By Dan Elliott, The Associated Press DENVER — The U.S. Interior Department said Friday it will go ahead with plans to open a wildlife refuge at the site of a former nuclear weapons plant in Colorado, after briefly putting the opening on hold amid concerns about public safety. Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, on the perimeter […]
How the Southwest’s drought has led to a record-breaking increase in invasive mussels on boats coming into Colorado
The intense drought in the Southwest is threatening Colorado water supplies beyond just the lack of rainfall. State wildlife officials report a record number of boats carrying invasive mussels coming into Colorado from out of state. And the arid summer and winter could be to blame. The main culprit is Lake Powell, whose low water levels […]
How the “outdoor voter” has emerged as a potentially potent political force in Colorado
David Leinweber, the owner of Colorado Springs’ beloved Angler’s Covey flyfishing shop, asked a Republican candidate earlier this year to voice full-throated support for the state’s outdoor recreation industry. The candidate told him, “No way. It will put a target on my back, and I’ll be labeled as green,’” Leinweber recalled. “And he lost my […]
Aspen Skiing Co. takes leap in its political activism by targeting 3 Republican U.S. senators in new ad campaign
Aspen Skiing Company is taking its political and environmental activism public with a new ad campaign that in part asks outdoor enthusiasts to help pressure three Republican U.S. senators, perceived as malleable, to do more to address climate change. While the glitzy, world-famous ski area has worked quietly for years on everything from immigration to […]
Colorado is due for a new state park, but officials hope it won’t take 27 years to develop like the last one
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Colorado is growing at a rapid clip, yet only two new state parks have opened in the past dozen years. The newest, Staunton State Park, opened southwest of Denver in 2013 — 27 years after about half of the park’s rugged, mountainous acreage was donated to the state. Colorado Parks and Wildlife […]
Amid drought, a changing climate and population growth, can Colorado’s unique water law system survive?
Colorado’s system governing water use predates the state itself — the oldest water rights in Colorado date to the 1850s. And it is so closely linked to the state that, even when it is used elsewhere, it is often called the “Colorado Doctrine.” But can it survive perhaps the greatest challenge in its history — […]
“It is going to be very messy”: Opposing oil and gas ballot measures respond to Colorado’s contentious drilling climate
Call it “Clash of the Ballot Initiatives.” Two measures — either of which would be, if passed, disastrous, critics say — seek to set new land-use standards in Colorado. One would require oil and gas drill rigs be set back 2,500 feet from homes and natural features such as streams. The other would give landowners […]
Three years after the Gold King Mine spill there’s no fix to leaky abandoned mines. What’s the holdup?
CLEAR CREEK COUNTY — When the Gold King Mine spill sent a plume of yellow sludge cascading down the Animas River in southwest Colorado three years ago, environmentalists and conservationists saw an opportunity to educate the public about a problem that’s been around for decades. They also saw it as a way to draw new […]
Colorado’s hot summer of dry ditches and empty reservoirs has left distressed farmers sweating: Will it get worse?
OLATHE — John Harold charges his Chevy through chest-high stalks of sweet corn. He’s talking on his phone, scribbling notes. He’s got corn-harvesting crews spread across the Uncompahgre Valley, picking more than 100,000 ears a day of his trademarked Olathe Sweet. The fields of onions need weeding. His beans, too. More than 100 fields of […]
Colorado fish are catching the brunt of continuing drought, wildfire runoff
In the midst of a drought-choked summer, Joe Lewandowski stood on the bank of the Animas River near Durango and watched the fish die. Mountain runoff after a mid-July rain scraped the burn scar of the 416 fire, which raged for two months about 10 miles north of the city. That clouded the water with […]