In Brief: Keeling Curve prize doubles; Reudi releases aim at river ice; agencies team up with wildfire

Keeling Curve Prize doubles

The Global Warming Mitigation Project announced that the total prize purse for the 2023 Keeling Curve Prize has doubled to $500,000.

A spokeswoman said that is thanks to a fundraising campaign that raised money from individuals and foundations committed to accelerating climate solutions and protecting the planet for
future generations.

The increased prize purse will allow the project to award $50,000 to two projects in each of the five categories: Energy, Finance, Carbon Sinks (natural & engineered), Transport & Mobility, and Social & Cultural Pathways.

Doubling the size of the KCP will provide nonprofits and companies with the funds to accelerate their progress — whether installing access to renewable energy, advancing
nature-based projects, piloting new technologies, or advancing other innovative
programs, according to the organization.

The spokesman said that, in addition to the monetary award, winners of the award receive support, including access to climate fellows and investment pathways to increase the capacity of their projects.

The 2023 Keeling Curve Prize is accepting applications from projects with a track record of replacing, reducing, and/or removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The deadline to submit applications is Thursday, Feb. 10.

Reudi releases aim to cut down on river ice

Colorado Water Trust and Roaring Fork Conservancy have teamed up with the Colorado River Water Conservation District and the Colorado Water Conservation Board to purchase and release water from Ruedi Reservoir to mitigate the impacts of anchor ice on the Fryingpan River.

On Friday, the first release of water from Ruedi Reservoir will begin. The project aims to release 1.26 billion gallons of water between Dec. 16 and March 1, 2023, to the Fryingpan River, maintaining flows around 65 cubic-feet-per-second to diminish ice buildup. 

Anchor ice is a natural occurrence but can have serious consequences on the hydrology of the river and the health of the ecosystem within, officials said. When there are low flows in the river during the cold winter months, large amounts of anchor ice can form on the bottom of the river, negatively impacting fish and macro-invertebrate function and diversity. Maintaining minimum winter flows increases ecological resilience in the river through mitigating the formation of the anchor ice and improving recovery from previous anchor ice impacts, officials said.        

The partners will monitor the flow levels in the Fryingpan River, water temperature, air temperature, and anchor-ice presence, from December through March. Anchor-ice survey results will be compared to previous two years to continue to observe trends and build a long-term data set.

“Roaring Fork Conservancy’s unique anchor-ice monitoring program will allow us to objectively document anchor ice over time. This allows us to continue to promote management of Ruedi Reservoir with local benefits in mind” says Rick Lofaro, executive director of Roaring Fork Conservancy. 

Roaring Fork agencies team up with wildfire cooperation

Understanding that wildfires do not recognize jurisdictional lines, 18 local, county, state, and federal agencies involved in wildfire mitigation and management in the Roaring Fork Valley have formalized their working relationship through the Roaring Fork Valley Wildfire Collaborative.

The agencies have signed a memorandum of understanding that establishes the group as an informal collaborative organization working together to identify, prioritize, and implement wildfire-mitigation work on a landscape scale in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The collaborative has been meeting since early this year. Collaborative participants have been working together to improve communication across the valley and identify and prioritize critical areas for fuel reduction.

“Because jurisdictional boundaries create challenges to effective fire mitigation and management, close communication and coordination among agencies in the Roaring Fork Valley is critical,” said U.S. Forest Service Aspen-Sopris District Ranger Kevin Warner.

“The Roaring Fork Valley presents especially complex boundaries with the sheer number of agencies involved, so completion of this MOU is a major step forward to effective collaboration,” said Bureau of Land Management Colorado River Valley Field Office Manager Larry Sandoval.

“Working together through the collaborative improves the communication and coordination among the many players in the Roaring Fork Valley, as well as provides better leverage for outside grants and funding,” said Rick Balentine, Aspen fire chief and co-chair of the Collaborative.

Education group looking for board members

Aspen Public Education Fund is looking for new board members. Selected individuals will begin a four-year term in January 2023.

Factors for consideration include, but are not limited to: previous board experience, financial and/or legal expertise, and school-district involvement.

As a non-profit board that oversees the disbursement of public funds, it is important that members do not have any actual or perceived conflicts of interest, a fund spokeswoman said, and added that, as a result, applications will not be accepted from individuals with any of the following affiliations: current district staff or members of the Aspen Board of Education, and their spouses or partners; members of district-affiliated groups, including the District Financial Advisory Board, District Accountability Committee, School Accountability Committees, and Aspen Education Foundation.

Applicants must live within the Roaring Fork Valley. More information on on the group can be found at

Interested applicants should submit a letter of intent and current resume by Dec. 30 to

Whole Foods delivery service launches

Local health consultant and raw-food co-op owner Kim Williams has started a Whole Foods delivery service for the Roaring Fork Valley.

Nur-ish offers three levels of delivery service: Whole Foods orders through Amazon Prime, in which Whole Foods employees shop the order and one of Williams’ team members will picks it up for delivery; an on-demand private shop, in which team members shop and deliver to a customer’s door; and a premium service where they not only deliver your order but carry it into your kitchen and stock your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer.  

Other businesses can use the service as well, Williams said: “We can shop for private chefs, caterers, and pick up food for private airplanes.” 

To schedule a delivery or fpr more information, contact Kim Williams at 424-335-9335.   

Moffat community college seeks to join CMC

The Moffat County Affiliated Junior College District Board has formally submitted a request for CMC to conduct a study concerning the feasibility of Moffat County’s annexation into the Colorado Mountain College District. This action is the first step in CMC’s procedure to consider modifications to the district’s geographic boundary.

“The Moffat County college district board’s application begins a well-established and complex process to evaluate whether bringing a new community into the CMC district is feasible and in everyone’s best interest,” said CMC Board of Trustees President Peg Portscheller. “We have received several such requests over the past decade; only the communities of Salida and Poncha Springs have successfully joined the district in recent years.”

After completion of a feasibility study, the CMC Board of Trustees will evaluate whether to put the annexation to a vote. Majorities of electors in both the CMC District and the Moffat County Affiliated Junior College District would have to approve annexation in order for Moffat County to join the CMC District. This process is permitted under existing state law and can take several years to complete.