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.

Denver Public Library and Dale Will


Pitkin County has released a draft plan for its proposed trail through the Crystal River Valley. It could eventually connect to Crested Butte.

Courtesy of Maureen Poschman

Two local middle school students are showing their passion for big cats by bringing Cheetah Night to the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Changes to the Basalt whitewater park are nearly complete, just in time to protect fish.

Barbara Platts/Aspen Public Radio

At a meeting Tuesday, Pitkin County Commissioner Greg Poschman said he’d like to see real efforts to eliminate plastic.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

January marked a new era in recycling: China stopped accepting certain types of paper and plastics from abroad. This means companies like Roaring Fork Valley collector Waste Management have had to find new buyers. And they’ve had to adapt in other ways, too. In the second story in a series, we explore what this means for the industry — and what role consumers play.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Before the first of the year, most of the recycling collected in the Roaring Fork Valley—and across the country—ultimately found its way to China. But China is no longer accepting items like paper and plastic from abroad. So what happens to your empty cans, bottles and boxes after you toss them in the bin?

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service has released its draft decision to limit the number of daily visitors to Hanging Lake.


Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County adopted new regulations this week that allow residents to capture and reuse water from some kinds of indoor plumbing.


The City of Aspen says a natural filter at the Aspen Recreation Center pool has improved water quality.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service received 11 objections to a draft decision on a logging project in the Upper Fryingpan Valley. The objections come from home and property owners, environmental groups like Wilderness Workshop and the Roaring Fork Audubon Society, the Town of Basalt and a mill in Montrose that would receive some of the timber.


Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The Colorado State Forest Service released the 2017 Report on the Health of Colorado’s Forests last week.


Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service has received 11 formal objections to its draft decision to log up to 1,800 acres in the Upper Fryingpan Valley.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Campers headed to Conundrum Hot Springs will be able to purchase a permit beginning in mid-April.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service has released a proposal to mitigate wildfire hazards on nearly 300 acres of national forest land in the Crystal River Valley. The plan includes mechanical treatments, like hand-cutting vegetation, at five locations in the valley and using prescribed fire near Marble.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

A bill that would allow Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to raise fees on hunting and fishing licenses was introduced in the state legislature last week. It would also increase state park entrance fees.


Aspen's snowpack is about two thirds of average, and while skiers everywhere are hoping for more snow, those headed into the backcountry rely on the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) for data about avalanche conditions.

City of Aspen

Mayor Steve Skadron and the city’s climate action department launched the Compact of Colorado Communities last May. They are now partnering with the governor’s office to host a symposium on climate preparedness and clean energy. Governor John Hickenlooper has since recognized it as the leading network of local governments working on climate.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The Town of Carbondale approved a contract last week to acquire land at the base of Red Hill from the Aspen Valley Land Trust (AVLT). AVLT purchased the property in January and has been raising money to build new trails and improve safety. The idea is to move the trailhead closer to the parking area.


This week, Aspen City Council gave the go-ahead on two private leases on public land at Cozy Point Ranch. Aspen T.R.E.E., a local agriculture and education operation, will lease 14 acres, and Cozy Point equestrian facility will continue to operate on 27 acres. Elizabeth Stewart-Severy breaks down the details with Wyatt Orme.


This week, Gov. Hickenlooper released his plan to encourage more Coloradans to drive electric.