carolina. On August 10, a derecho with winds up to 145 miles per hour swept across Iowa leaving a path of destruction 80 miles wide and 225 miles long; some 10 million acres of corn and soybeans were destroyed, and rural co-op electric facilities were heavily damaged. In late August, millions of people in rural Arkansas and Louisiana were impacted by Hurricane Laura that swept across the southeastern United States. Wildfires in California and Oregon are ongoing and have hit rural co-op communities hard. Just in the last month here in Colorado, rural communities and the electric co-ops that serve them have had to cope with wildfires, derechos, snowstorms and drought, not to mention a pandemic and associated economic crisis. One day in mid-September, I spoke with co-op managers who were dealing with power outages caused by heavy snows, wildfires and windstorms in multiple parts of the state. Others were dealing with lost revenue from the local economic impacts of the pandemic and some were still working in communities stricken by drought. Time and time again, electric co-op employees have risen to the occasion and done everything in their power to keep the lights on and support their communities. Line crews have worked around the clock in dangerous conditions to restore power; co-op communicators have kept their communities informed about the storms and outages; co-op boards have established

KENT SINGER

programs to help consumer-members pay their power bills; co-ops have even figured out ways to hold virtual annual meetings to connect with their consumer-members and provide updates on co-op business. Although severe weather and wildfires are a fact of life in Colorado and elsewhere, I hope you and your families have not been impacted by any of the recent storms or economic displacement. This is a tough time in rural America, but we have endured worse and I have no doubt we’ll bounce back quickly. The challenges faced by Colorado’s electric co-ops in 2020 remind me of a line from the movie “Apollo 13.” If you recall, when it looks like the Apollo 13 astronauts will be lost and the mission considered a failure, NASA’s director says to Gene Kranz (played by Ed Harris): “This could be the worst disaster NASA’s ever experienced.” The reply from Gene Kranz? “With all due respect, sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.” Years from now when we look back at 2020, I believe history will conclude it was one of the finest hours for Colorado’s electric cooperatives. Kent Singer is the executive director of the Colorado Rural Electric Association 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

Being “in-person” better than imagined

BY MONA NEELEY

T

EDITOR

he mid-September announcement that the 2021 National Western Stock Show was canceled made me doubly glad (and impressed) that the Colorado State Fair pulled off a “reimagined” fair back in August. It was not the same state fair we are used to, with a busy midway, exhibits, shows and rodeos, but there was a virtual variety of contests and events. That included the Junior Livestock Sale where Colorado’s 4-H and FFA youth got to show and sell their animals. Sponsored by Colorado’s electric cooperatives, the annual sale was also conducted live at the state fairgrounds. As a member of the Fair Ladies buying group and a representative of Colorado’s electric co-ops, I was excited to be there, in person, at the actual event.

The usual MONA NEELEY busloads of buyers were replaced with a few individuals representing each buying group while everyone else watched virtually. The boisterous, crowded pre-sale dinner was replaced with box lunches, masks on when not eating and tables spaced more than 6 feet apart. And bidding required extra bid spotters throughout the event center and someone monitoring the online bids. But the animals sold, the kids got their hard-earned money and the buyers, including the Fair Ladies, loved getting together — in person — and celebrating rural Colorado. Mona Neeley is the statewide editor of Colorado Country Life.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Birds of a feather

I enjoyed Outdoors in the July issue. I saw my first pair of western tanagers two summers ago. Last year there were more. This year I counted six males and five females at my feeders on one occasion. They seem to favor the woodpecker suet blocks. Olivia Powell, Buena Vista Sangre de Cristo Electric consumer-member

A vote for healthy recipes

In regard to the letter writer (August ’20) wanting more recipes with meat and barbecue, the yogurt and veggies are healthy and more of the majority are eating healthier these days. Perry Jennings Mountain View Electric consumer-member

A fan of the magazine

I just wanted to send a note to say I appreciate all of the work put into this publication. The letters [in the August ’20 issue] are interesting. Nancy Kristof Mountain Parks Electric consumer-member

Cheering for more renewables

I am so glad [power supplier] Tri-State Generation and Transmission will more than double its renewable resources that provide power to Sangre de Cristo Electric. The additional power has many good effects: Due to longtime power contacts with renewable suppliers, electric rates will be stabilized; landowners, where the power is generated, will enjoy long-term rent payments on agricultural land that are guaranteed and not dependent on weather or market conditions; and counties and schools where the alternative energy projects are located benefit from the increased taxes. This is a win-win for everyone involved. Loyal C. Park, Nathrop Sangre de Cristo Electric consumer-member

Wowed by women’s history

Thank you for sharing unique Colorado and women’s history with readers. Penny Hamilton, Grand Lake Mountain Parks Electric consumer-member

SEND US YOUR LETTERS Editor Mona Neeley, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or mneeley@ coloradocountrylife.org. Include name and address. Letters may be edited for length. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

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ASK THE ENERGY EXPERT

Improving Basement and Crawl Space Efficiency BY PAT KEEGAN AND BR AD THIESSEN

B FURNACE FILTERS Upgrade and replace for cleaner air and better efficiency Wildfire smoke was a problem across much of Colorado during the last month. To keep your air healthy, it would be a good idea to replace or clean your furnace air filter. Replacing that dirty filter will not only improve your home’s air quality, but improve the efficiency of your furnace and air conditioner by 5% to 15%.

asements can account for a large portion of a home’s energy use, especially in colder climates, and are often a key area when looking to improve the energy efficiency of a home. Crawl spaces can also waste energy. There are typically several air leaks in basements and crawl spaces, particularly where pipes and wires enter or exit the space. Air often enters the home around the sill plate, which sits on top of the foundation. If you can get to the sill plate, apply caulk around it. Sealing any gaps or leaks around basement windows can also increase efficiency.

Source: energy.gov

Start Saving Energy Today Saving energy is saving money and can be a fun activity to engage your friends and family. Tactics to save energy come in all shapes and sizes, including steps you can take today at no cost. Energy efficiency also increases the comfortableness of your home, and makes larger projects worth the investment. Visit these two sites to learn how you can take control of your energy use and save today.

adventure.touchstoneenergy.com energy.gov/energysaver TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR ENERGY USE TODAY.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

Improve your house energy use by insulating exterior foundation walls and applying waterproof and damp-proofing coatings to your house foundation.

Insulation applications are quite different between basements and crawl spaces. In both cases, the insulation strategy and the installation itself must be done correctly to prevent mold or exacerbate moisture problems. The place to begin in basements is the rim joist, which is right above the sill plate on the top of the foundation wall. Rigid foam board can be carefully fitted between the joists. If you’re building a new home, there are advantages to insulating the outside of the foundation wall, but this isn’t practical for most existing homes. Insulate the inside of the foundation wall if you’re sure moisture is not leaking through the wall from the outside. Experts do not recommend

Adding a larger egress window brings natural light into your basement. Photo Credit: HomeSpot HQ

fiberglass insulation in contact with the foundation, which was a common practice for decades. Instead, they prefer sprayed-on foam or rigid foam board applied directly to the foundation wall. A wood-framed wall can be butted up against the rigid foam and insulated with fiberglass or mineral wool batts. The bottom plate of the wall, which sits on the concrete floor, should be pressuretreated wood. Over the past several years, the most common approach to insulating crawl spaces was to insulate under the floor with fiberglass batts. This allowed the crawl space to be vented to the outside, which alleviated any moisture buildup. If all the right moisture control and drainage steps are taken, the crawl space can be unventilated, and the insulation can be applied to the foundation walls instead of underneath the floor. That said, there are pros and cons to this strategy, so do some research online or consult with a local expert. Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen are from Collaborative Efficiency, which partners with electric co-ops to develop energy efficiency programs.

LEARN MORE ONLINE Visit coloradocountrylife.coop to learn more about how you can save on your home energy costs. Look under the Energy tab.


YOUR CO-OP NEWS

POWER ON: WHITE RIVER

ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION OCTOBER 2020

MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 958 Meeker, CO 81641-0958 STREET ADDRESS 233 6th Street Meeker, CO 81641

ph 970-878-5041 tf 800-734-9809 fax 970-878-5766 email amich@wrea.org web www.wrea.org facebook.com/wrea.org White River Electric Association, Inc., strives to provide its memberconsumers with safe, reliable and responsible electric energy and other services at the most reasonable costs possible while remaining committed to customer and community service.

October is National Co-op Month BY ALAN MICHALEWICZ GENER AL MANAGER

A

ALAN MICHALEWICZ

s an electric cooperative, our top priority is always to provide reliable, affordable energy to you, the consumer-members we serve. Because we are a co-op, our mission is to help evaluate the goals of our members and serve the long-term interests of our local community — and this mission has never been more critical than in recent months. One of the seven principles that guides all co-ops is concern for community. This principle is the essential DNA of White River Electric Association and sets us apart from for-profit businesses. October is National Co-op Month, and electric cooperatives across the country are highlighting the many ways we “Power On.” Keeping this theme in mind, I recognize the essential role we play in serving a special community like ours. Who would have fathomed in March that the COVID-19 virus would amount to a test of our community and our nation?

We are fortunate that, in our small rural community, social distancing is a way of life. In comparison to urban areas, we were forced to make only minor adjustments to our lifestyles. Still, the changing circumstances caused by the pandemic have created both challenges and opportunities. Over the past several months, we’ve all been challenged to operate differently, and were given the opportunity to learn how best to make recommended adjustments that made sense for our community. White River Electric recognized that, no matter what, we had to find a way to ensure we had the staffing and resources needed to meet the needs of our members — no matter how chaotic the pandemic became. The unknown was scary. As an essential service and to ensure reliability of your power supply, we modified our operations to safeguard business continuity. Our line crews began working

Then. Now. Always. We’re proud to power your life. October is National Co-op Month.

#PowerOn COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

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YOUR CO-OP NEWS solely in teams of two to maintain separation from other essential crews. Some staff worked remotely. In the office, we limited and modified meetings and gatherings to allow for safe separation. We also adjusted our walk-in office availability to ensure the health and safety of our employees and our valued members. We enabled an automated payment-by-phone feature and enhanced our online account access options so members could keep close tabs on their energy usage while working from home. Last month, we hosted our first ever virtual annual meeting on our website. With the absence of our in-person annual meeting and traditional registration gift giveaway, we handed out over 350 camp chairs to

members who attended our drive-by 75th anniversary member appreciation gift giveaway in early September. For the health and safety of everyone, we think these measures continue to be a prudent course of action for the times and recognize the importance of maintaining a sense of normalcy — albeit modified — in our lives. For our members impacted by COVID-19 who needed help with their electric bills, we stalled our normal collection process for three months and waived termination fees. We worked with those hardest hit to make special payment arrangements. We also helped facilitate payment assistance through critical state-run programs, like Low-Income

Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and Energy Outreach Colorado. We’ve seen other local businesses rising to meet similar challenges during this time, because that’s what communities do. We are fortunate to live in a community where we come together to find solutions that will meet the challenges before us. While the challenges caused by COVID-19 have been daunting, I’m heartened to see how everyone is pulling together to find solutions to complicated problems. In 1945, White River Electric was built by the community to serve the community, and that’s what we’ll continue to do: Power On.

Strate Awarded 2020 Youth Tour Scholarship

October 2020

Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month The average household owns 24 electronic products, which account for roughly 12% of home energy use. When shopping for electronics, consider purchasing Energy Starcertified products, which can be 70% more efficient than conventional models. Source: energystar.gov

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

Carter Strate

Meeker High School senior Carter Strate was recently awarded a $500 scholarship from the Colorado Electric Educational Institute. Strate was selected to represent White River Electric at the Washington D.C. Youth Tour this past June, but the trip was canceled due to COVID-19. As a consolation, CEEI offered students an opportunity to apply for a scholarship by submitting a 1-2 minute video asking Colorado legislators a question and explain why they are interested in the topic. Strate’s video submission was selected as one of 12 winning entries. Congratulations, Carter!


YOUR CO-OP NEWS We can all play a part in making our interconnected world safer.

Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Visit staysafeonline.org for cybersecurity tips.

White River Electric Supports Cybersecurity Awareness Month

W

hite River Electric Association is proud to announce its commitment to National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, held annually in October. This year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart,” aimed at empowering individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace. “By increasing awareness and using basic cybersecurity practices, we can work to combat cyberthreats,” said Mike

Dinwiddie, IT Specialist for WREA. “The human element is oftentimes the biggest cybersecurity risk. It’s easy to fall prey to an enticing link that seems harmless, only to discover you’ve just compromised your personal or professional data.” National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is spearheaded by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The overarching message of this year’s theme, “If you connect it, protect it,” dives into the

importance of keeping connected devices safe and secure from outside influence. With more people spending time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever before, connected devices are an integral part of how we communicate and access services essential to our well-being. Data collected from these devices can include highly-specific information about a person or business, which can be exploited by bad actors for criminal gain. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month aims to shed light on these security vulnerabilities, while offering guidance surrounding simple security measures to limit the susceptibility of threats for common devices. Throughout the month of October, WREA will share cybersecurity tips that can help keep your data safe. WREA encourages you to help educate those who are less tech savvy or might not fully grasp the dangers lurking in what seems to be a harmless email or a tricky text message. This month, watch WREA’s Facebook page for tips on how to practice good “cyber hygiene.” If everyone does their part — implementing stronger security practices at work and at home, raising community awareness, educating vulnerable audiences or training employees — our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for everyone.

Calling all Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors Did you know WREA offers a terrific Leadership Camp opportunity to sophomores, a trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Youth Tour for juniors, and secondary education scholarships for graduating seniors within its service territory? Visit wrea.org/youth-leadership-opportunities for more information and application deadlines, or call 970-878-5041 for details. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

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YOUR CO-OP NEWS

CAST YOUR VOTE ON NOVEMBER 3

C

olorado’s electric cooperatives’ top priority is providing consumermembers with safe, reliable and affordable energy. But this job requires more than stringing and maintaining power lines. It requires political engagement. That may seem far removed from our core mission, but it’s absolutely essential to the services cooperatives provide. That’s why electric co-ops in Colorado and across the country are participating in Co-ops Vote, a nonpartisan program that encourages all co-op consumermembers to participate in national, state and local elections. The program also aims to educate political candidates and elected officials about the important role electric cooperatives play in their local communities. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the service organization

representing the nation’s electric co-ops, launched Co-ops Vote in 2016. Co-ops Vote started as a national get-out-thevote initiative that helped drive rural voter turnout. As co-ops, the civic virtue of voting is in our DNA. We show concern for community — one of the seven cooperative principles — through participation in our democracy. Co-ops have another advantage: Elected officials and decision-makers across the political spectrum trust us because of the work the electric cooperative family has put into political engagement. When we all get involved, we can make things happen politically and in our local communities. Election Day may look a little different in many parts of the country this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For Colorado, all registered voters will receive mail-in ballots

in early October and officials recommend that all ballots be mailed by October 26 to ensure they are counted. For rural Colorado, it’s important that we allow our voices to be heard and we are encouraging all co-op consumer-members to stay engaged and informed of any changes to mail-in balloting procedures or ballot drop-off locations. Voting is central to American democracy. We hope you will commit to cast your ballot before the November 3 deadline. To learn more about the upcoming elections and access resources that can help you stay informed, visit www.vote.coop. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56% of the nation’s landscape.

Rural communities depend on Co-op Voters. Learn about the issues. Talk to your family and friends. Cast your vote.

Election Day is November 3, 2020 Be an active participant in our democracy. Be a Co-op Voter.

www.vote.coop 10

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020


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RECIPES

WILD BIG-GAME GRUB

Tracking down recipes for this year’s hunt BY AMY HIGGINS

Looking for another great recipe? Try Kasy Allen’s Foolproof Prime Rib. Get the recipe at coloradocountrylife.coop.

| RECIPES@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

Savory, wild big-game recipes

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hen hunting season rolls around, big game is not the only thing pursued — ways to make every bit of a big haul fit for feasts are also sought. Kasy Allen of Hot Sulphur Springs takes pride in living off the land and developed many recipes using some of her spoils on her blog “Mountain Girl Camp: Wild Food Adventures” (mountaingirl.camp). Don’t fret if you’re not a hunter but have carnivorous cravings. Allen often offers substitutes that you can purchase from your local butcher, many of which may have exactly what you’re looking for.

Venison Jerky 1 pound venison steaks, top round or flank cuts 3 tablespoons fish sauce 1 tablespoon soy sauce 2 teaspoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes 1/4 teaspoon curing salt Slice venison steaks 1/4-inch thin against the grain. Add remaining ingredients to a large plastic bag. Knead the bag to mix the ingredients together. Add the sliced venison to the bag, seal and swish the bag around to get the marinade into the meat. Refrigerate overnight turning the bag over once. Place the jerky in a single layer on dehydrator racks leaving space between each jerky strip. Insert the racks back into the dehydrator. Turn the dehydrator to 160 degrees to bring the jerky up to a safe cooking temperature for 2 hours. After the initial 2 hour cook time, lower the temperature to 140 degrees and cook for 1 additional hour. After 3 hours of total cook time, check to see if any smaller pieces are done. You can test for doneness by bending the jerky and seeing a white break line. Done jerky is chewy and does not snap in half completely. If it snaps in half, it is overdone.

ADVICE FROM ALLEN “Salty and savory, this venison jerky uses fish sauce to kick up the umami flavor and red pepper flakes and white pepper for heat. This recipe is for 1 pound of jerky, but for our family of four, I usually make 2 to 3 pounds. If you don’t like heat, leave out the white pepper and red pepper flakes. This recipe works with elk and antelope, too.”

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

Let jerky cool in the dehydrator after cook time is done. This will help prevent condensation from building up in the storage bag. Store jerky in a big plastic bag or container that is sealed. If you won’t be eating the jerky within the month, you can seal it in a vacuum seal bag and freeze for later use.


RECIPES Elk & Venison Chili 1-2 cups water (the water determines the amount of juice in the chili; if you don't want any juice, don't add water) 1 pound ground elk venison (moose and beef work well, too) 1 pound elk steaks, cut small 1 yellow onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, chopped

*Sous Vide Elk Steak with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce Sous Vide Elk Steak

Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

2 pounds elk steak

1 tablespoon butter

salt and pepper, to taste

1 clove garlic, minced

1 sprig rosemary

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, sliced

3 ounces blueberries

2 pats butter

1/4 tablespoon rosemary 1 tablespoon honey

TIP: GET SAUCY (OR NOT) “Because the Balsamic Blueberry Sauce make so much, I usually refrigerate it and plan on steaks again within the next couple of days. You can always cut the sauce in half so you don’t have so much left over.”

1 jalapeno, chopped 4 green chiles or 2 (4 ounce) cans of green chiles 1 teaspoon chicken base 4 cans (15-16 ounces) chile beans, with juice 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes 2 tablespoons chile powder 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder 2 tablespoons oregano 1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon cognac

salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 lemon Sous Vide Elk Steak Set *sous vide pot to 130 degrees for medium rare and let it heat up as you prep your steaks. Trim elk steaks of any silver skin. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the elk steaks and add to your sous vide bag. Do not overlap the steaks; use multiple bags if possible. Add a rosemary sprig and sliced garlic clove to the bag(s). If you’re using a vacuum seal bag, vacuum seal the bag and put it in the heated sous vide pot for 1 hour; add 30 minutes to the time if you’re cooking from frozen. If you’re using a Ziploc bag and doing the water displacement method, slowly start to lower the bag in the water, remove the air inside the bag, seal it up and let it cook in the sous vide pot for 1 hour; again, add 30 minutes to the time if you’re cooking from frozen. After 1 to 1-1/2 hours of cooking, the steaks will be reddish-pink when you remove them from the sous vide pot. Heat a cast iron skillet to sizzling hot. Add a little olive oil to the pan to help prevent the elk steaks from sticking. Add the elk steaks and the bag contents to the skillet; add a pat of butter to the top of each elk steak. Cook the elk steaks on one side for 2 minutes, flip and cook on the other side for 1 minute. Remove the seared elk steaks to cutting board, tent with foil and rest steaks for 5 minutes.

For Slow Cooker Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. For Stovetop Cook the meat with the onions and garlic. As the meat cooks, I usually open up all of the cans and add the spices to the top of them, so I can easily dump everything into the pot. If you're using fresh green chiles, remove the skin, tops and seeds. Chop small. Throw everything into the pot after the meat is done cooking and cook a minimum of 1 hour, but it gets better if cooked at least 2 hours.

Balsamic Blueberry Sauce Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant; about 2 minutes. Pour in the balsamic vinegar, and then add the blueberries, rosemary, honey, brown sugar and cognac. Zest a lemon into the pot. Slice the lemon open, and squeeze one lemon half of juice into the pan. If you don’t have a lemon-lime juicer, juice the lemon over a bowl to prevent the seeds from going in the pan. Simmer sauce for 30 minutes to make a balsamic reduction. If you want to speed this up, just turn the heat up to medium-high and cook, but remember to check on the sauce often to ensure it doesn’t overcook. When the blueberries get soft, use a spoon to squish the berries against the saucepan. The sauce is done when it’s thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon. Serve over steaks or alongside steaks as a dipping sauce. *Sous vide (pronounced sue-veed) is the process of sealing food in an airtight container and then cooking that food in temperature-controlled water.

Add a Little Oomph For a smoky flavor, Allen sometimes substitutes chipotles and adobo sauce for the green chiles. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

13


NEWS CLIPS

Promoting Ag in the School Classroom

Explore a Career in the Energy Industry

E

ver thought about a career with an electric co-op or in another part of the electric industry? Whether you are just starting your working years or interested in changing careers, the Energy Careers 2020 virtual event on October 21 will help you discover new, exciting options in the energy industry. Hosted by the Center for Energy Workforce Development as part of the October 19-23 Careers in Energy Week, the event will provide an overview of hundreds of opportunities to work within the energy industry. Whether you want to work in the

field or in an office, or whether you are interested in learning in school or getting on-the-job training, electric co-ops and others are seeking thinkers and tinkerers, STEM enthusiasts, those who want to work with their hands, those interested in protecting our nation’s natural resources, and men and women who want to serve their local communities. The free virtual event will include high-energy general sessions, a career fair and panel-hosted breakout sessions for students, career changers, women and veterans.

Visit getintoenergy.com to register for the event.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

As students are settling into their new school year, whether it is online, or in person or something in between, the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture is working with teachers across the state to continue its mission of connecting students to their food, fiber, fuel and natural resources. Often today’s student is at least four generations removed from a farm or ranch. They have misconceptions about agriculture. CFA, through its Agriculture in the Classroom program, aims to change that. Visit growingyourfuture.com to find some of the educational resources and programs that can assist educators with both online and in-person instruction for kindergarteners through 12th-graders. For other information, contact Jennifer Scharpe at info@growingyourfuture.com or 970-818-3308.

New “Dark Sky” Park Added in Colorado

W

ith the help of its local electric cooperative, Jackson Lake State Park in northeastern Colorado earned an International Dark Sky Park designation. It is the first state park in Colorado to gain this designation and the eighth location in the state to be so named. The park’s electric service provider, Morgan County Rural Electric Association headquartered in Fort Morgan, worked with the park to eliminate its large streetlamps and update other park light fixtures, including those on bathrooms, to be dark sky compliant. Inside facilities lights were put on motion sensors to limit the amount of time they are on. The International Dark Sky Places program consists of about 150 certified dark sky places in the world, 95 of which are in the United States. Other dark sky parks in Colorado include Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Hovenweep National Monument.


NEWS CLIPS

ELECTRICAL Safety

Electric Co-ops Update Focus on Hiring Vets Electric co-ops across the country are retooling their national veteran hiring initiative to better recruit and retain veterans with the help of their national trade association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The new program, Vets Power Us, has replaced the previous Serve Our Co-ops; Serve Our Country coalition of 160 co-ops in 34 states, including Colorado, established in 2016. NRECA will use Vets Power Us to provide a commitmentbased approach to supporting the program’s mission of recruiting, hiring and honoring veterans, active military and their spouses. NRECA began the vet-focused initiative four years ago to help co-ops address the challenges of attracting and retaining a new workforce as the industry faces waves of retirements and increasingly complex technology. The initiative also raised awareness of utility careers among veterans, 40% of whom come from rural communities. “There’s a lot of alignment between the seven cooperative principles and military values, which fosters a transition between veterans and co-ops,” said Desiree Dunham, NRECA’s manager of talent programs and the initiative’s point person. “Veterans bring valuable skill sets and are mission-focused as a result of their military service.” Watch for more information from your local electric cooperative.

for

Teens

DO NOT use generic chargers or cords. They could overheat or shock or burn you. DO NOT put

DO NOT use charging

your cellphone under

cellphones or other

your pillow or take it

electrical devices with wet or

to bed with you.

damp hands.

DO NOT bring a charging cellphones or other electrical device near water, including a bathtub or pool. If you are in a car accident involving a downed power line, DO NOT get out of the vehicle unless you see smoke or fire. If you must exit a burning vehicle near or on a downed power line, make a clean exit from the car and land on both feet; then hop with feet together, DO NOT WALK, to safety.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

15


Painting a Bright Future

BY ARLENE SHOVALD

B

efore he was old enough to have a driver’s license, Cody Oldham, Colorado landscape and wildlife artist, had launched a career of his own, showing his work in prestigious Colorado galleries and teaching art online. “Sometimes it’s difficult needing to have my family drive me to galleries and shows,” the talented 16-year-old said. “I have my driver’s permit now, and I should have my license by December. Then I’ll be able to drive myself.” Living with his parents in rural Colorado, about 45 minutes east of Woodland Park, Cody and his sisters, Savannah, 14, and Sophie, 10, are home-schooled, which allows him to pursue a career and his education at the same time. So far, he has had no formal art training. The painting came naturally for him, beginning at age 11. His dad, Chris Oldham, is also an artist and provided Cody’s initial inspiration to become an artist. “My dad is very creative,” Cody said. “He does abstracts, sculpture and woodworking, but right now he’s more focused on attending fire academy to become a firefighter. He’s always encouraged me and been very supportive. I watched him paint at home


COVER STORY and at his gallery in Salida and followed in his footsteps.” An average day sees Cody up at about 6 a.m., having breakfast with the family and helping feed and care for the ranch animals. The family lives on Catamount Creek Ranch, which is a licensed rehab center for mountain lions. The family has two horses, five house cats and a dog. After feeding and caring for all the critters, Cody does his schoolwork, followed by a workout routine that energizes him for the rest of the day. It is then that he settles down in his studio to paint for four or six hours while listening to music by the Goo Goo Dolls, Rob Thomas, OneRepublic, Michael Bublé and Frank Sinatra. The end of the day brings more chores before a home-cooked dinner with his family. Asked when he got his first set of paints, Cody said, “It was just a few years ago. I started out sculpting and painting dinosaurs when I was a little kid, following tutorial videos on YouTube. As my talent grew, I borrowed my dad’s paints, which were all acrylic. There were always paints and brushes around the house. I used all acrylics until about 2016 when I decided to get my own paints.” He started out using water-mixable oils and recently switched to regular oils. Among his art heroes are Robert Bateman, James Gurney and Norman Rockwell. When he was 12, Cody tried to send an email to Gurney only to find that he doesn’t accept emails. His website offered a mailing address, so Cody sent him a handwritten letter asking for advice on painting dinosaurs. Gurney received his letter and returned a helpful handwritten letter of his own that included a sketch of a dinosaur.

Cody’s primary mentor and friend, though, is Andrew Tischler, a noted New Zealand artist he met online. “Andrew brought me out of my dinosaur phase,” Cody said with a laugh. “He’s a very well-known artist with a huge studio and gallery in New Zealand. I entered a contest to do a Skype session with him in 2016. I didn’t win, but I asked if he would be interested in Skyping and [told him] that I’d pay for his time. We became friends once we spoke. Now we visit monthly via Zoom and Instagram. “His style is more realistic than mine,” Cody said. “I’d say it’s on the verge of photo-realism. He inspired me to paint the subjects I paint today, mainly wildlife, landscapes and some 16th-century still lifes. My first wildlife painting was a mountain lion I did in 2017. “Andrew has made a huge impact on my career. He’s taught me what to avoid, how to open my own gallery, what paint and materials to use and how to manage money. On his recommendation, I use only top-quality materials. My brushes are handmade in England and my oils are handmade from a place in South Carolina.” He hopes to meet his mentor face to face in the next two to three years.

Once Cody began painting in earnest and people saw his work, his talent was recognized almost immediately. His first showing was a one-man show at the Paquette Gallery at the SteamPlant in Salida when he was 15 years old. He has since had two other successful one-man shows in Salida and Manitou Springs. In September 2019, Cody appeared in Southwest Art magazine in its “21 under 31” feature of successful artists across the country under the age of 31. After being featured in an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette, he was recently invited to show his work at the Broadmoor Galleries in Colorado Springs. Cody’s paintings are so realistic they could be mistaken for photographs. They include grizzly bears, mountain lions, eagles and Colorado landscapes. “The elephant is probably my favorite animal to paint,” Cody said. “I love the way they capture light and the wrinkles in their skin. I’m always looking for a new way to paint them. But my favorite painting is probably the grizzly bear with a fish in its mouth. That’s currently at the Broadmoor Galleries.” Depending on the size, each painting can take anywhere from a few days to a month to complete. Cody starts each painting by

Titled “Samson,” this November 2019 painting is from a photo of an old cat that once lived on Catamount Creek Ranch. Cody Oldham stands in front of “Arrowhead” a 36-by48-inch painting of Hallett Peak. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

17


COVER STORY Cody puts finishing touches on his painting of Hallett Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Cody now teaches painting techniques on his YouTube channel.

priming the canvas with a burnt sienna paint. He then sketches the image on the canvas from his reference photo. The next step is “blocking in” where he paints the first layer of colors and shapes to begin to give the painting a sense of realism. Next he adds the details that truly bring the painting to life. “I enjoy hyperrealistic animal portraits,” he said. “When I decide on a painting, I’ll sometimes work from a photo or I’ll go online to find a picture I can work with and then alter it to my own interpretation of the image. It’s very hard to paint an animal from life. They can fly or walk away, or the light can change. Most of the animals I paint aren’t around here or are rare. For example, it’s rare to see any owls or elephants around the ranch.” What is “around here” are the highcountry Colorado landscapes he loves. He enjoys climbing the 14ers in the summer and fall and takes photos from the top to get aerial views and high mountain scenes. Currently he is finishing an epic landscape of Hallett Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. Last year, he climbed and/or painted Mount Quandary Peak, Mount Democrat, Mount Lincoln and Mount Cameron. “Catch of the Day” by Cody Oldham

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

In addition to painting, he is now teaching art, mostly to other young artists online. He creates instructional videos and shares them on his YouTube channel, Cody Oldham Artist. He also shares his painting process with daily posts to his Instagram account (@Cody_Oldham_Artist). “My friends are mostly other young artists around the country like myself, but some are older,” he said. “We connect online. They’re more like students than friends because we’ve never met in person. It’s hard to make friends when you’re in a rural area like I am and home-schooled. Most of the people I know have contacted me on social media, seen

my process and wanted to learn. We have a common interest, so age doesn’t matter.” Cody hopes to inspire others to pursue their passions. “Today there are so many ways to connect with other people and get your work out there. All it takes is hard work and the drive to take the initiative.” COVID-19 restrictions haven’t made much of a difference for Cody and his family, other than he has to wear a mask in public and has been showing mostly online on his website at www.codyoldham.com and the websites of other galleries. As the world begins to open back up, he’ll be getting back into more galleries.


The elephant is probably my favorite animal to paint. I love the way they capture light and the wrinkles in their skin. I’m always looking for a new way to paint them. But my favorite painting is probably the grizzly bear with a fish in its mouth. That’s currently at the Broadmoor Galleries.” — Cody Oldham Selling a favorite work isn’t a problem. “When you create, you have to let go,” he said with a smile. “I’m always excited when I sell a painting.” He was especially excited when the Manitou Art Center informed him that one of his paintings had sold in mid-2018 — his first sale. This reinforced the concept that Cody was now a professional artist. Most of his work is his own inspiration, but he does do commissioned work and says most of the commissioned work is something that inspires him anyway, so he has a passion for it. Someone may like the painting of a mountain lion or herd of bison, for example, but would like it in a different setting or with different lighting. While he loves Colorado country and the outdoors, he prefers studio work to plein air. “In the studio I can focus on painting, and there’s no risk of the light or the weather changing or the subject moving,” he said. “The studio provides a controlled setting. “Right now, my studio is in a small space in part of the house,” he said. “In the next year or so my dad and I would like to build a much larger studio space. That way my sisters and my dad can use it as well. Mom [Paige Oldham] isn’t an artist. She’s the CFO [chief financial officer] of a company in Pueblo. She’s my business manager and helps me

with the marketing and financial sides of the business.” Ultimately, he would like to open a gallery of his own in a few years, wherever his dad is working as a firefighter. Looking to the future, when he finishes home-schooling, Cody has toyed with the idea of going to art school, but so many opportunities are opening up it’s hard to decide. “For now, I plan to keep on working as an artist, getting my work shown in new places and looking for new opportunities,” he said. Living in the Rocky Mountains, there is

no end to inspiration from his surroundings. From a leaf on a tree to a dramatic mountain scene, the environment motivates him. Cody said, “I’m forever grateful to live where I do and to have the opportunity to express myself through my paintings.” Freelance writer Arlene Shovald of Salida loves to write, as a book author, occasional writer and reporter. This is her third piece for Colorado Country Life.

Cody enjoys painting pictures of elephants, including “The Last Ruler.”

LEARN MORE ONLINE Check out Cody’s latest work by visiting codyoldham.com or connecting with him on Instagram @Cody_Oldham_Artist. COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

19


INDUSTRY

Protecting Vital Electric Lines When Wildfires Blaze BY KYLEE COLEMAN

J

ust as rural Colorado started to regain footing from the stressful economic and emotional impacts of COVID-19 shutdowns, wildfire season erupted with force across the central and western parts of the state in late July. Electric co-op communities such as Glenwood Springs and rural areas of Mesa and Garfield counties, Grand County and Larimer County were impacted at once when three large fires started burning within days of each other. All attention was quickly directed at keeping people, property, livestock and electric system infrastructure safe from extreme fire situations and damage. Countless evacuations and road and area closures brought the state to a halt. Interstate 70 was shut down through Grizzly Creek Glenwood Canyon for an unprecedented two weeks in August. Hot, windy and dry weather created the perfect storm for what would become the largest fire in Colorado’s recorded history: the Pine Gulch Fire on the Western Slope, burning in Grand Valley Power’s service territory. As of early September, the Pine Gulch Fire had burned over 139,000 acres and was 81% contained. The Williams Fork Fire in the Mountain Parks Electric service area was also burning with little containment progress. The Cameron Peak fire affected both MPE

20

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

A Poudre Valley REA crew takes a look at the Cameron Peak Fire. Photo courtesy of PVREA.

and Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association service territories, doubling in size over Labor Day weekend before 14 inches of snow gave firefighters a chance to try to get ahead of it.

COOPERATION AMONG AGENCIES For every agency working on the front lines to fight fires, there are countless more supporting suppression efforts. Colorado’s electric cooperatives work tirelessly with emergency personnel to keep consumer-members safe and informed in all of these active fire situations. PVREA’s Vice President and Chief Operations Officer John Bowerfind, said the Fort Collins-based co-op is working closely with the Cameron Peak Fire incident command. “There are daily virtual meetings on the fires to get updates, to find out where the fire moved during the last day, where it is projected to move, where they are clearing out areas and if there are any utilities they’re concerned about,” Bowerfind explained. GVP’s connections with public agencies were essential. “GVP has great relationships with the counties involved, so we know everything that is going on. Our relationships with Mesa County and emergency management are crucial in getting timely information to members,” Communications Specialist Dana Pogar said. GVP Operations

Manager Bill Barlow and Pogar attended community briefings held by the Rocky Mountain Incident Management team. “We were able to speak to the community about fires and electrical safety, and what the restoration efforts would look like once evacuations were lifted,” Pogar said. MPE Manager of Operations Rich Trostel participated in daily cooperators meetings in Grand County for the Williams Fork Fire, which was only 10% contained in early September. Once the fire stopped being a threat to any housing developments, those meetings turned to daily email updates to give the size of the fire, forecasts, how many people are working to suppress the fire and other pertinent details.

PREVENTION STARTS EARLY The co-ops’ focus on wildfire threats, however, started long before the first flames ignited. Co-ops work year-round on vegetation management, which removes brush and trees near power lines. This is so that if a power line snaps for some reason, that line is less likely to ignite a fire in nearby vegetation. However, not all vegetation management procedures are easy since co-ops are often dealing with rugged terrain and various rights-of-way from private and public land managers.


INDUSTRY Trostel recalled that prior to 2006, the pine beetle epidemic killed quite a bit of forest around Grand County. “There were so many dead trees close to line, so we were in crisis mode getting rights-of-way cleared.” The Granby-based electric co-op hired several contractors and cleared all 214 miles of power lines that had trees associated with them. In 2017, MPE tested a mowing program where it cut the right-of-way to the ground and stopped vegetation and tree growth. Although an economical way to clear rightsof-way, the mowing system had limitations in steep and rough terrain. MPE also had issues with aspen trees growing back thicker than before and, in some cases, multiplying, so the co-op’s tree contractor tried an herbicide test plot in 2018. Trostel said that the co-op went back this spring to look at the test plot. “All broadleaf trees are dead, but the low ground cover is thriving,” he said, “and this is more economical than a crew going into remote forest areas to cut down trees.” MPE consumer-members are usually agreeable when they are asked to cut down trees or have vegetation cleared from around power lines and poles on their property because they understand the risks if they don’t.

GVP is also consistently looking at lines and their proximity to trees and vegetation as crews drive around the service area. Barlow explained that GVP crews go circuit by circuit in most cases. “The co-op has a dedicated patrolman looking at trees and lines,” he said. Consumer-members are also involved. According to Barlow, many GVP consumers request that the co-op come to assess vegetation and trees near lines, and he said GVP will coordinate outages where trees near lines need to be trimmed.

management teams, ready to de-energize power lines and equipment when called upon to do so. “Our first concern is everyone’s safety,” Trostel explained. “We will take out power if [the fire] gets too close to lines and infrastructure.” PVREA’s Bowerfind said that the co-op only turns off power when requested to do so by incident command because the power is important to command operations. It powers their communications. “They have a strong desire to keep power up and running because it makes their communications

CO-OPS TAKE ACTION DURING FIRES Once an actual fire starts, the co-op is hypervigilant. When the Cameron Peak fire broke out in Larimer County, PVREA immediately worked to protect its infrastructure and power poles that were in the path of fire and considered most in danger. The Fort Collins-based electric co-op covered poles with fire wrap material. “We wrapped the bottom 8 feet of the pole from where they go into the ground, which we believe will help if it’s a smaller brush or grass fire,” Bowerfind explained. “We get daily maps from incident command, and we overlay that onto GIS

much more effective,” he said. When GVP turned off power during evacuations, it was due to orders from the emergency management officials, Barlow said. When co-ops de-energize lines, they are typically able to alert members by having up-to-date outage maps on the co-op website, sending text alerts, posting social media alerts and sending alerts through co-op apps. “Members in GVP’s service area were supportive of the co-op’s outages and understanding of the situation to cut off power for the safety of the community, first responders and GVP crews,” Pogar said.

[geographic information systems] to see

PVREA Vice President of Member and

where lines are in relation to the daily fire

Government Relations Amy Rosier talked

growth. Based on daily direction of growth

about a variety of methods PVREA used

and wind, it alerts us to if there are areas we

to communicate with its members during

need to be concerned about,” Bowerfind said.

the fire. Although PVREA had not turned

We prepare, wait and respond,” he stated

off power to any consumer-members as of

as the Cameron Peak Fire stabilized during

the first week of September, when the fire

the first week of September.

started, the growth was rapid. “We set up a

During wildfires, co-ops keep the

landing page on our website dedicated to the

power flowing as long as it is safe to do so.

Cameron Peak Fire,” she said. Social media

But, according to Colorado Rural Electric

has also been a large part in its communica-

Association’s Safety and Loss Control

tions plan. But the co-op took preparations

Director Dale Kishbaugh, “Every time

one step further. “We worked with predic-

[emergency crews] think they have a grip

tions on who could possibly be impacted,”

on the fires, the winds change or something

Rosier said. “If it does look like there will

else happens” that makes fire suppression

be outages, we could act quickly” to alert

efforts even more difficult and unpredict-

consumer-members of outages.

able. That’s why co-ops are on standby and Lineman Hunter Henderson services a power pole during the Pine Gulch Fire. Photo by Matt Mason, Grand Valley Power.

in constant communication with emergency

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

21


INDUSTRY RECOVERY

she said. However, as of early September,

As Pine Gulch Fire evacuations lifted in GVP’s service territory, co-op crews had to visually inspect poles and lines in those previously evacuated and burned areas. “We have to look at everything; you don’t know how intense the fire was,” Barlow explained. “If you had big flames, did it weaken a conductor? You have no idea if poles were burned in half. We went house to house to look at the facilities, to shut off breakers, to look at everything” in order to keep consumer-members and their property safe once the power was restored. Pogar said the process in which the

GVP had lost only four poles and a little bit of wire, according to Barlow. “We have huge thanks for Mesa and Garfield counties and all agencies taking such special time and efforts to protect not just homes, but facilities, poles, equipment and oil and gas,” Barlow said. MPE had more damage in its area, having lost about six structures. “The damage is in very remote, very hard-to-get-to areas, with As Poudre Valley REA crews were able to access areas where the Cameron Peak Fire had burned, they found poles and lines totally destroyed.

GVP Communications Manager Christmas Wharton said.

no roads and trails,” Trostel said. “It’s steep and inaccessible, so all repairs will be done by helicopter work or a hike to each pole.” At magazine deadline, PVREA was assessing the damage to its infrastructure.

co-op communicated with members and

The physical damage to property and

Total damage and statistics from all

the community after evacuations were lifted

infrastructure was minimal for GVP during

of the fires had not been finalized by

was systematic with safety at the forefront.

the Pine Gulch Fire. “When we were looking

the time of publication. Kishbaugh and

“We mailed a packet explaining restoration

at the potential for damage, we were looking

CREA advise electric co-ops on long-term

efforts. In the packet, we included a safety

at losing upwards of 300 poles plus having 70

recovery impacts, what is needed to work

information page on how members can safely

consumer-members out of power or, even

with state emergency management and how

restore power in homes after a wildfire.” The

worse, lose homes,” Wharton said. Early

to coordinate with the Federal Emergency

sheriff ’s department also distributed GVP’s

on, there were intense discussions on what

Management Agency for any funds needed

safety information to residents as evacua-

to plan for. “Our geographic information

to repair and replace burned infrastructure.

tion orders were lifted. “[GVP Operations

systems analyst and engineering depart-

A task force Kishbaugh is included in looks

Supervisor] Mark [Shaffer] and Bill [Barlow]

ment were valuable in planning on what

at what the devastation will be after the fires.

even went door to door in many cases to

to expect. They laid the fire path map over

Fires affect the watershed, drinking water and

talk to members not only about their power

GVP’s mapping system to see specifically

the environment and can cause burn areas

being off, but to inspect member homes

what lines were going to be affected and to

to be greatly affected by flooding because

and meters that GVP is responsible for,”

count how many poles could be destroyed,”

the forests simply won’t have the chance to recover immediately. GVP believes its community will be stronger than ever after the Pine Gulch Fire. “Our community is awesome and supportive of each other. We’re in this together and we’re going to get through it,” Wharton said. So, too, will all of these fire-stricken areas where their local electric co-op is an integral part of the coordinated effort to protect their communities. Kylee Coleman writes on Colorado electric co-op issues for the Colorado Rural Electric Association and Colorado Country Life.

The Pine Gulch fire is on record as the largest wildfire in Colorado, burning over 135,000 acres. It caused extensive damage across the Western Slope. Photo by Bill Barlow, Grand Valley Power.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020


GARDENING

Vivacious Veggies Before the Frost Grow garlic and more before winter freeze sets in

BY VICKI SPENCER

L

MASTER GARDENER | GARDENING@COLOR ADOCOUNTRYLIFE .ORG

iving in Gunnison where winter arrives early, I would not have thought of planting garlic if it had not been for some friends inviting me to dinner. During last-minute meal preparations, my host said she had to run out to her garden to get some garlic. It was so cold that I didn’t think it was possible, but she came back inside with not just one clove, but several varieties for me to choose from. That is when I first thought about planting winter vegetables. Unlike most vegetables that are planted in the spring for a fall harvest, garlic is typically planted in the fall or early winter. This is because it is actually a perennial that takes about nine months to mature. Garlic can be planted three to eight weeks before the first fall freeze, or up to two weeks afterward if the ground isn’t frozen. Like other vegetables, it is best grown in an area that receives at least six hours of sun. Prepare your soil before planting by adding several inches of compost or manure and mixing it together with the appropriate amount of 10-10-10 fertilizer as specified on the label. When planting garlic, you plant individual cloves broken off from a whole bulb. Each clove will then multiply in the ground, forming a new bulb that consists of five to 10 cloves. After two or three years, a single garlic clove will produce dozens of

garlic shoots in a small area, forming a nice cluster. Over time, these clusters will need to be divided and thinned. This means you will have a constant source of garlic. During the summer, you can pull individual stems off the edges of the garlic mass and eat as green garlic. Green garlic is milder in flavor than the cured garlic you buy in the store, but it is a real treat. I’ve only been able to find it occasionally at farmers markets, and then only for a limited time. So why not grow your own? Since garlic takes little space in the garden, you have several choices of where to grow it. Instead of planting as an annual in individual rows to harvest in the fall, you can use garlic as a border to discourage animals from getting into the vegetable bed, or you can use it as an interesting accent in your perennial flower garden. What makes growing perennial vegetables rewarding is that they keep producing year after year and require less maintenance than annuals. Some other perennials are asparagus, rhubarb, scallions, leeks and horseradish roots. My favorite is asparagus. Since asparagus takes two to three years to produce, it’s advisable to begin with bare root plants rather than seed. Rhubarb is delicious in pies, especially when combined with strawberries. Although

Asparagus is a great perennial. Plant a bare asparagus root in the early spring when the ground is workable. Allow two to three years to produce a harvestable crop.

horseradish is not as common in recipes as it was 50 years ago, horseradish roots will prevent many pests and attract pollinators. The main thing to consider when planting perennial vegetables is that their roots should not be disturbed while they are dormant. 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.

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

23


OUTDOORS

Colorado’s small businesses need your support now more than ever. Colorado’s electric cooperatives support local businesses in their communities. One way they are doing that is focusing on the many small Colorado businesses that have been featured on the Discoveries page of this magazine and other similar businesses trying to make it during this difficult time. Visit coloradocountrylife.coop/supportcolorados-small-businesses to see the wonderful list of Colorado small businesses still open and needing your support.

#CoOpsSupportCO

CONGRATS CONTEST WINNERS September Dog Collars by Leashes by Liz Barbara Jeanne Humbracht, Cortez Sue Chesnut, Red Feathers Lakes

Cookbook Goody Bag Monika Brinkmann, Granby

ENTER TO WIN Visit our Contests page at coloradocountrylife.coop to view and enter the latest Colorado Country Life contest.

A Scrub Jay

Amazing Autumnal Avians

Unconventional birds conforming to Colorado BY DENNIS SMITH OUTDOORS@COLORADOCOUNTRYLIFE.ORG

I

’ve mentioned a few times before in this column that I don’t know a whole lot about the migratory habits of wild birds but that I do find their comings and goings amusing — especially those that mysteriously pop up from time to time in our backyard far from their typical habitat and at seemingly odd times of the year. There was the summer a chukar partridge magically appeared in our little veggie patch and hung out here for over a week. Chukars are uncommon to rare in Colorado. Likewise, for Idaho, Utah and Wyoming, where, if you were to find them at all, it would be on remote, steep, rocky hillsides, or vast stretches of dry sagebrush and grasslands near the foothills. I suppose it’s possible one could have wandered in from a shooting preserve where they are sometimes stocked as game birds, but the nearest game preserve I’m aware of is more than 50 miles from here. Maybe a nearby hobby farmer raises them and one got loose; I don’t know. Near as I can tell, most established populations of chukars are west of the Continental Divide. That’s a long way from Loveland as the chukar flies. We moved here in 1976 and never had so much as a single hummingbird in our yard until a black-chinned hummer showed up in the summer of 2013. Since then, broad-tailed, calliope and rufous hummingbirds have become regular summer visitors, usually appearing in mid-July and staying until mid- to late-September when they migrate to Mexico. We put out sugar-water feeders and planted penstemons, hyssop and butterfly bushes to keep them around. Apparently, it’s working. A few years ago, western tanagers, Bullock’s orioles and the occasional lazuli bunting started showing up in May and have been returning pretty much on schedule every year. Most recently it’s been scrub jays; in September of 2017, a pair of them took up residence in the neighborhood and stayed through the winter. Now there are two pairs in the yard almost every morning stealing peanuts from the squirrels and blue jays. Scrub jays are not a species normally associated with residential neighborhoods; they prefer oak and piñon-juniper forests, yet here they are. Last year a Steller’s jay, typically found in coniferous forests up to and including the subalpine, popped up in the pine trees out back and is here again this year. The three species are extremely competitive. I can’t explain where they’re coming from or why, but it sure is fun watching them. Dennis Smith is a freelance outdoors writer and photographer whose work appears nationally. He lives in Loveland.

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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020


4 CATEGORIES & CCL COVER CONTEST Categories are: • The Golden Hour • My Stomping Grounds • Family Fun • Colorado Birds • CCL Cover Contest

2021

Photo Contes t Contest rules:

• Read the full list of official rules and requirements and enter online at coloradocountrylife.coop • Photographer must be a member of a Colorado electric co-op. • Photographer may enter up to 2 photos per category. • If people appear in the photo, it is the photographer’s responsibility to have the subject’s permission to enter his or her image in the contest. • Photos must have been taken by you. • General Category Contest: Photos must be 8×10 inches and must not be printed on a home printer. • Cover Contest: Photos must be at least 10×13 inches in size and vertical in orientation. • Photographer may win only one first-place prize. • ONLY first and second place photos in each category will be published in the magazine. Third place photos will appear only on the website and will still earn an award. Only one award will be given for the cover contest. • By entering the contest, photographers give Colorado Country Life permission to publish the winning images in print and digital publications, to social media and on websites.

Deadline: December 15, 2020

Send entries to: Photo Contest, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216 or enter online at coloradocountrylife.coop.

Title for entry (to appear if published) Name

Phone

Address City

State

Zip

Colorado electric co-op you are a member of Email

Please check the appropriate category for your photo: ☐ The Golden Hour

☐ My Stomping Grounds

☐ Family Fun

☐ Colorado Birds

☐ Cover of CCL

TERMS & CONDITIONS: By entering the contest, photographers automatically give Colorado Country Life permission to publish images in print and digital publications, social media and on websites. Contact information (email, phone, address) collected will be used to contact the winners and inform you of other contests and activities sponsored by Colorado Country Life.

Prizes: 1st place – $175 • 2nd place – $75 • 3rd place – $50 • Cover winner – $175 COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

25


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COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

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CREATIVE CORNER

READER POETRY Golden Haiku I step outside and fall into a lake of gold — autumn grass, leaves, light Shimmering warm, I gulp it in and float unbound beyond the gray of life Jean N. Bayles, Mancos Empire Electric consumer-member

REGISTER FOR THE VIRTUAL SUMMIT

Aspen Gold

For more information and to register for this virtual event, visit crea.coop/energy-innovations-summit. STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT and CIRCULATION Publication Title: COLORADO COUNTRY LIFE; Publication No.: 469-400; Filing Date: 9/14/20; Issue Frequency: Monthly; No. of Issues Published Annually: 12; Annual Subscription Price: $9; Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor Publisher: 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216; Editor: Mona Neeley, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; Managing editor: Not applicable; 10. Owner Full Name: Colorado Rural Electric Association; Complete Mailing Address: 5400 Washington Street, Denver, CO 80216; Known Bondholders, Mortgages, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: None; Tax Status: (For completion by nonprofit organization authorized to mail at special rates). The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes: Has not changed during preceding 12 months.

Extent and nature of circulation A.

Total number of copies printed (net press run)

B.

Paid and/or requested circulation 1. Paid/requested outside-county mail subscriptions 2. Paid in-county mail subscriptions 3. Other non-USPS paid distribution 4. Other classes mailed through USPS

Average number of copies each issue during preceding 12 months

Actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date

232,511

233,370

230,980

231,835

0

0

960

967

0

0

231,940

232,797

96

98

2. In-county copies

0

0

3. Other classes mailed through USPS

0

0

4. Other classes mailed outside USPS

475

475

C.

Total paid circulation (total B1 through B4)

D.

Free or nominal rate distribution by mail 1. Outside-county copies

E.

Total free or nominal rate distribution (sum of D1 through D4)

F.

Total distribution (sum of C & E)

G.

Copies not distributed

0

0

H.

Total (sum of F & G) — should equal net press run shown in A

232,511

233,370

I.

Percent paid circulation

99.7%

99.7%

J.

Electronic copy circulation a. Paid electronic copies

571

573

232,511

230,022

0

0

b. Total paid print copies + paid electronic copies

231,940

232,797

c. Total print distribution + paid electronic copies

232,511

233,370

d. Percent paid (both print and electronic copies)

99.7%

99.7%

A sweep of saffron surges down the slope, cascades and zigzags through the gulch, ambers the edges of the rocky, purling stream, an ecstasy of fire-gold. The forest floor alight with gilded coins that flutter from the trees, drifting down like fluff that rides the breezy breath, freckling the grass and forest trail. The haloed summit of the ridge, an overlay of golden orange to canopy the darker pines below, oozing and drizzling down like sun-melted butter. Sweet spice of sun-warmed spruce balms the spun-gold autumn air. Why grub and gouge for gold in the ground when all this wealth gleams here? I'll not believe the poet's lore That "nothing gold can stay." I've tucked this memory in my mind To warm a winter day. Glenda VandenBosch, Lake City Gunnison County Electric consumer-member

I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties). Mona Neeley, publisher 09/14/20

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

27


COMMUNITY EVENTS

October 2020 Through October 31 Virtual

Arts Month Artist-a-Day Program artsoctober.com

Through November 1 Denver

Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks • Denver Zoo Timed Tickets Must Be Reserved Online • denverzoo.org

Through November 8 Denver

“From the Vault” Wonders and Oddities from the Gardens’ Collections” Exhibit Denver Botanic Gardens Online • botanicgardens.org

Through November 11 Walsenburg or Virtual

“COVID-19 Crisis or Opportunity” exhibit • Museum of Friends or virtual museumoffriends.org

Through January 9 Pueblo

Adventures in Art: From Pyramids to Printing Presses” Exhibit Sangre de Cristo Art Center Advance Registration Required 719-295-7200 • sdc-arts.org

October 2-November 6 Fort Collins

Dia de Los Muertos – Day of the Dead Exhibit Community Altar • Advance Registration Required • Global Village Museum 970-221-4600 globalvillagemuseum.org

October 10 Beulah

Pueblo Mountain Park Centennial Anniversary Hike Nature & Wildlife Discovery Center’s Horseshoe Lodge Advance Registration Required 10 am-12pm • hikeandlearn.org

October 10 Cañon City

Point Alta Vista Trail Races Royal Gorge Ranch & Resort 7:30 pm • joinfar.org

October 10-11 Estes Park

Fall Celebration Sidewalk Sale Historic Downtown 9 am-9 pm • visitestespark.com

October 12 Manitou Springs

Photography Workshop Rainbow Falls Historic Site Advance registration required 11 am-1 pm • 719-520-6977

October 17 Anywhere

Walk to Defeat ALS • webco.alsa.org

October 23 Colorado Springs

Boo! At Bear Creek! Bear Creek Nature Center Advance Registration Required 6-9 pm • 719-520-6972

October 24 Castle Rock

“Spooktacular” Halloween Fun Miller Activity Complex 720-733-2222 • crgov.com/2453/ Spooktacular

October 24-25 Golden

Trick or Treat Train Colorado Railroad Museum 800-365-6263 • coloradorailroadmuseum.org

October 28 Denver

“Colfax Confessional” Guided Tour History Colorado Center 9-10 am • historycolorado.org

SEND CALENDAR ITEMS 2 MONTHS IN ADVANCE Calendar, Colorado Country Life, 5400 Washington St., Denver, CO 80216; fax to 303455-2807; 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. Due to COVID-19, some of these events may be canceled, modified or rescheduled. Please contact the host of the events if you have any questions.

October 31 Frisco

Trick-or-Treating • Main Street and Frisco Historic Park 6-8 pm • townoffrisco.com

Easy Ways to Enjoy Life’s Everyday Moments When opportunities arise to experience bonding activities together, the results can be fond memories and a deeper sense of security. “Many families, mine included, usually put a lot of energy into planning fun events and special trips to create memories,” said Amanda Mushro, TLC lifestyle expert and fairlife ambassador. “These get-togethers help us cope with challenges and remember to make the most of each day. This year, while disappointing, has revived our chances to slow down a little and savor the little moments that happen at home every day.”

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Head Outdoors

Leave the technology behind and go for a walk or a bike ride together once or twice a week. It’s a ritual you can look forward to while taking advantage of the time together and the chance to burn some energy. You can take outdoor appreciation even further by planning camping trips to enjoy the joys of wildlife through activities like birdwatching, fishing or impromptu scavenger hunts.

LEARN MORE ONLINE For more ideas for ways to enjoy everyday moments, visit coloradocountrylife.coop and click on At-Home During COVID-19 under the Living in Colorado tab.

28

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

Avoid Life’s Stressors

Outside influences can have a major impact on your mood and ability to enjoy your time at home. Try turning off your phone notifications for a few hours of uninterrupted home time. If clutter is creating havoc, look for ways to improve your home’s organization and get everyone in the house to pitch in to keep things in place.

Schedule Weekly Fun Nights

Designate a night each week to have fun together playing games, watching movies or dancing. Pull out the board and card games or get some fresh air with yard games like croquet or bag toss. Sign up for a virtual cooking or fitness class.


YOUR STORIES

READERS’ PHOTOS

FUNNY STORIES Some years back when I had a

2-year-old grandson, I was just done changing his very messy diaper when he looked me in the eyes and said, “Grandma, when I get all grown up and you get to be a little girl, I’ll change your diaper.” Can a grandmother be loved more than that? Anonymous

Mountain View Electric Association consumermember Katie Jensen shares CCL with her chickens a couple days before the first frost.

Colorado Country Life takes a staycation to Juniper Hot Springs with Yampa Valley Electric Association consumer-member Cynthia Schuster-Becker.

During my granddaughter’s first

day of class, she had to address her classmates and say a few things about herself. She spoke about the things she likes to do. She mentioned her mom, dad and brother, and at the end she said, “Oh, yeah. My grandfather was a soldier.” That made me very proud, but then she said, “He was in the Civil War.” Rafael Velez, Beulah

When my granddaughter Kailee

Jacob R. enjoys a float with CCL on the San Juan River in Pagosa Springs over Labor Day weekend. His folks are San Isabel Electric consumer-members from Pueblo West.

Lori Martin poses with CCL at the visitor’s center in La Veta, Colorado. Lori is a consumer-member of San Isabel Electric.

was 4, a friend and I decided to take her girl, also 4, and Kailee to the zoo. They were in the back seat just chattering away, when all of a sudden Kailee said, “Grandma, where do babies come from?” I said, “Well, when you are older your mom will explain that to you.” It was really quiet for a few seconds, and then she said, “Grandma, you mean you don’t know?” Trena Mendoza, Paonia

I have worn hearing aids for 37

years and I am now 70 years old. My older brother finally got hearing aids a couple years ago and we were discussing some of the things he can now hear again, such as paper rustling, car blinkers, grandkids whispering, etc. But the biggest thing he said he discovered was that he doesn’t have silent farts! Allen Van Wyhe, Colorado Springs

SHARE WITH US YOUR FUNNY STORY

Dave Balleck takes CCL to Sturgis 2020. Dave is a consumer-member of Yampa Valley Electric Association.

WINNER: Johanna and Willis Dean, Pagosa Springs, enjoy Colorado Country Life during a recent camping trip at the Conejos River. Johanna and Willis are La Plata Electric Association consumermembers.

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

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 2020 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 OCTOBER 2020

29


DISCOVERIES

A Canvas of Creativity Coloradans embrace the arts Photo by Denise Johnson

Spotlighting the Arts

Discover Your Inner Artist Let your creative juices flow on canvas, wood, flowerpots or just about anything you can stroke with a brush with The Art Spot. The Fort Morgan-based studio offers open and private events at its headquarters but can also come to a residence or other venue and will even accommodate a themed event. Prices range from $25 to $45 per person. For more information, visit theartspot9. com, call 970-380-7817 or email theartspot9@gmail.com.

The Bird is the Word Stay connected with your neighbors even while staying apart during COVID with the Hopeful Birds Project. Louisville artist Rita Vali creates cute, colorful ceramic birds you can order to place throughout your community. Once found, neighbors can become caregivers to the birds until they’re ready to return them to their “nests” or “migrate” them to a new location for others to discover, and the cycle continues. For more information on how to bring a flock to your neighborhood, visit hopefulbirds.org.

30

COLOR ADO COUNTRY LIFE OCTOBER 2020

Since 1972, the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center in Pueblo has brought arts to the community with exhibitions, performing arts, programs and more. Currently, its “Inspiration: Vintage Venetian Glass” collection is in the limelight with studio glassworks by widely respected artists Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra and James Mongrain. Additional programs include Sensory Friendly Mornings, the “Adventures in Art” exhibit, a variety of art classes and more. For more information, call 719-295-7200 or visit sdc-arts.org.

Art Elevated In her Meeker studio, artist Pat Sheeran-Daggett creates vibrant artworks of people, animals and landscapes, using her surroundings to bring them to fruition. She also runs The Upstairs Gallery next door where folks can peruse finished creations, including paintings, ceramics, jewelry and handcrafted furniture, all created by regional artists, including herself. Find unique holiday gifts or buy for yourself while supporting a local small business, all in one stop. For more information, visit patsheerandaggett.com.


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We’re a different sort of power provider Our members have asked for cleaner, more affordable and more flexible electricity – and we’re delivering. Built by and for our members, we power what matters to you. That’s the value of our cooperative family. To learn how we’re delivering on our mission, visit www.tristate.coop.

Tri-State is the not-for profit power supplier to cooperatives in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Profile for American MainStreet Publications

Colorado Country Life October 2020 White River  

Colorado Country Life October 2020 White River

Colorado Country Life October 2020 White River  

Colorado Country Life October 2020 White River

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