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Public Service Announcements March 1, 2018

Protect your ash with a can from Fire Chiefs Association

LAS ANIMAS COUNTY — A number of recent wildland fires and structure fires were caused by improper handling of stove and fireplaces ash. “These fires could have been easily prevented” stated CK Morey, Chairman of the Las Animas County Fire Chiefs Association, “if the ash had been protected in a metal container with a tight fitting lid for a minimum of ten days before disposal.”

The drought conditions in the area has left little moisture in flashy fuels such as grass or pine needles. It only takes one small hot ember to be blown out by wind of improperly disposed stove ash to ignite the grass. Grassfires easily spread to woodland wildfires or house fires!

To encourage homeowners and renters to protect their ash, the Fire Chief Association is doing a fund raiser by offering, for donation of $55, a high quality double bottom metal ash can with tight fitting cover plus a small flat bottom ash shovel. With a donation of $100, you will receive two containers so you can give one to your neighbor. Maybe that neighbor is a bit careless with their ash. Educate your neighbor on how to protect his ash. It might save your house or your trees. CK Morey strongly recommends that ash be kept in container for minimum of 10 days as this allows for any embers to cool and heat to be dissipated from the ash.

Then when disposing ash on the ground, use a sprinkling can to pour out two gallons of water on the ash and then stir with a tool such as shovel or hoe to mix the ash with loose soil. Some may prefer to dig a hole and then pour the water in and cover with a layer of soil. If there is snow cover, the ash may be spread out and then using a tool mix the snow with the ash. Avoid placing ash near any grass, weeds, or firewood. In addition, ashes should not be placed in garden or around trees. Even though the ash is high in nutrients, it also has high pH, and water leaching through the ash will make your soil more alkaline. To order your ash can, contact your local fire chief, or CK Morey at 719-989-2370 or email: “If you protect your ash” stated Morey, “then it will not come back to bite you.”

Four year college scholarships available through CRCC

TRINIDAD — The Culebra Range Community Coalition, CRCC, is a local nonprofit whose work focuses mainly on youth, education or the environment. When two or more of those are combined an effective synergy may develop. The Culebra Range Scholarship Program combines all three… youth, education, and the environment. W

e feel investing in youth and environmental education is an effective strategy for protecting and enhancing the health and beauty of our natural environment.

With that in mind, we started the Culebra Range Scholarship Program and have awarded the following four-year, $4,000 scholarships each year:

  • 2012 we awarded two $4,000 college scholarships
  • 2013 we awarded three $4,000 college scholarships
  • 2014 we awarded four $4,000 college scholarships
  • 2015 we awarded five $4,000 college scholarships
  • 2016 we awarded five $4,000 scholarships and last year,
  • 2017 we awarded five more four-year $4,000 scholarships.
  • Through our scholarship program we have awarded 24 local students four-year scholarships to universities around the country.

This Culebra Range Scholarship opportunity is given through an application process to local graduating seniors who will be going on to college to study in any field that can benefit our natural environment. We will consider a much broader range of majors than you might at first imagine. Our broad definition of “anything that can benefit the natural environment” implies that we will consider any major that interacts with or affects the natural environment…air, water, land and anything that grows on it or lives in it. We have attached a listing of some, but not all, of the majors we will consider for our scholarships.

Our dream with this scholarship program would be to help fund and inspire students to a career that may positively affect our natural world and help to protect and enhance our beautiful natural environment. An even bigger goal of our program, and perhaps more attainable, is to help fund a more general education across a broad variety of majors in a way in which those many students will develop a new “mindset” or a new way of looking at our interaction with our natural environment and learn new ways how our governments, businesses, farms and ranches, schools and our homes can reduce or mitigate our impact on the environment. From many changed mindsets much good can flow.

This is a local program, awarded to local students, with funds raised from local ranchers and town folk. Every Saturday through the summer and fall the CRCC has the “Coffee for Causes” booth at the Trinidad Farmers Market. Here local citizens stop by for a cup of coffee and a home baked cookie for a donation, sometimes only a dollar, for this Culebra Range Scholarship Program. While the greatest number of donors to the scholarship program come from the many small donations at the “Coffee for Causes” booth, the greatest dollar amount of our scholarship donations come from some generous donors. We are very grateful for all of our donors; some large and many small. We should also point out that 100% of all donations go directly into the student’s scholarships

Local students who have received environmental scholarships in our first five years are Nick Mason, Rachel Hadaway, Chris DeAngelis, Erin Diller, Stephanie Porter, Sabrina Eccher, Naomi Jacquez, Jacob Walter, Ben Ward, Kolton Aubuchon, Sean Lutz, Keythur Merchant, Jake Stanton, and Sidney Waller, Chevi Ames, Ashley McCay, Dominique Quintana, Amanda Wahl, Duncan Ayden, Kith Duran, Anjelika Garcia, Steven Holden, and Gabriella Lopez.

Students interested in applying can either contact us directly at or contact your local high school counselor. Donors willing to partner with us and contribute to this program for our youth and the local environment can contact us at Thanks everyone.

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