ENVIRONMENT

iSeeChange
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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iSeeChange
9:37 am
Mon July 1, 2013

iSeeChange: Do Warmer Temps Equal Earlier Sunflowers?

Credit "P Kaech" via thealmanac.org

Last week, users on the Almanac reported seeing the summer's first sunflowers. One user was surprised to see the flowers were blooming already. 

University of Maryland Biology Professor David Inouye says the early blooming season probably has to do with the warmer weather as of late. Inouye spends his summers studying flowers at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory near Crested Butte. His current project involves looking at how the timing of flowering and abundance of flowering at changing. 

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iSeeChange
8:15 am
Mon June 24, 2013

iSeeChange: The Rising Threat of Wildfires

East Fork Fire, June 2013.
Credit USDA Forest Service

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, May 2013 was the third-warmest May on record for the planet, and the earth's temperature has been above its 20th century average for 339 straight months - more than 28 years. 

Hugh Carson has been fighting fires for more than 40 years, and although he’s retired now, he was in the thick of things last year when he coordinated aircraft to battle the High Park Fire near Fort Collins. Over the years, he’s seen some changes.

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iSeeChange
8:15 am
Mon June 17, 2013

iSeeChange: Making Every Drop Count

The Colorado RIver
Credit jessstryker.com

The consensus on iSeeChange last week was…it’s hot! Too hot for this time of year. Too hot and too dry. If climate change experts are right, this will only get worse. KVNF’s Marty Durlin spoke to Dave Kanzer, senior water resources engineer for the Colorado River Conservation District, about the effects of a hotter, dryer world.

 

The biggest part of Dave Kanzer’s job is to help us conserve water – a job that only gets bigger as the drying effects of climate change are felt across the Colorado River basin.

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Local News
5:39 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Study Ordered to Establish Baseline for Groundwater in Delta County

Credit North Fork Merchant Herald

Delta County Commissioners recently approved a $15,000 study to be performed by Ken Kolm Hydrologic System Analysis that will provide a baseline for the state of groundwater in the North Fork Valley.

Environmental Health Director Ken Nordstrom presented a contract for commissioners to sign, launching the second phase of a groundwater study for the county. The first phase covered the Oak Mesa area and the second will address the North Fork.

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ENVIRONMENT
1:03 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

iSeeChange: Birder Evelyn Horn

Evy Horn with the book she wrote on birding.
Credit Marty Durlin

Nearly 500 species of birds make their way through Colorado or live here year-around – and chances are local birder and author Evelyn Horn knows them. In the second report of a two-part series, KVNF’s Marty Durlin talked to Horn about the general decline of birds in a world where human population and activity is on the rise.

 

 

I asked her what she could say about the state of birds, whether climate change is impacting them, and certainly human activity as Evy has talked about. How would she characterize their condition?

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iseechange
8:29 am
Mon May 20, 2013

iSeeChange: A Better Year for Birds

Mallards, the first ducks to come to Hart's Basin in the spring.
Marty Durlin

May 11 was Colorado’s Migratory Bird Day, celebrating the nearly 500 species that live in the state or pass through it. Local naturalist, birder and author Evelyn Horn has spent the past twenty years or so focused on birds. In 1989 she and her husband Al moved from Las Vegas to Eckert and settled near Hart’s Basin, or Fruitgrowers Reservoir, which is controlled by the Orchard City Irrigation District (OCID). People had just been banned from the reservoir because of e-coli, and the absence of human activity made it more attractive to birds.

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iSeeChange
10:11 am
Sun May 19, 2013

iSeeChange Featured on This American Life

Julia Kumari Drapkin

KVNF's beloved Julia Kumari Drapkin has produced a feature for the popular radio program, This American Life, which can be downloaded and podcasted started Sunday, 5/19/2013 at 6pm. 

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iSeeChange
9:00 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Journal Sheds Light on North Fork of Yesteryear

Amber Kleinman's house in Apple Valley, Paonia
Amber Kleinman

Paonia resident Amber Kleinman has been reading through the daily journals of William Beezley, an orchardist and farmer who lived up Steven’s Gulch in the first half of the 20th century. Recording selected entries for thealmanac.org and comparing them to current weather and conditions, Kleinman – a small-acreage farmer who keeps a journal herself -- has gained a new perspective.

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iSeeChange
12:01 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

The Chorus of the Leopard Frogs

On thealmanac.org last week, Marilyn Stone noted that she hasn’t heard the chorus of leopard frogs she usually hears by this time of year, and wondered about the effect of a nearby wetlands that dried up last fall. KVNF’s Marty Durlin has some answers from a scientist who studies leopard frogs.

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ENVIRONMENT
2:17 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Brent Helleckson on "The North Fork Alternative Plan"

Brent Helleckson in his vineyard on Garvin Mesa
Credit Marty Durlin

For the past 20 years, Brent Helleckson and his family have been building a wine business on Garvin Mesa. They’ve constructed a home, a wine cellar a tasting room, and added to the vineyard. In those two decades, they also became a part of the North Fork community. When the Bureau of Land Management proposed 30,000 acres of leases for gas development in the North Fork Valley, Helleckson felt the threat to his winery as well as all agriculture and tourism-based industries.

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ENVIRONMENT
2:12 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Western Slope Skies 3/15/2013

Listen to Western Slope Skies, an astronomical report created by the Black Canyon Astronomical Society.

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ENVIRONMENT
12:10 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

The Plight of the Honeybees

Caren von Gontard holds one of her honey combs. She extracts the honey, then leaves the remaining wax out for the bees to clean up. With what's left she makes candles.
Marty Durlin

Here in the North Fork Valley, healthy bee colonies continue to swarm and thrive. But there are threats. Back on March 6th, fourth-grader Noah McDaniel reported to iSeeChange that he’d seen his first bee of the season during recess at Paonia Elementary. Now, a few weeks later at Caren von Gontard’s farm on Lamborn Mesa, the bees are – well, busy.

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ENVIRONMENT
12:45 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Active 2013 Mosquito Season Predicted in Delta County

2012 was a bad year for West Nile Virus in Western Colorado. Mesa, Montrose and Delta Counties accounted for nearly half the confirmed cases in the state. In Delta County, the 22 cases included the death of an 82-year-old man from Orchard City.

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ENVIRONMENT
4:21 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Commentary: Sandhill Cranes

Andrea Robinsong, who took these these photos at the Escalante State Wildlife Area west of Delta, has been reporting on the Sandhill Cranes in the area since they began arriving in early March. Both Andrea and Evelyn Horn have been counting birds at Fruitgrowers Reservoir in Eckert and the Escalante area where they rest and feed before flying north.

Evelyn has been keeping track of the numbers of cranes at the reservoir, and here is what she reports:

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Western Slope Skies
8:08 am
Fri March 15, 2013

March Equinox

March 20th is the March equinox, one of four important days in the year that define the relation between the sun and the Earth.


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Western Slope Skies
8:00 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Comet Pan-STARRS

This could be a spectacular year for comets, ending with one that may be the brightest comet in many years appearing in the last 2-3 months of the year. 


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iSeeChange
3:40 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

iSeeChangeCast: Dry Winter

Smyth Boone rides his bike regularly in the BLM land that’s adjacent to Paonia – the area popularly known as Jumbo, a network of dirt trails and loops on juniper-covered mesas. By taking photographs and using a meter on his bike, he’s got a record of the weather and conditions over about six years now. He posts regularly on iseechange at thealmanac.org. Here he talks about a special event that occurred last year, as well as the dry conditions that are only increasing.

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iSeeChange
11:07 am
Tue February 26, 2013

iSeeChange: A Climate Connection for Breakfast

So, what happens, when a family of ranchers and coal miners sit down for breakfast with a climate scientist from NASA, to talk about global warming and drought? For iSeeChange and KVNF, Julia Kumari Drapkin found out.

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Western Slope Skies
8:00 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Light Pollution

The term Light Pollution refers to excessive and glaring artificial lighting, especially light that is scattered above the horizon.  This is a very serious problem for astronomers, because it can prevent them from seeing objects in space.

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