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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.

Courtesy of Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Dry weather statewide means many ski areas have limited terrain. Skiers and riders who want more might be looking into backcountry options. Right now, avalanche danger is low, but that could change with the next snowfall.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy

The City of Aspen has plans to buy land in Woody Creek that could one day become a reservoir, and officials hope to fill that reservoir using water rights the city has owned on Castle and Maroon creeks since 1971. But major questions remain about if this is possible — or necessary.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

This was the first year that all boats using Ruedi Reservoir were screened for invasive species of mussels. Finding funding to continue the program will be no easy task.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service said more than 320,000 people biked, bussed or drove to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area this season. That’s another record-setting year.

Courtesy of Johan Bos from Pexels

The City of Aspen will continue to get some of its renewable energy from a nonprofit based in Nebraska.

 

Courtesy of Jesse Wey

Earlier this year, the Town of Basalt signed on to Eagle County’s climate action plan. Tuesday, Town Council is expected to sign a letter of intent to work with other communities in the county to reduce greenhouse gases. But Basalt isn’t going to commit any money toward the collaborative.

 

Courtesy of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies/aspennature.org

The 2018 lineup for local speaker series Naturalist Nights includes regional experts on topics from the geology of Glenwood Canyon to the world’s finest guano.

Courtesy of Noah Hoffman

Professional skiers in a warming world find themselves in an icy position. Their livelihood relies on snow and cold temperatures, but essentials like travel and snowmaking come with an environmental cost. So, how do athletes stand by their convictions and make a living?

U.S. Forest Service

Winter season for the U.S. Forest Service starts today — and that means many roads are now closed to all vehicles with wheels, including bicycles.

Courtesy of aspennature.org

Three local environmental groups are again teaming up to present a speaker series focused on public lands and wildlife conservation. The schedule for 2018 is out.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Aspen Skiing Company plans to open Aspen Mountain and Snowmass for limited skiing on Thanksgiving Day, but there’s not much snow.

 

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.

 

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