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PSAs for Feb 8, 2018

Order Seedling Trees Now

HUERFANO COUNTY — Spring Planting Time is just around the corner, and many species of trees and shrubs are offered at cost for windbreak, shelterbelts, erosion control, reforestation, and Living Snow Fences by the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery. Eleven species of perennial wildflowers and grasses are available as well. Many of the species offered are native and drought tolerant. While some species and sizes of plants have already sold out, many options continue to be available. Landowners are urged to order seedling trees as soon as possible to ensure availability for spring planting when trees are delivered in late April.

At the La Veta Field Office there are also seedlings available right now, which are perfect for spring plantings. There are a wide range of species and sizes (some up to 4 feet tall), most of which are available for reduced prices. Please contact the office to visit and view the options.

For all CSFS planting stock, there are no ownership acreage requirements for purchase. Contact our office if there are questions on planting needs. The La Veta Field Office stocks a full line of seedling survival supplies such as slow release fertilizer tablets, rabbit guards, sun shades, weed barrier, drip irrigation and polymer, and can be ordered at the same time as your seedling order.

In addition, booklets on planting techniques and descriptions of seedlings are available from NRCS, CSU Extension, and the CSFS Office. Properly planned and implemented tree planting can play a major role in successful land management. CSFS Foresters are ready to guide landowners in what to plant, how to plant, and planting techniques and strategies.

Seedling order forms and seedling planting information can be found on the La Veta Field Office website: https://csfs.colostate.edu/la-veta/ or picked up in both Trinidad and Walsenburg at their respective County Extension or Natural Resource Conservation Service Offices. Order forms can also be e-mailed to you. For more information call 719-742-3588 or write to the Colorado State Forest Service, P. O. Box 81, La Veta, CO 81055. E-mail addresses are: derek.sokoloski@colostate.edu, mark.loveall@colostate.edu, or lisa.clark@colostate.edu

Colfax County and New Mexico Alcohol mortality rates released

COLFAX COUNTY — Here are a few data highlights and recent trends compiled by Gwendolyn Gallagher, Ph.D., Community Health Epidemiologist with the New Mexico Department of Health. For 2007-2011, the alcohol-related (injury and chronic disease together) mortality rates for Colfax County were slightly less than the state rate. In 2012-2016, the rate increased drastically for Colfax County and for the state.

The alcohol-related chronic disease death rate for New Mexico and for Colfax County increased from 2007-2011 to 2012-2016; however, during 2007-2011, the rate for Colfax County was approximately the same as the state rate, yet in 2012-2016, the rate for New Mexico surpassed that of Colfax. The alcohol-related injury death rates for the state increased slightly from 2007-2011 to 2012-2016. However, for Colfax County, the rate increased dramatically from the 2007-2011 to the 2012-2016 period of time.

Five- year moving averages (for age-adjusted rates) for both alcohol-related chronic disease deaths and injury deaths for Colfax County show that during 2005 – 2010, death rates due to alcohol-related chronic disease surpassed death rates due to alcohol-related injuries. However, in recent years (2010-2016) death rates due to alcohol-related injuries have far exceeded death rates due to chronic disease. And, during 2012-2016, the death rates for both alcohol-related injuries and chronic disease in Colfax Co. have reached the highest mortality rates since 1999.

During 2000-2004, the chronic liver disease death rate for Colfax Co. reached its highest level since 1999. And, despite the chronic liver disease death rate for Colfax County reaching its lowest rate during 2011-2015, the rate increased again during 2012-2015. During 2012-2016, Colfax County had 27 crash-related fatalities, of which 6 (22%) involved alcohol.

Support Colorado’s endangered and non-game wildlife on 2017 tax return

DENVER — Help some of our state’s threatened and endangered wildlife by volunteering a contribution to the Non-game Conservation and Wildlife Restoration Cash Fund on your 2017 Colorado state tax return through the voluntary income tax checkoff. Donations made on Line 1 of Colorado tax form 104CH support wildlife rehabilitation and conservation throughout the state.

“Non-game species are both key indicators of, and contributors to, a habitat’s overall health,” said Reid DeWalt, Assistant Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Wildlife and Natural Resources branch. “ CPW is vested in the long-term sustainability and balance of wildlife for future generations. Doing so is not without cost, and the income tax checkoff is a vital tool in supporting our efforts.”

The Non-game Conservation and Wildlife Restoration program supports species conservation for river otters, black-tailed, white-tailed and Gunnison prairie dogs, boreal toads, Gunnison sage-grouse, black-footed ferrets, Arkansas darters, and dozens of other species. Colorado Parks and Wildlife works diligently to monitor and maintain these populations for the benefit of all wildlife in the state.

Colorado is home to more than 750 vital species of wildlife that are categorized as “non-game” species or animals that are not hunted, fished or trapped. Some of the ongoing work and success stories of CPW’s conservation species programs include:

River otters: Otters were likely found in major streams statewide in Colorado prior to the 1800s. With settlement, subsequent water pollution and control of streamflows, otters disappeared from the state by the early part of this century. Between 1976 and 1991, Colorado Parks and Wildlife introduced around 120 river otters to several drainages, including the Upper Colorado, the Dolores and the upper South Platte rivers. While still a threatened species, Colorado’s river otter population is growing and expanding their geographic distribution. This healthy population indicates sufficient flows in high-elevation streams and quality water that supports the fish making up otters’ primary food source.

Boreal toads: The boreal toad is Colorado’s only alpine species of toad, listed as a state endangered species in 1993. It appears throughout most of the Rocky Mountains, usually at elevations between 8,000 feet and 12,000 feet. Formerly widespread and common, these small toads are now extremely scarce in large part due to amphibian chytrid fungus, a skin fungus which has also attacked many other amphibian species worldwide. CPW has played a critical role in efforts to restore boreal toads to Colorado ecosystems, raising over 130,000 tadpoles, toadlets and adult toads for translocation to their historical habitat. In 2014, biologists documented a breeding population of boreal toads near Cameron Pass — the first translocation effort that has resulted in known survival to the age of reproduction (4 or 5 years old).

Canada lynx: The Canada lynx, once abundant in the mountains of Colorado, was no longer found in the state by the mid-1970s. The Colorado Lynx Reintroduction Program sought to re-establish the species in the state. Between 1999 and 2006, a total of 218 lynxes captured in Canada and Alaska were released into the San Juans in the Southwest region. Based on monitoring and tracking results as well as breeding surveys, by 2010, CPW declared the reintroduction program a success. Continued winter snow tracking and camera traps in southwestern Colorado monitor the status and health of the species in our state.

Bats: Eighteen species of bats inhabit or pass through Colorado each year. To date, the fatal condition known as white-nose syndrome has not been discovered in our state. However, since being discovered in 2006, white-nose syndrome has spread from eastern states to regions west of the Mississippi, killing over 5 million bats in its wake. Surveillance monitoring of Colorado’s bat populations to keep tabs on their health due to the prevalence of this fatal disease is key to preserving this essential part of our ecosystem.

To make a voluntary contribution, use the checkoff box and donation amount area on line 28 of the 2017 Colorado state income tax form 104A. Contributors to the Non-game Conservation and Wildlife Restoration Cash Fund must also specify the amount of their donation on line 1 of Colorado tax form 104CH (the Voluntary Contributions Schedule form), which must be submitted along with 104A. Donations may be tax deductible. Coloradans contributed more than $180,000 last year to help a variety of species through the tax checkoff, making the Non-game Conservation and Wildlife Restoration Cash Fund the number one fund out of over 20 options for Colorado residents. For additional information on the many species that benefit from your contribution, please visit cpw.state.co.us.

Farm or ranch? Please participate in the 2018 Census of Agriculture

WASHINGTON — Grant funding. Marketing programs. Legislation. Farm programs. What do they all have in common? Decisions are made using numbers from the Census of Agriculture from USDA/NASS. These decisions shape funding the state receives, how individual commodities are marketed, crop insurance and farm programs, and rules and laws that affect the industry.

Even though you may feel surveyed to death, input from farmers and ranchers is used in decisions every day at the national, state and local level that impact the industry. If only a limited number of producers respond, data can’t be shared publicly for that county or that specific crop.

For the good of your industry, community and state, please fill in your Census. You can fill in the form that came in the mail, or do it online at www.agcounts.usda.gov/cawi. You will need your survey code from the address label on the paper questionnaire or letter you received in the mail.

CenturyLink warns of scams

MONROE, LA. — Being a victim of a scam is no laughing matter. The best way to avoid being fooled is to be aware of the various scams and how they work. CenturyLink wants to help keep its customers from falling prey to scams that could result in identity theft or loss of financial assets. A recent scam involved a call from a person identifying himself as a CenturyLink employee and that the person called had won a free trip. CenturyLink has no such promotion and urges people to protect their personal information from scammers. Here are some other common scams along with ways to protect yourself:

U.S. Census Scam

How it works: Someone calls you claiming to be from the Census, the IRS or other “trusted” organization and asks you to divulge personal financial information, donations, and/or Social Security numbers. In addition, fraudsters now have devices that can make Caller ID display any number or name they choose such as “U.S. Census” or a similar identifier. In rare instances, a Census worker may call to clarify information you’ve submitted, according to the Census Web site.

How to protect yourself: Never give out financial or personal information over the phone unless you are certain of the identity of the person or company who is requesting it.

Phishing Scam

How it works: Phishing e-mail messages are designed to steal your identity. They get your personal data by directing you to phony, but very realistic “secure” Web sites. The phony URL is a total knock-off of a company’s legitimate log-in site. The sole purpose is to trick you into divulging your personal information so the operators can steal your identity and run up bills or commit crimes in your name.

How to protect yourself: Legitimate companies don’t ask for personal information via email. If you are concerned about your account, contact the company mentioned in the email using a telephone number you know to be genuine. Don’t cut and paste the link from the message into your Internet browser — phishers can make links look like they go to one place, but that actually send you to a different site. Also, review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges.

Mystery Shopper Scam

How it works: You receive a notice stating that you’ve been selected to participate in a “Mystery Shopper” program. Along with the notice, you receive a check and are asked to wire money back through a money transfer company, such as Moneygram or Western Union. Even though a bank may make the funds available when you cash the check, it does not mean the check will clear. It can take weeks for a counterfeit check to be discovered, at which time the bank can deduct the amount that was originally deposited in your account, making you cover the loss.

How to protect yourself: If you receive this type of notice, delete it or throw it away. Do not send the money and do not cash the check.

Social Engineering

How it works: This is a general term that involves someone trying to convince you that they are someone they’re not, in order to collect critical personal information from you. Sometimes that person will claim to be a phone company representative. The person may say you overpaid your last phone bill and they need some information from you, including your Social Security number, to process a refund check.

How to protect yourself: Overpayments are almost always applied to your next bill with no need to call you to process a refund. Ask questions and for a callback number but do not provide personal information over the phone or via email.

809 Scam

How it works: In this scam, you might receive an email, page, or cell phone text message urgently asking you to call someone in the “809” area code or some other area code that you normally don’t call. If you make the call, you may unwittingly dial into an expensive overseas pay-per-call service, resulting in large charges being placed on your next phone bill.

How to protect yourself: If you don’t recognize the phone number or area code, don’t return the call.

Bottom line: Never give out information to people you don’t know, and always review your phone bill carefully. If you see any suspicious activity, contact CenturyLink at the number listed on your bill. By working together, we can help reduce scams that take advantage of our customers.

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