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Ecology

Land, Labor, Leisure: An Introduction to the Ecology Section

Added by yongli on 01/27/2017 - 13:13, last changed on 08/26/2017 - 15:55
The environmental history of Colorado is a story of the interplay among land, labor, and leisure. By land, I mean the summation of all the things in the environment that Coloradans did not make: the climate , topography, sunshine, soil fertility, minerals, plants, animals, germs, water, and more...

1976 Winter Olympics

Added by yongli on 07/29/2016 - 11:15, last changed on 08/25/2017 - 07:36
In the early 1960s, Governor John A. Love and other business leaders worked to bring the 1976 Winter Olympics to Colorado. Despite winning the bid from the International Olympic Committee in 1970, the voters of Colorado decided not to fund the winter games, causing the event to be moved to...

Agricultural Extension Service

Added by yongli on 08/21/2015 - 13:57, last changed on 09/02/2017 - 01:07
The agricultural extension service in Colorado (1887–present) links individuals, organizations, and communities with research experts to address agrarian issues. These issues encompass rural problems associated with farming and ranching, as well as urban topics such as cooperative gardens and...

Animas River

Added by yongli on 02/29/2016 - 16:32, last changed on 10/13/2017 - 10:18
Until recently, the Animas River—known in Spanish as “El Río de las Ánimas,” or “The River of Lost Souls”—was one of only a few undammed rivers in southwestern Colorado. The Upper Animas River Canyon bears the legacy of the longest hard-rock mining operations in southwestern Colorado. The mineral-...

Arthur Lakes

Added by yongli on 05/03/2017 - 14:22, last changed on 08/25/2017 - 07:36
Arthur Lakes (1844–1917) was an English naturalist who discovered dinosaur bones near Morrison in 1877, setting off the “dinosaur bone rush” in Colorado and the American West. Additionally, his research on mineral deposits and extraction methods proved essential to the region’s mining industry. An...

Beatrice Willard

Added by yongli on 02/03/2017 - 13:27, last changed on 10/05/2017 - 01:07
Dr. Beatrice Willard (1925–2003) was an internationally recognized tundra ecologist who made significant contributions to environmental policy in Colorado and the nation. Her research in the Colorado mountains established her as a well-known ecologist, educator, and negotiator. Early...

Beaver

Added by yongli on 08/01/2016 - 14:28, last changed on 09/06/2017 - 01:07
The North American beaver ( Castor canadensis ) is native to Colorado, and its role as both an environmental engineer and a keystone species has profoundly impacted the state’s ecology and history. Although their populations today are low, beavers continue to shape Colorado’s environments. ...

Bighorn Sheep

Added by yongli on 05/09/2016 - 15:43, last changed on 09/02/2017 - 01:07
The Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep ( Ovis Canadensis ) is one of four native sheep species that inhabit the North American continent and the only one that resides in Colorado. Bighorn sheep play a key role in bringing tourist and revenue into the state. Characteristics and Habits ...

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Added by yongli on 02/03/2017 - 13:31, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 01:07
Two thousand feet deep, forty-eight miles long, and two million years old, western Colorado’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison is one of the most stunning geologic features in the American West. The fourteen miles along the Gunnison River have been protected as a national park since 1999, drawing more...

Boulder Flood of 1894

Added by yongli on 08/15/2016 - 14:28, last changed on 08/25/2017 - 08:27
The 1894 Boulder flood was a natural disaster that reshaped the landscape of Boulder County , wiping out some communities and forcing others to come together to rebuild. Like other extreme weather events, the 1894 deluge played an integral role in the development of the affected communities. Some,...

Browns Canyon National Monument

Added by yongli on 03/11/2016 - 11:06, last changed on 08/30/2017 - 01:07
On February 19, 2015, President Obama designated 21,586 acres of scenic canyons, rivers, and backcountry forest in Chaffee County , Colorado, as the Browns Canyon National Monument. Browns Canyon is the eighth national monument designation within the state of Colorado. It provides visitors with...

Bureau of Reclamation in Colorado

Added by yongli on 05/12/2016 - 16:53, last changed on 09/04/2017 - 01:07
The United States Reclamation Service, later renamed the Bureau of Reclamation, was created in 1902 to advance settlement of the West through construction of large dams, reservoirs, canals, and other projects. Since then, the service has played an important role in the development of Colorado’s...

Cannabis (marijuana)

Added by yongli on 02/02/2017 - 16:10, last changed on 08/30/2017 - 01:07
Cannabis ( Cannabis sativa , Cannabis indica ) is a cultivated annual herb. In Colorado it is best known for producing the medicinal and recreational drug “marijuana,” but it is also grown for a variety of other products, including seed oil, rope, ointments, and clothing. The cannabis...

Chronic Wasting Disease

Added by yongli on 08/02/2016 - 15:37, last changed on 09/06/2017 - 01:07
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a contagious neurological disease that affects members of the deer family, causing erratic behavior and weight loss that eventually results in death. CWD is classified as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), a family of diseases that includes bovine...

Clear Creek Canyon

Added by yongli on 05/17/2016 - 13:26, last changed on 09/01/2017 - 01:07
Clear Creek flows from the Continental Divide at Loveland Pass, eastward through a deep and wide glacial valley down to Idaho Springs , where the valley narrows and the stream gradient increases as it enters narrow, relatively undeveloped Clear Creek Canyon. Through Clear Creek Canyon the stream...

Colorado Climate

Added by yongli on 04/27/2017 - 16:20, last changed on 08/25/2017 - 11:13
Colorado’s combination of high elevation, midlatitude, and continental interior geography results in a cool, dry, and invigorating climate. The average annual temperature for the state is 43.5 degrees Fahrenheit (F), which is 13.7 degrees below the global mean. The average statewide precipitation...

Colorado Fisheries

Added by yongli on 12/29/2015 - 11:47, last changed on 10/13/2017 - 10:12
Colorado, home to the headwaters of the Colorado River , the Arkansas River , the Rio Grande , and the South Platte River , offers a diverse palette of fisheries to the angler and nature enthusiast. The most iconic of these fishing opportunities are those related to trout in the mountain streams...

Colorado Foundation for Water Education

Added by yongli on 05/18/2016 - 16:20, last changed on 09/02/2017 - 01:07
In Colorado, water is a valuable and limited resource, and competition is only becoming more of a challenge. That’s why the Colorado Foundation for Water Education (CFWE), a non-advocacy nonprofit organization, works statewide to promote increased understanding of water resources so Coloradans can...

Colorado Geology

Added by yongli on 06/24/2016 - 14:26, last changed on 09/17/2017 - 01:07
The Earth beneath the rugged mountains and serene plains of Colorado records an ancient saga. Broad tropical seas teemed with life, while reptiles roamed on shore. Continents converged and collided, building massive mountains, only to be torn apart by the movements of colossal tectonic plates...

Colorado Mountain Club

Added by yongli on 06/15/2016 - 11:33, last changed on 09/06/2017 - 01:07
The Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) has been a potent force in shaping environmentalism in Colorado. Its members developed an intimate relationship with nature through the CMC’s conservation work and recreational activities. The CMC’s appreciation of wilderness, a legacy of early environmental...

Colorado National Monument

Added by yongli on 01/23/2017 - 16:17, last changed on 09/02/2017 - 01:07
On May 24, 1911, President William Howard Taft established Colorado National Monument in Mesa County , near Grand Junction . Today the monument, one of eight in Colorado, encompasses more than 20,000 acres of sandstone cliffs and monoliths, scenic canyons, and sparse vegetation. The area draws...

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Added by yongli on 05/03/2016 - 16:02, last changed on 08/25/2017 - 11:13
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is the state agency that manages wildlife and oversees outdoor recreation in Colorado. The agency operates the state park system, administers hunting and fishing licenses, conducts research on chronic wasting disease and other subjects related to maintaining...

Colorado River

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Added by Greg Vogl on 08/01/2014 - 09:38, last changed on 10/12/2017 - 13:17
The Colorado is the premier river of the American Southwest. Rising in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming, this river and its tributaries provide water and hydroelectric power for nearly 35 million people in the United States and Mexico, as well as habitat for several fish species found only in...

Colorado Water Institute

Added by yongli on 04/03/2017 - 16:10, last changed on 08/25/2017 - 11:13
The Colorado Water Institute (CWI), an affiliate of Colorado State University (CSU) since 1965, exists for the express purpose of focusing the expertise of higher education on evolving water concerns and problems in the Centennial State. History Formerly known as the Colorado Water Resources...

Colorado–Big Thompson Project

Added by yongli on 08/15/2016 - 13:27, last changed on 08/25/2017 - 11:13
The Colorado–Big Thompson Project (C–BT) is the largest transmountain water diversion in the state of Colorado. Built between 1938 and 1956, the C–BT Project provides supplemental water for municipal, industrial, and irrigation purposes in northeastern Colorado. Water from the C–BT Project also...

Colorado’s New Energy Economy

Added by yongli on 02/06/2017 - 16:14, last changed on 09/03/2017 - 01:07
The term New Energy Economy refers to the transition of a state’s energy economy from one based purely on fossil fuels to one that includes a higher percentage of renewable energy sources. State-level energy policies have been the primary force moving the United States toward a greener economy, and...

Delph E. Carpenter

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Added by Greg Vogl on 02/17/2015 - 16:44, last changed on 08/25/2017 - 18:16
Lawyer, state senator, and interstate streams commissioner, Delph E. Carpenter (1877-1951) had lasting impact on Colorado and the western United States through his concept of river compacts. In persuading other states to negotiate the first interstate river-sharing agreement, Carpenter was...

Denver Mountain Parks

Added by yongli on 03/01/2016 - 15:24, last changed on 09/20/2017 - 01:07
The Denver Mountain Park system consists of forty-six public parks that are home to some of the most popular mountain destinations near Denver , including Red Rocks , William “Buffalo Bill” Cody ’s Grave, Evergreen Lake, Lookout Mountain , and Echo Lake . This distinctive system of parks,...

Early Irrigation in Denver

Added by yongli on 08/11/2016 - 15:16, last changed on 08/25/2017 - 20:18
Like most places in the arid American West, Denver could not possibly sustain itself without water from irrigation systems. While easy to overlook, disputes over water rights began with the onset of irrigation and persist to the present day. Today, though most of Denver’s original canals have been...

Echo Park Dam Controversy

Added by yongli on 08/20/2015 - 13:18, last changed on 08/25/2017 - 20:18
The controversy over the proposed Echo Park dam in the mid-1950s was a crucial episode in the conservation history of Colorado and the West and proved to be a milestone in American environmental history. Following years of debate, the US Congress decided not to authorize the dam, signifying the...

Elk Culling

Added by yongli on 05/10/2016 - 10:56, last changed on 09/02/2017 - 01:07
Culling is a wildlife management practice involving the lethal reduction of a species. It has historically been used as a means to control ungulate (hoofed animal) populations in Colorado and throughout the United States. As recently as 2009, it has been used in combination with other population...

Ellis Meredith

Added by yongli on 09/11/2015 - 15:43, last changed on 08/25/2017 - 20:33
Standing less than five feet tall and weighing around 100 pounds, Ellis Meredith was a tiny woman, but she took large strides to improve life for the women of Colorado. The daughter of a well-known suffragette and pioneer resident of Montana, Emily R. Meredith, Ellis understood the importance of...

Enos Mills

Added by yongli on 10/06/2016 - 16:21, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 01:07
As a boy and as a man, Enos Mills (1870–1922) lived a remarkable life. His bond with nature and wildlife inspired him to overcome personal hardship and become a successful speaker, author, naturalist, businessman, and driving force behind the creation of Rocky Mountain Natio n al Park . Today,...

Estella Bergere Leopold

Added by yongli on 09/16/2015 - 14:59, last changed on 09/03/2017 - 01:07
Dr. Estella Leopold is a world-renowned paleobotanist who helped spearhead the 1969 fight to save Florissant Fossil Beds in Florissant, Colorado. She was the recipient of several awards during her career, including Conservationist of the Year (1969) from the Colorado Wildlife Federation, the Keep...

Flooding in Colorado

Added by yongli on 08/15/2016 - 16:19, last changed on 09/03/2017 - 01:07
Coloradans have maintained a complex relationship with the natural process of flooding. On one hand, inhabitants of the arid West—from early indigenous communities to current metropolitan populations—have been attracted to the many resources floodplains provide. On the other hand, periodic...

Glaciers

Added by yongli on 05/06/2016 - 15:50, last changed on 09/06/2017 - 01:07
Snow in the high country sometimes accumulates faster than it melts, leading to the formation and continuation of glaciers. Colorado is home to seven glacial regions that reside mainly in central and northern Colorado. Each area sustains unique ecosystems and watersheds crucial to nature and humans...

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Added by yongli on 03/31/2017 - 16:17, last changed on 09/17/2017 - 01:07
The Great Sand Dunes sprawl along the eastern fringes of the vast San Luis Valley of south central Colorado, covering an area of nearly thirty square miles. They are the tallest aeolian (wind-produced) dunes in North America, heaping mounds of sand that tower more than 700 feet above the valley...

Gunnison River

Added by yongli on 05/06/2016 - 15:25, last changed on 09/06/2017 - 01:07
The Gunnison River is a major tributary of the Colorado River , contributing about one-third of the Colorado’s flow at the Colorado-Utah state line. The basin drained by the Gunnison stretches from alpine meadows and forests along the Continental Divide to the arid canyon country around Grand...

High Country News

Added by yongli on 03/14/2016 - 15:03, last changed on 09/02/2017 - 01:07
High Country News (HCN) is a nonprofit, independent media organization covering issues that define the American West. Based in the small western Colorado town of Paonia , High Country News publishes a biweekly newsmagazine as well as a variety of digital and print media. HCN is widely regarded as...

Irrigation in Colorado

Added by yongli on 02/03/2017 - 11:48, last changed on 08/26/2017 - 15:28
The tension between aridity and irrigated agriculture has been a defining characteristic of Colorado for much of its modern history. On average, the state receives less than fifteen inches of annual precipitation, making it the seventh driest state in the country. To complicate matters, the...

Jesse Nusbaum

Added by yongli on 04/27/2017 - 12:35, last changed on 08/26/2017 - 15:28
Jesse Nusbaum (1887–1975) was an early National Park Service (NPS) employee, historian, archaeologist, restoration specialist, and author active in Colorado and New Mexico in the early 1900s. As superintendent of Mesa Verde National Park , he imbued the fledgling National Park Service with a new...

Land and Resource Management in Colorado

Added by yongli on 01/23/2017 - 16:21, last changed on 08/26/2017 - 15:55
The ideologies of conservation and preservation have profoundly shaped Colorado’s physical landscapes and continue to shape Coloradans’ attitudes toward nature. Agencies such as Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the United States Forest Service (USFS), multiple-use agencies, oversee the use and...

Lewis B. France

Added by yongli on 09/21/2016 - 13:55, last changed on 08/26/2017 - 15:55
Lewis B. France (1833–1907) was a nationally renowned nature writer in the late 1800s and early 1900s, best known for his works on fly-fishing. France represented an emerging trend in the American West—the melding of natural resource utilization, tourism, and boosterism to create the industry known...

Longs Peak

Added by yongli on 07/27/2015 - 15:41, last changed on 09/02/2017 - 01:07
Longs Peak is an icon of the Rocky Mountain landscape. At 14,259 feet, it is one of Colorado’s tallest mountains, the only Fourteener in Rocky Mountain National Park . For more than a century, the mountain has inspired adventuresome men and women to test themselves against its bouldered slopes,...

Mary Cronin

Added by yongli on 09/21/2016 - 14:04, last changed on 08/26/2017 - 16:15
Mary Cronin (1893–1982) was an active member of the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) and the first woman to summit each of Colorado’s Fourteeners . Today, Cronin is best known for her accomplishments in the backcountry, and the CMC she helped develop continues its tradition of guiding people into the...

Moose

Added by yongli on 02/21/2017 - 15:32, last changed on 08/26/2017 - 20:55
Moose ( Alces alces shirasi ) are the largest member of the deer family, with individuals reaching weights of between 800 and 900 pounds. The subspecies of moose found in Colorado, as well as throughout the southern Rocky Mountains , is the Shiras subspecies. This subspecies is smaller than that of...

Morefield Mound

Added by yongli on 02/03/2017 - 13:18, last changed on 08/26/2017 - 20:55
Morefield Mound sits in the middle of the wide valley at the bottom of Morefield Canyon in Mesa Verde National Park . It served as a water supply for ancient Native Americans a thousand years ago, making it one of the earliest known domestic water-supply works in the United States. The reservoir...

Mountain Lion

Added by yongli on 02/21/2017 - 14:07, last changed on 08/26/2017 - 20:55
The mountain lion ( Puma concolor )—also known as the cougar and puma—is the largest wild felid, or member of the cat family, in Colorado. Mountain lions are obligate carnivores, meaning that only animal flesh can meet their bodies’ nutritional needs. They inhabit much of Colorado’s foothills and...

Mountain Pine Beetle

Added by yongli on 10/30/2015 - 13:46, last changed on 09/18/2017 - 01:07
Forests in central Colorado look very different today than they did twenty years ago: millions of trees have been killed by mountain pine beetles ( Dendroctonus ponderosae , fig. 1). The mountain pine beetle is a native insect that is roughly the size of a grain of rice (fig. 2), but large...

Mule Deer

Added by yongli on 02/21/2017 - 14:34, last changed on 08/27/2017 - 09:17
Mule deer ( Odocoilus hemionus ) belong to the Cervidae family, hoofed mammals that have antlers, which also include elk ( Cervus elaphus ), moose ( Alces alces ), and caribou ( Rangifer tarandus ). There are numerous sub-classifications of deer, but the most distinctive include mule deer and white...

Pikes Peak

Added by yongli on 06/24/2016 - 10:46, last changed on 10/12/2017 - 01:07
At the southern tip of Colorado’s Front Range , just west of the city of Colorado Springs , Pikes Peak is the most famous mountain in the state. The Fourteener is one of the most important peaks in Colorado history and plays an essential role in the state’s tourism industry. Standing 14...

Rocky Mountain Elk

Added by yongli on 08/02/2016 - 15:22, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 06:35
Rocky Mountain Elk ( Cervus canadensis nelsoni ) are large mammals in the deer family that live in Colorado’s forests. Revered as a symbol of the American West, they have played an important role in Colorado’s ecology and natural history. Each year, millions of people travel to Rocky Mountain...

Rocky Mountain National Park

Added by yongli on 10/21/2015 - 16:12, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 06:35
Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) has for a century been one of the country’s most visited national parks. Mountain vistas and wilderness solitude draw millions of people every year. The park lies between elevations of 7,000 and 14,259 feet, harboring plant communities ranging from grassland to...

Roger Wolcott Toll

Added by yongli on 08/03/2016 - 11:11, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 06:35
Roger Wolcott Toll (1883–1936) was a mountaineer, author, and early employee of the National Park Service (NPS), serving as superintendent of Mt. Rainier, Rocky Mountain , and Yellowstone National Parks before his untimely death in a car accident in 1936. Toll’s career is an example of effective...

Sage grouse

Added by yongli on 05/17/2016 - 11:07, last changed on 10/13/2017 - 10:10
Sage grouse are a group of chicken-sized birds with a unique breeding behavior and dependence on sagebrush shrubs (genus Artemisia ) for food and shelter throughout their life cycle. In the last century, human population expansion throughout western North America has reduced the amount of sagebrush...

San Juan Mountains

Added by yongli on 08/01/2016 - 15:16, last changed on 09/06/2017 - 01:07
The San Juan Mountains are the largest mountain range by area in the Centennial State, spanning thirteen counties in southwestern Colorado. In addition to being the home of the Ute Indians for hundreds of years, the mountains intrigued Spaniards , lured the prospectors of the Colorado Gold Rush ,...

San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council

Added by yongli on 02/03/2017 - 11:30, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 06:35
The San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council (SLVEC) helps to safeguard over 3.1 million acres of public lands and natural resources in the six counties comprising the San Luis Valley , noted for their unchanged landscapes, biological richness, early settlement traditions, and rural lifestyles. This...

Snow

Added by yongli on 05/06/2016 - 15:57, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 06:45
Colorado is known for its snow, which sustains the ski industry and supplies much of the water that flows into major rivers of the American West. Snow falls in the winter in all parts of Colorado, and the deepest snowpacks are in the high mountains crossing the center of . Snow Zones...

South Platte River

Added by yongli on 02/22/2017 - 13:13, last changed on 09/05/2017 - 15:22
The South Platte River flows from its headwaters in the Mosquito Range west of South Park across Colorado’s northeastern plains . From downtown Fairplay to the Nebraska border at Julesburg , its course through Colorado is approximately 380.3 miles. Today, water administrators and water...

Spring Creek Flood of 1997

Added by yongli on 10/22/2015 - 13:14, last changed on 10/13/2017 - 01:07
On July 28, 1997, the city of Fort Collins was inundated with the heaviest rains ever recorded in a Colorado urban area. During the peak of the storm, about six inches fell in an hour and a half. This caused Spring Creek, a tributary of the Cache la Poudre River , to rise thirty feet beyond its...

State Animal

Greg Vogl's picture
Added by Greg Vogl on 08/14/2014 - 08:22, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 06:51
The Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep , Ovis canadensis , was adopted as the official state animal on May 1, 1961 by an act of the General Assembly. The Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep is found only in the Rockies, usually above timberline in rugged mountainous areas. The male sheep is three to three and a...

State Bird

Greg Vogl's picture
Added by Greg Vogl on 02/17/2015 - 17:05, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 06:51
The Lark Bunting, Calamospiza melanocoryus Stejneger , was adopted as the official state bird on April 29, 1931. The Lark Bunting is a migrant bird. Flocks arrive in April and inhabit the plains regions and areas up to 8,000 feet in elevation. They fly south again in September. The male bird is...

State Fish

Greg Vogl's picture
Added by Greg Vogl on 02/13/2015 - 17:20, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 06:51
The Greenback Cutthroat Trout, Oncorhynchus clarkii somias , was adopted as the official state fish on March 15, 1994, by an act of the General Assembly. The Rainbow Trout was considered the state fish from 1954 until 1994 but was never officially adopted. The Greenback Cutthroat Trout was at one...

State Flower

Greg Vogl's picture
Added by Greg Vogl on 02/17/2015 - 17:28, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 06:51
The white and lavender Columbine, Aquilegia caerulea , was adopted as the official state flower on April 4, 1899 by an act of the General Assembly. In 1925, the General Assembly made it the duty of all citizens to protect this rare species from needless destruction or waste. To further protect this...

Sunflowers

Added by yongli on 05/10/2016 - 10:13, last changed on 09/02/2017 - 01:07
Sunflowers, several species of which are native to Colorado, are grown as ornamental garden plants, for their edible seeds, and as commercial crops for confection seeds and oil. Sunflowers offer many ecological and economic benefits to commercial agriculture because they demand few inputs, such as...

Telluride Flood of 1914

Added by yongli on 03/31/2017 - 14:59, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 07:25
On July 27, 1914, Telluride experienced several days of severe flooding following a cloudburst in the mountains above town. Remarkably, the destructive deluge killed only one person, and Telluride made a swift recovery, demonstrating the resilience of one of Colorado’s busiest mountain mining towns...

The Bee Family Farm

Added by yongli on 02/24/2016 - 15:25, last changed on 10/12/2017 - 13:26
The Bee Family Farm is a historic farm located between Fort Collins and Wellington. In operation as a working farm since 1894, it is now an outdoor museum that preserves and displays the family’s historic artifacts, buildings, and fields to help visitors experience the history of farming in...

The City Beautiful Movement in Denver

Added by yongli on 10/22/2015 - 16:06, last changed on 09/01/2017 - 01:07
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, the City Beautiful movement sought to create a livable urban environment with healthy and agreeable conditions and an abundance of recreational facilities in the midst of rapidly industrializing cities. Cities throughout Colorado undertook City Beautiful...

The Dust Bowl

Added by yongli on 05/09/2016 - 10:53, last changed on 09/02/2017 - 01:07
In the 1930s, eastern Colorado experienced the worst ecological disaster in the state’s history. Unsustainable farming practices and widespread drought transformed the once fertile Great Plains into a barren landscape, inhospitable to both humans and animals. The experience of the Dust Bowl...

Tuberculosis in Colorado

Added by yongli on 04/15/2015 - 14:06, last changed on 09/02/2017 - 01:07
Historians estimate that perhaps as many as one-third of Colorado’s early settlers moved to the state for reasons directly or indirectly associated with health. Most came because they believed the arid mountain climate could cure them of one of the nineteenth-century’s deadliest diseases:...

Uranium Mining

Added by yongli on 03/31/2017 - 16:12, last changed on 10/12/2017 - 01:07
Uranium mining in Colorado dates to the late nineteenth century, when uranium resources were discovered in the southwestern part of the state. The region’s Uravan Mineral Belt is rich in carnotite, the ore that produces uranium and vanadium. Both elements have various industrial and military...

US Forest Service in Colorado

Added by yongli on 03/01/2016 - 16:24, last changed on 09/29/2017 - 12:16
Colorado enjoys a proud public lands heritage and a prominent place in US Forest Service (USFS) history. The state hosts many of the first forests reserved under federal law, which today are some of the most popular destinations within the national forest system. Origins Following the removal of...

Water in Colorado

Added by yongli on 10/22/2015 - 16:35, last changed on 09/01/2017 - 01:07
Water has profoundly shaped Colorado’s past and will play a vital role in its future. The resource is essential to the state’s agriculture, cities, industries, energy supply, and environment. Furthermore, eighteen other states and parts of Mexico rely on waters from the mountains of Colorado, known...

Water Law

Added by yongli on 11/16/2015 - 14:26, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 08:01
Known collectively as “The Colorado Doctrine,” the state’s water laws arose primarily from the practice of farmers diverting water from streams through ditches onto irrigable land to grow food for homesteading families, miners, and growing towns. Territorial Law In 1861 the Colorado Territorial...

Water Resources Archive

Added by yongli on 02/03/2017 - 11:15, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 08:01
The only repository of its kind in the state, the Water Resources Archive at Colorado State University (CSU) focuses on preserving the documentation of Colorado’s water heritage. Issues and solutions surrounding water form a significant part of the semiarid state’s history. Colorado was the site of...

Wayne Aspinall

Added by yongli on 08/01/2016 - 14:56, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 08:01
At the memorial service for long-time congressman Wayne Aspinall in 1983, Colorado Governor Richard Lamm said, “you can’t take a drink of water in Colorado without remembering Wayne Aspinall.” Wayne Norviel Aspinall (1896–1983) was born in Ohio and moved with his family to Palisade , Colorado, in...

Wetlands and Riparian Areas

Added by yongli on 08/12/2016 - 16:25, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 08:01
Wetlands are ecosystems that are at least periodically saturated or inundated by water, creating unique habitats that support a wide variety of plant and animal species. Colorado wetlands include a diverse range of ecosystem types, each with distinctive plants and animals, hydrologic regimes, and...

Wildfire in Colorado

Added by yongli on 05/09/2016 - 15:25, last changed on 09/02/2017 - 01:07
Coloradans have coevolved with fire. From early Native Americans to Euro-American colonizers, to modern government agents, humans have influenced the direction of fire as much as fire has influenced the course of people. The fire-adapted landscapes we see in Colorado today are the direct result of...

Yampa River

Added by yongli on 02/02/2017 - 16:41, last changed on 09/05/2017 - 15:18
The Yampa River snakes 250 miles across northwestern Colorado, primarily in Routt and Moffat Counties. Its watershed encompasses approximately 8,000 square miles in Colorado and Wyoming; in Colorado, the river flows through Craig , Hayden , Milner , and Steamboat Springs , among other communities...

“Great American Desert”

Added by yongli on 09/30/2016 - 09:37, last changed on 08/31/2017 - 08:09
Early nineteenth century Army explorers Zebulon Pike and Stephen H. Long conceptualized the Great Plains east of the Rocky Mountains as the “Great American Desert.” Long’s report called it “unfit for cultivation,” while Pike compared it to “the sandy deserts of Africa.” The myth of the Great...
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