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In the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, a small farm is preparing for the end of summer. Irrigation canals that were full to bursting months ago are slowing with the changing season. This spring, just outside Alamosa, Wayne Cody and his son Josh jumped a ditch to check on their rye's progress.

A new study suggests huge fire blankets can help protect homes during wildfires.

As temperatures plummet, some hemp farmers in Southern Colorado are worried about how the first freeze will affect a crop that is especially sensitive to cold. 

Last updated Sat., Oct 19, 7:45 a.m.

At last update, officials say the blaze has grown to 8,694 acres and remains 30 percent contained. Officials says current cost of fighting the fire has reached $16.4 million.

Earlier this week, authorities in Chaffee County have lifted additional evacuation notices for some residents living near the Decker Fire. As of 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, evacuations for CR 101, Bear Creek were shifted to a pre-evacuation status.

Officials say CR 101 will remain closed to traffic, with the exception of residents living on the road. CR 108 remains closed to all traffic, with the exception of residents of Boot Hill and Methodist Estates.

On Tuesday, the evacuation notice for Chaffee County residents of Silverheels Drive and directly west of there was reverted to pre-evacuation status. 

In Fremont County, residents of Swissvale and Wellsville were be allowed to return to their homes earlier this week, but remain on pre-evacuation notice.

 

As the Bureau of Land Management pilots a new livestock grazing initiative on public lands in six Western states, a conservation group is suing to get the agency to release more information about the program.

We know the climate crisis affects public health. But what do those health impacts cost us?

A Fort Carson-based soldier has died in an overseas training-related incident in South Korea.

Wildfire is a continual threat in the West, but researchers say an invasive species of grass that’s taking hold in states like Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada could make things worse.

Updated 2:13 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019

The Decker Fire burning near Salida is nearing 6500 acres, but now has 14 percent of the perimeter contained. Nearly 900 personnel are actively working the fire.

Our region is leading the way on training helicopter pilots to fight fires at night.  There are costs and hazards involved but the move could also help firefighters get the most threatening blazes under control more quickly.

A ceremony Monday at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs marked the official re-opening of the U.S. Space Command. 

Last month, the Trump administration said it would start deporting gravely ill immigrants here temporarily for medical care. This week, it backtracked a little. But 20 Attorneys General sent a letter to the administration saying they’re not satisfied. 

Communities in the lower Arkansas River Valley have had issues with drinking water for years, including discoloration and poor taste. Recent data shows that two dozen water systems in the valley contain radioactive contaminants and are in violation of the Clean Water Act. There’s a possible solution though — the Arkansas Valley Conduit. It’s a pipeline that would deliver cleaner water from Pueblo Reservoir to the rest of the region. It’s been in the works for decades but has yet to be completely funded.

The recent court ruling that held the pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson, accountable for its role in Oklahoma’s opioid crisis could influence some of the pending lawsuits seeking to hold energy companies accountable for their role in the climate crisis. That includes one case in the Mountain West.

You might not know it but there’s a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture whose job includes killing wild animals – to the tune of millions each year.  It used to be called Animal Damage Control. Now it’s simply called Wildlife Services. Depending on who you talk to, the agency is controversial and secretive or, well-managed and essential.

Around 100 peaceful demonstrators gathered Saturday morning near downtown Colorado Springs to march in protest against police brutality. 

For the first time ever, a congressional committee held a field hearing on the climate crisis. And it happened this week right here in the Mountain West — in Boulder, Colorado. 

It’s no secret that wildfires are getting worse in the West. They’re threatening lives, homes and ecosystems. And they are also threatening our already-precarious watersheds. It’s all becoming a vicious cycle  — especially for the drier parts of our region. 

Outdoor recreation offices in the West are spearheading a national network to promote the industry along with The National Governors Association.  

It’s well-established that injecting wastewater from oil and gas operations deep into the ground can cause earthquakes. New research shows that in some cases those earthquakes can keep happening long after an injection. 

Some state birds across our region are in peril, according to a new report on the condition of North American Grasslands.

The Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Field Office is seeking public comment on a draft management plan for 658,000 acres of public lands in Eastern Colorado, including land along the Arkansas River.

A recent study shows planting a trillion trees worldwide might be one of our best options for fighting climate change. 

Federal prosecutors have decided to bring border activist Scott Warren to trial for a second time. His case puts a spotlight on the murky legal boundaries of humanitarian aid at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The last place you might expect to find a wolf is inside a public library, a place that doesn’t even allow pets in the door. 

But on an early summer day, Shaya, a so-called “wolf ambassador” was pacing the 4th floor of the downtown library in Pueblo, Colorado, surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd.

Colorado is one of the most recent states to enact a so-called red flag law, but a majority of counties here say they won't enforce it. Matt Vasilogambros is a reporter for Stateline, a news service funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. He's reported on similar laws in place across the country.

The law that governs today’s hardrock mines on public lands in the West is nearly 150 years old. New legislation this week from House Democrats would enact significant reforms. 

The backlog in U.S. immigration courts is now over 850,000 cases long. People can wait years for their hearings. And that can be a long time to pay for a lawyer and to make appearances in court. Both of these things can be much harder for immigrants living in rural and mountainous parts of the West.

According to the Census Bureau, Western towns with fewer than 5000 people have grown on average in recent years. Meanwhile, populations in similar sized towns in the Northeast and Midwest have gotten smaller.

Chronic wasting disease is crippling deer populations in the Mountain West, around the country and in bordering Canadian provinces. It's not a bacterium or a virus or even a fungus, but caused by something called a prion, a type of protein that all mammals have in their bodies.

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