Pitkin County

Creative Commons/Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller/U.S. Army

The Affordable Care Act is helping low income residents in the Roaring Fork Valley get health insurance. That’s according to officials who oversee programs for the poor. More people are signing up for Medicaid and others are purchasing insurance plans from the state exchange. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

In Pitkin County, the number of Medicaid patients jumped 20 percent since October. So, 90 more people are seeking care from doctors who will take them.

Phil Nyland/White River National Forest

Officials at the White River National Forest are anticipating significant cuts to their noxious weed management program. Funding to fight invasive species on the Forest has declined in recent years and it’s beginning to impact the land. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

The White River National Forest is expecting a 15 to 25 percent cut in the program that includes the management of rangeland and noxious weeds. Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams will get a final budget later this spring.

Martie Edwards

Five big employers in Aspen are joining forces to improve health care in the Valley. They’re part of a new group, the Valley Health Alliance, which enlists the help of doctors, hospitals, and other health-related professionals. The idea is to help bring down skyrocketing costs--while making sure employees get better care than before. To learn more, Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher spoke with Martie Edwards, Interim Executive Director of the Valley Health Alliance, and Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock.

 

 

Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

Pitkin County is leading an effort to explore the development of new trails in the Upper Valley. At issue is whether new trails are needed for users like mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians. The effort is also meant to stop illegal trails from being built.

The County is focusing on a 125,000 acre swath of public land that covers areas from Woody Creek to Independence Pass, and acreage in between.

Gary Tennenbaum with Pitkin County Open Space and Trails said the Upper Roaring Fork Trails Plan will guide trail planning for the next 10 to 20 years.

tipton.house.gov

In a meeting with Pitkin County Commissioners last week, U.S. Congressman Scott Tipton said he doesn’t support legislation to protect the Thompson Divide from oil and gas drilling. Instead, Tipton wants negotiations between conservationists and energy companies to continue. For years, the sides have been working on an alternate plan to protect the area. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

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