Segment 212

Rio Grande Del Norte, Climate Adaptation, Flying Aces of the Insect World, Peel Watershed, Indigo Snakes

State(s) featured in this episode: Alaska/Florida/New Mexico

Saving the Upper Rio Grande: In northern New Mexico the Rio Grande runs through a spectacular gorge formed by a rift in the Earth’s crust. This river corridor is a critical flyway for migratory birds, and the arid plateau on either side of it is a major migration habitat for elk and deer. A pending bill in Congress would protect these areas as the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area, in addition to designating two majestic cinder cone mountains east and west of the plateau as protected wilderness. The bill has widespread support among local Hispanic farmers and ranchers because it would allow their traditional hunting, grazing, fishing and wood-gathering to continue, preserving the culture that developed there over hundreds of years.

Facing Climate Change with Wind Power: Severe drought has taken a toll on farming and ranching communities in Eastern New Mexico. Residents are trying to adjust for prolonged dry times, and some are finding salvation in wind turbine projects that generate revenue for them as well as power for the Southwest.

Flying Aces of the Insect World: Just how do these insects pull off complex aerial feats, hunting and reproducing in midair? These four- winged insects pre-date dinosaurs, and can fly straight up, straight down, or hover like helicopters. Researchers are getting some inspiration from these insects, to improve small- scale aircraft design.

Peel Watershed: A hundred miles from the Alaska border in Canada’s Yukon Territory, the Peel Watershed is a huge area of wild and pristine rivers, arboreal forests and mountain ranges. Caribou from Alaska migrate to and from the region, but they face threats from a modern day gold rush that also threatens other wildlife including grizzly bears and wolverines. Efforts are underway to protect this land, and these fragile ecosystems. But it looks like a fight is brewing with miners and developers.

Indigo Snakes: Known as the “Lord of the Forest”, the eastern indigo snake is the largest native snake in North America, averaging six to seven feet in length. Endangered and in decline, this nonvenomous reptile is extinct from a third of its former range, the coastal plain of the Southeast. The Orianne Society is using cutting edge science, fire, and longleaf pine restoration to ensure the survival of not only indigo snakes, but an entire complex of animals that inhabit this unique landscape.

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Where the Colorado River approaches the Sea of Cortez, conservationists re-plant forests and promote wildlife habitat to revive the Delta after decades of neglect and desertification.

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

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State(s) featured in this episode: Florida
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State(s) featured in this episode: Arizona / California / New Mexico / Pennsylvania / Washington D.C.
Segment 704

Rafting and fishing in the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument, curious journalists learn the truth about monuments that protect national treasures and a wide range of public uses.

State(s) featured in this episode: New Mexico

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State(s) featured in this episode: Arizona / California / Georgia / Iowa / New Mexico / Washington D.C.
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 701

Managing irrigation demand in the upper Colorado Basin: collaborating with landowners, water managers in western Colorado are developing innovative, more efficient systems to conserve water and restore flows to rivers. In Oklahoma, removing invasive cedars and reviving essential prairie habitat for migrating monarch butterflies. In White Sands, New Mexico, researchers study lizards to learn how changing habitats influence evolution.

State(s) featured in this episode: Colorado / New Mexico / Oklahoma
Segment 601

Communities in northern New Mexico press their case for expanding the Pecos Wilderness to protect a watershed vital to a broad landscape reaching into southern Texas.

State(s) featured in this episode: New Mexico
Segment 601

Managing public lands: the evolution of the Bureau of Land Management and its role in protecting vast areas of federal land across the nation. Saving the bobwhite quail: the first in a series on protecting vital native grassland habitat for a declining species – this story from the pine savannas of South Carolina. Local communities in northern New Mexico press their case for expanding the Pecos Wilderness to protect a watershed essential to a broad landscape stretching into southern Texas. Scientists study how butterflies use an elegantly efficient organ to sip nectar.

State(s) featured in this episode: New Mexico / South Carolina / Texas