US poised to allow more mining on land Trump removed from monuments

US officials have announced plans to allow increased mining on land that once belonged to two national monuments Donald Trump shrank, and to sell off some of the land despite pledges not to do so. The two monuments, now significantly smaller in size, are both in Utah. The draft management plan for Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument includes a 98-page minerals...

Learn More

An army of deer ticks carrying Lyme disease is advancing. It will only get worse.

Across the United States, tick- and mosquito-borne diseases, some potentially lethal, are emerging in places and volumes not previously seen. Climate change almost certainly is to blame, according to a 2016 report by 13 federal agencies that warned of intensifying heat, storms, air pollution and infectious diseases. Last year, a coalition of 24 academic and government...

Learn More

Glacier National Park is on fire — and yes, warming is making things worse

This summer has felt like a global warming turning point. Now, another milestone: Saturday, August 11, 2018 was the hottest day in the history of Glacier National Park, and its first recorded time reaching 100 degrees F. On the same day, lightning started three fires in the Montana park, which has since been partly evacuated and closed. On Sunday, hot and dry winds...

Learn More

New Land Protection at Yellow Spot in Roan Highlands

This summer Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy purchased 234 acres in the Highlands of Roan, securing high elevation wildlife habitat and permanently protecting a corridor linking Tompkins Preserve with Pisgah National Forest in Mitchell County. This acquisition at Yellow Spot protects rare plant and animal habitat, wildlife corridors, scenic views, and sources...

Learn More

Water Tables and Wetlands

Some wetlands won’t stay wet, according to new research that blends long-term observations and climate projections. “By end of the 21st century, all five of the wetland sites studied are predicted to become much drier,” says USDA Forest Service research hydrologist Ge Sun. The five wetlands are long-term research sites located throughout the southeastern U.S. They...

Learn More

Suspect in Yellowstone bison incident arrested at Glacier National Park

August 2, 2018 at approximately 10:45 p.m., Glacier National Park rangers apprehended Raymond Reinke, age 55, from Pendleton, Oregon. Reinke was wanted following an incident earlier this week at Yellowstone National Park when he was captured on video harassing a bison. Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said, “We appreciate the collaboration of our fellow...

Learn More

The Plan to Restore Hetch Hetchy

Numerous studies, including those by the National Park Service and the University of Wisconsin have confirmed that Hetch Hetchy Valley can be readily restored. The only questions are how much human intervention is desireable and to what degree should we let nature take its course. Removing some dams can be difficult, because sediment can build up behind them. This will...

Learn More

A Beginner’s Guide to the National Wildlife Refuge System

The National Wildlife Refuge System is the largest and most diverse network of lands and waters dedicated to ensuring the long-term future of America’s rich fish and wildlife heritage. Think abundant wildlife, clean water, clean air and world-class recreation. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the lands and waters of the National Wildlife Refuge System fall...

Learn More

Return of the Ghost Cat

The photo is black and white. It’s 8:02 p.m., according to the timestamp at the bottom of the image. The flash of the game camera extends to a narrow strip of open dirt, worn with muddy boot prints, the deep tread of machinery—and cat tracks. Standing in the open, left of center, is a slender, fit mountain lion. It’s dark and the image is grainy, but it’s obvious the...

Learn More

These six species are about to be sacrificed for the oil and gas industry

Republicans in the western United States have been trying to whittle away the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since Donald Trump took office. Under new proposals, wildlife managers would limit protections for species designated as “threatened” (a level below endangered), consider the economic costs prior to defending a species, and de-emphasize long-term threats such as...

Learn More

A Hemlock in the Town Square

Throughout the eastern U.S., the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid is decimating hemlock populations. In nursery experiments on young trees, high levels of sunlight reduced the number of adelgids. Researchers are testing that hypothesis in the forest. If the experiment has positive effects, thinning the canopy could supplement other methods like pesticides and biocontrol....

Learn More

The Old Way Is the Best Way

The “Ninemile’s” historic collection of buildings is part typical Forest Service ranger district, part tourist destination, and part working ranch. A standard complement of Forest Service employees works at the station—a silviculturist, District Ranger, trail crews, and others who ensure the District resources are maintained and the public is safe. But the other cowboys...

Learn More

10 (Truly) Hidden National Park Gems

The wonders of the National Park System don’t generally play hard to get. Want to see the Grand Canyon? It might be a haul to get to the park, but it will be hard to miss once you’re there. Some park jewels, however, are simply out of reach for almost every visitor. The reasons for this are multiple. In some cases, the Park Service consciously keeps the location of...

Learn More

The world is hot, on fire, and flooding. Climate change is here.

The worst ravages of climate change are on display around the world. Wildfires have ripped through towns in Greece, floods have submerged parts of Laos, and heat waves have overwhelmed Japan and Great Britain. These are striking examples of climate change playing out in its deadliest forms, and they’re making the term “natural disaster” an outdated concept. People in...

Learn More

Trump team stops asking drillers and miners to pay for damage to federal lands

For years, whenever companies wanted to drill for oil and dig for coal on federally owned lands, they often had to pay to offset any damage their activities had on the environment. Now, no more. This week the Trump administration scrapped long-standing requirements that companies undertaking energy development and other work on Bureau of Land Management lands make up for...

Learn More

Spring Is Springing Sooner, Throwing Nature’s Rhythms Out Of Whack

There’s a cycle that starts when the snow melts and the earth thaws high in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. It’s a seasonal cycle based on timing and temperature, two variables that climate change is pushing increasingly out of sync. To the outsider, it can be hard to see: Plants still grow, flowers bud, bears awake, and marmots breed. Broad-tailed...

Learn More

Trump administration officials dismissed benefits of national monuments

In a quest to shrink national monuments, senior Interior Department officials dismissed evidence that these public lands boosted tourism and spurred archaeological discoveries, according to documents the department released last week and retracted a day later. The thousands of pages of email correspondence chart how Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his aides instead...

Learn More

The global corn crop is vulnerable to the effects of climate change

Corn is the world’s most-produced food crop. But it could be headed for trouble as the Earth warms. A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that climate change will not only increase the risk of food shocks from world corn production but that these crop failures could occur simultaneously. “Increased warming leads to global crop...

Learn More

Sea Level Rise Will Flood Key Internet Infrastructure Within 15 Years

Critical portions of America’s internet infrastructure, particularly in New York City, Miami, and Seattle, may be submerged and damaged by rising sea levels—possibly within the next 15 years, according to research presented at a meeting of internet researchers. The peer-reviewed study found that projected increases in coastal flooding over the coming decades—a trend...

Learn More

Mysterious source of illegal ozone-killing emissions revealed, say investigators

  A mysterious surge in emissions of an illegal ozone-destroying chemical has been tracked down to plastic foam manufacturers in China. The chemical, trichlorofluoromethane or CFC-11, has been banned around the world since 2010 and is a potent destroyer of ozone, which protects life on Earth from UV radiation, and strong greenhouse gas. A shock rise in the gas...

Learn More

Bumble Bee Watch

With the news this week that bumble bees have been added to the endangered species list, you may be asking yourself what you can do to help. Enter Bumble Bee Watch, a collaborative effort to track and conserve North America’s bumble bees. This citizen science project allows for individuals to: Upload photos of bumble bees to start a virtual bumble bee collection;...

Learn More

We’ve entered the era of ‘fire tsunamis’

Life in the Rocky Mountains is frequently extreme as blizzards, baking sun, and fires alternate with the seasons. But fire tsunamis? Those aren’t normal. On July 5, 2018,, one observer described a “tsunami” of flames overnight at the Spring Creek fire near La Veta in the south-central part of the state. And you can’t stop tsunamis. “It was a perfect firestorm,” Ben...

Learn More

Sacred Native American Sites Are Not Your Playgrounds

Deep in the Grand Canyon, on land that Havasupai Native Americans have called home for generations, is a place known as Beaver Falls. It’s an unimaginative name for an otherworldly landscape, where turquoise water tumbles over a series of terraces gouged into red desert walls. To legally reach the falls, you have to pay the Havasupai $140, hike ten miles to the tribe’s...

Learn More

The State of the Nation’s Forests

Forests are constantly changing with weather, disturbance, and conversion to other land uses, but how do we know if year-to-year changes are just a one-off or part of a larger shift? Annual summaries of forest health are key to our understanding, say the editors and authors that produced Forest Health Monitoring: National Status, Trends, and Analysis 2017. Scientists...

Learn More

Swiss Re limits thermal coal coverage

Swiss Re Ltd. will not provide insurance or reinsurance to businesses with more than 30% thermal coal exposure. The Zurich-based reinsurer has started implementation of its thermal coal policy, adopted as part of Swiss Re’s “strong commitment” to adopt the principles of the Paris climate agreement, which reaffirmed a goal of limiting the global temperature increase below...

Learn More

Deepwater Horizon disaster altered building blocks of ocean life

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster may have had a lasting impact upon even the smallest organisms in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists have found – amid warnings that the oceans around America are also under fresh assault as a result of environmental policies under Donald Trump. Lingering oil residues have altered the basic building blocks of life in the ocean by...

Learn More

Bumblebee Has Officially Been Added To The Ever-Growing List Of Endangered Species

It’s official, the bumblebee has been added to the ever-growing list of endangered species along with the grizzly bear, the northern spotted owl, the gray wolf, and about 700 other animal species which are extinct. Once abundant in the grasslands and prairies of the East and Midwest, the rusty-patched bee has now been restricted to protections in the continental US...

Learn More

Private Investment Will Jump Start Rural Economy

Ringed by miles of abandoned coal mines, the Wayne National Forest is surrounded by some of the most economically distressed communities in southern Ohio. A unique partnership with private investors, local leaders, a university, and nonprofit partners is helping to change that. The Forest Service is working with the National Forest Foundation and Quantified Ventures to...

Learn More

Flood Damage Repair at Linville Falls

At the request of the Blue Ridge Parkway Maintenance out of Gillespie Gap, the Crabtree Falls FRIENDS of the BRP Chapter and the NC High Peaks Trail Association assisted in the cleanup of flood damage at Linville Falls on Monday, June 25, 2018. Eleven members and friends of the chapter worked on this project. The team had two goals: Remove flood debris from the upper...

Learn More

Climate change is making it harder to revive damaged land

Carianne Campbell remembers the exact moment she fell in love with the Sonoran Desert. As a botany major in college, she joined a class field trip to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on the southern border of Arizona, arriving and setting up camp in the dark. Emerging from her tent the next morning, Campbell, who grew up on the East Coast, caught her first glimpse of...

Learn More

20 Mining Claims Have Been Staked On Land Trump Cut From Monument Protection

At least 20 new mining claims totaling about 460 acres have been staked on land President Donald Trump removed from national monument protection late last year. The claims indicate there is interest in extracting minerals from lands that until recently were off limits to such development. Trump signed a pair of proclamations late last year reducing the size of the...

Learn More

The Bountiful Benefits Of Bringing Back The Beavers

Few species manipulate their surroundings enough to make big ecological changes. Humans are one. Beavers are another. At one point, the rodents numbered in the hundreds of millions in North America, changing the ecological workings of countless streams and rivers. As settlers moved West, they hunted and trapped them to near extinction. Now there are new efforts across...

Learn More