Conservation advocates say strict regs needed to prevent the spread of deadly white nose syndrome
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Conservation advocates this week called for more action to save bats threatened by the rapid and deadly spread of white nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has wiped out entire populations of the flying mammals from the Northeast all the way to Midwest.
The Center for Biological Diversity is asking the White House Council on Environmental Quality to direct federal land management agencies to control accesss to caves on public lands as a way to prevent further spread of the disease into the West.
“The loss of bats to white-nose syndrome is an unprecedented natural disaster that will have real financial consequences for many Americans,” said Mollie Matteson, conservation advocate for the Center. “Not only do some bats species face extinction, but American farmers stand to lose an estimated $22 billion in lost insect-eating services that bats provide. This crisis is deepening by the day and it’s time for the highest reaches of our government to take action,” she said.
A complete closure of caves probably won’t be popular with the caving community, which sees itself as an advocate for bat conservation, but without any known way to prevent or treat white nose syndrome, halting the spread is probably the only way to control the disease, and limiting access to caves with known bat population makes sense to conservation biologists. Continue reading “Cave closures sought to protect bats from disease”→
International efforts represent recognition that climate change is increasing the risk for extreme weather events
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Extreme weather events during the past year has spurred increasing discussions about a possible link between global climate change tornado outbreaks and flooding, for example.
Most climate researchers agree that climate doesn’t directly cause any single weather event, but that global warming can increase the odds of events like last year’s catastrophic Russian heat wave, or extreme droughts in the southwestern U.S.
At the highest levels of many governments, talk is less about whether there is a link and more focused on how to manage the consequences and adapt to those increased risks.
Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, addressed resource and recreation planners from around the country
BRECKENRIDGE — The Obama administration is committed to implementing its new Great Outdoors strategy and is working toward that goal with the formation of an interagency council to make sure that various federal agencies are collaborating efficiently on the AGO initiatives.
That was the message heard by scores of leading recreation and resource planners in Breckenridge last week, as Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality address the annual conference of the National Association of Resource Recreation Planners at Beaver Run resort.
Conference to focus on connecting Americans with the outdoors
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Vail Pass, Cucumber Gulch and some other local gems will be showcased next week during a major national pow-wow on recreation resource planning in Breckenridge.
This year’s theme for the annual conference is all about connecting Americans with the outdoors, closely linked to the administration’s recent America’s Great Outdoors initiative — and what it means for those in the outdoor recreation industry who plan to fulfill the mission.
The National Association of Recreation Resource Planners conference runs May 23 to May 26 at the Beaver Run Conference Center. Click on www.narrp.org for more information. The full conference agenda is online here.
“The AGO Initiative was initiated to promote and support innovative community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and to get Americans outside in nature,” said conference planning committee co-chair Scott Babcock. “Exploring ways to fulfill the AGO mission is paramount if we are to sustain our natural and cultural treasures, improve public health, and reinvigorate local economies through recreation and tourism.” Continue reading “Breckenridge hosts national recreation planning pow-wow”→
New initiative partly inspired by Great Outdoors Colorado and planned by Coloradans serving in key posts in the Obama administration
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — When Coloradans like Tom Strickland, Ken Salazar and Will Shafroth headed to Washington to serve in the Obama administration, hopes were high that some of the state’s outdoor values would resonate in the halls of the capital.