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Bird count examines what happens when high-country Colorado irrigators use less water

As the state mulls paying irrigators to leave water in the Colorado River instead of flooding fields, Audubon Rockies is using bird counts in the northwest part of the state to gauge the implications of intentionally drying the landscape.


Drought, heat and fire prompt fishing ban on 120-mile stretch of Colorado River

Colorado River flows at two U.S. Geological Survey monitoring stations are less than half of historic levels


Amid drought, Colorado rafters flock to oases while they still can

For years, those who rely on rivers and streams for their livelihoods have struggled with the hotter, drier weather brought on by climate change


Drier springs bring hotter summers in the withering Southwest

New research reveals a positive feedback loop with negative consequences linked to lower springtime humidity across an already parched landscape


Drought forces Grand Junction to dip into Colorado River for drinking water for the first time in more than 50 years

Ute Water's 90,000 Western Slope customers will have river water added to flows from Grand Mesa as a hedge against heat and drought drying up reservoirs


“Fireworks right now are a terrible idea”: Drought woes in the dry West stoke July 4 fire fears

People setting off fireworks at home is a concern because of both the tinder-box conditions ripe for starting wildfires and the threat of injuries.


Opinion: 150 fire scientists urge the U.S. West to skip the fireworks this record-dry 4th of July

With the combination of extreme drought, heat and dry vegetation, all it takes is a spark to ignite a wildfire.


U.S. seeks to bolster firefighter ranks by boosting pay and benefits as wildfires increase

Officials at National Interagency Fire Center on Tuesday raised the national wildfire preparedness level to 4 on a 1-5 scale, the second earliest dating back to 1990.

Politics and Government

As Western drought leads to grasshopper outbreak, officials launch what could be the largest killing campaign since the ’80s

Cattle ranchers fear that the drought-loving insects will strip bare public and private rangelands.


What’s behind the heat wave that hit the American West?

A “megadrought" that's partially caused by climate change has sucked the moisture out of the soil through much of the Western United States.


Colorado ranchers are selling off cattle to survive another year of dried-up grass and parched soil

The land is so thirsty, water is soaked up before it can reach reservoirs, crops


Northwest Colorado under “extremely critical” fire warning for first time in 15 years as Western Slope drought worsens

About 45% of Colorado, all west of the Continental Divide, now in some state of drought


Two popular Colorado waterways are shut down amid raging currents, large number of rescues

Officials across Colorado are restricting access to rivers along the Front Range as high flows, low temperatures and debris make it unsafe for rafters, tubers and kayakers — especially those unaware of the rivers’ strength.


“A secret garden”: Hidden peonies on a farm near Pueblo became a public obsession

After COVID kept visitors away, the family-run attraction needed help. Support quickly bloomed.


Grim western fire season starts much drier than 2020’s record year

A climate change-fueled megadrought of more than 20 years is making conditions that lead to fire even more dangerous


Nearly half of Colorado emerges from drought conditions while Western Slope remains dry and at risk for fire

Precipitation has quenched 48% of the state even as the Western Slope dries out


River ecologists are eager to show how beavers are critical to improving watersheds in the West

Colorado researchers are pitching the furry architects and contractors as a partners in preserving river health, especially as snow melts earlier and drought lingers.


Colorado is expecting another explosive wildfire year, but the state may be more prepared this time

The state’s Wildfire Preparedness Plan, released Thursday, notes that even as 2021 is shaping up to repeat the chaos of last year, agencies are collaborating more and have better support.


Study: Drought-breaking rains more rare, erratic in Colorado and the West

The consequences of the intense dry periods that pummeled the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado Plateau were severe — more intense and dangerous wildfires, parched croplands and not enough vegetation to support livestock and wildlife. And it's getting worse.


Big March storms helped boost Colorado’s snowpack, but they weren’t enough to solve the long-term drought

Many of the major river basins are at or above average, but surveyors are worried that drought conditions won't improve

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