News

Glenwood Springs Post Independent » Opinion: Clean Power Plan works for Colorado

This past summer, the Environmental Protection Agency took the greatest single step the U.S. has ever taken to address climate change, finalizing the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan sets the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants, reducing it, by the year 2030, 32 percent below 2005 levels. This will only more »

High Country News » Can small communities tackle global food security?

Climate change has profound impacts on growing seasons and crop yields, but local solutions have promise. This story was produced in partnership with KVNF Radio in Paonia, Colorado. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this year is on course to be the hottest year in recorded history. And with greenhouse gas emissions increasing, more »

Grand Jct. Sentinel, Editorial » Coal counties deserve help with transition

Coal counties deserve help with transition By The Daily Sentinel Tuesday, August 11, 2015 Because coal is big in Western Colorado — as an abundant resource, a cheap way to generate electricity and a provider of good-paying jobs — President Obama’s initiative to reduce carbon emissions from power plants has more opposition here than other more »

Delta County Independent » County weighs in on lease exchange

The Delta Board of County Commissioners has taken an official position on the proposed Thompson Divide gas lease exchange which includes federal gas lease properties in Delta County. County administrator Robbie LeValley notes the exchange process is likely to be a long one involving levels of government right up to the U.S Congress which will more »

CO Farm & Food Alliance » Denver Event Combines Fine Nosh and Spirits to Discuss Farms & Food Security

This past May the Colorado Farm & Food Alliance joined with partners and friends including Slow Food Western Slope, the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, and the Valley Organic Growers Association to bring a sampling of top quality Colorado-sourced food and drink to Denver, with a message.

inviteIf you care about food you need to care about how oil and gas is getting developed in Colorado.

“It’s very important that oil and gas development happen responsibly,” said Jim Brett of Slow Food Western Slope. “It doesn’t need to happen everywhere, we must be careful about our food sources.”

Business friends and partners included The Kitchen-Denver Restaurant (“Community through Food”) which hosted the event, and Peak Spirits Distillery at Jack Rabbit Hill Farm, Big B’s Juices & Hard Ciders, Alfred Eames Cellars, Stone Cottage Cellars, and Thistle Whistle Farm, who donated their time and top quality skills and product.


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Western Slope Now » Western Slope Climate Challenge

 

Summit County Citizens Voice » Hey, Colorado – how about a climate challenge?

Hey, Colorado – how about a climate challenge? Paonia event focuses on solutions for western Colorado Staff Report FRISCO — Everybody is talking about climate change, but that palaver doesn’t always translate into action. Not so in Paonia, though, where community and climate activists will gather May 1-3 for the Western Colorado Climate Challenge & Solar more »

ColoradoPols » Step Right Up and WIN! This Boom will never Bust, Baby!

Step Right Up and WIN! This Boom will never Bust, Baby! Colorado is about to lose thousands of jobs, again, as the latest boom and its promise of vast riches crashes into the reality of a volatile commodity market.  Again. Like in the last bust in 2008 that hit the western Colorado gas fields, it was just months more »

North Fork Scrapbook » Unicorn Arts Collective Presents: Elemental Rising

Unicorn Arts Collective Presents: Elemental Rising | North Fork Scrapbook The Paonia Fashion Show is back! This time the Elements are rising to the occasion. More than just a fashion show, this year The Unicorn Arts Collective is bringing a multi-media arts experience to the Paradise Theater. Originally conceived as The District 81428 Fashion Show, more »

North Fork Scrapbook »The North Fork Seed Library

The North Fork Seed Library Spring is approaching and it’s time to start plotting your garden. First, what are you hoping to grow? A specific variety of squash or particular heirloom okra? Whatever it may be, the Hotchkiss Seed Library probably has it! They have a vast array of seeds to peruse that any library more »

Colorado Farm & Food Alliance » Fracking in the North Fork Valley by Eugenia Bone

Fracking in the North Fork Valley by Eugenia Bone – Colorado Farm & Food Alliance When I told friends in New York that my husband and I had bought a ranch in Colorado, I was surprised to discover how many had fantasized about living out west. I didn’t realize that even the most citified among them more »

Colorado Farm & Food Alliance » Localvores, Pick Up Your Forks! Oil and Water Don’t Mix

Localvores, Pick Up Your Forks! Oil and Water Don’t Mix By @ColoFarmFood, crossposted at ColoradoPols.com Attention has been focused on Denver, as Governor Hickenlooper’s Oil and Gas Task Force finishes its work, mostly avoiding the contentious issues that surround the industrial realities of oil and gas—noise, pollution, traffic, and impacts to land and existing uses—which led to its formation more »

NorthFork Scrapbook »Western Slope: Soon to See Sandhill Cranes

By Courtney Mullin Rocky Mountain Sandhill Cranes have been traveling almost the same migratory route for thousands of years along the Rocky Mountain Range. Over 20,000 of them winter in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, and make their way north as the weather warms. One of their first stops is the Monte more »

ColoradoPols » State-funded Science Institutions Host Keynote by Fringe Anti-Science Guy

@PKolbenschlag The wires are abuzz about the latest example of fossil fuel influence attempting to bend science, another Climate Change Denialist hero has been shown as seriously besotted by sooty cash, but failed to note the connection.  His ‘science’ was—in fact—“deliverables” to dirty energy powerhouses, from utilities, coal, oil and gas, the Kochs. Meanwhile in western Colorado, more »

GJ Sentinel » Large-scale industrial activity a tough fit for Colorado’s farm-to-table capital

Large-scale industrial activity a tough fit for Colorado’s farm-to-table capital | GJSentinel.com …The majority of the drilling jobs are temporary. Companies like SG acknowledge that they bring in outside contractors for most of the positions, which leads to no long-term benefit to our local economy. We all want the North Fork to thrive. To many more »

 

 

 

Features

North Fork National Forests. So what is a GMUG?

Crossposted at NorthForkScrapbook.org

Conservation & the Public Lands “Essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method”

America’s public lands are a national birthright, an exemplar of global conservation leadership, and a tremendous source of local pride and benefit.  In the North Fork Valley our National Forest lands are a testament to the foresight of leaders from more than a century ago, and the wisdom of our own forebears.

Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations. The movement for the conservation of wild life and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method. Theodore Roosevelt

The National Forest lands in the North Fork valley are mostly within the Gunnison National Forest, which is itself part of a larger ‘administrative unit’ of three individual forests often referred to as the ‘GMUG’ or Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, Gunnison National Forests.  Colorado has eleven National Forests, managed as 6 units.  As a single unit the GMUG is the largest. (However, the White River National Forest is the largest single National Forest in the state).


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Mosquitoes, Beetles & Global Warming – Climate Change and Colorado’s Great Outdoors

(Crossposted at Colorado Pols)

Colorado, summertime. The living is easy…

Sure we have some of the best winter recreation in the world, and Color Sunday drives and hunting season make fall the busiest part of the season for many Colorado communities. But there is something about a Rocky Mountain summer that is hard to beat.

The wet May and early, heavy monsoons much of the state has been getting since, have brought forth wildflowers that many say are the most outrageous, rainbow array seen in years.  Truly a display of Colorado pride.

All the moisture, and warm weather between, has also led to another fact in this year’s backcountry – there are lots of mosquitoes out there.  And mosquitoes are not just an annoyance, but bring public health warnings.  In Colorado, for the West Nile Virus, which is likely to become an even larger problem under climate change.

Invasive species aren’t just species — they can also be pathogens. Such is the case with the West Nile virus.


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Proposed BLM Rule Could Recoup Billions for U.S. Taxpayers, Help Avert Climate Catastrophe

(Crossposted at Colorado Pols)

Like a number of communities in Colorado, the valley where I live has been engaged in an effort to constrain oil and gas development to keep it out of our water supplies, our favorite recreational areas, our towns, farms and communities.

This effort has been met with mixed success.  We banded together to stop an ill-advised Bureau of Land Management lease sale, deferring it twice.  We compelled the BLM to consider a community-based alternative as it revises its very stale 1980s era land use plan, and local conservation groups have successfully challenged some other projects—sending them back for a time to the drawing board.

But more than 80,000 acres of public lands are leased in the upper reaches of the North Fork, many private lands are already under industry control, and Texas billionaires with privately held gas companies have their sights on acquiring more.


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The “Church,” Climate Change, and the Decline of the Bees

(Crossposted at Colorado Pols)

The Pope is getting all the news today on Climate, having clarified – the faithful are told to believe—that God is not OK with trashing the earth, and that we need to do something about that.

“The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.”

But as Francis has his eyes on all Creation – the World writ large – the sometimes mysterious working of the world in detail are where most of the stuff gets done.  Like pollination.  This week is, after all, also National Pollinators Week.

Birds, and bees and others among the panoply of species populating our planet are not just buzzing around your sugary drink, or swooping hotdogs off your picnic table.  They too are doing the Lord’s bidding, in small but crucial ways.  Like keeping three-quarters of the world’s plants alive.

Most people know by now that bees are in decline and that this is a major problem – for the obvious reasons, because we also like food.  Some important food crops, like corn, are wind pollinated.  But most rely on pollinators


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Join Us At the Western CO Climate Challenge

Western Colorado Climate Challenge & Solar Fair May 1 -3 in Paonia, Colorado Hosted by: Climate Colorado and Solar Energy International   “Solving Colorado’s Climate Crisis through Rapid-Prototyping Change” Sponsors include The Hive Paonia, Western Slope Conservation Center, Mountain West Strategies, and Community Office for Resource Efficiency Tickets available here   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday more »

So, What is ‘Advocacy Campaigning’?

Cesar Chavez – “We don’t organize to educate. We educate to organize.” Sweet Victory! Think you need a stop sign on the corner? Want to stop a fracking waste pit? Homeowners’ board giving you trouble? Then you might be considering how to develop an ‘advocacy campaign.’  Boiled down, an advocacy campaign is a methodical and more »

The Art of Advocacy: Finding Your Way with Strategies and Tactics

 “To see things in the seed, that is genius.”   Lao Tzu   In its simplest sense an advocacy campaign is a methodical, strategic effort to convince a decision-maker to make a specific decision by a certain deadline.  It involves a campaign goal (as described above), strategic objectives, development of tactics and anticipated outcomes, campaign more »

Overview to Campaign Development

 So you’re ready for some change? What To Do Now?   If you have decided to develop an advocacy campaign, you might be wondering what happens next.  The tangible result of campaign development is the campaign plan, its product is the functional campaign itself, and its purpose is to reach the campaign goal.  The campaign plan is thus made more »

The Plight of Backwater County

Crafting the Winning Campaign Sometimes we have to show up.  For whatever reasons, there we are facing the prospects of developing an advocacy campaign.  Where do we start?   In the three-part Advocacy Campaign workshop series, the Art of Advocacy starts with some ideas on what makes a successful campaign. Overview to Campaign Development  follows with basics of campaign more »