Posted inBusiness, Climate, Economy, Environment, News, Outdoors

Drought and irrigation demands will drain two Eastern Plains reservoirs, killing fisheries and the local economy

It’s open season with no limit on walleye, saugeye, crappie, perch, wiper and catfish at two Eastern Plains reservoirs.  Again.  As severe drought spikes demand for irrigation water on the plains, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is dropping angler limits at the South Platte River-fed Jumbo Reservoir near Julesburg and the Arkansas River-fed Queens Reservoir north […]

Posted inArts, Business, Culture, Economy, News, Politics and Government

In Florence, pop. 4,000, political upheaval is testing the city’s push to shake off its “ghost town” past

At 8 p.m. on a summer weeknight, the setting sun slants its last warm rays through the trees along Main Street in Florence. The antique stores, bakery and coffee shops are closed, and the nearly empty dinner spots will soon follow. The benches that provide a shady respite during the day are empty. There’s a […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors, Outsider

Colorado rafting outfitters had record traffic, revenue in 2021. Will it be enough to keep them afloat this summer?

Colorado’s rafting industry hosted a record number of rafters in 2021, posting its largest annual increase in commercial raft trips, up 44% over the pandemic-hobbled 2020 season.  The Colorado River Outfitters Association counted 619,968 commercial river trips on 20 Colorado rivers last summer, a record 189,793-visit increase from the previous summer. “These are just staggering […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors, Outsider

Colorado rafting company sues federal government over minimum-pay rule for guides

Colorado’s rafting industry, typically pretty sleepy this time of year, sparked to life this week after a longtime outfitter sued President Joe Biden and the Department of Labor over a new rule spiking the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15 an hour. “This is not about minimum wage. We already pay our guides way […]

Posted inClimate, Environment, News, Water

Colorado heads into snowpack season with low reservoirs — but a twinge of hope

Drought conditions have eased up a bit from this time last year, but as the calendar turns on Colorado’s water year, worries about a dry winter still loom, the state’s assistant climatologist says. That’s not to say Colorado isn’t parched. Most of the state remains in drought, including the Eastern Plains, which spent much of […]

Posted inEnvironment, News, Outdoors, Outsider

Monarch Pass could serve as a new model for wildfire mitigation in treacherous areas

MONARCH PASS — Sergio Bernal casually flicks his wrist and the towering spruce falls. The Oregon forester presses a button and buzzing saws de-limb the beetle-killed tree and slice it into 33-foot logs. A giant claw swings the tree to the side and the slash falls to the forest floor. The eight-wheeled Finnish machine — […]