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Thanks to all for a great county fair

On behalf of the CSU Extension–Archuleta County Office, I would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to the Archuleta County Commissioners, Archuleta County Fair Board and Livestock Committee, Archuleta County employees, local 4-H members and their families, 4-H club leaders and project leaders, fair judges and superintendents, San Juan Mounted Patrol, Mountain View Homemakers, Master Gardeners and hundreds of dedicated volunteers who dedicate themselves to making the annual Archuleta County Fair a tremendous success.

We had a wonderful representation of competitive exhibitors in both 4-H and open classes and we appreciate your involvement and support. We hope that everyone involved in the various competitions and shows enjoyed the opportunities provided at the fair.

To the livestock buyers, we appreciate your investment in our local 4-H livestock members. The incentive and encouragement you provide our 4-Hers yields lifelong lessons in our ranching traditions. The support of the community during the Livestock Show and Chuck Wagon Dinner enables our 4-H members to further their education and experiences within and beyond their 4-H career.

As for the commercial vendors who feed and entertain us, we are grateful to have such diverse, high-quality offerings for our fairgoers. Sponsorship, resources and in-kind donations from local businesses and organizations allow us to meet the mission of the Archuleta County Fair. Your support, contributions, leadership and commitment to the fair is greatly appreciated.

To all of the folks who visited the 2012 Archuleta County Fair, we hope you enjoyed being part of the Archuleta County ranching and farming legacy, learned more about our great agricultural heritage and were inspired by the rich talent and skills of our local residents showcased in the events, exhibits and competitions.

Annual meeting and Fall Forest Forum

With informed and appropriate management, private family forest owners can maintain a sustainable, healthy and productive forest. Whether you are managing your forest for wildlife habitat, recreation, livestock grazing or timber production, you’ll want to come see the latest in forest management. Don’t miss your opportunity to engage with local and regional forestry professionals as they discuss and share their expertise.

Mark your calendar for Thursday, Aug. 23, from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. for the Fall Forest Forum and annual meeting of the San Juan Conservation District.

The event will be held at the Extension Office on the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. The day-long educational event is free, but you must R.S.V.P. with the San Juan Conservation District, 731-3615, to ensure there are lunches for all who attend.

The program includes an update on the San Juan Conservation District’s annual accomplishments, a tour of J.R. Ford’s biomass project site, a field demonstration of how to fell a tree, chainsaw safety, learning how to be Firewise, an update on the forest on public lands and tips on managing your private lands.

Advice and helpful tips for managing your forested land will be provided by the following sponsors: San Juan Conservation District, Wildfire Mitigation Professionals Association, J.R. Ford, Firewise of Southwest Colorado, U.S. Forest Service and Colorado State Forest Service.

Here are the top five reasons tomanage the density of your forested land:

1. Improve forest health. Well managed forests are more resistant to diseases and insect damage such as mountain pine beetle or dwarf mistletoe.

2. Fire safety. Thinning overstocked or high density forests will allow a potential high severity crown fire to drop to the ground as a low severity fire that can be suppressed more readily with less damaging effects to soil, water and plant resources. Consider creating strategic “fuel breaks” or “defensible space” to protect your home and property.

3. Wildlife habitat. Thinning overstocked or high density forests will allow sunlight and precipitation to reach the ground and encourage herbaceous cover, such as grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs, for birds and other wildlife to consume. Additionally, creating habitat for wildlife forage can make your garden safer from wildlife damage.

4. Protect water and soil. Healthy forests keep soils from eroding and protect our water quality. The loss of vegetation caused by a wildfire will cause soils to erode and reduce the forest’s ability to retain snowpacks for a more sustained runoff in the spring and summer. Eroding soils can also pollute our water supply with sediments and excess nutrients.

5. Save money. The costs of preventing fire damage outweigh the costs of fire suppression, property loss and post-fire rehabilitation in the case of a wildfire.

West Nile Virus

Two equine cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) had been diagnosed in Colorado as of July 18, 2012.

The cases that were recently diagnosed represent the first reported cases of West Nile Virus this year. The WNV positive tests were submitted from horses in Fremont and Weld counties; both horses are currently being treated for symptoms related to WNV.

West Nile virus is a disease that threatens the health of humans, horses and other animals.

“Late summer and early fall have traditionally been the time of year when we are most likely to see WNV cases reported in horses,” said Colorado State Veterinarian Dr. Keith Roehr. “In the past few years there have been very few reported equine cases of WNV in Colorado; it is difficult to project how many WNV cases we may see in the coming months.”

The transmission of the disease varies from year to year and depends on a number of factors, including mosquito numbers. The West Nile virus can be carried by infected birds and then spread locally by mosquitoes that bite those birds. The mosquitoes can then pass the virus to humans and animals.

Infected horses may display symptoms including head tilt, muscle tremors, stumbling, lack of coordination, weakness of the limbs or partial paralysis. If horses exhibit clinical signs consistent with WNV, it is important for horse owners to contact their veterinarians in order to confirm the diagnosis through laboratory testing. Horse owners should consult their private practicing veterinarians to determine an appropriate prevention strategy for their horses.

Vaccines have proven to be a very effective prevention tool. Horses that have been vaccinated in past years will need an annual booster shot. However, if an owner did not vaccinate their animal in previous years, the horse will need the two-shot vaccination series within a three to six week period.

In addition to vaccinations, horse owners also need to reduce the mosquito populations and their possible breeding areas. Recommendations include removing stagnant water sources, keeping animals inside during the bugs’ feeding times, which are typically early in the morning and evening, and using mosquito repellents.

For complete and updated information concerning new WNV equine case information including numbers and location of test positive horses visit:

• http://www.fightthebitecolorado.com./

• http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/dc/zoonosis/wnv/.

Calendar

Aug. 9 — Mountain View Homemakers, noon.

Aug. 10 — Extension Office closed.

Aug. 13 — State fair entries due to office, 8 a.m.

Aug. 15 — State fair exhibit check-in, 8 a.m.

The CSU Extension-Archuleta County Office will be closed Friday, Aug. 10.

Learn more about our upcoming events on our webpage at www.archuleta.colostate.edu.

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