Environment

Environmental coverage

Elise Thatcher

Less than a decade ago, an oil and gas boom in Colorado started to fire up... and with it came strong opinions on all sides. One of the first major controversies was over the Roan Plateau, a sweeping mesa in Garfield County. The discord centered on a Congressional mandate to drill-- and worries that doing so would destroy world class hunting and fishing, and the local economy. Colorado’s governor and two senators weighed in, and the Rifle area was featured in the documentary GasLand.

Marci Krivonen

 

When citizens want to block oil and gas development on public land, they usually get a lawyer and head to the courts.  In Carbondale, the Thompson Divide Coalition has taken another approach, choosing instead a game plan that is rarely used in the West. So far, the Coalition’s so-called “market-based” approach has yet to bear fruit. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Marci Krivonen

The Colorado River and its future imbalances were the focus of a Senate hearing in Washington D.C. Tuesday. The river supplies water for cities and farms in seven states and parts of Mexico. Lawmakers went over a 2012 study that projects water demand will outpace supply in the coming decades. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Marci Krivonen

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Montana stand to become the first tribes in the country to own a major hydroelectric dam. In Colorado, tribes are managing parts of hydro projects. All are examples of tribes regaining control of resources on their land. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

In Colorado’s southwest, the Ute Mountain Ute tribe co-manages part of the Dolores Water Project. And, near Durango, the Animas/La Plata project is partially managed by the state’s two tribes. Ernest House directs the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs.

Whitehouse.gov

Last month, when President Barack Obama rolled out a national climate change initiative, a number of decision makers in the Roaring Fork Valley were listening closely.  The President’s plans to cap carbon emissions and boost energy efficiency are in line with much of what has been routine here for years.  Lucy Emerson-Bell is with CORE, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency.

Raptors Descend Upon Aspen, Put On A Show

Jul 9, 2013
Olivia Siegel / ACES

In 1982, a baby golden eagle crashed on the backside of Aspen Mountain.  The eagle was rehabilitated at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, or ACES, where it has called home ever since. Recently, ACES held a celebration for its Golden Eagle and a number of other hunters of the sky.  Turns out these birds are not only cool to look at, they’re indicators of changes in the environment. Aspen Public Radio’s Science Reporter Ellis Robinson has more.

Tourists weren’t the only visitors to Aspen on Friday. The resort town played host to a handful of wild predators.

Tracking Air Quality in the Roaring Fork Valley

Jun 26, 2013
Drew's News at Roaring Fork High School

The US Supreme Court is in the news for decisions on same sex marriage and voting rights... but the highest court in the land is also planning to look at air pollution. At issue is who's to blame when air quality monitors go way past the legal limit. The court announced Monday it will soon review a 2011 EPA rule... one designed to help protect communities downwind of power plants. Part of the problem is figuring out how to regulate air pollution that goes across state lines. Aspen Public Radio’s science reporter wondered how air quality is measured and tracked. From a field in Carbondale, here’s Ellis Robinson. 

Congressional Office of Diana DeGette

Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette is again trying to expand wilderness in the state. The Democrat, whose district largely includes Denver, hopes to preserve more than thirty places around Colorado including land in Eagle County. DeGette announced her proposal legislation Monday, June 24th.  She has introduced similar versions for more than a decade.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Aspen sits smack dab in the middle of prime black bear habitat, and already this year several sightings and home break-in’s have been reported. The Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife takes those reports and deals with problem bears. Julie Mao is a Terrestrial Biologist for the agency. She told Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen as populations of bears and people grow in the state, more run-in’s with the bruins are expected.

Courtesy: Rebecca Schild

A world-class climbing area near Rifle may reopen today. The Rifle Mountain Park has been closed for five days because of the nearby Ward Gulch fire. Now, the town’s Parks and Recreation Department says people may be able to return... but it all depends on the weather. 

Rifle Mountain Park has some of the best rock climbing in the country, and climbers from all over the world test their skills there. Everyone was evacuated last Friday, when the Ward Gulch fire got perilously close.  Tom Whitmore is Parks Director for the Town of Rifle.

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