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, forestforecasts.org.

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

Marci Krivonen

High school students from around the valley got a lesson on drought and water scarcity in the West Thursday. The organization Ecoflight brought in experts, and college students just returned from a flight over the Colorado River basin. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has more.

Pitco Sheriff's Office

A tanker truck that flipped and spilled fuel near an Old Snowmass subdivision in April likely didn’t do long-term damage to area groundwater.

The truck spilled 500 gallons of gasoline and about 20 gallons of diesel fuel near the Little Elk Creek subdivision on April 30th. Clean up crews initially found contamination but after drilling wells and taking samples in August, tests came back negative. Kurt Dahl is with Pitkin County.

W. Jacobi/Colorado State University

The Colorado State Forest Service says certain trees will be less colorful this fall. A wet spring and summer have been ideal conditions for at least two kind of fungus that are affecting aspen and cottonwood trees across much of Colorado.

Garfield County

Garfield County Commissioners are willing to take legal action to prevent oil and gas trucks from using a popular road near Glenwood Springs. Commissioners and other officials are reacting to news there may be drilling on the controversial Thompson Divide. At Monday’s meeting, the GarCo leaders said the County will try to convince the Forest Service to bar drilling companies from using Four Mile Road, which leads to Sunlight Mountain Resort.

Marci Krivonen

Supporters for more protection for the Crystal River are hitting the road again. The goal is a Wild and Scenic River designation, but that takes an Act of Congress. Supporters have crafted a bill and want to get approval from local governments. And yes, they’ve already done something similar.

Cornelia Carpenter

Bugs and wildlife are benefiting from higher-than-normal rivers in the Roaring Fork watershed. Heavy rain and snowmelt have boosted flows to flood stage in some areas. It’s positive for the river ecosystem.

River flows are above average on the Roaring Fork, Frying Pan, Crystal and Colorado rivers. It’s good news for water quality and wildlife habitat along the riverbanks. The flows knock away dirt buildup in the spaces between rocks on the riverbed. Rick Lafaro with the Roaring Fork Conservancy says that’s where bugs live.

High Country News

The White River National Forest is about to get deluged with summer users. The Forest Service is contemplating a management plan, but it won’t be implemented this year. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has more.

District Ranger Karen Schroyer says she needs more information from the public before making any decisions on how to curb the overuse in areas like Condundrum Hot Springs or the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness area. She plans to get feedback from recreationalists in Denver this summer.

Auden Schendler – Aspen Skiing Company, Olivia Siegel – ACES, and Naomi Oreskes – filmmaker and historian on this weekend's showing of the film “Merchants of Doubt” at the Wheeler Opera House.


Today on CrossCurrents - Annie Denver and Karmen Dopslaff on John Denver's Aspenglow Fund, which has been quietly supporting environmental and educational causes in the Roaring Fork Valley and around the world.


Also, Aspen Public Radio is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant from The John Denver Aspenglow Fund at the Aspen Community Foundation to support news coverage, outreach, and education on the environment.