Climate: Is this year’s El Niño here to stay?

Forecasters nearly certain pattern will persist at least through the end of summer and probably to the end of the year

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Warm sea surface temperatures along the equatorial Pacific show the shape of El Niño.

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A classic El Niño sea surface temperature pattern is projected in this map from NOAA.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — A developing Pacific El Niño is already affecting weather patterns across the western U.S. by bringing abundant spring moisture to the region, including late season snow and rain to parts of parched California.

And last week meteorologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said El Niño is likely to stick around for the summer and probably even through the end of the year, perhaps even gaining strength. More on the forecast in this NOAA El Niño blog.
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Morning photo: Majestic

Old and new …

FRISCO — A few old and new favorite shots in this Summit County set, including a streamside scene along the Snake River from the weekend, when a heavy snow shower coincided with a brief burst of sunshine to make for a magical combination. For daily photography updates, follow our Instagram feed, and visit our online gallery for an amazing selection of prints and greeting cards.

Colorado steps up sage grouse conservation

Habitat exchange scheme eyed as key component in efforts to protect dwindling western birds

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is ordering state agencies to boost greater sage-grouse conservation efforts. Photo courtesy USFWS.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is calling for an all-out state effort to protect greater sage-grouse by stepping up coordination among state agencies, improving habitat on state-controlled lands, and boosting the role of the state’s oil and gas commission.

The new conservation push, announced in a May 15 executive order, also outlines a market-based habitat exchange program that would let ranchers and other landowners buy and sell conservation credits to developers, including the oil and gas industry with the goal of mitigating “residual impacts” to sage-grouse habitat. Continue reading

Morning photo: Merry month of May

All kinds of beautiful …

FRISCO —Rain, snow, sun … repeat! That’s about the long and short of it this month, as Mother Nature makes up for being stingy in March. And while some may be longing for summer weather, the moisture will help dampen wildfire concerns for at least a while and yield an amazing crop of wildflowers during the next few weeks. For daily photography updates, follow our Instagram feed, and visit our online gallery for an amazing selection of prints and greeting cards.

Drought disaster declared in northwest Colorado

USDA declaration opens door for emergency aid

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Staff Report

FRISCO — While spring snow and rain have slightly eased Colorado water woes, the situation is more serious in the northwestern part of the state, where three large rural counties have been designated as a contiguous disaster areas due to drought.

Senator Michael Bennet announced the designation today, saying that the U.S. Department of Agriculture declaration makes farm operators in thise counties eligible to be considered for federal assistance, including Farm Service Agency emergency loans.

“Producers on Colorado’s western slope have faced drought conditions that are damaging their goods and hurting local economies,” Bennet said. “These disaster designations will allow farmers and ranchers to access critical assistance to help them deal with any losses to crops or livestock.”

Producers in counties designated as primary or contiguous disaster areas are eligible to be considered for FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the disaster declaration to apply for assistance. Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers and ranchers with additional information.

The drought declaration came after a winter of well-below normal snowfall and near-record warmth in the region.

Denver B-cycle presenta sitio web en español

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“Que nuestro sistema sea fácil de usar y accesible significa que nos esforcemos por llegar al grupo más grande de personas cuyo inglés no es su primer idioma”, dijo Nick Bohnenkamp, director ejecutivo de B-cycle.

Staff Report

Denver B-cycle, el sistema de bicicletas compartidas de nuestra ciudad, lanza el día de hoy su sitio web en español: https://denver.bcycle.com/es

“Que nuestro sistema sea fácil de usar y accesible significa que nos esforcemos por llegar al grupo más grande de personas cuyo inglés no es su primer idioma”, dijo Nick Bohnenkamp, director ejecutivo de B-cycle. 

De la misma forma que la versión en inglés, el sitio en español está organizado alrededor de tres preguntas básicas: ¿Qué es B-cycle?, ¿Cuánto cuesta? y ¿Cómo funciona? Continue reading

Morning photo: Sunday set

Summit spring


FRISCO —Sweet springtime in the Colorado Rockies. Snow on the high peaks, rivers swelling with runoff, fields and aspen groves greening up in the lengthening days and happy bluebirds! What could be better?

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