ENVIRONMENT

ENVIRONMENT
10:41 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Great Outdoors Colorado Awards $7.7M For Conservation, Open Space Projects

Great Outdoors Colorado awarded the The Trust for Public Land $680,000 to purchase a 2,448-acre conservation easement on the Sawtooth Mountain Ranch in Ouray County.
Credit Courtesy of The Trust for Public Land

This week Great Outdoors Colorado announced it will give out $7.7 million in grants.

The money will be used to fund conservation and open space projects across the state. 

Great Outdoors Colorado has awarded $4.5 million dollars to local governments and land trusts to preserve more than 40,000 acres.

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ENVIRONMENT
11:12 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Dry Season Keeps Ski Resort Closed

A skier hitting the slopes in Colorado.
Credit flickr.com/zachd1_618

It’s well into December, but it may not seem like it.

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ENVIRONMENT
9:51 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Conservation Groups Cheer White River N.F. Oil, Gas Plan

This map shows which areas would be off-limits to oil and gas leasing under a newly-released plan from the White River National Forest. The areas shaded dark green would closed to future oil and gas development.

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:03 pm

The White River National Forest released a “conservation-minded” plan Tuesday for future oil and gas drilling. Conservation groups are cheering the plan, saying it proposes closing nearly all of the Thompson Divide to future leasing. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

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ENVIRONMENT
9:36 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Hickenlooper Shows Off Colorado Water Plan Draft

Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 4:53 pm

Governor John Hickenlooper unveiled a draft of the state's first ever water plan Wednesday. The goal of the plan - a decade in the making - is to create a comprehensive water strategy to protect rural farm economies and bring more water to millions of people along the Front Range.

"Water is too important for bickering and potential failure. It demands collaborations," said James Eklund, Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, which drafted the proposal. "This plan sets the stage for us to take the necessary next steps."

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ENVIRONMENT
4:21 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Local Birders Called To Help With Christmas Bird Count

Bird enthusiasts across the world participate in the National Audubon Society's annual Christmas Bird Count.
Credit www.flickr.com/pmillera4

The National Audubon Society and its local chapters need helping counting birds this holiday season. 

The 115th annual Christmas Bird Count starts Dec. 14th.

Bird enthusiasts across the world will get out their binoculars and notepads to count the feathered creatures they see in their communities.

The Black Canyon Audubon Society and the Bureau of Land Management are looking for volunteers to help assess local bird populations.

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ENVIRONMENT
12:11 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Ski Areas Voice Support For Emissions Caps

Power plant in Ohio
Credit Flickr user booleansplit

Monday was the last day for comment on the proposed Clean Power Plan from the EPA.

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ENVIRONMENT
3:19 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Local Motion: History of Solar Energy

Solar historian and author John Perlin speaks with Ali Lightfoot about his book "Let It Shine" which delves into the rich and often unknown history of solar energy dating back several millennia ago.

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ENVIRONMENT
9:26 am
Tue November 25, 2014

How Can Vultures Eat Rotten Roadkill And Survive?

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 1:31 pm

You might wonder why 48 million Americans get food poisoning every year, yet there are some animals that seem to be immune from even the nastiest germs.

We're talking here about vultures, which feast on rotting flesh that is chockablock with bacteria that would be deadly to human beings. In fact, vultures have a strong preference for that kind of food.

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ENVIRONMENT
3:13 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Agreement Reached For Colorado's Roan Plateau

Colorado's Roan Plateau
Courtesy of EcoFlight

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 3:25 pm

The Bureau of Land Management, environmentalists, and the energy industry have reached an agreement on a proposal to drill for oil and gas on the Roan Plateau. The new plan cancels 17 out of 19 oil and gas leases that were issued in 2008. Two previous leases at the top of the plateau, and a dozen at the base will remain in place.

"These measures allow us to protect the plateau but harness some of the energy resources," said Governor John Hickenlooper.

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ENVIRONMENT
4:38 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

What You Need To Know About The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

Pipes for TransCanada's planned Keystone XL pipeline are stored in Gascoyne, N.D. The U.S. House has voted to approve the proposed project, which would allow crude oil to flow from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The Senate plans to vote Tuesday on legislation that would greenlight the project.
Andrew Cullen Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 5:36 pm

Update at 7:35 p.m. ET: The Senate voted against completing the Keystone pipeline.

The remaining portion of the Keystone pipeline project, if completed, will be fewer than 1,200 miles long — just a fraction of the existing 2.6 million miles of oil and gas pipelines running beneath our feet in the United States.

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ENVIRONMENT
9:54 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Arch Coal and Forest Service Decline To Appeal Ruling

Credit NPS

Arch Coal and the Forest Service will not be appealing a decision that revokes the company's expansion lease, as well as vacating an exception in the Colorado Roadless­ Rule that allows for expanded mining in the North Fork. 

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ENVIRONMENT
9:43 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Gunnison Sage Grouse Listed As Threatened Species

The Gunnison sage grouse is now protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

This week the Gunnison sage grouse, a point of contention for several years, was listed as a threatened species.

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ENVIRONMENT
8:01 am
Fri November 14, 2014

With Drought The New Normal, Calif. Farmers Find They Have To Change

California sheep rancher Dan Macon had to sell almost half of his herd because the drought left him without enough feed.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 9:37 am

Ask Northern California sheep rancher Dan Macon what this drought is doing to his pocketbook and he'll break it down for you real quick.

"It's like if you woke up one morning and lost 40 percent of the equity in your house," he says. "Our primary investment in our ranch is in these sheep and we just sold 40 percent of our stock."

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ENVIRONMENT
4:11 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Why The 'Invasivores' Haven't Pounced On Bear Meat

Slow-cooked New York bear meat has been described as like beef stew, but with "a little stronger texture and a little gamier flavor."
David Sommerstein North Country Public Radio

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 10:43 am

The fight against nuisance critters is increasingly being fought at the dinner table. We've reported on so-called invasivores eating everything from Asian carp (battered and fried!) to wild pigs (Russian boar carpaccio, anyone?) as a means of reducing pesky populations.

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ENVIRONMENT
3:54 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Climate Change Deal Requires U.S., China To Overhaul Energy Use

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 5:54 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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ENVIRONMENT
10:11 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Wilderness "Hot Spots" See Increasing Crowds

National Forest officials are considering an update of a management plan for the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness. The outdated plan didn't account for the crowds the area saw this summer.

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 4:11 pm

The Forest Service is beginning the discussion about how to deal with increasing problems with crowds in the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness. This summer saw huge numbers of visitors at popular spots like Crater Lake and the Four Pass Loop. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, forest service officials are working to educate the public before exploring solutions.

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ENVIRONMENT
3:22 pm
Sun November 9, 2014

Low Gas Prices Haven't Slowed Domestic Drilling — Yet

Lower oil prices, while good for the economy, are a threat to what has been a dramatic surge in oil production in the U.S.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 1:22 pm

It's lunchtime in Douglas, Wyo., a town smack in the middle of the state's booming oil patch, and the line of cars at the McDonald's drive-through wraps around the building. A hiring poster hangs in the window, and the parking lot is full.

Troy Hilbish, a tool hand for the oil field servicing company Schlumberger, says while he didn't know oil prices have been falling, he does know what falling prices mean.

"If the oil prices go up, we drill more," Hilbish says. "If they go down, we don't drill as much."

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ENVIRONMENT
5:48 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Sinking Land, Earthquakes Linked To Waste Water Injection

A few weeks ago, we reported on a US Geological Survey study that looked at the connection between the injection of produced water, a byproduct of oil and gas production, and earthquakes in the Raton Basin in southern Colorado. 

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ENVIRONMENT
3:26 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Coping In A Drier World: California's Drought Survival Strategy

The San Luis Reservoir in central California is the largest "off-channel" reservoir in the U.S. It is currently at less than 30 percent of its normal capacity.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 5:44 pm

The past few years have been California's driest on record. Forecasters predict that punishing droughts like the current one could become the new norm.

The state uses water rationing and a 90-year-old water distribution system to cope until the rains come. The system is a huge network of dams, canals and pipes that move water from the places it rains and snows to places it typically doesn't, like farms and cities.

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ENVIRONMENT
9:44 am
Sun October 19, 2014

As Their Wells Run Dry, California Residents Blame Thirsty Farms

Many rural California residents rely on private wells for tap water — wells that are starting to dry up.
Jeremy Raff KQED

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 9:43 am

Imagine flushing the toilet and watching sand come up. That's what happened to Pam Vieira, who lives south of Modesto, Calif. Her water well has slowed to a trickle, and you can see the sand in the tank of her toilet.

"Sometimes we have brown water," Vieira says. "Sometimes we have no water."

Vieira is one of as many as 2 million rural California residents who rely on private domestic wells for drinking water.

Some of those people are among the hardest hit by the state's severe drought, as wells across the state's Central Valley farm belt start to go dry.

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