Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Farmers Prepare For Autumn Bird Flu Flare Up

Farmers and agriculture officials are gearing up for another round of bird flu this fall, an outbreak they fear could be worse than the devastating spring crisis that hit egg layers and turkeys in the Midwest, wiped out entire farms and sent egg prices sky-high. The potential target of the highly pathogenic avian flu this fall could be broilers, or meat chickens, as the outbreaks have been triggered and carried by wild birds, which will be flying south in great numbers this fall through several U.S. flyways. The farmers who got hit this spring, which lead to the destruction of more than 48 million birds, know how life-changing a flu outbreak can be.
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Northern Water

Fort Collins council members voted to oppose a project calling for the creation of two new reservoirs in Northern Colorado, at least for now. The Northern Integrated Supply Project would build two reservoirs to supply water to growing towns in Larimer, Weld, and Boulder counties.

The city is not opposed to the idea of the project, but Fort Collins natural areas director John Stokes, in a presentation Tuesday night to council members, said the June supplemental draft environmental impact statement released by the Army Corps of Engineers fails to adequately evaluate and address environmental impacts.

"A key component that is currently missing from the environmental impact statement analysis is a quantitative temperature and water quality model," said Stokes.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Sand is a key ingredient in hydraulic fracturing, but breathing in too much of it can lead to silicosis, an incurable but entirely preventable disease caused by sand particles or respirable crystalline silica.

A 2012 alert and study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health raised an alarm that workers at fracking sites in Colorado and four other states were exposed to silica dust at levels that exceeded occupational exposure limits.

Many companies in the industry have responded by changing the way they handle frack sand. New innovation and investment suggests a technological fix can protect workers while boosting efficiency. The changes are as much a way to improve operations as strengthen workers protections.

Luke Runyon / KUNC, Harvest Public Media

On a research farm north of Fort Collins, Colorado, in a secret location, buried in the middle of a corn field, grows Colorado’s newest and most buzzed about commodity crop -- industrial hemp.

It’s almost harvest time at the farm, and soon researchers at Colorado State University will be adding bushels of hemp next to the usual, familiar piles of corn, wheat and oats.

Hemp is a member of the cannabis family, but it’s lacking in psychoactive properties. Instead, it’s grown more for fiber and oil. But decades of prohibition have left academia lacking in published scientific research about the plant’s very basic properties.

spacebahr / Flickr - Creative Commons

The number of Coloradans who don't have health insurance has dropped by about half since President Barack Obama's signature health care law went into effect. The state's uninsured rate fell from 14.3 percent in 2013 to 6.7 percent in 2015. Not only does the Colorado Access Health Survey say that the uninsured are at a record low, it also finds that more people have enrolled in Medicaid.

Farmers Prepare For Autumn Bird Flu Flare Up

Sep 1, 2015
Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Farmers and agriculture officials are gearing up for another round of bird flu this fall, an outbreak they fear could be worse than the devastating spring crisis that hit egg layers and turkeys in the Midwest, wiped out entire farms and sent egg prices sky-high.

The potential target of the highly pathogenic avian flu this fall could be broilers, or meat chickens, as the outbreaks have been triggered and carried by wild birds, which will be flying south in great numbers this fall through several U.S. flyways.

The farmers who got hit this spring, which lead to the destruction of more than 48 million birds, know how life-changing a flu outbreak can be.

The greater sage grouse is a peculiar and distinctly Western bird. It's about the size of a chicken and about as adaptable as the dodo bird, which is to say it's not very adaptable at all — at least not in a human-driven time scale.

In biological terms, the greater sage grouse is perfectly adapted for its habitat: the rolling hills of knee-high silver scrub that's sometimes called the sagebrush sea. It's the oft-forgotten parts of the fast-changing West — The Big Empty, as settlers used to call it.

Emily Wilmsen / City of Fort Collins

Fort Collins' historic Trolley Barn hasn't housed working trolleys in a long time – but the time may be right to bring some new life to the old barn, said Josh Birks, City of Fort Collins Economic Health Director.

In the last few years, a variety of groups including restaurateurs and historic restoration groups have inquired about moving in. Right now, the 10,000-square-foot space is used to store city vehicles, as well as a trolley restoration project.

"There's a lot of growth going on in that area right now and a lot of potential," said Birks. "To me, that just underscores the need to get it right."

Get Involved Colorado: Global Refugee Center

Aug 31, 2015
Global Refugee Center

As refugee populations across the Front Range continue to grow, so does the Global Refugee Center. With over 3,000 yearly hours of literacy and citizenship instruction offered annually, the GRC currently enrolls 130 students.

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