Energy and Environment | KUNR

Energy and Environment

Washoe County

October’s Little Valley Fire destroyed 23 homes and burned more than 2,200 twenty-two-hundred acres across Washoe Valley.

As Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports, local officials are now working to rehabilitate the charred landscape.

Julie Stanley / Moonshine Ink

Squaw Valley has finally received the green light to undergo a major expansion project despite vocal opposition. To learn more, our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to Melissa Siig. She’s a reporter for Moonshine Ink, an independent newspaper in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.

University of Nevada, Reno Seismological Laboratory

More than 100 fires burned through the Tahoe basin and Truckee Meadows this year, including the recent Little Valley Fire.

But as Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports, a network of cameras is helping to reduce the impact and damage caused by these blazes.

As the Hot Pot Fire near Battle Mountain and Winnemucca gained momentum over the summer, crews were able to get much needed air resources because of video evidence showing a rapid growth of the blaze.

C.K. Benkman / University of Wyoming

Biologists at the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Wyoming are uncovering what could be a new bird species—one that is evolving in a unique way.

Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

The South Hills crossbill is a type of finch that does not migrate but instead lives permanently in southern Idaho. Now the bird is in what biologists are calling an evolutionary arms race between itself and its food source, the Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine.

Amy Westervelt

The recent approval of the Martis Valley West development near Lake Tahoe has brought up concerns about how these types of construction projects are getting the green light from local jurisdictions.

In this specific case, the Placer County Planning Commission voted to deny the proposal while the county board of supervisors eventually sealed the deal by voting in favor.

William Andrus / CC BY 2.0

Nevada wildlife officials say fewer bears are roaming around the state's urban areas this year, likely because of weather conditions from El Nino. Our reporter Sarah Parks has more.

Ken Lund / Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Dozens of Nevadans recently protested at the state legislature about what they see as potential governmental overreach on the water rights of domestic wells. They rely on those wells as their main source of water. Our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno.com has the story.

Ken Lund / Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Anaconda Copper Mine near Yerington is one step closer to getting federal funds to help officially clean up the site. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

The Environmental Protection Agency officially added its proposal for the site to the Superfund program’s National Priority List last week.

If accepted, federal funds would be available for the EPA, Nevada Department of Environmental Protection and the Bureau of Land Management to begin cleaning up the site as early as next year.

Twitter user @YubaNet

Friday, 9:58 a.m. update:

The Willard Fire outside Susanville is now 80 percent contained and emergency officials say fire activity remains minimal as crews work to improvement containment lines.

The fire started on Sunday and has burned nearly 2,600 acres, destroying two residences and five other structures. There has also been one minor injury. 

At this point, all evacuations and advisories have been lifted, but more than 1,600 personnel remain on site. 

Wednesday, 10:04 a.m. update:

Kevin Bovard / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

It's the time of year when coyote pups begin venturing out to hunt on their own. This means more sightings in urban areas and a greater risk for pet owners. Reno Public Radio’s Sarah Parks has more.

From late summer through fall, coyote sightings and attacks become more common, especially during the night and early morning.

Chris Healy from the Nevada Department of Wildlife says that they have received many reports of coyote attacks on pets in western Nevada, especially on small dogs.

Airwolfhound / CC BY-SA 2.0

A national conservation group has been collecting petition signatures in Nevada encouraging President Obama to permanently ban uranium mining in areas surrounding Grand Canyon National Park.  Reno Public Radio’s Steve Shadley spoke to an environmentalist who fears mining could contaminate Colorado River water that’s sent downstream to millions of people south of Las Vegas.

Photos: 20th Annual Lake Tahoe Summit

Aug 31, 2016
Marcus Lavergne/Reno Public Radio

On the 20th anniversary of the yearly Lake Tahoe Summit, political leaders like Senator Harry Reid, California Governor Jerry Brown, and for the first time, President Barack Obama came together to discuss their active involvement in preserving the environment and protecting national treasures like Lake Tahoe. 

Check out these photos from the Summit:

  

 

 

 

                     

Marcus Lavergne

The annual Lake Tahoe Summit celebrated its 20th year the way it began, with a presidential visit. But the event is not just a media stunt, it actually has deep significance for the health of the lake. Our Tahoe-based reporter Amy Westervelt has that story. 

Most locals think of the Tahoe Summit as a simple celebration of the lake they call home. But the summit has actually had a big impact on conservation efforts, as Senator Harry Reid explained at this year’s event.

Thousands Gather For Tahoe Summit, Obama Visit

Aug 31, 2016
Julia Ritchey

President Obama says the extraordinary efforts that have been put into healing Lake Tahoe over the past two decades prove it is possible to pass on the nation's greatest natural treasures to future generations.

Obama spoke at the 20th annual Lake Tahoe Summit Wednesday.  

Julia Ritchey

Environmentalists are hoping the 20th anniversary of the Tahoe summit, and a visit by President Obama, will renew the spotlight on conservation efforts at the lake. As Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports, despite progress, the threat of climate change looms large.

Patrick Nouhailler / Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Research by the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Colorado, Boulder shows that rising temperatures are causing snow to melt earlier in the year, and that's not good news.

The Truckee Meadows depends on runoff from snowmelt to fill its reservoirs and streams for drinking, agriculture and recreation.

Rising temperatures are causing snow to melt earlier in the year, when days are shorter and there’s less sunlight to melt the snow. This slows down the process, which means evaporation increases and less water makes it to regional reservoirs.

A Tesla-Backed Startup Wants To Remake Lithium Mining

Aug 15, 2016
www.pureenergyminerals.com

Exploration startups are putting stakes in the ground across Nevada's deserts as lithium prices spike. One company, Pure Energy Minerals, has even inked a deal with Tesla that could potentially provide lithium for their batteries. We spoke with the CEO of Pure Energy Minerals, Patrick Highsmith, about his project and what sets it apart. Below are excerpts of the conversation. It's part of our ongoing series "Behind the Battery Boom."

Carson City Fire Department

5:30 PM Monday update:

The Shooting Fire in Carson City, which was sparked by target shooters on Sunday, is mostly contained. Fire crews are cleaning up the area.

Officials say that aggressive aerial assistance and structure protection from local, state and federal agencies helped contain the blaze and led to no loss of structures. All roads are open to the public, and officials say crews will continue to protect private property.

10:45 AM Monday update:

Brian Shamblen / Flickr, CC BY 2.0

In 2015, Lake Tahoe was the warmest it’s ever been, and researchers are concerned of the long term effects of this drastic rise in temperature.

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Twitter, @plpt

The Tule Fire west of Pyramid Lake has burned more than 30,000 acres since Friday and forced one community to declare disaster. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

Pages