Fish Creek Road runs along the eastern edge of Estes Park, Colorado – or at least it used to. The recent record rainfall of September 2013 flooded Fish Creek proper, washing away entire segments of the roadway that runs alongside it – more than three miles of roadway, according to
Tag Archive: Colorado
With the frequency and intensity of wildfires on the rise, communities and policymakers in the West are faced with the cost of loss and the strain of rebuilding. But one conversation that is not happening in the public sphere is whether we should be rebuilding – or building at all – in the dangerous fire-prone zone known as the Wildland-Urban Interface, or the WUI. The Stand’s Christi Turner spoke with Ray Rasker, director of Headwaters Economics, a leading independent research institute specializing in major land management issues in the West, including wildfire. Rasker emphasized the need to broaden the discourse to a national level and to address both the part of the WUI that is already developed, and more importantly, the large portion of the WUI still vulnerable to future development.
While the fracking boom in Colorado raises public concerns of a water bust, a balance may be possible.
“It’s all reusable,” said Reagan Waskom, director of the Colorado Water Institute and the Colorado State University Water Center. “It’s just a question of what it costs to do it.”
In the third lecture in the “FrackingSENSE” lecture series on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder on Tuesday, Waskom put the water debate in context for fracking, telling the standing-room-only audience that finding ways to conserve water throughout the fracking process is key to sustainability, and a balance between community needs and energy needs. He also reminded the audience that in Colorado, agriculture uses a much higher percentage of water than fracking. Hydraulic fracturing, or the injection of water mixed with trace chemicals into shale in order to extract natural gas deposits, is indeed a water-intensive procedure; but Waskom argued that perhaps a different perspective was needed on just how much water is “a lot.”
With Amendment 64 ratified, pot smokers around Colorado can exhale a sigh of relief and finally, legally, inhale.
But they can’t get high any time—especially not before getting on the highway.
Fearing more stoned drivers on the road, some are seeking to legislate a per se limit for marijuana: the minimum amount of marijuana in the blood that would determine when a person is legally too high to drive.
“The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act,” Amendment 64’s full name, doesn’t change the existing DUID law—driving under the influence of drugs—as it relates to marijuana. For all substances but alcohol, DUID convictions rely on observed signs of impairment during sobriety tests performed by trained law enforcement. By contrast, drunk-driving convictions are determined by a per se law that mandates an automatic DUI conviction if a breathalyzer and blood test show a blood alcohol level above .08—a law not without its own controversy. Experts warn that the way cannabis behaves in the body makes even less of a case for setting a per se limit, as there seems to be no consistent, direct relationship between impairment and measurable levels of marijuana in the blood. Yet if such a per se limit were passed, exceeding it would mean an automatic DUID conviction.