Roaring Fork River

  Welcome to Valley Roundup. I’m Carolyn Sackariason.

In its attempt to get more social media followers, the Aspen Police Department had a bit of fun with the resort’s reputation as a party town.

Small plastic bag found at grocery store checkout causes internet stir

And time will tell if two developers who want to build lodging at the base of Aspen Mountain can play well together.

Credit Elise Thatcher

A 58-year-old man died after a rafting accident in Aspen on Wednesday. The rafter died after falling from a raft into the Roaring Fork River.

Carolyn Sackariason/Aspen Public Radio News

Thanks to a wet spring, the Roaring Fork River in the coming days will see even bigger flows than this past weekend’s peak runoff levels. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.


The Twin Lakes Reservoir and Canal Company has notified local governments that the Twin Lakes Reservoir will reach capacity on Wednesday, which means there will be no diversions to the Front Range starting today.  

April Long, the city’s clean river program manager, said higher flows could last up to three weeks, which is a good thing.

Elise Thatcher

There’s a whitewater park in the works near Basalt, and the key is now figuring out how many amenities it should have.

Hunter Baar


Results are in from testing done after a release of water from Grizzly Reservoir last month turned the Roaring Fork River a dirty yellow.

The discoloration happened in mid-August after a dam problem forced the release of between 10 and 20 acre feet of water from Grizzly Reservoir on Independence Pass. The water flowed into Lincoln Creek and eventually into the Roaring Fork River. It raised alarm because of its color.

Twitter @IamMBB

On Thursday, City of Aspen and Pitkin County staff took water and sediment samples at Grizzly Reservoir following discoloration of the Roaring Fork River. The work follows concerns from elected leaders.

The crystal clear water turned brown early this week after a dam problem forced the release of muddy water from Grizzly Reservoir. Between 10 and 20 acre feet flowed from Lincoln Creek into the Roaring Fork River.

High river flows good for bugs, wildlife

Jun 22, 2015
Cornelia Carpenter

Bugs and wildlife are benefiting from higher-than-normal rivers in the Roaring Fork watershed. Heavy rain and snowmelt have boosted flows to flood stage in some areas. It’s positive for the river ecosystem.

River flows are above average on the Roaring Fork, Frying Pan, Crystal and Colorado rivers. It’s good news for water quality and wildlife habitat along the riverbanks. The flows knock away dirt buildup in the spaces between rocks on the riverbed. Rick Lafaro with the Roaring Fork Conservancy says that’s where bugs live.

Mountain Edition - June 18th, 2015

Jun 18, 2015

Good afternoon, it’s Mountain Edition.

Snowmelt combined with recent rains have boosted rivers to dangerous levels.

It takes a lot to get Aspen ready for the Food and Wine Classic. We’ll hear about the final preparations.

And, the publisher of Food and Wine magazine says Aspen’s fest is different from others held around the country.

A conservation group is concerned about a proposed oil and gas lease swap in the Thompson Divide.

And, a local non profits helps low income homeowners become energy efficient.

Facebook/Pitkin Co. Open Space and Trails

Heavy rain Tuesday night boosted the Roaring Fork River in Aspen to flood stage. Minor flooding is possible in low-lying areas. 

Flows in the Aspen stretch of the Roaring Fork were nearly four times the typical amount Wednesday morning. Pitkin County Sheriff Joe Disalvo says people with homes in a floodplain should be prepared to sandbag and self-rescue if waters get too high.

There’s less water from the Roaring Fork River being diverted to the East Slope this spring and it’s increasing flood danger. Over the weekend, law enforcement in Aspen and Basalt monitored high flows. Wetter-than-normal conditions on the East Slope temporarily stopped diversions through the Twin Lakes tunnel. They’ll start up again later this month. Bill Linn is Assistant Police Chief in Aspen.

Pitkin County holds open house on North Star plan

May 18, 2015
Marci Krivonen

Pitkin County is taking public comments on a draft plan for managing the North Star Nature Preserve, east of Aspen. On Monday night, an open house will be held, where people can learn more about the wetlands and meadows. 

You drive by the North Star Nature Preserve on your way toward Independence Pass from Aspen. It’s a 285-acre open space parcel with deer, elk, black bears and the one of the highest elevation Great Blue Heron rookeries in the state.

Marci Krivonen

Basalt Town Council Tuesday approved a “future roadmap to development” for downtown. The decision came after more than two hours of discussion and public comment.

The board voted 5-to-2 to support the resolution. Mayor Jacque Whitsitt and councilman Gary Tennenbaum voted against it.

Marci Krivonen

A committee charged with brainstorming redevelopment ideas for downtown Basalt presented their findings on Thursday evening. The Downtown Area Advisory Committee met with Town Council, the Planning and Zoning committee and scores of interested citizens. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

The volunteer committee has been meeting regularly since October and pouring over ideas from the community and a map of downtown Basalt. Basalt is considering redeveloping several key parcels, including some riverfront acreage.

Tonight (Tues 9/23) the Basalt Town Council will decide whether to approve members of a special board that will help make decisions on downtown development. The committee would, according to the Town Manager, “put more meat” on redevelopment ideas. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

Marci Krivonen

If you’ve driven through downtown Basalt recently, it’s hard to miss the mess of trees, electrical boxes and garbage covering a central stretch of land. It’s the site of the old Pan and Fork Mobile Home park, where more than 300 people used to live. The Town of Basalt helped those residents relocate and now it’s focusing on redeveloping the five acres. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen walked through the area with Town Manager Mike Scanlon.

A new list names the Upper Colorado River basin the second most endangered stretch of water in the country. The conservation group American Rivers released its annual “top-10” list Wednesday and local rivers like the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan are part of basin that’s threatened.

"All of these rivers have potential targets on them for more diversions," says Ken Neubecker, a coordinator for American Rivers.

RMI Planning to Build "Deep Green" Building in Basalt

Feb 17, 2014
Rocky Mountain Institute

The non profit Rocky Mountain Institute is moving forward with plans to build an “Innovation Center” in downtown Basalt. The organization submitted a sketch plan to Town Council last month and if council supports it, construction could start in the fall. RMI specializes in sustainability and energy efficiency and the structure near the Roaring Fork River, will be highly efficient. The $15 million building will be double the size of the group’s current headquarters in Old Snowmass.

Google Image/

As the state prepares a statewide water plan, a local non profit wants to make sure our rivers and streams in the Valley are protected. Basalt-based Roaring Fork Conservancy is pinpointing environmental values, so, as the state searches for more water to fill growing needs, local waterways stay full. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

In his State of the State address earlier this month Governor Hickenlooper touched on water.

"Now, if words were water, the state would never run dry," he said.

Marci Krivonen

Elected leaders in the Town of Basalt voted last night to explore alternative options for families being relocated from a trailer park. The Town has been offering cash assistance. But, a group called Workers for Justice and Diversity in Basalt says it’s not enough to pay Basalt’s high rent prices. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Marci Krivonen

The Town of Basalt held a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for a major river project set to get underway Monday.

The so-called Pan and Fork project will replace a trailer park with a public park and an improved floodway and riverbank. Construction starts in earnest on Monday. Town Manager Mike Scanlon says he wanted to get the word out now.