LANDSCAPE

A Report Card on Black Bears in Southwest Colorado

A Report Card on Black Bears in Southwest Colorado

While you worried about the coronavirus, a familiar presence awoke from its winter slumber and went looking for dinner. I spoke with a Colorado wildlife official about the health of our ursine population and how to be more “bear aware.”

A New Era at Hanging Lake

A New Era at Hanging Lake

The popular trail east of Glenwood Springs is now only accessible by permit and shuttle bus from Glenwood Springs. It’s part of a new reservation system following years of preparation and research.

Roadside Shrines

Roadside Shrines

They dot the Southwest landscape, paying tribute to lives lost and dreams shattered.

Orange River Blues

Orange River Blues

On August 5, 2015, the toxic secrets of The Gold King Mine high in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado spilled forth when workers breached a plug containing mine wastes. Three million gallons of heavy metal-laden wastewater spilled into area watersheds and flowed through downstream towns. I lived about three blocks from the Animas when it happened.

Southwest Colorado Bear Study Brings New Insight Into Ursine Behavior

Southwest Colorado Bear Study Brings New Insight Into Ursine Behavior

Black bears in Colorado are spending less time in hibernation and living closer to human development. They still prefer nuts and berries over garbage. And their numbers are decreasing. Those are some of the key findings of a recently-concluded Colorado Parks & Wildlife study of bears living near Durango.

Oracle State Park Gets a New Lease on Life

Oracle State Park Gets a New Lease on Life

Arizona State Parks became a budget target for legislators a few years ago. They diverted funds from from the agency to help pay for a statewide budget deficit. Many parks were left with a skeleton staff and limited hours. A few, like Oracle State Park northeast of Tucson, closed entirely, until a group of volunteers opened their wallets to re-open the park.

Reviving a Great American River

Reviving a Great American River

The Colorado River is the world’s most regulated waterway, with 25 dams on a 1,500-mile course. The river stops flowing in Mexico and never reaches the sea. National Geographic explorer Wade Davis has a solution for restoring the flow and reviving the once-verdant Colorado River Delta.

Wildfires Leave Arizona Forests in a Delicate State

Wildfires Leave Arizona Forests in a Delicate State

Large wildfires are now the norm in the West’s timberland. Millions of acres have burned in Arizona in the past decade alone. Forestry officials say these new ‘superfires’ will alter wildlife migration and watershed patterns for years to come. Mother Nature begins her repairs quickly, though, and among the new growth in burn areas comes a chance to learn more about fire behavior.

Tree Workers a Tight Community of Serious Competitors

Tree Workers a Tight Community of Serious Competitors

Arizona tree workers test their climbing skills at an annual competition. In the mock rescue drill, climbers are graded on safely getting an injured co-worker to the ground. But the competition is also about having fun.

Old Economies vs. New in ‘The Global West’

Old Economies vs. New in ‘The Global West’

Jonathan Thompson of High Country News studies the West’s economic boom and bust cycles. He finds the latest energy boom is fueled by a global appetite. But another bust could be looming.

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