CIÉNEGA DE SANTA CLARA, Mexico – Juan Butrón-Méndez navigates a small metal motorboat through a maze of tall reeds. It’s nearing sunset, and the sky is turning shades of light blue and purple. The air smells of wet earth, an unfamiliar scent in the desert. Butrón-Méndez, who lives nearby, works for the conservation group Pronatura.
SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Mexico – From above, tracing the Colorado River along the Arizona-California line in an airplane, it’s easy to see how it happened. As the river bends and weaves through the Southwest, its contents are slowly drained away. Concrete canals send water to millions of people in Phoenix and Tucson, Los Angeles.
PHOENIX – After years of riding the school bus to and from school in south Phoenix, Angelica Beltran Cuevas noticed she was battling for breath. “It just got so bad at times that I had to go to the hospital. I couldn’t breathe anymore,” she said. Beltran Cuevas was diagnosed with asthma in the third.
PETRIFIED FOREST – Adam Marsh and Michelle Stocker had been out all day in the hot weather, breaking rocks and sifting through the pieces, when they made a major discovery last May. “What we saw under the magnifying glass was something that looked a lot like a fossil frog pelvis,” said Marsh, the lead paleontologist.
CASA GRANDE – Gazing over the cotton fields on his 300-acre farm outside Casa Grande, Paul Ollerton weighed the risks and opportunities of a new crop that, come this summer, will be legal to grow for the first time in decades. Ollerton, 64, is a third-generation farmer who has just harvested his 38th cotton crop,.
LOS ANGELES – I’m that grocery shopper who pulls up to the EV charging spot, walks in with my reusable bags for the bulk section and inevitably causes confusion when I ask the butcher to put my ground turkey directly into my glass container. Every couple weeks, I drive all my rotting banana peels and.
ARCOSANTI – At the end of a 2-mile dirt road in the Arizona desert lives a community of people longing to be a part of something bigger than themselves. For nearly 50 years, Arcosanti has drawn innovators who wish to leave city life behind and experiment with an alternative, more sustainable lifestyle. Some stay for.
GRAND CANYON – Two non-life-threatening medical calls came in at once to Grand Canyon National Park’s 911 center one day in late April, and the park’s search and rescue team was dispatched. Calls like these aren’t unusual: Last year, the team responded to 265 of them. But the very next day, a 70-year-old woman plummeted.
Arizona in Focus is a podcast from Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS. Each season we dive deep into a particular topic or story to bring you stories you haven’t heard elsewhere. Check out the rest of our episodes here, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify. PHOENIX – There’s no.
RED VALLEY — Arizona isn’t known as a big oil producing state, like Texas and North Dakota, but what oil is produced here, is on Navajo land. Arizona’s largest oil field, the Dineh-bi-Keyah, also known as “the people’s field,” has produced 19 million barrels of crude since the deposit was discovered in the 1960s, according.
PHOENIX – More than 20 years ago, employees of the Maricopa Association of Governments made projections for ridership numbers for downtown Phoenix’s newest project, the light rail system. Eric Anderson, who’s now executive director for the association, known as MAG, was among those employees who didn’t expect Phoenix would become the fifth largest city in.
PHOENIX – The majority of parents, no matter where they are on the political spectrum, believe schools should teach about climate change. That’s the finding of a national poll from NPR and Ipsos. Specifically, 84 percent of parents, 91 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Republicans responded that schools should teach about how human.
VENICE, Calif. – In a beach house filled with bunk beds a few blocks from the Venice Boardwalk, a short line forms to use a shared restroom and showers. Some people, still in their bunks, talk about a comedy night being held at the house in the evening. Others type away on their laptops using.
CHOOSE YOUR NEWS Migrant medical costs, Arcosanti experiment and day care inspections PHOENIX – Cronkite News wants to bring you the stories you want to see. We first asked audiences to vote on stories in three topic areas: health, sustainability and borderlands. Our reporters put together news stories exploring various aspects within those areas,.
WASHINGTON – Phoenix and Tucson were two of the fastest-warming cities in the nation over the last five decades, according to a Climate Central report based on government data. The report looked at climate change for cities and states since the first Earth Day in 1970 and found increases in 98% of cities across the.
PHOENIX – The state of Arizona supports a proposed federal rule change redefining what’s considered a “Water of the United States,” but is asking the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to hold off on putting the rule in place. The EPA and Army Corps have proposed putting so-called ephemeral streams clearly.
PHOENIX – The Gila River faces a consequential year in 2019. It is the deadline to finalize an environmental review for a Gila River diversion project in New Mexico that has long been up in the air. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham promised to end it and redirect millions of federal dollars to efficiency.
FLORENCE – Nicole and Justin Corey were driving the Florence-Kelvin Highway last year when they saw boulders – clusters and stacks of them – splattered with paint; one was entirely coated with a spray-painted red heart and the outline of a face. Florence residents remember when the rocks were free of defacement. For years before.
PHOENIX – A cold front sent wind gusts up to 50 mph through metro Phoenix last week, prompting the National Weather Service to issue an air quality alert for people to limit their time outside because of increased dust and other pollutants. For those with respiratory issues, windy days can trigger coughing, sneezing, shortness of.
Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 SACATON – Sprouting through the cracked floor of the Sonoran Desert, tepary beans thrive in the dry heat and carry with it centuries of resilience from the indigenous Pima people of southern Arizona. “We have our water. It’s our life. It’s our livelihood, and it’s our culture,” said Ramona Button,.
NOGALES – More than 370 articles on the Nogales International online news archive contain the word “sewage,” and that archive only dates to 2001. These articles reveal a long history of broken pipes, sewage overflows, industrial waste and more. Sewage in Ambos Nogales – “ambos” is Spanish for “both,” referring to the twin cities in.
TONTO NATIONAL FOREST – Nathan Rees and Beau, his German shorthaired pointer, took this reporter off-trail to hike along Dude Creek in Tonto National Forest, northeast of Phoenix. We were looking for an ephemeral stream: a channel that may be dry now but clearly carries water occasionally. We found one. “(It’s) probably not mapped (because.
FLAGSTAFF – The Navajo and Hopi tribes have fought hard to hold onto coal. Three generations have worked for the West’s largest coal-fired power plant, and both tribes have relied heavily on its revenue. So when the Phoenix-based Salt River Project announced it was shutting down the Navajo Generating Station at the end of the.
WASHINGTON – Two weeks after water officials told Congress there was urgent need to approve the Colorado River drought contingency plan, the House and Senate both passed a plan Monday and sent it to the president’s desk. If signed by President Donald Trump as expected, it would be the culmination of years of negotiations between.
WASHINGTON – There were 14 more Mexican gray wolves in the wild last year, a “huge relief” to conservationists but not nearly enough for them to stop worrying about the long-term viability of the endangered animal. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported Monday that it counted 131 Mexican gray wolves for 2018 – 64.
NOGALES, Mexico – Wastewater containing raw sewage has been intermittently flowing into the Nogales Wash from Mexico since mid-January, spurring concerns about health and the water supply for communities on both sides of the border. Four of the five pumps at the Los Alisos Wastewater Treatment Plant in Nogales, Mexico, have been malfunctioning since mid-January,.
PHOENIX – Virulent Newcastle disease has been found in an Arizona chicken flock for the first time since the outbreak began last year in California. It’s been found in Arizona near Flagstaff in a backyard flock of eight birds, and tests show the strain is part of the Southern California outbreak. Arizona state veterinarian Peter.
PHOENIX – A group of scientists, climate experts and government officials from across the country want to make what the public knows about climate change more integrated with run-of-the-mill choices about infrastructure and zoning. It would be a sort of climate service, akin to the National Weather Service. Kathy Jacobs, who led the third National.
FLAGSTAFF – On Mount Elden’s tightly wound switchbacks, small pines densely line the edge of the cliff just off the dirt road. Many are marked with brilliant orange spray paint, signaling a boundary that tells loggers where to remove trees. The mountain’s steep slopes and the crowded forest makes getting trees off Elden a challenge,.
WASHINGTON – Tohono O’odham Chairman Edward D. Manuel testified Thursday that lack of water has been killing crops and livestock – and, essentially, the tribe’s economy – and things will only get worse if federal funding is allowed to lapse. That’s why Manuel joined officials from other tribes, utilities and advocacy groups to urge passage.
PHOENIX – Last fall and winter in Arizona were record-breakers. Since Oct. 1, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has received nearly double the amount of rainfall than normal. In February, Flagstaff had its snowiest day on record, with nearly 40 inches. Forecasters say part of the reason Arizona had so many storms this winter was.
TEMPE – Sherrie Zeitlin’s passion for recycling art supplies began in art school. “It was anything that was leftover that was being recycled into an art project,” the fiber and ceramic artist said. “That’s where I was sparked to open up this place when I could.” Zeitlin worked as a guest artist in schools across.
PHOENIX – Despite having one of the wettest winters on record, Arizona still faces a high threat of wildfires, Gov. Doug Ducey said Monday. He urged residents to remain vigilant at the forefront of wildfire season. “More precipitation brings more fueled vegetation, which increases fire danger,” the Republican said at a news conference. Ducey urged.
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – On a recent morning, Sandra Pascoe Ortiz, a chemical engineering professor, sat down at a restaurant and ordered one of her favorite drinks: a blend of grapefruit, pineapple, celery, parsley, spinach and prickly pear cactus. Pascoe Ortiz for years has been drinking this blend known in Mexico as jugo verde (“green juice”),.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Debra Loney hunches over a batch of milkweed, then gets on her hands and knees to scour the plants for elusive monarch caterpillars and eggs. It’s no easy task: The eggs are no larger than a grain of sand. “I’m bringing knee pads next time,” said Loney, 64, who lives in.
WASHINGTON – The endangered Mexican gray wolf is still endangered – for now. The National Academy of Sciences said Thursday that a six-month study determined the Mexican gray wolf is a separate subspecies from other gray wolves, which recently lost their endangered species status. Mexican gray wolves were almost driven to extinction in the 1970s,.
WASHINGTON – The director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources told a Senate panel Wednesday there is an “urgent need” to authorize a multistate drought contingency plan for the Colorado River basin. Tom Buschatzke was one of several state and federal officials pressing Congress on the plan, years in the making, that is designed.
TUCSON – Citing sharply escalating financial losses in the city’s recycling program, Tucson officials said this week the city might have to stop taking glass bottles and newspapers until markets for those items recover. China was the leading buyer of U.S. recyclables for more than 25 years. But 18 months ago, the country, citing environmental.
WASHINGTON – The “Green New Deal” faced its first test vote in the Senate Tuesday and a renewed round of criticism from Republicans, who called the expansive environmental bill a “Soviet-style takeover” of the economy. That was the description used by Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, during a Western Caucus news conference where lawmakers said the.
PHOENIX – Blankets of bright orange poppies and deep purple lupine cover the rugged hills and mountains at Picacho Peak State Park. Visitors have been flocking there to be dazzled by the flower-coated landscape, which is just a part of this year’s wildflower explosion across the Sonoran Desert. At Picacho Peak, about halfway between Phoenix.
LOS ANGELES – First off, yes, this is a story about poop, which we all know is funny. So please get all the snickers, chuckles and chortles out of your system now, because this poop story has a valuable lesson about how Los Angeles residents share this wildland-urban interface with coyotes – and why it’s.
GREELEY, Colo. – Water leaders from the seven states that make up the vast Colorado River Basin met Tuesday in Phoenix to sign a letter to Congress asking for federal approval of a drought contingency plan meant to protect Lake Mead. Recent heavy snows in the Southern Rocky Mountains have relieved some short-term pressure on.
GREELEY, Colo. – High snowpack in the southern Rocky Mountains this winter will likely stave off a shortage declaration in the Colorado River watershed in 2020, relieving some pressure on water managers attempting to navigate future scarcity. New data from U.S. Bureau of Reclamation models show a lessened risk of Lake Mead dropping far enough.
WASHINGTON – Phoenix mom Claudia Faudoa joined dozens of activists Monday who called the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to relax standards on power plant emissions, like mercury, an “attack on American children.” “I’ve traveled all the way from Arizona this morning to tell you that my children are the most precious resource I have,” Faudoa.
TUCSON – Northeastern Arizona no longer is dealing with extreme drought, thanks to ample fall and winter precipitation, making this season’s snowpack one of the most abundant in awhile, the Arizona Department of Water Resources reports. In addition, it said, soil beneath the snow is saturated, which means there should be significant spring runoff to.
EL RANCHO LAS AGUILAS, Mexico – It’s late afternoon on this 10,000-acre spread in northern Sonora, within sight of Arizona’s Huachuca Mountains. On a steep, oak-covered hillside, Cesar de Leon and a colleague from the Sonoran game and fish department are clearing away brush with a machete and hand saw. “Before installing the camera, we.
WASHINGTON – Big game hunters in Kaibab National Forest are free to drive off-road to collect their kills, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected environmental groups’ claims that letting hunters drive up to a mile off designated forest roads to harvest game would.
WASHINGTON – Hopi Vice Chairman Clark Tenakhongva said he already sees a difference in the year since the Trump administration shrank the size of Bears Ears National Monument, excluding some culturally revered land. “Today, there’s a lot of vandalism, there’s a lot of looting and that still continues,” Tenakhongva said. “So that is the fear.
EL DESEMBOQUE, Mexico – There’s one thing that connects the more than 900 members of the binational group Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers. “Immensely beautiful and mesmerizing,” said Benjamin Wilder, a University of Arizona botanist who directs the group, known as NGen. “A special place,” agreed indigenous ecologist Mayra Estrella. “It’s a treasure for humanity,”.
YUMA – The fastest land mammal in North America and a large-footed marsh bird in the Southwest have been listed as endangered for more than half a century. The Sonoran pronghorn and the Yuma Ridgway’s rail are featured in a vibrant new mural at the Arizona Western College theater that’s meant to show how climate.
PHOENIX – Every winter, about 1.5 million honeybee colonies from all over the U.S. are shipped to California to pollinate almond trees. That’s almost 60 percent of the country’s 2.6 million colonies. The $300 million managed pollination typically benefits almonds and bees alike. But in 2014, 80,000 of these bee colonies died or were deformed..
PHOENIX – The last day of January looked like a banner day for Arizona’s water planning. Lawmakers had passed legislation authorizing Arizona to enter into an important deal, and Gov. Doug Ducey signed the bills almost immediately. “Working together with a common goal in mind, there’s no limit to what we can achieve. And today.
RANCHO GRANDE, Mexico – It’s just after sunrise, and hunting guide Jim Schaafsma is trudging through the brush up a small rise about 60 miles north of Hermosillo. He pauses just shy of the top. “We should wait until the sun gets a little higher, where we’re not silhouetted,” he whispered. “It’ll be shining in.
GRAND CANYON – Rep. Raúl Grijalva’s bill enacting a permanent ban on uranium mining drew praise this week from Havasupai leaders and criticism from the mining industry, as well as from a Republican member of Arizona’s congressional delegation. “Havasupai means people of the blue green water, and we have been living here for over thousands.
GRAND CANYON VILLAGE — One hundred years ago last month, President Woodrow Wilson signed the law designating Grand Canyon a national park. That first year, the park welcomed about 38,000 visitors, the majority of whom arrived by train. Today, more than 6 million visitors from around the world visit the canyon every year, and most.
WASHINGTON – It’s taken two years stretched over two Congresses, but La Paz County should finally be able to get its hands on 5,935 acres of federal land for a proposed solar farm near Interstate 10. “We’re very excited,” La Paz County Supervisor D.L. Wilson said Wednesday. “It’s going to generate revenue and provide jobs.
PHOENIX – Arizona Public Service Co. plans to add hundreds of megawatts of battery storage by 2025 to its solar power plants so customers can keep using solar energy when the sun sets. Arizona’s largest utility announced last week that a new plan to add 850 megawatts of battery storage and at least 100 megawatts.
-Video by Gabrielle Olivera/Cronkite News GRAND CANYON VILLAGE – It’s a cold winter night along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, and as she shuffles through the fresh snow, Abbie Smith can’t think of a better place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. As midnight strikes, the Mesa resident is overjoyed to be staying in.
GRAND CANYON – Grand Canyon National Park’s safety, health and wellness manager caused a stir this week when he reported that three buckets of uranium ore stored in the park’s museum collections building had exposed visitors and staff to radiation for years. Scientists, however, say unprocessed ore poses little danger unless exposed at very close.
PICACHO – About 80 million tons of asphalt are recycled every year throughout the U.S., but the Arizona Department of Transportation is using old pavement from Interstate 10 to build new eastbound lanes near this unincorporated community. In the process, an ADOT spokesman says the department is saving money and time, and decreasing its environmental.
TEMPE – It looks like a carpet and acts like a sponge, but it’s actually a key innovation aimed at curbing rising carbon dioxide levels in the air. Allen Wright directs the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University and has spent more than 15 years researching ways to “scrub” the dangerous greenhouse.
FLAGSTAFF – David Fox beams when a picture of a Gila trout flashes on a computer monitor at Sterling Springs Hatchery, nestled at the top of Oak Creek Canyon. “It was the highlight of my career here,” he said of his efforts to restore the speckled brown fish, which is found only in Arizona and.
WASHINGTON – After months of gridlock, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that permanently authorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program that has sent almost $240 million to Arizona for parks and open space projects. The fund was the biggest part of a sweeping 698-page public lands package that includes everything from local.
SURPRISE – A $20 bill. A rubber ducky. And grease – lots of grease. Money, toys and food byproducts clog wastewater systems in Surprise and other cities, costing time, wasting taxpayer dollars and frustrating workers dealing with the errors people flush down the drain, city leaders said. “We see everything – feminine products, we see.
WASHINGTON – Clayton Honyumptewa says the Powamuya ceremony will be observed this weekend as usual on parts of the Hopi reservation, but the planting that traditionally follows the ceremony might not come until May. The delay is just another example of the effects of climate change that have left dams dry, water scarce – and.
OAK FLAT – Dozens of people braved chilly temperatures last weekend to walk 45 miles to Oak Flat, in the Tonto National Forest east of Superior. Starting from the San Carlos Apache Reservation in east-central Arizona, they meant to show solidarity and raise awareness about a sacred site that Apaches call Chi’ch’il Bildagoteel – a.
PHOENIX – Protesters have raised renewed concerns about proper care for dolphins in a captive environment in light of the recent deaths at Dolphinaris Arizona, which has temporarily shut down after the death of a fourth dolphin, Kai. The 22-year-old bottlenose dolphin was euthanized last month after showing difficulty eating, breathing and swimming, according to.
PHOENIX – Every day is a challenge for Bruce Gran, 52, who was diagnosed with West Nile virus seven years ago. “From Day 1, it’s been a migraine-caliber headache,” the Tucson resident said. “My short term-memory is terrible. I’m not old enough to be having the effects that I have. ” Gran is one of.
WASHINGTON – The National Park Service said it will reimburse national parks, including the Grand Canyon, that were forced to dip into local maintenance funds to remain partially open during the recent five-week government shutdown. Although advocates welcomed the reimbursement, they said parks should never have been put in the position of using their own.
GREELEY, Colo. – The seven states that rely on the Colorado River for water haven’t been able to finish a series of agreements that would keep its biggest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, from dropping to levels not seen since they were filled decades ago. Five states — Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and.
PHOENIX – Getting a decision on a construction permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act takes longer in Arizona than in any other Southwestern state, a new study found. And that delay can drive up costs for consumers and taxpayers, one of the authors says. Before construction can begin on almost anything –.
LAKE PLEASANT – Bald eagles are nesting at Lake Pleasant north of Phoenix, and thanks to the Arizona Game & Fish Department, you can observe one pair of parents-to-be through a live webcam. Thousands of people watched last month when a pair of ravens swooped in while the parents were away and ate the only.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Arizona and California aren’t done with finalizing a plan that would establish how states in the Colorado River Basin will ensure water for millions of people in the Southwest, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman said Friday. Despite Arizona lawmakers meeting Burman’s deadline to sign off on a plan to keep.
WASHINGTON – The number of Arizonans who believe climate change is a “serious problem” has grown sharply in the past three years, according to an annual survey of Western-state voters’ opinions on environmental issues. That was just one finding of the Conservation in the West Poll released Thursday by Colorado College’s State of the Rockies.
ELOY – Arizona lawmakers beat a midnight deadline set by the federal government by just a few hours Thursday, agreeing on a plan to balance drought and water supplies in the Colorado River Basin. The goal is to keep water levels in Lake Mead from plummeting so low there wouldn’t be enough water for the.
WOLCOTT, Colo. – Each winter, anxious water managers, farmers and city leaders across the Southwest turn their eyes toward the snowy peaks of the southern Rocky Mountains. The piling snow is a massive frozen reservoir, and its depth and weight can foreshadow the year ahead. Millions of dollars are spent divining what a heavy or.
SCOTTSDALE – Staging an event of any size that aims to reduce waste is a challenge. Organizing one of sport’s biggest spectator events while producing zero waste takes a whole different level of creativity. The Waste Management Phoenix Open launched its Zero-Waste Challenge in 2012, and since 2013 the PGA Tour event at TPC Scottsdale’s.
GRAND CANYON – Waiting for the sun to rise, visitors to Grand Canyon National Park quietly stood at Mather Point. By 7:45, sunbeams pierced the low clouds to illuminate the red rocks and the sparkling snow. Despite the partial federal government shutdown, which ended Jan. 25, for most visitors, the closure didn’t affect their experience..
PHOENIX – Saguaros are an enduring icon of the American West, towering sentinels with shapes that are distinctive yet wonderfully, wildly divergent. Arizonans and visitors alike are fascinated by these cactuses, which can live more than 200 years, stand 60 feet tall and weigh more than 2 tons. The saguaro even serves as the sole.
PHOENIX – The board of the Central Arizona Project on Thursday voted to support draft legislation for the state’s drought contingency plan, a major water savings deal in the Colorado River Basin. Thing is, no formal bills have been sponsored in the Legislature, which faces a Jan. 31 deadline to act. The draft legislation, released.
PHOENIX – Tesla recently announced major layoffs across all its operations, hoping to cut costs and price its electric vehicles to be more competitive with gasoline-powered vehicles. The move came a few weeks after the Trump administration pledged to end Obama-era federal tax credits for electric vehicles of up to $7,500. Some states have policies.
GREELEY, Colo. – After one of the hottest and driest years on record, the Colorado River and its tributaries across the Southwest are likely headed for another year of low water. That’s according to an analysis by the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Jeff Lukas, the researcher who authored the briefing,.
WASHINGTON – When environmental activist Columba Sainz found out she was pregnant for the third time, she knew to stay away from foods contaminated by mercury for the health of her baby. That’s why the Phoenix mother of two found herself sitting in a Senate hearing room in Washington on Wednesday with dozens of other.
PHOENIX – On the first day of the legislative session, Gov. Doug Ducey put water at the top of his State of the State address. More specifically, he wants a drought contingency plan completed, one that keeps the vital Colorado River system at healthy levels. Ongoing drought and over-allocation means Lake Mead is at risk.
PHOENIX – The partial federal government shutdown is affecting Arizona’s painstaking work on an internal drought plan, although not enough to delay a federal deadline set for the end of this month. The Bureau of Reclamation remains open, Phoenix-area manager Leslie Meyers said, noting that the bureau’s funding was appropriated in September. The legal counsel.
COTTONWOOD – Fighting nature with nature seems like a good idea – unless nature doesn’t care about geography. Today, the effects of a federal decision made 20 years ago to use Asian beetles to slow the spread of an invasive shrub across the West are reducing nesting habitat for an endangered songbird – the southwestern.
HERMOSILLO, Mexico – The last stretch to the solar array is a rough dirt road that winds through the desert scrublands east of Hermosillo, Sonora’s state capital. Barbed wire and the occasional cow are the only signs of civilization. After one gate and then another, the panels come into view. Row after row after row.
WASHINGTON – In her decades fighting wildfires, Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen says the fires have gotten bigger, the deployments have gotten longer and the situation has just gotten worse overall. But there may be help on the horizon. After years of wrangling, Congress last year passed the “fire funding fix,” which will take effect.
TEMPE – When he first walked into Bike Saviours, Christian Lee Bowers was so awed by the place he was speechless. “The next day, I even wondered if this place was real,” he said. “So I came back and instantly just started working on projects.” The cooperative bike shop not only teaches customers how to.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – In the past 30 days, nearly half of U.S. college students have gone without enough to eat, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That includes students in Arizona and California. Gicela Galvez is one of those students – a sophomore studying psychology at Santa Monica College. Like many of.
PHOENIX – Officials at a water treatment plant near a heavily polluted site in Tucson are replacing more than 56 tons of activated carbon to address newly discovered perfluorinated chemical contamination. “The fact that we have a treatment plant there at all is entirely driven by the Superfund site,” said Tim Thomure, director of Tucson.
PHOENIX – In early December, after months (some would say years) of tough negotiations, the Central Arizona Project board approved a framework for the state’s internal Drought Contingency Plan, which outlines how expected reductions in water deliveries would be decided. Pinal County farmers expressed concern, however, because money to help them build groundwater infrastructure was.
CAMP VERDE – Chip Norton has a message to promote the importance of river conservation: “I’ll say it both ways – Save water, drink beer. Drink beer, save water.” Norton, president and principal shareholder of Sinagua Malt, started his malt house in 2016 to help reduce water use from the Verde River. Norton and the.
LOS ANGELES – Behold the prepared meal kit, a box full of tidy pouches and recipe cards that appear each week, as if by magic, on our doorsteps. Touting organic ingredients and “sustainable,” “recyclable,” “earth friendly” and “responsibly sourced” materials, meal prep kits have grown into a billion-dollar industry. Less planning. Better eating. Less waste..
TUCSON – Tree rings, going back 800 years, are giving researchers at the University of Arizona a window into how climate change could expand the planet’s most extreme deserts, including the Sonoran, which extends from the Baja Peninsula, into Southern California and much of southern Arizona. “We see a trend, atmospherically speaking, that the tropical.
BOISE, Idaho – The fire season across the West has been brutal. In California, the Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire together left more than 88 dead and 15,000 structures destroyed, with dozens of people still missing. Huge fires in Nevada have burned hundreds of thousands of acres. Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico have all been affected..
LOS ANGELES – California’s building codes are not keeping up with the severe, wind-driven wildfires that are becoming the norm. Ten years ago, the state passed strict new standards for homes built in high fire-risk areas. But even homes built to those standards were destroyed in the Thomas Fire in December 2017. Homes now are.
PHOENIX – Environmentally speaking, it’s best to reuse your holiday lights for as long as possible, or to donate them. But for the first time, Phoenix is accepting strings of lights for recycling. Residents can drop off lights at one of two transfer stations, starting the day after Christmas. “This is the first year that.
FLAGSTAFF – The Grand Canyon, carved by water over millions of years, is a geologic wonder that has inspired poets to dream and scientists to ponder. Most of us are lucky to visit once or twice in a lifetime. But for several Native American tribes, the Grand Canyon is their home. “Most Americans think Native.
PHOENIX – Sirena Rana Dufault has hiked Mount Lemmon, outside Tucson, more times than she can say. But she still has a sense of wonder, noticing little things, including a dust-colored lizard skittering past. “Oh my gosh!” she said, scooping up the tiny creature. “Look at him! He’s adorable! … He’s like a dinosaur!” Dufault,.
PHOENIX – At 22, Carly Verbeke has been to Europe twice. But until just now, she had never been on a hike. Now, for the first time, her wheelchair is rolling past tall pines on a flat, paved trail, the smell of damp earth heavy in the air. Her chair isn’t even rated to go.
PHOENIX – A few years ago, when Caitlin Stewart announced she was going to hike all 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail, people had questions. “Probably four to 10 people said, ‘Are you going to bring a machete?’” she recalled. That would be a no. She wasn’t going to take a gun, either. But the.
PHOENIX – Ask Brian Gootee of the Arizona Geological Survey how the mountains ringing metro Phoenix formed and you’ll get what sounds like a riddle: “When you think about this flat (Salt River) valley, I think you have to kind of start over with what it wasn’t, right before it started to become what it.
PHOENIX – The governors of Arizona, New Mexico and Sonora, Mexico, signed an agreement Wednesday promoting the transport of natural gas from New Mexico to growing markets in Asia. The four-year pact promises to promote the production and transmission of natural gas produced in New Mexico, which is to be piped through Arizona to Sonoran.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, may not take over the House Natural Resources Committee for another two weeks, but that doesn’t mean his potential presence as chairman isn’t already being felt. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, long a target of Grijalva, said last week that he will resign before Democrats take control of the House.
PHOENIX – Americans are on pace to eat more meat per person in 2018 than ever before – despite a push to reduce meat production to curb climate change. The average consumer will eat 222 pounds of red meat and poultry by the end of this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, surpassing.
PHOENIX – Three years after an accidental spill from a gold mine in southwest Colorado, scientists are getting the chance to thoroughly analyze its impact on Lake Powell. They’re looking for traces of toxic metals in wastewater accidentally released by the Gold King Mine near Silverton in 2015. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality, the.
PRESCOTT – After more than a year of studies and loud public opposition, the federal government has given the green light to a pozzolan mine on public land in Skull Valley, southwest of Prescott. Natural pozzolan, which is used to make high quality concrete, is found in deposits of tuff, a glassy, igneous rock formed.
LAS VEGAS – Coming to terms with the limits of the Colorado River is like losing a loved one, Keith Moses said. “It reminds me of the seven stages of grief, because I think we’ve been in denial for a long time,” Moses, vice chairman of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, a group of four.
LAS VEGAS – Water leaders throughout the West now have a hard deadline to finish deals that would keep the Colorado River’s biggest reservoirs from dropping to deadpool levels – the point at which water no longer can be released. The nation’s top water official is giving leaders of the seven states that rely on.
PHOENIX – Climate change could double your beer tab, according to a recent global study, and craft breweries fear they’ll be hurt the most. The study, published in October in the peer-reviewed online journal Nature Plants, suggests that the barley supply could decrease up to 15 percent over the next several decades due to ongoing.
GILBERT – From meat trays to mac-and-cheese cups, single-use plastics pack the grocery-store aisles and usually end up in landfills. Now, an Arizona company is on a mission to replace them with biodegradable and compostable products over the next five years. “We had the vision that the whole world was going to demand alternatives to.
LOS ANGELES – Last month’s Woolsey Fire destroyed 88 percent of public land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and experts with the National Park Service already are assessing the damaging and considering ways to restore the land. NPS spokeswoman Kate Kuykendall previously described the park as a moonscape, and photos from the.
WASHINGTON – After months of wrangling, state and tribal officials, industry and agriculture representatives walked out of a meeting at the end of last month with high hopes they were nearing agreement on a complex water-conservation plan. And at the beginning of this month, they found themselves grappling with new demands that threatened to derail.
WICKENBURG – Jerry Tyra started working underground in 1960, drilling ore samples to help mine companies figure out whether to develop a mine site. Since 2007, the 75-year-old has been doing a different kind of exploration: scouring the state for the thousands of abandoned mines some of his former employers may have left scattered throughout.
PHOENIX – After he started hallucinating, John Waddell began to believe he would die. He had fallen 100 feet to the bottom of an abandoned gold mine in western Maricopa County, leaving him with a broken leg and rope-burned hands. “It’s like a black cloud that’s a little stringy, and these figures were coming out.
DENVER – Nearly half the population of the West lives in an area with potential for wildfire danger. And both the risk of fire and the population in harm’s way are rising in this fast-growing part of the nation. Eighty-four percent of the risk area has not yet been developed. “Which means the problem is.
TONTO NATIONAL FOREST – LeRoy Shingoitewa dug his hiking boots into loose gravel and sand, watching the early November morning sunlight slowly spread across shrubby hills and rocky valleys near the proposed site of an enormous copper mine. Resolution Copper plans to develop the mine east of Superior and predicts the mine will meet about.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Boats bobbed on a gentle current as Jeff Maassen, a sea-urchin diver for 30 years, filled up his fuel tank at the wharf. He waved to fellow fishermen, then set out for the Channel Islands off Santa Barbara, where he would dive for the next few days. Maassen harvests red sea.
FLAGSTAFF – The Dewey-Humboldt Town Council has passed a resolution condemning animal-killing contests. The Nov. 20 resolution came three weeks before a coyote contest in central Arizona called the Santa Slay Coyote Tournament. Dewey-Humboldt – which is southeast of Prescott and bills itself as “Arizona’s Country Town” – joins Tucson, Pinal County, Albuquerque and California.
LA JOLLA, Calif. – Flu season is underway across the country, and it’s not too late for a flu shot. But rather than get vaccinations to combat influenza, people one day could get protection from llamas. New research suggests llama antibodies – the protective proteins that mobilize to protect the body from viruses – may.
PHOENIX – The pink bollworm has destroyed cotton crops in the United States for a century, but it now has been eradicated from cotton-producing areas in the Lower 48. An undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture was in Arizona last month to celebrate the demise of the pink bollworm, which first invaded Texas from.
TUCSON – The click of container lids and swoosh of zippers filled the air on a still morning in Saguaro National Park East. Tom Orum and his wife, Nancy Ferguson, pulled measuring equipment from the trunk of their dusty white truck, parked in a flat landscape of majestic saguaros towering over teddy bear cholla, prickly.
FLAGSTAFF – The decision to cut more than 1,300 old-growth trees last summer in an eastern Arizona forest has been criticized for breaking trust with the thinning project’s backers. The rebuke comes at a time when forest management is receiving national attention for its role in preventing catastrophic wildfires, such as those last month in.
PHOENIX – When you’re out hiking, you never know what you might see. You could cross paths with lizards, tarantulas or maybe even something bigger, like a javelina. More likely, you’ll come across the tracks of these critters. But imagine you’re hiking in the Grand Canyon and you happen upon a slab of fallen rock.
WASHINGTON – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke blasted Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, on Twitter Friday after the congressman wrote an editorial calling on Zinke to resign “immediately” in the face of multiple, ongoing ethics investigations. Grijalva, long a critic of Zinke’s and of his management of the Interior Department, said in the op-ed in Friday’s USA.
PHOENIX – Negotiations on a drought plan for Arizona took a step forward Thursday when the head of the state water department said Gov. Doug Ducey will ask for $30 million in his upcoming budget proposal to help make the Drought Contingency Plan a reality. The news came as the directors of two big water.
WASHINGTON – Everybody in Washington seems to agree that the Land and Water Conservation Fund should be renewed, but chances of that happening still appear slim as the clock winds down on this Congress. A bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers gathered Thursday to push for the decades-old fund, which directs revenues from offshore.
GREELEY, Colo. – The effects of climate change are not far off challenges for future generations. They are existential problems for everyone alive today. That’s one big takeaway from the U.S. federal government’s latest roundup of climate science, the National Climate Assessment, now in its fourth iteration. Released the day after Thanksgiving, the report is.
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court made it harder Tuesday for the government to designate critical habitat for endangered species, in a ruling that business and property rights groups said corrects bureaucratic overreach. But environmental groups criticized the unanimous decision that they said “doesn’t do any damage to the Endangered Species Act” itself, but opens the.
GREELEY, Colo. – Early season snowfall in some parts of the Colorado River Basin have raised hopes of a drought recovery. But that optimism is likely premature. In some parts of Colorado, higher-than-average snowfall in October and early November has allowed ski resorts to open early. That was encouraging, considering last year’s season got off.
SAN FELIPE, Baja California – “Bienvenidos al Nido,” Francisco Iñegas said. “Welcome to El Nido.” He walks across what look like huge, gray connector blocks fitted together into a floating pathway. Then he climbs up into El Nido, an open-sea aquarium just off the small town of San Felipe in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. “The.
PHOENIX – Citrus production, one of Arizona’s founding “Five Cs,” predates statehood. But today, the industry is stuck – and for lemons, the market no longer can grow, thanks to drought and urbanization. Harold Payne is manager of the 2,000-acre Fort McDowell Tribal Farm, which grows lemon trees on just one-tenth of the land, even.
SOLEDAD, Calif. – There is a calming resonance of nature’s finest and subtlest sounds at Pinnacles National Park. Leaves rustle and birds warble as the wind flows between the rolling mountains. On a good day, park visitors might see endangered California condors circling overhead, riding thermals on wingspans stretching up to 10 feet. The park.
SAN FELIPE, Baja California – Just as the sun peeks over the horizon, casting an orange glow across the water, a group of fishermen takes off from docks at San Felipe. Their small, blue-and-white boats, known as pangas, bounce and rattle over the waves of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. Ruben Orozco wears a Chicago Bulls.
SAN FELIPE, Baja California – The activist sailors aboard Sea Shepherd’s big, white patrol ship in northern Mexico’s Sea of Cortez come from all over the world. A recent crew included volunteers from Italy, France, Brazil, Mexico and the United States, among other places. They’ve all joined the Los Angeles-based conservation society’s ship on the.
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. – The cul-de-sac off Blackbird Road looks idyllic, with green trees and inviting homes. Yet, a walk through this neighborhood reveals the scars left from the Woolsey Fire: a front yard blackened by flames, a charred wooden gate, a trampoline ripped at the seams. These are reminders of how lucky Westlake Village.
WASHINGTON – Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen came under fire Thursday for her department’s handling of sexual harassment complaints, the same issue that led to the retirement of her predecessor as chief. Christiansen, the former Arizona State Forester, was grilled by members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who also heard explicit testimony.
PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has written an opinion piece outlining some requirements he has for Arizona’s internal deal on drought. It came two days ahead of an important meeting of the board of the agency that runs the Central Arizona Project canal system. The other six Colorado River Basin states and Mexico are.
LOS ANGELES – Arizona officials are sending dozens of fire engines to California to help fight devastating wildfires, one of which has raged for a week. Arizona officials have sent 42 engines and 144 firefighters from across the state to help battle the blazes, back-fill for local fire departments and help with supplies, according to.
FLAGSTAFF – Universities in Arizona are stepping up how they handle food waste and single-use plastic. All three of the state’s universities have robust composting programs to reduce what ends up in landfills. But Northern Arizona University has expanded its efforts to include reusable food containers, and it banned plastic straws this year. Now, Flagstaff.
GREER – On a chilly fall morning in eastern Arizona, families taking part in a youth hunting camp awoke before dawn to hunt elk. Gage Martinez, 14, was one of the last to shoot an elk, but by midmorning, it was skinned and hanging from a tree by its hind legs. “I was so excited,.
PHOENIX – The fight over whether Arizona should get half of its electricity from solar, wind and other renewable sources turned bitter election night when Attorney General Mark Brnovich called out California billionaire Tom Steyer for using California’s energy policies to try to influence Arizona’s policies. “I’ve got a message for Tom Steyer,” Brnovich said.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – We love our rivers, our mountains, our forests, deserts and wildlife in the West. They’re part of our economies, our lifestyles and our identity. But that very connection makes us vulnerable to a growing mental health problem: climate anxiety. Wander around any town center or school campus around Colorado Springs and.
Updated at 10:44 p.m. PHOENIX – Arizona voters rejected Proposition 127, according to the Associated Press. The initiative would have required the state’s regulated utilities to get 50 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2030. Arizona’s current renewable portfolio standard will remain in place. That standard, set by the Arizona Corporation Commission, requires.
TUCSON – Thunder and lightning. Dust and wind. Flash floods. These hallmarks of the North American monsoon are well-known to Arizonans, and new research indicates these impressive storms have been a part of the Southwest’s climate for millions of years. Jessica Tierney, a geologist and associate professor at the University of Arizona, leads a research.
FLAGSTAFF – Arizonans spend time in their cars every day. Stopped. Maybe they’re waiting for a light to change or light rail to pass, to pick up a friend or get food at the drive-thru. Whatever the reason, all those idling engines contribute to air pollution. It’s a national environmental concern. The U.S. Department of Energy.
GRAND CANYON – Arizona’s national parks are feeling their age and need a $531 million makeover on hundreds of roads and buildings that serve millions of annual visitors, park officials said. It’s a problem in national parks around the country, but financial rescue may be edging closer. The Grand Canyon, Petrified National Forest and other.
WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court said Thursday that the Havasupai tribe and environmental advocates can challenge an existing uranium mine on land near the Grand Canyon where mining was recently banned. The decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a partial reversal of its own December decision.
LECHEE CHAPTER HOUSE, Navajo Nation – Just south of Page, three smokestacks pierce the horizon like a pitchfork. They belong to the West’s largest coal-fired power plant, the Navajo Generating Station. Beyond it, red sandstone mesas tower over a glimmering Lake Powell. Jerry Williams has worked at NGS for 38 years. Two weeks ago, he.
PHOENIX – The superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park is “presently out of the office” and under investigation by the Interior Department for undisclosed allegations, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service said Wednesday. Christine Lehnertz, who was hired as park superintendent two years ago to address a pattern of sexual harassment among employees at.
PHOENIX – More than $40 million has been spent to fight for and against a ballot initiative that would change the future of Arizona’s energy mix. Proposition 127 has also been the subject of an Arizona Supreme Court lawsuit and a battle over claims that language from the Attorney General’s Office undermined the initiative. If.
YORBA LINDA, Calif. – It’s a real-estate paradox: The most desirable places to live also are among the most susceptible to wildfires. Mansions in the Santa Monica Mountains, tiny cabins tucked into the Angeles National Forest and homes at the edges of subdivisions all are beautiful because they’re surrounded by undeveloped land. But that land.
VENTURA, Calif. – Arizona is no stranger to gigantic wildfires, such as the Wallow Fire in 2011, which burned more than half a million acres and destroyed dozens of buildings. California has experienced two of the largest fires in its history within the past year. These wildfires are going to become more of the norm.
WASHINGTON – The White House on Friday released a plan that it said would improve water reliability and availability in the West by streamlining regulatory processes and conducting expedited reviews on water projects. Details on the plan were scarce Friday, but environmental groups were immediately skeptical, with one advocate saying she is “sure it’s a.
PHOENIX – There’s a fundamental question over the roundtail chub, a minnow native to Arizona: Is it endangered or not? The Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson in August sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for not protecting it. But the Arizona Game & Fish Department, which works with federal agencies to protect existing.
PHOENIX – First there was Rosa, then came Sergio. Remnants of those downgraded hurricanes helped set rainfall records for Phoenix and made this the wettest October since record keeping began in 1895. Phoenix is 2.55 inches above the year-to-date normal. The steady rains flooded roads, closed schools and briefly shut down the Arizona State Fair,.
FLAGSTAFF – On public land south of Mountainaire, nature lovers can enjoy a vista of thousands of lush ponderosa pines blanketing the base of the San Francisco Peaks. The dense forest is beautiful – and unnatural. It was sparse until humans changed the landscape in the late 19th century. And now, humans are trying to.
LAKE MEAD – Swaths of mineral-stained white rock, more than 100 feet tall, mark Lake Mead’s basin, punctuating decades of drought in the Southwest. At one point, the white rock was underwater. If the lake levels dip too low, Arizona could lose about a seventh of its annual water allotment to the Central Arizona Project,.
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The temperature is hovering around 90 degrees as Dale Ryden and I float down the Colorado River near Grand Junction. The turbid water looks inviting, a blessed reprieve from the heat, but if either of us jumped in, we’d be electrocuted. “It can actually probably be lethal to people if you.
MESA – Two representatives of Arizona dairy farmers said a recent U.S. trade agreement benefits dairy producers exporting to Canada, but they worry retaliatory tariffs from Mexico will continue to hamper their industry. In a deal reached Sept. 30, Canada agreed to eliminate a controversial pricing system and open up more of its market to.
PAGE – Years into a record-breaking drought across the Southwest, officials of the seven states along the Colorado River finally forged an agreement in 2007 on how to deal with future water shortages. Then they quietly hoped that wet weather would return. It didn’t. Those states now are back at the negotiating table to hammer.
PHOENIX – You may be familiar with carbon offsets, in which companies or schools try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in one area to make up for emissions elsewhere. More and more, corporations also are trying to offset the water they use. Intel Corp., for one, announced a water restoration goal last year: restore 100.
PHOENIX – Monica Strauss pulls on a pair of plastic gloves every morning to dig through blue recycling bins set out on curbs in parts of the city. The Phoenix Public Works Department employee is methodical as she approaches each blue bin and sorts through the paper, cardboard boxes, plastic waste and other contents. She.
PHOENIX – Kroger, owner of Fry’s Foods in Arizona, will phase out plastic bags by 2025, becoming the latest company to respond to the backlash against single-use plastics. The grocery chain will transition to reusable bags in all 2,800 stores, starting in the Seattle area. Pam Giannonatti, spokeswoman for the Fry’s Food division of Kroger,.
CORTEZ, Colo. – Dave Huhn usually is off work on Sundays, but when the phone rang one Sunday during the height of irrigation season a few years ago, he picked up. The woman on the other end was frantic, screaming as she watched from the window as a neighbor, age 86, beat her husband, 82,.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Bottle caps. Plastic spoons. Paper cups. Volunteers who hit the beaches on Coastal Cleanup Day in September collected 734,000 pounds of this kind of trash and recyclable materials, according to the California Coastal Commission. “It’s good for the volunteers to come out to understand we only have one ocean, only one.
PHOENIX – Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey scrambled Tuesday and Wednesday to measure flooding in waterways across metro Phoenix, providing data to help the National Weather Service better forecast potential floods and local agencies understand how high water could rise in the future. On Wednesday, a two-man crew was sent to the usually dry.
NOGALES – A transborder pipeline that brings millions of gallons of raw sewage from Mexico to the U.S. faces challenges on two fronts: The pipe is nearly 70 years old and increasingly prone to leaks; and heavy metals in the wastewater are causing problems at the Arizona plant where it’s treated. Every day, 14 million.
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday let stand an Obama-era moratorium on new uranium mines on about 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon, declining to hear a challenge by mining groups. The 20-year ban on new mines was imposed in 2012 by then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to protect the air and water around.
APACHE JUNCTION – A federal fund that has brought millions of dollars to Arizona over the years for national parks, trail maintenance, even community swimming pools, expired Sept. 30. That could jeopardize future outdoor projects funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund if Congress doesn’t act. Lost Dutchman State Park, nestled at the base.
PHOENIX – The next time you throw something out your car window – especially a cigarette butt – when you drive down the freeway, think of it as throwing money away. It cost taxpayers more than $4 million in 2017 to keep clean about 400 miles of highway in metro Phoenix, according to the Maricopa.
GRAND CANYON VILLAGE – The Grand Canyon twists through northern Arizona, a deep gash cut by the Colorado River. But the river had help from wind, rain and scorching sun, which also has battered its lodges, roads, and utility structures. On Saturday, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke visited Grand Canyon’s windswept roadways, sunbaked cabins.
PHOENIX – Heavy street traffic in Phoenix is common. With more than 4.7 million people now calling the metropolitan area home, it is no surprise people seek solace on the hiking, biking and horseback trails across the city. Crowds, however, have become an issue on some of the more than 200 miles of trails that.
WASHINGTON – The investment firm that was interested in buying the Navajo Generating Station broke off its pursuit this week, making the closure of the plant next year and the loss of hundreds of jobs appear more likely. Avenue Capital subsidiary Middle River Project said in a letter to Navajo officials Thursday night that it.
COCHISE COUNTY – In the mountains 20 miles west of Willcox, 15 wind turbines stand 450 feet tall, spinning with the wind. This is the Red Horse II Wind Farm, the only wind farm operating in southern Arizona. The wind farm is being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division in.
WASHINGTON – Sarah Herve’s plan for the dozen volunteers she oversees every season at the Petrified Forest National Park is simple. “My goal is to treat volunteers so well that they don’t want to leave and always want to come back,” said Herve, a park ranger supervisor at the park west of Holbrook, where she.
CAMP VERDE – Zach Hauser, like many farmers in the Verde Valley, takes pride in his land and the crops he grows. Normally this time of year, rows of corn, alfalfa, carrots and watermelon would cover his acreage. But today, two large sections of his property look like a farmer’s worst nightmare: fallow land strewn.
PHOENIX – The city is making strides toward a more pedestrian-friendly downtown in a move to build community and boost business. Phoenix this summer opened a “more walkable” area along First Street just south of Roosevelt Street, where workers widened sidewalks, planted 125 shade trees and narrowed First Street from two lanes each way to.
WASHINGTON – The long-running fight over the Mexican gray wolf moved from southeast Arizona to a paneled Washington conference room this week, where scientists will try to answer the question that could determine the animal’s fate. Is a Mexican gray wolf just another wolf, or is it a distinct – and endangered – breed of.
PHOENIX – A Canadian energy company will add to its helium operation with more than 3,000 acres of newly leased federal land near Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona. But an environmental group and Arizona U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran worry that operations could threaten key water sources and at least two endangered species. Desert.
WASHINGTON – A House committee unanimously approved a surprise, bipartisan plan to save a popular land conservation fund Thursday, just weeks before it was set to expire. Reauthorization of the $900 million Land and Water Conservation Fund had stalled as the Republican chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and the panel’s senior Democrat locked.
WASHINGTON – The existing partial border wall with Mexico has caused environmental damage, harmed border communities and failed to make the country safer, and a complete border wall would only make things worse, according to a report released Wednesday. The report, “Death, Damage, and Failure: Past, Present, and Future Impacts of Walls on the U.S.-Mexico.
WASHINGTON – Democratic lawmakers said Wednesday that Trump administration efforts to revamp the Endangered Species Act disregard science and ignore the impact that climate change is having on wildlife and their habitats. The House and Senate members were pushing back against plans by Republicans, who say the act is no longer useful and needs to.
PHOENIX – The first in a series of trials looking at water rights for the Hopi Tribe starts on Tuesday, but experts close to the case expect the results to take a while. The case that begins Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court involves the tribe’s past and present uses of water in the Little.
NEW YORK – A group of Navajo environmentalists on Monday took their fight against the Navajo Generating Station to Manhattan, where they protested outside the offices of an investment firm that might save the coal-fired plant. Bundled in boots, coats and layers, the group rallied outside Avenue Capital Group for several hours, standing without umbrellas.
LOS ANGELES – About 60,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles, and Mayor Eric Garcetti has declared homelessness a state of emergency. “Housing to me is the prism through which we refract almost every other issue,” Garcetti said. “So if we’re talking about sustaining life in Los Angeles and California, traffic, the air we breathe,.
LOS ANGELES – The danger birds pose to airplanes is no joke. In the past four years just at Los Angeles International Airport, birds and other wildlife hit aircraft more than 500 times, according to Federal Aviation Administration data. At Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, wildlife hit aircraft more than 230 times from August 2014.
PHOENIX – Most of the headlines from the trade war between China and the United States have focused on tariffs on aluminum and steel, but China also has placed a levy on recycled paper pulp. While not as well known, the 25 percent tariff could bankrupt the beleagured recycling industry in the United States. China’s.
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado River, which supplies water to croplands and 40 million people in the Southwest, is projected to hit a historic low mark within two years, forcing mandatory cuts to deliveries in Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. Facing exceptional drought conditions this summer, cities throughout the river’s vast watershed imposed mandatory water.
Colorado is called “the mother of rivers” for a reason: It has thousands of miles of waterways. That makes Colorado one of the most popular states for river rafting in the country. But like most of the West, a changing climate, drought and wildfires are taking their toll on this multimillion-dollar industry. Jordan Poythress is.
LOS ANGELES – Can’t leave the house without getting bitten? Legs swollen from scratching? Welcome to the crowd. Because yes, the mosquitoes are worse this year. Why? There’s a new type of mosquito hunting across the southern United States. You might have heard of it – the Aedes mosquito – which first showed up in.
PHOENIX – The SunZia power project faces a new objection, this time from an environmental group that fears the high-voltage transmission lines from New Mexico to Arizona will inflict irreparable damage to wetlands and bird populations. The $2 billion project, proposed in 2008, calls for building two 1,500-megawatt lines running 520 miles from central New.
TEMPE – You smell it before you see it. As Galina Mihaleva opens the door to a former teachers’ lounge at the School of Art at Arizona State University, the pungent, sweet-and-sour aroma of fermenting tea assaults the senses. Inside the lounge is a makeshift lab where dozens of plastic containers, some open and others.
NOGALES – Some residents in Santa Cruz County are warning that the pipeline carrying raw sewage from Mexico into the United States could rupture as it did during last year’s monsoon, spewing millions of gallons of waste into the Nogales Wash over seven days. The wash is a main tributary of the Santa Cruz River,.
WASHINGTON – Deenise Becenti remembers watching this summer as a Navajo woman who had been waiting more than 20 years to get electricity in her home flipped the switch to turn on the lights for the first time. “She had a whole lot of happy tears,” said Becenti, spokeswoman for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority..
PAGE – The Bureau of Reclamation finished Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, obliterating one of the most spectacular red-rock canyons in the Southwest and altering the flow of the mighty Colorado River. The concrete-arch dam, just south of the Arizona-Utah line, was first proposed in the 1940s to store water and produce electricity for Western.
WASHINGTON – A proposal for a massive open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains will be back in court this month as opponents challenge permits for the project, the latest twist in an 11-year battle over the Rosemont Mine. The fight pits supporters – who say the mine has been studied to death and.
PHOENIX – Thirty miles south of Phoenix, green fields of alfalfa and pima cotton stretch toward a triple-digit sun. Hundreds of yellow butterflies dance above the purple flowers that dapple the tops of the young alfalfa stalks – to expert eyes, the flowers signal that the plants are heat-stressed and should be harvested soon. Gila.
WASHINGTON – When the U.S. pulled out of the Paris Accords last summer, five Arizona cities joined hundreds around the country that vowed to live up to the Paris climate standards even if the U.S. wouldn’t. Little has changed in the year since, but the Arizona mayors are sticking to their guns, saying they would.
PHOENIX – The desert swelter weighs down on Jed Nitso as he approaches a small, man-made trough filled with green water that’s swarming with bees. A yardstick measurement confirms what he already knew: The water level is low. With the twist of a lever, hundreds of gallons of water gush out of Nitso’s truck, flow.
CAMP VERDE – The “growth” industry has fueled Arizona’s economy – growth in houses, offices, and places to have fun. Consistent growth is possible, in part, because of prudent water management in the more populated areas of the state. But outside the population hubs, some water rights still are tied up in court, making it.
Arizona is in its 21st year of drought, and climate change is bringing longer, more intense heat waves. Now, scientists at University of California, Irvine, have found that many areas experiencing dry conditions are heating up faster than the rest of the country. The study was published in the journal Science Advances. Anyone with a.
PHOENIX – Can a miniature monsoon-storm machine save a super-small endangered snail? Bradley Poynter sure thinks so. He leads the conservation team at the Phoenix Zoo, which recently faced a problem when trying to get certain diminutive mollusks to mate. “Those land snails come out only when it rains,” he said. “They come out to.
DENVER – Between growing populations and a changing climate, water sources in the West are only expected to get more crunched. Communities in some very dry states have had to get creative about where to get their water, sometimes purifying sewage into drinking water. More Western cities are beginning to get on board, too. But.
WASHINGTON – Tucson mom Linda Robles was in Washington Wednesday to demand that the Environmental Protection Agency ban TCE, the chemical she blames for the death of one daughter and the birth defects of three other children. “Our community is tired of it,” Robles said at a Capitol Hill news conference with other parents whose.
PHOENIX – Phoenix is working with a California company to turn fronds into cattle feed, reducing landfill trash. The partnership with Palm Silage Inc. will divert 34,000 tons of palm trimmings annually from city landfills. The company is leasing 10 acres at a city trash-recycling center in southwest Phoenix, city spokeswoman Brenda Yanez said. The.
TUCSON – This used to be a city of lawns. Patches of Bermuda grass lined residential neighborhoods, kept green — even in blazing summer months — with diligent watering. Over the decades, that has changed. Most Tucson residents eschew lush lawns in favor of landscaping more in tune with the city’s desert setting — although.
LONGMONT, Colorado – Throughout the Western U.S., water conservation is in the toilet. And that’s a good thing. Since the 1990s, a strange phenomenon has emerged in arid urban areas: Populations are booming while overall water use is staying the same or going down. The trend is clear in Denver, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, San Diego.
LAS VEGAS — What we now know as Hoover Dam was one of the most impressive and recognizable feats of engineering of the 20th century. And in the 1930s, the construction of Boulder Dam and Boulder City helped put southern Nevada on the map. But some of the people who helped build the dam and.
LONGMONT, Colorado – About a dozen people crouched in the tall grass of an open field, moving slowly and deliberately through mud that squished underfoot. Some carried huge, serrated knives called hori-hori, a Japanese tool made specifically for weeding. Others wielded gardening shears, saws or chemical sprays as their weapons of choice. Their enemy was.
PHOENIX – Phoenix may be the first U.S. city to build a mill to remanufacture plastic containers. It’s an effort to clean up one part of a global trash problem that’s been mounting for decades and is only getting worse. Curbside is where recycling ends for most of us, but for the city, it’s just.
LOS ANGELES – Mountains. Forests. Starry nights. Smog. Smog? Sadly, yes. The air in two popular national parks in California is as dirty as it is in Los Angeles – the smoggiest city in the country. “When you think of national parks, you think of these as being really pristine areas, almost areas you want.
WASHINGTON – Reps. Raul Grijalva and Rob Bishop agree on almost nothing, but the two came together Wednesday to back a bipartisan bill that could steer billions toward a national parks maintenance backlog that reached $11.6 billion last year. Grijalva, a Tucson Democrat, and Bishop, a Utah Republican, unveiled the Restore Our Parks and Public.
SCOTTSDALE – With the Discovery Channel airing the 30th incarnation of its popular Shark Week television event this week, interest in the predator is high. The shows attract millions of viewers, and their popularity has led to multiple Sharknado movies and shark-themed items in popular video games. Businesses in Arizona are capitalizing on the shark.
WASHINGTON – Trump administration plans to revamp the Endangered Species Act were hailed this week as “long overdue” by industry groups, even as environmentalists called the changes a “a massive attack on imperiled wildlife.” The proposals unveiled Thursday by officials from the departments of Commerce and the Interior come a week after members of the.
PHOENIX – The Environment Arizona & Policy Center released a report on Tuesday that focuses on how well the nation is utilizing renewable energy. Arizona has dramatically increased renewable energy production since 2008, the report said, and ranks high in several categories. Renewable energy is within reach, according to a news release from Environment Arizona..
PHOENIX – Applesnails are a common aquarium pet, but they’ve also become a nuisance in some of the state’s waterways. The Arizona Game & Fish Department wants to eradicate them from the lower Salt River, and it has enlisted the public’s help to clear the South American invaders from certain areas. Erin Raney, the department’s.
LOS ANGELES — Like many accomplished football players, Glenn Love Jr. never worried much about life after the game. When he started playing professionally, however, the uncertainty set in. That changed after a visit to the Turtle Rescue conservation program at the OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale. “They were like missing some limbs and I was.
WASHINGTON – A group of Western lawmakers unveiled a package of bills Thursday to “modernize” the Endangered Species Act by allowing more local input and encouraging voluntary conservation efforts. “Everybody wants to have endangered species protected, but doing it in the right way, where everyone is included in the process,” said Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott,.
WASHINGTON – The president of the Arizona Farm Bureau told a House panel Thursday that regulations meant to help the environment are actually doing the opposite, in part by harming ranchers who are in the best position to help. In testimony to a House Natural Resources subcommittee, Stefanie Smallhouse said that laws meant to protect.
PHOENIX – Monsoon rains have reduced the danger of wildfires in Arizona, prompting forest officials Wednesday to lift the ban on campfires in the Coconino National Forest and reduce fire restrictions in parts of the Kaibab and Tonto national forests. Other federally controlled forests kept fire restrictions in place because of wildfire risks spurred by.
PHOENIX – As the drought that has gripped Arizona for two decades grinds on, humans increasingly are stepping in to help with food and water. The Arizona Game & Fish Department manages 3,000 watering holes, or catchments, built in remote areas throughout the state since the mid-1940s. They originally were for small game, such as.
WASHINGTON – Arizona Democrats and environmental groups on Thursday welcomed the resignation of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who aggressively rolled back agency regulations even as he was dogged by ethical questions. The news was widely cheered by people like Sandy Bahr, director of the Grand Canyon chapter of the Sierra Club, who when.
WILLCOX – It was time to bring the sheep in for a drink. “Go to water, go to water!” shouts Rusty Cocke, who owns about 200 head of sheep that act as living lawn mowers on a solar farm about 20 miles west of Willcox. The sheep have spent the morning munching through mesquite saplings.
PHOENIX – In the land of year-round lawns, gasoline-powered mowers are ubiquitous, and they’re a major source of the ozone and other pollutants that foul our air, experts say. To address the problem, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department has partnered with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to persuade homeowners to switch from gasoline.
FLAGSTAFF – Fire restrictions have doused the city’s Independence Day fireworks show, but officials stress there still are plenty of ways to celebrate. The city has imposed stage 3 fire restrictions banning the sale and use of commercial-grade fireworks. This is the highest stage Flagstaff has seen in a few years, and fire officials cite.
NAVAJO RESERVATION – Glenda Seweingyawma plucked quarters from a giant pickle jar and dropped them into the water-station vending machine to fill up a large plastic barrel. It’s a common scene: About 40 percent of Navajos living on the reservation have to haul their drinking water. But this water wasn’t for humans. It was for.
TEMPE – After a detailed – and dire – technical presentation from one of her experts, the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Thursday told an audience of water stakeholders that officials weren’t trying to scare people, only make plain the risks of historically low levels on Lake Mead. Commissioner Brenda Burman and.
In the final episode of season three, we discover new technologies that incorporate sustainability to solve problems. We’ll watch a fashion show that features smart clothing made out of strange materials, visit Saguaro National Park to see why the National Park Service is putting microchips in cacti and play “Happy City,” a city planning game.
CHANDLER – Jose Alvarez, a supervisor at R.H. Dupper Landscaping, stood up from changing a sprinkler nozzle on a large grassy area managed by a homeowner’s association in Chandler. He surveyed the turf, a patchwork of green and brown. “It looks terrible,” he said. “The sprinklers, they don’t have enough pressure, and they spray, like,.
WASHINGTON – Federal officials said they will re-evaluate the threatened species status of the western yellow-billed cuckoo, after petitions from Arizona miners, ranchers and other groups argued that the species is no different from thriving eastern populations of the bird. The notice Wednesday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service comes in response to a.
WASHINGTON – Navajo officials and residents urged a Senate committee Wednesday to expand coverage of a fund that compensates uranium miners and “downwinders” – people who lived downwind from Cold War nuclear tests. “I had a good job supporting my family,” said Leslie Begay, a uranium miner who said he faces high medical costs from.
PHOENIX – Metro Phoenix was among the Top 5 largest metro areas with the most days of smog in 2016, according to a national study released Wednesday by an Arizona research group. Experts say that’s a serious health concern for the 4.6 million people who live in the area because breathing contaminated air increases the.
YUMA – An E. coli outbreak that sickened people in 35 states and led to a recall of romaine lettuce farmed in Yuma clipped a billion-dollar industry that reaches to Europe, with farmers now working to rebuild consumers’ trust. “After it was announced that Yuma was the source of the lettuce causing the outbreak, it.
FLORENCE – Officer Laura Orscheln sets up her binoculars and tripod and stands on a ridge overlooking the quiet desert near Florence. Scanning the desert for any movement, the Arizona Game & Fish Department wildlife manager spots something dark moving about a mile away. It’s just trash, so she sweeps her binoculars elsewhere. She’s “glassing”.
PHOENIX – Water managers in Arizona again are trying to strike a deal that would help prepare the state for future cuts to its water supply if Lake Mead drops below specific levels, which could come as early as 2020. The renewed effort to forge the Drought Contingency Plan comes after a year of anxiety.
PHOENIX – Problems can’t be managed unless researchers have accurate measurements. For example, would planting a million trees reduce the ambient temperature in Phoenix by a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Fahrenheit? Researchers would need valid data to answer that question, said David Sailor, director of Arizona State University’s Urban Climate Research.
WASHINGTON – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has “no intention to revisit uranium mining” in and around the Grand Canyon, his spokeswoman said, after outdoorsmen’s groups launched a campaign urging him to keep a 20-year mining moratorium in place. Advocates said they were worried the Trump administration was moving toward lifting a 2012 mining ban on.
WASHINGTON – Arizona wildlife groups launched a campaign Monday to block what they fear is a Trump administration effort to reopen 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon to uranium mining, saying the environmental risks are too great. The campaign by Trout Unlimited and the Arizona Wildlife Federation includes billboards along interstate highways in the.
GREELEY, Colo. – Reservoirs along the Colorado River are projected to be less than half full by summer’s end, potentially marking a historic low mark for the river system that supplies water to seven U.S. states and Mexico. Forecasters with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation expect the river’s reservoirs – Lakes Mead and Powell among.
PHOENIX – Some animals at the Phoenix Zoo come from cooler, wetter climates, which is a challenge for zookeepers to keep them cool in the scorching desert heat. Many of the animals have access to air-conditioned indoor spaces, but some, including the Bornean orangutans, prefer to be outside, said Jessica Petershick, a senior keeper of.
PHOENIX – Monsoon season is a time of peril in the Southwest. Summer storms develop quickly and play out furiously, and it’s important to know what to do when conditions turn dangerous. Monsoon storms spawn dust storms (sometimes called haboobs), lightning, torrents of rain and the resulting flash flooding. Stay safe this season with tips.
In the fourth episode of season three, we meet people who are trying to make the urban environment of the Phoenix area more sustainable. We’ll ride along with a bike share company that allows subscribers to leave their bikes anywhere and meet some experts who are trying to find solutions to the brutal summer heat.
PHOENIX – Wildfires have burned through about 75,000 acres in Arizona already this year, but experts say those numbers aren’t bad compared with last year. At this time last year, large fires had burned about 130,000 acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Agencies Southwest Coordination Center. The agency considers “large” fires anything that has.
PHOENIX – The nearly 250 employees who work at Coreslab Structures in Phoenix could have looked up one June morning to see a yellow flag flying on top of their building. It was a signal to the employees, who often work outside, that the air quality that day was acceptable but possibly concerning to those.
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration may have pulled off the unlikely trick this month of uniting liberals and conservatives, energy industry executives and environmentalists. All those groups have come out against a White House plan to keep failing coal and nuclear power plants from closing by forcing electrical grid operators to buy a certain amount.
PHOENIX – Valley cities rely mostly on dams and reservoirs for their water needs, but the snowpack feeding those reservoirs was near record low this year. That means managers are looking to future water supplies underground. Flying in a helicopter over Bartlett Lake in the Tonto National Forest, Salt River Project surface-water manager Charlie Ester.
WASHINGTON – Federal fire officials warned a Senate panel this week that the West should prepare for another “challenging” wildfire season, after a 2017 season that was the most expensive on record in terms of firefighting costs. Officials with the Forest Service and the Interior Department said they think new funding approved by Congress earlier.
FLAGSTAFF – Americans recycle about 66 million tons of material each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. About one-third of it is sent to China, where for three decades the materials have been used to create new products. But all that is changing, as China is taking drastic measures to clean up its own.
GRAND CANYON – Thousands of years ago, in what’s now Turkey, someone bred a horse with a donkey. The mule was born, and the sturdy hybrids soon were put to work across the globe. Cars and trucks have replaced mules in most places, but the beasts of burden still reign supreme at the Grand Canyon..
PHOENIX – Hungry, thirsty black bears are making their way from the wilderness into the city, and it hasn’t gone well for the animals. In the past week, the Arizona Game & Fish Department has put down three bears that posed threats to public safety. State wildlife officials are patrolling Show Low, Yarnell, Pinetop and.
PHOENIX – A new recycling ban goes into effect June 1 in Flagstaff as the city looks for ways to deal with China’s recent ban on the importation of several kinds of plastic. Flagstaff residents have been able to recycle any type of rigid plastic with recycling-symbol numbers 1 through 7. Now the city only.
In the third episode of season three, we meet residents in Arizona who have made sustainability part of their lives and communities. We’ll meet a woman who owns a local garden with a passion for her community and healthy eating, a couple who write books that teach kids about environmental issues in the desert and.
WASHINGTON – What’s a monsoon season without rain? Trouble, according to experts. With Arizona in the grip of a years-long drought, conditions are ripe for spawning intense wildfires and haboobs from the high winds and lightning that typically form the early part of monsoon season, which begins in two weeks. “As the monsoon season starts,.
PHOENIX – In parts of northern Arizona, golf courses over the past decade have stopped using drinking water to keep their greens vibrant. Instead, they use effluent or recycled water. However, in Phoenix, less than a quarter of the water used on golf courses is reclaimed wastewater. According to a 2014 University of Arizona study,.
NEW RIVER – Residents of New River and Desert Hills should have a new water source by the end of July. It’ll cap a long year of worry. A brief recap: Last summer, Phoenix announced it would cut off sales to companies that truck water to New River and Desert Hills, which are unincorporated. After.
WASHINGTON – Two Arizona cities were among the fastest-growing in the nation in 2017, according to population estimates released Thursday by the Census Bureau. The bureau’s “2017 City/Town Population and Housing Unit Estimates” said Phoenix saw the second-biggest increase among cities in nation, adding 65,852 new residents over the course of the year, or almost.
NEW RIVER – Ron Bentley has lived in New River since 1984. Back then, his was the only house on the hill. “Actually, when we first moved here, the deer would come and eat hay scraps along the fence line,” he recalled on a Sunday in April. “I haven’t seen a deer out here in.
FORT McDOWELL – Leah Vader’s alarm starts ringing at 4 a.m. She’s out of the tent by 4:40 and making coffee. By sunup, she has set up her telescope at “the office,” a hill overlooking the Verde River. Vader waits for an adult eagle to drop prey into the nest, a sure sign there’s a.
PHOENIX – A Trump administration plan calls for auctioning off about 4,200 acres of public land for oil and gas development in northern Arizona, but environmental groups are poised to block the measure in court. It’s been more than five months since the White House rolled back environmental protections for oil and gas leasing on.
CAGUAS, Puerto Rico – Hurricane Maria has reignited a small movement in Puerto Rico aimed at strengthening the local food system so the island can survive and thrive without dependence on the mainland U.S. Before the hurricane struck in September 2017, Puerto Rico imported about 85 percent of its food. And to make matters worse,.
In the second episode of season three, we meet animal conservationists who are taking steps to protect and conserve native species. We’ll ride along to southern Arizona with a wildlife manager who prevents poaching with Arizona Game & Fish, visit a raptor rescue center in Cave Creek that nurses owls and other birds back to.
PHOENIX – Yes, it’s dry. But Arizona’s continued lack of rain and snow doesn’t much bother Charlie Ester of the Salt River Project. “I consider SRP to be a consummate, full time, always thinking about drought. We were formed because of drought, so therefore we always plan for drought,” said Ester, the utility’s surface-water resources.
FLAGSTAFF – While most people might think seeds are free, the craft of seed saving – planting, harvesting and then sharing seeds – is illegal in some states. That’s because some corporations spend millions investing in seed development, and they have patents to protect their investments, according to agricultural giant Monsanto Co. State legislatures have.
TONOPAH — About 50 miles west of downtown Phoenix, three massive concrete domes, spaced side-by-side on a 4,000-acre plot of land, dominate the skyline. The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station is the nation’s largest power producer, serving 4 million people across the Southwest and providing about 35 percent of Arizona’s electric power, according to the.
TUCSON – Michael Dixon has been interested in music for as long as he can remember. First, it was listening to his parents’ Creedence Clearwater Revival albums. Then, it was performing in bands that “weren’t very good.” Today, the Tucson entrepreneur owns five music-related businesses. Dixon has worked with such popular artists as Justin Timberlake,.
SIERRA VISTA – When the U.S. Army built the Mountain View Officers Club in Fort Huachuca, it was supposed to be temporary. More than 70 years later, the community has tried to ensure it will stand for decades to come. Preservationists call it one of the “most significant examples of a World War II-era military.
PHOENIX – Heather Grimes is a 24-year-old vegan who enjoys painting, making jewelry and playing in a band. She’s also a taxidermist. “I just appreciate animals,” Grimes said. “Especially if they’re already dead.” Grimes isn’t alone in her interest for the art of preserving, posing and mounting dead animals for posterity. Robert Mead, president of.
PHOENIX – A model in a pink bodysuit and a red, high-waisted couture skirt glides gracefully across the runway. But her elegant attire takes fashion beyond the traditional, featuring smart technology designed to ease a woman’s menstrual cramps. The bodysuit, called Empowerment, is one of several cutting-edge garments made this spring by students in Arizona.
PINETOP – Forest fires, climate change and the wrath of non-native fish are threatening the survival of the Apache trout, a species found only in Arizona. Apache trout, dubbed the state fish of Arizona, mostly are found mostly near Pinetop, with a significant amount of their territory on Native American reservations. Conservation of the trout.
PHOENIX – It’s not easy to conserve energy use when typical summer days in Phoenix top 100 degrees. But the International Living Future Institute, a nonprofit that challenges communities to build sustainable environments, has certified DPR Construction’s Phoenix headquarters as a net zero energy building, the first building in Arizona to earn the distinction from.
In the first episode of season 3 of In Focus, we take a look at creative solutions people find to be more sustainable. We’ll meet local bee farmers who found a way to address killer bees without extermination, explore textile recycling plants that find new uses for old jeans and talk to a man who.
SUN CITY – Computers lining the rickety plastic shelves in Steve Irwin’s garage make him $450 a day – and eat energy that could power four homes every month. Irwin tinkers with the machines once in a while to monitor their operating temperature but mainly leaves them to do their job of mining for online.
PHOENIX – In Tucson last year, a collision between a pickup truck and tractor trailer spilled nearly 4,500 gallons of gasoline, igniting the tanker and killing the passengers in the pickup. In March 2011, it took three hours and 80,000 gallons of water to contain a fuel tanker fire on a highway shoulder near Parker..
YUMA – Anticipating years of drought, officials built the Yuma Desalting Plant in 1992 to treat agricultural runoff and conserve water in Lake Mead. Over the past 26 years, however, the plant has operated just three times while costing millions of dollars to maintain. And it may need millions more, even to operate at a.
TEMPE – The desert is the last place most people search for water, but a team of scientists has tested a device in Arizona that extracts water from the desert air. Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley, have created a solar-powered device that can extract water from the.
PHOENIX – If you think it’s hot now, just wait: Some climate researchers predict Arizona’s warming climate will have a substantial effect on water supplies and demand by 2060. Not all climate forecasts are so dire, but experts say Arizonans need to prepare for extreme heat, drought and related events. The problem is not centuries.
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK — More than 6 million people visited the Grand Canyon last year, but only a tiny fraction were people of color. A 2011 National Park Service report shows visitors to the national parks were mostly white. Just 9 percent were Hispanic, 7 percent were African American, 3 percent Asian and 1.
CAVE CREEK – Great horned owls, one of the most common raptors in the United States, are being threatened by rat poison in their prey. Since 2011, the Arizona Game & Fish Department has identified 50 cases of wildlife poisoning from pest control chemicals. Forty one of those involved anticoagulant rodenticide. From cities in Massachusetts.
ORANGE COUNTY, California – A company that manufactures workbenches and lab furniture is relocating to Goodyear to save money, while creating 30 new jobs in Arizona. Matt McConnell, director of sales and marketing for IAC Industries, said the move will increase the stability and longevity of his business. IAC is located in Brea, California. “The.
PHOENIX – States in the Upper Colorado River Basin are telling downstream neighbor Arizona to get its act together. Members of the Upper Colorado River Commission sent a letter late last week to Arizona water officials, saying the state is threatening the water supply for nearly 40 million people, according to the Nevada Independent. The.
DANVILLE, Calif. – A California nonprofit has collected more than 20 million discarded crayons from across the United States, melted and remolded them, then donated the new crayons to more than 100 children’s hospitals, including two in metro Phoenix. Bryan Ware is founder and president of the Crayon Initiative, which he began in 2011. He.
WASHINGTON – Witnesses and lawmakers called for action Thursday to head off the 2019 closure of the Navajo Generating Station, a move that could mean the loss of thousands of jobs at the plant and the coal mine that fuels it. But while seven of the eight panelists who testified to a House Natural Resources.
LOS ANGELES – Stroll the 21-mile stretch of beaches in Malibu, where $6 million homes hug the shoreline and high-end boutiques line the highway, and you’ll find trash – empty water bottles, candy wrappers and Styrofoam containers. Lots of it. Litter – specifically plastic – has become such a problem, the Malibu City Council voted.
SANTA TERESA, New Mexico – The sign flashes red, day and night, in English and in Spanish: “Be Prepared to Stop,” a warning to the thousands of vehicles and people passing through the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. Here in this stretch of the Chihuahuan Desert, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is expediting the.