• The feds give Colorado $450,000 to lease "walk-in access" hunting rights on private agricultural land. In an age of big farms and absentee owners, plus the usual urban-rural disconnect, this is a good thing. And as the next item mentions, upland bird hunting (and small game too) get no respect from outdoor marketers.
• Or in Jay Kumar's words, "Why has everyone given up on the upland bird market?"
If you don't believe me, here's a comment left on a Field & Stream blog: "Now everyone is antler and gobbler crazy. It's what's on TV. It's what's hyped up in the ads. There is no record book or super slam for grouse. A fine morning of wingshooting isn't cool or awesome or fist-pumpy. You can't use the latest tech or signature gear. You have to like, walk around in the brush. That's no fun anymore."• The Denver Post frets that beetle-killed lodgepole pine are not being removed fast enough in northern Colorado.
Some foresters, however, suggest that as these standing dead trees lose their limbs, they actually become less of a fire hazard than dense, live conifers. Although the Post's story mentions one fire, we have not seen "the big one" in the beetle-killed stands.
And there is the money issue:
One challenge facing contractors is getting rid of the cut trees. Timber mills in Montrose and the San Luis Valley and a pellet factory in Kremmling have been hard-pressed to pay loggers enough to make that tree-removal work profitable.