Energy and Environment | KUNR

Energy and Environment

A checkboard pattern of public land occurs along the I-80 corridor in Nevada, dating back to the U.S. Government's decision to subsidize construction of railroads by giving companies land in this pattern.
onX

Millions of acres of public land throughout our region are inaccessible to the public. A new law in Nevada is trying to fix that.

A new species of tumbleweed is more vigorous and invasive than ones we've seen in the past. Its range could spread throughout the Mountain West. 

A shot of a prescribed burn taking place earlier this year at the Fishlake National Forest in Utah.
Desert Research Institute

A recent study says the American West should be doing more prescribed burns to keep forests healthy and to help lessen the impacts of wildfires across our region. It also concluded that there needs to be a change in how we perceive the practice out here for that to happen.

Wildfires are still burning across the Mountain West, but far fewer than in the last few years.


Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) speak with reporters, along with California Governor Gavin Newsom and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak.
Bree Zender

During Tuesday’s annual Tahoe Summit, big political names from Nevada and California touted Lake Tahoe’s clarity, and efforts to keep it clear.

However, this year, the focus shifted to the forests beyond the shores. 

Noah Glick

Wild animals are protected within dozens of wildlife refuges across the Mountain West. But some of those areas are contaminated, because they used to be nuclear sites.

A bipartisan bill is moving forward through the Senate. It specifically tackles the impacts of climate change on our nation’s roads and bridges. 

The U.S. Forest Service wants to cut out parts of its environmental review process. The agency says it's a way to speed up certain projects. But that has conservationists worried.

U.S. Forest Service

Invasive insects and diseases are killing tree species in forests across the U.S., and in turn, weakening one of the planet's natural ways to fight climate change. That's according to a new report published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A white robot with human features stands ready to assist humans with various tasks.
Alex Knight via Unsplash

For nearly a century, they’ve been at the forefront of science fiction. They’ve been both heroes and villains. Sometimes they’re highly sophisticated and intelligent, while others are a bit more bumbling and even neurotic. We’re talking, of course, about robots.

Roy Anderson / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Federal officials have announced changes to the Endangered Species Act, which could have big impacts on wildlife and habitat throughout our region.

Luke Flynt / Unsplash

Wildfires are a common part of life in our region. According to new research, they can also give scientists valuable information about the climate effects of another potential disaster: nuclear war.

Electric, dockless scooters are showing up across the region, especially in bigger cities like Denver and Salt Lake City. But a new study suggests they may not be as environmentally friendly as you think.

Zebra and quagga mussels can devastate an ecosystem, and Yellowstone National Park is doing everything it can to keep them out. Most recently, that includes harnessing the power of a dog's snout.

Bureau of Land Management

Much of the public lands leased for oil and gas in our region are acquired through a noncompetitive process with the Bureau of Land Management. A new report says that's not good for taxpayers.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has reinstated Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears living near Yellowstone National Park.

 


For the first time ever, a congressional committee will hold a field hearing on the climate crisis, and it's happening in Boulder, Colorado, Thursday, August 1.

Nathaniel Foong / Unsplash

Environmental activists are calling for a united voice in protesting the Department of Energy's recent shipment of nuclear waste through our region.

Earlier this month, the Department of Energy sent a shipment of nuclear waste from Tennessee to southern Nevada. The shipment was incorrectly labeled as low-level waste, but it was actually mixed with waste that needs treatment before disposal. Nevada officials accused the agency of trying to sneak the material into the state illegally.

American Public Power Association / Unsplash

New legislation that aims to significantly increase renewable energy utility projects on public lands is receiving strong bipartisan support.

Members of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources were united in support of the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act.

A recent analysis by the news outlet Arizona Republic shows a number of communities across our region are at risk for deadly wildfires.

 


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