Ben Tobin has questions about the Grand Canyon’s caves. The University of Kentucky geologist started learning about caves as a young man, in part because his mother was a geologist, and a childhood fascination grew over time. “Caves are a really special place in many ways,” Tobin said. When he was in college, an internship.
Irrigation ditches flowing with snowmelt means spring finally has arrived at the base of Grand Mesa in western Colorado. Harts Basin Ranch, a 3,400-acre expanse of hayfields and pasture in Delta County, just south of Cedaredge, is coming back to life with the return of water. Twelve hundred of the ranch’s acres are irrigated with.
WASHINGTON – It’s important to have boots on the ground when battling wildfires. And come July 1, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management will be able to start putting 1,400 more boots on the ground. That’s when an expansion of a long-running program that lets the department use inmate crews to do forest.
WASHINGTON – The Sikh Coalition and the San Carlos Apache would not appear to have much in common at first glance, but they have found a shared interest in the fight over a patch of land in southeastern Arizona. That’s where the federal government is considering whether to turn sacred Apache land over to a.
Arizona already has seen a few fires this year, and experts say the state is likely to experience another major year for wildfires. In April alone, the Margo Fire in Pinal County burned about 1,100 acres, and another blaze continues to burn southwest of Heber. On Monday, a fire started southeast of Whiteriver and has.
WASHINGTON – Think globally, act locally, as the saying goes, and 10 Arizona cities are taking the message to heart Thursday to mark the 51st annual Earth Day. Mayors of the cities, ranging in size from Phoenix to El Mirage, are collaborating with the goal of inspiring residents to take action in their communities and.
The Colorado River’s two biggest reservoirs are likely to drop to historically low levels later this year, prompting mandatory conservation by some of the river’s heaviest users. The latest Bureau of Reclamation reservoir projections, which take into account river flows in a given year, show a likelihood that Lake Mead on the Arizona-Nevada line –.
PHOENIX – The rising demand to eliminate fossil fuels has left some researchers and activists skeptical that nuclear energy can be part of the solution to meet climate goals. But a recent study finds that the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station outside Phoenix may be key to eliminating carbon emissions from utility grids across the.
TUCSON – Although jaguars are widely assumed to live exclusively in Mexico, Central and South America, they once prowled Arizona, New Mexico and Texas before colonizers and poachers in the 19th century drove most of these beautifully spotted big cats out of the U.S. So when Ganesh Marin was studying ecosystems along the border U.S.-Mexico.
Sparse monsoon rainfall last summer and spotty snowfall this winter have combined to dramatically worsen the drought across the West in the past year, and spring snowmelt won’t bring much relief. Critical April 1 measurements of snow accumulations from mountain ranges across the region show that most streams and rivers will once again flow well.
WASHINGTON – The mayor of Superior told a House panel Tuesday that a bill canceling a massive copper mine at Oak Flat would be “devastating” for the Pinal County town and its hopes to revitalize its economy. “We need to create jobs and business opportunities for our youth and working adults, so our community remains.
PHOENIX – NASA has chosen the University of Arizona to lead a space telescope mission meant to better understand how galaxies and stars form. The space agency awarded $20 million to the Aspera mission, which will allow the UArizona researchers to develop a telescope about the size of a minifridge for the expected launch in.
Separated by more than 40 miles of rough desert road along the Sea of Cortez, members of the Comcaac Nation from El Desemboque and Punta Chueca left their homes at 4 a.m. Saturday, their path lit only by moonlight. Some walked nearly eight hours to reach their destination, an ancestral meeting place between the two.
ASPEN, Colorado – When it comes to water in the West, a lot of it is visible. Snow stacks up high in the mountains, eventually melting and flowing into valleys. It’s easy to see how heavy rains and rushing rivers translate into an abundance of available water. But another important factor is much harder to.
The Fort Yuma-Quechan Indian Tribe is at a nexus in the Colorado River Basin. That’s true in a geographic sense. The tribe’s reservation overlays the Arizona-California line near Yuma. The two states are heavily reliant on water from the Colorado River. The reservation also abuts the U.S.-Mexico border, where the river flows into Mexico for.
PHOENIX – A Phoenix educator, entrepreneur, adventurer and science communicator has been selected for the crew of Inspiration4, SpaceX’s first all-civilian mission to space. Sian Proctor, who’s a geology, sustainability and planetary science professor at South Mountain Community College, was one of the two final crew members SpaceX announced Tuesday at Kennedy Space Center in.
LOS ANGELES – Face masks, plastic bottles and bags – and feces, both dog and human – are some of the unsightly waste you could encounter these days while hiking in the red rocks of Sedona. Discarded masks also litter the beaches of Southern California, which already were battling a growing scourge of plastic and.
WASHINGTON – Arizona tribal officials told a Senate committee Wednesday that the federal government can help address a crisis with water infrastructure on their lands through more funding, and less meddling. Navajo Department of Water Resources Director Jason John and Colorado River Indian Tribes Chairwoman Amelia Flores made the comments during a Senate Indian Affairs.
WASHINGTON – Federal law has long compensated residents who lived downwind from open-air nuclear test sites in the 1950s and 1960s, including many in northern Arizona – but not residents in most of Mohave County. County Supervisor Jean Bishop, who has seen her family and neighbors racked by cancers, told a House committee Wednesday that.
PHOENIX – Ken Koshio has hiked Piestewa Peak every day for a year to perform a prayer at sunrise. The Japanese folk artist carries his taiko drum, flute and other instruments on his back. “I tell people 100 pounds – (it’s) maybe 30, 40, I don’t know. But that’s not heavy,” said Koshio, whose performances.
PHOENIX – In the sky islands of southeastern Arizona, the Chiricahua leopard frog persists – a lofty feat only made possible by a team more than 200 miles away. The frog, which is native to Arizona, was named after the Chiricahua Mountains, where researchers first documented them in the early 1970s, although the stout-bodied frog.
PHOENIX – The number of western monarch butterflies is declining alarmingly, which prompted a push to add the butterfly to the endangered species list in 2014. But after four years of review, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded that although the monarch butterfly warrants protection, dozens of other species face more urgent situations.
A showdown is looming on the Colorado River. The river’s existing management guidelines are set to expire in 2026. The states that draw water from it are about to undertake a new round of negotiations over the river’s future, while it’s facing worsening dry conditions due – in part – to rising temperatures. That means.
PHOENIX – Being an environmentally friendly consumer means more than recycling paper and avoiding plastic. For those who avoid fast fashion – cheap, trendy items that often come from sweatshops – thrift and resale/trade shops have offered a smart way to shop. Although the COVID-19 pandemic changed how such stores could operate, Goodwill locations and.
WASHINGTON – The Senate Monday confirmed New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as the next Interior secretary, a historic vote that makes her the first Native American to head a Cabinet agency. The confirmation came over the objection of Senate Republicans, particularly those representing Western states dependent on fossil fuels, who have called Haaland an environmental.
TOMBSTONE — You can hear their cacophony long before you can see the sandhill cranes at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area. It’s an ancient, thunderous clacking as thousands of the big birds trumpet back and forth before calling it a day. As the sun sinks, wave after wave of the migratory birds glide gently to the.
HERMOSILLO, Mexico – On a recent Thursday afternoon on the outskirts of town, a livestock auctioneer is taking bids. A long line of cattle – ribs pushing against taut, ragged hides – slowly makes its way through a maze of corrals toward the front. “They’re thin,” said Francisco Acuña, who has worked at the auctions.
Since June, a large proportion of Arizona’s rivers, lakes and streams have not been protected by the Clean Water Act, the result of changes to federal rules by the Trump administration in 2019. The state had relied on the landmark law to keep its arid streams free of pollution. But after the federal protections were.
California is spending more than $200 million to keep an unfolding ecological crisis from getting worse. The state wants to stabilize habitat along the southern bank of the Salton Sea, the state’s largest lake. That is good news for nearby residents concerned about their health, but the restoration also could affect everyone who draws water.
WASHINGTON – A Senate committee narrowly voted Thursday to advance Rep. Debra Haaland’s nomination to be the next secretary of Interior, moving her one step closer to becoming the first Native American to head a Cabinet-level agency. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 11-9 to send Haaland’s nomination to the full Senate, over.
WASHINGTON – The Arizona Corporation Commission grilled a West Valley water company Wednesday, asking why it did not respond more aggressively after chemical agents were discovered in water from its wells five years ago. Commissioner Anna Tovar at one point during the hearing asked an official of Valley Utilities Water Co., “Do you care for.
Anyone who has hosted a good dinner party knows that the guest list, table setting and topic of conversation play a big role in determining whether the night is a hit or the guests leave angry and unsatisfied. That concept is about to get a true test on the Colorado River, where chairs are being.
PHOENIX – More than 10.3 million acres of land were scorched by wildfires nationwide in 2020. Firefighters battling the harrowing flames often work shifts that exceed 24 hours, and they stay in close quarters in remote locations for weeks at a time, offering a prime opportunity for COVID-19 to spread. In addition, firefighters in urban.
WASHINGTON – The government Monday rescinded its approval for a proposed massive copper mine at Oak Flat, just days before it was to transfer thousands of acres of federal land for the project. The Department of Agriculture said it ordered the rescission to allow for a “thorough review based on significant input from collaborators, partners.
WASHINGTON – The House voted Friday to permanently ban new mining claims on more than 1 million acres around Grand Canyon National Park, with supporters calling protection of the landmark canyon a “moral issue.” The bill would make permanent a current mining moratorium that is scheduled to run through 2032. Supporters said a permanent ban.
PHOENIX – Land, and specifically what to do with land, has been among the most divisive topics in U.S. history since the arrival of European settlers in 1492. More than 500 years later, little has changed. On Jan. 20, the Biden administration ordered a 60-day pause on new oil and gas leases on federal lands.
WASHINGTON – Republican senators tried to pin down Rep. Deb Haaland at a hearing Tuesday on her nomination to be the next Interior secretary, pushing her on fossil fuels and the job losses they said would come from President Joe Biden’s proposed energy policies. But Democrats at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.
Climate change and extreme weather events are forecast to further reduce water supplies in the American Southwest, and a new futures market could allow water users to recoup losses if the price of water spikes. The futures market is the first of its kind, allowing investors and farmers alike to bet on how much water.
WASHINGTON – Arizona got middling scores in two new national reports on states’ efforts to boost the number of electric vehicles on the road, which advocates say is proof that the state has a long way to go. Arizona finished 24th and 25th, respectively, in the reports by the group Plug In America and by.
PHOENIX – Nearly a year of isolation and widespread closures has harmed the mental and physical health of many Americans. But Arizona state parks saw record visitation over parts of 2020 – a positive sign to experts urging people to get moving and get outside as COVID-19 continues to spread. Doctors have long touted the.
WASHINGTON – A federal judge Friday refused to order a halt to the proposed Resolution Copper Mine on Oak Flat, land that opponents say is sacred to the Apache people and will be destroyed by the mine. U.S. District Judge Steven Logan rejected a request by the group Apache Stronghold for a preliminary injunction against.
WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday it will award contracts worth up to $220 million to three companies for the cleanup of some of the hundreds of abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation. Work could start later this year following the completion of assessments for mining sites coordinated between the EPA and.
PHOENIX – A team led by University of Arizona astronomers has discovered the most distant quasar found to date. Researchers hope the quasar, which is more than 13 billion light-years from Earth, will provide answers to how galaxies formed after the big bang. “It was a relief to find,” said Feige Wang, lead author of.
WASHINGTON – Operators of the Palo Verde nuclear power plant told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Thursday they have addressed oversights that let a plant operator be licensed without noting a medical condition that could have restricted his license. The error was caught by officials at the plant and reported to the NRC, which issued an.
PHOENIX – A U.S.-Mexico partnership could aid the long-term recovery of the endangered Mexican wolf, a subspecies of the North American gray wolf, and its eventual removal from the U.S. endangered species list, according to a new study. In a peer-reviewed study published Jan. 21, researchers from several universities in Mexico, the University of Arizona.
For Carly Marriott, whose family farms wheat in southeastern Australia, selling water is as easy as selling a couch on Craigslist. “Here’s our account,” she said, opening a website on her smartphone. “We want to sell 85 megaliters, and we put a price on it of $600.” In some ways, the website is better than.
WASHINGTON – Members of the group Apache Stronghold told a federal district judge, in sometimes tearful testimony Wednesday, that a proposed copper mine at Oak Flat would destroy a “holy place” for Native Americans and needs to be stopped. “This is what this fight for Oak Flat is revealing,” said Wendsler Nosie Sr., a leader.
Dry conditions are the worst they’ve been in almost 20 years across the Colorado River watershed, which acts as the drinking and irrigation water supply for 40 million people in the American Southwest. As the latest round of federal forecasts for the river’s flow shows, it’s plausible, maybe even likely, that the situation could get.
WASHINGTON – Pascua Yaqui Council members called it “a blessing” Tuesday. They were talking about $900,000 in federal funds that will be used to bring water to the tribe’s lands for irrigation, the first fruits of an effort last year by members of the state’s congressional delegation to win $150 million in federal funding for.
Increasingly bleak forecasts for the Colorado River have for the first time put into action elements of the 2019 Upper Basin drought contingency plan. The 24-month study released in January by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which projects two years of operations at the river’s biggest reservoirs, showed Lake Powell possibly dipping below an elevation.
GREELEY, Colorado – Record-breaking wildfires in 2020 turned huge swaths of Western forests into barren, sooty scars. Those forests store winter snowpack that millions of people downstream rely on for drinking and irrigation water. But with such large and wide-reaching fires, the science on the short-term and long-term effects to the region’s water supplies isn’t.
The Colorado River is one of the most engineered river systems in the world. Over millions of years, the creatures that call the river home have adapted to the natural variability of its seasonal highs and lows. But for the past century, they have struggled to keep up with rapid changes in the river’s flows.
The ancient people of western Utah’s Danger Cave lived well. They ate freshwater fish, ducks and other small game, according to detritus they left behind. They had a lush lakeside view with cattails, bulrushes and water-loving willows adorning the marshlands. But over time, the good life became history. As heat and drought set in, the.
PHOENIX – A team of researchers at Petrified Forest National Park east of Holbrook have discovered fossilized remains of a new species of prehistoric reptile. The 220-million-year old burrowing reptile is a drepanosaur, an ancient reptile that had a claw on its tail and a birdlike beak. Researchers, who named the species Skybalonyx skapter, announced.
One of five stories in the series, “Hello, Joe: How Biden policies may be felt in Arizona.” WASHINGTON – For four years, the Trump administration took steps to boost uranium mining for what it called national security reasons, a move environmentalists saw as an attempt to open the door to mining near the Grand Canyon..
PHOENIX – Hot summers are nothing new in Arizona, but humans aren’t the only ones who have suffered from record-breaking heat: queen palm trees across the Valley have been burning up. 2020 was the hottest year on record in Phoenix, with 48 days of excessive heat warnings and a heat peak in July and August,.
All signs are pointing to a dry start to 2021 across much of the Colorado River watershed, which provides water to about 40 million people in the Western U.S. A lack of precipitation from April to October made this spring, summer and fall one of the region’s driest six-month periods on record. And with a.
MOAB, Utah – Climate change and increased demand for water across the Southwest are shrinking the Colorado River’s second biggest reservoir, Lake Powell. Although water managers worry about scarcity issues, two local river guides are documenting the changes that come as the enormous reservoir hits historic lows. For the past three years, Mike DeHoff and.
PHOENIX – Step inside Biosphere 2’s tropical rainforest, which thrives beneath an enormous glass dome, and visitors are met by a wall of warm humidity and lush greenery. The sprawling complex north of Tucson in Oracle provides climate-change researchers unique opportunities to test theories in ways that would be impossible in the field. This is.
WASHINGTON – For decades, coal from the Navajo Nation helped deliver water and helped power homes and businesses throughout Arizona and the Southwest. Now, some of that coal is being used to heat Navajo homes as well. For the fifth straight year, the Community Heating Resource Program (CHRP) is helping Navajo residents stay warm through.
WASHINGTON – Activists worry that the Trump administration has fast-tracked the final environmental impact statement for the massive Resolution Copper mine, a project planned for lands near Superior that are claimed as sacred by the San Carlos Apache. Opponents became alarmed when the U.S. Forest Service’s schedules of proposed action, which said the environmental statement.
WASHINGTON – Coconino County Supervisor Art Babbott urged senators Wednesday to pass a bill that would let limbs and trees left over from forest maintenance be burned for renewable energy. Babbott, testifying before a Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee, said the lack of a market for forest waste has been a bottleneck choking efforts.
PHOENIX – States across the Southwest have adopted clean energy plans that regulate utility companies and work toward carbon-free goals. After lagging for several years, Arizona is starting to catch up. The Arizona Corporation Commission on Friday passed a proposal requiring utilities to be 100% free of carbon emissions by 2050 and meet particular benchmarks.
WASHINGTON – An endangered squirrel that was driven to the brink of extinction by wildfire just three years ago in southern Arizona has seen its numbers more than triple following federal, state and local preservation efforts. The Mount Graham red squirrel population was cut from 252 to just 33 squirrels in the wild after the.
WASHINGTON – State and federal weather officials are predicting a warmer and drier than normal winter for Arizona, which would come on the heels of the driest monsoon ever recorded in the state. The “nonsoon” summer followed by a La Niña winter could spell trouble for water resources and wildfire conditions in a state already.
WASHINGTON – The acreage torched by wildfires in Arizona was up sharply this year, but fire officials said it was still not a particularly bad season in terms of lives lost and structures burned in the blazes. The 2020 wildfire season had burned just under 955,000 acres as of Wednesday, according to the Arizona Department.
2020 has been a tough year for some of the Colorado River basin’s long-planned, most controversial water projects. Proposals to divert water in New Mexico, Nevada and Utah have run up against significant legal, financial and political roadblocks this year. While environmental groups have cheered the setbacks, it’s still unclear whether these projects have truly.
PHOENIX – Two Republicans and a Democrat were leading in the race to secure three of the five seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates publicly owned utilities in a state that faces growing challenges from the effects of climate change. Unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s Office on Friday morning showed Republican.
PHOENIX – Twenty-four hours after Tuesday’s election, the U.S. officially will exit the Paris Agreement, an effort by nearly 200 countries to reduce the threat of man-made climate change. This comes as Arizona voters are expressing a growing interest in climate change and environmental policy. A new survey of voters indicates Arizonans are becoming more.
PHOENIX – The ugly truth was laid bare when an international team of researchers ran their final model on plastic pollution in the Pacific. The results would reveal just how much the world would have to reduce plastic waste to prevent more than 8 million metric tons from entering the oceans, lakes and rivers every.
PHOENIX – Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest utility provider, is proposing a rate increase starting next year, a move opposed by many customers reeling from the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rate hike, which would raise rates 3% to 6% for the majority of its 2.7 million customers statewide, would increase the.
Major wildfires have burned through the Western U.S. in 2020, breaking records for their scale and damage. As firefighters tamp down their immediate effects, those who live nearby are coming to grips with the lingering danger of wildfires. Even long after the flames are gone, residents face a serious increase in the threat of flooding..
WASHINGTON – Local officials pushed back this week against a new report that showed three Arizona cities slipping in a national ranking on clean-energy policies, saying the report does not appear to reflect their clean- and renewable-energy efforts. The 2020 City Clean Energy Scorecard, released last week by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy,.
For many communities in the West, the water that flows out of kitchen faucets and bathroom showerheads starts high up in the mountains, as snowpack tucked under canopies of spruce and pine trees. This summer’s record-breaking wildfires have reduced some of those headwater forests to burnt trees and heaps of ash. In high alpine ecosystems,.
In June 2002, nearly half a million acres burned in the Arizona high country. At the time, the Rodeo-Chediski Fire was the largest wildfire in the state’s history. There was too much fuel in the forest, a buildup that began more than a century ago. Enough people saw the record-breaking fire and agreed that something.
LOS ANGELES – Napa Valley is no stranger to natural disasters. Year after year, the world renowned wine region faces flames. In 2019, wind and the Kincade Fire brought smoke and blackouts. In 2018, the County Fire affected a small part of the valley – the same year the enormous Camp Fire devastated other parts.
PHOENIX – With a glance toward the southern sky this month, you’ll see Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. With a telescope or good binoculars, you may also see several of Jupiter’s 79 known moons. Four of those moons, Europa, Callisto, Ganymede and Io, are heating up more than scientists thought they should.
PHOENIX – Arizona will experience more days of extreme heat in the coming decade, according to an Arizona State University study that comes on the heels of the state’s hottest summer on record. But researchers are looking for ways to mitigate a hotter, drier climate. The study, “The motley drivers of heat and cold exposure.
WASHINGTON – State and federal officials have agreed on a plan that includes bringing in volunteer sharpshooters to cut the number of bison on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Lethal removal has long been discussed as a way to reduce the herd, along with hazing and relocation, but the Sept. 25 agreement between.
The Colorado River’s largest reservoirs are expected to keep struggling over the next five years due to climate change, according to the federal agency that oversees them. The Bureau of Reclamation’s new modeling projections, which include this year’s record-breaking heat and dryness in some parts of the southwestern watershed, show an increasing likelihood of an.
PHOENIX – Republican Sen. Martha McSally and Democratic challenger Mark Kelly, two military veterans battling for a congressional seat in Arizona that is drawing the attention of the nation, debated over the country’s COVID-19 response, jobs and immigration and President Trump’s attacks on Arizona Sen. John McCain. Kelly and McSally wielded the usual disdain of.
PHOENIX – About 1,900 people watched online Saturday as, one-by-one, four young California condors flapped through the opening in their release cage to take to the skies above Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, casting shadows on the windswept rocks below. The Peregrine Fund and several of its partners, including the federal Bureau of Land Management and.
WASHINGTON – The National Park Service cited public safety concerns for its decision this week to prohibit access to a sacred Tohono O’odham site, a move that comes amid rising tensions between border wall protestors and federal agents. Park service officials said the decision to shut down roads to the Quitobaquito Springs, posted Monday on.
PHOENIX – The smoke over Arizona is expected to clear this week, but meteorologists say it could return as wildfires fueled in part by climate change continue to scorch large swaths of Northern California, Oregon and Washington. Scientists predict new wind patterns will move the smoke east and encourage clearer skies and higher temperatures in.
WASHINGTON – Federal officials said Wednesday that the western yellow-billed cuckoo should remain a threatened species, rejecting an appeal by miners, ranchers and other groups that claimed the bird no longer needs protection. The critics had claimed that the original 2014 decision to list the western bird as a separate species from other yellow-billed cuckoos.
WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans Wednesday for a new office that will focus on tracking and cleaning up abandoned mines in Western states, a particular problem in Arizona with uranium and other mines. The unveiling of the Office of Mountains, Deserts and Plains was welcomed by officials from the states where it.
WASHINGTON – Federal officials on Tuesday named a 58-mile stretch of the Lower Salt and Gila rivers an Urban Waters Federal Partnership location, a designation that could bring millions in funding to efforts to revitalize the stressed Valley waterway. The announcement, attended by federal, local and tribal officials, caps two years of work on the.
Wedged between a sprawl of saguaros and a busy highway in Mexico, Quitobaquito is a tiny oasis. Wildlife and Indigenous communities have long relied on this rare spring system for fresh water in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. The spring flows into a pond just a few paces from the U.S.-Mexico border at Organ.
PHOENIX – By now, you’ve probably heard it more times than you can count: One of the simplest ways to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection is to wash your hands. But for the nearly one in three Navajo Nation households without indoor plumbing, that’s easier said than done. “People (here) call it a luxury.
Tracking coronavirus pandemic could soon be a bit easier because of one simple fact: Everyone poops. Around the world, wastewater plants have become unlikely sentinels in the fight against the virus, allowing scientists to track the disease’s spread at the community level. The practice of testing sewage samples is spreading across western U.S. states as.
Use it or lose it. That saying is at the heart of how access to water is managed in the western U.S. Laws that govern water in more arid states, such as Colorado, incentivize users to always take their full share from rivers and streams, or risk the state rescinding it. The threat comes in.
PHOENIX – Named for the biblical figure Joshua by Mormon pioneers who saw its outstretched limbs as a guide to their westward travels, the Joshua tree is an enduring icon of the Southwest. In tiny Yucca Valley, California, the spiny succulents that once guided pioneers through the Mojave Desert still adorn the landscape, but as.
PHOENIX – An atypical coating was applied to a parking lot at Esteban Park in southeast Phoenix last month, topping gray, cracked asphalt with a smooth, off-white sealant. The fresh look is more than a makeover: When the parking lot was coated June 12, it marked the start of Phoenix’s $3.3 million Cool Pavement Pilot.
Arizona has had a busy fire season this summer. Now, with many of the big fires out, communities are beginning to look at their wildfire risk. And for many, that risk is high, according to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, which last year did a wildfire risk assessment of more than 500.
Every summer, Arizona braces for fire season, and this summer was no exception. Thousands of acres burned and several communities were evacuated. Conservationists say it’s important for Arizona communities to learn how to live with fire, to thin fuel in and around their communities. Many communities understand that, and politicians are beginning to be aware.
PHOENIX – Arizona skywatchers have been over the moon about a comet that has graced the night sky since July 11. Comet NEOWISE was discovered March 27 by Amy Mainzer, principal investigator on NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission, and her team at the University of Arizona. “We’re specifically interested in what we.
Charismatic is hardly the best word to describe the humpback chub, a fish with a frowny eel face jammed onto a sportfish body in a way that suggests evolution has a sense of humor. Nor did tastiness build a fan base for this “trash fish” across its natural habitat throughout the Colorado River Basin. But,.
PHOENIX – Conservationists expressed anger and frustration over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month not to hear an appeal to stop construction of the southern border wall. But they’re moving ahead on other legal fronts while monitoring construction as it chews through land marked by towering saguaros and home to the endangered jaguar. “It’s.
PHOENIX – Strewn across parking lots, in rivers and washing up on beaches, disposable face masks, gloves and other personal protection equipment are turning up everywhere except where they should be – in the landfill. With the production and use of PPE surging during the COVID-19 pandemic, many experts are worried this new type of.
WASHINGTON – In the South Phoenix neighborhood of Lindo Park-Roesley Park, temperatures can be up to 13 degrees higher than locations just 2 miles away, according to the Nature Conservancy. Communities that are predominantly Hispanic and Black, like Lindo Park-Roesley Park, are part of the focus in a new plan outlined June 30 by Democrats.
PHOENIX – Two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Long and his foundation are donating $100,000 to the Navajo Nation to improve access to water on the reservation. The money, which will go to DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project, will be used to install 1,200-gallon solar-powered water systems under hundreds of homes to ensure that families have reliable,.
When the Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1966, it was a major development for water management in the arid West. It also transformed Glen Canyon, sometimes described as America’s “lost national park,” into the second largest reservoir in the country. On June 22, 1980, Lake Powell reached its capacity for the first time, marking.
PHOENIX – Central Arizona has been booming – more people, more houses, more need for water. There’s also a long-term drought and less water to buy from the Central Arizona Project canal system. It’s leading Phoenix exurbs to cast about, looking for new buckets. Other regions of the state are saying: Don’t come here. “They.
PHOENIX – After a prolonged government shutdown cut into their revenues in 2019, business owners around the Grand Canyon National Park said 2020 appeared to be on track to being a bounceback year for them. Then COVID-19 hit. The park was closed from April 1 to May 15, when it began to reopen on a.
PHOENIX – Dust storms in Arizona can blow up suddenly, and the patch of desert between Eloy and Picacho Peak is especially prone to wind-driven dust. Dust drastically reduces visibility for drivers, which is why the Arizona Department of Transportation, ahead of monsoon season, has implemented a new dust detection system to protect drivers on.
PHOENIX – With bone-dry vegetation, winds forecast at 40 to 50 mph and no rain in sight, fire danger is critically high across much of Arizona, prompting the National Weather Service to issue red flag warnings Monday. The warnings were scheduled to be lifted at 8 p.m. Monday. “The danger and the risk of fire.
PHOENIX – Nearly three years after it won endangered species status, the Sonoyta mud turtle was granted 12.3 acres of protected habitat this week – but supporters worry that that habitat may no longer provide all the protection the turtles need. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday designated an area in the Organ.
PHOENIX – The Verde and the San Pedro rivers are the subject of lawsuits filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club and other conservation groups. In Part 1 of this series, Cronkite News explored the impact cattle have had on the Verde River. For the final installment, Cronkite News looks at the.
PHOENIX – It’s a tale of two rivers: The Verde, which flows south from near Flagstaff to metro Phoenix, and the San Pedro, which begins in Mexico and flows north to Winkelman. In some ways, the rivers differ drastically. The San Pedro is one of the last undammed rivers in the Southwest, while the Verde.
TUCSON – President Donald Trump’s border wall now stretches along just more than 200 miles of U.S.-Mexico borderland. Progress hasn’t slowed during the COVID-19 pandemic; in some places it’s even accelerating. But there’s a tiny swath of tribal land along the lower Colorado River where that’s not the case. The Cocopah Reservation sits in the.
PHOENIX – As President Donald Trump was hailing the pace of border wall construction Tuesday, Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris Jr. was bemoaning it as a project that continues “to destroy … sacred sites.” “We have an obligation, we have a duty, we have a responsibility, to protect those sites of our ancestors, sacred.
PHOENIX – Two Arizona tribes and a Phoenix-based advocacy group joined a pair of lawsuits this week to reverse a Trump administration clean-water rule that critics said would open the “vast majority of Arizona’s waterways” to pollution and degradation. The suits were filed Monday, the same day a new Environmental Protection Agency rule took effect.
BISBEE – Contractors continue to install new barriers along parts of the U.S.-Mexico border, including many that bisect sensitive lands, including Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge and Cabeza Prieta National Monument. In January, hundreds of people gathered on a small bridge near Hereford that spans the San Pedro River.
PHOENIX – Tom Zemites hasn’t let the COVID-19 pandemic stop him from pursuing his hobby – fishing. “I’ve probably fished more than five times,” the Chandler resident said. “I fished at Fool Hollow up by Show Low a couple times, fished Willow Springs twice. And then, we’ve fished right over here at ASU Research Park,.
PHOENIX — Eleven wildfires are blazing in Arizona, covering 448 square miles. The largest, known as the Bush Fire, is in rugged terrain in the Tonto National Forest about 40 miles northeast of Mesa. The fast moving blaze, which started Saturday when a disabled car caught fire west of Roosevelt Lake, is still the largest.
PHOENIX — Nearly 1,500 people living west of Roosevelt Lake have been forced to evacuate because of the fast burning Bush Fire, which on Wednesday was the largest in the country at 89,059 acres, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center. The wind-blown wildfire, which was ignited by a burning vehicle Saturday, was moving fast.
PHOENIX – Senators broke into applause Wednesday as they gave overwhelming approval to a bill allocating up to $1.9 billion a year for public lands acquisition and national park maintenance fund, a bill advocates said is “55 years overdue.” The Great American Outdoors Act would fund up to $1 billion a year in repairs at.
HERMOSILLO, Mexico – Two conservation groups are suing the U.S. government to force a decision on a 2014 legal petition seeking sanctions against Mexico for failing to stop illegal fishing that endangers the world’s rarest marine mammal, the vaquita marina porpoise. Fewer than a dozen of the tiny mammals remain in the northern reaches of.
PHOENIX — Student activism has shaped history in powerful ways, and college students have gained traction recently on a long-standing front: divestment of endowment and pension funds from the fossil fuel industry. The University of California system last month completed a $1 billion divestment from oil, gas and coal, instead putting the money in clean.
PHOENIX – Arizona tribal leaders told House lawmakers Tuesday that moves to reopen national parks are being made without needed health safety measures to protect tribal members or park visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The comments by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Havasupai Council Member Carletta Tilousi come as the Interior Department is moving.
PHOENIX – Federal regulators have given a Phoenix company the green light to study a hydropower project for the Little Colorado River, what opponents fear is a first step toward “destroying incredibly rare, beautiful, sacred resources.” The OK last week from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission came despite a slew of concerns about the project’s.
PHOENIX – Phoenix dipped slightly in a national ranking of solar power capacity, even as the total amount of power generated and the power per person increased from last year, according to a national report released Wednesday. The “Shining Cities” report by Environment America said Phoenix’s 272.4 megawatts of solar capacity was fourth-highest in the.
MEXICO CITY – The COVID-19 pandemic has given the Mexican government an opportunity to make changes to its renewable energy market. And some fear this could bring higher rates, less investment and more state control. In late April, the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador instructed new renewable energy plants to yield the production to.
UPDATE: Since this report first aired in February, the fencing project was completed, according to Tonto National Forest officials. MESA – Gently, Simone Netherlands blew air into the horse’s nose. “It’s just kind of a way of saying ‘Hi’ to horses,” she said. “Have you ever seen that in the wild where they blow into.
PHOENIX – The Grand Canyon will reopen on a limited basis for Memorial Day weekend, a move critics call “premature” during the COVID-19 pandemic and “tone-deaf” in the face of startling infection rates on the neighboring Navajo Nation Reservation. The opening, from Friday to Monday, is just the second at the park, which was completely.
A new survey finds differences in how Americans feel about water, and how those feelings translate into action. The Water Main, a project from American Public Media, wanted to know how Americans think, feel and worry about their water. Among its findings is that knowledge of water issues isn’t the biggest predictor of whether someone.
TEMPE – As if fighting fires wasn’t dangerous enough, firefighters now have to worry about COVID-19 while they’re on the job, making for what fire officials say will be the “most challenging season we’re going to have.” Strategies to check the spread of the disease include everything from avoiding eating together in large mess halls.
PHOENIX – If there’s any doubt that wildfire poses a high risk to property in Arizona, the U.S. Forest Service would like to paint a different picture – in blazing reds and flaming yellows. Those colors blanket the state in a tool the service released last month that attempts to show wildfire risk to communities.
Although some Arizona cities have struggled to keep recycling programs afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, collection of recyclable items in Phoenix has grown while the city made minor changes to safely collect materials potentially exposed to bodily fluids. As a result of more people staying at home because of the pandemic, the collection of organic.
PHOENIX – Arizona’s outdoors continue to be a source of solace and relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Grand Canyon National Park, Saguaro National Park and other national sites remain closed, state parks, the Phoenix Mountains Preserve and other popular hiking spots remain open with some restrictions. Gov. Doug Ducey deemed outdoor recreation essential in.
LOS ANGELES – As health care workers battle a pandemic with a limited supply of personal protective equipment, the problem persists for those who bury the pandemic’s dead. Concerned about the safety of embalmers, morticians and other death care workers, some leading health officials have issued new guidelines for green burials – where bodies are.
PHOENIX – Environmentalists are blasting a Trump administration call for “bold action to revive and strengthen the uranium mining industry,” an industry whose history they say has left a “toxic trail” through the Grand Canyon. They are responding to a report last week by the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Fuel Working Group, which called for.
PHOENIX – It’s the early 1990s, and Park Williams stands in the middle of Folsom Lake, at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills in Northern California. He’s not walking on water; severe drought has exposed the lakebed. “I remember being very impressed by the incredible variability of water in the West and how it’s.
PHOENIX – The irony of indoor celebrations of a day dedicated to the outdoors is not lost on Hazel Chandler, 74. “It makes me really sad,” the Phoenix resident said when asked about this year’s celebration. “Fifty years ago in 1970, you know, I was part of the first Earth Day activities (in San Diego),.
LOS ANGELES – Considered a delicacy around the globe, sea urchins please the palates of the wealthy, showing up on sushi bars and swirled into pasta at fine restaurants. However, these spiny creatures in recent years have plowed through forests of bull kelp along coasts around the world. Sea urchins pose a problem to kelp.
PHOENIX – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorized the killing of four endangered Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico during one week in late March, a move conservation groups call a significant setback to wolf recovery. A spokesperson said the agency used “non-lethal management techniques to the maximum extent practicable” to control the wolf.
Shocking videos of dairy farmers dumping thousands of gallons of milk have been circulating on the internet, as the coronavirus outbreak has forced dairy farmers across the country to dump their excess milk supply to offset their losses and keep prices stable. Arizona dairy farmers have taken part in this dumping process to help stay.
PHOENIX – For eight decades, biologists have speculated that bald eagles build their nests in large saguaros. This week, that speculation became reality. The Arizona Game & Fish Department on Wednesday announced the discovery of the first bald eagle nest in a saguaro since before World War II. “It was absolutely amazing when I got.
PHOENIX – The Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday it will not expand Obama-era air quality standards, a move environmentalists call “the wrong thing to be doing” during a global pandemic that threatens lung health. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said Tuesday the National Ambient Air Quality Standards do not need to be toughened from 2013 levels.
PRESCOTT – The Verde River, one of the few perennial rivers in Arizona, is known for its fishing and recreation, but it also provides water to Prescott and metro Phoenix. The more than 170-mile long river flows from its headwaters near Flagstaff south to the Salt River. Along the way, the Verde supplies water to.
LOS ANGELES – On a small urban farm nestled amid buildings and housing developments in the industrial hub of Bell, California, a rooster sings while organic fruits, vegetables and herbs grow. Known as Grow Good, the 1.5-acre plot does more than provide food – its harvest feeds the residents of a nearby homeless shelter. In.
PHOENIX – The National Park Service abruptly closed Grand Canyon National Park on Wednesday, bowing to weeks of pressure after health officials expressed “extreme concern” about the potential for spread of COVID-19 in the park. The park has been open with reduced services – and no entry fee – for two weeks as the number.
PHOENIX – The Environmental Protection Agency this week defended its plans to waive some environmental compliance requirements in the face of the coronavirus, insisting the temporary policy is “not a license to pollute.” Environmentalists were not convinced, repeating charges that the “pretty outrageous” policy, first announced last week, creates a “catch me if you can”.
PHOENIX – The Phoenix area is famous for its warm spring days and wealth of outdoor activities, but it’s also known for something less flattering: some of the worst air quality in the country. The American Lung Association ranked the Phoenix-Mesa area as the seventh worst for ozone pollution, behind Los Angeles, San Diego and.
TEMPE – Arizona lawmakers joined local and tribal officials Tuesday calling on the Interior Department to reverse its “reckless” decision to keep Grand Canyon National Park open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Park lodging and concession services were stopped two weeks ago by coronavirus fears, but the National Park Service at that time waived park entry.
PHOENIX – The Salt River Project’s election for half of its board is coming up next month. Friday afternoon, March 27, is the deadline to request an early ballot by mail. SRP is a utility serving water and or electricity to 2 million Valley residents. The company runs the election itself and it doesn’t coincide.
PHOENIX – Although Gov. Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order exempts outdoor exercise, some city parks in Arizona are taking measures similar to those adopted by Grand Canyon and Saguaro National parks to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as closing certain facilities and limiting access to popular areas. Phoenix Parks and Recreation over the weekend began.
WASHINGTON – Grand Canyon National Park is still open, but the same cannot be said for lodging and food services in the park that will be shuttered for the next two months by concerns over the novel coronavirus. Grand Canyon Lodging on Thursday announced the “difficult decision” to suspend operations beginning at noon Friday and.
PHOENIX – The Environmental Plan proposed by Republican lawmakers looks to make permanent tax breaks for companies that reduce emissions through carbon capture and other means. The updated proposal, co-sponsored by Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona, comes as more Arizonans are calling for greater action on climate change. Last week, youth activists gathered in front.
GREELEY, Colo. – A warming climate already is reducing stream flows in the Southwest’s largest watershed, according to a new study from scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey. And as the planet continues to heat up, it said, the shortages are likely to get worse. Using hydrologic models, researchers found that the Colorado River Basin.
MARANA — Thousands of wild horses and burros roam across millions of acres of public land in 10 Western states, including Arizona. The Bureau of Land Management, which manages these herds, estimated last year there are 88,000 animals – more than three times as many as there should be. The bureau says the number of.
RIO VERDE – Across Arizona, humans are keeping a sharp eye on bald eagle nests that are close to areas with high recreational traffic. As part of a program run by the Arizona Game & Fish Department, these nestwatchers monitor the behaviors of the eagles and make sure their treetop and rock ledge nests are.
CRAIG, Colorado – Coal-fired power plants are closing, or being given firm deadlines for closure, across the country. In Western states supported by the overallocated and drought-plagued Colorado River, these plants use a significant amount of the region’s scarce water supplies. With closure dates looming, river communities are starting the contentious debate about how this.
PHOENIX — Meet Claire Nelson, one of several activists who gathered Monday in front of City Hall to call on city officials to declare a climate emergency. She is also 17. A fulltime climate activist, Nelson switched to taking all online classes to focus on her work. That’s why instead of sitting in front of.
WASHINGTON – Buckeye Mayor Jackie A. Meck said drinking water is scarce enough for cities in the West – they don’t need to be competing with invasive species for it, too. Meck was one of several witnesses Wednesday at a Senate hearing on the impact of nonnative species – mostly quagga and zebra mussels that.
LOS ANGELES – In a city renowned for its green policies, Prius drivers and biodegradable straws, it was only a matter of time before officials would vote to move away from coal powered electricity. To transition to clean energy, the city sold its shares of a coal-powered generating station on the Navajo Nation in 2016,.
CAMP VERDE — The Verde River stretches more than 170 miles from north-central Arizona and down through metro Phoenix, bringing life to the landscape, people and wildlife. This month, the river was rated a C+ in the first Verde Watershed Report Card. The report, released Feb. 18, took into account the quality of the habitat,.
PHOENIX – Last month was Earth’s warmest January on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports, and that was true in Arizona, where January 2020’s average temperature was 3.2 degrees above the historic average. Across the United States, it was the fifth warmest January in 141 years of climate records, NOAA reported Feb. 13..
WASHINGTON – An emotional Tohono O’odham Nation chairman told lawmakers Wednesday that blasting on sacred sites in national monuments to build a border wall near his reservation has “forever damaged our people.” “I know in my heart and what our elders have told us and what we have learned that that area is home to.
HERMOSILLO, Mexico – Just south of the U.S. border, Sonora’s stunning 2,700-square-mile El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve is an otherworld landscape dotted with enormous craters, sand dunes and lava flows. In 2013, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its outstanding biodiversity, including such endemic species as the endangered.
PHOENIX – There’s something in the Buckeye groundwater – a high mineral and salt content – that makes it hard to use, but the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station wants to tap into that source to reduce the amount of more valuable wastewater it now uses to cool the plant’s three reactors. The plant uses.
WASHINGTON – A federal judge has overturned environmental permits for the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine, saying the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to consider the mine’s impact on several endangered species in the Santa Rita Mountains. It’s just the latest setback for the planned open-pit mine, whose owners said Monday’s ruling “does not come.
PHOENIX — The City Council voted Tuesday to increase the solid waste residential rate by $6.40 a month, which is to be phased in over the next two years. The measure comes two years after China made significant cuts to how much recycled plastic, fiber and other waste it would accept, costing Phoenix multimillion dollar.
PHOENIX – A “perfect drought” happens when all of a region’s major sources of water experience drought at the same time, which is what California experienced from 2012 to 2015. A new University of Arizona study shows that such droughts have occurred an average six times a century for the past 600 years, and it.
PHOENIX – The Four Corners drought of 2017 and 2018 caused $3 billion in losses and prompted the Navajo Nation to issue an emergency drought declaration. Now, new research in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society suggests a sizable portion of the drought’s impacts stemmed from human-caused climate change. “We’re going to keep seeing.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Scientists are racing to develop a concrete solution to the planet’s ever-growing greenhouse gas problem by actually trapping mineralized carbon dioxide in concrete. A UCLA research team hopes to win the $20 million Carbon XPrize with an innovation that aims to reduce some of the 37 billion tons of CO2 that.
PHOENIX – For Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, garbage and recycling day has become a weekly holiday she and her 3-year-old son celebrate. “We have to go out and wave to the garbage trucks,” Gallego said. “Sometimes they’ll honk for him, and we have special permission from our neighbors to celebrate garbage day and it’s just.
WASHINGTON – A House committee gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that would reverse Trump administration changes to the Endangered Species Act, after a heated debate between members over which side had the best interest of the act at heart. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, sponsored the bill that he said is needed to overturn.
WASHINGTON – Clean-water rules announced Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency could remove the vast majority of Arizona’s waterways from federal oversight, a change environmentalists call bad news in a region where water is “super precious.” But Trump administration officials hailed the “common sense” changes to the Clean Water Act that they say will no.
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. PEORIA – The Arizona.
PHOENIX – Insects spend a lot of time upside-down and sideways, but scientists know surprisingly little about how they react to the pull of gravity in these awkward positions. Now, a study in the journal PNAS sheds new light on the topic. An insect’s open circulatory system, which sloshes fluid known as hemolymph around the.
WASHINGTON – Federal officials said recovery efforts for the humpback chub have been so successful that the Colorado River fish can be downgraded from endangered to threatened, but some environmentalists worry that it may be too soon to make that move. The proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service caps decades of work to.
PHOENIX – Some water tied to land along the Colorado River could not be transferred to central Arizona if the Legislature approves a bill proposed by a Kingman lawmaker. The bill comes after recent proposals for just such a transfer of river water, which municipalities in western Arizona consider a threat to their ability to.
HERMOSILLO, Sonora, Mexico – The Second Chamber of Mexico’s Supreme Court last week unanimously granted legal protection to communities affected by a 2014 mining spill in the Rio Sonora. Residents of seven communities affected by the spill hope the ruling will provide relief they’ve been seeking for more than five years. On Aug. 6, 2014,.
PHOENIX – Two bills have been introduced in the Arizona Legislature calling for water-well metering to address the lack of regulations on groundwater pumping outside central Arizona. This comes after a series of recent reports in The Arizona Republic showing large industrial farms in rural counties are drilling ever-deeper wells to irrigate thirsty crops like.
LAS VEGAS – Every time thick, dark rain clouds move over the deserts that surround Las Vegas, there’s an anticipatory buzz. Flora and fauna begin preparing for the rare event, lying in wait for the first few drops. Todd Esque usually waits for the storms in his office in Henderson, Nevada. He knows how much.
WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency doles out billions annually for recovery from tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters, but the deadliest disaster goes largely unfunded – extreme heat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that around 618 people in the U.S. die each year from exposure to extreme heat, and the numbers.
PHOENIX – Phoenix is looking to collect donations from the public to plant more trees, but the proposal is being met with some skepticism. Mark Hartman, the city’s chief sustainability officer, pitched the idea at a recent City Council subcommittee meeting. “Residents will not be able to say exactly, ‘I want a tree in front.
GLENDALE – Arizona’s notorious dry heat can make it tough and expensive to keep playing fields green without wasting water. That’s why Phoenix Water Service Department officials are injecting conservation technology known as hydrogels into soccer fields at Arizona State University’s West campus. The school and the city have teamed up to use a $100,000.
PHOENIX – Along with long-term drought and climate change, the overcommitment of the Colorado River is a big reason why Lake Mead has dropped to historic levels in recent years. Fixing it could be a big problem for Arizona. “Unfortunately, Arizona’s facing some of the largest cuts, and it really puts Arizona in a political.
WASHINGTON – The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service said this week that it plans to take the Kanab ambersnail off the list of endangered species because the tiny snail is neither endangered – nor its own species. The service said new scientific evidence shows that the Kanab subspecies, found in just three sites in the.
PHOENIX – In the early years of the 20th century, leaders across the West had big dreams for growth, all of which were tied to taking water from the Colorado River and moving it across mountains and deserts. In dividing up the river, they assigned more water to users than the system actually produces. The.
PHOENIX – NASA is sending another rover to Mars to better understand the planet and look for signs of life. If all goes to plan, the mission will be the first to bring samples from Mars back to Earth. The Mars 2020 rover, which hasn’t been named yet, is about the size of a compact.
PAONIA, Colorado – A.J. Carrillo farms 18 acres near Hotchkiss, Colorado, in the high desert of the Western Slope about an hour southeast of Grand Junction. When he irrigates his peach orchard, water gushes from big white plastic pipes at the top of the plot and takes half a day to trickle down to the.
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration waived environmental and other regulations on nearly one-quarter of Arizona’s border with Mexico last year to ease the way for border wall construction, a review of government documents shows. The Department of Homeland Security issued three separate “section 102” waivers this year covering 90.2 miles of border in Yuma, Pima.
PHOENIX – American white pelicans breed in Canada and the upper Midwest, and they typically winter near the Gulf of Mexico and coastal Southern California. However, more of these enormous wetland birds are wintering in Arizona because of the state’s prime living conditions. Dropping water levels in their natural habitats make the pelicans easy prey.
WASHINGTON – They may have turned out the lights, but the party’s not over at the Navajo Generating Station and its affiliated Kayenta coal mine. The owners of both facilities face several years of decommissioning and cleanup as well as the possibility of decades of environmental monitoring of the sites, which closed down for good.
MARICOPA – Farmers for decades have used huge machines to plant, grow and harvest their crops, but more and more Arizona farmers today are using tiny, remote-controlled aircraft to boost yields and save water and money. Kelly Thorp, an agricultural engineer for the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, uses.
TUSAYAN – In a clearing on Forest Road 305, about 15 miles south of Grand Canyon National Park, an enormous steel headframe towers beside a retention pond. Beneath the headframe, a mine shaft drops 1,400 feet into the earth. This is the Canyon Mine, which opened in 1986 to extract uranium. A handful of employees.
PHOENIX – America generates almost 38 million tons of plastic waste every year, ranking second only to China. That’s a lot of plastic, and despite decades of recycling efforts, the bulk of it winds up in landfills and waterways. To come up with a more sustainable substitute, researchers at the University of the Valley of.
WASHINGTON – A Trump administration plan to roll back stricter regulations on energy-efficient lightbulbs may have done the impossible – put environmentalists and some utility companies on the same side of an issue. The new, tougher rules were set to take effect Jan. 1, adding flame-tip, reflector and other bulbs to the list of incandescents.
PEORIA – A steady, high-pitched beep reverberates off rugged hillsides as a tanker truck backs up to a sheet of corrugated metal that’s enclosed by a small metal fence. The tanker carries nearly 1,700 gallons of Earth’s most precious resource: water. Just west of the Arizona Game & Fish Department’s headquarters along Carefree Highway, one.
PHOENIX – A Phoenix company wants to build two massive hydroelectric projects on the Little Colorado River, a main tributary of the Colorado River, which carves the Grand Canyon. Environmentalists and Native Americans say the projects threaten life within the Canyon and would defile sacred land. Pumped Hydro Storage LLC has applied for permits to.
LAS VEGAS – With short-term drought plans finished, water managers from across the Southwest recently gathered in Las Vegas to figure out what’s next. The Colorado River Water Users Association annual conference brings together nearly every municipal water agency, irrigation district, Native American tribe and environmental group that relies on the Colorado River. In a.
McNEAL – For monarch butterflies, it’s all about the milkweed. Without it, the iconic butterflies have no place to lay eggs and no place for their larva to feed – especially on their stupendous annual migrations. Monarch populations have declined steeply in the past decades for a variety of reasons, including loss of habitat. To.
LA JOLLA, Calif. – You may have heard of the Pineapple Express – not the 2008 buddy comedy about marijuana, hit men and corrupt cops – but the long, narrow “river in the sky” that brings tropical moisture from Hawaii to the West Coast. Atmospheric rivers, which have been studied for nearly two decades, are.
WASHINGTON – Bureau of Land Management employees in Washington have until this week to decide whether to accept a transfer out West – a move that some advocates and former bureau managers see as an attempt at “dismantling” the agency. Notices went out Nov. 12 to 159 workers who will be affected by the bureau’s.
TUCSON – Much of the Santa Cruz River is a dry, desert wash, only flowing after heavy monsoon rains. As Tucson Water hydrologist Dick Thompson and I walk along the river south of Starr Pass Boulevard, he points out how brown the vegetation looks. “Dry as a bone,” he said. We walk down the dry.
GREELEY, Colo. – A new federal program aims to fill in knowledge gaps on how water moves through the headwaters of arguably the West’s most important source of drinking and irrigation water. The U.S. Geological Survey announced the second location for its Next Generation Water Observing System will be in the headwaters of the Colorado.
PHOENIX – Climate change protesters gathered Friday afternoon in Phoenix and other Arizona cities, continuing the #FridaysforFuture climate strikes inspired by Greta Thunberg, who has reached international recognition since demanding action before Sweden’s parliament at age 15. After a global climate strike in September, local group AZ Youth Climate Strike sought to keep the momentum..
LOS ANGELES – California authorities are addressing the problem of lead in drinking water at public schools through a statewide program to test pipes and upgrade plumbing, but experts warn the threat goes well beyond schools – and nearby homes and businesses may unknowingly be affected. “The same water systems tainted by lead that feed.
FLAGSTAFF – By next fall, the U.S. will be the only country to have left the Paris Agreement – an international accord signed by nearly 200 countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a bid to slow climate change. Representatives from those countries are in Madrid this week and next for the United Nation’s climate.
GREELEY, Colo. – Earlier this year, Arizona, one of seven states that rely on the Colorado River, was in the midst of a heated discussion about Colorado River water. “It’s time to protect Lake Mead and Arizona,” Doug Ducey, Arizona’s Republican governor, said in his state of the state address in January 2019. He spoke.
PHOENIX – The latest proposal to transfer water from the Colorado River to central Arizona has a fight on its hands. Queen Creek is trying to buy an annual entitlement to 2,083.1 acre-feet of Colorado River water from a farming and investment company that owns land in Cibola Valley, in far west La Paz County..
PHOENIX – A new state poll shows a yawning divide among Republicans and Democrats on key Arizona issues, including immigration, climate change, housing affordability and gun control. But registered independents may well become a deciding factor in the 2020 elections, according to a poll by the ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy. About 35% of.
DENNEHOTSO – The nearest water station for Darlene Yazzie is 9 miles away at the Dennehotso Chapter House – or community center – in the Four Corners region. On a recent day, she counted her nickels and dimes to buy water. It costs $1.10, plus gas money, to fill up two 50-gallon barrels, and she’s.
PHOENIX — The city will be talking more about trash over the next several weeks. That’s because the city’s Public Works Department says if solid waste rates are not increased, cuts must be made. For 10 years, the solid waste rate has been $26.80 a month. “What you could purchase in services 10 years ago.
PHOENIX – Ants get a bad rap from picnickers, but drivers during rush hour might be able to learn a thing or two from our tiny six-legged friends. The natural world teems with animals that move in groups, from flocks of birds to packs of wolves to schools of fish. But ants, like humans, belong.
WASHINGTON – The Navajo Nation said Tuesday it is canceling indemnity agreements for the Navajo Transitional Energy Co., fearing the tribe’s finances could be “placed in a state of uncertainty” by the company’s recent purchase of three coal mines. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a statement that the move was made because of.
CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. – The Bureau of Land Management has a problem. Tens of thousands of wild horses and burros are ranging over federal land in the West, three times what the land can support, and the agency says its efforts to manage the herd are increasingly coming up short. Evelyn Shotwell has a solution. “The.
PHOENIX – Patrick Johnson bought 2,500 acres in Pinal County more five years ago, and the property, just off Interstate 8, still is mostly farm fields. Johnson’s plan is to build a haven for motorsports lovers, including two tracks for racing and testing, 2,000 homes and a hotel. But millions of dollars in, Johnson is.
WASHINGTON – The Navajo Generating Station will shut down for good in a matter of days, the plant’s owners announced this week, once the plant burns through its remaining supply of coal. The closure marks the final chapter in a two-year fight to save the aging power plant and the affiliated Kayenta coal mine, which.
PHOENIX – Fall means changing leaves, a nip in the air and, of course, pumpkins, but when the Halloween season ends, pumpkins aren’t drastically discounted like bulk bags of candy, so nearly all of them wind up in a landfill. As it turns out, though, pumpkins make great feed for animals both domestic and wild..
PHOENIX – Students in Copper King Elementary’s STEAM Academy sit in circles for collaborative learning as their instructor reminds them to use their “brain first, notes second, table third.” A partnership with the Scottsdale startup Zero Mass Water allows these west Phoenix students to explore the off-grid technology behind the company’s “hydropanels,” which use sunlight.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – California and Arizona make up more than 95% of all U.S. cases of valley fever – an infection caused by a fungus that lives in soil in the Southwest – largely because they share arid climates and have an abundance of outdoor workers. New research finds that as climate change alters.
PHOENIX – Cheesy pizza boxes, plastic grocery bags and grass clippings are a big reason more cities in Arizona are cutting back or even eliminating long standing recycling programs. But contamination isn’t the only factor at play. China, which for decades has bought the bulk of U.S. recycling, including most plastics and paper products, threw.
WASHINGTON – The House voted 236-185 Wednesday to permanently ban uranium mining on just over 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon, on a largely party line vote in which each side accused the other of fear-mongering. Republicans said the bill would do little to protect the Grand Canyon while killing mining jobs and making.
FOUNTAIN HILLS – With fall in full swing, here’s a friendly reminder from Arizona Game & Fish: Don’t leave pumpkins at your doorstep, as they may attract javelina, rats – even snakes. Placing a pumpkin outside your home to intentionally attract wildlife is dangerous and illegal, department spokeswoman Amy Burnett said. Javelinas are a concern.
ÁLAMOS, Sonora — Shovels in hand, dozens of volunteers peeled back layers of bright green undergrowth and drying grasses at Parque la Colorada, about 30 miles east of the Sea of Cortez. Carefully, they planted small agave “pups” one-by-one along the park’s main trail on a humid October afternoon. It’s part of Bat Conservation International’s.
WASHINGTON – For the first time in nine years, the U.S. Forest Service ended the fiscal year without depleting its fire suppression budget and having to borrow money from other projects to continue fighting wildfires. Experts credit cooler and wetter weather that helped suppress wildfires around the country this year, and said they expect coming.
LOS ANGELES – Scientists believe they have found a renewable energy source that’s more efficient and cheaper than solar panels: saltwater flowing over rust. Researchers from California Institute of Technology and Northwestern University have discovered there’s more than one way to generate electricity from moving water. They’ve found that saltwater flowing over rust (iron oxide).
WASHINGTON – A House committee gave preliminary approval Wednesday to an overhaul of a 147-year-old federal mining law that supporters called “antiquated,” while opponents called the update a “point-blank” blow to the mining industry. The Hardrock Leasing and Reclamation Act would protect national parks and tribal areas from being leased for mining, increase mining royalties.
PHOENIX – Two Democratic legislators want Sen. Martha McSally to oppose the Trump administration’s plan to relax fuel economy standards implemented to reduce fossil fuel use and air pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates emissions and fuel efficiency standards for cars, trucks and motorcycles, has proposed reducing standards set by the Obama administration. Those.
PHOENIX — A key water management tool that sustains housing development in central Arizona does not have a rosy future, according to a new report from Arizona State University. The report looks at the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District, which the Legislature established in 1993 to assure the replenishment of groundwater that’s tapped for development..
MANCOS, Colorado – Climate change has been called the new normal. But after the past two years, residents in some parts of the Southwest say there’s nothing normal about it. Communities in the Four Corners – where Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona meet – have been bouncing between desperate dryness and record-breaking moisture since.
Updated at 12:02 p.m. on Oct. 17. PHOENIX – A cluster of overlapping circles distinguish a Frank Lloyd Wright home nestled in a rocky hillside at the edge of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. The Norman Lykes house is considered Wright’s last residential design, conceived before his death in 1959. Once listed for $2.65 million dollars,.
ĺMURIS, Sonora – Researchers wait on the edge of Highway 2 as semitrailers thunder past. Ocotillos, organ pipe cactus and mesquites – bright green from monsoon rains – line the cracked, two-lane blacktop as it winds through the Sierra Azul, about 35 miles south of the U.S. border. When traffic clears, the researchers sprint across.
APACHE JUNCTION — Although this monsoon season was one of the driest on record, parts of Arizona were pummeled with rain in late September, leading to intense flooding in Apache Junction and other cities. “I don’t like to over dramatize things when we say rescue,” said Richard Ochs, a longtime member of the Superstition Fire.
PUERTO PEÑASCO, Sonora – The Mexican government says it’s increasing enforcement efforts in the Sea of Cortez to prevent illegal fishing nets from harming a critically endangered porpoise. It comes a week after local fishermen announced they would buck a fishing ban this shrimp season, but the government’s plan doesn’t address their concerns. Mexico’s environmental.
PHOENIX – Arizona is known for its torrid summers. But temperature data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration compiled by Climate Central show summers will only get hotter thanks to climate change. Earlier this year, a Climate Central report ranked Tucson and Phoenix among the fastest-warming cities in the country, coming in third and.
TUCSON – The forests of the sky islands above Tucson teem with life. Towering trees scrape low clouds; moss and lichen cling to seemingly every surface. Bracing winds are the white noise of the mountain, pierced only by the cheery conversation of hikers on a quest for hidden bounty: mushrooms. Tiny, fragile buds, spires and.
LONG BEACH, Calif. – At least every other day, Selene Zazueta has to tell her 8-year-old daughter that she can’t play outside with her friends. As upsetting as that is, the girl has asthma, and the family lives just off Interstate 710 in Long Beach, in an area known as “Asthma Alley.” “It’s a nightmare,”.
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah officials are drastically scaling back hydroelectric power plans for the controversial Lake Powell pipeline, saying the move will save taxpayers $100 million dollars on the proposed project. “I think this was a good and wise decision,” said Eric Millis, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources. “We could simplify.
MESA – Doorknobs overflow rows of boxes, piles of miscellaneous wood and squares of carpet lay neatly on the floor. Light fixtures hang from various shelves – all of it discarded construction and demolition waste. A 2015 Environmental Protection Agency fact sheet on construction and demolition waste found more than 545 million tons of debris.
LOS ANGELES – At the turn of the 20th century, Southern California’s oil industry was booming, with refineries belching black smoke. It got so bad that one day in 1903, Los Angeles residents woke up to skies so dark they thought was a solar eclipse. It wasn’t an out-of-this-world event. It was smog. And Southern.
WASHINGTON – In the debate over the future of the Endangered Species Act, Rep. Paul Gosar, D-Prescott, says that all parties “deserve a say and seat at the table.” But on Tuesday, at least, the parties were not at the same table. House Democrats and Republicans held competing hearings Tuesday, where each side took up.
Young people across the planet took to the streets Friday to demand that global leaders act to mitigate climate change today to ensure there’ll be a tomorrow. About 2,000 people marched in downtown Phoenix, and similar events were scheduled in Tucson, Flagstaff, Yuma, Payson, Prescott, Show Low, Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe. In cities from Los.
HERMOSILLO, Sonora, Mexico – The vaquita marina is the world’s smallest and most endangered marine mammal, with as few as 10 remaining in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. So leading scientists from Mexico and the United States, including with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, were excited to see three pairs of the little porpoises from.
TEMPE – Thousands of young people in Arizona are expected to strike Friday in defense of the planet. In Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, they plan to protest inaction on policies that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stop the globe’s destructive rise in temperatures. Earlier this month, students ranging from middle school to college undergraduates.
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.