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Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Colorado wildlife officials have found evidence of at least six wolves in the state's northwest region, a second indication of a return by the animals after a long absence. Democratic Gov. Jared Polis issued a statement Wednesday confirming the Colorado Parks and Wildlife discovery and asking residents to make room for the wolves.

Nancie Battaglia

 


Bill McKibben first wrote about the changing climate more than 30 years ago, and he continues to document global warming and speak out against the largest culprits. Most recently, he was arrested while protesting Chase Bank’s ties to the fossil-fuel industry.

McKibben will be in Aspen this weekend, learning to downhill ski and speaking as part of Aspen Skiing Company’s occasional speaker series Aspen U.

Every time thick, dark rain clouds move over the deserts that surround Las Vegas, there's an anticipatory buzz. Flora and fauna alike begin preparing for the rare event, lying in wait for the first few drops.

Todd Esque is usually waiting for them too from his office in Henderson, Nevada. He knows how much desert life depends on their arrival. So when they do come, he's smiling.

Kristen Levy

Witches’ Pantry is a cave recently discovered in the boundaries of Rocky Mountain Resources’ proposed expansion of the Mid-Continent Quarry in Glenwood Springs. 

If the mining company’s proposal is approved, the cave and all the potential science within it could be destroyed, according to the cavers who discovered it.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Journalism

When a mountain lion has been treed by hunting dogs, the animal looks distinctly catlike: powerful, annoyed and, yes, bored. 

Whit Whitaker and other winter sportsmen have hunted mountain lions in the Roaring Fork River valley for decades, but until this week, a small triangle of land above Aspen has been off-limits. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

An initiative to reintroduce gray wolves to Colorado has qualified for the November ballot. The secretary of state’s office says supporters turned in enough valid voter signatures to qualify the measure. The gray wolf has been successfully reintroduced to a number of U.S. states but was eradicated in Colorado in the 1940s. A group called the Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund is campaigning for the plan.

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management moved its headquarters to Grand Junction on Thursday. Demonstrators were there, in part to protest acting department director William Perry Pendley.

The Daily Sentinel reports that the U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary signed an order last Thursday extending the appointment of Pendley until April,despite criticism. Pendley was placed in temporary charge of the agency in July and his current appointment was set to expire this week.

Pocket Of Severe Drought Lingers Over Southwest US

Jan 3, 2020
United States Drought Monitor

Drought has yet to give up its hold over parts of the southwestern United States despite a series of storms that have brought rain and snow to the region in recent weeks. The latest federal map shows a pocket of moderate and severe drought centered over the Four Corners region, where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet. 

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

In December, the Bureau of Land Management said it will not make a decision to approve Rocky Mountain Resources’ proposal for a hydrology study until early 2020. 

The mining company owns the Mid-Continent Quarry just north of Glenwood Springs and is looking to expand operations by 5,000%. For the Bureau of Land Management to approve that expansion, it must first conduct a hydrology study. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife


The Gunnison sage-grouse, a smaller cousin of the greater sage-grouse, is a unique, regal-looking bird found in southwestern Colorado.  In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed it as a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act. This past fall, the federal government released its recovery plan for the species, and Tuesday is the final day for public comment.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Journalism


Just as new research shows that aspen forests are a fountain of biodiversity, Aspen’s namesake trees in the Roaring Fork River watershed are battling warming temperatures, drier conditions, climate disruption, and unchecked herds of deer and elk. Although local aspen forests are currently still healthy, they face serious challenges.

 

Nick Cote for KUNC/Lighthawk


Nearly 40 million people depend on the Colorado River for their water supply. Last week, a group of stakeholders gathered in Las Vegas for the Colorado River Water Users Association conference to discuss major issues when it comes to sharing and regulating usage.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio

Tuesday, Pitkin County Commissioners will hear an update on commercial paddleboarding and boating businesses that operate at North Star Nature Preserve, a popular open space property east of Aspen along the Roaring Fork River. This comes as Open Space and Trails staff work to balance recreation with protecting the sensitive nature preserve in an update to the area’s management plan.

Courtesy Photo / Wild Rose Education

Roles are reversed for some local, state and federal policy makers at Thursday’s Healthy Rivers Youth Water Summit in Carbondale.

Over 100 students from the Youth Water Leadership Program of Wild Rose Education will present solutions to different water issues and climate change impacts.

City of Glenwood Springs


The City of Glenwood Springs is working on improvements to the Three Mile Creek confluence area. The public can give feedback at an open house on Monday.  

via National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The news website Vox recently published an article titled “Colorado’s cleanest energy options are also its cheapest.” The author, David Roberts, spoke with Aspen Public Radio about his findings. Roberts’ full article can be read here.

Courtesy of CLEER

Tuesday night, the Carbondale Board of Trustees was presented with a year-end rundown of accomplishments by Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER). The Carbondale-based organization collaborates with the Town of Carbondale and Garfield County to assist in the adoption of renewable energy.

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

 

As awareness of the potential effects of climate change grows, so does anxiety and grief about the seriousness of the crisis. As a result, a new climate-anxiety support group is forming in Aspen. 

Eric Lovgren / Eagle County Wildfire Mitigation

new report on last year’s Lake Christine fire found that, while firefighters saved homes in the El Jebel mobile home park and Missouri Heights areas, mitigation played a significant role as well; however, making properties more resistant to wildfire requires investments from local communities and homeowners.

 

 

Courtesy of CPW

 

One of Colorado’s biggest wildlife attractions is not native to the state. Moose were brought to northern Colorado in the late 1970s, and in the past several years, more and more of the large mammals are showing up in the Aspen area, sometimes right in town. 

So now, wildlife officials are working to understand just how many moose are in the state — and how to manage them.  

Eric Lovgren, Eagle County Wildfire Mitigation Coordinator

A new study on the Lake Christine fire finds that wildfire mitigation, like using flame-resistant construction materials and clearing vegetation around homes, played a significant role in saving property. 

 

The study, by the Community Wildfire Planning Center, was presented to the Eagle County board of commissioners by wildfire mitigation coordinator Eric Lovgren on Tuesday.

 

Tom Minckley / SCREE

A group of 63 scientists, artists, journalists and students spent part of the summer traveling 1,000 miles down the Colorado River to inform strategies to protect the future of the river. The expedition’s leader will speak at Basalt High School Wednesday about their adventure and observations.

John Wesley Powell’s Colorado River Exploring Expedition team traveled down the Colorado River in May 1869 to explore the unknown west, take scientific measurements, and map the region with the rest of the country. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Autumn is officially here. The nights are getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and aspen trees on hillsides around the valley are starting to turn from green to gold. 

It's exactly those changes — less sunlight and chillier temperatures that are causing the leaves to change. 


Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Around the world, young people are taking to the streets and demanding action on climate change. On Monday, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg spoke at the United Nations. Even in the Roaring Fork Valley, where many governments and decision-makers have made the climate a priority, young people are saying not enough is being done on a global scale. 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Journalism

 

The Lake Christine wildfire last summer not only destroyed three homes and torched thousands of acres of forest, it also came dangerously close to taking down poles holding the full loop of power lines in Basalt.  After this close call, Holy Cross Energy partnered with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to find ways to keep the lights on if there’s another disaster. 

Courtesy of Rae Lampe

Aspen students have a variety of demonstrations planned Friday to call attention to climate change and urge action to change its course. 

In the morning, students from Aspen public schools and Aspen Country Day School will take part in a global school walkout. In the afternoon, however, the demonstrations will take a turn for the artistic.   

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency repealed Obama-era expansions to the Clean Water Act. Those extensions had aimed to redefine the act’s scope and include more wetlands and smaller rivers and streams under its protections.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was no ordinary lunch break for a group of eight students from Aspen School District and Aspen Country Day School. They came to the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners with a list of climate-saving suggestions and a request that the county declare a climate emergency.

 

MAPE_S / FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pitkin County commissioners and the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board are considering a new measure Tuesday aimed at protecting bighorn sheep in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area.

Domestic sheep carry respiratory pathogens that can be transmitted to bighorns. In bighorns, those pathogens can be deadly -- with the potential to wipe out entire herds.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Journalism

  

The 2019 legislative session in Colorado included a major focus on climate policy, and Gov. Jared Polis has a plan to move the state’s electric grid to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040. 

Will Toor, executive director of the Colorado Energy Office, is in Aspen on Wednesday to discuss that plan and how states can address climate change. 

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