environment

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Lake Powell on the Colorado River is expected to drop to a record-breaking new low in the next day or two. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the reservoir will reach its lowest elevation since it was first filled.


Melissa Sevigny

Streets in east Flagstaff filled with mud and debris this week as flash floods poured down from the Museum Fire scar. The two-year-old burn scar is a study site for scientists at Northern Arizona University, who want to know how forests will recover from wildfires in a warmer, drier climate. Just before the flooding, KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny took a tour of the spot to learn about the experiment.


Ryan Heinsius / KNAU

Conservation groups are urging Arizona regulators to deny a key permit for a uranium mine near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. They say it threatens the area’s environment and tribal water resources. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Ryan Hagerty / USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to expand the area available for black-footed ferret reintroductions throughout northern and southeastern Arizona as well as parts of New Mexico and Utah. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports on how the plan is meant to help the endangered animal.


Google Images

It’s estimated that more than seven hundred thousand Native Americans in the U.S. are living without access to clean and reliable water.  A recent report from the Water & Tribes Initiative surveyed thirty tribes in the Colorado River Basin and found widespread problems with lack of water access and contaminated supplies. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with the report’s lead author, Heather Tanana, a Navajo Nation citizen and assistant professor at the University of Utah.

National Park Service, Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Diminishing aquifers, drying rivers, and lingering droughts are the headlines in the West this year. Experts in science and policy say it’s urgent Arizonans plan for a future with much less water. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with John Fleck of the University of New Mexico’s Water Resources Program about how warnings about the Colorado River’s limits have been ringing out for more than a century.   

So let’s do some history first. When did hydrologists first start warning people that the Colorado River didn’t have as much water as they wanted it to have?

Melissa Sevigny

A new study from Northern Arizona University looks at the long-term effects of restoring a forest with mechanical thinning and prescribed burns. The news is good: treated forests are healthier and more resistant to catastrophic wildfires, and those benefits seem to last. But climate change adds a wild card. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with forest ecologist Mike Stoddard about the findings.


Arizona Department of Water Resources

Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation this week to establish new clean water rules, following a rollback of federal protections for ephemeral waterways last year. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

National Park Service

Here’s a fish story for you: what if you could get paid to go fishing all day? The National Park Service wants anglers to help get rid of exotic brown trout at Lees Ferry on the Colorado River. The agency is giving cash prizes for every fish to try to knock down their numbers. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the program is an unusual experiment, designed to meet the goals of the Park Service but also respect the spiritual beliefs of the Zuni Tribe.

Courtesy

In January the Biden-Harris administration announced the creation of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. It’s made up of more than two-dozen leaders from communities across the country that suffer disproportionate levels of pollution and related health and economic problems. They’ve been tasked with advising the administration and making policy suggestions on a range of environmental issues that have historically impacted many tribal lands and communities of color. Havasupai councilwoman Carletta Tilousi was recently appointed to the White House council and spoke with KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius.


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