States: New Mexico
A farmer in southwestern Iowa has a mission to develop his farm as an example to others, using no-till seeding, multi-crop and pasture rotation, minimal fertilizing, and runoff filtering to keep the nutrients in his soil and prevent runoff. The backlog of deferred maintenance in national parks is a growing problem that needs Congress to act: we see the need for urgent maintenance and repairs at the Grand Canyon, the National Mall, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site in Atlanta. Rafting down the river through the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument.
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.
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.
In the southeastern corner of the state, the Brokeoff Mountains are a little-known stretch of rugged canyons and peaks that are still relatively untouched by development.
Navajos in Utah want protection for lost ancestral lands
The proposal for a national conservation area would preserve Cedar Mesa and adjacent areas that are filled with some of America’s oldest archaeological treasures that need urgent protection
A new way to save sport fishermen’s bycatch
Off the coast of San Diego, marine biologists test an experimental device for increasing the survival rate of bottom-dwelling fish that are released at the surface as bycatch but are traumatized by changes in water pressure
More wilderness protection proposed for remote mountains in New Mexico
In the southeastern corner of the state, the Brokeoff Mountains are a little-known stretch of rugged canyons and peaks that are still relatively untouched by development
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.