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U.S. Forest Service

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

In a normal year, a foot of snow in late October would mean the end of fire season. But with Western Colorado experiencing its driest summer on record, this year is anything but normal. As a result, the last remaining vestiges of the Grizzly Creek Fire are still smoldering.

As of Wednesday, Aug. 26, the Grizzly Creek Fire that sparked more than two weeks ago has burned roughly 32,000 acres and is 61% contained.

 

A recently formed coalition of local government, nonprofits and businesses called the Glenwood Canyon Restoration Alliance has plans to raise funds for wildfire restoration. Their work will include planting trees and rebuilding trails at Hanging Lake and other areas that were destroyed in the fire.

Alex Hager

A new reservation-based system for buses to the Maroon Bells began on Monday. Under new regulations, visitors must use a website to book tickets in advance for a specific time slot. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

A new district ranger will soon take the helm of the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District. Kevin Warner will be in charge of approximately 750,000 acres of land in the White River National Forest, including five wilderness areas, five ski resorts and the Maroon Bells Recreation Area.

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

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.

U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service is conducting restoration work on Smuggler Mountain near Warren Lakes for the next several weeks. Hikers and bikers could see increased traffic on the county road.

U.S. Forest Service

After a slow start to last ski season, Aspen Skiing Company wants to continue to develop its snowmaking capacity.

 

tipton.house.gov

Congressman Scott Tipton, who represents Colorado’s third district, authored a bill to speed up permitting on Forest Service land. He said it’s to benefit local economies.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

After nine deaths in the Elk Mountain backcountry last summer, Mountain Rescue Aspen wanted change. The organization has teamed up with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s office and the U.S. Forest Service on a new campaign aimed at helping prepare people for backcountry adventures.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Aspen Skiing Company wants to expand trails and snowmaking operations on Aspen Mountain. The proposal needs approval from the U.S. Forest Service, which is looking for public input.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service announced its final decision Monday to log 1,600 acres of national forest in the upper Fryingpan valley. Some areas have been removed from the project after public objections.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

For the first time, backpackers headed to Conundrum Hot Springs this summer will need a permit to camp in the area. Those go on sale starting Wednesday morning.

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service has released its draft decision to limit the number of daily visitors to Hanging Lake.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service received 11 objections to a draft decision on a logging project in the Upper Fryingpan Valley. The objections come from home and property owners, environmental groups like Wilderness Workshop and the Roaring Fork Audubon Society, the Town of Basalt and a mill in Montrose that would receive some of the timber.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service has received 11 formal objections to its draft decision to log up to 1,800 acres in the Upper Fryingpan Valley.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Campers headed to Conundrum Hot Springs will be able to purchase a permit beginning in mid-April.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service has released a proposal to mitigate wildfire hazards on nearly 300 acres of national forest land in the Crystal River Valley. The plan includes mechanical treatments, like hand-cutting vegetation, at five locations in the valley and using prescribed fire near Marble.

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

Last month, the U.S. Forest Service released the environmental assessment of a new plan to manage visitors to Hanging Lake. It looks at the potential impacts of limiting use to the popular spot. Elizabeth Stewart-Severy discussed the findings with producer Christin Kay.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service released a draft decision yesterday to log up to 1,800 acres in the Upper Fryingpan Valley.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service said more than 320,000 people biked, bussed or drove to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area this season. That’s another record-setting year.

U.S. Forest Service

Winter season for the U.S. Forest Service starts today — and that means many roads are now closed to all vehicles with wheels, including bicycles.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

After a season where nearly 9 million acres of land nationwide have burned in wildfires, federal agencies are getting a jump on recruiting wildland firefighters.

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

Aspen Skiing Company is looking for approval for a new lift on Highlands. The U.S. Forest Service is now taking public comment on several proposed projects at the ski area.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Next summer, backpackers planning to stay overnight at Conundrum Hot Springs will need reservations.

Courtesy photo

Off-highway vehicles, like ATVs, have long been illegal on Pitkin County roads, but the policy hasn’t been enforced. That will change soon.

 

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

Local fire agencies plan to set a prescribed burn this week near El Jebel.

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

The defendant accused of illegally growing marijuana on U.S. Forest Service land near Carbondale made his first court appearance Wednesday.

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

Last week, federal officials discovered a major marijuana grow operation in the White River National Forest south of Carbondale and made one arrest.

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