If the sight of thousands marching on Denver’s Capitol on Friday to spur action on climate change told us anything, it’s that more and more people are looking for tangible ways to make a difference when it comes to fighting for the future of our planet.
In today’s Denver Post, environmental reporter Bruce Finley takes a look at the work of volunteers in western Colorado who are doing their part by moving one large rock at a time. These crews are building – by hand – so-called “one-rock dams,” small structures designed to slow the erosion that’s accelerating under the state’s climate shift toward hotter temperatures, less snow and hard rain that depletes soil.
It’s small-scale work, yet it’s making a difference. U.S. Forest Service biologist Matt Vasquez says: “Incrementally, these add up to slowing down water, stopping the erosion, healing these meadows.”
– Matt Sebastian, Denver Post enterprise editor
Volunteers Jacob Scott and Sara Hatch move a big rock to help armor the sides of a streambed on Sept. 14 on Black Sage Pass. (Nina Riggio, Special to the Denver Post)
Five of The Denver Post’s best stories this week
Farmland and silos cover much of the San Luis Valley, pictured near Hooper. (Joe Amon, Denver Post file)
An intensifying water battle in the San Luis Valley reflects the rising tensions and inequities across the arid western United States, where water and control over water looms as a primary factor of power, Bruce Finley reports. Thirsty Castle Rock, Parker, Castle Pines and other south metro Denver suburbs, where household incomes top $110,000 and development has depleted the groundwater, can marshal assets that dwarf those of farmers in the San Luis Valley, where families’ average income is less than $35,000.
RELATED: West wrestles with Colorado River “grand bargain” as changing climate depletes water governed by 1922 compact
Protesters head to the Colorado Capitol for a Global Climate Strike rally from Union Station on Friday morning. Dozens of youth-led rallies took place across Colorado, throughout the country and around the world. (Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post)
Colorado students walked out of their classrooms as part of a global movement to bring attention to the need for action on climate change, Elizabeth Hernandez and James Burky report. They were joined by supportive adults, environmental organizations, parents, families and the scorching September sun that reminded them why they were there.
Friday’s Global Climate Strike inspired dozens of youth-led movements to spring up across the state from Salida to Colorado Springs to Breckenridge. The Colorado protests joined others across the country and the globe intended to raise awareness about sustaining the future of the planet.
PHOTOS: Student-led Global Climate Strike marches through Denver
This photo showing four Colorado State University freshmen posing in blackface circulated on Twitter, Facebook and other social media, fueling outrage on the Fort Collins campus.
Colorado State University has had a turbulent start to the fall semester, the opening of Joyce McConnell’s first academic year at the helm of the Fort Collins campus. It began when this photo spread over social media like wildfire, Elizabeth Hernandez reports.
Neighbors, community organizers and police hold hands for a prayer Wednesday on Lackland Place in Denver. (Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post)
Neighbors, community organizers and police gathered Wednesday night on Lackland Place to discuss the recent violence and vent their frustrations. Some residents were angry at the police — for not patrolling the street often, not coming fast enough when called, or not coming at all. Other longtime residents said they were looking to move. They didn’t feel safe there anymore, Elise Schmelzer reports.
Pueblo Chiles are roasted at Milberger Farm on Sept. 12 in Pueblo. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)
Dozens of farmers around Pueblo are harvesting late-season red peppers, roasting them at roadside stands and filling the air with pungent smoke before packing chiles up in knotted bags for travelers, freezing them for later or shipping to grocery stores and restaurants, Josie Sexton reports.
But just 100 miles north, in Denver, you’ll find only scattered traces of all the Colorado chile excitement.
RELATED: What is the difference between Hatch and Pueblo chiles?
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+ The Denver Post is holding a teen essay contest. You, or someone you know, should enter.
Photo of the week
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke addresses people on the front steps of the Aurora Municipal Center on Thursday. The presidential hopeful and former Texas congressman addressed issues from gun control to immigration. Read more about his visit here. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)