Conservation

Resources for the Future

This week USU’s Ecology Center hosted Dr. Margaret Walls for their monthly seminar series. Walls is an economist and senior fellow at Resources for the Future, an environmental nonprofit focused on environmental policy solutions.

Walls’ Wednesday seminar discussed environmental justice and federal funding for conservation.

The dramatic decline of bumblebees

Oct 14, 2021
Brendan White / USFWS


  

 

The Franklin’s Bumblebee was recently listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The bee, which hasn’t been seen since 2006, is found only in small areas of Southern Oregon and Northern California. It has what is believed to be the most limited distribution of any North American bumblebee species. 

theseanster93

This week we are talking about urban bees and how converting vacant lots into green spaces doesn't only benefit humans. With a few adjustments, green spaces can help support local bee populations. We're talking to Ohio State University reserachers about how to help urban bees thrive.

awaytogarden.com

Douglas Tallamy’s first book, “Bringing Nature Home,” awakened thousands of readers to an urgent situation: wildlife populations are in decline because the native plants they depend on are fast disappearing. His solution? Plant more natives. In this new book, Tallamy takes the next step and outlines his vision for a grassroots approach to conservation. “Nature’s Best Hope” shows how homeowners everywhere can turn their yards into conservation corridors that provide wildlife habitats. Talllamy says that because this approach relies on the initiatives of private individuals, it is immune from the whims of government policy. Even more important, it’s practical, effective, and easy.

Natasha Hadden

This weekend, August 14, at Dinosaur National Monument, people can watch monarch tagging. As monarch butterflies migrate through Utah, scientists are tagging the butterflies to better track their movements and estimate their populations.

Martha Ham

Conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against the Interior Department to prevent a highway from being built through Red Cliffs National Conservation Area in Southwest Utah. The groups claim that paving over the protected land would be a violation of environmental laws which require agencies to analyze potential environmental harms before making decisions. Red Cliffs was established as a conservation area in 2009 to help recover a threatened species - the Mojave desert tortoise. 

Bureau of Land Managemen, Flickr

Conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against the Interior Department to prevent a highway from being built through Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. The groups claim that paving over the protected land would be a violation of bedrock environmental laws which require agencies to analyze potential environmental harms before making decisions. 

The World Economic Forum


Every year for Earth Day, we check in with writer and photographer Stephen Trimble, author of “Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America,” and many other books. Next time on Access Utah, Stephen Trimble joins us along with Terri Martin, Intermountain West Organizer with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance; and Jesse Prentice-Dunn, Policy Director with the Center for Western Priorities.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

With COVID-19 pushing people to spend more time outdoors, a statewide fishing challenge saw record enrollment this year, and funds from this challenge are being used to help keep Utah trout healthy.

Western Australian Museum

We can’t save every plant and animal that we’ve put into danger. But we know from experience that we can have a big effect on the ones we choose to protect. So, make a list. Which ones do you want to save? Pandas? Elephants? Bald eagles? How about parasites? Yeah… parasites. This week, we’ll be making a case for saving creatures that most people really don’t like.

Hyde Park Utah
Hermann Luyken

Roughly six years ago Hyde Park embarked on a journey to acquire a small slice of land on the city’s east side to build a new water tank. 

Are Federal Agencies Using COVID-19 To Attack Federal Lands?

Apr 10, 2020
Conservation groups like the Western Watersheds Project and the Center for Biological Diversity are accusing federal agencies like the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management of attacking public lands, using COVID-19 as a smokescreen.
SUWA

A Center for Western Priorities study found that the Interior Department has issued 57 separate actions since March 6, when President Donald Trump signed the first COVID-19 emergency bill. Erik Molvar, the executive director of the Western Watersheds Project, said Interior released the Great Basin Fuel Breaks Project last week. According to Molvar, the project would destroy thousands of acres of sage grouse habitat in Utah and do little to control wildfires.

A family enjoying the Logan River
Frank Howe

 


In 2011, extensive flooding in Cache Valley caused widespread damage to both buildings and land along the Logan River.  This led to the formation of the Logan River Task Force; this group of Utah State University scientists and other experts in riparian and river restoration worked with Logan City and Bio-West, Inc. (a local consulting firm) to develop a long-term restoration plan that prevented flooding while balancing both social and ecological values of the river.  

 

Amazon

George Bird Grinnell, the son of a New York merchant, saw a different future for a nation in the thrall of the Industrial Age. With railroads scarring virgin lands and the formerly vast buffalo herds decimated, the country faced a crossroads: Could it pursue Manifest Destiny without destroying its natural bounty and beauty? The alarm that Grinnell sounded would spark America’s conservation movement. Yet today his name has been forgotten—an omission that John Taliaferro’s commanding biography now sets right with historical care and narrative flair.

5. Stream Restoration with Beavers

Apr 2, 2019
USU Restoration Consortium


Hayley Glassic

Bear Lake, on the Idaho-Utah border, is sometimes referred to as the “Caribbean of the Rockies” due to its turquoise-blue waters. Locally famous for its Raspberry Festival, boating opportunities, and fishing, Bear Lake is also home to several species of fish found nowhere else in the world. In a recent study published in the journal Freshwater Biology, researchers from Utah State University have determined that falling water levels are negatively impacting these fishes.

2. Fishes of Bear Lake

Mar 4, 2019
NASA

This episode of Science Utah features stories from UPR's Riana Gayle and Niall Clancy. Tune in to  hear about northern Utah's Bear Lake, its fishes, and what's being done to conserve them.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

What do grizzly bears, the Death Valley Pupfish, Desert Tortoises and Giant Kangaroo Rats have in common? If you’re playing endangered species bingo – you may be a winner! That’s right, all of those animals are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Coalville Ranchers Finding Success Preserving The Land

Jan 3, 2019
One Utah ranching family is being recognized for their efforts in preserving the land.
Dusty Morgan

The Leopold Conservation Award recognizes achievement in conservation and one Utah ranching family is being recognized for their efforts in preserving the land.

Utah Rabbit Numbers Are Down

Dec 20, 2018
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

According to Jason Robinson, Upland Game program coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, populations of three of Utah’s rabbit species will be down this year. Two species of cottontail rabbits, desert and mountain cottontails, are distributed statewide. Snowshoe hares have a more limited distribution—primarily in the Wasatch and Uintah Mountain ranges.

How Wildlife Biologists Are Trying to Save Christmas

Dec 14, 2018
Florian Graner

With Christmas Day fast approaching, Santa and his reindeer are making their final preparations to visit all well-behaved boys and girls. And while we’re sure Dasher, Dancer, Donner and Blitzen have been well fed before their long journey, the same can’t be said about their free-roaming cousins. 

Cutthroat Trout: Actually Four Different Species?

Dec 4, 2018
Cutthroat, Trout, Angler
Jon McFarland

Here on the campus of Utah State University, I’ve got this book sitting on my desk. It’s green, hardcovered, and wider than it is long. It has some of the best and most detailed paintings of fish in it that I’ve ever seen- and as a fisheries grad student, I’ve seen a lot of books on fish. 

kobo.com

Over the next several decades, as human populations grow and developing countries become more affluent, the demand for energy will soar. Parts of the energy sector are preparing to meet this demand by increasing renewable energy production, which is necessary to combat climate change. But many renewable energy sources have a large energy sprawl—the amount of land needed to produce energy—which can threaten biodiversity and conservation. Is it possible to meet this rise in energy demand, while still conserving natural places and species?

Minnows, Woundfin
Niall Clancy

New genetic tools are making a big impact on fish and wildlife biology. A genetic study published earlier this year found that the group of fishes known as minnows actually consists of multiple different groups. This has led North American minnows to be reclassified as a new family of fishes called Leuciscidae. 

Jon McFarland

Cache County voters decided in the 2016 elections to create a water conservancy district like those already existing in Box Elder, Salt Lake and Weber Counties. The county’s at-large position is being contended by two candidates. The first is Dr. Brett Roper an aquatic ecologist for the U.S.  Forest Service and adjunct professor at Utah State University.

Romney Calls For Endangered Species Act Reform

Oct 19, 2018
Niall Clancy

The Endangered Species Act has prevented the extinction of iconic species such as the Humpback Whale, Florida Manatee and Bald Eagle. It has also generated considerable controversy. 

Mark Larese-Casanova

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about how genes impact plant growth, but from two very different perspectives. 

Niall Clancy

Since an act of Congress established the Land and Water Conservation Fund in 1965, the program has provided grants to local, state and federal agencies for the acquisition, conservation and maintenance of public lands.

Aqua Mechanical / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Sixteen of Utah’s reservoirs are below 20 percent capacity and eight of those are below five percent, according to the Utah Division of Water Resources. 

Close up of honey bee on purple aster flower with yellow center.
John Severns/Wikipedia Commons

The biblical tale says Noah rescued species from the flood by building an ark and loading it with a male and female of each species. In modern conservation, a literal ark won’t work. But USU scientists have determined a method that could help protect threatened species.

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