Roaring Fork River

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.

Good afternoon, it’s Mountain Edition.

Snowmelt combined with recent rains have boosted rivers to dangerous levels.

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A conservation group is concerned about a proposed oil and gas lease swap in the Thompson Divide.

And, a local non profits helps low income homeowners become energy efficient.

Facebook/Pitkin Co. Open Space and Trails

Heavy rain Tuesday night boosted the Roaring Fork River in Aspen to flood stage. Minor flooding is possible in low-lying areas. 

Flows in the Aspen stretch of the Roaring Fork were nearly four times the typical amount Wednesday morning. Pitkin County Sheriff Joe Disalvo says people with homes in a floodplain should be prepared to sandbag and self-rescue if waters get too high.

roaringfork.org

There’s less water from the Roaring Fork River being diverted to the East Slope this spring and it’s increasing flood danger. Over the weekend, law enforcement in Aspen and Basalt monitored high flows. Wetter-than-normal conditions on the East Slope temporarily stopped diversions through the Twin Lakes tunnel. They’ll start up again later this month. Bill Linn is Assistant Police Chief in Aspen.

Marci Krivonen

Pitkin County is taking public comments on a draft plan for managing the North Star Nature Preserve, east of Aspen. On Monday night, an open house will be held, where people can learn more about the wetlands and meadows. 

You drive by the North Star Nature Preserve on your way toward Independence Pass from Aspen. It’s a 285-acre open space parcel with deer, elk, black bears and the one of the highest elevation Great Blue Heron rookeries in the state.

Marci Krivonen

Basalt Town Council Tuesday approved a “future roadmap to development” for downtown. The decision came after more than two hours of discussion and public comment.

The board voted 5-to-2 to support the resolution. Mayor Jacque Whitsitt and councilman Gary Tennenbaum voted against it.

Marci Krivonen

A committee charged with brainstorming redevelopment ideas for downtown Basalt presented their findings on Thursday evening. The Downtown Area Advisory Committee met with Town Council, the Planning and Zoning committee and scores of interested citizens. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

The volunteer committee has been meeting regularly since October and pouring over ideas from the community and a map of downtown Basalt. Basalt is considering redeveloping several key parcels, including some riverfront acreage.

www.ourtownplanning.org

Tonight (Tues 9/23) the Basalt Town Council will decide whether to approve members of a special board that will help make decisions on downtown development. The committee would, according to the Town Manager, “put more meat” on redevelopment ideas. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

Marci Krivonen

If you’ve driven through downtown Basalt recently, it’s hard to miss the mess of trees, electrical boxes and garbage covering a central stretch of land. It’s the site of the old Pan and Fork Mobile Home park, where more than 300 people used to live. The Town of Basalt helped those residents relocate and now it’s focusing on redeveloping the five acres. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen walked through the area with Town Manager Mike Scanlon.

www.colorado.com

A new list names the Upper Colorado River basin the second most endangered stretch of water in the country. The conservation group American Rivers released its annual “top-10” list Wednesday and local rivers like the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan are part of basin that’s threatened.

"All of these rivers have potential targets on them for more diversions," says Ken Neubecker, a coordinator for American Rivers.

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