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 inColoradans, Energy, Environment, Health, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

EPA announces Colorado-based office dedicated to cleaning up abandoned mines

The Environmental Protection Agency is creating a new office in Lakewood that will focus on cleaning up abandoned hardrock mining sites west of the Mississippi River, including the Bonita Peak Mining District where the Gold King Mine disaster originated in 2015.  The Office of Mountains, Deserts and Plains will be located in the EPA’s regional […]

Posted inColoradans, COVID, Environment, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

Colorado now owns Fishers Peak, but funds to build the newest state park are in coronavirus limbo

The deal went down on a picnic table in Broomfield on April 1.   “The quietest acquisition of a $25 million property no one ever heard of,” GOCO boss Chris Castilian said.  With a notary public standing 6 feet away, a flurry of signatures transferred southern Colorado’s 30 square-mile Fishers Peak to the state of Colorado. […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Super fires across the West have many causes, but one gets little attention

The western wildfires the past two years have been horrible and tragic. Last year in southern Colorado we experienced our third-largest fire ever with the Spring Fire in Costilla and Huerfano counties, destroying 150 homes and buildings and burning over 100,000 acres of forest. Meanwhile, this year in California, thousands of people have been displaced […]

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

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, […]

Posted inBusiness, Energy, Environment, Growth, Outdoors

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 […]

Posted inEnvironment, Outdoors, Wildfire

Climate change is transforming Western forests. And that could have big consequences far beyond wildfires.

LA VETA — From her family’s summer cabin north of Walsenburg, Camille Stevens-Rumann could see the glow of the Spring Creek Fire on the ridge to the south in the summer of 2018. “It was pretty spectacular, my 4-year-old was excited,” she said This past June, Stevens-Rumann walked a burnt slope near the town of […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment, Growth, News, Outdoors

Could a massive southern Colorado ranch become a state park? It’s an idea just “crazy” enough to work.

TRINIDAD — Fisher’s Peak looms over every block of this city. “There are so many views you can get of that peak in town. Like when the clouds are low and it looks like it’s just dangling in midair. That view is part of every day in Trinidad,” Mayor Phil Rico says.  Despite the everyday […]