Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, Culture, News, Outdoors

Colorado Gators started as a natural garbage disposal. Now it’s one of the state’s most unusual tourist attractions.

MOSCA — As Jay Young rolls his pants up and wades into the murky pond, Elvis emits a guttural hissing. It sounds like a pressurized water hose cleaning out a barrel. Young taps the 12-foot-long, 600-pound alligator’s snout and the gnarly armored creature lunges forward, toothy maw wide. “He still wants to eat me after […]

Posted inColoradans, Culture, Environment, Equity, News

New fence at the edge of Cielo Vista Ranch interrupts 150-year-old religious pilgrimage

By Kate Perdoni, Rocky Mountain PBS A religious ceremony—the last of its kind in Colorado—stands threatened by private property rights. Each spring during Lent, a community gathers in a small village at the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, as is has since the 1870s, for Via Crucis, or Stations of the Cross. The […]

Posted inColoradans, Environment, Health

Air pollution, asthma rates in Colorado’s San Luis Valley are a growing concern

Asthma-inducing poor air quality is most often associated with industry- and car-heavy Front Range cities. Or in a dry summer like 2020, smaller towns suffocating in wildfire smoke. Hours of driving away from Colorado’s biggest cities, though, the San Luis Valley has a growing asthma problem of its own, likely inflated by climate change. Winds […]

Posted inEnvironment, News

Kill fish to save fish: Behind Colorado’s effort to revive the Rio Grande cutthroat trout

On a beautiful early September day, Ken Gierhart hiked a trail familiar since boyhood to Music Pass in the Sangre de Cristo mountains above Westcliffe. As he dropped off the saddle toward the Sand Creek lakes, he noticed people heading the opposite direction with fishing poles. “How’s the fishing?” he asked one woman. “They’re all […]

Posted inColoradans, News, Politics and Government

How one of Colorado’s smallest Black Lives Matter protests became its most violent

ALAMOSA — The protesters, about a dozen in all, gathered on June 4 in the intersection of State Avenue and Main Street. Like protesters across the country in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing by police, they were demanding police accountability and racial justice. The group occupied the crosswalk during red lights, then stepped to […]

Posted inEnvironment, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

Cory Gardner introduces bill adding 40,038 acres of wilderness to Rio Grande National Forest

As Colorado’s U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner rides a wave of accolades for swaying President Donald Trump to support legislation to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, he’s also floating his first-ever bill to grow wilderness acreage in Colorado.  Last month the Republican quietly — as in without any news release or announcement — […]

Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, Environment, Growth, News, Politics and Government, Water

As metro Denver grows, another caller wants to tap the vast aquifer under the San Luis Valley

This story was published in collaboration with Bitterroot, an online magazine about the politics, economy, culture and environment of the West.  An adobe arch spans a well-kept dirt road northwest of Crestone, wooden arms protruding from its sides. The name Rancho Rosado is engraved in the weathered brown wood, the red letters fading to pink. Behind the arch, […]