Melissa Sevigny

Backyard beekeeping is a dying art in the American Southwest, in large part because of the invasion of Africanized bees. They’re more defensive than European honey bees, and that takes the charm out of the hobby. But they also have more resilient genes. So despite their nasty reputation, some beekeepers want to work with Africanized bees. That’s easier to do in northern Arizona, where cooler temperatures mean calmer bees.

The City of Prescott has reached a settlement with environmental regulators over new pollution limits for Watson Lake. The agreement requires another look at the limits once more data is collected.

Sometimes what looks like a white plastic bag snagged in the top of a pine tree is only a plastic bag. Sometimes it’s something else – a bag of bugs, you might say.

Blake McCord/Courtesy of the Grand Canyon Trust

Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva plans to introduce a bill that would establish a Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument. At a press conference yesterday, he was joined by tribal leaders who say it would protect cultural resources and outlaw uranium mining in the area. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

National Park Service, Flickr

Scientists have a new worry about a special group of organisms that protects soil on the Colorado Plateau. They’re called “biocrusts,” and they’re easily destroyed when trampled—but new research shows there’s another menace: climate change.

Biocrust is created by mosses and lichens glued together with photosynthetic bacteria. It forms a kind of bumpy shield on the soil surface.   

Stephen Root/12 News

The Grand Canyon Bison Management Act is awaiting a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives after passing though committee. The law would allow specially licensed members of the public to buy tags to hunt the animals within Grand Canyon National Park. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


The American Southwest is one of the fastest changing climates in North America. And some scientists fear many plants, and the organisms that depend on them, may not be able to adapt to the changes in time to survive. That’s why Northern Arizona University ecological geneticist Tom Whitham is cloning key species and planting them in different environments.

In the global carbon economy, forests act like leafy savings accounts. They take carbon dioxide from the air during photosynthesis, convert it into biomass, and deposit it for years or even centuries in wood and soil.

Tempe Councilwoman Lauren Kuby is suing the state over a law that prevents towns and cities from banning plastic bags. The Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest filed the suit on Kuby’s behalf, and says legislators violated the Arizona Constitution by passing the law. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Waste from the Gold King Mine in Southwest Colorado continues to flow nearly two months after millions of gallons of the toxic material were released into local waterways. Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a new plan to help clean it up, by installing a water treatment system near the mouth of the mine. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.