Raton Basin
News

Raton Basin Chapter API & COGA Fundraising Supports Local Communities

December 2014

The Raton Basin Chapter American Petroleum Institute (API) and Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) are nonprofit organizations operated out of Trinidad, Colorado.  These organizations hold a golf tournament and sporting clay shoot every year to raise money for donation to various groups in Las Animas County, Colorado and Colfax County, New Mexico.  The money raised comes from donations through area businesses, shooters/golfers, and chance drawings.  The participants realize what a great benefit this is for the youth and community.

This year API and COGA donated over $14,000 to local charities and youth groups, including awarding several college scholarships.  API and COGA will also be participating in the First National Bank “Adopt a Senior Citizen” program again this Christmas.

API and COGA are nonprofit organizations…all money raised goes back to the community!  To learn more about the Raton Basin Chapter API and COGA organizations or to join, please contact Cheri Morgan at (719) 845-4307.


2nd Annual Aguilar Spring Cleanup a Success

May 2014

clean-up group photo

The 2nd Annual Aguilar Clean-Up held on May 2nd was a huge success.  About 70 volunteers showed up to help and the weather was perfect to spruce up the little community.  In addition to local residents, Girl Scout Service Unit 332 came to help along with the local American Legion. After the clean-up, lunch was barbequed for the volunteers by Jack Wiseman and Aguilar Mayor Pro-Tem, Leland Gulley.  We appreciate the support and would like to thank everyone that volunteered!

clean-up

We would like to thank the sponsors who provided door prizes and clean-up supplies:

Twin Enviro, Kerry Campbell @ Colorado Homestead Properties, Robert Campbell Construction,  Jack Wiseman, Carquest Trinidad, Dixon Waller, Century Savings and Loan Association, Makloski Automotive, George’s Drive Inn, First National Bank in Trinidad, Kelly’s Towing, Sharon Thorne, Wal-Mart, Tequila’s Family Restaurant, RJ’s Discount Liquor, Navajo Service Station, Kathleen’s Beauty Shop, Tutti Scoops, G & C Trucking, G. Jo’s Trucking, Smoker Friendly/Gasamat, Roughnecks Saloon, Fred and Michelle Eichler, Girl Scout Service Unit 332, Becky Buhr 31 Gift Independent Consultant, Trinidad Round Up Association, Ringo’s Market,  Jeff VanMatre CDOT, Town of Aguilar Economic Development  and the event organizers, Tatum Rivera and Cindy Gulley.

Please join us in Aguilar for the following upcoming events:

Community Yard Sale – June 14 - Aguilar Days – July 19 - Shadow of the Breast Fest – October 11


Purgatoire Watershed Partnership Celebrates One-Year Anniversary in January 2014

December 2013

The next Purgatoire Watershed Partnership (PWP) meeting is Thursday, January 9th, 2014 at 5 PM at the NRCS Office located at 3590 E. Main St. in Trinidad.  This meeting will mark the official one-year anniversary of the PWP!  It is important to note that all memberships will need to be renewed at the January meeting, and several board members will be up for re-election, so it is very important you attend to renew your membership and take part in the leadership of the PWP.  All PWP meetings are open to the public.  Please join us and be a part of the health of the Purgatoire River Watershed!


Purgatoire Watershed Partnership Approved for Second Year of Funding - Watershed Consultant Hired

July 2013

The Purgatoire Watershed Partnership (PWP) has been approved for the second year of funding through the WaterSMART grant received from the Bureau of Reclamation.  Thanks to this funding, the PWP was able to hire Jeff Crane as the Watershed Consultant.  Mr. Crane will lead the group in creating a Watershed Plan for the Purgatoire watershed.

Jeff Crane

Mr. Crane has a vast knowledge of all things watersheds!  He began his career in river restoration in 1996 by helping to form the North Fork River Improvement Association.  He jumped straight into improving watershed health by working on an extensive project on the North Fork of the Gunnison River. This complex project has not only helped that watershed, but it has served as a template for numerous other community projects.

Since then, Mr. Crane has been involved with many organizations and watersheds including being involved in the founding of the Colorado Watershed Assembly.  He strives to make sure all local stakeholders are included in the planning process, so that the plan serves all of the community equally. In his spare time, Mr. Crane enjoys river rafting, skiing, bicycling, and hiking with his family.

Mr. Crane will be attending the PWP’s meeting on September 12th at 5PM at the NRCS office, which is located at 3590 E. Main St. in Trinidad.  Please be sure to attend this meeting to welcome him to the PWP and let him know your concerns and priorities for the watershed!


Second Annual Trinidad Water Festival a Success

May 2013

Norwest Corporation recently took part in the Second Annual Water Festival in Trinidad, Colorado, an event organized by Culebra Range Community Coalition.  Over 1500 students participated in the one day event that took place at the Trinidad State Junior College Campuson May 16, 2013.  This year’s theme was “Every Drop Counts” and centered on water conservation.
 Norwest had both an indoor booth and an outdoor booth.  The indoor booth included a groundwater model that allowed the students to see the water cycle in action, a video presentation illustrating key tasks involved with water sample collection, and a water quality station and sodium display.
 The outdoor booth included a presentation on Colorado’s annual water consumption.  In addition, the children were given a quiz related to their everyday water consumption followed by a group discussion about the different ways we can limit our daily use of water.  Both booths engaged the students with information about water conservation while offering a fun experience for everyone.

2013 Trinidad Water Festival

From left to right: Norwest employees:  Helene Wieting, Jessica Cole, Aaron Caudill, Stacey Rivera (member of the Water Festival Planning Committee), and Angela Welch


Socieconimic Benefits of Coalbed Methane (CBM) Extraction and Water Production in Las Animas County

Several studies prepared in October 2012 by Harvey Economics evaluated these socioeconomic benefits.  Summary sheets of the results are provided at the webiste link below.

Socioeconomic Benefits of CBM Extraction Summary Sheets


Girl Makes Cleanup Dream a Reality in Aguilar, Colorado

April 2013

Aguilar Clean Up

The small town of Aguilar has been looking for ways to promote community spirit, and an 11-year old girl helped lead the charge.  Young Tatum Rivera launched an idea that resulted in over seventy residents and friends taking part in Aguilar's first Spring Cleanup.  Volunteers gathered at the town park on Saturday, April 20th, divided into groups, and worked diligently at sprucing up the community.  A free barbecue was held after the cleanup where several prizes were awarded.  For more on the event including interviews and clips, please visit http://www.youtube.com/embed/ZDCBWK4YfFQ.


Norwest Supports Oil & Gas Industry in Trinidad, Colorado

January 2013

Norwest published an article by Kevin Ritter in the company's January 2013 newsletter. Norwest established a field presence in the heart of the Raton Basin of Colorado in 1998, and launched an office in Trinidad in 2000 to provide hydrologic and environmental consulting services for existing and proposed coal bed methane (CBM) operations. Our personnel have extensive experience in developing appropriate water management strategies; design, and construction of water handling facilities; implementation of stormwater management plans and practices; and providing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting and compliance support. Field technicians routinely collect a variety of samples for compliance with Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regulations, from baseline domestic water quality sampling to soil sampling for production pit closure and reclamation.

The office location allows Norwest to be easily accessible to our clients for ongoing support and maintenance of area stream monitoring stations, monitoring wells, and stormwater management installations, along with immediate response to investigation of environmental compliance related issues. Another important aspect of a local presence in Trinidad is our ability to live in the community and to participate in community outreach through civic and other local organizations. By being involved in the community, Norwest strives to educate and continually disseminate information on the measures we take to protect the environment and our water supplies and to be good stewards of both in the process.

Norwest's experience in water resources has benefited many clients in planning and permitting new projects, as well as offering an understanding of the hydrologic impacts and environmental constraints facing existing operations. We value the partnerships established with our clients and look forward to supporting their long-term needs.

To read more about Norwest's Trinidad office and capabilities, please refer to page 4 in the Norwester at the link below.

Norwester


Purgatoire Watershed Partnership Adopted Bylaws and Nominated First Board

January 2013

The Purgatoire Watershed Partnership (PWP) is making strides in its effort to becoming an established watershed group.  The group is comprised of stakeholders with diverse interests who have come together to form a cooperative partnership to work towards the conservation, protection and enhancement of their water resources.  In September 2012 the group received a Bureau of Reclamation Cooperative Watershed Management Grant.  This grant was highly competitive and offered to 17 states located in the western U.S.  The funding awarded will allow them to hire a watershed coordinator and a watershed consultant to carry out the group’s objectives and goals, beginning with creating a group mission statement, determining watershed management project concepts, and ultimately working to create a watershed restoration plan. 


Since funding was awarded, the group has been working to draft, finalize and submit their Articles and Bylaws of Incorporation.  At the January 9, 2013 PWP monthly meeting, the group was able to adopt their Bylaws, establish their membership base, and swear in an Official Board of Directors. At this time the group created subcommittees including both Board Members and PWP Members to begin working on targeted initiatives.   The Board was also able to finalize a job description for hiring a Watershed Coordinator and have the Chair of the Selection Committee publish it through Colorado Workforce.  All of the accomplishments of the January 9th meeting are working to significantly move the group forward. 


Listed below are Board Members, their Stakeholder Representation and the length of their term: 


Name

Stakeholder Representation

Length of Term

JD McElhaney (Chair)

Local Industry

1-year

Ken Torres (Vice Chair)

Water Right Holders

2-year

Stacey Rivera (Treasurer)

Environmental Community

1-year

Angela Welch (Secretary)

Environmental Community

1-year

Mack Louden

County Government

2-year

Paula Ozzello

Environmental Community

3-year

Karen Salapich

Landowners

2-year

Levi Montoya

Local Conservation Entities

3-year

Mark Hanson

Recreation Community

1-year

Bernadette Baca Gonzalez

Municipal Government

3-year

Karen Brown

Local Industry

2-year

Roy Miller

Pinion Canyon Maneuver Site

3-year

Tom Verquer

Purgatoire River Conservancy District

2-year


Overall, the most important focus of the group is the protection of watershed health.  Other issues and topics the group seeks to bring light to are: improved water quantity and quality, water education, forest health, gas development, coal mining, invasive species, aesthetic and recreational values, land development, agriculture, aquatic and wildlife habitat, and stream and riparian restoration, which all together play a significant role in the health and enhancement of the watershed.  “Bringing together people, policies, priorities and resources through a watershed approach blends science and regulatory responsibilities with social and economic considerations” stated by Levi Montoya the District Conservationist at the Trinidad Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Field Office. Watershed planning is often too complex to be tackled by one interest group alone, and by weaving together partnerships the process can be strengthened with an end result of new ideas and resources that work to increase public understanding and communities committed to finding solutions. 


The next Board meeting will occur on February 14, 2013.  The meeting will discuss organizational components such as the drafting of a mission statement, web development, and the hiring of a watershed coordinator.  The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 6pm at the NRCS Office located at 3590 E. Main St. in Trinidad, CO. 


Purgatoire Watershed Partnership Adopting Bylaws and Nominating First Board

December 2012

The Purgatoire Watershed Partnership has been in the process of filing Articles and Bylaws to become an incorporated 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit organization.  At the next group meeting scheduled on January 9th, 2013, the group will adopt the Articles and Bylaws and nominate the first board.  To support the group and become a member, please plan to attend this important meeting at 5 pm at the Conservation District Office located at 3590 E. Main St. in Trinidad, CO.  There is a $10 annual membership fee that will ensure your voice is heard and promote positive collaborative decisions are made in favor of watershed health in the Purgatoire. 

Purgatoire Planning Group 

For more information:

Contact: Stephanie DeBetitto This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
6060 Broadway Denver, CO  80216 Phone: 973-222-6772
Contact: Stacey Rivera This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
3613 Freedom Road, Trinidad, CO  81082 Phone: 719-680-1807


No Flow at Three Monitoring Stations on Apishapa River

October 2012

Norwest is in the process of winterizing the Apishapa gaging stations to avoid damaging the equipment.  This will require pulling the transducers that are installed at the three stations.  In years past, there was enough flow at the Nations, Eichler, and Lisonbee stations to avoid pulling the transducers.  Last year, the Belarde transducer was pulled for the winter due to lack of flow.  In 2012, the Belarde station went dry in mid-June; Eichler went dry early July, and Lisonbee, the furthest downstream station just above a major irrigation diversion, went dry late July.  The following photos were taken at each station on October 5, 2012.

Belarde Station

Belarde Station Oct 5, 2012

Eichler Station

Eichler Station

Lisonbee Station

Lisonbee Station

Norwest will increase the frequency of station visits from every other week to every week, documenting flow conditions. In the event that flow is present, Norwest will re-install the transducers and measure flow if conditions allow.  Please visit this site again for periodic updates on field conditions.


Purgatoire Watershed Partnership Received Bureau of Reclamation Grant

September 2012

The Purgatoire Watershed Partnership, a group that has been in the works for over two years, is making strides in its effort to becoming an established watershed group.  The group is comprised of stakeholders with diverse interests who have come together to form a cooperative partnership to work towards conservation, protection and enhancement of their water resources.  The group is proud to announce their recent accomplishment in receiving a Bureau of Reclamation Cooperative Watershed Management Grant.  This grant was highly competitive and offered to 17 states located in the western U.S.  The funding awarded will allow them to hire a watershed coordinator and a watershed consultant to carry out the group's objectives and goals, beginning with creating a group mission statement, determining watershed management project concepts, and ultimately working to create a watershed restoration plan.

The most important focus of the group is the protection of water rights.  Other issues and topics the group seeks to bring light to are:  improved water quantity and quality, water education, forest health, gas development, coal mining, invasive species, aesthetic and recreational values, land development, agriculture, aquatic and wildlife habitat, and stream and riparian restoration, which all together play a significant role in the health and enhancement of the watershed.  "Bringing together people, policies, priorities and resources through a watershed approach blends science and regulatory responsibilities with social and economic considerations." stated by Levi Montoya, the District Conservationist at the Trinidad Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Field Office.  Watershed planning is often too complex to be tackled by one interest group alone, and by weaving together partnerships the process can be strengthened with an end result of new ideas and resources that work to increase public understanding and communities committed to finding solutions.

As the group continues to grow it is important that no local stakeholders are excluded, and that as many of the voices in the watershed are heard as possible.  It is encouraged that you join this community effort to protect our most valuable resource - water.

The Spanish Peaks/Purgatoire River Conservation District has taken the responsibility of acting as the fiscal agent for the Purgatoire Watershed Partnership.  The Conservation District works in partnership with the NRCS to implement conservation practices and information and education activities.  Work is primarily carried out in forestland, native rangeland, and irrigated cropland to benefit and address local resource concerns such as soil, water, animal health, and plant health.

For more information contact:  Jonnalea Tortorelli, Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Address:  3590 East Main Street, Trinidad, CO  81082, Telephone: 719-846-3681 ext. 117, Fax:  719-846-0525.


Group Gathering to Discuss Purgatoire River Watershed and Watershed Plan

January 25, 2012

Few things are more important than protecting and conserving the life waters of a community. No one natural resource used on a daily basis is taken for granted more, and yet, water is an increasingly competitive resource and could become one of the most endangered resources in Colorado.

A group of local citizens and organizational and government leaders has been meeting regularly with the hopes of developing a Watershed Plan for the Purgatoire River. The goal is that these efforts will result in improved water quality and water quantity and resolve key issues and areas of concern by utilizing any and all state, federal and private funds available. The Purgatoire River Watershed area encompasses approximately 2,122,320 acres and is located in a four-county area of southeastern Colorado. 

Still in the infant stages, the group is currently identifying all the key stakeholders - from the landowner to private industry and municipalities, to government agencies and non-profit organizations - with each individual currently involved reaching out to other stakeholders to guide in the planning process, facilitating communication and promoting community involvement.

The end result will be to complete a holistic Watershed Plan that is ready for implementation to address as many watershed issues as possible for the citizens utilizing the life waters that flow through the communities along the Purgatoire River and its tributaries. 

Over 75 Watershed Groups in the state of Colorado are watching over their waters, protecting and improving the known, perceived and potential water quality impacts in their watershed areas.

“Developing and implementing a watershed plan takes months or even years,” explained Jeff Crane. “But the success of any watershed plan is based on finding common ground and developing shared watershed goals and shared responsibility for achieving those goals.”

Crane is the Executive Director for the Colorado Watershed Assembly (CWA) and is facilitating the group in the start-up process. He is a hydrologist specializing in stream restoration, irrigation diversion and habitat enhancement projects. The CWA builds partnerships to protect your water. They support, provide leadership and advocate for individual, grassroots, and nonprofit community groups to help them protect, conserve and enhance the states watersheds.

After three meetings in as many months, and the growth of the stakeholder group, Crane continues to emphasize the need for the involvement of knowledgeable and engaged local citizens who are familiar with the local watershed to become organized and carry out the development of the watershed planning process.

“Watershed protection, conservation and enhancement can only be effective if it is local-led,” Crane stressed.

Some of the emerging concerns, issues and challenges identified at the meetings have included Selenium; sediment; erosion; agriculture; forest and aquatic life health; coal mining and gas development impacts; bank stabilization; water conservation; invasive species and more.

Interested stakeholders already involved include the USDA Natural Resource Conservation District, Culebra Range Community Coalition, Trout Unlimited, Trinidad Community Foundation, Las Animas County Commissioners, Southern Colorado Environmental Council, Pioneer Natural Resources, Norwest Corporation, XTO Energy, North Fork Ranches, El Moro Ditch Co., Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, business owners, landowners and more.  The next meeting will be held in the Commissioner’s Chambers at the Las Animas County Courthouse beginning at 6 p.m. on June 21, 2012. All community stakeholders are encouraged to participate. For additional information, please visit www.coloradowater.org or contact Levi Montoya at 719-846-3681 x 3 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Real-time Data Collection at the Apishapa River Gaging Stations is Live

January 20, 2012

Upgrades to the three Apishapa Gaging Stations to allow for near real-time data collection are complete.  Users are now able to see data within an hour after it is collected.  Users are also able to see historic data collected at the stations.  To access the real-time site, please visit:

 http://www.sutronwin.com/norwest/tw/


Nations Gaging Station on the Apishapa River Discontinued and New Belarde Gaging Station Activated

September 2, 2011

Due to a change in ownership of the property the Nations Gaging Station is located on, the Nations Gaging Station was discontinued on July 14, 2011.  All equipment was removed and relocated upstream to the Belarde property.  The Belarde Gaging Station was activated on September 1, 2011.


Las Animas County Water Well Test Kit Program Started

May 10, 2011

In 2011, the Las Animas County Health Department, in partnership with Norwest Corporation (Norwest) and Pioneer Natural Resources USA, Inc., implemented a water well testing program for citizens of Las Animas County, Colorado.  This testing program is provided as a free service to county residents interested in learning more about the quality of their drinking water, particularly residents with private water wells.

Each test kit includes two sample bottles, a pair of sampling gloves, a pen, a permanent marker, an instructional sampling sheet, and a “Water Wells in Las Animas County” informational sheet.  After a test kit is picked up by an individual, the water sample is collected following the outlined instructions and returned to the Las Animas County Health Department within two days of sample collection.  At that point, Norwest, an independent contractor, picks up the sample from the Health Department and prepares it for shipment to a certified laboratory for analysis.  Forty four constituents are analyzed for in the laboratory include metals, such as iron and sodium, and general chemistry such as pH and total dissolved solids (TDS).  

Water Well Testing Kits can be picked up at:
Las Animas County Health Department
412 Benedicta Ave.
Trinidad, CO  81082
(719) 846-2213
Hours of Operation:  M-F 8am – 4pm
http://www.la-h-health.org/


Town of Aguilar Kicks Off Development of Source Water Protection Plan

December 16, 2010

The Town of Aguilar, Colorado, with the assistance of Colorado Rural Water Association, is in the process of developing a Source Water Protection Plan to protect the source of their drinking waters.  The Town of Aguilar has also begun to provide a forum for community involvement in this process of developing a Source Water Protection Plan.  On December 16, 2010 the Town of Aguilar kicked of the development of this plan at a meeting where nearly thirty interested residents, landowners, businesses, and government officials were in attendance.  Additional meetings will be held in 2011 for opportunities to provide additional feedback. 

For Additional Information:

U.S. EPA Source Water Protection

State of Colorado SWAP Program

The Town of Aguilar


Norwest Conducts Custom Workshop on Coalbed Methane for Sinopec

October 30, 2010 - November 5, 2010

(Excerpt from article written by Cathy Begej, Senior Project Manager, Denver Business Unit; Full article to appear in the November 2010 edition of the Norwester)

Norwest taught a seven-day course on Coal Bed Methane (CBM) to Sinopec employees between October 30 and November 5, 2010.  Sinopec is a vertically integrated Chinese oil and gas petrochemical company, the third-largest oil refiner by capacity in the world.  It employs over 600,000 employees.  Oil production in the first half of 2010 was 149 million barrels, and natural gas production in the first half of 2010 was 201 billion cubic feet.

The course in unconventional resources was tailored to Sinopec's interests and covers CBM development from the exploration phase through characterization to development.  The workshop included a special segment on water management techniques, complemented by a field trip to Pioneer Natural Resources' Raton Basin operations near Trinidad. 


Apishapa Watershed Monitoring Program Presentation to the Aguilar City Council

September 23, 2010

On September 23, 2010 Norwest Corporation presented material to the Aguilar City Council regarding the Apishapa Watershed Monitoring Program.  Several people attended the meeting in addition to Aguilar City Council members.  Click on the links below to view the material that was provided to the City Council members and to view the presentation.

Handout 

Presentation  


Beavers Relocated to Fremont County

April & May 2010

Eichler BeaversIn mid-July 2009 beaver dams started appearing in the vicinity of the Eichler Gaging Station on the Apishapa River.  The construction of one dam, built approximately 20 feet downstream of the Eichler gaging station, caused various problems with the gaging equipment.  The Aqua Troll, which was originally on top of the stream bed, was buried under a layer of sediment resulting in minimal variation in water temperature and an overall increase in conductivity readings.  Field technicians were not able to remove the Aqua Troll for routine maintenance and were not able to clean sediment out of the Aqua Troll housing, both necessary for accurate readings.

To address this issue, a company called Colorado-Rid-a-Critter was hired in mid-April 2010 to relocate the beavers.  With thirteen visits to the site over a two week period, eight beavers were successfully trapped and relocated to Fremont County.  Four beavers were taken to public land in the Wilson Creek Drainage, two were taken to the Tallahassee Drainage, and the remaining two were taken to the Black Mountain area.

 Eichler BeaversShortly after the beavers were relocated, Norwest field technicians removed the three beaver dams, eliminating the backup of water at the Eichler Gaging Station.  With the reduction of water over the Aqua Troll housing, technicians were able to do the necessary maintenance to the equipment and get the station back up and running properly.

 This beaver relocation project not only solved the problems that were occurring at the Eichler Gaging Station but also helped reintroduce beavers to areas in Colorado that have been void of activity since well before the drought of 2002.  Cooperation like this between industry and land managers is essential in the preservation of our watersheds.  

For more information about beavers and their habitat please visit http://icwdm.org/handbook/rodents/ro_b1.pdf


Colorado Public Radio-Colorado Matters  - “Clash Between Natural Gas and Water”

December 28 & 29, 2009

A recent state supreme court ruling requires that coalbed methane wells make up for any water they drain from other users. But putting that decision into practice isn't proving easy.  On Dec 29 and 30, 2009 Colorado Public Radio – Colorado Matters did a two part series titled “Clash Between Natural Gas and Water”.  Angie Welch with Norwest was interviewed in Part 2 of the series about the Apishapa River Gaging Stations. 

 Listen to Part 1 of the Series

http://www.cpr.org/article/legacy-archive-5352

  Listen to Part 2 of the Series

http://www.cpr.org/article/legacy-archive-5353

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contact us
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Norwest Trinidad Office

3613 Freedom Road
Suite A
Trinidad, CO 81082

Telephone: 719.846.7570
Fax: 719.846.7589
Email: trinidad@norwestcorp.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Norwest Denver Office

950 South Cherry Street
Suite 800
Denver, CO 80246
Telephone:  303.782.0164
Fax:  303.782.2560
Email:denver@norwestcorp.com

 

www.norwestcorp.com

 

Raton Basin