In Wyoming, there’s wide support for protecting wilderness study areas offering a wide range of recreational opportunities and stunning landscapes. Residents in Norfolk, Virginia, use education and innovation to defend their neighborhoods from rising sea levels. In the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest in western North Carolina, the public is playing a major role in shaping the complex future of the forest. Researchers in Idaho study the difficult lives of pygmy rabbits, providing insights to managing and saving threatened sagebrush landscapes in the West.
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 Bobwhite quail suffer serious decline in Kentucky, where native grasses have been replaced by exotics for cattle pastures and conservationists try to reverse the damage.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.
Critical aquifer underneath the Great Plains
Farmers and ranchers work with NRCS advisers to find ways to conserve the Ogallala Aquifer, a vast expanse of prehistoric water now threatened by overuse
Trout in the classroom
Students in the Sierras in California help to restore threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout by raising the fish from eggs and releasing them in an approved stream
Yellowstone grizzlies achieve dramatic recovery
While the need for continued listing under the Endangered Species Act is still debated, grizzly bears have multiplied under federal protection since 1975, re-occupying areas where they had been absent for decades
Among the most solitary and elusive mammals in North America, wolverines were wiped out decades ago by fur traders and poison in the lower 48 states. Now these mammals with a ferocious reputation are making a slow comeback, migrating south from Canada. It takes rugged and dedicated scientists—and photographers!—to sneak a peek into their world! See how they are working to understand and preserve the wolverine’s habitat.
For decades U.S. soldiers headed for battle spent weeks in training at Fort Ord, California. Trucks, tanks, grenades and artillery—they spread over this land on the Pacific Coast. When the base was shuttered in the early 1990s the community nearby was devastated economically. But residents, the military and local businesses put their heads together to give a re-birth to these tens of thousands of acres. Now it attracts hikers, mountain bikers, researchers, even young school kids who can share and enjoy this land. Host Bruce Burkhardt takes us on a tour.
What do casino executives, Moapa Paiute Indians and nature photographers have in common? They are all eager to protect an area known as Gold Butte in Nevada. The group “Friends of Gold Butte” is working to add the highest federal protection to the region, by designating it a wilderness. This could help add law enforcement to this huge acreage, to protect ancient cultural sites and prevent vandalism in this stark and beautiful desert.
It’s a detective story that has unfolded in the waters off Key West, Florida. What’s been killing the Elkhorn coral? Biologist Kathryn Sutherland has identified human sewage as the source of the coral-killing pathogen that causes white pox disease. Elkhorn coral was listed for protection as an endangered species in 2006, largely due to white pox disease. Sutherland works with water treatment facilities in south Florida to try to make sure water is cleared of this pathogen before it goes back into the Atlantic.
Paleontologists find new dinosaur species in nearly two million acres of deep canyons at Grand Staircase Escalante Monument in Utah and Arizona. Fly-fishing is almost a spiritual endeavor for some Georgia anglers, and keeping waters clean is one of their
aims. Clean water is hard to find around the port of San Diego — decades of shipbuilding have left a toxic mess. In Wyoming, energy companies contribute to a fund that preserves migratory pathways. Rising sea levels threaten the delicate balance of fresh and salt-water marshes around the world.
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Grande Staircase Escalante Partners
San Diego Coastkeeper
Natural Gas Drilling Supports Conservation
The Conservation Fund
Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Marshes and Sea Level Rise
Volunteers clean up and restore a desert wilderness in Oregon. Local residents campaign to protect a mining-scarred but still spectacular landscape in Colorado’s San Juan Range. “Animal magnetism” guides loggerhead turtles across thousands of miles of open ocean. With a rich population of raptors, a conservation area in Idaho draws visitors eager to learn about hawks, eagles and falcons. Invasive insects destroy countless majestic hemlock trees in the southern Appalachians. A feisty bald eagle survives a horrific highway crash.
Paddling and protecting the spectacular Cascadia Marine Trail along Washington’s coastline. Robotic underwater gliders investigate mysterious “dead zones” off the Pacific coast. Young students in Oregon learn how destructive crayfish were transported across the Rockies for science experiments in their own school! A landfill gets a second career as a solar power station. Powerful grizzly bears test new designs for bear-proof trash cans.
Teens from big cities join a new program to recruit them for careers in the National Park Service. In an emergency effort like Noah’s Ark, researchers rescue endangered frogs, toads and salamanders from a deadly fungal disease. Are there too many snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park? Saltwater fishermen in Georgia offer quick lessons on protecting habitats needed by the most popular fish species.