5:03 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

20,000-acre Alkali Fire contained

The Alkali Fire northwest of Craig has burned more than 20,000 acres. 

Officials said the fire is now fully contained. 

The wildfire started Wednesday and the cause of it is still under investigation.

Lynn Barclay with Bureau of Land Management said the fire is burning sagebrush and grass. 

"This year because we did have a wet spring the grass that we have out there is thicker [and] tall and the sagebrush out in that area can get very, very tall, over five feet," Barclay said. "When you get some wind on that continuous fuel bed the fire just runs."

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1:19 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Advocacy Group Looks To Forest Service Solution

The group working to protect the Thompson Divide area from natural gas development is awaiting a Forest Service plan.

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 12:00 pm

Natural Gas drilling in an area near Carbondale known as the Thompson Divide is still a possibility, despite protest from many local residents. The group trying to stop it is hopeful a Forest Service plan, due out later this summer, will prevent future drilling.

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4:37 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

BLM Seeks Comment On Gunnison Sage-Grouse

The Gunnison sage-grouse is being considered for the Endangered Species List.
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It is estimated there are 4,800 Gunnison sage-grouse left. The largest population of the species, about 4,000 birds, inhabits the Gunnison Basin. 

The Bureau of Land Management wants the public to help it identify conservation measures to protect the sage-grouse on federal lands in Colorado and Utah.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended the BLM adopt additional conservation measures for the bird.

The comments are due to the BLM by August 22.

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11:37 am
Wed July 16, 2014

No Roundup Of Wild Horses For Colorado

Credit Bureau of Land Managment

The Bureau of Land Management will not be having a roundup of Colorado wild horses this year. 

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10:39 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Well, I'll Be Un-Dammed: Colorado River (Briefly) Reached The Sea

Twelve hours after they had halted at the river's end, the team woke up to see that the previous night's small stream had become a river. Two weeks after this photo was taken, the leading edge of the water reached the estuary that was the river's final destination.
Courtesy Fred Phillips

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 9:20 am

For a few weeks this spring, the Colorado River flowed all the way to the sea for the first time in a half a century. And during that window of opportunity, writer Rowan Jacobsen took the paddleboarding trip of a lifetime.

The river starts in the Rocky Mountains, and for more than 1,400 miles, it wends its way south. Along the way it's dammed and diverted dozens of times, to cities and fields all over the American West. Tens of millions of people depend on the river as a water source.

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6:40 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Deer Populations Continue To Decline

Credit Rocky Mountain National Park

Mule Deer populations across Colorado and specifically western Colorado are continuing to decline. 

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11:01 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Seeing Drilling, Fracking Up Close

Driller Dave Duke controls the drilling string while monitoring pressures, torque, weight, distance, speed, and many more parameters from the “dog house.”
Roger Adams

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 1:13 pm

The word “fracking” has come to mean drilling in general for oil and gas-- and a major concern for communities and environmentalists in Colorado and elsewhere.In reality the process of hydraulic fracturing is a specialized procedure used to create cracks in shale deposits thousands of feet underground which in turn releases trapped natural gas.  There are hundreds of fracked wells in Garfield County. Often you can see them from the highway.  Recently Aspen Public Radio got a tour of a fracking operation run by WPX Energy near Parachute.  Hear the story by APR's Elise Thatcher below.  See a slideshow of photographs of the rig by APR's Roger Adams HERE.

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5:20 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

EPA Wants Western Input On Changes To 'Waters of the U.S.' Rule

The North Fork of the Gunnison River is protected under the "Waters of the U.S." clause of the Clean Water Act. The EPA and Army Corps have proposed changes to the "Waters of the U.S." definition.
Credit Laura Palmisano.

The North Fork of the Gunnison River flows through southwestern Colorado. It’s a waterway the feeds into the Gunnison River, a tributary of the Colorado River, which supplies drinking water to millions of people in the West.

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9:38 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Local Motion: Geologist Explains Why Grand Mesa Is Prone To Slide

Skyway Point on the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway is a good place to view the geography of Grand Mesa.

On this week's Local Motion, KVNF's Laura Palmisano takes us on a drive around Grand Mesa with geologist Andres Aslan. On the drive, Aslan talks about the geological history of the mesa and why it's landslide prone. He also discusses May's massive landslide on the edge of the Grand Mesa near Collbran that claimed the lives of three men.

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2:57 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Local Motion: North Fork Representatives Travel to DC to Thank BLM, Elected Officials

North Fork Delegates in Washington DC

North Fork residents Jim Ramey, Alexis Halbert and Ty Gilespie discuss their recent trip to Washington DC.  They were part of the delegation that met with officials about the North Fork Alternative plan,  a community-based plan which aims to protect North Fork’s public lands from oil and gas development.  

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6:00 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Local Motion: How to be a Plastivist

Ali Lightfoot takes a look at the issue of plastic pollution from the mountains of Colorado to the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 

Learn about this growing environmental movement from local experts and activists including: 

Carol Kwiatkowski of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX)

Joanna Calabrese of the Pick Up America and the Western Slope  Conservation Center

Carolyn Yates, O-waste activist

Don Holt of Don's market

Kevin Hunt, manager of the Adobe Buttes Landfill

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2:49 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Local Motion: Sustainability & the Future of Energy

Cyn Holder speaks with Dr Michael Soule, Elaine Brett and community members about  sustainability, coal and climate change.

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12:55 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Local Motion: John Buerger on Using Mushrooms to Fight Weeds

Oyster mushrooms, John's culture of choice for fighting weeds.
Credit Stu's Images via Flickr (CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

Today we're joined by John Buerger, owner and operator of Alpha Natural Holistic Land Management based in Cedaredge. 

He recently gave a talk at the Blue Sage Center in Paonia about how we can use native mushroom cultures to fight noxious weeds. 

John joined us to talk about his history practicing and educating the public about using natural methods to work with the land and control weeds.

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5:42 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Local Motion: North Fork Air Quality Study

Credit North Fork Merchant Herald

Today on Local Motion we talk with three of the people involved with the North Fork Air Quality Study, a year-long project put together by CU-Boulder, the Western Slope Conservation Center and the Delta County School District. 

The project will use low-cost, portable and permanent monitoring devices to get baseline measurements of air quality in the North Fork Valley. 

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11:32 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Pass the Mic: Jeff Tobe of Solar Energy International

Eden Clearwater interviewing Jeff Tobe

Energy reporter, Eden Clearwater interviews Jeff Tobe about the future of solar energy.

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6:51 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Pass the Mic: Young reporters explore the local coal industry

Cristina Rankin speaks with Bowie miner, RJ Wist.

Pass the Mic's energy reporters, Cristina Rankin and Eden Clearwater,  visit with coal miners and share their own opinions about this local industry.

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Pass the Mic
3:56 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Pass the Mic: Interview with Todd Harding

Cristina Rankin and Eden Clearwater interview local Todd Harding
Credit Ali Lightfoot

Listen to youth reporters,  Cristina Rankin and Eden Clearwater interviewing local "off the gird" rancher, Todd Harding.

“Pass the Mic” is a youth storytelling and news corps program developed by KVNF in partnership with The North Fork Heart & Soul Project.

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9:07 am
Wed September 25, 2013

iSeeChange: Rain and Snow - Signs of a Wet Winter?

A dusting of snow on Mount Lamborn, as seen from McClure Pass just outside of Paonia.
Credit Travis Bubenik/KVNF

For this week's iSeeChange report, we looked into the recent flurry of rain and some snow, and what, if anything, it might tell us about the coming winter.

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9:25 am
Wed September 18, 2013

iSeeChange: Signs of Floods to Come?

Flooding along Boulder Creek in Boulder, CO
Credit JGColorado via Flickr (CC BY-NC)

In the wake of the historic Front Range Floods, many climate experts and researchers admit that while they’ve known of the potential for dangerous flooding in the Boulder area for some time now, hardly anybody could’ve predicted such a large-scale disaster.

We decided to look into what the floods might tell us about the future of massive storms, and whether the events of last week might change our definitions of "rare" weather events.

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Western Slope Skies
8:15 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Western Slope Skies 9/13/13

The sun rises in the east each day in our western slope skies and appears to shine with constant brightness. However, we shouldn’t take the sun for granted, because the sun’s energy sustains most life on Earth.  And, in this age of widespread, complex technology, the sun can impact our daily lives. 

The sun, in fact, is not constant, and we need to pay attention to our active, local star.  

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9:28 am
Thu September 5, 2013

iSeeChange: The West is Getting Dustier

Beginnings of a dust storm
Credit Tee Poole via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA)

In late July, a massive dust storm in the Saharan Desert of Africa moved across the Atlantic, making for an interesting start to the hurricane season, or you could say a boring one.

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9:57 am
Tue August 20, 2013

iSeeChange: Local "Guru" Ryan Warwick on Mushrooms

Colorado pholiotas
Credit Sadie Miller/KVNF

Last week the Almanac saw a lot of talk about mushrooms – Steve Smith said they seem to be popping up in larger numbers than usual – Marilyn Stone wondered what factors affect mushroom numbers – and Amber Kleinman asked whether it’s possible to grow puffballs in a yard. 

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Western Slope Skies
10:16 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Western Slope Skies 8/16/13

As August began, all of the bright planets were visible in our western slope skies. Since all of our solar system planets orbit the sun, the visible planets change from night to night. 

As of today’s program, we have already lost Mercury from view for the rest of this month. It was visible in the early dawn for the first two weeks of the month. However, we still have Venus shining low on the evening horizon. Saturn will end the month just a little higher than Venus. Jupiter rises well after midnight, followed by Mars even later.

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2:37 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

iSeeChange: Colorado Fruit Growers Harness Wind, Water, and Fire to Save Harvest

Allie Goldstein and Glenn Austin pet the Austin family dog while riding around the orchard via golf cart
Credit Kirsten Howard/Allie Goldstein

iSeeChange had the great pleasure of meeting two climate adaptation storytellers this summer, Kirsten Howard and Allie Goldstein. 1 car, 2 girls, and 3 months to travel across America and tell stories about the Great American Adaptation to climate change. After reading iSeeChange posts about frosts on the Almanac, they set out to talk to fruit farmers in the North Fork Valley. Here's what they found.


Paonia & Hotchkiss, CO

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9:33 am
Tue August 6, 2013

iSeeChange: Fall in August?

Yellowing Aspen trees along Kebler Pass
Credit Patty Kaech-Feder

Though we’re barely a week into August, some signs of fall have started to appear in western Colorado.

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8:15 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Bird Tracking with Jason Beason

Jason Beason of the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory
Marty Durlin/KVNF

As the special monitoring projects coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Jason Beason has surveyed yellow billed cuckoos and monitored the breeding sites of great blue herons, snowy egrets and other water birds. KVNF’s Marty Durlin spoke to Jason at the farm he owns with his wife Kerry near the North Fork of the Gunnison. 

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10:09 am
Tue July 30, 2013

iSeeChange: The Outlook for Western Slope Water Supplies

Credit Eli Nixon (CC BY-NC-SA)

Afternoon clouds and occasional rains have dotted the Western Slope in the past few weeks, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t still worried about their water.

Last week Matthew Harris posted on the Almanac that the water he gets from German Creek was called on by a senior rights holder for the first time in the eight years he’s lived in Paonia. His creek’s just one of many that snake across the North Fork Valley, but if it’s been that long since that senior rights holder felt like they needed more water, should other residents and farmers be concerned? 

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8:15 am
Tue July 23, 2013

iSeeChange: Bird Watching on the North Fork of the Gunnison

A birdhouse on Rain Crow Farm where four tree swallows nested this year for the first time, eating mosquitoes
Marty Durlin, KVNF

On the Almanac last week, P Kaech reported seeing snow on the top of Mt. Baldy near Crested Butte, and Andrea Lecos noticed that monsoon rains have brought up mosquitoes and other insects. Humans may hate the bugs, but birds are feasting on them. 

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11:51 am
Tue July 16, 2013

iSeeChange: Eyes of the Storm - Monsoon Forecasting

Norvan Larson, Forecaster at the National Weather Service Forecasting Office in Grand Junction
Credit Travis Bubenik, KVNF

If you've followed the weather for even the past few days, daily whether predications have been pretty, well, predictable: sunny in the morning, cloudy in the afternoon, a chance of rain as the day wears on and the sun starts to drop.

The Monsoon season has arrived in Colorado, the annual time when hot, high pressure in the atmosphere moves east across the Continental Divide and cool, moist air comes trailing in behind it. It's a reliable weather pattern, but exactly how reliable? 

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10:08 am
Tue July 9, 2013

iSeeChange: Where Have All the Wasps Gone?

View from behind Maria Hodkin's home. Under the dirt lies the Stewart Ditch, a previously-exposed water source now flowing through an enclosed pipe.
Credit Travis Bubenik, KVNF

For this week’s iSeeChange report, we explore concerns about ditch lining in the area, and whether these manmade environmental changes (much like the ditches themselves) may alter their surroundings.

Last week on the Almanac, Stewart Mesa resident noticed fewer numbers of wasps around her house. She says usually by this time of the summer, her front porch is practically overrun with wasps. But this year they seem to have disappeared. 

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