Environment News

The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers all things environment in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado. Issues include, but are not limited to, water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development.  APR’s environment reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy heads the desk.

Courtesy of www.pixabay.com

Millions of Americans will see a rare solar eclipse today, and here's the scoop on what to expect in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Eclipse Soundscape app

On Monday, from coast to coast, people can watch what’s being called “The Great American Eclipse.” Scientists are calling on those millions of spectators to provide data and observations. Elizabeth Stewart-Severy checked in with researchers who are using the latest technology to learn about a full sensory experience, for all creatures on earth.  

Courtesy of Pitkin County

Pitkin County public health officials are cautioning residents about an increase in bat activity after 11 of them were recently found dead along a trail in Snowmass Village.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Across the west, noxious weeds damage ecosystems, and local governments are tasked with keeping them at bay. But the solution — chemical herbicides — doesn’t always sit well with residents.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Officials say the Pitkin County Landfill only has about 14 years of space left. They’ve been working with consultants to minimize waste and extend its lifespan. Pitkin County Commissioners heard an update on this process last week, including recommended changes. Environment reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy has been covering the issue and talked with producer Christin Kay about possible solutions.

 

Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers Instagram account

Roaring Fork Valley outdoor enthusiasts have come together in record numbers to build two singletrack trails along Prince Creek Road in Carbondale.

Courtesy of Recreation.gov

The U.S. Forest Service will be closing Difficult Campground on Tuesday, Aug. 15, for the remainder of the 2017 season.

Courtesy of Ami Vitale

National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale started her career documenting war and conflict but has since shifted to covering wildlife and environmental issues. She has traveled to more than 90 countries and is in Aspen to share her photos and stories. Environment reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy talked with Vitale about her work.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The Pitkin County Board of Commissioners will consider an emergency resolution today that confirms a ban on electric bikes.

 

State legislation goes into effect on Wednesday that will allow e-bikes on pedestrian paths — unless a local jurisdiction says otherwise. Pitkin County says otherwise, for now.

Carolyn Sackariason / Aspen Public Radio

This past spring, Aspen City Council approved a new ordinance that regulates outdoor water use. Elizabeth Stewart-Severy has been reporting on what this means for local homeowners and landscape architects. She discusses the water efficiency for landscaping ordinance with producer Christin Kay.

Courtesy of Jim Hill/KUNC

Interested citizens can hear updates on policy and management practices during a time of flux in the oil and gas industry on Thursday in Rifle.

 

Courtesy of Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

Last month the City of Aspen announced plans to buy about 60 acres of land in Woody Creek that would be used for a reservoir in the future. It’s part of the city’s work to explore options other than using water rights to build reservoirs on Castle and Maroon Creeks. Environment reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy has been reporting on the issue and talked with producer Christin Kay about the latest developments.

Courtesy of Sam Howzit

Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo has lifted the county-wide fire ban.

After one month of restrictions, local fire chiefs now say that the danger is waning. A few weeks of July showers have brought the fuel-moisture level in the county back to near-normal levels. Aspen Fire chief Rick Ballentine said this doesn’t necessarily mean we’re out of the woods.

Courtesy of Aspen Global Change Institute

Over twenty years ago, Dr. Ben Santer was part of the team of international scientists who first published work showing climate change can be attributed to human influence. He discussed his work with Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

 

Courtesy of www.carbondalegov.org

The Carbondale Board of Trustees is considering a new bill of rights — for the environment.

 

Aspen Public Radio

When Roaring Fork Valley residents turn on the tap, they count on high quality water. There’s a new online tool for consumers to find out what exactly is in their tap water.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The City of Aspen has long encouraged residents to cut back on water consumption: Buy an efficient showerhead, turn off the tap while you brush your teeth. But now, officials are taking that message outside.

Courtesy of City of Aspen

As it faces opposition to its water rights to build dams on Castle and Maroon creeks, the City of Aspen is now is under contract to buy land as an alternative site for a reservoir.

Courtesy of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

July in Aspen is peak tourist season. As part of a monthly series on Roaring Fork wildlife, Elizabeth Stewart-Severy checked in on some visitors from the south who are in the middle of some critical work this summer. It’s time for migratory birds to stretch their wings.

Courtesy of Conservation Colorado

Colorado’s rivers received their first-ever report cards from an environmental organization last week, and it’s a mixed bag.

 

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