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Return of wolves leads to aspen resurgence in Yellowstone

Return of wolves leads to aspen resurgence in Yellowstone

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Predator restoration stirs the ecosystem pot

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Long term ecological monitoring in Yellowstone National Park shows a surge in aspen growth following the restoration of wolves to the ecosystem, with overall shifts in landscape conditions not seen in more than a century.

A series of studies show the recovery of vegetation as elk numbers drop, a decline driven by the return…

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Climate: Polar paradox?
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September trend for Arctic sea ice extent is down, down, down. Courtesy NSIDC.

Arctic sea ice bottoms out; Antarctic sea ice hits new high

Staff Report

FRISCO — Even without remarkably warm weather patterns across the Arctic, summer sea ice dropped to the sixth-lowest extent on record this year, while at the other end of the Earth, sea ice around Antarctica swelled to a record extent.

Through…

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Environment: Pharmaceutical pollutants elude water treatment, make their way into groundwater

Environment: Pharmaceutical pollutants elude water treatment, make their way into groundwater

This Meadow Creek, a wild, free-flowing stream that starts in the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area and ends up flowing right past our house before its confluence with Dillon Reservoir, where it's wild no more.

How pure is your groundwater?

Iowa stream sampling shows common drugs turning up in well water

Staff Report

FRISCO — Research in a small stream near Des Moines, Iowa shows how pharmaceuticals and other hard-to-remove pollutants from treated municipal wastewater can travel into shallow groundwater following their release to streams.

“Water level measurements obtained during this study clearly show…

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Unlocking the secrets of truffle aroma

Unlocking the secrets of truffle aroma

Scientists say soil microbes key to fungi’s distinctive aroma

An Oregon white truffle, courtesy Oregon State University

An Oregon white truffle, courtesy Oregon State University

Staff Report

FRISCO — Mushroom season may be over the Colorado high country, but in parts of Europe, it’s the peak of the truffle season, as hundreds of gourmets scour oak forests to find the fragrant buried fungi, often with the help of animals.

Now scientists say that the…

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Climate: Southern Ocean layering could lead to big Antarctica meltdown along with surge in sea level rise

‘The big question is whether the ice sheet will react to these changing ocean conditions as rapidly as it did 14,000 years ago’

The ice fields of Antarctica

The ice fields of Antarctica. bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO — A stratification of the ocean around Antarcticacould lead to more rapid melting of ice sheets, triggering a sudden surge in sea level rise. That last time that happened was well before the global…

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Environment: Judge upholds EPA’s review of proposed Pebble Mine, near Bristol Bay, Alaska

Environment: Judge upholds EPA’s review of proposed Pebble Mine, near Bristol Bay, Alaska

Salmon fisheries at risk with open-pit mine proposal

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The EPA will be allowed to do a thorough evaluation of the impacts of a proposed copper mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, a federal judge has ruled.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — A federal judge Friday ruled that the EPA can proceed with an environmental review of a proposed copper mine in Alaska’ pristine Bristol Bay.

U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel…

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Congress eyes widespread public land pay-to-play fees
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More public land fees ahead?

‘Stealth’ bill pending in House after passing committee without a hearing

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — In a classic bit of stealth lawmaking, House Resources Committee chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) last month opened the door for more widespread recreation day use fees on federal lands.

Without a committee hearing, Hastings sent HR 5204 (The Federal Lands Recreation…

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Morning photo: Fall vibes

Morning photo: Fall vibes

New season …

Autumn rainclouds breaking up over Frisco, Colorado.

Autumn rainclouds lifting over Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — A spell of rainy days in the Colorado high country made for some spectacular morning and evening scenes, with pendulous gray clouds providing a great backdrop for the spectacle of changing leaves. It’s actually pretty hard to take a bad picture of fall colors, although when you’re pushing the envelope in low-light or high…

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Morning photo: Saturday set

Perfect morning

Roadside. Lower Blue Valley, Colorado.

Roadside. Lower Blue Valley, Colorado.

FRISCO — I made a pre-dawn start to try and set up in a good position to watch sunrise light up the Gore Range, then made a few roadside stops heading back toward Frisco. Today will be a very, very good day to check some fall colors in Colorado. There’s a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon, but if you’re a shutterbug, all the better —…

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Morning photo: Sweet September!

Transformation

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Aspen tapestry.

FRISCO — As if knowing that there are a couple of drab months ahead, Colorado’s aspen trees burst into full color this week in a magical transformation that never fails to amaze. In some cases, entire hillsides change over in just a day or two; in other areas, the shift takes a little longer, but the end result is the same. And with relatively calm and sunny weather…

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