The Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas River to screen the documentary ‘Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time’ February 17


From email from the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas:

The Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas is pleased to invited you to the showing of “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time”. The documentary will be screened from 6:00 – 7:30 Friday, February 17th at Salida Mountain Sports, 110 N. F Street.

The documentary explores Leopold’s life in the early 20th century and the many ways his land ethic ideas continue to this day. It also deals with the influence his ideas have had in shaping the conservation movement as we know it. The film was produced by the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service and the Center for Humans in Nature.

Please join us in watching this documentary. Cost will be $ 3.00 for adults and children under 12 are free. For more information give us a call at the Land Trust, 539-7700.

More conservation coverage here.

Science Thursday: A Periodic Table of Cupcakes


Click on the thumbnail graphic to get to the photo album. The baker made the cupcakes for a chemical engineering department reception.

Thanks to Professor Gigi Richard (Colorado Mesa University) for the link from her Twitter feed (@igig42).

Denver: The Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts presents ‘Conservation Excellence 2012’ March 12-13


Here’s the announcement from the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts:

The Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts is pleased to invite you to join us for Conservation Excellence 2012. With over 40 sessions to choose from and CE credits available for attorneys, real estate professionals and appraisers, we’re confident that this is a “must attend” conference for:

Land Trust staff and volunteers
Local Government Open Space staff
College students and faculty
Others interested in Conservation in Colorado

Date: March 12-13
Location: The Cable Center (map)

More conservation easements coverage here and here.

Snowpack news: Statewide snowpack is at 76% of average, Arkansas basin jumps to 88%, South Platte — 85%


Click on the thumbnail graphic to the right for yesterday’s Colorado Snowpack map from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

A series of storms [ed. over the past week] brought on and off snow to the Rockies, with Wolf Creek reporting a 35-inch total for the week, while Steamboat tallied 28.5 inches. Silverton measured a weekly total of 25 inches and Telluride benefited with 23 inches. Farther north, Loveland and Winter Park both picked up 21.5 inches of new snow for the week with 20 inches at Monarch, Copper Mountain and Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort.

Click through for all the pictures of fresh tracks.

From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

“It’s an enigma,” said Klaus Wolter, with the CIRES Climate Diagnostics Center. In an email updating the SWCasts website, Wolter wrote: Record-snow around here in early February is not something I would typically associate with La Niña, but will come in handy if the mountains west of us remain starved for moisture (despite some minor storms during the upcoming week).”[…]

Wolter was referring to record snow in northeastern corner of the Colorado mountains, west of Fort Collins and Boulder, where he recorded 162 inches for the season to-date at 8,500 feet, the most he’s seen in 22 years. The bottom line is that the outlook for February – March period is on the dry side for the Southwest, including most of Colorado’s mountains, with the exception of the East San Juans and the Sangre de Cristo mountains.

But Wolter said the next few weeks should be a little more active, with a progressive weather pattern off the Pacific chipping away at this winter’s moisture deficit – call La Niña’s last gasp.

Rifle: City Council approves a shiny new $25 million water treatment plant


From the Rifle Citizen Telegram (John Gardner):

The Rifle City Council has agreed to move forward with construction of a new $25 million water treatment facility to be built along Highway 6 near the city’s raw water intake. The action came in a 5-2 vote in a special council meeting held Feb. 6.

Although the city government expects to finance the project with a low-interest loan from the state, the new plant will cause rates for city water customers to double. However, City Council is also considering asking voters to approve a 0.5 percent sales tax increase to help pay off the debt, which would lessen the burden on customers…

Dick Deussen, city utilities director, said the new plant will use advanced water treatment technologies, including a low-pressure membrane, granular activated carbon and reverse osmosis, and is expected to produce good-tasting water…

If all goes smoothly with the advance work, he said construction could begin this fall, and the plant could be complete by the end of 2014.

More water treatment coverage here.

Colorado Water 2012: The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust continues to protect water resources in the San Luis Valley


Here’s this week’s installment of the Valley Courier’s Water 2012 series. Here’s an excerpt:

RiGHT grew out of the Citizens for San Luis Valley Water, who were seeking a tool for the community to help keep water in the basin. One of the co-founders, Cathy McNeil, along with her husband Mike of the McNeil Ranch and neighboring ranchers on the Rock Creek corridor south of Monte Vista were among the first to conserve their own lands with conservation easements.

They did this for a number of reasons, ranging from overall estate planning to their real desire to keep their land and water intact for agriculture and not allow it to be broken into the proverbial “ranchettes” that are fragmenting far too much of Colorado’s historic ranchlands, and thereby converting agricultural water rights to domestic and other uses.

In response to the intense pressure for land development and conversion of water from agriculture to other uses, the interest in conservation has grown steadily across Colorado. RiGHT has led the nation in providing support and incentives for private land conservation, including the lottery funded Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO). GOCO also serves as a model for the America’s Great Outdoors initiative, with Secretary of the Interior Salazar as a key proponent of that effort. Colorado has also passed significant tax benefits to encourage voluntary conservation easements.

While RiGHT continues to work throughout the entire San Luis Valley, after the drought of 2002, protecting the Rio Grande river corridor and its water resources emerged as the clear priority for San Luis Valley residents. RiGHT found that, in contrast to the highly fragmented ownership of many of Colorado’s river corridors, there is still a substantial amount of relatively intact land along the Rio Grande corridor, much of which has senior water rights associated with it. With the help of partners at The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited and many willing landowners, RiGHT launched the Rio Grande Initiative in 2007.

Since 2007, RiGHT has been able to triple the pace of conservation along the river. As of the end of 2011, more than 22,000 acres and 36 miles of the river are protected,thanks to the significant investment of many funders and landowners. A recent Trust for Public Land study indicated that every dollar invested in conservation generates six dollars of economic return in communities, meaning that those funds serve as a substantial economic driver in this rural, agricultural region.

More Colorado Water 2012 coverage here.

Cañon City: The CDPHE extends the public comment period for the shut down of the Cotter Mill


From The Pueblo Chieftain:

The deadline has been extended from Friday to March 2 for comment on a new evaporation pond design, an on-site soil excavation and groundwater characterization plan and soil remediation criteria. In addition, public comment can be provided on a new document, dealing with a groundwater remediation water management analysis, which will be posted Friday at http://www.cdphe.

Comments should be submitted to Steve Tarlton, radiation program manager, Colorado Department of Public Health, 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, Denver, CO 80246 or via email to

More nuclear coverage here and here.