The spruce beetle is now outpacing the mountain pine beetle as the biggest insect threat to Colorado forests. The information was released to lawmakers in the annual Forest Health Report on Wednesday. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
For years Delta County has allowed people to dump tires for free at its Adobe Buttes Landfill – a policy that they are now re-examining. Old tires are not popular at landfills. They take up a lot of space, they can trap methane gases and become housing for rodents. Burning tires pollute air, soil and water. So why has Delta County agreed to take them for free, no questions asked? Other counties either charge or refuse to take them into their landfills.
A bill to revamp sex education classes for Colorado students has initially passed the house on Tuesday after a rigorous debate. The measure aims to make instruction more culturally sensitive and add information on homosexuality. But opponents say it would take away the rights of parents. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
A controversial package of Democratic gun control bills cleared the house yesterday. The measures now head to the state senate. And as Bente Birkeland reports the bills still face strong opposition from Republicans and some Democrats.
Governor John Hickenlooper is getting push back for recently telling members of Congress that he once drank flack fluid and touting Colorado as a national model for balanced energy rules. The state's oil and gas commission has increased the statewide buffer zone between drilling sites and homes and buildings, but many Democratic state lawmakers say the rules are still too lenient. Bente Birkeland takes a look at the issue and the Governor’s comments as part of our capitol conversation series.
Democratic leaders at the statehouse hope to introduce bills dealing with the impacts of hydraulic fracturing by the end of the month. This comes as Governor John Hickenlooper is touting Colorado’s current regulations on fracking as a national model. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
Guns were once again the focus at the Colorado Statehouse on Wednesday. A Democratic proposal to ban concealed carry weapons on college campuses got its first hearing in the house education committee. It highlights the longer battle that will take place this session on gun laws. Bente Birkeland has more.
A huge crowd turned out at the state capitol on Tuesday for a hearing on two key Democratic gun proposals. One measure would require universal background checks for gun purchases; the other would ban high capacity magazines. Both bills passed their first test, the house judiciary committee. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
Colorado’s oil and gas conservation commission has voted in favor of increasing the drilling setback distance between oil and gas wells and homes statewide. But the move doesn’t go far enough for the environmental community and goes too far for industry. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
State Democrats recently unveiled their much-anticipated package of bills aimed at curbing gun violence. As part of our capitol conversation series, Bente Birkeland takes a look at the chances of the bills passing, and the internal debate among state Democrats.
The Governor and Democratic lawmakers announced plans to try and improve the state’s child welfare system Wednesday. The move comes after the deaths of dozens of children linked to human service departments over the last several years. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
“We’ve listened to concerns raised in numerous comments and public meetings and we are responding by deferring the North Fork Valley parcels at this time,” said Colorado State Director Helen Hankins. “We are addressing the deferred parcels through continued dialogue with the local community and with ongoing planning efforts in the Uncompahgre Field Office.
KVNF’s Marty Durlin interviewed BLM spokesperson Steven Hall, a Hotchkiss native, about the decision. He was speaking on his cell phone from an airport, and began by stressing that the parcels were not deferred because the the agency’s 20-year-old Resource Management Plan is inadequate. Hear that interview below:
Yesterday Delta County Commissioners passed an ordinance banning commercial marijuana enterprises in the unincorporated areas of the county. Amendment 64, which legalizes recreational marijuana in Colorado, allows counties to opt out of some provisions. A small group attended the commissioners’ regular meeting to discuss the issue. KVNF’s Marty Durlin reported on the story.
State senators took the unusual move of voting to take away a portion of state money from the Colorado Energy office for the rest of the fiscal year. As Bente Birkeland reports, the move follows a scathing audit, which showed the energy office mismanaged millions of dollars.
The debate over gun violence and gun control is everywhere today. Here's a different way to look at it, something called Sounds of the High County, a collaboration between Paonia-based High Country News and Rocky Mountain Community Radio affiliate KDNK. KDNK’s Nelson Harvey talks with High Country News Senior Editor Jonathan Thompson about his story on how westerners feel about gun control.