Sunday, March 29, 2015
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Author Archives: Guest Writer

Colorado Anglers Riled By Christo’s Art Proposal

The industrial-scale art project proposed by the artist Christo Javacheff and his Over the River Corporation (OTR) will significantly impact the Arkansas River corridor from Salida, Colo., downstream to Canon City. The artist proposes to suspend 5.9 miles of fabric panels over several segments of a 45-mile reach of the river, eight to 20 feet off the surface in areas of prized public fishing access. In order to anchor the cables that will support the fabric, OTR must drill 9,100 anchor holes within and adjacent to the riparian zone. These holes must be drilled by large industrial machines that require hazardous and toxic fluids to operate and maintain. Read More »

Squeezing through the Joint Trail at Canyonlands

I think the first time I heard anything about Chesler Park, I was being a non-productive REI employee and flipping through a copy of Peter Potterfield’s Classic Hikes of the World at the Paradise Valley store in Phoenix. A couple months later, I would move from Phoenix to Denver, on the way stopping at four of Utah’s five national parks, and hike through this incredible area for the first time. I’ve been back four times, and it’s a good seven-hour drive from my house in Denver. Read More »

In Indian Country, a Federal Spending Cap Will Hurt

It sounds reasonable: Why not just cap federal spending? Make every agency operate with the money that’s already there. This notion has commonsense, yet it is impossible in practice. A few years ago, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights looked at federal funding needs for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The report concluded that “federal funding for Native American programs has increased significantly. However, this has not been nearly enough to compensate for a decline in spending power, which had been evident for decades before that, nor to overcome a long and sad history of neglect and discrimination.” Read More »

Utahns Oppose Las Vegas’ Snake Valley Water Grab

In August 2009, the state of Utah sacrificed its western flank in return for development opportunities in its southern bounds. At least, that's the way many residents in Western Utah's Snake Valley perceive a water agreement the state inked with Nevada. In that deal, Nevada received rights to the majority of available groundwater in the 100-mile long Snake Valley—the last remaining piece in a Las Vegas water buy-up by Southern Nevada Water Authority general manager Patricia Mulroy. Read More »

In Montana, Keystone Pipeline Draws Praise and Concern

After the State Department released its final environmental impact statement Friday on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, which is intended to carry crude oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada through eastern Montana and down to the Gulf Coast, supporters and opponents of the project raised an immediate hue and cry. In Montana, the Rocky Mountain state that would be most directly affected by the pipeline, the controversy was encapsulated in two releases. The Northern Plains Resource Council is very worried, but Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, is delighted. Those opposing reactions are published here. Read More »

In Colorado, Mountain Bikers Get Video Guides to Trails

In case you didn’t know it, the world-famous Whistler Bike Park in Whistler, B.C., Canada, has a south-of-the-border rival: Colorado’s Trestle Bike Park, otherwise known as Winter Park Resort’s summer playground outside Boulder, Colo. And the people at Vital MTB, which creates videos and other online content to connect the BMX, motocross and mountain biking scenes, have been super-busy this summer building an online video directory of all of Trestle’s trails. Read More »

Idaho Wind and Solar Projects Run into Roadblocks

It’s been a tough few weeks for Idaho wind and solar energy developers, what with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) slamming the brakes on 14 wind projects, and with developers locking horns with Idaho Power Company over the terms of their contracts. On July 27, the PUC opted not to reconsider its earlier disqualifications of 14 contracts for wind projects, on grounds that the contracts weren’t submitted before a PUC-ordered cutoff date. Nine of those contracts were between developers and Idaho Power; the other five were with PacifiCorp, an Oregon company that does business in Idaho as Rocky Mountain Power. Read More »

Ski Resort Expansion Threatens Lynx Habitat

Dense, sub-alpine forests are what comprise the terrain for Breckenridge Ski Resort's Peak 6 proposed expansion—meaning the project's effect on lynx has come under significant public scrutiny. The Forest Service issued an amendment that allows the project to move forward despite being “likely to adversely affect” lynx and despite the project being situated in primary lynx habitat. Read More »

Sex, Sunsets, and Sandlin

As his latest novel, Lydia, was being shipped to bookstores this spring, Tim Sandlin sent a mysterious crate to the sales staff at Sourcebooks in Illinois. “It contained liquor bottles—many bottles—of Koltiska,” a spirit made in Sheridan, said Todd Stocke, Sandlin’s editor and vice president of Sourcebooks. “Tim wrote in a note: One of my writer friends said that if you want the sales department to get worked up about a book, you have to bribe them with liquor.” Read More »

Pollsters Call Conservation Funding a “Shell Game”

What gets voters agitated when they talk about the federal budget? Sure, voices rise one moment over “spending like drunken sailors” while at the next moment, voters howl over potential cuts to a host of government programs, most notably Medicare. But get past those now predictable, first-blush comments and you’ll hear that what’s really bothering American voters is the distinct notion they have been conned. Read More »