Environment

Environmental coverage

Elise Thatcher

Oil and gas companies were responsible for over seven hundred spills in Colorado last year.  There were 128 in Garfield County-- making up nearly twenty percent of accidents statewide.  That’s according to a review of public data by the Denver nonprofit, Center for Western Priorities.   A spokesman for the agency that oversees oil and gas development in Colorado, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, is "neither endorsing nor challenging" the report.  APR’s Elise Thatcher talks with CWP's Policy Director Greg Zimmerman, who points out the spills released more than a million gallons of oil and other chemicals into the environment.

Rios to Rivers

Weston Boyles, Executive Director of Rios to Rivers

Ríos to Rivers is uniting young kayakers from Patagonia, Chile and Colorado with kayaking expeditions in Chile on the Río Baker and in the US on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. The Chilean kayakers will see for the first time a mega-dam and the resultant impacts on the river. US students will experience the majesty of an undeveloped river flowing through a pristine wilderness. The group will learn about the ecological impacts of dams, explore viable renewable energy sources, and take part in cultural exchange.

Today on CrossCurrents - last month, the federal government released the new Record of Decision on oil and gas leasing on the White River National Forest.  Guests are Will Roush of the Wilderness Workshop and Zane Kessler from the Thompson Divide Coalition.

http://www.wildernessworkshop.org/

http://www.savethompsondivide.org/about-us/mission-and-vision.html

Today on CrossCurrents, Wilderness Workshop is presenting Untrammeled! Wilderness in the Human Era tonight at Paepcke Auditorium.

Guests are Will Roush, conservation director for Wilderness Workshop, Dave Foreman, director of the Rewilding Institute, and Jamie Williams, president of the Wilderness Society.

About the Wilderness Workshop (from the organization's website):

The Wilderness Workshop is the conservation watchdog of nearly 3 million acres of public lands in western Colorado. Using science, the law and grassroots activism, WW works to keep the White River National Forest and nearby BLM lands more or less “as is” and, where possible, to restore wildness to this nationally important landscape.

Founded in 1967, the Wilderness Workshop has earned a national reputation for passionate advocacy, grassroots effectiveness, and scientific authority.

WW is the only nonprofit organization that’s devoted to protecting these particular public lands on a full-time basis. No other local group has the expertise and standing to participate effectively and consistently in the arcane bureaucratic processes that decide the fate of these lands; no state or national organization can devote as much time to our particular area.

We don’t represent any user group; rather, we provide a voice for nature on our public lands. We’re a community of people who enjoy and cherish wild places, and believe that wildlands and wildlife should be protected for their own sake (and for ours).

Although focused on the White River National Forest region, our work is part of a visionary movement to reconnect wildlife habitats and “rewild” landscapes on a continental scale. Thus we frequently partner with other local, state, regional and national groups on projects.

Western Water Assessment

There are lots of reports about climate change these days-- and a recent one takes a close look at how rising temperatures could affect water in Colorado. The report finds temperatures are likely to go up by several degrees by 2050… and that likely means less water. The findings come as water experts across Colorado are already planning for a future with less water. Locally, nonprofits are tracking temperature changes in the Roaring Fork Valley. Jeff Lukas is the lead researcher on the latest water and climate change study. He’s with Western Water Assessment, a CU Boulder program funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Lukas talks with APR’s Elise Thatcher about what temperature changes could mean for rain and snow in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Lynn Waldorf

The number of women who are hunting and fishing is growing and in some years is outpacing the number of men who receive hunting licenses.  This trend hasn’t been missed by Colorado’s Division of Parks and Wildlife which relies heavily on license sales to fund its management of wild lands.  Earlier this week, Parks and Wildlife hosted a free hunting and fishing clinic for women in Basalt.  Dorothy Atkins went along and filed this report.

damnationfilm.com

  What happens when an outdoor clothing company makes a film? Fish, dams, and a conservation message are front and center. The movie is titled DamNation, and shows in Carbondale this weekend at the Five Point Film Festival. It’ll be the first showing in Colorado.

David Blume of Blume Distillation along with Chip Comins of the American Renewable Energy Institute on the technology of alcohol as fuel and its possible applications here in the Roaring Fork Valley.

http://www.blumedistillation.com/

http://www.flyfishingconnection.com/

The Roaring Fork Conservancy is taking a look at what a healthy Fryingpan River means to the local economy. The Fryingpan Valley Economic Study is underway and will continue into next year according to the Basalt based organization. The group says the study aims to understand visitor use and spending related to recreational activities on the Lower Fryingpan River and Ruedi Reservoir, and the river’s economic importance. The final result will give people an idea of what a healthy river means to the local economy. The Conservancy believes the report will also aid in helping to keep the river healthy. Colorado State University and Colorado Mountain College are assisting with the study that is funded in part by the town of Basalt, Eagle County, the Aspen Skiing Company Environment Foundation and other private donors. Over a decade ago the Conservancy conducted a similar study and found the Fryingpan Valley's recreational activities contributed an estimated $1.8 million annually in total economic output to Basalt's economy. Updated numbers are expected to be greater.

www.puma-net.org

 

     Insects and disease continue to assault forests across Colorado  The biggest growing threat is a beetle that's attacking high altitude trees. In the Roaring Fork Valley, the danger for private landowners comes from an insect that's been ravaging the state for much longer. It attacks lodgepole pines. That’s according to a new report by the Colorado Forest Service. To learn more, Aspen Public Radio's Elise Thatcher spoke with Colorado Forest Service Ranger Kelly Rogers. 

 

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