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White River National Forest

White River National Forest

Forest Service officials say early data shows record numbers of visitors to high use areas in the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness over the summer.

Aspen Journalism

The Aspen Skiing Company is getting a jump on a plan to replace an aging ski lift in case an update is possible before a major competition is held on one of its ski areas. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

Marci Krivonen

Officials with the White River National Forest told elected leaders in Pitkin County Tuesday (10/13) a government shutdown is a “very real possibility.” 

If a government shutdown comes as a result of disagreement over a budget in Washington, the public likely won’t notice. Forest Service staff would be laid off in December, when fewer jobs are filled. And, even though some ski resorts operate on Forest Service land, White River District Ranger Karen Schroyer says skiers and riders won’t be affected.

aspenjournalism.org

In order to improve forest health and habitat for wildlife, a coalition of outdoor organizations is planning a prescribed fire in Hunter Creek. It's a popular recreation area near Aspen. 

Barring bad weather and safety concerns, the burn will be done in spring of 2016. It’ll happen on Forest Service land on north side of the Hunter Creek Valley, near the “lower plunge trail” and “hummingbird traverse.” The historic buildings on the valley floor won’t be in the burn area.

Marci Krivonen

Inmates from the Rifle Correctional Center helped with final steps of a mine reclamation project near Aspen on Tuesday.

ACES/aspennature.org

For years the Forest Service has been working to keep mine tailings from an abandoned silver mine from getting into Castle Creek. The long-defunct Hope Mine is tucked between the creek and Castle Creek Road. Work to return the area back to its natural state is now nearly complete. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Hanging Lake closed for Saturday repairs

Sep 9, 2015
Elise Thatcher

The popular Hanging Lake trail will be closed this Saturday. The Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers will be working on improvements at the heavily used destination. They’ll tackle some of the areas that are suffering from overuse.

Fees, shuttle service possible at Hanging Lake in 2017

Sep 5, 2015
Elise Thatcher

In 2017, there could be access fees and a shuttle system for a popular trail in Glenwood Canyon. Those are key options on the table for the Forest Service, as officials work to get a handle on surging crowds at Hanging Lake.

Marci Krivonen

The Forest Service was met by protesters Tuesday (9/2/15) in a remote area in the Thompson Divide, southwest of Carbondale. The agency is starting a review of a proposal to drill an exploratory well. But, the group gathered doesn’t want any natural gas drilling. They say the area’s natural environment is too valuable. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

It’s tough to imagine coming up here for anything other than peaceful moments in the great outdoors. But about 40 people Tuesday maneuvered mud-caked roads to protest drilling. Some even slept over.

Marci Krivonen

Too many people are storing food in their tents in the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness, so the Forest Service is mandating bear resistant containers.

Forest Service District Ranger Karen Shroyer says the decision comes after recent human-bear conflicts in the heavily used wilderness area. It stretches over 160,000 acres and includes the Maroon Bells scenic area.

Marci Krivonen

The Castle Creek valley just outside of Aspen is becoming increasingly popular to recreationists like hikers and cyclists. Pitkin County and the White River National Forest are taking comments from the public on how to best manage the area. 

Marci Krivonen

The White River National Forest is encouraging backcountry campers to use bear-proof canisters to store their food. It’s an education effort this year and will become law next summer. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

The Ute Mountaineer in Aspen is one of a handful of stores in the Roaring Fork Valley renting and selling bear-proof canisters. The hard plastic, round containers have names like “Bear Keg” and “Bear Vault.” Nathan Martinez is store manager.

Marci Krivonen

With deep cuts from Washington in recent years, the White River National Forest is looking to free labor. Volunteers stationed at busy spots like the Maroon Bells scenic area, are becoming increasingly essential to the agency. And with summer arriving, officials are recruiting. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

In ten years the annual operating budget for the White River National Forest has been slashed by $2 million and the agency has reduced employees. Scott Fitzwilliams is Forest Supervisor.

Marci Krivonen

The White River National Forest’s newest visitors center officially opens Tuesday. The Forest Service moved the center from Aspen to Highlands to make visits more convenient for the public, and to save money. 

On Friday visitor information specialist Mateo Sandete was putting finishing touches on interpretive signs. Visitors trickled in over Memorial Day weekend for a soft opening. Sandete says the new location is advantageous given the nearby Maroon Bells.

Forest Service visitor's center moves to Highlands

May 19, 2015
White River National Forest

There will be a new Forest Service visitors’ center at the base of Highlands starting next week. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has more.

 

The new center will be in the Highlands ticket office. It’s aimed to better serve people going to the Maroon Bells —

White River National Forest Considering Management Plan

Apr 24, 2015
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.

Ranger Answers Basalt Mountain Burn Questions

Apr 15, 2015

Karen Schroyer is the ranger for the Aspen and Sopris district in the White River National Forest. Her agency, along with the Bureau of Land Management, the National Elk Foundation, the Basalt and El Jebel fire departments and the Upper Colorado River Fire Agency, burned between 1,100 and 1,300 acres on Basalt Mountain last weekend. She wants the public to know the facts behind Sunday’s prescribed burn on Basalt Mountain. She spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason.

Mountain Edition - April 9th, 2015

Apr 9, 2015

Good afternoon, it’s Mountain Edition.

A federal mid valley investigation turns out to be a gang crackdown.

Glenwood Springs residents elect two new city council members.

Questions are raised about an Aspen City Council candidate running in the spring election.

He and other candidates tackle issues at the chamber of commerce forum.

Forest Service offices reopen in Glenwood Springs.

We hear what comes next for Explore Booksellers in Aspen...as well as for local alpine skier Wiley Maple.

http://www.thearmchairexplorer.com/colorado/glenwood_springs_colorado

The White River National Forest headquarters in Glenwood Springs has re-opened for business. The National Forest Service says the supervisor and staff returned this morning to their newly renovated offices at 900 Grand Avenue. Among the upgrades are improved heating and cooling systems, energy saving electrical, water saving plumbing as well as the removal of asbestos from the historic building. For the past two years, the 30-plus employees of the White River National Forest have worked remotely from ranger stations in Rifle, Carbondale, Minturn and the BLM office in Silt.

wikipedia

The White River National Forest is seeing some close calls between moose and people. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, the agency is drawing up a moose management plan.

Since 2005, the number of moose in areas like the West Maroon Valley, the Thompson Divide and Frying Pan is increasing. In the last few years, the White River National Forest has seen four to six close encounters per year between people and moose. Wildlife Biologist for the Aspen/Sopris Ranger District Phil Nyland says a handful of people statewide have been injured in moose attacks.

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