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White River National Forest

Forest Service Plans For Fire Season, Tourist Season Amid COVID-19 Concerns

May 12, 2020
Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Journalism

Through stay-at-home orders and social distancing, the White River National Forest has remained, mostly, open and popular. Now, Forest Service officials are working out details for housing summer staff and opening campgrounds and recreation areas amid concerns about COVID-19. 

White River National Forest / www.fs.usda.gov

Permit reservations to visit Hanging Lake during the 2020 shuttle season go on sale Saturday, Feb. 1. This year’s shuttle season is May 1 through Oct. 31, the same schedule as 2019.

In 2019, the White River National Forest implemented the Hanging Lake Visitor Use Management Plan by using the shuttle service to protect natural resources, help manage congestion and enhance visitor safety. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Last week, Kevin Warner stepped into his new role as District Ranger for the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District of the White River National Forest. He started his career working in the district and has previously served as its acting director.

White River National Forest


A familiar face at the White River National Forest is moving on. District Ranger Karen Schroyer will leave the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District later this summer.

 

Schroyer has spent five years overseeing 750,000 acres of forest, which include five wilderness areas, several historical sites, ski resorts and the popular Maroon Bells Recreation Area, as well as a natural gas storage facility.

Cache Creek Fire Requires Type 2 Team

Jul 30, 2018
Brian Scott PIO/Cache Creek Fire

 A fire broke out eight miles south of Rifle over the weekend. The Cache Creek fire is burning on steep terrain in the White River National Forest. A federal “Type 2” Team will take command of the incident this week. The fire is primarily burning heavy, dead fuels and spreading to the east.

Colorado senator Michael Bennet and representative Jared Polis introduced a bill yesterday that would designate new wilderness in the White River National Forest.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

The U.S. Forest Service faces a major backlog in trail maintenance and is now looking to identify a few key areas where it can pick up the pace.

Courtesy of coppercolorado.com

The U.S. Forest Service has approved a plan for an alpine coaster and other recreation options at Copper Mountain Resort. A similar plan in Snowmass is still under review.

Valley Roundup for Feb. 10, 2017

Feb 10, 2017

Welcome to Valley Roundup. I’m Carolyn Sackariason.

Wilderness Workshop

Local non-profit Wilderness Workshop has a new tool for those who want to advocate for environmental conservation. The watchdog organization recently launched an email service called Capital Watch that suggests quick actions to protect public lands. Elizabeth Stewart-Severy sat down with executive director Sloan Shoemaker.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

The Roaring Fork Valley is a biking wonderland in the summer months, rife with world-class singletrack trails and scenic, quiet roads. But in the winter, it’s a different landscape. Local mountain bikers are working to change that.

Valley Roundup for Nov. 18, 2016

Nov 18, 2016

Welcome to a Valley Roundup. I’m Carolyn Sackariason.

 

Crimes associated with methamphetamine are making headlines in newspapers up and down the valley. But whether that indicates an uptick in crime is unlikely.

 

 Garfield County sheriff’s deputies: Accused meth dealer shoots up woman’s car

UPDATE: Freeman Fire getting under control

Oct 16, 2016
Eagle County Sherriff Department

Oct. 17, 2016, 6 p.m.

 

The fire burning near the Reudi Reservoir is now 40 percent contained.

 

Sloan Shoemaker, Executive Director of Wilderness Workshop, and Will Roush, Conservation Director of Wilderness Workshop, discuss the organization's role in conserving and protecting public lands today and what the future holds. Challenges include overpopulation and climate change, but the Workshop remains optimistic.

Visit www.WildernessWorkshop.org for more information and links to events and membership. 

Hubbard Cave outside of Glenwood has been closed to humans since 2010, and officials with the White River National Forest are proposing keeping it this way for the next three years. The move is an effort to prevent White Nose Syndrome, which has killed more than 6 million bats in the eastern United States.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

For years, the nonprofit, EcoFlight, has been flying politicians, journalists and concerned citizens over a pristine corridor outside of Carbondale that’s being eyed by oil and gas companies for drilling. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a plan for the area that has both industry and environmental groups wanting more. Aspen Public Radio’s Elizabeth Stewart-Severy recently flew over the Thompson Divide and has this report.  

Post-fire weed pull in Hunter Creek on Saturday

Jul 6, 2016
Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio

Five local organizations are teaming up to organize a community weed pull this Saturday in the Hunter Creek Valley following a prescribed burn in the area in May.

Elise Thatcher

  The Forest Service has been gearing up for the busy summer season. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher sat down with Aspen-Sopris District Ranger Karen Schroyer about changes that visitors and locals can expect this summer, besides a price increase for visiting the Maroon Bells.

Summer bus service for Maroon Bells begins Saturday

Jun 9, 2016
snowpeak/Flickr/Creative Commons

  Buses to the Maroon Bells will be up and running Saturday for the summer season, but tickets and parking will be more expensive.

 This is from the Cross Current archives. This program takes an in depth look at the recent prescribed burn in the Hunter Creek Valley, why it was scheduled and what results can be expected.

Kight bids Forest Service adieu, jumps into history

Apr 18, 2016
Dan Wagner/U.S. Forest Service

  The White River National Forest is saying goodbye to agency spokesman Bill Kight. After more than two decades with the Forest Service, Kight is retiring at the end of this month, and heading to the Frontier Historical Society in Glenwood Springs.

Michael Donald named WRF Deputy Supervisor

Mar 30, 2016
Courtesy of White River National Forest

A new deputy supervisor for the White River National Forest was announced this week. Michael Donald is serving under Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams.

Elise Thatcher

If you spend enough time in the Roaring Fork Valley, you’ll hear this sentence: the White River National Forest is the busiest, most visited National Forest in the country. But as the agency’s budget keeps dropping, officials say there will be significant changes down the road.

Aspen Journalism

Pitkin County is drawing up comments for the Forest Service on a proposed replacement of Lift 1A on Aspen Mountain. 

http://blog.thelittlenell.com/

  Starting today, Mon November 23rd, White River National Forest guidelines kick in for winter travel. Certain roads are open to motorized winter travel, like snowmobiles.

White River National Forest

Forest Service officials say early data shows record numbers of visitors to high use areas in the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness over the summer.

Aspen Journalism

The Aspen Skiing Company is getting a jump on a plan to replace an aging ski lift in case an update is possible before a major competition is held on one of its ski areas. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

Marci Krivonen

Officials with the White River National Forest told elected leaders in Pitkin County Tuesday (10/13) a government shutdown is a “very real possibility.” 

If a government shutdown comes as a result of disagreement over a budget in Washington, the public likely won’t notice. Forest Service staff would be laid off in December, when fewer jobs are filled. And, even though some ski resorts operate on Forest Service land, White River District Ranger Karen Schroyer says skiers and riders won’t be affected.

aspenjournalism.org

In order to improve forest health and habitat for wildlife, a coalition of outdoor organizations is planning a prescribed fire in Hunter Creek. It's a popular recreation area near Aspen. 

Barring bad weather and safety concerns, the burn will be done in spring of 2016. It’ll happen on Forest Service land on north side of the Hunter Creek Valley, near the “lower plunge trail” and “hummingbird traverse.” The historic buildings on the valley floor won’t be in the burn area.

Marci Krivonen

Inmates from the Rifle Correctional Center helped with final steps of a mine reclamation project near Aspen on Tuesday.

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