Posted on February 5, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Pine beetle infestation slows, but spruce beetles continue to spread
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — There’s good news and bad news for Colorado forests, according to state and federal officials, who said last week that the mountain pine beetle epidemic slowed dramatically in 2013, while spruce beetles continued to spread.
Statewide, mountain pine beetles were active on 97,000 acres in 2013, the lowest acreage of active infestation in 15 years. Since 1996, mountain pine beetles have killed trees across 3.4 million acres.
Spruce beetle were active on 398,000 acres, expanding by 216,000 new acres in 2013, compared to 183,000 new acres in 2012. The total area affected by this beetle since 1996 has reached more than 1.1 million acres. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, Forest health, forests, pine beetles, pine beetles and wildfires, US Forest Service | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado news, Environment, forests, spruce beetles | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 11, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Weekly news roundup by Summit Voice editor Bob Berwyn.
Public lands, climate, environment …
FRISCO — I had a chance to work on a half-dozen interesting stories the past 10 days as a freelancer for the MSN internet news channel, including a short piece on a Colorado town that considered a drone-hunting ordinance, and some food news about new rules that will encourage healthier food at national parks across the country.
The surge in requests for concealed weapons permits in Colorado was also big news across the country early in the month, while the states along the Lower Colorado River may be preparing for reduced water deliveries.
In environmental news, U.S. Geological Survey scientists explained how the country could store 500 years of CO2 emissions in rock formations 3,000 feet down, while federal wildlife officials have been accused of stacking the deck against gray wolves.
Summit Voice public lands coverage:
Wilderness conservation is at issue in Colorado, where several lawmakers have introduced measures to create new wilderness areas repeatedly in the last few years. But that effort has been bottled up behind a partisan divide in Congress. Will there be some movement this session? More than 1 million acres are at stake. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, endangered species, Environment, forests | Tagged: abandoned mines, Colorado news, Environment, Summit County Voice | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 22, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Executive order cites concerns about Colorado’s capital punishment system
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Convicted murderer Nathan J. Dunlap got a temporary reprieve from the death penalty, as Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper exercised his authority to make a final review of the death sentence.
Dunlap, then 19, killed five people at a Chuck E Cheese restaurant in Aurora in 1993.
Hickenlooper cited concerns about possible flaws in the administration of Colorado’s death penalty, as well as a national and international trend toward abolishing the death penalty, as reasons for his decision. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado | Tagged: Capital punishment, Chuck E Cheese killer, Colorado news, John Hickenlooper, Nathan Dunlap death penalty, United States | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 10, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
‘Energy Navigator’ tracks use, guides active management of heating, cooling and lighting systems
Computer-guided energy management is helping the Summit School district save big bucks.
By Cameron M. Burns
Through a combination of energy efficiency and actively managing energy use, the Summit School District is on track to save more than $100,000 in energy costs this year.
In fact, after investigating the operation of lighting and HVAC equipment at Summit High School in the summer of 2012 with a new energy-management system called the Colorado Energy Navigator, Summit School District facilities manager Woody Bates and his staff were able to cut energy use by more than $50,000 during the three-month June-to-August 2012 period compared to the same period in 2011.
The energy-saving techniques they used are now being replicated across the district. Data compiled by Carbondale-based Clean Energy Economy for the Region show that, eduring the first three months of the school year, (Sept. to Nov.) energy savings across the district totaled about $24,000 compared to the prior year. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news | Tagged: Colorado news, energy, Energy conservation, Energy Navigator, Environment, Summit High School, Summit School District | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 2, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
National Forest Foundation awards $650,000 for stewardship work
Ski area visitors leave behind a year-round stewardship legacy when they contribute to the Ski Conservation Fund. Bob Berwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Thanks to voluntary contributions from ski resort visitors, the the U.S. Forest Service and the National Forest Foundation will partner to invest about $650,000 in forest restoration and recreation projects. The donations are collected in a voluntary add-on to ticket and lodging sales, a dollar or two at a time.
The grants were awarded recently to organizations like the Blue River Watershed Group, the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, the Colorado Mountain Club and the Colorado Natural Heritage Program for projects like trail improvements, wildlife habitat enhancement, tree planting and stream restoration. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Dillon Ranger District, Environment, forests, public lands, ski industry, Ski Resorts, US Forest Service, Vail Resorts, White River National Forest | Tagged: Colorado news, forest restoration, National Forest Foundation, public lands, Ski Conservation Fund, stewardship, White River National Forest | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 29, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Will the federal government tolerate marijuana legalization?
FRISCO — Cycling and wrangling over marijuana legalization are both popular topics in Colorado these days, which is reflected by this week’s list of most-viewed stories. Third on the list, surprisingly to me, was a somewhat wonk-oriented story about a conservation bill introduced in Congress — but maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise, since anything that involves bipartisan compromise in Washington, D.C. these days is truly newsworthy.
Two of the Summit Voice photo essays also managed to crack the top-10 list, including some sweet shots of our big spring snowstorm, and, of course, a pair of stories about the deadly Loveland Pass slide were also in the mix. Click “Read More” to see the list, as well as a roundup of headlines. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Environment, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado news, Environment, genetically modified organisms, global warming | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 7, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Ever wondered about mountain pine beetle genetics? Read Summit Voice.
Water, forests and more …
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — In the age of a global economy and a global environment, nearly all news is local. Case in point is last week’s report from the Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General. The IG audited the U.S. Forest Service’s oil and gas drilling program, and found that there is quite a bit of room for improvement when it comes to being prepared for potential spills, and even just keeping track of required inspections.
Since the IG’s office documented a total of almost 200 spills on national forest lands in 2010 and 2011, it’s more than just a hypothetical exercise, and with oil and gas activities expected to ramp up on the White River National Forest, there are implications close to home. Read the story here. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Dillon Reservoir, Drought, events, Frisco, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Colorado drought, Colorado news, Environment, forests, water | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 23, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Agency may someday build new facilities along Dillon Dam Road
The White River National Forest is once again taking public comments on a proposal to sell an 11-acre parcel of national forest land near Dillon.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The ongoing process of selling an 11-acre parcel of national forest land in Dillon got a temporary setback a few months ago when a federal court ruling in California required the Forest Service to reset public comment periods on some projects — including the Dillon conveyance.
Forest Service land specialist Kevin Warner said the agency only received a handful of comments during the initial comment period back in February. He emphasized that anyone interested in having standing in the ongoing process needs to comment again in the new comment period, which ends
As a result of the decision, the White River National Forest is once again taking comments on the proposed sale of the Dillon property, which includes warehouse and storage buildings as well as a few residences for long term and seasonal staff and volunteers. Details on the conveyance are online at this Forest Service website.
The Forest Service has also floated the idea of developing new compound on national forest lands on what’s known as the Lake Hill property, along Dillon Dam Road near Heaton Bay campground, but that proposal depends on first selling the Dillon land. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Dillon Ranger District, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news, US Forest Service, White River National Forest | Tagged: Colorado news, public lands, U.S. Forest Service, White River National Forest | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 11, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Smoke from the High Park Fire as seen from Bellvue. PHOTO COURTESY INCIWEB.
Wildfire and weather
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —Updates on the rapidly growing High Park Fire quickly jumped to the top of the most-viewed list, along with several other stories related to Colorado weather and the building drought. Click on the headline to read the story and
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Environment, forest fires, Summit County news | Tagged: Colorado news, Environment, High Park Fire, Wildfires | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 1, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Reef shark populations are declining at a fast pace near inhabited U.S. islands.
Oceans, drought, wildfire and climate …
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — A quick snapshot of page views from the past week shows readers tuning in both to national environmental stories and local and state coverage. An article on the stunning decline of reef shark populations near inhabited U.S. islands zoomed up to the top spot with a listing in the main Google News feed, while the Corn Harvest story was helped by word-of-mouth and social media. Click on the headlines to read the story and share with your own social media networks via the handy little link buttons at the end of each story.
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, climate, Colorado news, Environment | Leave a comment »