climate change

The look of the forests in the Roaring Fork Valley may be dramatically different in the future. High elevation forests could be replaced with lower growing species like aspens. A new website shows how forests in the American West will look different under climate change. The local nonprofit Aspen Center for Environmental Studies worked with scientists to develop the site.

Jamie Werner is Forest Program Director at ACES. Her laptop’s propped open and she’s clicking around the site,

"So here we have Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands…”

Aspen Skiing Company

Before the chairlifts start turning, the Aspen Skiing Company is providing a glimpse of how the upcoming season is shaping up. Company executives talked about the business outlook and efforts to combat climate change during a presentation to the Pitkin County commissioners Tuesday (10/20). Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Aspen Skiing Company President and CEO Mike Kaplan began the hour-long presentation with a weather forecast.

Facebook/Roaring Fork Conservancy

Water officials are presenting a final Roaring Fork Regional Water Efficiency Plan this week. The Pitkin County commissioners will hear how water can be conserved ahead of increased demand.

Work on the water efficiency plan began in 2012, when the Roaring Fork Valley was experiencing drought. Major water providers from Aspen to Glenwood Springs joined an effort to plan for a drier future.

Aspen Global Change Institute


An expert in urbanization and land use change is speaking in Aspen Tuesday. She has advice for land use planners in Aspen.


Karen Seto is a professor at Yale. She studies why cities are growing, how they grow and how their growth impacts the environment. People are moving to cities at a more rapid pace than ever before. And, urban areas generate three-quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions. She says urbanization increases demand for resources.


Marci Krivonen

A discussion at the Aspen Institute Monday (8/10) featuring Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper touched on a range of issues: foreign policy, teen pregnancy, marijuana and climate change. 

On climate change, Hickenlooper says it’s important to have clean air at high altitude. He supports President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and intends to enact it in Colorado.

Texas Tech University

A renowned climate scientist spoke in Aspen Tuesday about connecting the global challenge of climate change to local response. Katharine Hayhoe spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen about how climate change impacts Aspen and, the controversial White House plan announced Monday to cut carbon emissions.

Aspen City Council is getting behind a national effort to address climate change. On Monday council gave initial support for what’s called a “Carbon Fee and Dividend” proposal. 

In June seven Roaring Fork Valley residents, including an Aspen city staffer, traveled to Washington DC to sway elected officials to support the Carbon Fee and Dividend policy proposal. It would apply a fee to carbon-based fuels. Revenues from the fee would be returned to households across the country.

Featured speakers: Kathryn Sullivan, Andrew Revkin

 While the basics of greenhouse-driven global warming are clear, translating these into specific local and regional impacts remains challenging — including how warm it will get and what will happen to regional weather patterns, particularly precipitation.

A group of Western towns known as the “Mountain Pact” are sending a letter to Washington DC this week, urging lawmakers to hold the coal industry accountable. The group wants royalty payments from coal to fund efforts by communities to adapt to climate change. The City of Aspen is part of the Mountain Pact. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Ashley Perl, who’s working on the effort for the city of Aspen.

Ashley Perl is the Director of the City of Aspen’s Canary Initiative. 

Marci Krivonen

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told a small crowd in Aspen Thursday that action on climate change is needed now. Administrator Gina McCarthy timed her visit with the Winter X Games, to reach a younger crowd.

McCarthy’s visit was in conjunction with Protect Our Winters, a climate change advocacy group led by snow sports athletes. Standing next to the ski gondola, McCarthy emphasized how action on climate change is critical to economies like Aspen’s.