San Juan County Photographer Documents Dying Junipers

One of the icons of a southwestern landscape is mysteriously dying across the Four Corners.

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When Club 20 holds its gubernatorial debate on Sept. 8, just one of the major candidates will be there: Republican Walker Stapleton. That's triggered a different debate: How much does it matter to Colorado's Western Slope voters that Democrat Jared Polis won't be there? One local Democratic leader says it matters a great deal.

Colorado is called “the mother of  rivers” for a reason: it’s one of the most popular states for river rafting in the country.  But like the rest of our region, unprecedented growth, a changing climate, drought, and wildfires are taking their toll on this multi-million-dollar industry.

Tim Peterson

The Bureau of Land Management cleared an expansion for Energy Fuels’ Daneros Mine earlier this year. Now, two conservationist groups are moving to stop it. 

Austin Cope

Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 will not move forward with a mill levy for November after months of talks and a reevaluation of a previous attempt. 

The Colorado River is running low on water. The lifeline that slakes the thirst of 40 million southwestern residents is projected to hit a historic low mark within two years, forcing mandatory cuts to water deliveries in Arizona, Nevada and Mexico.   

Facing exceptional drought conditions, cities throughout the watershed this summer have imposed mandatory water restrictions, ranchers have begun selling off cows they’re unable to feed, and the river’s reservoirs are headed toward levels not seen since they filled decades ago.

Courtesy of Dolores School District

A Montezuma County deputy allegedly made inappropriate remarks about school safety during a visit assessing security measures at Dolores Elementary School and High School. 

Austin Cope

Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company announced a tentative water shut-off for August 29 — a decision rumored among shareholders and farmhands since the start of the month. 

Courtesy of the Apple Core Project

Western San Miguel and Montrose Counties, which edge up against the Utah border in a vast patchwork of red rock canyons, juniper forests and sage-covered mesas, are better known for their extractive pasts than their fruit production. 

Low water levels on the Colorado River could force water shortages in Arizona, Nevada and Mexico in 2020, according to a new forecast from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

A shortage on the river is tied to the level of its main reservoir, Lake Mead near Las Vegas, Nevada. If the lake drops past an elevation of 1,075 feet, water users downstream have to start cutting back how much water they use. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation projects the lake to drop below that level next year, triggering water cutbacks in 2020.

Courtesy of Phil for Colorado

Colorado is one of the most purple states in the country with roughly one million registered voters in each group: Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated. November’s election will serve as another test in how far left Colorado is willing to go. 

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A podcast connecting the experiences of Ancestral Puebloans from the Mesa Verde Region with people today