Local leaders continue to struggle with future funding for state-mandated boat inspections for invasive zebra and quagga mussels.
Four entities, including the U.S. Forest Service, are currently sharing the costs of inspections at McPhee Reservoir. If introduced, the tiny mussels can spread rapidly, clogging pipelines and canals. But on Monday, Dolores District Ranger Derek Padilla warned the Montezuma County commissioners that funding prospects for the San Juan National Forest are uncertain. Padilla noted that the president’s preliminary federal budget proposes a 21 percent cut for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which includes the Forest Service. Meanwhile, Colorado Parks and Wildlife reports their staff found and decontaminated four boats infested with mussels in the week between April 6th and 13th. Three were at Front Range lakes, but one was in Ridgway State Park. All four boats were from out of state.