"From a distance, the canids of Galveston Island, Texas, look almost like coyotes, prowling around the beach at night, eyes gleaming in the dark. But look closer and oddities appear."
Southwest (AZ NM OK TX)
"In the village of Paguate as June Lorenzo’s grandmother knew it growing up, orchards and fields of wheat and corn carpeted nearby hillsides. Streams traversed a verdant valley where people hunted and grazed sheep near the small farming community in Laguna Pueblo. This was before a massive mine cratered the nearby land and altered the skyline. Lorenzo has looked for old photos of that landscape, but they’re hard to find. That place exists now only in stories from elders."
"New Mexico’s largest electric provider is appealing a recent decision by state regulators to reject a proposal to transfer its shares in a coal-fired power plant that supplies customers in New Mexico and Arizona to a Navajo energy company."
"OKLAHOMA CITY — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday it plans to withdraw and reconsider a decision made under the Trump administration that allowed the state, not tribal nations, to regulate environmental issues in Indian Country."
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.
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.
"Predominantly Latino residents in Grand Prairie, west of Dallas, say they’ve been told little or nothing about air, soil and groundwater poisoned by TCE, a known human carcinogen."
"The Beltrán family always stocks two to three cases of bottled water in the cluttered garage of their home in Grand Prairie, Texas. They’ve used it to drink and cook for 15 years. And they trek to the nearest Walmart to stay fully stocked.
“We got here and the water was salty, super salty,” Santa Barbara Beltrán, 72, said in Spanish. “We buy jugs of water for cooking.”
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.
"After years of tribal requests, the president plans to block new oil and gas leases within 10 miles of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. The ban is likely to generate strong pushback from industry."
After an 18-month buildup, a one-day U.N. Food Systems Summit earlier this fall generated hundreds of commitments to end global hunger and a dizzying array of alliances dedicated to the cause. Despite controversies surrounding the summit, this groundbreaking event highlighted opportunities for reporting on food and food systems. Award-winning agriculture journalist Chris Clayton shares his insights.