Aspen Public Radio Newsroom

Roaring Fork Valley reporting and stories from the award-winning Aspen Public Radio Newsroom.


Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser was in Aspen Monday to help kick off the Technology Policy Institute’s annual forum.


Weiser stopped by Aspen Public Radio to talk with managing editor Craig Kopp about two of the biggest legal debates in the nation right now -- immigration and gun control.

A federal program that helps small businesses in Garfield County says more companies are asking it for help.  Last week, Garfield County granted the Small Business Development Center, or SBDC, five thousand dollars to help them continue their work. 

Northwest Colorado SBDC provides training and workshops to small businesses on things like management and finance. 



Pitkin County is looking for input on how to manage the popular Penny Hot Springs, which sits on open space property north of Redstone in the Crystal River Valley. The hot springs and the parking area on Highway 133 have grown increasingly busy, and officials with Pitkin County Open Space and Trails are working on a new management plan for the area.

Garfield County Sheriff's Office

The suspect in an officer-involved shooting in Rifle on Monday evening has been pronounced dead. 

According to the Garfield County coroner’s office, 57 year-old Allan George of Rifle was stopped by Garfield County officers on Highway 13 for an active warrant.

Arapahoe Basin

The Mountain Collective announced Tuesday that it will add Summit County’s Arapahoe Basin to its roster of resorts. 

Arapahoe Basin joins Aspen Snowmass as the Mountain Collective’s second resort in Colorado.

A-Basin left Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, a Mountain Collective competitor, this spring.  It’s also a part of the Ikon Pass, which has some crossover with the Mountain Collective. 


Mike McMillan / Lake Christine Fire PIO

Emergency responders and public works crews are continuing to work Monday morning on flooding response and clean-up following heavy rains and mudslides that occurred Sunday across the Lake Christine burn scar.

Around 30 homes were impacted, but no injuries have been reported.

US Forest Service

A small wildland fire is burning about 10 miles south of Rifle.

The Middle Mamm Creek Fire is smoldering on 1/10 of an acre. It was started by natural causes and is not threatening property. Firefighters will keep watch on the fire and use it to reduce dry brush, and improve forest health and wildlife habitat.


Wiki Images

Wednesday, retailers and the public are invited to learn more about a proposed tobacco tax in Pitkin County. 


Pitkin County health officials are drafting language for a 2019 ballot question that would raise taxes on tobacco. Cigarettes would be taxed at $3.20 a pack, and all other tobacco products would see a 40% tax. 


Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio


The Colorado Water Conservation Board, which oversees water use across the state, has given the City of Aspen $186,356 to look into an alternative way to use water rights.

Aspen water officials are looking for partners on a system that would allow the city to temporarily use someone else’s agricultural water right. 

Piktin County


Officials are looking for solutions to packed parking lots at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport.

Airport director John Kinney said there’s a shortage of about 120 spots at the Aspen airport, even after officials relocated rental cars and paved a dirt lot late last year. Officials say people who are not traveling are also using the airport’s long-term parking lot. 


Congressman Scott Tipton, whose district includes the Roaring Fork Valley, released a draft proposal Wednesday that would designate new wilderness in Colorado. It does not include protections for key areas on the Western Slope. 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy

Development and climate change are top threats to wildlife habitat and biodiversity, and in the arid west, water supply is a consistent concern for all kinds of life. But ecologists see a simple, natural way for ecosystems to be more resilient: beavers. 

When local ecologist Delia Malone walks along the Crystal River in Carbondale, she sees something missing. This footpath runs through an area that used to flood during spring runoff, but with the combination of development and climate change, it doesn’t anymore. Malone said it’s also in part because there are no beavers on this stretch of river. 

Courtesy image


On Wednesday, Pitkin County Commissioners will discuss purchasing ten acres in the Crystal River Valley for $1.55 million.


The Wildin property includes about 900 feet of river frontage and two homes on the east side of the Crystal River on the southern end of Filoha Meadows. 

Marci Krivonen

We-Cycle’s bike share system is already in Aspen and Basalt.  Now, it wants to expand to Carbondale. At a work session last week, the town took a step toward making that happen.  


Carbondale granted We-Cycle’s request to include a $30,000 placeholder in their 2020 draft budget.  We-Cycle asked for the placeholder to help it raise the rest of the money needed to place its bikes throughout the town. 


Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio


The Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA) released a set of guidelines Thursday that it is encouraging locals and tourists to use when sharing images of remote, backcountry locations on social media.


Instead of geotagging or sharing the exact location, ACRA wants people to use a generic tag that reads, “Tag Responsibly, Take the Aspen Pledge.” 

Courtesy of Mike Molloy

Scientists think the pika, a tiny alpine mammal, may provide clues to what climate change will mean in the Rocky Mountains.


Pikas, which are related to rabbits, are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature and snowpack. Researchers with the Front Range Pika Project began collecting data on pikas in the White River National Forest last year. They’re relying on citizen science volunteers to help conduct surveys in several locations across the forest, including Independence Pass. 

Courtesy of Bowman Leigh, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies


Project Drawdown is a research organization that identifies the one hundred most viable and impactful solutions to climate change. Founder Paul Hawken was in Aspen last weekend and sat down with reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.   

Monday is the deadline for seniors and disabled veterans in Colorado to apply for a property tax exemption.

Fifty percent of the first $200,000 of a home’s value is exempt from property tax for anyone over the age of 65 in Colorado, as long as they’ve lived in the home for at least ten years.  


Courtesy of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies


The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend with a lecture on solution to climate change.

In his 2017 book “Drawdown,” environmentalist Paul Hawken outlines a comprehensive plan to reverse climate change. He’ll discuss the policies and technologies needed to make that happen with ACES CEO Chris Lane tomorrow night. Lane said Hawken brings unparalleled expertise and optimism.


Courtesy of John Mele


Last month, the Aspen Fire Protection District launched a new program to assess dangers in the upper valley.  

Aspen firefighters are completing curbside assessments of every property in the wildland-urban interface, those places where human development is close to wild lands. Fire chief Rick Balentine says that’s about 90 percent of the Aspen Fire District.