outdoor recreation

Abigail Beckman / 91.5 KRCC

For a few hours on Sunday, October 7th, vehicles were not allowed Garden of the Gods. A gloomy, crisp morning didn’t keep people away from the park’s second so-called Motorless Morning. Bikers, runners and walkers roamed freely throughout the park, appreciating the landscape and the wildlife—and no one seemed to miss the traffic. 91.5 KRCC’s Abigail Beckman was there and has this audio postcard...

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

This Sunday morning, Garden of the Gods will once again be closed to vehicles. Motorless Morning is an opportunity for cyclists and pedestrians to take in the park without the sounds, commotion and worry of traffic. 

Creative Commons 2.0 / Trailsource.com

The outdoor recreation industry is growing faster than ever, especially in our region. In fact, new statistics show this sector grew faster than the overall U.S. economy.

A leaked memo this week from the Interior Department shows Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to give states more clout over wildlife management on public lands, unless it conflicts with federal law.

 


In early August three years ago, Barb Horn stood along the banks of the Animas River in the city of Durango, Colorado. Word had spread of a mine waste spill upstream near Silverton. She waited, alongside hundreds of others, for the waste to appear. But the plume took longer than expected and eventually arrived at night.

The next morning, she saw the change.

“It was absolutely surreal,” Horn says. “And I think that's why it went viral. It’s like somebody photoshopped the river orange.”

Tyler Hill / KRCC

Colorado Springs spends less money on its parks than the national average, according to an annual report from the Trust for Public Land. The analysis compared the 100 largest cities in the United States. 

Public lands have been in the news a lot this year. They comprise much of the Mountain West, from around 30 percent of land in Montana and Colorado to more than 60 percent in Utah and Idaho. This summer, we’re taking you on a tour of some of our favorite public lands.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado is called “the mother of  rivers” for a reason: it’s one of the most popular states for river rafting in the country.  But like the rest of our region, unprecedented growth, a changing climate, drought, and wildfires are taking their toll on this multi-million-dollar industry.

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A major outdoor apparel company is moving its global headquarters to Colorado. The move comes amid the growing economic and political power of the multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation industry in our region.

A new species of tick, the longhorned tick, has arrived in the U.S.

In other parts of the world it’s been known to carry diseases that can sicken people and livestock. In East Asia the tick can carry a nasty hemorrhagic fever called SFTS. A study in China looking at SFTS cases there found that 16 percent of people who were diagnosed with the disease died of it.

Dan Salkeld doesn’t like plunging toilets, filling out tax forms, or clipping his children's toenails. But he loves collecting ticks in Colorado.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's call to increase peak-season entrance fees at 17 popular national parks appears to be an unpopular idea. The overwhelming majority of submitted comments were strongly opposed to it. Now, the National Park Service is rethinking the plan.

Life’s been tough on Chris Marchion. There was the high school football injury and the knee replacement.

“Unfortunately I got a hip that’s wore out,” he says.

We’re standing alongside a gravel road near a cow pasture. Nowadays, this is about as close as Marchion can get to the Sapphire Wilderness Study Area. It’s a clump of rolling, grey mountains in the distance.

A Look Back At Our Top 5 Most Popular Stories Of 2017

Jan 4, 2018
Clockwise from top left: Courtesy Jodene Parlapiano; Steve Wilson; Partnership for Community Design; CS Pioneers Museum; Andrea Chalfin

Before we shut the book on 2017 once and for all, we'd like to take one last opportunity to reflect on the year that was. What better way than to revisit the stories from this past year that made the biggest impression on you, our loyal readers and listeners. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

After days of sustained outrage, the city of Colorado Springs has taken down a large blue frame erected last week in Garden of the Gods.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

UPDATE: As of mid-day Monday, 12/18/17, the city had removed the frame.

ORIGINAL STORY--FRIDAY 12/15/17: A newly-installed structure at Garden of the Gods has local outdoor enthusiasts crying foul. In a widely shared post on Facebook, the outdoor adventure non-profit UpaDowna brought the frame to the attention of its followers, many of whom have described the structure as “ugly” and a blight on the natural beauty of the park. 

National Forest Service, Pike & San Isabel National Forests

After more than five years of being closed to the public, portions of the Waldo Canyon burn area are reopening.  The Waldo Canyon Trail and Trailhead along Highway 24 remain closed.

Courtesy: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

The state parks program that puts backpacks with parks passes, binoculars, and guides into public libraries is in its second year.  "Check Out State Parks" officially launched last year in more than 280 libraries statewide.  This year, it's expanded to include many publicly funded college and university libraries. 

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

With summer here, people are flocking to the outdoors, including the trails, campsites and reservoirs of the Colorado State Parks system. Last year, the parks hit a record number of visitors – 13.5 million.  But Colorado is struggling to keep up with the demand.

Austin Cope / KSJD

One of the biggest trade shows in the outdoor industry is still looking for a new home after the Outdoor Industry Association decided to leave Utah after two decades. Colorado has thrown its hat in the ring as a new potential site for the event, which brings together many of the world's largest outdoor companies.

Dana Cronin / 91.5 KRCC

Outdoor sports dominate the Upper Arkansas River Valley, with attractions like white water rafting and fly fishing drawing tourists from across the country. With climate scientists predicting reduced flow as the century unfolds, the region could face a future with less water.

Tyler Hill / KRCC

A new study outlines the economic benefits of parks and recreation in the Pikes Peak region.  Parks help lower public health costs, raise property values, and attract tourism dollars, according to the study.

Miguel Vieira / FLICKR-Creative Commons

Cheyenne Mountain State Park reopened on Thursday after high winds earlier this week forced its closure.

Maeve Conran / Connecting the Drops

About three years ago, flood waters rushed down the Big Thompson River through Estes Park and eastward to Loveland, destroying whole stretches of the river channel and adjoining roads. That flood echoed a similar one 40 years ago that killed 144 people, destroyed countless homes and decimated the riverbed. Now, roads are being repaired and the eco-system is slowly recovering. That recovery is crucial for the economy of local communities.

Trail Maintenance Gets Some Federal Attention

Dec 16, 2016
Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

President Barack Obama recently signed a new law that could benefit Colorado hiking trails.

The new National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act calls for a national strategy to utilize partnerships for trail maintenance.

Studies show that youth spend less than ten minutes a day outside in unstructured play.  In an effort to combat this national issue, Great Outdoors Colorado has awarded roughly $13 million in grants to communities across the state, to encourage children to appreciate, enjoy and take care of the great outdoors.

The Inspire Initiative, launched last year with six pilot projects, ties into the state plan of having every resident within a ten-minute walk or bike ride to a park or open space within a generation.

Stormwater Channel Could Double as a Fat Bike Trail

Dec 2, 2016
Greg Smith / Flickr

As the city works to stabilize the Sand Creek stormwater channel, engineers are looking for creative ways to make the structures even more useful. One idea is to create a trail for fat bikes. Those have particularly wide tires that can traverse sand and leave little impact.

Manitou Incline Reopens

Dec 2, 2016
Kate Dunn / 91.5 KRCC

The Manitou Incline is reopening to the public. The Incline closed in August for the second phase of its Trail Enhancement Project.

Lloyd Athearn / Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, via Facebook

The peak of another Colorado 14er may soon become public land. The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI) intends to buy three parcels of land extending over the peak of Mount Shavano near Salida. The move comes after the discovery of mining claims which means the land is currently privately owned.  

Browns Canyon Visitors Invited to Share Feedback

Oct 27, 2016
Bob Wick, BLM California / BLM Flickr / Creative Commons

Visitors of Browns Canyon in Chaffee County are invited to share their opinions of the National Monument in a series of listening sessions.

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