Segment 207

Beaver Builders, Wrangling Water, Body Electric, Census in the Smokies

State(s) featured in this episode: Florida/North Carolina/Oregon/Tennessee

Beaver Builders: Beavers are nature’s engineers. It turns out they are also good at restoring ailing ecosystems. In eastern Oregon, researchers are doing some extreme fieldwork (snorkeling in rivers and streams in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter!) to learn more about how beaver dams are helping create healthier streams and rivers for salmon, trout, songbirds, and for nearby communities.

Wrangling Water: Cattle are not the only things being rounded up at some Florida ranches. Residents are also herding water! And it’s proving to be a good thing both for the economy and the environment. A pilot program pays ranchers to use their low-lying lands to store water. Water that’s captured during the wet season can then be slowly released during dry months into the tributaries of Lake Okeechobee.

Body Electric: Ever listen to a fish? It’s possible with an electric knifefish! While better known electric eels use electricity to stun their prey, these creatures use electricity to navigate and communicate. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are intrigued by this sixth “electro sense,” and are learning more about how these fish use this tool to find their way around— and locate their next meal.

Census in the Smokies: This nature audit has been going on for 10 years and gives scientists a good idea about the trends of life in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A small army of “citizen scientists” help researchers collect specimens, and then analyze their findings.

Related Segments

Segment 807

Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico use individual fishing quotas to manage red snapper catches sustainably and with far less risk.

State(s) featured in this episode: Florida / Mississippi / Texas
Segment 703

Forest plantations in Florida are managed with prescribed fires that benefit wildlife and the owner’s bottom line.

State(s) featured in this episode: Florida
Segment 702

In the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests in western North Carolina, the public is playing a major role in shaping their complex future with a new management
plan.

State(s) featured in this episode: North Carolina
Segment 703

Private landowners in Pennsylvania work with government support to provide critical forest habitat for threatened populations of bats. Along the Meramec River near St. Louis, residents try to break the costly cycle of flooding, cleaning up and re-building by adopting more natural solutions to flood mitigation. Managing forest plantations in Florida, landowners use prescribed fires to reintroduce a natural process that results in healthier ecosystems for wildlife as well as better forest and ranching operations.

State(s) featured in this episode: Florida / Missouri / Pennsylvania
Segment 604

Wild and clear rivers, a rugged landscape, and one of the rarest plants on earth drive conservationists in Oregon to call for protection against looming mining threats.

State(s) featured in this episode: Oregon
Segment 604

In southern Oregon, a little-known wilderness called Kalmiopsis is a source of clear water for downstream communities and a core for surrounding wildlands that conservationists want to protect from and mining. Changes in cropland management in Kansas can make a big difference for the survival of bobwhite quail and other wild species. Gunnison County in Colorado offers stunning mountain scenery, thriving agriculture, and outdoor recreation – and residents there support more wilderness protection for public lands including wilderness and special management areas. Following lead contamination of the water supply in Flint, Michigan, scientists in North Carolina reveal another dangerous chemical making its way through water pipes to thousands of homes.

State(s) featured in this episode: Colorado / Kansas / North Carolina / Oregon
Segment 504

A widely based coalition of local interest groups campaigns for permanent protection of forests, watersheds and wildlife habitat in a critical northern Montana landscape. Small-scale farmers in Montana learn how to grow crops organically with helpful support from advisers with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Crop dusters commonly spray a toxic brew of pesticides on farmworkers in the fields, and the impact on the environment and the health of many people in Lake Apopka, Florida is obvious (co-produced with Earthjustice).

State(s) featured in this episode: Florida / Montana
Segment 402

Carved by the Owyhee River and spreading across millions of acres, these rugged canyons now face growing threats to their wild treasures.

State(s) featured in this episode: Oregon
Segment 401

At the mouth of the Columbia River, researchers study sardines, anchovies and other small forage fish that sustain a healthy ocean, providing essential food for seabirds, marine mammals and predator fish including salmon and tuna.

State(s) featured in this episode: Oregon / Washington
Segment 402

Owyhee Canyonlands:
Much of Oregon is a desert; and in the dry, remote southeastern corner of the state there’s a wild and captivating canyon landscape carved by the Owyhee River. It’s been described as the largest intact, unprotected stretch of the American West, but it needs more protection from development pressure, including mining. A robust campaign for wilderness designation is making progress.

Sustainable Alaskan Village:
We travel to a remote Alaskan village, Igiugig, where young native Alaskans are adopting new technologies and green ethics to build a healthy, sustainable future while keeping true to their traditions.

Algae Power:
With another report on emerging biofuels, we learn about new advances in converting algae into a wide range of useful products, including oil, growing the algae with by-products from corn ethanol distilleries.

Climbing Fish: Researchers study a type of Goby fish in Hawaii that climbs up steep waterfalls to reach its freshwater spawning areas, an amazing story of adaptation and evolution over time.

State(s) featured in this episode: Alaska / Hawaii / Iowa / Oregon