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Environment News

The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers all things environment in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado. Issues include, but are not limited to, water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development.  APR’s environment reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy heads the desk.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County is working to update its rules about hauling trash and recyclables, and a proposed ordinance aims to expand recycling in a challenging market.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Developers in Pitkin County have not yet embraced renewable energy as the go-to source.

 

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This week, scientists are gathered in Aspen to discuss “flash droughts,” which last under 30 days. Dr. Roger Pulwarty, a climate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will be giving a public lecture Tuesday as part of the workshop put on by the Aspen Global Change Institute.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

A decade-long battle over oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide area near Carbondale has ended.

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Basalt Town Council member and Aspen Skiing Company vice president Auden Schendler has been appointed to a state commission on air quality.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

On Friday, officials will lift all fire restrictions across the upper Colorado River area, including the Roaring Fork Valley.

Aspen Skiing Company

Aspen Skiing Company announced Wednesday that it is once again stepping into the political arena with its latest advertising campaign; this season’s marketing focuses on climate change.

City of Aspen

Aspen wants to cut traffic without adding more lanes or changing the s-curves. In an experiment called "Shift," which is slated for next summer, the city will test out a variety of programs aimed at giving people options to get out of the car as they commute into town.

Courtesy of Christy Rose

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) announced Thursday that it is lifting some fishing restrictions, and increasing others.

Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

On Monday, the state approved Xcel Energy’s plan to close two coal-fired power plants, which is expected to bring more renewable energy to Colorado.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Earlier this month, Aspen City Council declared a stage 2 water shortage, restricting outdoor irrigation and water use. But several city properties are exempted from the rules.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

As fires burn in Colorado and across the west, Roaring Fork communities have frequently been under health advisories for air quality because of smoke.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

 

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows Pitkin County is now experiencing severe-to-extreme drought and, on Monday, city council agreed to implement Stage Two water restrictions. It's the first time the city has taken this step, which is meant to protect area rivers and preserve the city’s water supply.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

It’s been a few weeks since the Lake Christine Fire tore along the hillsides above Basalt and El Jebel. The flames are gone, but the evidence of the fire is clear on the blackened landscape. It’s a haunting change from the usual green or gold slopes; newspaper columnists have called this a "hellscape."

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On Thursday, the Trump administration announced rollbacks to the Clean Car Standards, which set guidelines for vehicle emissions, but Colorado officials are preparing a workaround.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

As the Lake Christine Fire continues to burn along the upper stretches of Missouri Heights, a handful of firefighters watched pink clouds of smoke billow on the hillside across from Spring Park Reservoir.

Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is looking for public input as it starts planning what to do with land it acquired near Carbondale last year.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

The Pitkin County community survey is used to measure the public’s satisfaction with government services and identify areas for improvement. On Tuesday, the commissioners will consider also asking the public to weigh-in on water issues.

On Friday, an Aspen-based organization awarded $250,000 to 10 groups working on solutions to climate change.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

For centuries, humans’ relationship with animals has been related to use and utility. Scientists are now delving into more complex understanding of our fellow creatures. Seeing birds of prey up close offers a chance to appreciate both the evolutionary science — and the emotional beauty of raptors.

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