Climate Change in the Four Corners

Discussions on the many different perspectives on the implications of climate uncertainty.

The American pika, small, high-elevation mammals, are considered an indicator species for detecting the ecological effects of climate change in mountain environments. KSJD's Melissa Betrone talks with Marcie Bidwell and Adrienne Antonsen from the Mountain Studies Institute about this animal and why researchers are looking carefully at its habitat to learn more about climate change.

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As drought conditions continue in the Four Corners area, fire agencies and homeowners are preparing for a bad wildfire season. KSJD's Tom Yoder talks with Rebecca Samulski, the Wildfire Education Specialist for the Montezuma County Fire Chiefs Association, about the current status of wildfire conditions, how climate change is factoring into wildfire planning, and what you can do to be ready in the event of a wildfire near you.

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In part two of a series on water issues, host Sarah Syverson talks with Ken Curtis of the Dolores Water Conservancy District about the history of water projects in southwest Colorado, irrigation water availability in the upcoming growing season, and how large producers are adapting to drought conditions. 

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Winter snowfall across the Four Corners area has people many feeling more optimistic about water supply for irrigators during the upcoming growing season. KSJD's Melissa Betrone talks with Don Magnuson of the Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company about how our winter precipitation is measuring up to the demands that irrigators will have on water resources during the 2013 growing season. 

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Few studies have been done that examine climate change in southwest Colorado and how environments and species in mountain regions are being affected. KSJD's Tom Yoder talks with Marcie Demmy Bidwell from the Mountain Studies Institute about their recent study on climate change that was focused on the San Juan mountains, and how rural communities that are connected to mountain ecosystems are being considered as the nation-wide conversation on climate change intensifies. Originally aired  February 6th, 2013.

The effect of climate change on the Dolores River and the possibility of lower spring runoff could deeply impact the boating community as the likelihood of a spill from McPhee Reservoir for recreation could be more and more in doubt. Jay Loschert and Andy Hutchinson from Dolores River Boating Advocates talk to KSJD's Tom Yoder about how they are anticipating issues related to climate change and whitewater recreation. 

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Mercury contamination in southwest Colorado is an issue that has been identified but is not well understood. KSJD's Tom Yoder talks with Dr. Joseph Ryan, professor of environmental engineering at CU Boulder about research that is being done on mercury and its effect on the soils and waters of southwest Colorado.

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KSJD's Tom Yoder abd Bob Bragg, host of Ag Markets & More and former agriculture management teacher, discusss the uncertainty of precipitation in the region, and how water scarcity could affect agricultural and livestock producers and municipal water users.

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