environment

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.

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.  

ThisisReno.com

A protest against fracking ended with an arrest on Tuesday as dozens of protesters stormed through the Siena Hotel in Reno looking to interrupt a Bureau of Land Management sale of oil and gas. Our contributor from ThisisReno Bob Conrad reports.

Protestors chanted while holding signs saying "Keep it in the ground" and "Frack free NV." There were even performance artists, clad in black bodysuits, who staged a "die-in" in the entryway of the hotel. 

Dana Nollsch/ThisisReno.com

The Truckee River impacts us all. That was the message a coalition of organizations presented at an open house this week to gather community input about the future of the river. Our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno was there and has this story.

Nevada Land Trust Executive Director Alicia Reban says the open house was the first opportunity to see what the One Truckee River group has been working on for the past year.

Cory Frey / Courtesy of ThisisReno.com

Some residents near Keystone Avenue are mad about a recent incident in which the City of Reno was spraying nearby weeds. They say the city got too close to their properties, causing health concerns. Our contributor from ThisisReno.com, Bob Conrad, has the story.

Cory Frey says that she was hit in the face with weed killer that city employees were spraying near her backyard.

Noah Glick

Northern Nevada had an average year for its snowpack, and sometimes being average isn't a bad thing.

Researchers measured 42.1 inches of liquid water on Mt. Rose Friday, which is above median for the end of the season.

"You know, the take home message is that this was a great year compared to the last four," said Jeff Anderson, a hydrologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. "Fortunately, we didn't dig the hole any deeper for the drought."

Anderson added that last week's surprise spring snowstorm offered a helpful boost, especially out east.

Noah Glick

Clean energy activists gathered in downtown Reno this morning to protest the auctioning of public land leases for fossil fuel extraction. Reno Public Radio's Noah Glick was there and has more.

Valerie Love is a clean energy campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity. Standing underneath the Reno arch, she had a message for Washington.

New Battery Recycling Plant Emits Cloud Of Confusion

Feb 12, 2016
Amy Westervelt

A California tech company hopes to demonstrate eco-friendly lead battery recycling at its new plant in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. But there's been plenty of confusion surrounding the new plant. Reno Public Radio's Amy Westervelt sorts it out.

Aqua Metals is tight-lipped about the specifics of its technology, but in broad terms it recycles batteries using a water-based solvent. Chief commercial officer Steven Cotton says the company's new recycling facility, currently being built in Storey County, will be "practically emission free."

Nevada Gets High Ranking For LEED Projects

Feb 9, 2016
Mack Male, Flickr, (CC by SA-2.0)

Nevada is ranked one of the top states in the country for LEED-certified green buildings - a program that encourages environmentally friendly building practices. Our contributor Luiza Vieira has more.

Nevada ranked sixth in the nation for LEED-certified buildings in 2015 — that's according to the U.S Green Building Council's annual review.

To get this certification, projects must factor in things such as location, water and energy efficiency, materials and resources used.

Despite Smaller Footprint, Tahoe Project Worries Enviro Groups

Dec 21, 2015

  The public comment period closes Tuesday, Dec. 22  for a new project next to Northstar Resort. While developers have reduced the project's size, some environmental groups remain concerned about its impact.

The Martis Valley West Project was initially submitted to Placer County two years ago, but has changed significantly since then after conservation groups pushed for more open space.

The current plan proposes moving the development from its original site to a parcel of land adjacent to Northstar.

Reno Hires Sustainability Manager

Dec 21, 2015

To boost its efforts to go green, Reno has hired a new sustainability manager. To learn more, our reporter Julia Ritchey caught up with their new hire.

Lynne Barker started her gig at the end of October after moving from Seattle, where she worked for a nonprofit focused on sustainable development.

She says the title of "sustainability manager" is becoming a more common one, for both corporations and cities.

"Sustainability managers use a collaborative process to identify goals and priorities that address equity, environment and economy."

Enviro Groups Conserve Former Sierra Logging Tract

Aug 13, 2015
American River Conservancy

More than 10,000 acres of Sierra Nevada forest will become a living laboratory for scientists to study forest restoration and wildfire-reduction techniques. That’s thanks to a deal finalized last week by The Nature Conservancy, American River Conservancy and Northern Sierra Partnership to acquire the land, which connects the North Fork American River with the Granite Chief Wilderness.

In addition to restoring habitat in the forest for the endangered spotted owl, scientists plan to study the impacts of forest thinning on wildfires, water quality and drought.

Amy Westervelt

 

A controversial proposal to use herbicides on invasive plants in the Tahoe Keys, in South Tahoe, is expected to win EPA any day now.

  

EPA officials say the agency is still evaluating potential water quality issues, but even critics of the Tahoe Keys plan say they've been told approval is imminent. 

Where Have The Trees Gone?

Jul 29, 2015
Julia Ritchey

Reno was designated a Tree City by the Arbor Foundation nearly 33 years ago — a distinction held thanks to its healthy, mature canopy. But the city’s tree population is disappearing — by as much as 20 percent over the last two decades. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey investigates the city’s shrinking tree cover. 

“This is an example on St. Lawrence and Gordon Avenue in the old Southwest neighborhood where we have five mature 60-year-old Green Ash trees that the Western Ash Bark Beetle has just destroyed,” says Steve Churchillo, the city's urban forester.  

www.fws.gov

The bi-state sage grouse, found only in Nevada and California, will not be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

All of the stakeholders involved in saving the Mono Basin sage grouse from extinction offered the same message at Tuesday's press conference in Reno on how the bird has avoided the need for federal protection:

"This collaborative partnership is a model for effective, long-term conservation," said Tony Wasley, director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Sandoval Orders Drought Forum

Apr 8, 2015
gov.nv.gov

Governor Brian Sandoval has issued an executive order to create a panel for studying and combating Nevada's severe drought. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that Sandoval announced the order Wednesday during a press conference at Washoe Lake State Park.

The order will create a Nevada Drought Forum designed to study and analyze state water use and potential areas for water savings. Sandoval's order also requires a water audit of all state-owned facilities.

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