Monday, August 7, 2017

Colorado in focus: How outdoor retailers are positioned as a political, economic and social force for change

By Watchdog News - August 07, 2017 at 07:25AM

The Denver Post: Power play: How outdoor retailers are positioned as a political, economic and social force for change

As the heavyweight Outdoor Retailer trade shows decamp for Colorado, the outdoor industry is wielding a newfound power.

Last month, as the trade show’s attendees wrapped their final stand in Salt Lake City after 20 years, thousands marched supporting public lands. Utah’s position on those lands — urging the federal government to downsize national monuments such as Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante — triggered the departure of Outdoor Retailer. Outdoor Retailer arrives in Denver in January, the first of five biannual gatherings that will establish Colorado as the command post for all things outdoor recreation.

Favoring public lands is an easy motivator. Everyone under the outdoor-recreation tent — a widely diverse lot including sportsmen, paddlers, campers, bikers, skiers, hikers, conservationists, retailers, gear makers and motorized users — can get behind a fight to defend access to well-protected and amply funded national forests, monuments and parks.

The challenge is capturing the growing political, economic and social clout, and maintaining that momentum as the industry emerges as a force for change beyond access and land protection.

The Denver Post: Permits show drilling and development are on collision course in northeastern Colorado

The clash between growing communities and oil and gas production in northeastern Colorado, heightened by a deadly home explosion last spring, will only intensify in coming years, a Denver Post analysis of drilling permits suggests.

The Post analyzed pending and approved drilling permits in and around the sprawling Wattenberg Field in Weld, Larimer, Boulder, Adams and Broomfield counties, and found that permits are being taken out in and near towns and other populated areas twice as often as in more remote rural areas.

Eight of the 10 fastest-growing towns and cities in the state and the two fastest-growing counties, Broomfield and Weld, are in the direct path of drilling. Larimer, Adams and Arapahoe — among the state’s fastest-growing counties — have permits pending and drilling rigs at work.

“We are trying to get to a place where everybody can co-exist. That is the purpose and the goal,” said Debbie Chummy, town manager of Keenesburg. The town has 67 permits approved or pending in the surrounding area and is protesting one driller’s permit over concerns about increased noise, dust and truck traffic.

Fox 31: AG Sessions has “serious concerns” on marijuana regulations in letter to Governor Hickenlooper

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote a letter to Governor John Hickenlooper questioning how Colorado regulates marijuana.

Sessions has taken a hardline stance against marijuana legalization since his appointment as Attorney General.

In the two-page letter, Sessions points to “serious concerns” about public health and safety.

The letter includes findings from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area report, which claims increases in highway patrol marijuana seizures, youth pot use, traffic deaths and emergency department visits since the state legalized marijuana in 2014.

The letter concludes with Sessions asking how Colorado plans to address the serious findings in the HIDTA report.