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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

Climate change clues unearthed

Marci Krivonen/Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County officials are digging deep to learn more about local impacts of climate change.


The Aspen Global Change Institute has been monitoring soil and ecosystem conditions at nine stations across the Roaring Fork Valley since 2012. The goal is to understand both how local ecosystems are changing as the climate warms and what that means for how we manage public lands.

“Short term example might be something like understanding fire risk,” said Elise Osenga with the Aspen Global Change Institute. “A long term might be something along the lines of how is vegetation moving and how is vegetation responding.”

Gary Tennenbaum with Pitkin County Open Space and Trails said data from sites like the one at Sky Mountain Park will inform management decisions, like what to do about an aspen grove near that location that appears to be in decline.

Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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