Study shows challenges of restoring fracking sites

dfg

A patchwork of drill pads connected by a spiderweb of roads in northeastern Utah.

‘Wildlife habitat goals cannot be realized by merely establishing grasses …’

Staff Report

FRISCO — Restoring areas after drilling and fracking requires more than just spreading out some dirt and sprinkling a few grass seeds around, according to two Colorado scientists who took a close look at 10 drilling sites in Rio Blanco County.

After sampling  two undisturbed reference sites and eight reclaimed or abandoned natural gas well pads, they found that none of the oil and gas well pads included in the study had returned to a  pre-drilling, condition — even those that had had 20 to 50 years to recover. Continue reading

Morning photo: Quartet

What a show!


FRISCO — A few nights ago Leigh and I wandered out quite a ways onto Dillon Reservoir to enjoy the quiet snowfields with our dogs. As a bonus, we enjoyed a great sunset, and what struck me once again was how suddenly and dramatically the shades, hues and overall tone of the sky can change. All four of these shots were taken from almost the same place, west of Heaton Bay campground, in the span of about 30 minutes.

Morning photo: Winter wonders

Deep freeze


FRISCO — Sometimes words are superfluous …

Wildlife: Colorado launches new lynx monitoring effort

A radio-collared lynx in Colorado. Photo courtesy CPW.

A radio-collared lynx in Colorado. Photo courtesy CPW.

SW Colorado field project will assess habitat occupancy, population trends

Staff Report

FRISCO — Colorado biologists have launched an ambitious monitoring program aimed at learning whether the state’s population of reintroduced and native-born lynx is holding steady.

The monitoring will cover more than 5,000 miles in the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado, including six wilderness areas: Weminuche, Uncompahgre, Lizard Head, Powderhorn, La Garita Mount Sneffels, and South San Juan. Continue reading

Colorado: Yet another Gunnison sage-grouse lawsuit

Gunnison sage-grouse

A male Gunnison sage-grouse struts as part of its spring mating ritual. Photo courtesy BLM.

Wildlife advocates say dwindling birds need full protection of Endangered Species Act

Staff Report

FRISCO — Dwindling Gunnison sage-grouse will have to wait a bit long to find out what kind of endangered species protection — if any — they will get.

Following the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to list the birds as threatened, the agency faces twin lawsuits — one from the State of Colorado, which claims that the birds shouldn’t be listed at all, and another from conservation groups seeking to give the birds the highest level of protection under an “endangered” listing. Continue reading

Morning photo: Trippy skies

“Morning has broken …”


FRISCO —Sometimes the sunrise colors in the Colorado Rockies are beyond words and almost beyond belief — and that’s when a camera is good. This set includes a series of images starting in November, when Dillon Reservoir was still unfrozen, to just a few days ago (Sunday morning) up on Swan Mountain. Follow our Instagram feed for daily updates, and visit the online Summit Voice gallery at Fine Art America to see more Summit County nature and landscape images.

Morning photo: Sunday set

Sky shots, mostly …


FRISCO —Some lovely January days recently, with a bit of a thaw, although it’s far from being a total meltdown. Summit County has been on the ragged fringe of the storm track the past few weeks, which is good for photography (maybe not so great for skiing). But it means that we get wave clouds stacking dramatically over the high peaks – check out this Instagram timelapse video to see how they move – and gusty winds help fill in some of the many tracks criss-crossing the snowfields, creating the visual illusion of pristine.

Cloud flow

A video posted by Bob Berwyn (@bberwyn) on

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