colorado

Pete McBride

Incentives from the federal government for farmers who grow crops like cotton are contributing to the depletion of the Colorado River. A Propublica report this spring investigated the issue. The article’s author was at the Aspen Ideas Festival Tuesday (6/30). Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Lloyd F. Athearn/Colorado Fourteeners Initiative

Trails on peaks in Aspen’s backyard have received both “A” and “F” grades. That’s according to a report card on Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks or “fourteeners.” 

Sally Jewell, the Secretary of the Interior and Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of Agriculture, came to Colorado Tuesday to urge a change in how the federal government pays to fight catastrophic wildfires.

"The solution is for these fires to be looked upon in the same way we look at tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods, they're natural disasters and they should be funded as such," Vilsack said.

Interior's Jewell agrees the funding mechanism should change.

It's been a month since Colorado lawmakers wrapped up their 2015 legislative session at the state capitol, but the work is far from over. Many of the bills that failed this year will likely be back next session and some long-standing issues may already be poised to go before voters in 2016.

U.S. Army/Sgt. Jecca Geffre

Governor John Hickenlooper was in Rifle Wednesday at a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new wildfire research center. 

The Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting will officially open later this summer but, elected leaders from around the state gathered Wednesday for an unofficial welcome.

"We are pleased as punch to have the Center of Excellence here, at Rifle/Garfield County Airport," said Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson.

Marci Krivonen

The month of April is when the Greater Sage Grouse does an elaborate dance to find a mate. The chicken-like bird lives in northwest Colorado and other western states and it’s population is shrinking. The largest conservation effort ever is underway to improve the bird’s habitat and prevent a federal “endangered” listing. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen visited the largest breeding grounds in the state, where the birds gather each year for their courtship dance.

Ruedi Water and Power Authority

An effort is underway to get people to conserve water across the Roaring Fork Valley. On Tuesday a public meeting will be held in El Jebel on the Regional Water Efficiency Plan.

For more than a year, major water suppliers in the Valley like the Cities of Aspen and Glenwood Springs, have been creating their own water efficiency plans. Those plans make up a larger effort. It lays out ways to use less water.

Colorado's childhood poverty rate has decreased for the first time in five years. The latest data comes as part of the annual Kids Count Report, which offers information on the health and well-being of children across the state.

"That is great news for Colorado," said Lt. Governor Joe Garcia. He went on to add that there's always a but, "We know that there are still far too many children growing up in households where they don't have access to the opportunities and resources they need to be healthy and succeed."

aspensnowmass.com

The Aspen Skiing Company is getting involved in the legal fight for marriage equality. The company is one of hundreds of businesses urging the US Supreme Court to embrace same-sex marriage. 

For one year now, Colorado has allowed recreational marijuana stores to operate. In the Roaring Fork Valley, fourteen recreational pot shops are operating. Aspen Public Radio is examining the legal marijuana business from one end of the Valley to the other and, how momentum has shifted from the mid Valley to  Aspen. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher and Marci Krivonen report.

Longtime Carbondale resident Tom Bleskan is standing outside of what could be his new line of work. He’s next to a small warehouse.

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