KBUT’s Community Matters airs live every other Monday. The show is hosted by KBUT News Director Christopher Biddle, and veteran Gunnison County journalist Chris Rourke.

On this episode…

It’s the first day of school for the Gunnison Watershed RE1J School District, and there are a lot of questions as students and teachers go back to the classrooms in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Gunnison School district will not have a mask mandate to begin the year, despite recommendations from the CDC and the concerns of many parents, students and teachers. We talked with Superintendent Leslie Nichols about the decision not to require masks, also vaccines, worker shortages, and the hopes and dreams of a new school year. 

Rob Carney is a covid19 long-haul survivor, or maybe we should say thriver. The last time Rob was on the show, he was struggling with breathing, mental lapses, and depression. Today, Rob is back out there riding bikes, taking hikes, and smiling all the way!

Matt Reed, Public Lands Director for High Country Conservation Advocates – a KBUT underwrite – says the bad outweighs the good in a new plan to manage the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG).  He applauds the agency’s work towards managing recreation and increasing acreage for wildlife management areas, but says the plan lacks a sufficient number of new acreage for wilderness designation.

Listen to the full episode 

Pt. 1: Gunnison Watershed RE1J School Superintendent Leslie Nichols

Mask recommendations, vaccines, too many students, too few staff…Leslie Nichols is still optimistic on this first day of school 2021.


Pt. 2: Rob Carney

A quick check-in with COVID long haul survivor Rob Carney, who’s feeling great!


Pt. 3: Sue Wallace and Matt Barker of the CB South Property Owners Association

It’s taken more than two years to write new covenants for the town of CB South’s Property Owners Association. Barker and Wallace are members of a committee tasked with updating documents that stretch back 50 years. It wasn’t easy, and they want the community to know how to get out and vote.


Pt. 4: Matt Reed, Public Lands Director for HCCA, says new GMUG Forest plan needs public input.

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forest totals just short of 3 million acres across Colorado’s Western Slope. Once certified the new Forest Plan, which is open for public comment thru Nov. 12, will guide the GMUG decision for decades. Matt Reed wants the public to know how they can get involved, and talks about areas where he thinks the plan needs improvement.

Learn more about Community Matters on KBUT

Every two weeks, we sit down with community leaders, and ask our listeners to send in their questions.

We want you to join the conversation. Email News@kbut.org or click here.

Community Matters airs every other Monday at 6pm. 

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