Sustainability

Grand Canyon gap: Arizona national parks need $531 million to fix roads, buildings

GRAND CANYON – Arizona national parks and monuments need $531 million to maintain hundreds of roads and buildings. But budget problems put that on hold in Arizona and across the U.S.


Court gives tribe, environmentalists new chance to fight uranium mine

WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court said the Havasupai tribe and environmental advocates can challenge an existing uranium mine on land near the Grand Canyon where mining was recently banned, a partial reversal from an earlier ruling that sided with the mining company.


Likely closure of coal-fired power plant bringing dramatic change to Navajo Nation

LECHEE CHAPTER HOUSE, Navajo Reservation – SRP announced last year it planned to shut down the Navajo Generating Station ahead of schedule because producing electricity from coal is much more expensive and dirtier than natural gas. No other job on the Navajo Reservation pays as well as the Navajo Generating Station. Revenue, taxes and royalties from coal make up about a third of the Navajo operating budget and most of the Hopi Tribe’s budget.


Grand Canyon Park superintendent reassigned while under federal investigation

PHOENIX – Grand Canyon National Park’s superintendent, Christine Lehnertz, has been reassigned while the Office of the Inspector General investigates undisclosed allegations.


Prop 127’s potential to reshape Arizona energy has electrified supporters and opponents

PHOENIX – A proposition on Arizona’s Nov. 6 ballot would mandate that utility companies get more energy from renewable sources. The state’s largest power provider, APS, opposes it.


Why do we keep building in fire-prone areas? Money is one reason

YORBA LINDA, Calif. – Despite the growing risk of disastrous wildfires in Southern California, thousands of homes are being built in areas that are prone to burning. A proposed development near Yorba Linda offers a look at how such housing projects get approved, and how taxpayers ultimately are on the hook.


Western wildfires will increase because of climate change, UA researchers say

VENTURA, Calif. – In the past year, California has seen two of its largest wildfires in state history. University of Arizona professor, Don Falk, projects the West will see an increase in area burned by these wildfires within the next two decades.


Trump plan to boost Western water by easing rules worries advocates

WASHINGTON - The White House released a plan Friday that it said would improve water reliability and availability in the West by streamlining regulatory processes and conducting expedited reviews on water projects - a proposal that environmentalists said they were "sure it's a bad idea."


Why there’s a legal fight to protect the native roundtail chub

The roundtail chub is a minnow native to Arizona. The Center for Biological Diversity is suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for not protecting it as an endangered species.


Hurricane tag team of Rosa and Sergio set rainfall records for October

PHOENIX – After remnants from two tropical systems strike Arizona, Phoenix set a new rainfall record for October.


Thinning effort to restore ponderosa forests to their natural state inches forward

FLAGSTAFF – For decades, land managers and ranchers in northern Arizona dealt with forest fires in a way that led to an overpopulation of trees. Now, agencies are working to fix that — but the sheer number and high cost of doing so is one hurdle they’ll have to overcome.


The cost of drought: Less water from Lake Mead in 2020, higher rates for consumers

LAKE MEAD – Access to one-seventh of Arizona’s share of water from Lake Mead could evaporate by 2020 if drought if lake water levels continue to drop. And that could cost consumers.