Earth Notes

Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Earth Notes: Restoring Arizona’s Grasslands

Arid grasslands once covered significant parts of the Southwestern states — as much as 24 million acres in Arizona, for example. American pronghorn were widespread in these open spaces, along with many other grassland-dependent wildlife species. 

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Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Earth Notes: A Milestone Birthday for the Wilderness Act

On Sept. 3, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Wilderness Preservation System Act. With the stroke of a pen, 9 million acres of federal land in the United States was designated as wilderness — with a capital “W.”

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Earth Notes
4:59 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Earth Notes: William Henry Jackson

William Henry Jackson's historic photo of Mesa Verde's Two Story House.
Credit Courtesy photo

In the 19th century, William Henry Jackson introduced many Americans to the scenic wonders of the country’s West — and to the power of landscape photography.

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Earth Notes
4:59 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Earth Notes: The Colorado Plateau’s Prehistoric Baby Boom

One of the enduring mysteries of the Colorado Plateau is why the area’s ancient Puebloan population dropped to almost zero in the late 13th century, after peaking at as many as 40,000 people just 30 years earlier.

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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
5:00 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Earth Notes: After the Slide Fire, a Rare Plant Grows Back

The Arizona bugbane

Can a plant that grows in only three national forests in Arizona survive all that today’s changing environment can throw at it? 

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Earth Notes
8:49 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Earth Notes: BAER Program Looks At Wildlife After Slide Fire

Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona.
Credit Sherry Sperry

Soon after the Slide Fire burned 22,000 acres in, and around, Oak Creek Canyon in northern Arizona, researchers from the Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response - or BAER Program - took stock of its impact on sensitive wildlife species.

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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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