Posted inClimate, Environment, News, Water

Colorado heads into snowpack season with low reservoirs — but a twinge of hope

Drought conditions have eased up a bit from this time last year, but as the calendar turns on Colorado’s water year, worries about a dry winter still loom, the state’s assistant climatologist says. That’s not to say Colorado isn’t parched. Most of the state remains in drought, including the Eastern Plains, which spent much of […]

Posted inClimate, Environment, News, Outdoors, Water

The Yampa River is overdrawn and running out of water. And it’s hardly the only one.

The first public warning sign that the Yampa River in northwest Colorado was running out of water came during a scorching summer three years ago. Cross Mountain Ranch, a sprawling cattle, guest and hunting operation near Maybell and the Yampa’s confluence with the Little Snake River, needed water to flood meadows for sheep and other […]

Posted inBusiness, Energy, Environment, News, Outdoors

A northwest Colorado town is betting on the Yampa River to help it transition away from a coal economy

By Heather Sackett, Aspen Journalism CRAIG — With the impending closure of coal mines and power plants in northwest Colorado, Craig officials and river enthusiasts are hoping a long-overlooked natural resource just south of town can help create economic resilience. The city has applied for a $1.8 million grant from the federal Economic Development Agency […]

Posted inNews

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

Janie VanWinkle can hear it in the discontented way her cows call to their calves, the way the dried grass crunches into powder under her boots. It’s the sound of drought. The landscape where her cows graze in Grand Junction doesn’t have a green tint this spring. It’s gray and brown, ugly and parched. “And […]

Posted inClimate, Environment, News, Outdoors, Water, Wildfire

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

As drought conditions worsened on the Western Slope, the National Weather Service has issued its first “extremely critical” fire danger warning in 15 years for northwest Colorado. The warning, in effect through midnight, covers parts of Moffat and Rio Blanco counties that also are in a state of “exceptional drought,” according to the weekly U.S. […]

Posted inClimate, Environment, News, Outdoors

Colorado closes popular stretch of Yampa River to fishing as Western Slope drought hits summer plans early

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials announced Monday they are closing a popular stretch of the Yampa River below Stagecoach Reservoir dam to prevent overfishing during the drought, an early sign that extremely dry conditions will challenge the Western Slope this summer.  The state will close a 0.6 mile of the Yampa between the dam and […]

Posted inClimate, Environment, News

Colorado’s major snowstorm only made a dent in the drought. These maps and graphs explain what’s going on.

Despite what multiple feet of snow on the ground might suggest to many Coloradans, the state’s long-term drought remains persistent. And water forecasters are worried that even if the state receives decent spring moisture, Colorado and the greater American Southwest will need lots more to emerge from this drought. The record-breaking storms that buried Front […]

Posted inColoradans, COVID, Environment, News

How coronavirus and drought have combined to affect Colorado’s limited water supply

In the battle for Colorado’s precious water resources, there turns out to be no contest: Between drought and pandemic, drought wins every time. While two of the largest water providers in Colorado noticed big drops in certain kinds of water use early on in the coronavirus pandemic, those savings are now overwhelmed by residents and […]