On the Continental Divide in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, residents support a plan to create new wilderness and wildlife conservation areas, including the nation’s first national historic landscape to honor veterans of the Second World War. In southern Utah, the remote and untamed Escalante River faces a major threat from invasive plants as it winds through spectacular redrock canyons; volunteers chop their way through choking stands of Russian olive to unblock the river and keep it wild and free. A training program in Georgia educates teachers in a new approach to science teaching called 3-D Science – getting teachers and students outside to observe their own surroundings and letting kids’ natural curiosity lead them to learn more.
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.
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 grass-roots collaboration of water officials, hikers, mountain bikers, hunters, fishermen and others initiated the drafting of a bill in Congress to establish protection for the 108,000-acre Hermosa Creek Watershed north of Durango, preserving some historic uses in most areas while designating 38,000 acres of wilderness and a 43,000-acre roadless area.