Public Lands: Rocky Mountain National Park and Dinosaur National Monument celebrate centennials this year

Parks invite community to join the birthday party; Dinosaur NM seeks community partners to help plan events


Trail Ridge Road overlook, RMNP. bberwyn photo.


Elk in RMNP. bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

Not one, but two famed Colorado public land icons are celebrating 100-year birthdays in 2015. Dinosaur National Monument turns 100 years old on October 4, 2015, and visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park will have a chance to share birthday cake with park rangers on Jan. 26.

Both parks are inviting the public to join in the celebrations with a series of special events. Continue reading

Morning photo: Sunday set

Oh, Colorado!

wetlands sunrise Colorado

Wetlands sunrise, Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — Our Sunday set is a grab-bag of shots from the last 10 days or so, starting with another spectacular sunrise scene at the Meadow Creek wetlands in Frisco. And since we’ve been on the road reporting for the crowfunded Climate Rangers environmental journalism project, we’re also featuring a few images from outside Summit County. Continue reading

Morning photo: RMNP!

A little taste of high country heaven


Trail Ridge Road view.

FRISCO — Dylan and I had a chance to visit Rocky Mountain National Park as part of the crowdfunded Climate Ranger project, meeting with a team of scientists who are monitoring conditions in the park’s alpine tundra as part of the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. The monitoring is part of a global program aimed at trying to track climate-induced changes with long-term data, because we won’t know what climate change is doing unless we study it closely. We’ll do more reporting on this topic in the next few days, but for now, a few pics from the Park. Click on the panos to see the full-size versions. Continue reading

Major wildfires still burning unchecked in Colorado

Airtankers expected to join battle against fires today

Big Meadows fire Rocky Mountain National Park Arial view

A June 11 aerial view of the Big Meadows fire in Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo courtesy National Park Service.

Colorado wildfire map June 2013

Colorado wildfire map June 2013.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Authorities say they still don’t know the cause of destructive Black Forest Fire, which is still burning uncontained and has destroyed dozens of houses in El Paso County.

The fire has spread across several thousand acres since it started June 11 and more than 2,000 homes are still under evacuation orders. About 150 firefighters are trying to establish defensive lines to protect other at-risk homes in an area that lacks fire hydrants, according to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. Continue reading

Colorado: Trail Ridge Road open for the season

Park staff dig out Alpine Visitor Center, 11,796 feet on May 23, 2013.

Park staff dig out Alpine Visitor Center, 11,796 feet on May 23, 2013. Photo courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park.

High-elevation visitor center and store to open next week

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — A series of late-season storms didn’t prevent national park crews from opening Trail Ridge Road right on time this year, although Rocky Mountain National Park rangers say there could be nighttime closures because heavy melting on the road during the day and freezing temperatures at night.

The Alpine Visitor Center and Trail Ridge Store are expected to open sometime next week, according to a release from the park. Trail Ridge Road historically opens on Memorial Day weekend. Last year the road opened early on May 14 after record warmth in March. Continue reading

$1.7 million grant boosts Rocky Mountain Greenway

greenway map

The Rocky Mountain Greenway will help connect residents if the Denver metro area with the great outdoors. Map courtesy USFWS.

Open space vision aims to connect cities with wildlife refuges, parks and open space

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — A $1.7 million grant from the federal government will help move the metro Denver area closer to the final vision of the Rocky Mountain Greenway, with uninterrupted trails and open space connecting communities in the region.

“The Rocky Mountain Greenway is a shining example of what happens when strong federal, state, local and private partnerships align to take the vision of this uninterrupted trail and open space network and turn it into a reality for the Denver metropolitan area,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. “Already we’ve constructed important links in the Greenway, and today’s funding will help complete another critical section to connect Denver’s hundreds of miles of trails.” Continue reading

Colorado: Rocky Mountain NP eyes multi-use trails

Park service taking comment to help shape plan


Multi-use trails could help ease congestion in Rocky Mountain National Park.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Rocky Mountain National Park planners are taking comment on a plan for a multi-use trail system that would extend approximately 15.5 miles from the Fall River Entrance to Sprague Lake, with potential connections to three visitor centers, three campgrounds, and numerous hiker shuttle stops.

The trail update is based on a 2009 feasibility study that looked at the developed eastern portion of the park. The current study will examine the possible options for the multi-use trail alignments and analyze potential environmental impacts.

The new park trail system could connect with trails being developed in the Estes Valley, helping to reduce traffic congestion, and to evaluate multimodal options (including connections to the shuttle system) along the developed corridor of roads on the east side of the park. If constructed, the trail would be located outside designated wilderness. Continue reading


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