Conservation

https://blm-egis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=7ff7182ac6444b53b0d5b7b48210bc11 / Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Field Office is seeking public comment on a draft management plan for 658,000 acres of public lands in Eastern Colorado, including land along the Arkansas River.

Centuries ago, the kingdom that made up much of modern-day Laos was called Lan Xang. In English: "Land of a Million Elephants."

Yet while the Asiatic elephant may have endured as a cultural icon for the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the numbers tell a story of a species in crisis.

The Laos government and conservation groups estimate there are only about 800 elephants left in the country — 400 wild elephants, 400 in captivity.

Abigail Beckman / 91.5 KRCC

Starting in the late 80s, rainbow trout in Colorado began dying off because of a parasite that causes whirling disease. By 1997, wild rainbows in the state had all but vanished. The disease is caused by a water-borne parasite that infects young trout and some species of salmon, causing deformities of the skull and spinal column. The infected fish swim in circles, hence the name whirling disease. Ultimately, it leads to death.

The conservative sportsmens’ group Hunter Nation is offering people the chance to go elk hunting in Utah with President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr.

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed landmark legislation Tuesday to expand recreation access and conserve public lands nationwide. Passage of the Natural Resources Act stood out not just because it tackled a big challenge — the permanent authorization of the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund — but also because of the strength of bipartisan support that propelled the omnibus package beyond the politics of division.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

The 2019 State of the Rockies report says 70 percent of western voters identify as "outdoor enthusiasts." The annual bipartisan poll surveys how voters across the Mountain West feel about public lands, water, wildlife, and energy expansion. 

On Thursday, Democrats take back control of the House. Among several priorities is reviving a popular bipartisan conservation program that’s been dead for months.

The Federal Duck Stamp Program is for the birds, at least when it comes to birdwatchers.

Since 1964 the Land and Water Conservation Fund has used royalties from oil and gas leasing to protect natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage, as well as to provide recreation opportunities. The Fund expired at the end of September, but both the House and Senate have proposed bills to permanently reauthorize it so its future doesn't remain in jeopardy.

Updated at 3 p.m. Dec. 20 with Trump signing legislation — The long-awaited final version of the farm bill was unveiled Monday night, and it hews somewhat closely to the previous piece of massive legislation — aside from legalizing hemp on a national level. 

The Department of Interior just released a new science policy that it says will increase transparency. But conservationists are concerned. 

An important but little-known public lands fund expired this weekend. 

Creative Commons 2.0 / Bureau of Reclamation

A new study reveals how much water the U.S. uses in energy production. The answer is a lot – 58 trillion gallons. The data breakdown may be critical information for the Mountain West, where energy industries are big, but water can be scarce.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) may be the most successful, and little-known, conservation program. That obscurity could contribute to it's downfall. 

Over the next few weeks, we're going to take you on a tour of some of our favorite public lands.  

Most people visit Curt Gowdy State Park in Southeastern Wyoming for the world-class mountain biking, reservoirs filled with rainbow trout, and hikes through steep granite formations.

But entomologist Christy Bell comes for the bees.

Steve Johnson / Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0

Westerners in many states are using less water.  However that’s not the case in the Mountain West. In Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho, home usage went up; in Montana it stayed the same. Experts say these figures are based less on population growth and more on state water policies.

A quiet, rising tension over water in the southwest has burst into the public square.

Agencies that manage and dole out the Colorado River’s water in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico are attempting to publicly shame an increasingly isolated water agency in Arizona. The feud has the potential to either upset, or reignite, negotiations over the river’s future.

Bob Wick / BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

Across eight western states, voters increasingly consider themselves to be conservationists, according to a poll out Thursday from the Colorado College "State of the Rockies" Project. The survey also found that westerners largely prioritize protection of air, water and wildlife over energy development.

City of Colorado Springs

 

Great Outdoors Colorado, or GOCO, has awarded $60,750 to Colorado Springs-based conservation group, Palmer Land Trust. The grant will fund efforts to recruit a new generation into the cause of land conservation. 

Carol M. Highsmith / Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Carol M. Highsmith [LC-DIG-highsm-11937]

Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River is a new book from David Owen, a staff writer with the New Yorker magazine and author of more than a dozen books.  His latest takes him on a journey across the west following the Colorado River: the dams, reservoirs and pipelines that help quench the thirst of seven states and parts of Mexico. 

Poll Shows Westerners Want to Protect Public Land

Feb 21, 2017
Cora Lubchenco / State of the Rockies Project

Voters in the West care about conservation of public lands and the environment according to a recently released poll

Denise Dethlefsen / Used with permission

A new partnership aims to preserve four farms in Rocky Ford, totaling more than 660 acres.

New conservation easements between farmers Bart and David Mendenhall and the Palmer Land Trust will help ensure the water from their farms can never be sold off.

Shawn Rosvold / KRCC

Rain barrels are now legal in Colorado. This comes after several years of debate and opposition from those concerned about possible impacts on downstream water users. Now, conservationists are eyeing them and other water capture tools as a way to stretch the state's overburdened supply.

Wednesday Newscast, 1/6/16, 5:32 PM

Jan 6, 2016

Newscast for Wednesday, January 6, 2016, 5:32 PM:
 


Tuesday Newscast, 12/15/15, 5:32 PM

Dec 15, 2015

Newscast for Tuesday, December 15, 2015, 5:32 PM:
 


Winter Water for Migrating Ducks

Oct 8, 2015
Shelley Schlender / RMCR

Colorado's South Platte River basin is a powerhouse for crops and cattle.  Massive reservoirs quench the region's thirst, with farm fields generally first in line.  Wildlife?  It's often last. But a small win-win is giving waterfowl a little more room at the watering hole.  It's a program that creates warm winter ponds for migrating ducks — then gives the water back, in time for summer crops. 

Conservation Funding Granted for Pueblo County Ranch

Dec 19, 2014

The Palmer Land Trust has received funding from Great Outdoors Colorado, or GOCO, to conserve a large working ranch just east of Pueblo.  

KRCC’s Rachel Gonchar has more.
 

The conservation group says the 25,000-acre BX Ranch south of Boone is one of the largest working ranches in Pueblo County.

Palmer Land Trust Executive Director Rebecca Jewett says this funding will help preserve that history.

www.lasaterranch.com

    Ranchers and environmentalists have long been perceived as adversaries, with those in favor of livestock grazing on one side and those not in favor on the polar opposite. Over the past few decades, however, the two have worked towards changing this perception. In this episode of "A Sense of Place," producer Max Hittesdorf explores the evolution of the rangeland conflict and how conservation and cattle can in fact support each other, despite a history of opposition.

A Sense of Place, Episode 4: The Fire Isn't Over

Jun 4, 2014
Sarah Stockdale

“The fire isn’t over until restoration is complete” is a catch-phrase that has been floating around Colorado Springs ever since our two most recent fires in 2012 and 2013. But what exactly is “restoration”? When will it be complete? And what is our role in the fight to mitigate future fires? In this episode of “A Sense of Place,” producer Sarah Stockdale takes us on a journey up highway 24 to the Waldo Canyon burn scar, to speak with Theresa Springer of the Coalition for the Upper South Platte, and Eric Perramond, associate professor of Southwest Studies at Colorado College.