Environment

Environmental coverage

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. 

 

Garfield County

   The Thompson Divide Coalition announced yesterday that Garfield County is supporting proposed legislation to protect the Thompson Divide. Hours later, the County denied that description… and said Commissioners said no such thing. 

 It was a day of dueling press releases. Around eleven A.M., the Coalition announced that commissioners with Pitkin, Gunnison and Garfield Counties are making a plea... to Republican Representative Scott Tipton to support pending legislation that would limit oil and gas development on the Thompson Divide. 

Basalt Snow Birds

Feb 7, 2014
Roger Adams

Backyard bird feeders are especially popular and well-attended when the snow is deep.  Birds spend the majority of their waking hours in the search for food.  These photos were taken this week at feeders in my yard in Basalt.

The New Wheat Behind Whole Grain White Bread

Dec 23, 2013

A new wheat variety may have cracked the code to marry the fluffiness of white bread with whole grain nutrition.

Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife

Most hunting seasons are winding down, but things are just getting busy at the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. The agency is starting up its annual survey of animals across the state, which can require something called “net-gunning.” Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with Division Spokesman Mike Porras.

 

 

Elise Thatcher

There’s a small army of citizen scientists just over the mountains from Carbondale. Residents in the Paonia area are donning special backpacks for twenty-four hours at a time, to collect real time data for scientific study of air pollution.  The aim is to measure what might be getting into the air from nearby oil and gas wells.

Editor's note: Below is a transcript of reporter Elise Thatcher's story. 

Alison Gannett: “Bluebell!”

Portfolio Hardcover

At least one former resident of the Roaring Fork Valley has played a part in the dramatic fracking boom in the last decade. He’s one of several characters examined in a book exploring how fracking started… and there’s an odd connection to restaurants and even the OJ Simpson trial.

 

US Fish and Wildlife Service

The Greater Sage Grouse is in trouble. The bird looks like a large chicken and has an elaborate mating dance… and it's habitat across the West has been under siege for several decades. There’s been big effort to help the bird. Now, Garfield County officials are watching closely as the federal government decides how closely to protect a big chunk of its Colorado habitat. There’s disagreement about how to do that... and huge restrictions on private and public land are at stake if officials get it wrong. The BLM is taking comments on its habitat plan for the Greater Sage Grouse.

Elise Thatcher

Colorado has a problem with air pollution… levels of ozone have been going up, and that can cause health problems. So the state is taking a look at tightening up air regulations for drilling companies. But, some say much is being done already. 

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