"U.S. President Joe Biden was due to visit Colorado on Friday to view the devastation left by a rare, winter wildfire that ravaged two Denver-area towns last week, displacing thousands of residents."
Mountain West (CO ID MT NV UT WY)
"Days after what might be the most damaging wildfire in state history, residents are just beginning to make sense of the long road back and the extent of the damage."
"Of the Montana schools that have met the state’s program deadline, most show high levels of lead in school drinking water."
"The U.S. Forest Service violated numerous environmental laws in approving a 105-square-mile (270-square-kilometer) logging and restoration project in west-central Idaho, a conservation group alleges in a lawsuit."
What does wildness mean when humans interfere with the lives of wild animals in order to protect them? A new volume, “Wild Souls,” explores that dilemma, whether arising through captive breeding programs to reintroduce the California condor and the gray wolf, by allowing hybridization or through the use of gene-editing tools. A review from BookShelf contributor Jenny Weeks.
"A small town in southern Utah wanted to suppress dust on its roads. Not everyone was pleased."
The Mississippi River and its tributaries drain more than 40% of the continent, but most coverage of environmental stories within the Mississippi Basin is localized and siloed. The recently launched Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk hopes to help news outlets provide region-wide reporting that contextualizes issues like climate change-driven flooding and the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.
The history of environmental racism is a long one in the United States, far longer than the efforts to address the problem. But reporting on environmental justice continues to tick upwards, and an analysis in the latest Backgrounder points to promising progress, explaining why for journalists the year ahead may yield important stories, whether about future footholds or new missteps.
It was a seemingly mundane legal notice about a surface water discharge permit. But when Wyoming journalist Angus Thuermer Jr. took a closer look, he discovered that it would mean massive discharges of pollutants into local waters. Inside Story explains how Thuermer revealed the truth about the plans, prompting local protests and, ultimately, a withdrawal of the permit.
"A Nevada rancher suing to block construction of the largest lithium mine in the U.S. says the government’s environmental assessment of the project relies on a baseline set by a consultant for the mining company with a conflict of interest that trivializes potential harm to water resources and wildlife near the Oregon line."