Environment

Environmental coverage

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service will hold a public meeting tonight to gather feedback about a plan to cut back trees in the upper Fryingpan.

Courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Colorado state parks are again joining a national movement to get people outside on Black Friday.

Entry to all 42 Colorado state parks is free today in a nod to what’s being called “Fresh Air Friday.”  

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Backpackers looking to stay the night in the most popular areas of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness will soon need a permit to do so. The U.S. Forest Service recently released a plan to manage overnight visitors in the backcountry.

Courtesy of aspensnowmass.com

The U.S. Forest Service has released a draft environmental impact statement for new recreation opportunities at Snowmass ski area. The proposed projects would significantly add to summer recreation on the mountain.

Aspen Public Radio News

Pete Maysmith was last in Aspen during the ski industry gathering “The Meeting” in October. He is the executive director of Conservation Colorado, an organization that works to elect preservation-minded policymakers. Environment reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy talked with Maysmith about the group’s successes in this year’s election and some major challenges on the national level.

savethethompsondivide.org

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined Gov. John Hickenlooper at the state capitol Thursday to announce a decision that protects the Thompson Divide, but leaves other areas open to drilling.

savethethompsondivide.org

Pitkin County commissioners approved spending an additional $85,000 on preservation efforts in Thompson Divide on Tuesday.

Courtesy of Wilderness Workshop

Pitkin County’s Healthy Rivers board has drafted a letter asking commissioners to oppose the city of Aspen’s conditional water rights on Maroon and Castle creeks. Aspen Public Radio environment reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy sat down with commissioner Rachel Richards, who is heavily involved in local and statewide water issues.

Courtesy of Pitkin County Landfill

Thrift store rejects may yet see another life. The Pitkin County landfill has started a textile recycling program.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio

It’s been weeks since it has snowed, and hikers are wearing shorts and t-shirts. In the middle of this unusually warm November, environment reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy sat down in the sunshine at the base of the gondola with Aspen Skiing Company’s Jeff Hanle, longtime weather-watcher Jim Markalunas and meteorologist Cory Gates.

 

Courtesy of Western Resource Advocates

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission approved policies this week that supporters say advance clean energy for Xcel customers.

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management released environmental information this week about potential oil and gas development in northwest Colorado.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Representatives from the Western Energy Alliance, which represents over 300 oil and gas companies in the western United States, are praising election victories by Republican candidates Donald Trump and Scott Tipton. Environmental groups fear impacts from expanded development. Aspen Public Radio’s Elizabeth Stewart-Severy spoke with the Western Energy Alliance’s Kathleen Sgamma about potential effects of this election on the oil and gas industry.

Elizabeth Stewart Severy, Aspen Public Radio News

Unofficial results indicate that Basalt voters narrowly rejected ballot questions related to buying the former Pan and Fork mobile home parcel. Tuesday night results show that about 52 percent of voters said “no” to the town buying the land to build a park, and about 55 percent voted against park-related improvements.

The City of Aspen released results from its 2016 citizen survey last week. River health ranked at the top of the list of issues of concern for respondents.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Pitkin County is the only county in the state that has a fund dedicated to protecting the health of rivers. The Healthy Rivers and Streams board oversees a $1 million budget, including a couple high-profile projects in 2017.

Courtesy of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) recently handed out hundreds of free National Parks passes to elementary students in Aspen, Basalt and Glenwood Springs.

Courtesy of Women for Wild Lands

Early in this politically charged election season, Aspen elementary school teacher Julie Wille decided to step into the arena — to protect public lands. Wille and her two daughters, who are both in college, started a letter-writing, social media-driven movement called Women for Wild Lands.

aspenjournalism.org

The Pitkin County Open Space and Trails board voted Thursday to purchase 10 acres from a private landowner in the upper Hunter Creek Valley.

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service has released a draft management plan to address overcrowding in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Backpackers will likely see a permitting system in popular areas.

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