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KVNF Regional Newscast: May 23, 2022

Laura Palmisano

The Lamar School Board asked the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs to allow them to change their High School mascot from Savages to Thunder, in the face of a 25 thousand dollar fine. The request came during public comment at the end of the commission meeting Thursday, which was adjourned without a ruling.

Favorable weather conditions over the weekend helped firefighters knock down the Simms Fire outside of Montrose and get to 70 percent containment. Officials from Ouray County, Montrose County, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management announced the containment levels during a heated community meeting Saturday night. The Montrose Press reports several people demanded to know the role of an earlier controlled burn the Forest Service had conducted near Simms Mesa Road on May 16. They asked who would be held accountable, how, and why any burning was done, in light of a month of no rain and excessively high winds. The Simms Fire started near the Montrose and Ouray County line on Thursday, burning 373 acres, destroying a home, an RV with an attached trailer, and an outbuilding. Early reports led many to believe a controlled burn might have rekindled. The fire’s cause is still under investigation.

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

SPOT (:43)

A coalition of 30 environmental groups petitioned the Department of Interior to use long standing authority under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act to center public lands as a cornerstone of ecological and community resilience in the face of a changing climate. The Western Environmental Law Center tells KVNF News the Interior’s highly permissive approach to oil and gas development of federal public lands has undercut the Biden administration’s ability to deliver on its climate commitments. Oil and gas companies own leases to drill 26.6 million acres of federal public lands. Although nearly 53 percent of those leased acres are non-producing, 96,000 wells have already been drilled. Biden’s Interior has approved, without imposing any climate mitigation measures, an industry stockpile of more than 9,000 additional drilling permits. They also just announced their intent to sell an additional 144,000 acres of oil and gas leases. The coalition’s recommended regulatory framework would require that Interior and BLM adhere to science-based climate guardrails, already agreed to by the administration, to constrain warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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

FEATURE (4:04)

That was Hinsdale County Sheriff Chris Kambish speaking to KVNF reporter Laura Palmisano. You can review OHV ordinances at hinsdalecountysheriff.com.

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Gavin Dahl is a writer and producer with a passion for community media. He worked for KVNF from July 2020 to July 2022. He won awards and recognition for his KVNF reporting from the Colorado Broadcasters Association and Society of Professional Journalists. His writing has been published by The Montrose Press, The Sopris Sun, Boulder Weekly, Raw Story, Radio Survivor, Boise Weekly, and The Austin American-Statesman. He graduated from The Evergreen State College with a BA in media production and community organizing.
Laura joined KVNF in 2014. She was the news director for two years and now works as a freelance reporter covering Colorado's Western Slope. Laura is an award-winning journalist with work recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado Broadcasters Association, and RTDNA. In 2015, she was a fellow for the Institute for Justice & Journalism. Her fellowship project, a three-part series on the Karen refugee community in Delta, Colorado, received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.
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