outdoor recreation

Wild mushroom foragers in the Mountain West may soon have a new and easy way to tell if their pickings are poisonous. 

Al_HikesAZ / Flickr

A new degree program in Colorado aims to train business leaders for the fast-growing outdoor recreation industry in the Mountain West.

On a frigid Tuesday evening, Brent Yatkeman is scrambling to save an avalanche victim buried in the snow somewhere on a ski hill near Park City, Utah. 

A new survey by the philanthropic arm of the Outdoor Industry Association shows that more people are recreating outdoors, but fewer are doing so regularly. And nearly half of Americans surveyed didn’t participate in outdoor recreation at all in 2018.

 


Courtesy Pueblo County Historical Society

On Jan. 15, 1920 the city of Pueblo bought some 600 acres in the Wet Mountains about a half hour southwest of town. This forested land near Beulah became Pueblo Mountain Park.

Courtesy photo / Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

The weather on Pikes Peak is unpredictable, especially in the midst of the Colorado winter. Wind chills of 50 degrees below zero and icy, snow swept slopes are the norm. But for the past 97 years, a group of determined mountaineers has made their way to the summit of the 14 thousand-plus-foot peak to carry on a special New Year’s tradition.

This summer, the National Park Service came out with a policy allowing electric bicycles in the same places as traditional bikes. A new federal lawsuit is challenging that rule.

Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

Are the super wealthy better equipped than the government to save America's disappearing wildlands? An ex-Silicon Valley entrepreneur is trying to build the next Yellowstone — a 3.2 million acre, privately-funded wildlife reserve in eastern Montana. It's called American Prairie Reserve, and the organization is doing it by purchasing ranches, kicking out the cattle and replacing them with wild bison.

Erik Wardell, courtesy Aspen Skiing Company

An industry trade group says uphill skiing is one of the fastest growing snow sports in the country, especially in the Mountain West.

For a long time, ski resorts in the Mountain West were able to reach a full staff just by offering employees a season pass. It was the kind of deal a ski bum couldn't turn down.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

A new analysis from the Bozeman-based non-profit Headwaters Economics shows that the outdoor recreation industry is growing more than twice as fast as the overall economy, and the industry has an especially outsized role in the Mountain West.

An Interior Department committee is recommending that the National Park Service privatize campgrounds in national parks and offer services such as WI-FI and food trucks.

Mike Procell / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado is poised to get a new state park. The new recreational area will include an iconic mountain peak and lots of wildlife in Southern Colorado.

Electric bikes are coming to national parks and other public lands managed by the Interior Department. 

Zebra and quagga mussels can devastate an ecosystem, and Yellowstone National Park is doing everything it can to keep them out. Most recently, that includes harnessing the power of a dog's snout.

Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office

Outdoor recreation offices in the West are spearheading a national network to promote the industry along with The National Governors Association.  

Across the Mountain West, the majority of our land mass is publicly owned. A new mapping project by Headwaters Economics provides county-level data that can help you understand what that means.

 


The number of deaths and accidents on Colorado’s rivers is right around normal for a high flow year, according to data from the conservation group American Whitewater. 

Since early June, 12 people have died while rafting, kayaking and paddleboarding on Colorado’s rivers.

“What we’re seeing is what happens during a high water year,” said American Whitewater’s Charlie Walbridge, who has kept a record of river accidents and fatalities since 1975. He maintains the database by editing user-generated posts and combing through news articles.

Fossil Beds National Monument Set To Expand

Jul 9, 2019
Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

After a four-year effort to acquire a 280-acre parcel from a private property owner, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is set to expand on the park's west side. The monument can now accept the land from the private donor after a bill granted federal approval. Because of a 6,000-acre ceiling, the park and other participants in the project needed to take congressional action to expand the monument’s acreage limit to 6,300 acres.

Planning a climbing trip in the West? The federal government wants to help.

MOAB — About 40 miles north from the tourist hordes in town and set against a backdrop of tan clay and red mesas, the vista looked primed for a nature magazine cover shoot: early afternoon, the desert bloom in full force, awash with purple and yellow flowers. Quiet.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

River rafting outfitters expect upcoming snowmelt to provide Colorado with their best season in decades.

Increased tariffs on Chinese goods will ‘devastate’ outdoor recreation companies, an industry group warned in a letter sent to President Trump Wednesday.

It’s no secret that in peak season Yellowstone National Park is getting really, really crowded these days.

It was a warm, wet winter this year across much of the United States. In most states, this means more greenery, more rabbits, more rodents and more snakes — which raises the risk of snake bites for humans and their canine companions.

Biologist Gerad Fox is standing next to a loud rattlesnake. "Right now he's in a classic strike posture, very defensive," says Fox. "The rattle is a warning, saying, 'Back off. I'm dangerous. You should leave me alone.' "

If you kill a wolf in Idaho, your effort might be worth $1,000. 

A nonprofit in North Idaho covers costs for hunters and trappers who successfully harvest wolves. The group, called the Foundation for Wildlife Management pays up to $1,000 per wolf harvest.

 


In wide open spaces like the rural parts of the Mountain West, there's sometimes little known about the secret lives of plants and animals. There are too many square miles and too few scientists. That's where citizen scientists can come to the rescue.

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.

Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC

A new multimillion-dollar recreation master plan for the Arkansas River levee in Pueblo is complete. The goal of the process, according to the document, was to come up with ways to increase river recreation, improve connectivity to the river as well as its ecology, and provide for more economic development opportunities.

A collection of outdoor trade groups announced they’re forming a collaboration to step up action on climate change.

Chris Steinkamp is the director of one of the trade groups, Snowsports Industries America, which represents snow sports suppliers. He says until recently, brands were hesitant to get involved on such a politically polarized issue -- until, that is, climate change started visibly edging into the reality of their businesses.

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