Time Machine Tuesday: 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. In the years following World War II, manufacture and use of automobiles boomed across the United States. New highways were built and Americans drove more miles than ever before. At the same time, industry was also expanding, new chemicals […]

Creating Healthy Places

The places where we live, work and play can have a direct effect on our health. With that in mind, researchers from the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Architecture and Planning set out to study the ways that architects, city planners, community organizations, and health officials can work together to plan and design places […]

The Science and Grandeur of Glaciers

When you picture a glacier, you probably imagine the Arctic. In fact, about 10% of the world’s total land area contains glaciers, and we have glaciers right here in Colorado. These awe-inspiring masses of snow and ice are constantly moving and changing due to fluctuations in climate and temperature, and they can yield important data […]

At the Legislature: Single-Use Plastics

According to the EPA, less than 10% of plastics are recycled. As the oceans and landfills become increasingly filled with plastic bags, wrappers, utensils, and containers, many state and local governments are looking at ways to ban or reduce the distribution of single-use plastics. Colorado is no exception; so far during this legislative session, three […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Recovering from the Dust Bowl

In the midst of the Great Depression, farmers on Colorado’s eastern plains also had to contend with another problem, the Dust Bowl. It was the worst ecological disaster in the history of our state. Farmers began moving to the arid regions of the Colorado plains after the passage of the Homestead Act in 1862. By […]

Native Bee Watch and Bee Resources

Bees are important to our ecosystem. As pollinators, they are essential to the growth of the fruits and vegetables we eat. But bees are disappearing. Increased urban development means less habitat and fewer of the native plants that bees rely on. Pesticides, disease, and climate change are also factors. So Colorado State University is sponsoring […]

New Zero-Emission Vehicle Standard for Colorado

Last week, Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission adopted a new zero-emission vehicle standard that “requires automakers to sell more than 5 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2023 and more than 6 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2025,” according to a press release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The new rules do not require […]

Updates to the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act

This year the Colorado General Assembly passed legislation updating the Clean Indoor Air Act. HB19-1076 includes several major updates to the 2006 law, which bans smoking indoors in public places: Vaping and e-cigarettes are now included in the ban, which means that they cannot be used indoors in public places. This is intended to curb […]

Stream Management Plan Resource Library

The Colorado Water Conservation Board, along with partners at the River Network, have created a helpful website for agencies and individuals to learn about the stream management plan (SMP) process in Colorado. The Stream Management Plan Resource Library includes background information on the stream management plan process, a history of planning efforts, potential funding sources, […]

May is American Wetlands Month

Wetlands and riparian areas are important parts of our ecosystem. They provide for a diverse array of fish and wildlife species and vegetation, provide protection from erosion, help mitigate floods and drought, naturally decompose organic waste, and even help purify the air. According to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), May marks American Wetlands Month, […]

Colorado Hazard Mapping Tools

Flood season has arrived, and the State of Colorado has a number of online tools useful for mapping areas at risk of floods and landslides. Colorado Water Conservation Board The Colorado Hazard Mapping and Risk MAP Portal from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) provides a variety of tools for assessing hazard risk. In addition […]

Protecting Our Environment

Today is Earth Day. Here are some helpful resources from our library that you can use to learn more about Colorado’s environment, and what you can do to help: Climate Climate Change in Colorado Colorado Climate Change Vulnerability Study Colorado Climate Plan Colorado State University Climate Action Plan Energy Careers for Colorado’s New Energy Economy: […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Florissant Fossil Beds

This year, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Since the nineteenth century, scientists have regarded the Florissant beds as some of the richest deposits of fossils in the United States. 35 million years ago, a large lake covered much of the area that is now the monument. Because the area had […]

New Report on the Health of Colorado’s Forests

How did the 2018 fire season affect our state’s forests? What impacts are insects having on our trees? And what can the State of Colorado do to protect our natural resources? All of these questions are explored in a new report from the Colorado State Forest Service released this month. Each year the Forest Service, […]

Why are Colorado’s Deer Populations Declining?

According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), the state’s current mule deer population of around 450,000 is about 25% below their objective. Populations have been declining over the last several decades due to human population growth resulting in habitat loss and vehicle collisions, as well as other factors like climate change, malnutrition, diseases like chronic […]

Should Wolves be Reintroduced in Colorado?

If wolves were reintroduced in our state, would they benefit the environment or be a nuisance for ranchers? In spite of a 2016 resolution passed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife stating that wolves would not be purposefully reintroduced into the state (although those that wander here on their own won’t be removed), the debate continues. […]

What’s In Your Drinking Water?

May 6-12, 2018 is National Drinking Water Week.  From lead to fluoride, from private wells to public water systems, there are many consumer issues related to the water you drink.  If you are interested in learning about Colorado’s drinking water, start with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s Drinking Water: Consumer Information webpage.  […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Salmonella Outbreak

It’s not a pleasant topic, but it’s certainly an important one for cities and towns to learn from.  Exactly ten years ago, in March and April 2008, the city of Alamosa experienced a deadly Salmonella outbreak that caused at least 442 confirmed illnesses and, according to estimates, as many as 1,300 people – 15% of […]

Colorado Air Quality Data

Each year since 1979 the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has produced an annual Colorado Air Quality Data Report. This report offers detailed data on Colorado air quality, including regional air quality data; pollutants exceeding recommended levels; data on specific pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter; […]