Listen Live

Environment

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Earlier this month, the Trump administration weakened the National Environmental Policy Act, a 50-year-old rule meant to limit the environmental impact of large development. Trump says rolling back the regulations will eliminate “red tape” and speed up infrastructure projects, but opponents of the move say it paves the way for big industry to get away with development that could harm the environment.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Local governments have been hit hard during an economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Aspen projected a $25 million dollar loss in revenue. As cities and counties take a hard look at their budgets, climate experts are urging them to keep the health of the planet in mind. 

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.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

 

 

  

A bill to protect 400,000 acres of public lands in Colorado passed out of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources on Wednesday. 

The Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act would protect four areas in Colorado, including Thompson Divide and part of the Continental Divide. It was introduced in January by Congressman Joe Neguse and Sen. Michael Bennet.

http://cwcb.state.co.us

The clouds responsible for snow storms can be pretty inefficient, as skiers and riders know well.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The Colorado River District has an idea that could boost the Roaring Fork water supply. A proposal for cloud seeding goes in front of Pitkin County’s Healthy Rivers Board this week.

Courtesy photo

Communities looking to create less trash often turn to the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle.

One local company is trying to get a C for compost in there, too, and it’s getting some help from the state of Colorado.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Hunters crowd into the Basalt shooting range on a recent autumn day for last-minute practice ahead of elk and deer season. This fall, things look a little different at the range, and not just because of the fire scar that rises behind the targets where hunters take aim.

Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) needs to further analyze climate impacts as it plans for future use of public lands in the Colorado River Valley.

Courtesy of Katy Nelson, U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service says a new permit system at Conundrum Hot Springs is working to help protect the ecosystem. For the first time, backpackers had to make a reservation to camp at the popular spot.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

At the foot of Aspen Mountain, just off the Ajax Trail, several towering Douglas fir trees have turned brown-red and dropped their needles. They look like red ghosts in the evergreen forest.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Fire districts in rural and Western Colorado say unintended consequences from a state amendment are hurting their bottom lines. In the Roaring Fork Valley, every local fire district is asking for funding.

www.pitkincounty.com/1103/Glassier-Open-Space

Eagle County’s open space program is asking for continued support this election. The program is funded through 2025; ballot measure 1A asks voters to extend the property tax through 2040.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Up high in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, there’s an abandoned metal snow fence — well, there used to be. A diverse group of volunteers joined a team of mules and horses to haul tons of rebar out of the backcountry last month. Pack strings are one of the few ways to get heavy work done in protected wilderness areas, but their future is uncertain.

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

Hundreds of thousands of people visited Hanging Lake last year, and the U.S. Forest Service says too much traffic has caused damage to the sensitive ecosystem. On Friday, the agency released its final decision to require hikers to get permits to visit the popular spot.

Courtesy photo

Astronomer and educator Dr. Jeffrey Bennett believes we can find consensus on one of the most divisive issues of our time. In a presentation Thursday, he aims to break down political barriers surrounding climate change.

Courtesy of Natural Resources Conservation Service

A winter with low snowpack and a dry, hot summer combined to create the second-worst water year on record for Colorado.

Courtesy of Christy Rose

Only one river in Colorado is designated Wild and Scenic, the nation’s highest protection for rivers. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which ensures that designated rivers remain free-flowing, celebrates 50 years today.

 

The Lake Christine Fire tested how prepared Eagle County is for natural disasters, and now the county is updating its hazard mitigation plan.

Courtesy of Christy Rose

A small wildfire broke out Thursday in the Holland Hills area near Basalt. Officials believe it started because of an electrical issue.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Roaring Fork Valley native Pete McBride is a photojournalist whose latest work “The Grand Canyon: Between River and Rim” is being released Wednesday. It chronicles his 800-mile hike through the entire canyon and highlights developments that threaten to change the landscape.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Local and national wildfire experts are gathering in the Roaring Fork Valley this week for a series of panel discussions.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Tuesday, Aspen City Council will hear an update on the city’s progress on reducing its carbon footprint. The focus is on curtailing the demand for fossil fuels.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Filoha Meadows Nature Preserve is tucked between steep mountain cliffs and the Crystal River; the open space is a flat expanse of wetlands. On a recent brisk fall morning, plant ecologists Rea Orthner and Denise Wilson lead the way across the swampy meadow. We’re here because of the stream orchid, which blooms in penny-sized flowers in mid-summer.

Aspen Public Radio

While most local rivers are flowing at levels far below average, the Fryingpan is the exception. Releases from Ruedi Reservoir are supplementing low flows downstream, in the Colorado River.

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.

 

Courtesy photo

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

Pitkin County has been working to update its land use and energy codes. Commissioners will hear an update Tuesday on changes to the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program (REMP).

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.

Pages