Friday, May 22, 2020

More Help, More Progress

Mesa County and Bureau of Land Management personnel conduct an inspection of the work that has been completed on the Palisade Plunge Trail.

A tremendous amount of progress has been made this week with two Palisade Plunge Trail crews working in separate locations. The crew working out of Palisade completed another 880 feet of new trail. The second crew working above finished 1,000 feet of new trail and has been careful to stay outside of the ½ mile buffer areas identified in the raptor survey.

A bird's eye view of the Palisade Plunge Trail.

The upper crew has also completed over a mile of corridor clearing, which entails taking a chainsaw ahead of the trail construction crew and cutting any trees, bushes, and branches that would hinder future construction through the area.

BLM and Mesa County personnel discuss plans and strategies with Palisade Plunge Trail crew members.

Last Thursday, Mesa County and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) personnel met at the upper crew's campsite to inspect the trail, flag lines, identify future campsites, and possible landing zones. After inspecting nearly a mile of the flagged route, a future campsite was identified for the crew, and their BLM permit was updated to allow them to better access the area.

The Palisade Plunge has many spots overlooking the Grand Valley, but there will be a variety of views for trail users to enjoy.

 Upper trail crew's campsite.

To date, 13.51 miles of trail have been completed, leaving about 3.65 miles to go before completion of Phase 1 of the Palisade Plunge Trail. Phase 2 will begin this year as soon as weather permits.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Noxious Weed Management Plan

Flowering rush (butomus umbellatus) was recently found in Grand Junction in a tributary to the Colorado River. Keep your eyes out for this incredibly noxious weed, and report any sightings.

Mesa County Noxious Weed Management strives to reduce the quantity and occurrence of noxious weeds while reducing the negative impact on native plants, agricultural lands, and public corridors in Mesa County.

Noxious Weed Management identifies, maps, and monitors pest and noxious weed infestations and assists landowners with plant identification, weed management recommendations, and development of vegetation management plans.

Earlier this spring, Noxious Weed Management updated the County's Noxious Weed Management Plan and the list of noxious weeds in Mesa County.

View the list here:

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Expect short traffic delays on Highway 340 at Colonial Drive


Utility crews are now working on lowering two gas lines on the road widening project at Highway 340 at Colonial Drive.

Traffic crews on Highway 340 are alternating traffic through the construction site. Expect short traffic delays.

Caution: traffic crews on Highway 340 are alternating traffic through the construction site. Expect short traffic delays.

Utility work is expected to be completed by the end of the week. After that, construction crews will continue with widening the road and paving. The anticipated completion date for the project is June 2020.

Utility work on Highway 340 at Colonial Drive is expected to be completed by the end of the week.

The total project length is approximately ¼ mile. A portion of the road widening encroached onto a significant cut slope requiring excavation and stabilization by constructing a soil nail wall, which is now complete. The road has been widened to allow for an auxiliary left turn lane for three separate intersections on to Highway 340.

Russian Knapweed Biocontrol

Noxious Weed and Pest Management Coordinator Montana Cohn releases Gall Wasps as a Russian knapweed biocontrol in Whitewater.

Mesa County Noxious Weed Management, alongside the Palisade Insectary and local landowners, is releasing Russian knapweed biocontrol.

The biocontrol used is a short-lived stem galling wasp, which acts as a nutrient diversion, so the plant is forced to use energy towards the gall instead of the flower, seed, and plant growth.

Russian knapweed is a non-native, deep-rooted perennial that spreads by aggressive, creeping, horizontal roots (rhizomes) and seeds. The roots are brown to black with a scaly appearance. Russian knapweed can grow up to three feet in height. The stems and leaves are covered with short gray hairs. The flowers are urn-shaped, pink to purple in color, and are solitary at the tips of the upper branches. Russian knapweed emerges in early spring after soil temperatures remain above freezing. It produces flowers from June to August and sets seed in late summer to early fall.

Russian knapweed (acroptilon repens).

Gall Wasps help suppress Russian knapweed, but biocontrol will not get rid of this noxious weed. If it is growing in an area that can be treated with herbicides, it's best to use that method instead.

Biocontrol is helpful in remote areas or large areas for long-term management and treatment suppression. For example, a landowner with several acres, may not be able to financially treat large acreage all at once, but doing it in stages may be more affordable and more manageable. Biocontrol can be a successful part of an overall management plan with integrated pest management strategies to help suppress the knapweed in the areas to be treated over a few years.

More information on Russian knapweed biocontrol may be found here.

Contact Mesa County Weed Management if you would like more information on biocontrols, at 970-255-7121 or weed.pest@mesacounty.us.

Monday, May 18, 2020

County Offices Closed on Memorial Day



Many Mesa County offices will be closed Monday, May 25, 2020, in observance of Memorial Day.

This closure includes:
Administration, Assessor, County Commissioners, County Attorney, Financial Services, Human Resources, IT, Surveyor, Treasurer (544 Rood Ave.)
Clerk & Recorder: Motor Vehicle, Recording, Elections, Clerk to the Board (200 S. Spruce St.)
District Attorney's Office and the Justice Center (125 N. Spruce St.)
Department of Human Services (510 29 1/2 Road)
Facilities and Fairgrounds (2785 U.S. Hwy. 50)
Public Health (510 29 1/2 Road)
Public Works, Building, and Planning (971 Coffman Road & 200 S. Spruce St.)
Regional Transportation Planning Office (525 S. Sixth St.)
Sheriff's Office: Records and Civil Divisions (215 Rice St.)
Solid Waste Campus: Composting, Hazardous Waste, Landfill and Transfer Stations (3071 U.S. Hwy. 50)
Tri-River Area CSU Extension (2775 U.S. Hwy. 50)
Workforce Center (512 29 1/2 Road)

Alternate Hours:
Animal Services (971A Coffman Road) will be open from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

This closure does NOT include:
Coroner's Office
Criminal Justice Services (all locations)
Sheriff's Office - jail, patrol, emergency services (215 Rice St.)

Emergency Medical Services Week, May 17-23, 2020


Pictured from left to right on the top row: Mesa County Commissioners Jonh Justman, Scott McInnis, and Rose Pugliese. Bottom row: Mesa County EMS System Coordinator Chris Rowland and EMS Medical Director Dr. Glenn Burket.

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners today proclaimed May 21-23, 2020, as Emergency Medical Services Week in Mesa County, and recognizes the value and accomplishments of EMS providers.

EMS teams consist of emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, emergency physicians, emergency nurses, administrators, dispatchers, and others.

May 21-23, 2020, is Emergency Medical Services Week in Mesa County.
EMS System Coordinator Chris Rowland accepts the Emergency Medical Services Week Proclamation and talks to the Mesa County Commissioners and hearing attendees about the importance of emergency medical services.

Mesa County EMS System Coordinator Chris Rowland talks to the Mesa County Commissioners and hearing attendees about the importance of emergency medical services providers and the vital role they play in our community's wellbeing.

EMS Medical Director Dr. Glenn Burket thanks the Board of Mesa County Commissioners for declaring May 21-23, 2020, as Emergency Medical Services Week in Mesa County.
Emergency medical services providers have traditionally served as the safety net of Mesa County's health care system. EMS professionals were honored in public hearing for their dedication to providing life-saving care to those in need 24 hours a day.

Noxious Weed Awareness Week is May 16-23

Noxious Weed and Pest Management Coordinator Montana Cohn accepts the Noxious Weed Awareness Week Proclamation presented by the Board of Mesa County Commissioners on Monday, May 18, in public hearing.

Today the Board of Mesa County Commissioners declared May 16-23, 2020, as Noxious Weed Awareness Week in Mesa County and encourages residents to be good stewards of the land by protecting and preserving lands and natural resources from the negative impact of invasive noxious weeds.

Non-native plant species known as noxious weeds threaten the ecological integrity and biodiversity of our beautiful landscape.

Our land is a source of scenic beauty, agriculture, recreational opportunities, and a habitat for wildlife — let's take care of it.

May 16-23, 2020, as Noxious Weed Awareness Week in Mesa County.