KAJX

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.

www.avalanche.co.us

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.

www.aspencommunityvoice.com

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.

pixabay.com

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

 

Colorado senator Michael Bennet and representative Jared Polis introduced a bill yesterday that would designate new wilderness in the White River National Forest.

 

www.instagram.com/outdoorretailer

The 2018 Outdoor Retailer and Snow Show, a major convention for the outdoor industry, kicks off today in Denver. When the snow melts, the industry will gather again in Colorado, this time, with tribal leaders.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The City of Aspen wants to know just how much water flows in Maroon Creek and has contracted with the U.S. Geological Survey to keep an eye on it. It’s tied to efforts to make the city water supply more resilient.

Courtesy of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Dr. Melanie Armstrong teaches environmental policy and history at Western State Colorado University. She was in the Roaring Fork Valley last week as part of the Naturalist Nights environmental speaker series and sat down with Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

Wilderness Workshop has joined a lawsuit challenging the drilling of more than a hundred natural gas wells near Paonia.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

This winter, the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project has launched public awareness campaign meant to familiarize Coloradans with wolves and garner enthusiasm for reintroducing wolves in the state. They’ve teamed up with the nonprofit Living with Wolves to bring a photo exhibition to a unique setting in Aspen.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Residents and visitors to Pitkin County produce a lot of trash — about twice the national average. On Tuesday, county commissioners will consider a plan to keep some reusable items out of the landfill.

Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The federal government announced last week that it plans to remove the Canada lynx from the Endangered Species list.

Courtesy of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

Pitkin County’s open spaces are increasingly being used for more than recreation, as agriculture is taking root on public lands.

Elise Thatcher

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking public comment on a proposal for four new well pads near Rifle. It's the second phase of an ongoing project.

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

Last month, the U.S. Forest Service released the environmental assessment of a new plan to manage visitors to Hanging Lake. It looks at the potential impacts of limiting use to the popular spot. Elizabeth Stewart-Severy discussed the findings with producer Christin Kay.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Pitkin County has updated its plans to lessen the impacts of natural disasters, like floods and wildfires.

Courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/locosteve

Deep freezes in Western Colorado last spring damaged crops, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is now offering some relief.

Courtesy of Christy Severy

Aspen Skiing Company canceled the Full Moon Dinner that was scheduled at Buttermilk’s Cliffhouse Restaurant on Tuesday, as safety concerns are growing on area mountains.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The City of Aspen first adopted a climate action plan in 2007, with a target of an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. City staff has promoted energy efficiency, increased mass transit and supported a bike share program. These actions have reduced emissions. But Aspen’s population has grown, and those reductions have been somewhat lackluster.

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