Summit Voice: Most-viewed, week in review

Wildfire stories garner wide readership

The Las Conchas Fire burns near Los Alamos, New Mexico. PHOTO BY BURT STALTER VIA LAS CONCHAS FIRE INFORMATION ON FLICKR.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Regional wildfire reports once again were the most-viewed stories at Summit Voice during the past week, as this summer’s fire season continues to break records. So far, fires have burned across about 5 million acres nationwide, with the biggest blazes in Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Florida.

More headlines after the break … Continue reading

Most-viewed stories, week in review

Snow, wildfires and birds …

The monthly snow and weather stat roundup was the most-viewed story at Summit Voice the past few days.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —Total page views dropped slightly the past week, as we weren’t as diligent about posting links on various social media channels, but the top stories cover an interesting range of topics. The most-viewed story the past few days was our weather piece on Summit County snowfall stats, where March was the fifth month in a row with above-average precipitation. For the weather to-date (Oct. 1 – March 30), there’s a 45 percent moisture surplus, at least as recorded at Rick Bly’s official National Weather Service gauge in Breckenridge.

As a social media experiment of sorts, I posted a short blurb on the discovery of the wreckage of Air France Flight 447 just shortly after the news first broke on Twitter. The story, which included links to the Air France website post that confirmed the find, quickly drew several hundred hits, as people around the world searching the web for Flight 447 stories ended up at Summit Voice. To give the story a bit more depth, we added some background on the automated submersibles used by the Woods Hole oceanographic search team.

These were the most frequently used search terms leading to Summit Voice stories: frac act, lynx, air france 447, air france flight status, индия.

Notably, one of our daily photoblogs (featuring Florida birds) also made the top five. Check the rest of the week’s top stories by clicking the headlines below, followed by the rest of last week’s headline:

Week in review & top stories

Energy, ski resort news and global warming …

The rainbow photoblog made the most-viewed list, garnering 500 hits in just a couple of days. Click on the link to see the pics.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A couple of energy stories and a report on the latest scheme to try to develop real estate at Wolf Creek Pass headed the list of most-viewed stories the past few days, as social media played a huge role in driving readers to Summit Voice. A link to our story on the renewable energy hearing in Colorado, for example, was posted by more than 20 Twitter users before we had even sent out a single tweet. Similarly, the opinion piece on renewable energy was also spread widely via Twitter and other blogs, while the story on a possible land swap that would enable real estate development at Wolf Creek was shared at numerous ski-related social web sites. A couple of climate-related stories also made the list, as did a photoblog of Summit County rainbows. See the rest on the list below, followed by a few more headlines from the past week.

Week in review & most-viewed stories

Desert dust, visible as reddish discoloration, has been implicated in avalanches, and is causing the Colorado snowpack to melt suddenly and much earlier than expected, and a new study shows those desert storms may become more common as global warming causes vegetation loss in the Southwest.

Big-box imperialism, desert dust and vanishing lodgepole pines …

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The most popular story on Summit Voice last week was a report on a Lowe’s development battle in Miami-Dade County, where community and environmental groups challenged the local government’s decision to arbitrarily expand an urban development zone to enable big-box development. The ensuing court case had some similarities to a similar conflict over a proposed Lowe’s development in Silverthorne, Colorado.

A story on the potential for more frequent and intense desert dust storms that taint Colorado snow was second on the list, followed by yet another forest health story, this one outlining the potential demise of more than 80 percent of the Lodgepole pine habitat in the West. Click on the headlines below to read more and use the share buttons at the end of each story to help grow independent journalism in the Rockies.

More headlines from the past week after the break … Continue reading

Most viewed stories, week in review

A story about skijoring with dogs was the most-viewed story at Summit Voice last week. PHOTO BY ED KOSMICKI.

Skijoring, avalanches, snow sculpting and more at Summit Voice …

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY —A fun story on the Feb. 5 skijoring workshop at the Breckenridge Gold Run Nordic Center quickly jumped to the top of the charts in just a day, thanks to some social media help from Breckenridge Ski Area’s Twitter feed.

The story on the near-miss avalanche at Vail Pass also picked up several hundred page views in just a few days, as did the report on a proposed law (now dead) that would have reduced liability for mountain bike guides and venues, while the Randomness photoblog ranked fourth and video post by Jenney on the 11th hour snow sculpting activities rounded out the top five in the running total tally.

On the state level, we covered the launch of a new organization seeking to win public support for civil union legislation: Colorado: Civil unions bill to be introduced.

An important national story covered the establishment of a new scientific integrity policy at the Department of Interior, which has taken flak for the way it handled oil drilling studies and permits, and for its previous mismanagement of the endangered species program: Interior Dept. adopts new scientific integrity policy.

More headlines after the break … Continue reading

Week in review & most-viewed stories

The early winter jet stream tracks favored northwestern Colorado with snow.

Weather, wildlife and the Peak 6 expansion proposal at Breckenridge dominated the most-viewed story list during the last few days

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A story on the effect of La Niña during the coming spring season was the top story at Summit Voice the past few days. In local news, a series of stories on the Peak 6 ski area expansion proposal at Breckenridge also picked up several hundred views, as did an environmental report on new research in Canada that found traces of Prozac in fish living in the St. Lawrence seaway.

The morning photoblogs continue to be popular with readers, with two editions making the top five list of most-viewed stories. Check out the rest of the top stories, along with some other headlines from the past week by clicking “read more.” Continue reading

Latest headlines from Summit Voice

A farmer in Kyrgyzstan.

Lots of fresh stories at Summit Voice the last few days. Click on the headlines to read more …

Local doc says Kyrgyzstan coup hampers aid efforts

SUMMIT COUNTY — A Silverthorne doctor says the recent coup in Kyrgyzstan has hampered the ability of international aid groups working to halt the spread of infections diseases in the remote central Asian country of about 5.5 million people.

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More snowmaking at Copper next season.

$6 million for snowmaking, parking upgrades at Copper

SUMMIT COUNTY — New Copper Mountain owner Powdr Corp isn’t waiting to start with some resort improvements that should benefit local skiers and day-tripping Front Range visitors. The resort announced Friday it will pump $6 million into new snowmaking, with the 25 percent increase in capacity spread around the mountain, including new snowmaking in the popular Timberline area to add a big chunk of early season terrain.

Global warming driving ocean salinity changes

Steep Shots: Safety first in the backcountry

Crews step up diesel containment efforts after tanker spill

Mountain to Mountain launches show in Denver

Weatherblog: Freezing fog and swarming earthworms

Weatherblog: Iceland volcano won’t affect global weather

Bear Blog: Polar bear research focuses on noise impacts

Summit Stage drivers voice concerns to BOCC

FS cracks down on Vail Pass snowmobile abuse

Mountain news: Tax leakage in Telluride?

Scientists ask Obama to back national roadless rule

Colorado fishing report online for the new season

Weatherblog: Global temps still on the rise

Summit County: Beetle battle takes to the slopes

Denver Water picks West Slope resident as new chief

Concerns about motorized use at landfill revived

Summit Voice week in review: Headlines Feb. 7 — 13

One of our top stories this week was on the imminent decision on whether to list Greater sage-grouse as threatened or endangered. The decision could have implications for the way federal officials manage oil and gas extraction across big swaths of Colorado and the interior west.

This week we reported on Colorado wetlands, avalanches, greater sage-grouse, medical marijuana, river access and more. If you didn’t get a chance to visit Summit Voice each day, scan the headlines and short summaries below.

We also ran a detailed story about a U.S. Forest Service plan to cut discounts for seniors and people with disabilities, learning that the changes were spurred by a request of a commercial recreation lobby.

Click on a headline to get the full story. As always, let us know if you have an idea for a story, local or otherwise, and feel free to leave your comments in the box at the end of each post.

New report shows threats to Colorado wetlands

Posted on February 9, 2010 by Bob Berwyn 

New report highlights gaps in Clean Water Act protections for five Colorado wetlands, including a rare fen in nearby Park County

SUMMIT COUNTY — A pair of U.S. Supreme Court rulings from 2001 and 2006 have put valuable Colorado wetlands at risk, according to a new report published jointly by the National Wildlife Federation, [...]

See the rest of the headlines after the break. Continue reading

Week in Review: Headlines from Summit Voice

Conservation groups in the San Luis Valley hope to protect Great Sand Dunes National Park and the surrounding areas by buying the underground mineral rights for $9.7 million. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.

More protection for Great Sand Dunes NP, the march of the pine beetles continues, and near-record global temperatures in 2009

SUMMIT COUNTY — Looking back at the past week’s Summit Voice headlines, the story about a conservation deal in the San Luis Valley stands out as one that was under-reported around the state. In short, a strong grassroots alliance of citizen groups went to court to block plans for exploratory drilling near Great Sand Dunes National Park, where the surface rights are owned by the people of the United States, but the underground mineral rights are still owned by a private company. After a preliminary ruling by a federal judge, the company has agreed to sell those rights for $9.7 million. Read the Summit Voice story here.

In natural resource news closer to home, state and federal foresters announced that mountain pine beetles are moving across the Continental Divide in a big way. The tree-killing bugs attacked 220,000 acres of pines in Larimer County, and infested more than half a million acres of forests in 2009. There are few signs that the infestation is slowing down, the agencies reported as they released maps from last year’s aerial surveys. Click here for the story.

Locally, real estate experts released preliminary numbers for 2009 real estate sales, showing that the slump continued throughout the year. Sales of single-family homes, and especially condos are down dramatically from the peak numbers of 2007. The decline also hit local government coffers, as revenues from real estate transfer taxes plummeted. Read about real estate sales here, and about the decline in tax revenues here.

Other news from last week included year-end tallies on global surface temperatures showing that 2009 tied as the second-warmest year ever, and endangered lynx won’t get the legal protection they deserve for a few more years. Following are the rest of the top stories from last week; just click on the headline to read the full story.

Continue reading

Summit Voice: Week in review

A 4-acre lot in Keystone, currently used for parking, is under consideration for development of a 167-unit rental housing project.

Soothing the waters?

SUMMIT COUNTY — One of the bills being discussed as the State Legislature ramps for its session could ease conflicts between licensed rafting companies and fishing guides and private landowners along Colorado Rivers.

Under Colorado Water law, boaters have the right to float along a stream, but if they touch the bottom of the river or the banks of stream where it passed through private land, they are technically trespassing. Read more »

Keystone lot eyed for rental housing

SUMMIT COUNTY — A parcel at the heart of Keystone Resort is being eyed for development of a new rental employee housing complex. The piece of land, slightly larger than four acres, is under contract, and the prospective owner is interested in developing as many as 167 rental units on the property. Read more »

Click on read more for the rest of last week’s headlines. Continue reading

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