PHOENIX – The long lifespans of saguaros – up to 200 years – can complicate scientists’ attempts to understand their population patterns. Now, researchers from the University of Arizona and the U.S. Geographical Survey have used a 48-year data set to see how topography can influence how climate affects the majestic symbol of the West..
WASHINGTON – Farming, real estate and manufacturing representatives stood and applauded as Army and Environmental Protection Agency officials formally signed documents this week to repeal an Obama-era rule that greatly expanded waters that are subject to federal regulation. But while some welcomed the end of the “Waters of the United States” rule, environmental groups warned.
PHOENIX – Fires burn every year in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil, but this year’s fires have gained enormous attention because of the large number and size of the fires compared with past years. And that has touched off a slew of misinformation – some of it willful. More than 100,000 fires have erupted in.
FLAGSTAFF – Fire investigators say the Museum Fire, which burned 1,961 acres near Flagstaff in July, started from a forest-thinning project meant to prevent wildfires. An excavator striking rock sparked the blaze, which forced neighborhoods to evacuate and cost $9 million to control, the U.S. Forest Service reports. In a news release, Laura Jo West,.
PHOENIX – The median age of a farmer or rancher in Arizona is 55 to 64. It’s part of a nationwide trend as fewer young people go into agriculture. But three Arizona millennials are hoping to use their passion and the technology they grew up with to ensure the future of the state’s agribusinesses, which.
PHOENIX – Electric vehicle owners can now drive to Grand Canyon National Park without worrying about dead batteries, thanks to new charging stations on the South Rim that opened to the public in late August. Park visitors can now charge their EVs at six stations located around the park, including Yavapai Lodge, Canyon Village Market.
PHOENIX – Tucson Water has found a very high level of chemical contamination in groundwater north of the city’s airport, but the utility says the tainted water is not part of the city’s drinking water supply. Recent testing detected concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which can lead to cancer and other harmful health.
PHOENIX – An Arizona squirrel near extinction is getting some help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which will consider adjusting the critical habitat area of the Mount Graham red squirrel to protect the remaining population of about 70 animals. Fish and Wildlife has announced a status review to revise the critical habitat designation.
WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration violated federal law when it diverted funds for national park improvements toward keeping places like Grand Canyon National Park open during the last government shutdown, the Government Accountability Office said Thursday. The 17-page legal opinion claims the Interior Department’s decision to use park maintenance fees for day-to-day services – including.
WASHINGTON – Hunting groups are applauding new federal rules creating longer seasons, extended hours and expanded methods for hunting and taking different types of game on national wildlife refuges. The changes, announced last week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, affect 1.4 million acres of federal land, more than 800,000 of which are in.
PHOENIX — During last week’s monsoon storm, several underpasses along Interstate 17 in north Phoenix flooded, causing traffic delays. This isn’t uncommon. In September 2014, for instance, flooded underpasses shut down sections of Interstates 17 and 10 and U.S. 60 for several hours — and, in some cases, several days — while outdated pumping stations.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suspended a Clean Water Act permit for the proposed Rosemont Mine site in southern Arizona, the latest development in more than a decade of legal challenges from tribes and environmental groups. The Aug. 23 decision by the Corps followed a July 31 court ruling that found the.
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. TEMPE – A cart.
Updated Thursday at 5 p.m. PHOENIX – Three extensions of the Valley Metro light rail system will move forward after voters rejected Proposition 105, which would have halted the expansion. With 185,852 votes tallied, unofficial returns showed Prop 105 trailing 63% to 37%. Phoenix voters on Tuesday also shot down Proposition 106, which would have.
PHOENIX – A new report examining conditions and cost-effectiveness of state highway systems ranked Arizona 29th overall. The study’s lead author said Arizona could do more to tackle congestion across metro Phoenix highways. The annual report by the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank in Los Angeles, reviewed data in 13 categories, including traffic fatalities,.
WASHINGTON – The last 265 workers at Kayenta Coal Mine are being laid off this month, another step toward the looming closure of the Navajo Generating Station that will bring the loss of hundreds more jobs this winter. The mine was already down from about 350 workers last year and will likely retain only a.
FLAGSTAFF – The Sierra Club and other environmental groups have called for Arizona to shut down a uranium mine near Grand Canyon National Park, citing severe groundwater flooding that threatens to pollute drinking water. The request was made in an Aug. 20 letter to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality asking it to require Energy.
PHOENIX – Housing is considered “affordable” if it costs no more than 30% of your income. But as rents rise, affordable housing is out of reach for more and more Arizonans, and the support systems to help low-income people afford housing may not be working as they’re intended to. The median household income in Phoenix.
PHOENIX – Look around central Phoenix and you see cranes, construction sites and impressive new buildings. The signs of a boom are everywhere, but the bustle isn’t benefiting everyone. Our population is among the fastest-growing in the country, with about 200 people moving to the Phoenix area every day from July 2017 through June 2018..
RIO VERDE – At Bartlett Lake and other reservoirs around the state, Arizona Game & Fish Department volunteers are building plastic cubes to serve as fish habitat. The “fish cities” are called Georgia cubes, which were first developed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The cube’s design looks like a long-lost prop from a.
SMITH ISLAND, Md. – The Eastern Shore of Maryland, where crab pots line the docks and boats are stored in backyards, is one of most vulnerable places in the U.S. to the effects of rising seas, climate scientists say. But like many Americans, only about 40% of people living along the Chesapeake Bay believe global.
BONDURANT, Wyo. – Marlene “Lanie” Beebe stood in a pair of slippers, surrounded by scorched trees. A long gravel road led to rubble: shards of pottery, doll heads and a blackened metal chair. That’s where her neighbor, Nikki Cowley, said she found Beebe one day, among the remnants of 20 years in her home. The.
EAGAR – Farming often involves traveling long distances to remote areas to check on crops or livestock. And no matter what’s being raised, you’ll find many farms share one thing in common – a farm dog. Working dogs also may be a tool in the ongoing battle between cattle ranchers and the reintroduction of the.
ELFIN FOREST, Calif. – Elfin Forest is named for the miniature trees that blanket the surrounding ridgeline. The terrain acts like a wall, which has until recently prevented suburban San Diego from sprawling into the bucolic valley. The town, home to 800 people and 300 horses, bills itself as “A Rural Community.” It’s accessed by.
SHINGLETOWN, Calif. – Unless it’s Sunday, Kelly Loew is steering her rusty-red Jeep down the same mail route in Shingletown, as she has six days a week for the last seven years. But she delivers less mail these days as California’s persistent wildfires drive residents away. Last year, California experienced its deadliest and most destructive.
OSO, Wash. — Katrina. Sandy. Harvey. Maria. Each was a disaster of shattering magnitude, battering America’s shores over the past two decades. But between these pivotal storms lie hundreds of smaller disasters that garner a fraction of the national attention and the billions of federal dollars that accompany them. A News21 analysis of Federal Emergency.
PHOENIX – The monsoon thunderstorms have finally arrived after a delayed start to the season, and with them comes the familiar (or if you’re new in town, terrifying and apocalyptic) dust storms also called haboobs. These fast-moving leviathan walls of dust can quickly transform the streets into a scene ripped from a Mad Max movie,.
PINETOP-LAKESIDE – Learning to live fire-wise is a cause for celebration in areas that are vulnerable to wildfires. Especially in this White Mountains community, which is becoming one of the country’s next fire adapted communities. Bounce houses, barbecues and face-painting are hallmarks of the annual White Mountains Communities Firewise Block Party. But this year, the.
BAVIÁCORA, MEXICO – Willows and cottonwoods sway on the banks of the Rio Sonora as it flows through the little Sonoran pueblo Baviácora. Nearby, cows graze in green pastures on the westernmost edge of Sonora’s Sierra Madre mountain range. Nothing has been the same in this quiet river valley since Aug. 6, 2014 explained Martha.
SCOTTSDALE – The slanted roofs of Taliesin West mimic nearby ridgelines in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains. Its massive stone walls, long and low-slung, almost blend into the surrounding desert. Legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright began construction on Taliesin West, meant to be his winter home, in 1937. His vision was to create.
PHOENIX – Wells are drying up because groundwater is being depleted, and that affects food production and access to drinking water. Wells that bring groundwater to the surface are being dug deeper to tap dwindling aquifers, according to a new study. These deeper wells may be a stopgap measure, but researchers warn it’s not a.
PHOENIX — The Arizona Corporation Commission is considering several significant proposals that would change energy regulation in the state, including how much of our power comes from renewables, such as solar and wind. The state’s current renewable-energy standard, completed more than 10 years ago, is 15% by 2025. That’s lower than the goals of several.
PHOENIX – A federal judge has halted plans to begin digging an open-pit copper mine this month south of Tucson, citing an “inherently flawed” analysis of surface-use rights by the U.S. Forest Service. The Rosemont Mine in the Santa Rita Mountains has for more than a decade been tied up in litigation over the permits.
WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court said environmental groups cannot sue to block expansion of a coal mine owned by the Navajo Transitional Energy Co., because it is an arm of the Navajo government and thus immune from civil suits. The Monday ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
BOULDER, Colo. – Water managers on the Colorado River are facing a unique moment. With a temporary fix to the river’s scarcity problem recently completed, talk is turning toward future agreements to better manage the water source for 40 million people across the Southwest. Climate change, growing populations and fragile rural economies are top of.
FLAGSTAFF – As firefighters on the ground continue to battle the Museum Fire just north of the city, firefighters in the sky were redirected Wednesday evening when a drone entered the fire’s airspace. “I feel like (there is an incident) every large fire, especially close to a city like this,” said Steve Kliest, a spokesman.
FLAGSTAFF – A couple dozen families on Elden Lookout Road were allowed to return to their homes Wednesday afternoon, but residents of other neighborhoods threatened by the Museum Fire remain on alert to leave at a moment’s notice. Efforts to battle the nearly 1,900-acre blaze were aided by monsoon storms Tuesday, helping crews reach 10%.
PHOENIX – Tourism continues to expand in Arizona, a boon for jobs, development and tax revenue, but the growth presents challenges to preserving the natural beauty drawing visitors to the state. “It just really appears that there is a problem as far as people management,” said Alicyn Gitlin of the Sierra Club. “But it’s a.
FLAGSTAFF – Residents along Elden Lookout Road remained out of their homes Tuesday as firefighters struggled to contain the Museum Fire, which broke out over the weekend 1 mile north of the city. Coconino County sheriff’s deputies have told several other neighborhoods to be ready to evacuate on a moment’s notice. They include Magdalena, Forest.
PHOENIX – The press release that went out on July 6, 1969, began: “The United States will launch a three-man spacecraft toward the Moon on July 16 with the goal of landing two astronaut explorers on the lunar surface four days later.” That astronomical task, which was stated in the plainest of terms, would be.
PHOENIX – Some of the landscaping at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has changed from front-lawn green to desert tan. The airport recently finished replacing nearly 11 acres of turf with native flora as part of a water conservation project that’s expected to save nearly half a million dollars a year. The landscaping approach is.
MIAMI – The whir of aerial drones provided a distinct soundtrack to the month it took to contain the Woodbury Fire, which ranks as the fifth-largest wildfire in Arizona history. The fire burned nearly 124,000 acres of the Superstition Wilderness and the Tonto National Monument, difficult terrain that made putting firefighters on the ground a.
WASHINGTON – Democratic lawmakers beat back a series of Republican amendments Wednesday before advancing bills to restrict mining around the Grand Canyon and on tribal lands in Arizona and New Mexico. In a sometimes emotional meeting, the House Natural Resources Committee gave preliminary approval to bills banning mining on 1 million acres around the Grand.
PHOENIX – We’re a month into the monsoon season, and so far, it’s looking more like a non-soon. But the annual weather phenomenon lasts through September, so there’s time for storms to show up with their usual fury. Arizona is known for its dry heat, but it’s also known for its summertime rise in humidity.
PHOENIX – Governors of 23 states and Puerto Rico this week urged the Trump administration to retain the high vehicle fuel-efficiency standards set by President Barack Obama. Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona was not one of those governors. Under current rules, automakers have to achieve corporate average fuel economy of almost 55 mpg by 2025..
PHOENIX – Arizonans this year are dealing with fewer wildfires than last year, but the fires are significantly larger, according to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. “From January 1st to July 10th, we’ve had 935 wildfires – that equates to 205,819 acres burned,” said Tiffany Davila, a spokesperson with the Arizona Department.
PHOENIX – Residents of Kingman, Surprise and Phoenix took to social media Friday evening to share images of water sloshing in pools, lights swinging from ceilings and more, thanks to a strong earthquake in south-central California. Friday’s quake near Ridgecrest, California, measured 7.1 on the Richter scale and followed a 6.4 magnitude temblor July 4.
MONTROSE, Colo. – When her desk started moving at work the morning of March 4, Nara Bopp assumed it was a passing garbage truck. She looked out the window. No garbage truck. No nearby construction, either. So she did the same thing she does whenever something weird happens in Moab: She logged onto the town’s.
PHOENIX – U.S. recycling has nearly collapsed, costs have soared and the environmental waste problem has hit a crisis point since China, the largest buyer of U.S. recycled products, stopped buying nearly 18 months ago. Recycling centers now are looking to rebuild processing plants across the U.S., and that will require a policy change and.
MOAB, Utah – The scene was picture-perfect for the cover of a nature magazine: purple and yellow wildflowers against a backdrop of red and tan mesas. But the quiet solitude wouldn’t last long. As the day wore on, the area known as Klondike Bluffs, about 40 miles north of Moab, became crowded with retrofitted vans.
TUCSON – Along a parched riverbed where only dust and wild grasses have held sway for the past 70 years, the Santa Cruz now flows again. As of June 24, under the watch of Tucson Water Department officials, a section of the river just west of downtown will receive a maximum of 2.8 million gallons.
YARNELL – A fire bell rang 19 times on Sunday afternoon, once for every member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost his life when the Yarnell Hill Fire abruptly changed direction and roared over them. For six years, this small town between Wickenburg and Prescott has rung the bell each June 30 at 4:42.
JOSHUA TREE, California – Sitting on well-worn couches in a living room lined with climbing guidebooks, Todd Gordon and Tucker Tech reminisce on a friendship that has lasted nearly 40 years and rock climbing careers that have lasted even longer. They’re swapping tales in the house where Gordon, 64, lives with his family on the.
WASHINGTON – Tribal leaders urged House lawmakers Wednesday to support a handful of bills that would guarantee water to their tribes in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico and fund the water treatment plants and pipelines to deliver it. The appeals from leaders of the Navajo and Hualapai tribes were well received by members of a.
WASHINGTON – Tribal members, environmentalists and lawmakers told a House panel Tuesday that including uranium on a list of “critical minerals” opens the door to expedited mining that will put tribal lands and national parks at risk. They were responding to a Trump administration announcement earlier this month that directed the government to locate uranium.
PHOENIX – Fire retardant is one tool in battling wildfires, including the Woodbury Fire east of Mesa. But is the mixture of water and chemicals, including thickening agents, a danger to people and the environment? Dolores Garcia, a spokeswoman with the Bureau of Land Management office in Phoenix, said retardant is crucial in areas where.
PHOENIX – The Arizona Game & Fish Commission has voted to ban hunting contests that charge fees and award prizes for killing the most of certain types of predatory and fur-bearing animals. If given final approval by the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council, the rule would go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. Commissioner Kurt Davis, who.
PHOENIX – Luis Marrufo, his brown eyes bright but focused, hunched over a client lying on a cushioned table. He pressed the sharp end of the tattoo machine into his client’s forearm, the needle dispensing carbon-colored liquid into his skin in vibrating bursts so quick they’re almost invisible to the naked eye. The low-pitched buzz.
This story was updated at 7:15 p.m. PHOENIX – Authorities ordered residents to evacuate the Superstition Wilderness area as the Woodbury Fire continued to blaze Friday. At a community meeting at Miami High School Friday night, officials told residents that multiple agencies are working together to fight the fire. “This fire’s going really well in.
ALAMOS, Mexico – This is a “pueblo magico” (magic town), rich in beauty and cultural and historic significance. It’s also near an important ecological crossroads in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental. The foothills are home to the northernmost tropical deciduous forest in the Western Hemisphere, and it’s a critical connection point between jaguars.
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Groundwater pumping is causing rivers and small streams throughout the country to decline, according to a new study from researchers at the Colorado School of Mines and the University of Arizona. Scientists have known for a while that there’s a link between groundwater and surface water that runs through streams and.
SAHUARIPA, Mexico – A century ago, jaguars roamed much of the Southwest, including most of Arizona. Today, the only glimpses of the endangered big cats in the United States are caught on cameras just north of the U.S.-Mexico border. In a recovery plan released in April, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said bringing jaguars.
PHOENIX – Environmentalists gathered Tuesday outside Sen. Martha McSally’s office to demand she support legislation requiring the U.S. to honor the Paris climate accord, from which the Trump administration intends to withdraw. “We’re sending a message to Senator McSally that we would like her to act on climate,” said Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra.
WASHINGTON – A Coconino County official urged lawmakers Tuesday to “make sure the federal government meets its responsibility” of maintaining national parks, which face almost $12 billion in needed upkeep – $313.8 million in the Grand Canyon alone. Coconino County Supervisor Liz Archuleta told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that local officials have.
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 – Garth Paine.
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. FLAGSTAFF – Amidst the.
ST. GEORGE, Utah – The drive behind an enormous water project in southwestern Utah, the Lake Powell Pipeline, shows no signs of slowing even after the seven Colorado River Basin states signed a new agreement this spring that could force cutbacks and more conservation. Despite the shrinking of the overtapped Colorado, four Upper Basin states.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Part 2 of a three-part series. BIG PINEY, Wyo. – It’s late May in Wyoming. Snow fell the night before, and more is on the way. That’s why it’s good that rancher Chad Espenscheid is behind the wheel. The roads are sloppy and Middle Piney Creek is running high. All this.
WASHINGTON – A Pima County supervisor told lawmakers Wednesday that a plan to limit the so-called Waters of the United States rule would end up eliminating clean-water protections for “rivers like the Santa Cruz, the Salt, the Gila.” Pima Supervisor Richard Elias told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that states like Arizona need.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Part 1 of a three-part series. COAL CREEK CANYON, Colo. – The Colorado River is short on water, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at a slate of proposed water projects in the river’s Upper Basin states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The river and its tributaries provide water for.
PHOENIX – Arizona is home to a number of species that are threatened by climate change and human activity. Under legislation proposed by Rep. Raul Grijalva, Arizona fish and butterflies may get additional federal funds for conservation efforts. The Tucson Democrat, who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources, last month introduced the Extinction Prevention.
PHOENIX – Some people call it barbaric. Others say it’s their right. Coyote killing contests, as they’re called, are a hot topic of debate in Arizona. The contests reward hunters who can kill the most, the largest – or sometimes, the smallest – animals in a set amount of time. Sometimes it’s coyotes. Other times,.
PHOENIX – At least nine wildfires are burning around Arizona, only three of which are prescribed burns. Fire experts say with high temperatures, combined with an increasing amount of brush drying up from the abnormally wet winter, the fire danger is high – particularly in southern Arizona, where the threat is above-average. Two of the.
PHOENIX – The towering, often terrifying thunderstorms that signal the start of Arizona’s monsoon season typically begin in mid-June and last through the end of September, but meteorologists say we’ll likely see a delayed start this year. The meteorology department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott this week predicted a much later start to the.
PHOENIX – Federal judges are weighing whether the U.S. can be held legally responsible for failing to protect future generations from climate change. That’s at the heart of Juliana v. United States, in which 21 young people from around the country claim they have a constitutional right to be protected from man-made climate change. In.
WASHINGTON – Tribal and environmental officials urged House lawmakers Wednesday to protect sacred land and natural resources by supporting a permanent ban on mining on just over 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon. The “Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act” would prohibit all mining in the affected area, but supporters were focused on the uranium.
PHOENIX – Saguaros and cardons tower against a soft gray sky as a family of quail tiptoes through the brush. Flowers glisten with raindrops. Under a tree, a man stands motionless. His eyes are closed, and he’s smiling softly. Garth Paine is listening to Mother Nature. Paine is an associate professor of digital sound and.
LOS ANGELES – Former President Barack Obama often referred to climate change as the “greatest threat to future generations,” and new research suggests it could even threaten the inception of future generations. UCLA professor Alan Barreca, who teaches sustainability and has a background in economics, studied 80 years of U.S. birth data and concluded that.
PHOENIX – The U.S. Drought Monitor recently reported that, for the first time in its nearly 20-year history, none of the contiguous states was showing symptoms of severe or exceptional drought. That report includes Arizona, as this year’s abnormally wet May helped push the state out of a 10-year drought period. According to the monitor’s.
DILKON – Neda Billie has been waiting to turn on the lights for 15 years. “We’ve been living off of those propane lanterns,” Billie said. “Now we don’t have to have flashlights everywhere. All the kids have a flashlight, so when they get up in the middle of the night, like to use the restroom,.
PHOENIX – A U.S. appeals court has upheld a ban on Mexican fish and shrimp caught with gillnets in the northernmost part of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. The ban was implemented last July by the U.S. Court of International Trade to protect the vaquita marina, a small, endangered porpoise found only in that area. The.
WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court Thursday ordered a new hearing for environmental groups trying to ban the use of lead shot in Kaibab National Forest that they said poses a threat to endangered California condors. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a district court was wrong to reject.
PHOENIX – Every week, thousands of hikers climb Piestewa Peak to take in the views and get in some exercise. In early April, hikers started to see plants splashed with bright blue chalk. It’s part of an effort to raise awareness about buffelgrass, an invasive species that worsens a problem many Arizonans are already familiar.
MESA – When Kyle Kuehne had to choose a project for his fourth-year engineering class at Red Mountain High School, he thought about the storms that have flooded his family’s home over the years. “We were trying to prevent homes from getting damaged, but then we just realized, ‘Why can’t we just stop the flooding.
PHOENIX – The U.S.-China trade war has crushed the packaging products industry over the past several months, and there’s no relief in sight. Last week, the Trump administration increased tariffs on several products, including packaging, to 25 percent. On Monday, China announced retaliatory 25 percent tariffs, starting June 1, that also hit paper products. For.
WADDELL – On a brisk March morning, the engine of Selwyn Justice’s truck roared to life as he turned out of his driveway onto Peoria Avenue in Waddell, heading toward Surprise. On a dirt road 15 minutes later, a cloud of dust was billowing behind him as a citrus orchard came into view. It was.
PHOENIX – A federal appeals court has ruled the Bureau of Land Management needs to reconsider how drilling permits could impact natural resources in the area around Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico. The decision from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month comes in a case first filed in.
LAGUNA GRANDE, Mexico – It’s midmorning in the Sonoran Desert, and already the heat is on. Karen Schlatter suggests we find shade, a relatively easy task at Laguna Grande, a restoration site along the Colorado River’s historic channel in northern Mexico. It’s managed by the Sonoran Institute, where Schlatter is associate director of the binational.
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.