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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.

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission voted last week to increase testing for methane emissions from oil and gas development.

Aspen water customers can expect bigger bills next year as rates are rising for both residential and commercial users.  

Last month, students from across the Roaring Fork Valley gathered to discuss water. At the first-ever Youth Water Summit, teenagers presented their own white papers on everything from water rights to environmental activism.

Courtesy of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

Wednesday is the last day for the public to submit comments on alignments for a proposed trail through the Crystal River Valley. If completed, that trail would eventually connect Carbondale with Crested Butte.

Courtesy of Justin Shoemaker, www.fws.gov

Last week, the federal agency Wildlife Services agreed to temporarily stop killing animals in a controversial "predator control plan" near Rifle until officials complete a new environmental assessment of the project.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Four trails at Sky Mountain Park will be closed starting tomorrow for an elk hunt.

Courtesy of City of Aspen

The City of Aspen has big aspirations for climate action, and now officials think they have the tools to reach those goals.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

After a season where nearly 9 million acres of land nationwide have burned in wildfires, federal agencies are getting a jump on recruiting wildland firefighters.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

As Aspen city staff plans 2018 budgets, spending on water rights is expected to increase.

 

The city spent $89,000 this year on legal work to keep their rights to build reservoirs on Castle and Maroon creeks. The city faces opposition in water court from environmental groups, property owners and other government agencies.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Last week, the U.S. Forest Service finalized its plan to limit overnight stays in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. The most immediate change for backpackers and campers will be a paid-permitting system at Conundrum Hot Springs.

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

Aspen Skiing Company is looking for approval for a new lift on Highlands. The U.S. Forest Service is now taking public comment on several proposed projects at the ski area.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Next summer, backpackers planning to stay overnight at Conundrum Hot Springs will need reservations.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Voters in Aspen will see a bond measure, Issue 2C, on this fall's ballot. If approved, it would provide funding to buy property in Woody Creek that the city hopes to use as a reservoir someday.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County Commissioners are set to adopt a climate action plan that details how county departments can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Electric bikes have cruised to popularity, and local governments are scrambling to keep up. Changes in state laws have left a patchwork of policies, and e-bikers aren’t always sure where they can ride. Elizabeth Stewart-Severy took to the trails to check out the new technology and brings us this report.

Courtesy photo

Off-highway vehicles, like ATVs, have long been illegal on Pitkin County roads, but the policy hasn’t been enforced. That will change soon.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County Open Space and Trails officials are facing one of their biggest years yet. Elizabeth Stewart-Severy details on the 2018 budget.

Courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

  

Law enforcement officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) say they’re seeing more hunters using drones to track wildlife. 

Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

Several environmental watchdog groups, including Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop, are formally protesting the sale of oil and gas leases on public lands in northwest Colorado.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Colorado's conservation policies earned a top ranking among western states.

 

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