The Yampa River in Colorado is the wildest river in the entire Colorado River system. The riverbanks still flood during spring runoff keeping a vibrant riparian ecosystem healthy, unlike nearly all other rivers in the West that have been dewatered and diverted to the point of submission.
Grape Creek proposed Wilderness, located just southwest of Cañon City, is threatened by proposed mineral exploration.
In February, Fremont County approved a Zephyr Minerals permit to expand gold mining exploration onto BLM's Grape Creek Wilderness Study Area and Area of Critical Environmental Concern, which is also proposed for Wilderness in the Protecting America's Wilderness Act.
Endangered Species and Public Lands go hand in hand and we are celebrating these two issues this week in Colorado. I personally feel they are an integral part of a healthy and sustainable environment, including clean air and water, and critters large and small.
Captain's Log Starship 1XE, Day 22 in the month April, Earth Calendar year 2020.
Social Distancing from an altitude of 2,000 ft. AGL (above ground level). 50 Years of Earth Days! My, how time does fly. It was 50 years ago when Time Magazine published a photo of our planet Earth taken from space.
Captain's Log Starship 1XE, Day 27 in the month March, Earth Calendar year 2020.
Hunkering down: Waiting out the storm.
Well I’ve done quite a bit of hunkering in my life. Everything from living in a snow cave for a couple of weeks waiting for a summit push to being grounded and watching an approaching hurricane for days on end as it trammeled the atmosphere ahead of it and soaked the earth with deluges from the sky for days afterward.
The Glenwood Springs area community is standing together in opposition to a proposed expansion of the Transfer Trail limestone quarry. Rocky Mountain Resources Industrials (RMR) is proposing to expand the existing Transfer Trail limestone quarry from the current 20 acres to a highly visible open pit mine of 321 acres.
The proposed Avi Kwa Ame (Mojave name for Spirit Mountain) National Monument contains some of the most visually stunning, biologically diverse and culturally significant lands in the entire Mojave Desert. Monument designation would protect an essential corridor that connects the Mojave National Preserve, Castle Mountains and Mojave Trails National Monuments and Dead Mountain Wilderness Area in California with Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada and the Colorado Plateau.
A few years ago, BLM adopted a management plan - the Colorado River Valley Resource Management Plan - that left nearly all of the local public lands under its jurisdiction open to new oil and gas leasing. In so doing, the agency failed to adequately consider the climate impacts of this decision. In other words, BLM approved a plan that anticipated thousands of new oil and gas wells would be drilled on local public lands, but the agency failed to quantify or disclose to the public how burning all that natural gas would impact our climate.
It’s dead winter in the high country where we live and there is not much going on except snow, snow and more snow. That is wonderful for the mountains and rivers, and for those of us who ski, snowboard or are mountaineers. Along with the snow come low hanging clouds and icy mists that make flying all but impossible.
As I write this I am heading to the airport to make sure the plane is plugged in and brushed off in anticipation of our next flight mission. Plugged in refers to utilizing an extension cord plugged into what they call a Tanis heater to heat the bottom of the cylinders to ensure the oil is warm enough to make for an efficient start.
A Phoenix-based company has applied for preliminary permits for two proposed hydroelectric projects on Navajo Nation lands mere miles from the national park boundary. Both would flood a pristine section of the Little Colorado River Gorge, muddy its distinctive turquoise-blue waters, destroy areas sacred to Native peoples, and threaten the habitat of the already endangered humpback chub.
The 2.3 million-acre Pike San Isabel National Forest (PSI) forms the majestic backdrop to southwest Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, and borders many mountain communities like Salida, Buena Vista, and Fairplay and is the third most visited national forest in the country. The Pike-San Isabel is conducting a Travel Plan update and needs public input. Comment here by November 4th!
There’s wild country and then there is really wild country. Hells Canyon on the Snake River is one landscape that fits the category. In fact, Hells Canyon is North America's deepest river gorge at 7,993 feet. Years’ ago, I had to land in nearby Joseph, Oregon, due to horrendous fires, and stayed at a rancher’s home. He told me when they had frost he would literally lose a bunch of cattle when they careened down the incredibly steep daunting barren slopes that break over into the Snake River Canyon.
Removing the four dams on the lower Snake River will restore 140 miles of river and over 14,000 acres of riparian habitat and bottomlands. It will cut dam-caused salmon mortality by at least 50% and restore productive access for wild salmon and steelhead to over 5,500 miles of contiguous, pristine, protected upriver habitat in northeast Oregon, central Idaho and southeast Washington.
Life on the road as an EcoFlight pilot. Land the plane, debrief the passengers, exchange contact information, take great photos, ask for feedback from the flight, and occasionally for donations, put the covers back on the plane and head to the latest hotel. And then do it all again and...head to the latest hotel.
The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Royal Gorge Field Office (RGFO) in Cañon City is currently revising its Resource Management Plan (RMP), which began in 2015. This plan guides decisions for lands managed by the BLM's RGFO for the next 20-30 years. For example, this process will determine if an area should be open to oil and gas development, mining, managed for hiking, hunting, or fishing, or set aside for wildlife habitat.
The Greater Little Mountain region is a unique high desert habitat that is considered by biologists and resource managers to be some of the most sensitive fish and wildlife habitat in Wyoming. The area contains large intact tracts of prime fish and wildlife habitat and has served as a hunting, fishing and recreational paradise for sportsmen and sportswomen for generations. This unique landscape contributes to the local economy, supporting up to 225 jobs in Sweetwater County, and generating $19.1 million per year.
Lying between Hovenweep National Monument, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument to the east and Bears Ears National Monument to the west is a seldom-explored cultural landscape. The area is significant to many Native American Tribes throughout the region including Hopi, Zuni, Ute, Navajo, and many Pueblos of New Mexico. These lands contain thousands of cultural resources located both inside and outside of protective monument boundaries, many of which still have yet to be documented.
He was born in the Bitterroot Valley in the early morning rain
Wild geese over the water heading north and home again
Bringing a warm wind from the south
Bringing the first taste of the spring
His mother took him to her breast and softly she did sing
The Gunnison Public Lands Initiative is a citizen-led, community-based partnership working to permanently protect over 500,000 acres of public lands in Gunnison County for their wilderness, wildlife, agricultural, and recreation values. This unique and diverse coalition includes representatives from the ranching, water resources, motorized recreation, conservation, mountain biking, hunting, and angling communities.
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