Energy and Environment

The Great Hunt panel in Nine Mile Canyon, eastern Utah
Bureau of Land Management

A fight is brewing in eastern Utah over whether the National Park Service should include nearly 200 rock art sites in the National Register of Historic Places.

In March of last year, a group of volunteers and preservationists submitted a proposal to add 199 rock art sites to the Register, an effort that took a decade to complete.

Mix gelatin, sand and cyanobacteria and what do you get? A solid building material with a low carbon footprint.

It was a dry start to the year for some mountain ranges in the region, but recent storms brought most Mountain West snowpack levels back to normal.

 


The United States could see tens of thousands more violent crimes per year as climate change causes warmer winters, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The Interior Department has been trying to tackle a growing backlog of public records requests under the Trump administration, and now the agency is creating a new legal team to help with the effort. 

Flaring natural gas (largely methane) at a well site in North Dakota in 2014. The Bureau of Land Management relaxed rules regulating flared, leaked and vented methane from oil and gas operations on federal and tribal lands.
Jeffrey Peischl / CIRES

Update, Jan. 15 10:11 a.m.: The Department of Interior has provided a statement, which is now included in this story.

The Trump Administration’s Interior Department has largely ignored public comment on proposed rule changes, according to an analysis from the Center for Western Priorities.

The conservation advocacy group looked at ten proposals from Interior, including the easing of offshore drilling regulations and Endangered Species Act protections. What it found was that while more than 95% of public comments were opposed to the changes, the agency still moved forward on most of them.

Recent data shows that the U.S. had more minable oil and natural gas reserves than ever before.

The Trump administration’s latest National Preparedness Report is the first of its kind to completely ignore climate change

U.S. Department of Energy

When it comes to greenhouse gases, much of the attention is being paid to energy production. But since 2017, the transportation sector has actually been the biggest emitter nationwide.

After a long hiatus, a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to rescind regulations on hydraulic fracturing on public lands is moving forward. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is scheduled to hear oral arguments in January after prominent conservation groups, including the Sierra Club, filed suit in 2018.

On a recent sunny afternoon, I'm loading up my Subaru before heading out to the Snowy Range Mountains in southern Wyoming to cut down a Christmas tree.

Heat pumps offer one of the best ways to cut carbon in homes and commercial buildings, energy and climate experts say in a new report.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a new director. The Senate on Thursday confirmed Aurelia Skipwith, making her the first African American to lead the agency.

As Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso made clear to fellow lawmakers on Thursday, he believes Skipwith is well qualified.

Researchers from a number of states, including Idaho, Colorado and Nevada, have found that grazing does not help get rid of cheatgrass, a highly flammable weed. 

People are around a table decorating clothing.
Lucia Starbuck

Local high school students involved with the Nevada Youth Climate Strike recently held an event in Reno, where they taught people how to recycle and transform old clothes. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck profiles the founder of this group, who will be a first time voter in the 2020 election.

The Jim Bridger coal plant in Wyoming
Wyoming Public Media

A new report shows that a majority of states, including three in the Mountain West, have cut funding for environmental agencies, at a time when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also seen its budget slashed.

The Trump administration has reauthorized the use of "cyanide bombs," a controversial device that kills animals suspected of preying on livestock and threatened species.

A picture of the European Starling, a prevalent invasive species found in national parks throughout the country and the Mountain West.
Lee Karney / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Invasive animals are posing a major threat to national parks throughout the country, according to a new paper published in the journal Biological Invasions.

Ashley Dayer, the study’s lead author, says her team received data from 81% of national parks and found there are more than 300 invasive animal species across the National Park Service system.

A nonprofit conservation group is launching what it says is one of the largest lawsuits ever brought under the Endangered Species Act. 

Map shows the odds of reaching 100% of normal precipitation by the end of the water year based on how much precipitation has been observed so far this water year and how much has historically been observed during the remaining months in the water year.
Center For Western Weather and Water Extremes / Scripps Institution of Oceanography

It’s been one of the driest starts to the water year across parts of the Mountain West, but that doesn’t mean there’s cause for alarm just yet.

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