environment

This week, the 2014 National Sheepdog Finals will be held on the Strang Ranch above Carbondale. Bridget Strang is the event's host and talks about the history of the event, what to expect, and how you can attend. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to Aspen Valley Land Trust. Martha Cochran is the Executive Director of the land trust and shares why this partnership was a natural fit.

Through partnerships between landowners and Aspen Valley Land Trust, almost 40,000 acres of land have been conserved. Martha Cochran, Executive Director of Aspen Valley Land Trust, and Chuck Vidal, former board member and former Executive Director of the land trust, discuss the history of the organization and the need for land conservation in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys.

On today's show, Chip Comins, President and CEO of the American Renewable Energy Institute on this year's ARE Day Summit, August 10-13 in Aspen.

And Jackie Francis, Executive Director of the Aspen Science Center on Sunday's ASC Street Fair in Paepcke Park.

Marci Krivonen

The U.S. Wilderness Act turns 50 this year and one challenge facing these lands today is the number of private inholdings inside them. Within the nationwide Wilderness System, about 180,000 acres are privately owned. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Reid Haughey, President of the Wilderness Land Trust, which started in Aspen in 1992.

Reid Haughey is director of the Wilderness Land Trust, a Carbondale-based organization that aims to add private inholdings to the nation’s wilderness system. 

savethethompsondivide.org

Natural Gas drilling in an area near Carbondale known as the Thompson Divide is still a possibility, despite protest from many local residents. The group trying to stop it is hopeful a Forest Service plan, due out later this summer, will prevent future drilling.

Meredith Ogilby/Wilderness Workshop

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and, in special series, we're focusing on one protected area in our backyard, the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.

It took the work of three tireless women to expand protection in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness near Aspen. In 1964, just the high mountain peaks became wilderness. So, the women, called the “Maroon Belles,” worked to more than double the size of the preserved area. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen tells their story.

High Country News/hcn.org

White River National Forest officials are concerned about overuse at Conundrum Hot Springs, outside Aspen. Forest Service staffers recently pulled more than 35 pounds of trash from the popular recreation area and the number of visitors continues to grow.

Visitors hike from Aspen and Crested Butte to reach the hot springs in the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness. The area sees more than 3000 people each summer. Martha Moran with the Forest Service says the numbers are impacting the area’s Wilderness character.

Fracking: Is There a Fix to the Fight?

Domestic shale gas has transformed the US energy equation, but its development can have unacceptable impacts on air and water quality, while methane emissions from oil and gas development can undo the climate benefit of burning natural gas instead of other fossil fuels. Colorado has led the way with the nation's strongest air pollution standards for oil and gas development, including the first direct regulation of methane. Governor John Hickenlooper and Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp, who worked closely on the breakthrough rules in Colorado, lead a discussion of the way forward for shale gas.

Fred Krupp, John Hickenlooper, Gillian Tett

Ami Vitale/PBS.org

A natural history film that looks at mankind’s relationship to the planet’s wild places airs on PBS next year and those attending the Aspen Ideas Festival got a sneak-peek over the weekend. Earth: A New Wild was shot in 29 countries on six continents. It’s a five-part series produced in part by National Geographic. It’s hosted by Doctor M. Sanjayan, Senior Scientist at Conservation International. 

PBS is scheduled to air the series Earth: A New Wild  in February of 2015.

A neighboring county is grappling with a huge mudslide, west of the Roaring Fork Valley.

It’s so dangerous a search for three missing residents has been called off and another slide could come down.

Construction begins in Carbondale for a decorative new roundabout on highway 133.

We’ll hear different opinions about a federal plan to beef up environmental protection for certain bodies of water.

Some Colorado companies are starting to use the state’s new logo but there have been hiccups for the branding effort.

Finally, we’ll hear from a state representative whose district covers Pitkin County about her busy time at the Statehouse.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition – right now.

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