Eco-briefs | Road-tripping to raise awareness for wild lands

Chimney Rock National Monument
Photo courtesy of Chimney Rock National Monument


Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune is roadtripping through Colorado this week to launch the Our Wild America campaign, designed to draw increased attention to America’s wild places in need of protection. Brune’s two-week tour will include stops in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico before he arrives in Washington, D.C., on June 26 for Great Outdoors America Week. In Colorado, Brune, who will bring his family along for the trip, will be visiting Browns Canyon, near Salida, on June 13 and the new national monument Chimney Rock June 17.

“Now is the time to intensify our traditional land conservation work,” Brune said, according to a press release from the Sierra Club. “Pollution, mining, drilling and fracking are encroaching on some of our last remaining wild wonders, and our society is becoming increasingly disconnected from nature at a time when climate disruption is making it more important than ever to be expanding our conservation legacy.”

The Sierra Club argues that these wild areas are essential to surviving the coming disruption as the climate changes, in addition to providing clean air and water and supporting the $646 billion outdoor recreation economy.

The goal is to draw renewed attention to these wild areas, meet with community leaders to talk about how to protect them and re-energize people in the campaign to protect them.

Updates on the trip can be found at


The EnergySmart program has an additional $495,000 in rebates that has recently opened up. Businesses and commercial property owners completing qualifying projects in lighting, heating and cooling, refrigeration, motors and drivers, food service and server virtualization between June 10 and the end of 2013 are eligible to apply for funds, which come in addition to utility rebates.

“More than 750 businesses throughout Boulder County have implemented energy-efficiency upgrades that will save more than 12 million kWh a year — the equivalent of taking 1,800 passenger vehicles off the road,” a press release from EnergySmart says. “Since November 2010, EnergySmart has awarded $1.6 million in rebates to businesses, supporting the investment of over $8.5 million in energy-efficiency improvements in commercial buildings located within Boulder County.”

Rebates awarded for the program come from Boulder County and the City of Boulder’s Climate Action Plan tax.

Those interested in applying should contact an EnergySmart energy advisor at 303-441-1300.


Groundwork Denver and Budweiser’s America Made Better campaign are teaming up for a day-long river cleanup at Commons Park on the South Platte River in Denver from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 15. Volunteers will be picking up trash, removing invasive species, mulching and removing graffiti.

The watershed cleanup project is one of several Budweiser Made Better is hosting this summer in cities around the country. The company is donating $150,000 to River Network to facilitate cleanups nationwide and support the America Made Better operations.

A follow-up concert featuring Paper Diamond and Cherub will follow at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at The Fillmore Auditorium, at 1510 Clarkson St. in Denver. More information is available at