Posted on November 4, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Floating past Tiger Wall on the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
Changes will enable boaters to apply for four launch dates
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Starting this year. boaters looking to garner a permit for the popular trip through Dinosaur National Monument will be able to apply online instead of via snail mail at Recreation.gov.
The application period runs Dec. 1, 2013 through Jan. 31, 2014 for high-season multi-day trips, and the online application system also opens up some new opportunities for boaters. Recreation.gov does require each applicant to register and create a profile with their unique email address and a password so that they can process payments. Continue reading
Filed under: boating, Colorado, national parks, public lands, recreation, rivers | Tagged: boating, Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, Travel, White River, Yampa River | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 12, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
‘Four Stops’ tour features social media coverage
Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Park in New Mexico, one of the stops on a tour aimed at boosting Hispanic engagement with national parks. Photo courtesy NPS.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Some National Park Service officials have long expressed concern that the country’s changing demographics could affect park visitation. Currently, only 9 percent of the nation’s approximately 54 million Latinos visit the country’s national parks each year, according the American Latino Heritage Fund.
One of biggest barriers to entry is awareness, according to the Hispanic Access Foundation, which is sponsoring a “Four Stops” tour starting this week boost turnout and protect parks from oil and gas development for future generations.
Foundation president Maite Arce and her family will complete the 950-mile tour with stops at Dinosaur National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, Arches National Park and Chaco Culture National Park in New Mexico. You can follow the Arce family on Facebook and Twitter. Continue reading
Filed under: national parks, public lands | Tagged: Arches National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Latinos, Mesa Verde National Park, national park, public lands | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 23, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
100-foot chunk of rock breaks off canyon wall
The large lighter-colored area indicates the extent of the rock slide above Jones Hole Creek as seen from the fish hatchery in Dinosaur National Monument. Photo via NPS.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A rockslide has closed portions of Dinosaur National Monument, According to the National Park Service, the slide has resulted in the closure of NPS lands from the boundary of the monument and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hatchery to Ely Creek.
The first rock slide was reported June 18, when a large slab of rock broke free from a cliff face just a short distance inside the monument boundary, less than .25 miles from the Jones Hole Fish Hatchery. One fisherman reported having to run from a boulder that landed in the stream not too far from his location. After receiving reports, park rangers checked the scene and did not see any further activity. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, national parks, public lands | Tagged: Dinosaur National Monument, Geology, national parks, rockslides | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Red flag fire warnings persist in western Colorado
A NASA satellite image shows smoke from the Black Forest Fire.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Firefighters in Colorado gained ground on a handful of wildfires Friday. By the end of the day, the deadly and destructive 15,000-acre Black Forest Fire was 30 percent contained. The Royal Gorge Fire was reported as 65 percent contained after burning across a footprint of about 3,200 acres of sagebrush and in pinon forests, including stands of trees killed by ips beetles.
New fires are also burning in western Colorado, where red flag fire warnings are in effect starting 12 p.m. Saturday (June 15). Gusty winds, warm temperatures and low humidity will create challenges for firefighters in the area, including at the lightning-sparked Ward Gulch Fire, where Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue deputy chief Jeff Berino is the incident commander.
At the Black Forest Fire, officials said rain helped firefighters establish some control of the flames — to the point that the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office was able to lift some evacuation orders. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, forest fires, wildfires | Tagged: Big Meadows Fire, black forest fire, Black Forest fire map, colorado wildfire maps, Colorado wildfire photos, Colorado wildfires, Dinosaur National Monument, Royal Gorge Fire, Ward Gulch Fire | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 13, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Retired park rangers call on the BLM to fully adopt national leasing reforms
Mesa Verde National Park could be at risk from oil and gas drilling. NPS photo.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — As oil and gas drilling rigs creep closer and closer to the borders of popular national parks around the country, a passel of retired park rangers has formed a new organization to try and protect cherished resources, including view sheds, air quality and wildlife habitat.
The idea is not to stop drilling. The ex-rangers acknowledge that energy development is needed. Rather, the group wants to hold other federal agencies — primarily the BLM — accountable to national guidance that requires smart, up-front planning when it comes to drilling around parks.
“We’re really concerned about the impacts if the drilling isn’t properly planned,” said Ellis Richard, a National Park Service veteran who ended his career as acting superintendent of Dinosaur National Monument, one of the park units potentially threatened by drilling. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: BLM, Dinosaur National Monument, fracking, National Park Service, oil and gas drilling, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 8, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Roads and drill pads dot vast stretches of western Colorado.
Parcels near Dinosaur National Monument and Mesa Verde National Park won’t be auctioned next week
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Bureau of Land Management this week said it will defer another eight contested oil- and gas-drilling parcels from a Feb. 14 lease sale that will be the biggest so far in Colorado under the Obama administration, at 68,692 acres.
The deferrals announced Feb. 8 include 10,839 acres near Mesa Verde National Park, and about 2,600 acres near Dinosaur National Monument. With leasing and drilling widespread around western Colorado, conservation groups say they want to makse sure that land with high recreation and conservation values are protected from drilling impacts. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, Colorado, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: BLM, Colorado, deferred parcels, Dinosaur National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, oil and gas drilling | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 6, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
88,000 acres go on auction block next week
A BLM map identifies areas up for oil and gas drilling leases, as well as areas where lease sales have been deferred.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The Bureau of Land Management will offer up another 90,000 acres of land in Colorado for oil and gas drilling next week, but the agency did defer sales of about 20,000 acres of controversial proposed leases in the North Fork area.
The BLM also deferred the leasing of several parcels along the entrance road to Dinosaur National Monument because the agency doesn’t have a current inventory of the area’s wilderness characteristics, according to Ellyne Bannon, of the Checks and Balances Project.
Details of the upcoming lease sale are at this BLM website. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, business, Colorado, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: BLM, Bureau of Land management, Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, energy, Energy development, Environment, fossil fuels, North Fork gas drilling, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 25, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Contested oil and gas plays at issue in federal appeals court
A federal court this week ruled on the disposition of several disputed oil leases in the spectacular canyon country of the Southwest. Bob Berwyn photo.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A federal court this week confirmed that the energy industry missed its legal window to contest a U.S. Department of Interior decision to withdraw 77 oil and gas leases in Utah. Some of the tracts were in the vicinity of Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dinosaur National Monument — too close for comfort, according to conservation groups, who convinced the incoming Obama administration to withdraw the leases.
The leases had originally been auctioned off ain the waning days of the Bush administration, in a move widely characterized as a parting gift from Bush-era officials to the energy industry. Interior Secretary Ken scrapped the leases because BLM skimped on its environmental analysis and failed to adequately consult with the National Park Service.
In September 2012, the 10th Circuit ruled that the energy industry missed its 90-day window to challenge Sec. Salazar’s decision under the Mineral Leasing Act. Today the Court rejected industry’s request to have the full Court revisit that decision. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, energy, Environment, gas drilling, national parks, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, energy, Environment, oil and gas leases, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Utah | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 18, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Spiffy new visitor center helps draw tourists
Dinosaur National Monument visitor center. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
Dinosaur National Monument is well-known for its trove of fossils, but also features an impressive array of indigenous rock art. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A new $13 million visitor center at Dinosaur National Monument has turned out to be a big attraction in northwest Colorado. The monument reported a huge surge in visitation in the first half 2012, up 47 percent from the previous year.
Recreational visits to the monument for the month of June alone totaled 44,847.
“While there is no way to predict what the monument’s visitation may be in the future, having the dinosaur quarry open to visitors again definitely increases the monument’s draw,” said monument superindentent Mary Risser. “Despite gas prices, the economy, above normal temperatures, and fires in many western states, people are still traveling and coming to the monument. Uintah County Travel and Tourism based in Vernal, Utah and Moffat County Tourism in Craig, Colorado have both been wonderful partners in helping spread the word about the monument and letting people know that the dinosaur quarry is open again.” Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology, Colorado, Travel | Tagged: Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Moffat County Colorado, national parks | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 9, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Visitor center construction incorporated salvaged materials
The Dinosaur National Monument visitor was recently awarded the Gold LEED certification. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —Skylights, low-flow restroom fixtures, photovoltaics and efficient utility systems at the new Dinosaur National Monument visitor center all helped the National Park Service gain Gold-standard LEED certification for the facility.
The new Quarry Visitor Center boasts new “green” energy saving aspects, including increased water efficiency, reduced CO2emissions, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts,” said superintendent Mary Risser. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, national parks, public lands, renewable energy | Tagged: Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, Energy conservation, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED gold certification, national parks, sustainability | Leave a comment »