So many visitors are heading to Rabbit Valley near the western border of Colorado that the Bureau of Land Management will immediately require camping reservations and begin building or revamping campsites to open no later than next spring. Located west of Fruita in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, Rabbit Valley is managed for motorized […]
Drought forces Grand Junction to dip into Colorado River for drinking water for the first time in more than 50 years
For 65 years, the Ute Water Conservancy District serving Grand Junction and Mesa County has let the Colorado River flow on by, while drawing drinking water from pristine runoff 11,000 feet high on Grand Mesa. The severe, ongoing drought has now forced other plans. The utility has for the first time begun to mix Colorado […]
Meals on Wheels is still delivering in western Colorado — but without the side of conversation
Ninety-year-old Rose Konola misses the conversations she used to have with Meals on Wheels volunteers who bring hot lunches to her home four days a week. COVID-19 has changed the way the Mesa County chapter of the program provides meals to the elderly. While crucial to ensuring the safety of both clients and drivers, the necessary distancing […]
Why planting tenacious tamarisk seemed like a good idea until it wasn’t, and other harrowing tales of Colorado’s invasive species
Tamarisk was brought to the U.S. from Kazakhstan in the early 1800s to shore up riverbanks and railroad beds. It worked. Left to itself, tamarisk multiplies. Left to itself in America, 6,000 miles from natural predators on the Asian steppes, tamarisk goes nuts. Tamarisk is a tenacious shrub whose pinkish flowers look good just enough […]
I was determined to spring break in Fruita despite the coronavirus. I was scamming myself.
On a cold and snowy March morning, I left the town of Missoula, Montana, for Fruita, Colorado. It was spring break at the University of Montana, and mountain biking had been on my mind for weeks. Driving south on I-15 was familiar to me. The peaks of the many different mountain ranges were still blanketed […]
Older Coloradans are working longer and demanding an updated set of tech skills
In an extremely basic training class on internet searches at the new Senior Planet in Lowry, it was clear: the students had done this before. One woman typed in “gratitude” and clicked over to the image search to see pithy paragraphs on gratefulness. Another typed in “crochet patterns” because she’s an avid hobbyist who’d like […]
Are Colorado’s oil and gas and recreation industries all that different? Economists say no — and we need to protect them both
When the mines closed and the railroad left town in the 1980s, “pretty much everyone in Salida was unemployed,” Mayor P.T. Wood remembers. And when the West Slope oil and gas industry took a nosedive in 2014, sales tax revenue in Fruita plummeted 90%. Both communities have filled at least part of the void left […]
A Nazi flag led this Western Mayberry to confront hate once again. Now Fruita aims to send a different message.
Fruita City Council member Ken Kreie was driving home on Election Day in November when he saw a shocking flutter of red and black outside a house down the street from his: a Nazi flag. “Not here. Not in Fruita,” he remembers thinking. “This is such a loving and welcoming community.” By the time Kreie […]