Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Leave the forests alone? If only it were that simple

Is a solution to climate change as easy as saying, “Leave our forests standing?” No. As with most climate change issues, the answer is far more nuanced than a blanket statement.  The carbon stored in trees and vegetation comes from the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere drawn into the plants during photosynthesis. Carbon is also […]

Posted inEnvironment, News, Outdoors, Water, Wildfire

Over 20 years, the Hayman fire’s footprint opened a window into Colorado wildfire future

On a parched spring morning amid gusting wind, electronic signs on the roads around Deckers blink a warning of wildfire danger. But as Carol Ekarius directs a vehicle up narrow Matukat Road in this expanse of the Pike National Forest, the vista suddenly opens like a portal to the future. Welcome to the now 20-year-old […]

Posted inClimate, Environment, News, Outdoors, Wildfire

Priceless seeds, sprouts in New Mexico a key to post-fire future in the West

By Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press A New Mexico facility where researchers work to restore forests devastated by fires faced an almost cruelly ironic threat: The largest wildfire burning in the U.S. was fast approaching. Owen Burney and his team knew they had to save what they could. Atop their list was a priceless […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: The West’s sickly, bloated forests are full of carbon, ready to burn

Colorado is famous for the year-round outdoor adventures people travel from across the globe to participate in. Hot summer days though, are quickly becoming synonymous with poor air quality and impaired visibility. A big reason for that is our forests. Stressed by severe drought conditions, forests across the West — degraded and bloated with ready-to-burn […]

Posted inClimate, Environment, News, Wildfire

Opinion: Climate change is making Rocky Mountain forests more flammable now than at any time in the past 2,000 years

By Philip Higuera, The University of Montana; Bryan Shuman, University of Wyoming; and Kyra Wolf, The University of Montana The exceptional drought in the U.S. West has people across the region on edge after the record-setting fires of 2020. Last year, Colorado alone saw its three largest fires in recorded state history, one burning late […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment, News, Newsletters, Outsider

The slow fade of Colorado’s mountain pine beetle is triggering a massive shift in the timber industry

Colorado’s forests have been waging a losing battle against tree-killing beetles for more than 15 years. Now, after marching across the state and killing millions of acres of pine forest, the burrowing, fungus-spreading mountain pine beetles are slowly losing steam.   While other beetles have thrived in Colorado’s drought-ravaged mountains, the mountain pine beetles have reigned […]

Posted inColoradans, Culture, Environment, News, Outdoors, Wildfire

Matriarch of Colorado outdoor volunteerism stepping down from “mothership of community stewardship”

BRECKENRIDGE — Ann Baker Easley deftly navigates an icy trail that winds past a wooden troll, an ice rink and a railroad park.  “Pretty sure we built this. We worked on a lot of trails around here,” says the chief executive officer of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, which in the past five years has funneled […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Rep. Neguse, Sen. Wyden: Why America needs a 21st century Civilian Conservation Corps

The 2020 wildfires brought America to a once-in-a-generation moment. For years, most Americans have viewed forestry policy as reserved only for rural areas. Now, as the climate crisis worsens with massive infernos destroying our communities and blanketing the West in thick, lethal smoke, it’s no longer just those in the rural West facing the devastation. […]