Environmental coverage

Sally Jewell, the Secretary of the Interior and Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of Agriculture, came to Colorado Tuesday to urge a change in how the federal government pays to fight catastrophic wildfires.

"The solution is for these fires to be looked upon in the same way we look at tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods, they're natural disasters and they should be funded as such," Vilsack said.

Interior's Jewell agrees the funding mechanism should change.

High Country News

The White River National Forest is about to get deluged with summer users. The Forest Service is contemplating a management plan, but it won’t be implemented this year. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has more.

District Ranger Karen Schroyer says she needs more information from the public before making any decisions on how to curb the overuse in areas like Condundrum Hot Springs or the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness area. She plans to get feedback from recreationalists in Denver this summer.


The White River National Forest headquarters in Glenwood Springs has re-opened for business. The National Forest Service says the supervisor and staff returned this morning to their newly renovated offices at 900 Grand Avenue. Among the upgrades are improved heating and cooling systems, energy saving electrical, water saving plumbing as well as the removal of asbestos from the historic building. For the past two years, the 30-plus employees of the White River National Forest have worked remotely from ranger stations in Rifle, Carbondale, Minturn and the BLM office in Silt.

Auden Schendler – Aspen Skiing Company, Olivia Siegel – ACES, and Naomi Oreskes – filmmaker and historian on this weekend's showing of the film “Merchants of Doubt” at the Wheeler Opera House.


Today on CrossCurrents - Annie Denver and Karmen Dopslaff on John Denver's Aspenglow Fund, which has been quietly supporting environmental and educational causes in the Roaring Fork Valley and around the world.


Also, Aspen Public Radio is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant from The John Denver Aspenglow Fund at the Aspen Community Foundation to support news coverage, outreach, and education on the environment.

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.



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.