Working to keep the West special

News Coverage About RMCO

In June 2017, RMCO and the City and County of Denver's Department of Environmental Health released a report documenting future extreme heat in the Denver metro area. The Denver Post covered a release of preliminary results in Colorado’s Front Range likely to see more 100-degree days and severe storms as climate changes.

RMCO’s reports have now been covered by 18 of the top 25 newspapers in the nation.   

In an April 2017 post, Colorado Municipal League (CML) Executive Director (and RMCO board member) Sam Mamet reports on recent efforts by RMCO and local government participants in the Colorado Local Resilience Project, convened by RMCO's Colorado Climate Network and CML to seek implementation of the project’s recommendations. In January and April, local government and health agency project participants joined RMCO in meeting with top officials of the Colorado departments of Natural Resources and Public Health and Environment to ask them to collaborate in going forward with top priority recommendations to help make Colorado communities more resilient to climate change impacts.

In March 2017, RMCO was honored to have been the runner-up in the innovation category for the Denver Department of Environmental Health’s Healthy Communities Awards, which recognize community contributions to public health and environmental sustainability.

In September 2016, RMCO released two parallel reports presenting projections of increases in future climate extremes, both heat and storms, in Larimer and Boulder counties. News coverage included Changing Climate Means Hotter Days for CO Front Range, Public News Service, Report warns of Tucson-like heat in Fort Collins, Fort Collins Coloradoan, and How hot could it get?, Boulder Weekly.

In July 2016, President Obama in Yosemite National Park summarized how climate change threatens our national the parks: “rising temperatures could mean no more glaciers at Glacier National Park. No more Joshua Trees at Joshua Tree National Park. Rising seas could destroy vital ecosystems in the Everglades, and at some point could even threaten icons like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.” RMCO's work is the unmistakable precursor of these statements -- these are exactly the threats we first documented, in exactly these terms, in our pioneering reports (especially this one in 2009) on the risks climate change poses to our beloved national parks. RMCO was the first to call climate change the greatest threat ever to the parks, which National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis then also declared shortly thereafter.

In May 2016, RMCO announced the launch of a major new program, Colorado Communities for Climate Action, in which counties and municipalities across the state have come together to advocate for more state and federal actions to reduce heat-trapping emissions and so protect Colorado's climate for this and future generations. Coverage included Coloradans form bloc to push state, feds to slow climate change in the Denver Post, Fort Collins joins statewide climate action group in the Fort Collins Coloradoan, Vail, Eagle County join CC4CA to combat climate change in Real Vail, Signs of serious global warming impacts piled up in 2016, Summit County Citizens Voice, and more.

In May 2015, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper approved the state’s new “Resiliency Framework” compiled by the Colorado Resilience and Recovery Office. The framework acknowledges the risks of climate change, but RMCO president Stephen Saunders comments that the real test will be in future detailed actions: “We need the state government to take a lead in providing more information to themselves, to local government and to the citizenry about the Colorado-specific risks we face. We need more detailed assessments. We need much better dispensation of information. We need a central hub [at the state level] for climate-change information.” As climate changes, Colorado preps for heat-wave deaths, Colorado Independent, June 4, 2015.

In December 2014, RMCO and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a report documenting a large increase in extreme storms in Michigan. News coverage includes Michigan sees surge of extreme storms, Michigan Radio; Climate change in Grand Rapids: Mayor George Heartwell says 'There's more water coming', Grand Rapids Press/Mlive; and New Report: Climate Change Has Extreme Rain Storms in Michigan Trending Way Up, eNews Park Forest.

In September 2014, the Union of Concerned Scientists and RMCO released a report on how climate change is affecting Rocky Mountain forests, and what those effects may be in the future. News coverage includes Colorado's iconic aspens face steep decline from climate changes, KUNC Northern Colorado Community Radio, Report: Climate change transforming Rocky Mountain forests, ABC News 7 Denver; Report: Rockies' pines, firs lose majority of habitat on current climate path, The Missoulian; Forests in the Rocky Mountains are getting clobbered, Colorado Springs Independent; Climate change accelerating death of Western forests, USA Today; Report: Trees in trouble in the West, Great Falls Tribune; Bugs, heat and fire decimating forests, Durango Herald; Rocky Mountain Forests Vanishing as Planet Heats Up, Environment News Service; and Rocky Mountain forests are dying, report finds, blaming climate change, Denver Post.

In February 2013, RMCO and the City of Fort Collins released a report on recent increases in hot days and heat waves in that city, and on projected future increases. New coverage includes articles in the Fort Collins Coloradoan and the Boulder Daily Camera.

In August 2012, RMCO and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a report, Atlantic National Seashores in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption, documenting how climate change is already affecting the seven national seashores on the Atlantic Coast: Cape Cod (in Massachusetts) , Fire Island (New York), Assateague Island (Maryland and Virginia), Cape Hatteras (North Carolina), Cape Lookout (North Carolina), Cumberland Island (Georgia), and Canaveral (Florida) national seashores. News coverage was in the print or online editions of several of the nation’s largest-circulation dailies: USA Today (#2 in circulation), the New York Times (#3), Los Angeles Times (#4), Newsday (#16), Boston Globe (#25), Orlando Sentinel (#34, on the front page, and also a follow-up article), plus Business Week, Huffington Post, Savannah Morning News, and more than three dozen smaller publications, including as the lead story in the print edition of the Salisbury (MD) Daily Times; on national public radio affiliates in New York, Washington, Charlotte; and on local TV and radio news programs. The report also prompted editorials by the Cape Cod Times and the Richmond County (NC) Daily Journal on the need to tackle climate change to protect these special places. This is the ninth report RMCO has prepared on climate change impacts in national parks—eight in partnership with NRDC and one with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. With the press coverage and public attention these reports have won, they are helping us bring home to Americans that climate change is already affecting special places we know and love, and is not some distant issue about remote places.

In May 2012, RMCO and NRDC released a report, Doubled Trouble: More Midwestern Extreme Storms, detailing how much heavy precipitation has increased in the Midwest over the past half century and shedding new light on the devastating and costly floods that have hammered the region, especially in recent years. National and even international news media coverage included articles by major wire services, including Reuters and McClatchy, with coverage by many major newspapers in the region, including the Chicago Tribune, Indianapolis Star, Detroit News, Des Moines Register, St. Paul Pioneer Press, and Dayton Daily News, as well as many local publications and websites. Extensive TV and radio coverage included CBS St. Louis, St. Louis Public Radio, WXOW (local TV), and Minnesota Public Radio.On September 27, 2011, RMCO and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition released a report, Greater Yellowstone in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption, detailing how climate change may affect the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem--Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, parts of six national forests, and more. Coverage in the national news media included reports by the New York Times and Reuters, with the latter article picked up across the nation and even overseas. Regionally, coverage included articles in the Bozeman Chronicle (the paper's lead article), Billings Gazette, Jackson Hole News and Guide, Idaho State Journal, Cody Enterprise, Island Park (ID) Press, Sublette Examiner, and more. More specialized coverage included Scientific American and National Parks Traveler. Temperature rise tops in lower 48, Arizona Daily Star, August 6, 2011. Arizona is heating up faster than any other state in the lower 48, federal records show. One reason may be the state's dry weather - rainfall statewide averaged about an inch less in 2001-10 than a century earlier. When there's less moisture to evaporate, more of the sun's heat goes into making the land and air hotter, said Stephen Saunders, president of RMCO.