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In northern California, residents in five counties work to protect and restore wild public lands and rivers that provide enormous economic benefits for the region. A summary report recaps how conservationists in 25 states are working together to restore grassland habitat for the bobwhite quail, an iconic game bird that has declined dramatically in recent decades. In Idaho, a wide coalition of local groups support federal wilderness designation for the remote Scotchman Peaks roadless area, one of the last and the largest wild landscape in the region. Scientists face the engineering challenge of harnessing the energy of ocean waves to generate electric power.
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.
A rugged mountain range in southern Arizona provides a home for a major military base and communities that value the lifestyle and magical beauty of the landscape. Bobwhite quail suffer serious decline in Kentucky, where native grasses have been replaced by exotics for cattle pastures and conservationists try to reverse the damage. Private landowners in Arkansas manage their forests to supply a growing market for sustainable wood products. Once reviled and exterminated, wolves in Yellowstone National Park are now widely recognized as essential to a balanced ecosystem.
Protecting the Chenier Plain: On the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana, a wildlife-rich wetland and critically important industries are threatened by erosion and tidewater flooding. Cattle and bobwhite quail manage to coexist on grazing lands in south Texas – how does that work? Residents in Virginia have a plan to create protected wilderness and scenic areas in the George Washington National Forest, allowing a variety of recreational activities including mountain biking, hiking and fishing.
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.