Posted on November 15, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Budget cuts could devastate preservation mission and visitor services
Sunrise at Great Sand Dunes National Park.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Today’s photo essay features a few scenes from national parks around the country as a sidebar to another Summit Voice story on how any further cuts to the National Park Service budget could seriously undermined the agency’s ability to care for these national treasures. It really seems like we could give a little more in other areas to prevent permanent damage to these resources … (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Morning photo, national parks, photography, public lands, Summit County news | Tagged: Arches National Park, Badlands National park, Colorado National Monument, Gateway Arch, Grand Canyon National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, National Park Service, national parks | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 28, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
The San Luis Valley with Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Baca National Wildlife Refuge.
Stakeholders work toward buyout of mineral rights in San Luis Valley
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Groups working to protect public lands in the San Luis Valley of Colorado say they’ve ended their 2007 lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The litigation by the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council and the Citizens for SLV Water Protection Coalition had challenged the agency’s finding of no significant impact with regard to the impacts of exploratory oil and gas drilling in the Baca National Wildlife Refuge, and sought to ensure full scientific and public review of the proposal, along with an analysis of the benefits of the retirement of the mineral rights.
The lawsuit ended with a stipulated agreement that will basically put drilling on hold while various stakeholders work together to try and arrange a buyout of the subsurface mineral rights in the refuge, owned by Lexam/VG Gold. The company currently does not have drilling permits or applications filed in Colorado and its previous permits have expired.
In a show of good faith, Lexam, (now VG Gold) has agreed to notify the organizations of any new applications with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Lexam/VG Gold has also agreed not to do any ground disturbing activity until 120 days after an application is filed is filed. Lexam (VG Gold) became a willing seller of it’s mineral rights in 2010. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, federal government, gas drilling, national parks, oil drilling, public lands, Summit County news | Tagged: Baca National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado, Environment, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, oil drilling, San Luis Valley | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 17, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Get ready … summer’s coming
Rancho del Rio, on the Colorado River near Bond and State Bridge, offers relaxed riverside camping and easy access for boating and floating. Click on the picture for more info.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Driving along the Dillon Dam Road between Frisco and Dillon this past weekend , I saw Forest Service rangers and campground hosts preparing the Heaton Bay campground for opening. Even though it snowed like crazy through April, the wintry weather will end one of these days, so that means it’s time to dig through the shed or garage and dust off the tent and the sleeping bag. Check out the rest of this photoblog with a little bit of info on some of our favorite spots to enjoy a lazy summer day. Most of the photos are links to more information about the camping areas. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, daily photoblog, Morning photo, photography, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado camping, Colorado National Monument, Eagles Nest Wilderness, Gore Range, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Summit County Colorado | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 15, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
A look back
It's hard for me to render a flower in black and white, but the pattern of the leaves and blossom work in monochrome.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Some of the best shots from the past week’s photoblogs … (more…)
Filed under: daily photoblog, Morning photo, photography, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Arts, Black-and-white, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, photography, Summit County photography, Summit Voice photoblogs | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 21, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Classic landscapes, classic roadtrip …
A double rainbow over Monument Valley was a good omen for our Southwestern road trip.
By Bob Berwyn
I don’t know if minor car repairs count as a relationship test. But when our car battery dies in front of the Great Sand Dunes National Park visitor center, we aren’t too worried. Well-stocked for a week-long swing through the Southwest, Leigh and I decide to let the car “rest” while we stroll around the nature center, watching evening shadows play on the dunes. We snack on salami, cheese and chocolate. Our cooler is full of goodies, and we team up with a no-worry, we’ll-make-it vibe — not to mention a hefty boost from AAA — to handle the glitch smoothly.
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado.
We reach Alamosa just before AutoZone closes and replace the battery with the help of a few loaner tools, shoving them back through the door as the manager locks up and waves goodnight. The Nissan starts no problem, so we fill the tank and U-turn back to the highway, munching cheesy popcorn, trying to catch the Rockies on AM, then blasting Neil Young as we veer through Crestone to our national forest campsite tucked up against the base of the Sangre de Cristos.
“Somewhere on a desert highway, She rides a Harley Davidson …”
It’s all good, we decide, crawling into sleeping bags within earshot of North Crestone Creek. Comet curls up at our feet. The wind rustles through lush aspens, whispering a sweet lullaby in the night air. (more…)
Filed under: Travel | Tagged: Environment, Grand Canyon National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Mesa Verde National Park, Monument Valley, Road Trip, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Travel | 8 Comments »
Posted on October 11, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Feds agree to conduct a new environmental review
Oil and gas exploration near Great Sand Dunes National Park is on hold for now pending completion of a new environmental study. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has withdrawn all its previous approvals for oil and gas exploration in the Baca National Wildlife Refuge, adjacent to Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. The agency agreed to start a new environmental review process that’s expected to begin in the next few weeks.
The decision came after a pair of San Luis Valley conservation groups challenged a 2008 finding that exploratory oil and gas drilling wouldn’t have significant environmental impacts. The groups hope to work with interested parties to buy the underground mineral rights and have them retired.
“The public process has been effective, but much work remains”, said Christine Canaly, Director of the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, which filed the original challenge in May 2007. “Another NEPA process is expected begin regarding drilling on the refuge, in the meantime, we are still working with interested parties to have the mineral rights purchased and retired.” (more…)
Filed under: energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Baca National Wildlife Refuge, Environment, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, San Luis Valley, United States Fish and Wildlife Service | Leave a Comment »