Earth Notes

The Colorado Plateau is one of North America’s human and environmental treasures. Ancient cultures have called this land of sun-baked deserts and lush mountain landscapes home for centuries. Earth Notes, KNAU’s weekly environmental series, explores the Plateau by telling stories of the intricate relationships between environmental issues and our daily lives.

Rooted in science and wrapped in human interest, the two minute long segments encourage listeners to think of themselves as part of the solution to environmental problems. Upbeat and informative, the program tries to foster hope and dampen despair about the environment, and motivate listeners to become more conscious and informed stewards of the Colorado Plateau.

Dine Native Plants Program

Mining, grazing, and drought have all taken a toll on land in the Southwest, including the Navajo Nation. Replanting the damaged landscape isn’t easy, because it’s difficult to find local seeds adapted to the region and climate.

The Mars Society

When seeking a terrestrial equivalent to the Red Planet, the Mars Society chose the red rock country of Utah and a site half-way between Capitol Reef and Canyonlands National Parks. In 2001, the Colorado-based non-profit established their Mars Desert Research Station just outside the tiny town of Hanksville, Utah.

Earth Notes: The Witness Tree

May 13, 2020
Clarisse Hart

A 100-year-old red oak grows in a secret location in Massachusetts … and here on the Colorado Plateau, a team of scientists has taught it how to Tweet.

Google Images

The Colorado Plateau is home to the largest stand of ponderosa pine trees in the world. They dominate upland watersheds and are a crucial provider of ecosystem services, including contributing to clean water supplies, providing wildlife habitat and wood products, as well as storing a lot of carbon.

Adopt an Arroyo

Santa Fe, New Mexico is a city of arroyos. More than 80 miles of these ephemeral waterways enter the main Santa Fe River that flows through the city. But many of the arroyos are ailing. Years of erosion and general neglect have worsened flooding during storms, leading to a lot of damage. Now, the nonprofit group Santa Fe Watershed Association has launched a recovery program called Adopt-an-Arroyo. It’s patterned after the group’s thriving Adopt the River program, in partnership with the city and county of Santa Fe.

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