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Is smart land-use planning the best way to reduce wildfire risks?

‘Solely relying on public forest management to prevent homes burning by wildfire is simply barking up the wrong tree’

A wildfire burns through a western conifer forest. Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service.

A wildfire burns through a western conifer forest. Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Aggressive firefighting and preventive forest treatments are not making people less vulnerable to wildfire impacts. Instead, government authorized and funded  firefighting and land management policies may actually encourage development on inherently hazardous landscapes, leading to an amplification of human losses to wildfire, according to researchers with the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Colorado.

Their recent study in Nature says an adaptive approach, including changes in land-use policies, are the key to reducing wildfire risks, according to researchers with the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Colorado.

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Morning photo: November moon

Evening serenity

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A rare vertical landscape portrait, composed to capture the moon in the sky and its reflection in the wetlands pond near our house in Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — It not be a super moon this month, but that doesn’t make it any less appealing – plus, getting outside for a few minutes as the sun goes down in a blaze of tangerine-colored sky is good for your sanity. No matter who wins an election or a football game, this old world keeps on turning … Continue reading

Morning photo: Sunday set

Peak shots

Early Sunday morning, Dillon Reservoir.

Early Sunday morning, Dillon Reservoir.

FRISCO — Good riddance, daylight savings time. What a joke. Why so many artifacts from the days when we were a rural, agrarian society? Is it a longing for a simpler past? An unwillingness to change? Just plain old inertia? Who knows, but I, for one, am psyched to be back more in synch with the natural rhythms of sunrise and sunset. Plus, it means that, if there’s an especially brilliant sunrise the next few weeks. I’ll be able to sneak out for a quick session BEFORE making breakfast for the school-bound kid! Enjoy Le Weekend, take some nice photos of the incoming snow and send them my way. Continue reading

Morning photo: New day

Colorado eyecandy

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Hoping for some of this – soon!

FRISCO — Balmy temps linger into late October means no gloves needed — yet — for photography. A good thing or bad thing, depending on your perspective. If you’re a ski resort operator, you’re probably holding your breath, waiting for those cold nightime temps that enable full-scale snowmaking. Two major resorts have already announced that they’ll push back opening day of the ski season by at least a week. If you’re a cyclist, you’re probably enjoying some late-season laps around Dillon Reservoir or the snow-free ride up to Vail Pass. For now, enjoy the calm, because the winter storms are sure to arrive eventually!

Follow our Instagram feed for daily photo updates and visit our online gallery for a great selection of Colorado landscape and nature images, available as fine art prints and greeting cards.

A recent mountain sunset in Frisco, Colorado. Click it to see the full-size version.

A recent mountain sunset in Frisco, Colorado. Click it to see the full-size version.

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October heat wave delays start of Colorado ski season

Snow guns silent in late October as temps run 15 degrees above average

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2014 on track to become warmest year ever.

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How will the ski industry weather global warming?

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO —Last year’s winter Olympics helped cast a spotlight on global warming and the ski industry. As the snow at Sochi’s alpine venues visibly melted during the live television coverage of the games, winter sports athletes advocated for action on climate change.

Now, just a few months later, some of those same ski racers who had planned early season training sessions at Copper Mountain, Colorado will have to wait. A run of extraordinarily warm temperatures in October all but silenced industrial snowmaking operations at several resorts, as both Copper and Keystone delayed scheduled openings because of the balmy conditions. Continue reading

Morning photo: Some colors!

Edit 101

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Wild rose leaves turn brilliant orange in the early autumn chill.

FRISCO — Living in a place where about the half the year is defined by the whiteness of snow makes you appreciate the other half of the year — the colorful half — even more. And especially in the fall, when you know the land is about to be transformed into frozen stillness, it’s fun to get out and capture some of the last brilliant bits of color, accented in this set by some in-camera editing as well as some post-processing. All the images in this set, except the aspen panorama, were treated with iPhone photo apps to accentuate the rich autumn light. Follow our Instagram feed for daily photo updates and visit our online gallery for a great selection of Colorado landscape and nature images, available as fine art prints and greeting cards. Continue reading

Environment: Colorado biologists still on the lookout for bat-killing white-nose sydrome

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Reports from the public can help inform monitoring, response

Staff Report

FRISCO — Marking the start of National Bat Week (Oct. 26-Nov.1), Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said they’ll be carefully monitoring bat hibernation sites this winter for the effects of White-nose Syndrome, a deadly fungal disease that has killed between 5.7 and 6.7 million hibernating bats in caves and inactive mines in the eastern U.S.

“Bats are an important yet under-appreciated part of our world,” said CPW Species Conservation Coordinator Tina Jackson. “This threat is something we all should be worried about,” she added. Continue reading

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