Colorado Department of Local Affairs

Claire Woodcock/Aspen Public Radio News

On Wednesday, the Carbondale Chamber’s Annual Business Conference brought roughly 60 locals together to discuss issues facing the region’s workforce.

Bente Birkeland/ Capitol Coverage

Coal mining has been a mainstay in many parts of western Colorado. But the jobs are going away. The recent closure of a mine – and a soon to be closed power plant in Montrose County – could cut tax revenue as much as 70 percent. Both local and state groups are laboring to find a replacement economy in a region that’s not used to rapid change.

During a busy — and deadly — summer season, officials with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs are reminding hikers and climbers to pitch in for rescue costs.

Colorado is a resilient state. The unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation and the population along the Front Range is booming. It’s easy to see the impact of a strong economy in Denver. Construction cranes are up all over the city and it’s harder than ever to find affordable housing.

But it’s a different story in many parts of western Colorado.