environment

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.


An effort will begin this week to spray weed killer inside Grand Canyon National Park to help prevent wildfires.

The park and the Grand Canyon Railway will spray two types of herbicide along railroad tracks to kill weeds, reducing the risk of train wheel sparks setting a fire to the vegetation. The park and railway say the effort will also help control invasive species at the landmark location.

endangeredwolfcenter.org

Wildlife managers, conservationists and business interests are meeting in Denver as the Western Governors Association looks for ways to change the way endangered species are protected.

They'll spend Wednesday and Thursday talking about the states' role in deciding what species get protection under the federal Endangered Species Act and how conservation is paid for, among other topics.

Researchers say environmental protection for the 1,450-mile-long Colorado River is disjointed and too often gets a low priority.

A new critique from the Colorado River Research Group says four multimillion-dollar conservation programs do valuable work but would have more impact if they treated the entire river as a single, integrated system instead of operating separately.

  

The research group is an independent organization of academics with expertise in water, agriculture, law and other fields.

  

Paddling on the contaminated Animas River.Credit Photo by Andy HobsonEdit | Remove

The Republican leader of a congressional panel investigating a 3-million-gallon spill of toxic wastewater from an inactive Colorado gold mine says the mine was purposely breached by a government cleanup team.

John Vogel/USGS

Scientists in northern Arizona have something new in their field kits: custom-made drones. Up until now, researchers strapped their scientific equipment to old military discards or simple hobby drones. Now they can order drones tailored for science.


Insects and the plants they pollinate have evolved to fit like a key and a lock. 


friendsofanimals.org

There are now fewer Mexican gray wolves roaming the American Southwest, and federal officials say the numbers show more work needs to be done to restore the endangered species.

The annual survey released Thursday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows at least 97 wolves are spread between southwestern New Mexico and southeast Arizona.

Federal officials say the numbers are disconcerting since the population had been on the upswing since 2010, with 2014 marking a banner year when the predators topped 110.

NPS/Michael Quinn

Environmental groups and some elected officials are urging President Obama to create the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument. A new survey shows statewide support for the proposal that would set aside nearly 2 million acres outside Grand Canyon National Park. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 


Courtesy

The spill from Colorado’s Gold King Mine last summer released 3 million gallons of wastewater and polluted two western rivers. A new report by the U.S. House says government workers at the mine knew a spill was possible. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

    

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