Diane Hope

Travelers with a hankering to reconnect with nature and experience the Navajo way of life can do just that 12 miles south of Page.  A bear claw sign on Highway 89 points the way to the Shash Diné Eco-Retreat. “Shash” in the retreat’s name means “bear” in Navajo. 


Ethan Miller/Getty

Most scientists today prefer the term “climate change” to “global warming,” since human-caused changes to the Earth’s atmosphere produce many changes beyond temperature. But especially in the southwestern states “warming” is an apt term too.

According to a new analysis of monitoring data by Climate Central, the U.S. is warming across the board—but to different extents in different places. And the effect varies by season, too.

Westerners used to use all kinds of markers to identify the locations of mining claims, such as wooden posts and large stone cairns. The modern way is easy: sink an un-capped PVC pipe into the ground. It’s easy and effective. But there’s a dark side to these innocuous plastic tubes.


Pronghorn antelope evolved roaming across large tracts of land undivided by roads and fences. But the highways that now crisscross their grassland habitats in the Southwest form barriers to mingling and interbreeding. They’re like giant swim-lane dividers in the gene pool. 


In 2015 the EPA issued a Clean Power Plan directing states to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Under the plan, for example, Arizona will need to cut annual carbon emissions from 40 to 30 million tons by 2030.


Extended drought on the Navajo Nation has been tough on grazing animals and the grasses that usually support them. Hauling in more hay from outside the reservation has been a short-term fix for feeding hungry livestock. But it has contributed to an invasion – of noxious weeds. 


Fossil bones and ancient stone points clearly show that both giant mammoths and hunting peoples roamed the high Southwest some 13,000 years ago. But did these two types of mammals meet? Rock art researcher Ekkehart Malotki thinks that a petroglyph panel on the San Juan River holds a tantalizing clue.


Wikipedia

For decades now, puzzled birdwatchers in the southern tier of states have noticed that in some years, birds from Canada's boreal forests turn up for unexpected winter sunshine vacations in vast numbers.

After smoking, the second-leading cause of lung cancer is colorless, odorless, tasteless—and can come from right underfoot. Radon is a naturally occurring gas formed from the radioactive decay of radium and uranium. Those elements are present in most soils and rocks, though usually in very small concentrations.


A walk in the woods doesn’t usually happen in a landscape of starkly beautiful desert mesas dotted with narrow-leafed yucca and rabbitbrush.


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