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ENVIRONMENT

With Western states enduring a historic drought, some towns are rejecting fireworks as a wildfire risk, even though nearly all civic fireworks displays are safely monitored by firefighters.
Croplands in the Upper Great Plains expanded 584,600 acres per year between 2015 and 2019, while grasslands contracted at an annual rate of 448,600 acres over the same span.
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“What they found is that if that wetland is in place and we take out half the sediment, then eventually — with about 10 or so refills of the lake — the remaining sediment would get sufficiently rinsed out if the water coming in is cleaner,” DWU biochemistry professor Paula Mazzer said of the findings from the student-led lake project.
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W. Carter Johnson first began studying the ecology of the Dakotas as a graduate student at North Dakota State University in the 1960s and early '70s. His new book offers a survey of the region's natural history and the many ways in which humans have altered the land.

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Fox returned to the wild after falling in window well of St. Paul cathedral
"I don’t want the roadsides and ditches to be used as garbage receptacles, but places where birds can make their nests, foxes, their lairs and toads, foraging grounds for insects."
“There are a few that exceed the standards by quite a bit, but up to 70% of the water in the body of some of [the lakes] are still within standards," one scientist who worked on the study said.
Toxic lead from hunters' ammunition is impacting eagle population, researchers say.
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Both focus studies on environmental issues, including Lake Mitchell and fish predation
The South Dakota Legislature has a menu of infrastructure fixes this year, including some state-owned spillways damaged in flooding and record rainfall in 2018 and '19. But few lawmakers will invoke the words "climate change," which an engineering professor says the state is not prepared to address.

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The river running along South Dakota' eastern border -- which just 10 years ago made a list of America's most polluted waterways -- still has inadequate protection from runoff from farms, golf courses, and industry sites, say water experts. A $3 million voluntary program run by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources started last month to attract landowners to create buffer strips, but has yet to attract any applicants.
The oil slick, first reported Saturday, originated from a broken pipeline less than three miles off the coast of Huntington Beach connected to an offshore oil platform known as Elly. The rupture has poured more than 126,000 gallons of crude into coastal waters.
Children will, on average, suffer seven times more heatwaves and nearly three times more droughts, floods and crop failures due to fast-accelerating climate change, found a report from aid agency Save the Children.

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