Sammy Herdman

Sammy Herdman

Sammy Herdman lives in Denver and spends as much time outdoors as possible. She's an environmental policy and management graduate student at the University of Denver and a program coordinator with the Regional Air Quality Council. Opinions are her own.


Canada’s wildfires are a country away but affect Colorado in multiple ways

By: - September 5, 2023

The North American boreal forest, a sprawling terrain of spruces, firs, and lakes, is the world’s largest remaining undisturbed forest, covering more than one billion acres in Canada. Fires, propelled by climate change, are mottling the usually green and blue landscape with orange flames and black burn scars from coast to coast. So far, the fires […]


Cold as the Rockies, smelly as a sewer

By: - August 1, 2023

The city of Golden is tucked into the Rocky Mountain foothills, just 20 minutes outside of Denver. Golden has long been a hub for quintessentially Coloradan activities: hiking, biking, rafting, climbing and visiting breweries. The city proudly maintains its Western character, declaring that Golden is “Where the West Lives,” on an arch perched across the […]


Summer on the Front Range is ozone season, but individual actions can help reduce air pollution

By: - July 4, 2023

Amidst afternoon lightning storms and occasional golf ball-size hail, Colorado’s summers are replete with blooming columbines, camping trips and powerful sunshine. In the Front Range, however, summer is also the harbinger of poor air quality. Intense sun and stagnant air intensify the concentration of pollutants suffocating cities and suburbs. A cocktail of pollutants impact residents’ […]

A bumblebee laden with pollen feeds on a purple clover flower.

Bees are being decimated in Colorado, but a new law will help

By: - June 6, 2023

On the last day of Colorado’s 2023 legislative session, Senate Bill 23-266 was signed by leaders of the state Senate and House. The bill limits the sale of a class of pesticides, neonicotinoids, or “neonics,” which are known for killing bees and other pollinators. The governor signed the bill a little over one week later, […]


Enough drama over the Park Hill Golf Course. It’s time for a resolution.

By: - May 2, 2023

This spring, the Park Hill Golf Course appeared on Denverites’ ballots — again. Nearly 60% of voters opposed measure 2O, which would have lifted a conservation easement mandating that the 155-acre parcel of land remain an 18-hole golf course. Had the measure passed, an investment firm, Westside Investment Partners, would have developed 55 acres of […]


Demolition waste can be environmentally disastrous, but Denver says ‘no more’

By: - April 4, 2023

Colorado’s recycling and composting rates ranked among the worst 20 states in the nation in 2021. That same year, the recycling and composting rate in the Front Range was a dismal 16.2%. The implementation of Denver’s Waste No More ballot initiative, which will expand recycling and composting to commercial businesses and apartment buildings, could provide […]


New oil trains in Colorado not worth the risk

By: - March 7, 2023

The United States averaged three train derailments every day in 2021. Derailments of freight trains carrying toxic or flammable cargo pose a threat to the ecosystems and communities they pass, much like the town of East Palestine, Ohio. In early February, a train operated by Norfolk Southern derailed, releasing 1.1 million pounds of vinyl chloride. […]


Colorado should kick lawns to the curb

By: - January 27, 2023

Over the course of the next seven years, an average 35,000 housing units will be built each year in Colorado. If past trends persist, around 70% of those housing units will be single-family homes. From Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, it’s likely that Coloradans will see more single-family suburban developments popping up — and with […]


Amid unprecedented deforestation, Colorado leads the way on protections

By: - December 6, 2022

Last spring, Gov. Jared Polis established Colorado as the nation’s leader in global forest protections by signing an executive order to little note or fanfare. While this order understandably passed under most Coloradans’ radar, with the governor’s signature, Colorado overtook New York and California, which have been striving to pass bills that would protect global […]


Thompson Divide protections are just as significant as Camp Hale designation

By: - October 31, 2022

On Oct. 12, Coloradans were given a reason to celebrate: President Joe Biden designated the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument in Colorado. That same morning, before Air Force One touched down in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, the Department of the Interior received a proposal for a 20-year administrative mineral withdrawal for the Thompson Divide area. If […]


Make Camp Hale a national monument

By: - September 26, 2022

The Camp Hale-Continental Divide is the proposed site of a national monument encompassing the historic site of Camp Hale and the area surrounding Colorado’s Continental Divide. As a former military base, the Army’s 10th Mountain Division trained at Camp Hale during World War II. After training at 9,200 feet, the soldiers of the 10th Division […]