Earth Notes

Earth Notes
5:01 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Earth Notes: When Does Wildlife Need Rescuing?

A Mexican spotted owl

When Bea Cooley and Brooks Hart headed down Oak Creek Canyon to do some birding last winter, they had no idea just how close their bird encounters would be.

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Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Earth Notes: Frogs on the Move

The northern leopard frog

On the Colorado Plateau, life begins anew when the monsoon rains come — especially for native amphibians like the northern leopard frog. This beautiful, spotted, greenish-brown frog pays close attention to moisture, and starts to move on humid days and rainy nights.

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Earth Notes
4:01 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Earth Notes: The Slide Fire’s New Old Cabin

Leo Holley, the firefighter who discovered the ruins of the Oak Creek cabin, at the site.
Credit U.S. Forest Service

When intense wildfires burn through well-loved places like Oak Creek Canyon, the sense of loss is deep. But, sometimes wildfires offer gifts in the midst of destruction.

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Earth Notes
4:07 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Earth Notes: The Slide Fire’s Mosaic of Impacts

The State Route 89A switchbacks in Oak Creek Canyon after the Slide Fire. Large areas of steep terrain were severely burned in May.
Credit Ryan Heinsius

In late May of this year, wildfire swept through upper Oak Creek Canyon in northern Arizona. By the time firefighters contained it in early June, the Slide Fire had burned some 22,000 acres of chaparral, mixed conifers, and ponderosa pine forest.

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Earth Notes
10:20 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Earth Notes: Helping Mexican Wolves Get a Good Start

Foster parents help a lot of kids from difficult backgrounds in getting a better start in life. Now they’re also helping a rare species that’s been struggling to gain a foothold in the Southwestern wilds.

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Earth Notes
8:43 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Earth Notes: Watering Fields with the Sun

Solar-powered automated headgates on the Verde River.
Credit Courtesy photo

The Verde Valley, watered by the Verde River, is named for the ultra-green cast it gives to central Arizona’s desert.

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Earth Notes
3:39 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Earth Notes: Shelter Dogs and Salamanders

Rescue dogs search for salamanders in the Jémez Mountains of New Mexico.

An unusual team of four-legged researchers is hard at work in the Jémez Mountains of New Mexico. They love to run, chase balls — and sniff out a rare salamander found nowhere else.

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Earth Notes
12:35 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Earth Notes: Solar Panels: To Buy or To Lease?

Credit American Solar Electric

In the sunny Southwest, installing solar panels to produce electricity makes a lot of sense. But should homeowners buy their own, or lease rooftop panels instead?

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Earth Notes
3:17 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Earth Notes: Greenstripping the West’s Grasslands

Burning cheatgrass, a plant species heavily disliked by land managers.
Credit USDA Forest Service

Today, the West’s amber waves of grass are more often than not a species land managers cringe to see. Cheatgrass, a Eurasian species that most likely arrived on ships a century ago, now runs across millions of acres of the Intermountain West and Colorado Plateau. 

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Earth Notes
8:50 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Earth Notes: Earthworms and Climate Change

Credit Jacob McDaniel

Earthworms are friends to gardeners, recycling plant debris into plant nutrients. But, do they contribute to the climate-change problem?

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