Bon Voyage to a Great Catch
Fond Farewell to Dedicated Couple
It’s bon voyage and a fond farewell to Ed Stege who served as the Leadville National Fish Hatchery Project Leader for the past 17 years. From operations and maintenance to over-the-top educational and community programs Stege’s 17 years of stewardship at the historic, federally owned fish hatchery came to an end in 2020.
Under Stege’s 17-year tenure the 1888 facility was saved from the Washington D.C. budgetary chopping block back in 2013. In coordination with the Friends of the Leadville National Fish Hatchery, Stege was able to establish a separate funding arm for a wide variety of upgrades from the pavilion at Evergreen Lake which has hosted dozens of meaningful local gatherings to done-right improvements along the Nature Trail which thousands enjoy each year, Stege’s waders will be hard to fill.
“We will do our best to carry on Ed’s commitment to the hatchery and community,” wrote the in-coming staff in the hatchery’s January 2021 Newsletter.
Perhaps beyond the hand-crafted flip-up fish Q&A’s out at the hatchery, or the commitment to the Career Fair at the high school or even the traditional 5th grade learn to fish program that most Leadville students are likely to recall in great detail as one of their most meorable, Stege’s subtule sense of humor will be missed in the parade.
The nearly life-sized parade entry Stege single-handedly built in anticipation of the annual Leadville Boom Days Parade in 2020 is still dry-docked as the event where the Friends have often taken top prize from parade judges was COVID-cancelled. The pirate ship is now in storage awaiting its maiden voyage. Will Stege be around to captain his own creation?
The Package Deal
When Leadville is fortunate enough to have a couple move to town where both have a great deal to contribute, locals call it a package deal. Alas when that same duet’s swan song is sung in America’s highest city, it’s double loss.
And so it goes with Ed Stege’s retirement, as he heads up to the northwest with his lovely bride Michelle Mueggler. Another dedicated civil servant Mueggler is also retiring from the United States Forest Service.
“We’ll be headed up to Washington state,” she shared with LT during her recent volunteer shift at a local event. The couple’s daughter lives there with her family.
So many appreciate Mueggler’s years of boots-on-the-ground dedication to Lake County’s USFS-managed lands and camping areas. And more recently her Ski With A Ranger program at Ski Cooper will be another tough [air of boots to fill.
All the best to Ed and Michelle as they start the next chapter! Everyone in Leadville Today, says Thank You! And don’t be a stranger!
BLM Seeks Council Members
The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public nominations for its Northwest Colorado, Southwest Colorado, and Rocky Mountain Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) for existing and upcoming member vacancies in June 2021.
All RACs consist of 15 citizens with diverse interests in public land management, including conservationists, ranchers, outdoor recreationists, state and local government officials, and energy industry representatives. The councils provide advice to the BLM on public land issues.
“The advice given to the BLM by these citizen-based Resource Advisory Councils is a vital part of the BLM’s collaborative approach to land management,” said BLM Colorado State Director Jamie Connell. “Citizen input enhances our agency’s ability to administer and conserve these lands for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations of Americans.”
The Bureau, which manages more land than any other Federal agency, has RACs located across the West. The diverse membership of each RAC is aimed at achieving a balanced outlook that the BLM needs for its mission, which is to manage the public lands for multiple uses.
RACs are critical in assisting the BLM in continuing to be a good neighbor in communities served by the Bureau, providing advice and recommendations on issues including land use planning, fire management, off-highway vehicle use, recreation, oil and gas exploration, noxious weed management, grazing issues, and wild horse and burro herd management issues.
The descriptions for RAC positions are as follows:
- Category One – Public land ranchers and representatives of organizations associated with energy and mineral development, the timber industry, transportation or rights-of-way, off-highway vehicle use, and commercial recreation.
- Category Two – Representatives of nationally or regionally recognized environmental organizations, archaeological and historical organizations, dispersed recreation activities, and wild horse and burro organizations.
- Category Three – Representatives of state, county, or local elected office; representatives and employees of a state agency responsible for the management of natural resources; representatives of Indian Tribes within or adjacent to the area for which the RAC is organized; representatives and employees of academic institutions who are involved in natural sciences; and the public-at-large.
Nominations must be submitted by (30 days after Federal Register notice publishes). To access the nomination application, go to http://ow.ly/iSks50EOMqr. For more information about serving on the Northwest Colorado RAC, contact Chris Maestas at 970-826-5101 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For the Southwest Colorado RAC, contact Shawn Reinhardt at 970-240-5339 or email@example.com. For the Rocky Mountain RAC, contact Brant Porter at 970-901-9581 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about RACs is available at https://www.blm.gov/get-involved/resource-advisory-council/near-you/colorado.
Individuals may nominate themselves or others to serve on an advisory council. Nominees will be judged based on their training, education, and knowledge of the council’s geographical area. Nominees should also demonstrate a commitment to consensus building and collaborative decision-making. All nominations must be accompanied by letters of reference from any represented interests or organizations; a completed background information nomination form; and any other information that speaks to the nominee’s qualifications.
The Bureau of Land Management
This year, BLM invites everyone to reimagine their public lands as they celebrate 75 years of stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
The Nature Trail at the Leadville Fish Hatchery
2018 Construction at the Fish Hatchery