The Colorado General Assembly’s Joint Budget Committee voted on Tuesday to support a $1 million funding effort to transition the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) away from the fixed-zone forecasting method, according to Vail Daily. Rather than continuing with large, predetermined avalanche forecast zones through the existing method, the flexible zone method would divide the existing zones into smaller regions on a day-to-day basis, allowing for more accurate and specific forecasts.
“There are really large swaths of territory in the individual zones. What is potentially dangerous in one part of the zone might be completely a non-issue in another part, but if you are a consumer of this zone, you go online and you look at it and you say ‘this zone is dangerous, I better not go out,’ but you might actually be OK going out — or visa versa.” – Joint Budget Committee staff member Mitch Burmeister
Beginning in the 2024/25 fiscal year, $1 million dollars will be put towards annual funding for CAIC from the Keep Colorado Wild state parks pass. Until then, however, the Joint Budget Committee aims to work with the state’s House and Senate to approve a one time cash fund of $1,075,418 to keep two already hired full-time positions on the pay roll while continuing the center’s existing work.
“They essentially want to keep doing the work they have been doing with the revenue that they thought they would have, but that they won’t have until fiscal year 2024-25” -Mitch Burmeister
Image Credit: Colorado Avalanche Information Center via Facebook
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