Energy and Environment | KUNR

Energy and Environment

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.

 


High Wild Horse Numbers Have Ranchers Concerned

Jul 24, 2019
A band of wild horses lopes in the distance on public lands in Butte Valley.
Kathleen Masterson / KUNR

For decades, ranchers and wild horse advocates have traded barbs. Yet now that Nevada’s wild horse population has reached an all-time high, most agree that some herds have too many horses. The eastern side of the state in particular has thousands more horses than the Bureau of Land Management says the area can sustain, and many ranchers say the horses are overgrazing, which is costing them big.

 

 

 

 

It’s well-established that injecting wastewater from oil and gas operations deep into the ground can cause earthquakes. New research shows that in some cases those earthquakes can keep happening long after an injection. 

A volunteer with a darting gun used to treat horses with fertility control walks toward a band.
Kathleen Masterson / KUNR

Wild horses roaming in the Virginia Range made national news when they were photographed on the campus of the Tesla Gigafactory. Though the photos are idyllic, the state says there are currently about 2,500 more horses than the land can sustain. Because this population is more accustomed to humans, that actually makes it a good place to try fertility control for managing the herd.  

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