Colorado’s beetle-infested forests are peppered with an estimated 834 million standing dead trees that threaten to worsen wildfires and degrade vital water supplies that flow from mountains, officials said Wednesday.
Water pollution and availability have emerged in recent years as urgent matters of public policy in Midwest farm states. The governors of Iowa and Minnesota, for instance, used their recent State of the State speeches to tout programs designed to reduce farm runoff. Both states are dedicating significant tax dollars to cut water pollution.
The Bureau of Reclamation is monitoring Hyrum Dam near Hyrum, Utah, due to unseasonably high reservoir inflow and likelihood of increased releases from the dam. As a precautionary measure, Reclamation issued an Emergency Action Plan Response Level I on February 10, 2017, which is the least serious of the three response levels.
The ever-changing thermal geology of Yellowstone National Park has created a hot spot that melted an asphalt road and closed access to popular geysers and other attractions at the height of tourist season, officials said Thursday.
Looking eastward from the canyon’s popular South Rim, visitors could soon see a hive of construction as workers build restaurants, hotels and shops on a distant mesa on the Navajo Indian reservation. … That project and a second, unrelated development proposed for just south of the canyon have set off alarms at the National Park Service, which sees them as the most serious threat the park has faced in its 95-year history.
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Jeff Burrell:
Today, working as a wildlife conservation scientist in the Northern Rockies, I see grizzly bears regularly. … Every sighting is gratifying, especially since the grizzly bear has been listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act for most of my life.”
In April, the city [Detroit] set a target of cutting service to 3,000 customers a week who were more than $150 behind on their bills. In May, the water department sent out 46,000 warnings and cut off service to 4,531.
This is the same river route Lewis and Clark took 200 years ago, a 1,000-mile journey along the Columbia and Snake rivers and right up the musket of the American West. … For eight days we make shore visits to waterfalls, wineries, dams, fish ladders, museums and forts along the way.
Lingering drought is taking a toll on wildlife across Northern Nevada, shrinking deer herds on the high desert, drying up fisheries in the valleys and starting to push everything from bears to snakes into urban areas they normally don’t frequent.
Arizona could be forced to cut water deliveries to its two largest cities unless states that tap the dwindling Colorado River find ways to reduce water consumption and deal with a crippling drought, officials of the state’s canal network said Tuesday.
“Four in 10 new oil and gas wells near national forests and fragile watersheds or otherwise identified as higher pollution risks escape federal inspection, unchecked by an agency struggling to keep pace with America’s drilling boom, according to an Associated Press review that shows wide state-by-state disparities in safety checks.”
“The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a group of homeowners in North Carolina can’t sue a company that contaminated their drinking water decades ago because a state deadline has lapsed, a decision that could prevent thousands of other property owners in similar cases from recovering damages after being exposed to toxic waste.”
“Facing the largest boil-water order in the region’s history, Portlanders emptied stores’ supplies of bottled water, chucked potentially contaminated food and braced for a complicated Memorial Day weekend.”
“Scientists have discovered that the rapid spread of hybridization between a native species and an invasive species of trout in the wild is strongly linked to changes in climate. … The study, published today [May 25] in Nature Climate Change, was based on 30 years of research by scientists with the U.S.
From The New York Times, in a commentary by Brendan Jones:
“As a resident of Sitka, in southeast Alaska, I’ve worked in the local commercial fishing industry on and off for the past 17 years. … This year, though, the fishing fleet in southeast Alaska will work under the shadow of an announcement by the United States Forest Service that it intends to approve the Big Thorne timber sale …”
“Delivering a major blow to state-licensed pot growers in Washington state and Colorado, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said today [May 20] it will not allow any federally-controlled water to be used on marijuana crops.”