Posted on November 16, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Summer is about to get busier on the slopes of the Tenmile Range.
Summer attractions expected to draw 150,000 new tourists
The U.S. Forest Service is giving Vail Resorts a green light for more development on the slopes of the Tenmile Range, at Breckenridge Ski Area.
In a final decision released this week, White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams approved a significant expansion of recreation infrastructure, including zip lines and canopy tours, as well as more off-highway vehicle tours and an expansion of the Peak 7 hut. Continue reading
Filed under: Breckenridge, public lands, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Breckenridge, Breckenridge Ski Area, Breckenridge summer expansion, public lands, U.S. Forest Service | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 4, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Grand Canyon view from the Saddle Mountain Wilderness. Summit Voice file photo.
Monument designation sought to prevent mining, preserve Native American heritage
Native Americans in northern Arizona are supporting far-reaching protection for culturally and environmentally important lands around the Grand Canyon.
The Navajo Nation and the Hopi, Havasupai, and Hualapai tribes have joined forces to back a bill by Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) that would protect more than a million acres near the canyon. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, public lands | Tagged: Arizona, Grand Canyon, national monuments, Native Americans, public lands, Raúl Grijalva | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Flash floods in October scoured roads and bridges from the landscape in Death Valley National Park. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
Autumn tourism affected by road damage, but many attractions still open
A series of El Niño-fueled storms in October ravaged parts of Death Valley with floods and mudslides, leading to serious road damage and impacting other park resources, including Devils Hole, a spring that’s home to endangered fish.
According to the National Park Service, flash floods heavily damaged historic structures at Scottys Castle. In a press release, the park service floods pushed over a wall and buried some buildings with about five feet of mud.
The park often sees weather extremes, including flash flooding, but geologists said October’s events were near the edge of the historic envelope. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, El Niño, extreme weather, global warming, national parks, public lands | Tagged: Death Valley, El Nino, extreme weather, flash floods, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A fracking boom near national parks has already degraded air quality and fragmented wildlife habitat around some of the country’s most cherished public lands. @bberwyn photo.
Agency acknowledges potential for adverse impacts to park values
The recent surge in fossil fuel exploitation on public lands near national parks has raised serious concerns about air quality, wildlife and scenic values — to the point that the National Parks Conservation Association outlined threats in a report a few years ago.
Now, the National Park Service wants to tackle some of the concerns by updating drilling regulations. The proposal would revise current rules that are 36 years old, predating the modern fracking area. The agency hopes the update will give the fossil fuel industry more certainty, improve the agency’s ability to protect park resources and the values for which the parks were set aside, and protect visitors from potentially adverse impacts associated with fossil fuel development. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, national parks, oil drilling, public lands, Uncategorized | Tagged: fracking, National park fracking rules, national parks, oil and gas drilling, public lands | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A federal court has ordered the U.S. Forest Service to release more documents related to a controversial land trade and development proposal at Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado.
Sloppy search for records related to proposed Colorado resort development put agency in the hot seat
By Bob Berwyn
Conservation advocates battling against plans for a massive resort development at Wolf Creek Pass, in southwestern Colorado, won a partial victory in federal court this week, as a judge ruled that the U.S. Forest Service violated the Freedom of Information Act and must release more documents related to the approval of a controversial land trade.
The land trade was approved earlier this year by Rio Grande Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas. It would give the developer, Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture, a way to access a parcel of private land that’s nearly surrounded by public national forest lands by swapping 205 federal acres for 177 acres of private land. If it stands, the trade would enable construction of a resort village for up to 8,000 people. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, public lands, US Forest Service | Tagged: Colorado, FOIA, Freedom of Information Act, public lands, Rio Grande National Forest, Village at Wolf Creek, Wolf Creek land exchange | 2 Comments »
Posted on September 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Light pollution is a growing challenge
Night skies over Arches National Park. Photo courtesy NPS.
FRISCO — The National Park Service says that recent surveys show that efforts to protect nighttime skyscapes from light pollution are valued by park visitors.
A new study, published Sept. 4 in Park Science, suggests that almost 90 percent of visitors to Maine’s Acadia National Park interviewed for the study agreed or strongly agreed with the statements, “Viewing the night sky is important to me” and “The National Park Service should work to protect the ability of visitors to see the night sky.” Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, national parks, public lands | Tagged: Dark Skies, Environment, light pollution, national parks, night skies, public lands | Leave a comment »