environment

Melissa Sevigny

The state of Arizona is writing new clean water rules for streams and rivers, following a rollback of federal protections last year. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the proposed legislation is supported by business, farm, and mining groups but opposed by environmentalists.


Ryan Heinsius / KNAU

The U.S. Forest Service has halted a controversial land exchange in Arizona that would pave the way for one of the largest copper mines in the country. Officials say they want to perform a thorough review of the project after receiving numerous public comments. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File

New Mexico’s largest electric provider must file an amended application with state regulators who will determine whether it can transfer its shares in a coal-fired power plant to an energy company backed by the Navajo Nation. 

AP, file

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a conservation package called the Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act that includes a permanent ban on new uranium mining claims near Grand Canyon National Park.

Verde River Institute

A bill signed by Governor Doug Ducey last week allows Arizona farmers, ranchers, and other water users to leave water in rivers and streams without the risk of losing their rights to it. The new law modifies a water policy called “use it or lose it” which has been a longstanding roadblock in conservation. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke about the change with Kim Mitchell of Western Resource Advocates.


Charley Pitcher

A California-based developer has withdrawn an application to build a controversial "glamping," or glamorous camping, project on nearly 18-acres of private land in Sedona.

Ryan Heinsius / KNAU

The Tonto National Forest is moving ahead with a controversial federal land exchange. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it would pave the way for one of nation’s largest copper mines slated for an Apache sacred site.


Randall Babb / Arizona Game and Fish Department

Endangered fish in the Colorado River face multiple threats. Their survival is linked to the river’s temperature, which is altered both by climate change and by dams. A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey modeled those temperature changes and imagined a future in which water storage is either mostly in Lake Powell or mostly in Lake Mead. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with lead author Kimberly Dibble about what those different scenarios mean for native fish.


Grand Canyon National Park

Sand is an important resource in the Grand Canyon. It creates campsites for river runners, protects archeological sites, and provides wildlife habitat. But stretches of bare sand have vanished since the construction of Glen Canyon Dam. A new study published last week looks at how the Grand Canyon has changed because of the dam, and what it will look like twenty years from now. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with lead author Alan Kasprak, a geoscientist at Fort Lewis College in Colorado.


Arizona’s high country has seen some recent snowfall with more on the way. But much of the state remains in “exceptional” drought status. That’s been hard on wildlife. Natural ponds and stock tanks have dried up. A nonprofit group of hunters and conservationists is trying to help by refilling those watering holes for the benefit of elk and other animals. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Steve Clark, executive director of the Arizona Elk Society, about the program.

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