environment

Mountain Edition - February 27th, 2014

Feb 27, 2014

For Aspen athletes who competed in the Winter Olympics, their season isn’t over yet. Cross country ski sprinter Simi Hamilton says he has several races left.

Weeds are growing more abundantly on the White River National Forest as the agency grapples with budget cuts and fewer staff.

A Colorado Forest Service report shows the state’s forests continue to be hammered by insects and disease, especially at high altitudes.

Most skiers probably don’t realize Aspen Mountain is full of holes...from a history of mining. We’ll take you on a wintry history tour.

Finally, a group of “legally blind” skiers takes to the slopes at Snowmass. For these teenagers, the activity is empowering.

Today we hear from Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron about his vision for the resort town in the coming year. Then we dig through the Aspen Public Radio archives and listen to some of this year’s most interesting and thought-provoking local stories. One Glenwood Springs woman was caught in a dangerous financial trap. And, her problem is somewhat common in Colorado’s immigrant community. As habitat for the Greater Sage Grouse disappears across the West, federal officials are deciding how strong protections should be on some Colorado land. Local stakeholders are watching closely. And a snowboarding veteran is battling a major injury with the Olympic Games a little more than a month away.

Rob St. Mary

The City of Aspen started the Canary Initiative in 2005 with an eye to trimming the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020. The city announced Wednesday it met the goal seven-years early.

“Well, we found out this year, to our great celebration, was that we actually achieved our goal this year. So, the City of Aspen reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 30.7%.  So, that’s a huge accomplishment.”

A key rationale for conservation is protecting wildlife from the impacts of people. Some of those impacts are obvious, like cutting down trees or building a parking lot over a wetland. Some though are harder to understand or see, literally. A recent study from Boise State University caught my attention. In it researchers created a phantom ‘road’ along a mountainside in Idaho by attaching speakers to trees and playing the sounds of a hi-way into an otherwise pristine forest. 

Yield to the Horse

Dec 4, 2013
Roger Adams

As the number of public trails in the Upper Roaring Fork Valley grows, one group of users wants to make sure their voice is heard. Pitkin County is in the process of connecting more trails...and equestrians want to make sure they have access. Aspen Public Radio's Roger Adams reports.

“Its important that we all share the trails and work together.  We’re so lucky that Pitkin County is going to be involved in enhancing these trails.

Get to Know Your Tree Salesman

Nov 29, 2013
Rob St. Mary

Based on historical evidence, evergreens livening up the Christmas celebrations date back to the 1400 or 1500s in Germany and Eastern Europe. Now, Joey Sissom hasn’t been selling Christmas trees in Aspen that long. But, he’s been doing it since 1978. While his tree lot has moved around a bit since he started 35 years ago, I caught him setting up in front of Clark’s Market in Aspen.

With over three-decades in the Christmas tree business, Sissom has a few things to share about what to consider if you are looking for the perfect "tannenbaum" for your celebrations.

Federal agents on the Front Range today are raiding medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations with the help of local authorities. We’ll have the latest.

A new method for handling criminals is ramping up in Pitkin County. Instead of incarceration, a new wellness program is being tried for people who fit the bill.

As the Greater Sage Grouse’s habitat disappears across the West, federal officials are deciding how strongly to protect some of its Colorado habitat. Local stakeholders are watching closely.

College students around the country are getting an inside glimpse into the social workings of the Roaring Fork Valley...through a book called “The Slums of Aspen.”

A Wall Street Journal reporter explores the early movers and shakers in developing fracking - one of them is a former Aspen resident.

Finally, the fastest distance Nordic skier in the U-S grew up in Aspen. We profile Noah Hoffman in the Road to Sochi series.

Rocky Mountain Institute

A new report on non-profit organizations shows charities in the Mountain West have the among the lowest pay for high level staff among nonprofits across the country.   The survey by Charity Navigator found one standout here.  The top official at the environmental non-profit, Rocky Mountain Institute, was recently paid much more than counterparts at other non-profits, in fact, many times more.  (You can read the entire Charity Navigator report here.)

CU Boulder

Large swathes of spruce forests in the Northern Colorado mountains are dying due to the Spruce Beetle. Now, researchers are linking these massive beetle outbreaks to drought. The beetles’ impact on forests has the potential to be more devastating in Colorado than the mountain pine beetle. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Sarah Hart, the lead author of the study. She says her team went over 300 years of drought data.

Elise Thatcher

World renowned artist Christo still hopes to do an ambitious art installation in Central Colorado. Well known for The Gates, a New York City Central Park installation in 2005, he’s now proposing a project called Over the River. In it, fabric panels would be suspended over sections six miles of the Arkansas River. Christo’s work is often controversial, so it’s no surprise the proposal has met stiff opposition here.

Note: Want to hear Christo's entire talk at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center? Scroll the bottom of this post for full unedited audio.

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