Election week . . . a Great Sand Dunes National Park visitation record . . . the Fifth Annual Rio Reels Film Festival . . . and a reminder of the time change, and more in the Monday Briefing.

City council and school board races
top local ballots

Local city council and school board races, and a host of local and state propositions will be decided at Tuesday’s statewide election. Here’s a look at Alamosa City Council candidates and our Q&A, #ICYMI. A look at who’s on the ballot for school boards and city councils is here.


Here is the Colorado Bluebook in English and Spanish for last-minute research on state ballot measures.

Great Sand Dunes National Park
breaking records

There’s no stronger indicator of the health of tourism in the San Luis Valley than the count of annual visits to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Park visitors drive everything from hotel occupancy to greater sales at local cash registers, and give the best indication of the numbers of visitors passing through Alamosa and the San Luis Valley.

Through September the Sand Dunes National Park registered 531,226 visits, breaking the 2019 record of 528,014 for the year. With October, November and December still to be counted, it’s safe to say the national park continues to drive a tourism economy, even during the COVID pandemic.

Why it matters: As it sets annual visit records, the Great Sand Dunes National Park also helps attract new stores to cater to the traveling public, like the new Maverik’s opening on Highway 160 West. Alamosa’s lodging tax and sales tax collections also benefit from a strong tourism base provided by the national park.

This week’s Fifth Annual
Rio Reels Film Festival

ALAMOSA – The Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project is hosting its fifth annual Rio Reels Film Festival on Friday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. The event will be held virtually, showcasing various river-themed short films. This year’s films highlight the ways rivers sustain us, focusing on the perspectives of ranchers, farmers, environmentalists, and river adventurers.

Admission to the event includes access to the online silent auction and door prizes until Sunday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. The silent auction features outdoor gear, vacation getaways, local art and foods, and much more. Tickets are $10 and are available at https://qudio.com/event/rioreels2021/register.

All proceeds from the event support projects that enhance water quality, wildlife habitat, recreation, and overall river health in the Rio Grande Basin. Thank you to American Rivers, Stone’s Farm Supply, Robins Construction, Conejos Water Conservancy District, Trinchera Ranch, Cooley and Sons Excavating, Cultivating Hearts, Southwest River Engineering, Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, San Luis Valley Irrigation District, and many other local businesses who have generously sponsored this event and donated to the silent auction.

Reminder: Great Sand Dunes
schedules prescribed burn

The Great Sand Dunes National Park, in conjunction with Rio Grande National Forest, is preparing to conduct a prescribed burn on up to 3,300 acres near the park’s northern boundary. The proposed burn window is November 8-12 if favorable weather and fuel conditions permit. The project area is located south of Baca Grande Subdivision, and approximately three miles south of Crestone. The fire operation will remain west of Liberty Road. Temporary closures along Liberty Road may occur during the operation to ensure public health and safety when firefighters are working along the road.

CPW has Nov. 22 deadline for feedback
on big game hunting licenses

There’s still time to talk to Colorado Parks and Wildlife about changes it’s considering that could impact how big game hunting licenses are distributed in the state. CPW is currently seeking public input through an online comment form, followed by a survey and public meetings next year. The feedback will help the Parks and Wildlife Commission and the agency determine if the current policies need to be revised. 

Public interested in big game hunting can provide feedback now via an online 10-question Big Game Hunting License Distribution Public Comment Form. Your feedback will help identify the highest priority topics for review by CPW over the next year. Feedback must be submitted by Nov. 22, 2021. 

The big game license distribution topics being considered are resident and nonresident elk and deer license allocation, preference points, weighted points and over-the-counter (OTC) elk licenses. 

For more information on hunting in Colorado, visit the CPW Hunt Big Game website or explore the Learn to Hunt Webinar Series

Early reminder on time change

We fall back an hour for the time change at midnight, Nov. 7. Some like it, some don’t. Either way, Daylight Saving Time ends, so don’t forget to turn back the clock one hour. Have a good week.

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