Maroon Bells

White River National Forest

The head of the White River National Forest says the agency is doing more with less as it continues to battle budget cuts from Washington D.C. 

Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams told elected officials, conservation groups and business leaders Friday that the White River is grappling with tight funding. During a “state of the forest” address he said the budget is almost half of what it was five years ago, and staffing levels are down.

He says nearly all of the agency’s budget is being used to fund fixed costs, like salaries and rents, leaving little for side projects.

Marci Krivonen

The two largest public landowners in the Castle Creek Valley are gathering data to determine how to manage the area the future. The effort comes as the Forest Service and Pitkin County are seeing increased use of trails and roads. 

The entities are looking at the Castle Creek watershed from ridge to ridge, starting just past the urban growth boundary to the top of Pearl Pass and Taylor Pass.

The groups have seen a rise in use at spots like the Conundrum Hot Springs, American Lake and Cathedral Lake trails. Cindy Houben is Pitkin County’s Community Development Director.

On today's show, the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act and the Maroon Bells birthday bash with Olivia Siegel from ACES, Will Roush of Wilderness Workshop and Andrew Larson of the White River National Forest.

Also, Kelly Alford, Executive Director of Wyly Arts, and artist Jody Guralnick on the new Wyly Annex and Jody's show opening August 8th.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

The Wilderness Act turns 50 this year and we’re devoting this entire show to the topic.

First, we’ll look back on how the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness became protected. A group of local women had a hand in it.

The wilderness in our backyard is one of the busiest in the state. The Forest Service says some areas are being loved to death.

Another problem facing wilderness is private land smack-dab in the middle of these peaceful places. One local group is working to make wilderness more wild.

And, a group of local organizations is throwing a birthday bash for the Maroon Bells this weekend. We have the details.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition.

United States Forest Service

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and the challenges facing wild places today are different than they were in 1964. Some say it’s increasingly difficult to keep these areas wild and to get protection for new wilderness. The White River National Forest manages eight wilderness areas, including the popular Maroon Bells/Snowmass region near Aspen. In part two of our series, Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen examines the challenges facing the wilderness in our backyard.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

It’s been a busy summer in the Roaring Fork Valley so far. For some communities, it’s an important economic boost.

The U.S. Justice Department fines Citigroup for misconduct that helped fuel the recession. We talk to Colorado’s US Attorney, who was part of the investigation.

Colorado names Carbondale a creative district candidate. Turns out, much of the town’s economy is centered around ingenuity.

We’ll head to a shooting range near Basalt, where a group of women are learning to cast...and blast.

And, it’s the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act this year. We’ll introduce you to a group of women who fought to protect the Maroon Bells/Snowmass area.

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

“Have you heard about the moose?”

Jul 11, 2014
wikipedia

Moose are showing up this summer at one of Aspen’s most popular destinations; the Maroon Bells.  Already there have been reports of moose charging hikers and the Forest Service closed the trails there for a day this week. The trails have reopened but rangers are warning visitors to be aware of the potential danger.  As Aspen Public Radio’s Dorothy Atkins explains they are also considering other options.

snowpeak/Flickr/Creative Commons

The government shutdown in Washington is limiting access to one Colorado’s most visited places: the Maroon Bells. The road outside of Aspen closed to traffic yesterday during prime leaf-peeping season. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

The White River National Forest closed its facilities in the area Tuesday morning. Bathrooms are locked and campgrounds shuttered. The agency barricaded the popular parking areas just below the famed peaks. Pitkin County owns the two-lane road leading to the Bells. And, yesterday county commissioners were grappling with what to do.

Anda Rojs Smalls

Unlike other Western states, Colorado’s moose population is growing. It’s healthier than ever with an estimated 2300 moose across the state. While other states are grappling with why their herds are shrinking, Colorado is studying the population’s fast growth. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has more.