Posted on July 15, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Campers in Colorado run the risk of encountering rummaging bears if they don’t store their food in bear-proof containers. @bberwyn photo.
Growing number of incidents prompts crackdown to protect bears and people
FRISCO — The U.S. Forest Service will try to protect both people and bears in the mountains around Aspen by requiring backcountry campers to store their food in hard-sided bear-proof containers.
The new regulation for the heavily visited 162,333 acre Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area on the White River National Forest comes after Forest Service rangers reported an increasing number of incidents involving humans and bears.
“Based on recent human/bear incidents in the heavily used Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, we are implementing this emergency special order requiring hard-sided bear-resistant food canisters for all overnight visitors,” Aspen-Sopris District Ranger Karen Schroyer said in a press release. Continue reading
Filed under: camping, Colorado, hiking, recreation, US Forest Service, White River National Forest, wilderness, wildlife | Tagged: backcounty, backpacking, bear-proof food containers, bears, hiking, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area, White River National Forest, wildlife | Leave a 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 December 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Map of proposed Browns Canyon National Monument.
Letter to President Obama cites strong local support
FRISCO — Just a few weeks after Colorado residents resoundingly sounded off in favor of protection the Arkansas River’s Browns Canyon at a public meeting in Salida, Senator Michael Bennet and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper asked President Barack Obama to designate the canyon as a national monument. Continue reading
Filed under: camping, Colorado, Environment, fishing, public lands, recreation | Tagged: Arkansas River, Browns Canyon, Colorado, John Hickenlooper, Michael Bennet, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Congress will take input on the controversial federal pay-to-play program this week.
Critics say loopholes enable federal agencies to charge illegal fees
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — The federal pay-to-play program will get a once-over in Congress this week, as a House subcommittee hears from agency officials and citizens before the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act expires next year.
At issue are how the fee program for access to public lands is being implemented by federal agencies. The hearing is set to start at 10 a.m. EDT and should be available as webcast via the House Committee on Natural Resources website.
The access fees started in the late 1990s as the so-called fee demo program, enabling federal land agencies to charge fees as long the money was used to improve the area where it was collected. Continue reading
Filed under: biking, camping, Colorado, federal government, hiking, recreation, US Forest Service | Tagged: Bureau of Land management, Congress, Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, FLREA, pay-to-play, public lands, United States Forest Service, US Forest Service | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 30, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Popular Rabbit Valley campground enlarged
The BLM is improving some facilities in the popular McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, west of Grand Junction, Colorado. Photo courtesy BLM.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Campers in western Colorado will have more options this summer, as the Bureau of Land Management quadruples the size of the Rabbit Valley Campground, from four spots to 16.
The campground, in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area west of Grand Junction, will be closed for several weeks while the work — including two new group campsites — is under way. The campground road will be improved, and each campsite will now have a tent pad, fire ring and picnic table.
“Rabbit Valley is a great place to car camp, and these improvements are designed to enhance the camping experience for visitors,” said Ben Blom, acting National Conservation Area manager for the BLM Grand Junction Field Office. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, boating, camping, Colorado, public lands, recreation | Tagged: BLM, camping, Colorado, Grand Junction Colorado, McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, outdoors, Ruby Horsethief Canyon | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A small increase in day use fees will help maintain busy facilities along the Upper Colorado River between Pumphouse and Dotsero. Photo courtesy BLM.
Fees go toward facility improvements and seasonal rangers along the river
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Boaters, hikers and anglers will pay just a bit more to use Bureau of Land Management day use areas along the upper Colorado River between Pumphouse and Dotsero.
The daily fee is jumping from $3 to $5 and season passes are climbing from $15 to $20 in the first fee increase since 1998 for the popular area, used by about 60,000 people annually.
“All the fees collected in these areas stay here to provide services and improvements for the people using the area,” said Susan Cassel, acting Kremmling Field Manager. “In addition to helping fund our seasonal rangers, we’ve also made significant improvements to the launch sites, campgrounds and other facilities.” Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, boating, camping, Colorado, fishing, hiking, public lands, recreation, rivers | Tagged: BLM, Colorado, Colorado River, Pumphouse, Radium, rafting, Upper Colorado | Leave a comment »