Environment & Climate Change

Millions of rural Americans rely on private wells. Few regularly test their water.

BY: - October 30, 2023

FORT DODGE — Allison Roderick has a warning and a pledge for rural residents of her county: The water from their wells could be contaminated, but the government can help make it safe. Roderick is the environmental health officer for Webster County in north-central Iowa, where a few thousand rural residents live among sprawling corn […]

Western states look to these lands for new affordable housing

BY: - October 27, 2023

In Colorado’s Eagle County, affordable housing is so scarce that school district leaders have pleaded with locals to open their spare bedrooms to teachers — citing the impossibility of hiring when employees have nowhere to live. Home to popular ski resorts in Vail and Avon, the county has seen much of its housing snatched up […]

A graph shows the number of acres of grassland converted in the Great Plains and the Northern Great Plains each year between 2016 and 2021. The Great Plains is shown as a yellow line staying well above 1.5 million acres converted, while the Northern Great Plains is represented by a brown line fluctuating between approximately 750,000 and 900,000. The graph is superimposed over a grayscale photo of a person working on a harvesting machine in a large farm field.

Millions of grassland acres lost in Great Plains, new research report says

BY: - October 27, 2023

The Great Plains lost 1.6 million acres of grasslands in 2021. That’s according to a World Wildlife Fund report released on Thursday, detailing the loss of grasslands in the U.S. and Canadian Great Plains. From 2012 to 2021, grassland conversion in the Great Plains totaled 32 million acres, or 50,000 square miles. The Plowprint report […]

Federal agencies give nod to bill banning mining around Pecos

BY: - October 26, 2023

Two federal agencies committed their support Wednesday of a bill brought by the New Mexico Congressional delegation to ban mining development in nearly 163,000 acres of federal land in the Upper Pecos watershed. Most of the land – 161,162 acres proposed for withdrawal – is owned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service in […]

An aerial photograph of a blue-green lake, surrounded by bright green trees and desert scrub.

U.S. Forest Service working on response to Rep. Leger Fernández’s push for wildfire precautions

BY: - October 26, 2023

A member of New Mexico’s federal delegation representing disaster victims in northern New Mexico is waiting for the U.S. Forest Service to respond to her request for additional safety measures to prevent wildfires. U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández wrote a letter to U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore on Oct. 18, urging his agency to […]

Farmers and environmental health advocates call for state and national action on PFAS

BY: - October 26, 2023

Farmers from across the country spoke out this week on the impacts of PFAS contamination on their farms, calling on lawmakers to pass protections and provide restitution to those afflicted. As part of the Michigan State University Center for PFAS Research’s Annuals symposium, farmers from Maine, New Mexico and Michigan spoke on Monday alongside members […]

ABQ City Council considers abolition of air quality board authority

BY: - October 25, 2023

Bills that would completely replace the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board and potentially undermine its regulation authority are set to be heard by Albuquerque’s City Council on Wednesday, November 8th. In response, a coalition of environmentalists and historic neighborhoods are sounding the alarm to the potential harm the changes could have on all of Bernalillo county’s […]

Downwinders turn out for annual protest of Trinity Site

BY: - October 24, 2023

TRINITY SITE – The white haze of wildfire smoke mixed with high thready clouds veiled the Sacramento Mountains in white, softening both shadows and the sun. Follow Highway 380 crossing Valley of Fires lava flows, the stark black basalt crowned in yucca, lies the mark of the atomic age. Olive creosote stretches for miles, but […]

U.S. House panel explores impact of immigration, crime on national parks

BY: - October 20, 2023

WASHINGTON — The effects of immigration and crime on national parks took center stage Wednesday during a U.S. House hearing led by Republicans. Members of the U.S. House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations discussed trash accumulation, the destruction of wildlife habitats and the illegal marijuana growing operations tied to cartels as environmental consequences […]

State to decide before 2024 where to send $6 million for northwestern NM economic development

BY: - October 18, 2023

Setting up solar. Making housing more accessible. Boosting local food production. Starting up hydrogen energy productions. Expanding educational opportunities at local colleges. These are all projects local, out-of-state and even international organizations are vying to set up in northwestern New Mexico to help communities recover from a massive coal plant shutdown that happened in 2022. […]

Feds object to judge’s nod to settle Rio Grande SCOTUS case

BY: - October 18, 2023

Whether the water is low or high, the Supreme Court fight over Rio Grande water stretches on. The latest iteration of the legal fights that span decades, is the Texas claim before the U.S. Supreme Court that New Mexico groundwater pumping below Elephant Butte Reservoir shorts the downstream state its rights to the river’s water. […]

Native lands lack clean water protections, but more tribes are taking charge

BY: - October 18, 2023

Across the roughly 1,300 square miles of the White Earth Indian Reservation in northwest Minnesota, tribal members harvest wild rice in waters that have sustained them for generations. They’ve been working for decades to restore sturgeon, a culturally important fish, and they harvest minnows and leeches to supply bait for anglers across the country. But […]