Posted on June 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Approval includes summer closure to protect wildlife
The new Weber Gulch Hut on Baldy Mountain, near Breckenridge, Colorado, will provide access to some outstanding ski terrain.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — After more than five years of study, the nonprofit Summit Huts Association has a green light to build a new 16-person backcountry shelter on the northern flanks of Baldy Mountain, near Breckenridge, to be called the Weber Gulch Hut.
To protect wildlife habitat, the new hut will only be open in the winter, which represents a change from SHA’s initial proposal to include summer use.
White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams signed the formal decision notice on June 17, explaining that he weighed all the public comments and relied on a team of scientists and ski experts, who found in their environmental analysis that the hut wouldn’t have a significant impact on the environment. All documents related to the Weber Gulch Hut are posted on this Forest Service web page. Continue reading
Filed under: Breckenridge, Colorado, recreation, skiing and riding, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: backcountry huts, backcountry skiing, Baldy Mountain, Breckenridge Colorado, Colorado, skiing, Summit Huts Association, Weber Gulch hut | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Luis Benitez will head Colorado’s new Outdoor Recreation Industry Office.
‘I want to hear what people in small communities are doing and carry those stories to the highest level …’
FRISCO — Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry — from skiing and snowmobiling, to birdwatching and hunting — has become a powerful economic force in the last few decades.
By some accounts, the industry generates as much as $13 billion per year in consumer spending and drives the economy of many communities outside the urban Front Range corridor. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, the industry contributes $4.2 billion in wages and salaries in Colorado.
Now, Gov. John Hickenlooper says he wants to boost the industry’s role to an even higher profile by establishing a new Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, housed in the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Last week, Hickenlooper announced that Eagle County resident Luis Guillermo Benitez will head the new office’s efforts build the state’s outdoor recreation brand. Continue reading
Filed under: biking, boating, business, camping, Colorado, economy, fishing, hiking, hunting, recreation, skiing and riding, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, Governor John Hickenlooper, Luis Benitez, outdoor recreation industry, Tourism | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 10, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Groups urge Obama to designate more monuments
Colorado National Monument was one of the earliest tracts of public land to be designated under the Antiquities Act. @bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — Public lands are vital to the growing economies of the American West, a coalition of business groups said in a recent letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to protect special areas through his authority under the Antiquities Act.
The letter was sent on the 109th anniversary of the Act, a law that enables presidents to designate national monuments and other landmarks for protection. That authority has come under on-and-off attack by the GOP in Congress, as some lawmakers have sought to roll back presidential powers. Continue reading
Filed under: biking, BLM, boating, business, camping, Environment, fishing, hiking, hunting, national parks, public lands, recreation | Tagged: Antiquities Act, national monuments, outdoor recreation, public lands, sustainable business | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Frisco resident Leigh Wadden hikes along a trail in the Eagles Nest Wilderness in the Gore Range, part of the White River National Forest in Colorado.
Around the country, more than 200,000 miles of trail are waiting
By Mike Matz
FRISCO — June 6 is National Trails Day, an ideal time to grab your pack and head to your favorite spot in nature. It is fitting that this day falls toward the beginning of Great Outdoors Month, which is observed every June, and celebrates America’s wide-open spaces from coast to coast. The proclamation aptly states:
“During Great Outdoors Month, Governors, communities, business leaders, and organizations will host thousands of events across the country to celebrate our unparalleled outdoors… As we enjoy these magnificent places, let us rededicate ourselves to doing our part to preserve them for all our future explorers, adventurers, and environmental stewards.”
Helping Americans get into those areas are roughly 200,000 miles of trails. They can be accessed in the forests of Tennessee, the wild coasts of California, and the mountains of Idaho, and in thousands of other places across the nation. And they are enjoyed by people of all ages and walks of life. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, Colorado, hiking, national parks, public lands, wilderness | Tagged: hiking, National Trails Day | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
TroutBlitz helps conservation and restoration efforts
Fishing for cutthroat trout at Clinton Gulch Reservoir, Summit County, Colorado.
FRISCO — It’s not always easy to gather good scientific data, especially in an era when political ideology drives policy, resulting in budget cuts that hamper government agencies.
That’s where citizen science can help, and Trout Unlimited wants anglers around the country to help record evidence of their trout catches both photographically and via mapping coordinates with the relaunch of TroutBlitz.
TU’s science team uses the data collected from anglers to learn more about native trout water, non-native trout proliferation and the health of entire watersheds. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, fishing, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: Citizen science, conservation, Environment, trout fishing, Trout Unlimited, TroutBlitz, water quality | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘A quality artist, it would seem, should have the capacity to express the beauty of their experience without spelling out its name on a map’
By David LaGreca
I have the greatest respect for all who venture to experience the appeal and the raw essence that comes with the mountains. The freedom that is held amongst the hills is summoned upon each mission we take, each peak we summit, each line we ski, each meadow we pass through en route to that remote liberty. Our passions are aligned, I assure you, but I fear that many of those places we all cherish are at risk.
What’s at risk is not immediately from development in many of these places, such as in the precious Gore Range and other Summit County spectacles. Instead, what is at risk is serenity itself. That peace we are guaranteed when we strive beyond the limits of the masses to serve out a deeper purpose in the mountains is, I fear, being threatened. That the slow erosion of this peace and silence is marketed wholesale online by its most frequent patrons, the outdoor enthusiasts themselves, is a dangerous irony we cannot ignore. Continue reading
Filed under: blogs, commentary, hiking, op-ed, recreation, skiing and riding | Tagged: blogging, climbing, Colorado, mountaineering, skiing, Summit County | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 16, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Kokanee salmon caught at Green Mountain Reservoir, Summit County, Colorado. @bberwyn photo.
Big restocking effort could boost populations over the next few years
FRISCO — Predation by trout and fluctuating water levels in Blue Mesa Reservoir continue to take a toll on the Colorado’s kokanee salmon, state biologists said this week, explaining how they’re working to rebuild the fishery.
Earlier this month, Colorado Parks and Wildlife released about
3 million fingerling kokanee from the Roaring Judy Hatchery into Blue Mesa Reservoir, near Gunnison. The fish that reach maturity will return to spawn in two to five years. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, fishing, recreation | Tagged: Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado, Colorado parks and wildlife, Fishingm Colorado fishing, Kokanee salmon | Leave a comment »