KNAU and Arizona News

Genetics are thought to play a significant role in why some pinyon pines survive drought, and some don't. But a biologist at Northern Arizona University believes a newly discovered fungus is making the real difference between life and death.

thedrinkingbirdblog.com/

Two environmental groups have filed objections to a forest-thinning project designed to protect Flagstaff’s watershed from wildfire and flooding. The groups say the plan would have negative effects on the threatened Mexican spotted owl. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

Two people in Coconino County are recovering from a rare disease called tularemia, or rabbit fever.

These are the first confirmed cases of tularemia in Coconino County in a decade. The bacterial infection mainly affects mammals, especially rabbits and hares. It can spread to humans who have handled infected animals or been bitten by deer flies or ticks.

EPA/Reuters

The U.S. Interior Department will lead a review of the Colorado mine spill that tainted rivers in three western states.

AP/Matt York

Arizona environmental officials say they don’t expect the Gold King Mine spill to have any negative impacts to the state’s watershed. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, they say Lake Powell will likely disperse the waste made up of several heavy metals.

The Daily Times

The Navajo Nation says it's waiting for test results from its own environment officials before deciding whether to declare the San Juan River safe for use.

The Flagstaff Light Opera Company is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Over the last two-decades, the FLOC has performed some 60 shows, including songs from well-known and beloved musicals, like The King and I and Sound of Music. On Friday night, the company will showcase its talent in a medley performance, commemorating the special anniversary.  Arizona Public Radio’s Aaron Granillo stopped by a recent rehearsal, as the FLOC prepared for the show.

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

The toxic plume from the Gold King Mine spill in Colorado last week is no longer visible as it’s mixed with the murky San Juan River. Officials say it’s uncertain whether the polluted water has reached Lake Powell. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

endangeredwolfcenter.org

State wildlife officials have voted to increase the practice of “cross-fostering” Mexican gray wolves. That’s the substitution of captive-raised pups for wild ones in hopes of increasing genetic diversity. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Brady Smith, U.S. Forest Service, Southwestern Region, Coconino National Forest

Current climate change models assume that trees recover swiftly after a drought ends. That’s not true, according to a new study.

Researchers examined tree-ring data from more than 1,300 sites around the world. By comparing the rings to rainfall records, they could track tree growth before, during, and after droughts.

They found most trees grow slower than normal for 1 to 4 years following a drought.

It’s called a “legacy effect,” and it hasn’t been included in climate change models.  

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