Photo by Sierra Coon / Canyonlands National Park

Many are calling it far-fetched, but a mountain west entrepreneur is reviving a proposal to draw water from Utah's Green River and funnel it to Colorado's growing and drought-prone Front Range. The pipeline would move billions of gallons of water across hundreds of miles from Utah through Wyoming and down into Colorado.

Update 10-23-17: The Colorado Attorney General's Office has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by Deep Green Resistance on behalf of the Colorado River ecosystem. The story has been updated to reflect this development.


A few months ago Denver civil rights lawyer Jason Flores-Williams had an idea. He’s made a name for himself recently in a class action lawsuit against the city of Denver where he’s representing the city’s homeless people.

“A lot of times I meet with class members, I take them out to dinner because they’re starving,” he said.

While at a Denver Mexican restaurant, the group started talking about homelessness. One of his homeless clients piped up.

“In an off the cuff, offhand comment [he] said, ‘the only thing more homeless than the homeless is nature,’” Flores-Williams recalled.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs Utilities is researching the possibility of closing its Martin Drake Power Plant sooner than a previously established 2035 deadline. Early results from a new survey suggest public support for such a move.

TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL oil pipeline, is scheduled to go before the Nebraska Public Service Commission next week, the final hurdle before the agency decides whether the pipeline’s path should be approved.

Few inventions in modern history have been as successful as plastic. It's in vehicles and building materials and most of our electronic devices. We wrap stuff in it and even wear it.

Now a research team has tallied up how much plastic has been produced and where much of it has gone. Turns out, it's literally almost everywhere.

Carol M. Highsmith / Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Carol M. Highsmith [LC-DIG-highsm-11937]

Efforts to manage and preserve the Colorado River are getting a boost from the Walton Family Foundation, which has pledged $20 million over the next two years to fund projects aimed at water conservation and restoring river ecosystems.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage


During the legislative session, state lawmakers cut funding for the office that oversees weatherization and other energy saving programs for residents. Now, Gov. John Hickenlooper is asking the Joint Budget Committee to intervene to save the Colorado Energy Office, avoiding possible layoffs and program closures and delays.

NOAA Historic Photo Library / NOAA

Peak Curiosity is a new, community-driven reporting series from 91.5 KRCC. We ask listeners to submit their questions about the Pikes Peak region and Southern Colorado, and then we answer them. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to submit your question!

Courtesy: Bessamer Historical Society

Toxin levels at two south Pueblo parks within the Colorado Smelter Superfund area are normal, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, [LC-USF343-001617-ZE] / Library of Congress

A new study looked into what would happen if the modern agricultural industry was to experience a 1930s Dust Bowl style event.

Malika Ladak / Flickr-Creative Commons

The Colorado State Forest Service is reminding folks to keep up with watering their trees throughout the winter.

Dana Cronin / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado is known for its iconic 14,000-foot peaks, more commonly known as fourteeners. Despite their majestic appearance, these high peaks have a fragile ecosystem and it takes a considerable amount of effort to keep them in good condition.  The season is over now, but for about five months of the year, crews work to create and repair trails.

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado

A new mobile app looks to incentivize users to help out the environment.

The app, called YourCO, will allow users to log do-it-yourself conservation projects, such as picking up trash or turning down the thermostat, and earn badges and rewards along the way.

Wednesday Newscast, 9/16/15, 5:32 PM

Sep 16, 2015

Newscast for Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Inquiries into last month's spill of toxic wastewater into the Animas River in Southwestern Colorado continue on Capitol Hill.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing Wednesday into the spill at the request of lawmakers from Colorado and New Mexico. 

Wednesday Newscast, 8/26/15, 5:32 PM

Aug 26, 2015

Newscast for Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Monday Newscast, 8/24/15, 5:32 PM

Aug 24, 2015

Newscast for Monday, August 24, 2015, 5:32 PM:

Monday Newscast, 8/17/15, 5:32 PM

Aug 17, 2015

Newscast for Monday, 8/17/15, 5:32 PM:

  • Some business groups in Colorado are raising concerns over an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to update air quality standards, which includes lowering the threshold for ground level ozone.
  • Colorado native Taylor Phinney has won the opening stage of the USA Pro Challenge.

Friday Newscast, 8/14/15, 5:32 PM

Aug 14, 2015

Newscast for Friday, 8/14/15, 5:32 PM:

  • Officials in Colorado have reopened the Animas River to boating.
  • A lieutenant colonel at Fort Carson faces a court-martial on charges of viewing child pornography on a government computer while in Afghanistan.
  • A recent report from Colorado State University says if Great Plains farmers adopt more conservation practices, their carbon emissions could be drastically reduced.

Thursday Newscast, 8/13/15, 5:32 PM

Aug 13, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, August 8, 2015, 5:32 PM:

  • Authorities are warning that cleaning out irrigation ditches along the Animas River in southwest Colorado is temporarily discoloring the water again one week after the Environmental Protection Agency caused 3 million gallons of hazardous mine waste to spill into the river.  And, ranchers in the area are starting to see the effects of a week without irrigation water.
  • A Colorado Springs woman was arrested Wednesday for knowingly feeding and luring bears onto a residence in the northwest part of town.

Tuesday Newscast, 8/11/15, 5:32 PM

Aug 11, 2015

Newscast for Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 5:32 PM:


Monday Newscast, 8/10/15, 5:32 PM

Aug 10, 2015

Newscast for Monday, August 8, 2015, 5:32 PM:

The Environmental Protection Agency knew that a mine in Southwest Colorado contained a large pool of hazardous water, and was working to slowly remove that water when workers for the agency triggered a release Wednesday. The orange-hued plume is making its way down the Animas River and into the San Juan.

Thursday Newscast, 8/06/15, 5:32 PM

Aug 6, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, 8/6/15, 5:32 PM

  • Jurors are now in deliberation in the sentencing phase of convicted Colorado theater shooter James Holmes. Prosecuting and defense attorneys wrapped up their closing arguments today.  Holmes could be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole for killing 12 people and attempting to kill 70 others.
  • A huge spill of hazardous mine waste has contaminated the Animas River, which runs through Durango. 

The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service has announced a new plan to protect the greater sage grouse from extinction, while hoping to prevent the bird from being added to the endangered species list.

The sage grouse population has dropped from 16 million birds to less than half a million, mainly due to lost sagebrush habitat. The bird's range spans 11 western states including Colorado.

"As land managers of two-thirds of greater sage grouse habitat, we have a responsibility to take action that ensures a bright future for wildlife and a thriving western economy," said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell at the announcement in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

It’s May in Rocky Mountain National Park, but on a mountainside 10,829 feet above sea level, snow is falling. It’s pelting Jim Cheatham, a biologist with the National Park Service. Shrugging off the cold, Cheatham seizes a teachable moment. This snow, he said, holds more than just water.

“Chances are it’s carrying the excess nitrogen we’re talking about,” mused Cheatham.

For the past eight years, the biologist has spent most of his time thinking about how nitrogen pollution is changing the park’s forests, wildflowers, and alpine lakes. He’s also been looking for a way to stop it.

CC, UCCS Collaborate on Ft. Carson research

Feb 13, 2015

Professors at Colorado College and UCCS have been collaborating since 2007 on research at the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. The result: An article titled “Militarized spaces and open range: Piñon Canyon and (counter)cartographies of rural resistance,” which examines how rural communities in Colorado have confronted military expansion. The article was recently published in the journal Environment & Planning D: Society and Space. Here’s more on their research:

The Army is looking to increase training activities at its Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site in southeastern Colorado. As part of the process, officials are required to conduct environmental impact studies and open the reports to public comments.

Today, Monday December 15, is the last day to submit public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed increase in training.

You can view the DEIS here [.pdf].

The former Colorado Smelter site in south Pueblo is now designated a Superfund Site by the Environmental Protection Agency. As KRCC's Shanna Lewis reports, this means the federal agency will investigate and clean up toxic waste in the area.

In 2010 state health department tests found elevated levels of lead and arsenic in properties surrounding the smelter - which closed more than 100 years ago.

The EPA’s Chris Wardell says residents have a variety of concerns about the Superfund listing, ranging from costs to the effect on real estate values.  

Governor John Hickenlooper unveiled a draft of the state’s first ever water plan on Wednesday. The goal is to create a comprehensive water strategy to protect rural farm economies and bring more water to millions of people along the Front Range.The plan has been a decade in the making and supporters say it will help the state meet water demands as the population grows.