Ellis Juhlin

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 Federal Emergency Management Administration's (FEMA) Public Assistance program has given an additional ten million dollars in funds to the state of Utah for COVID relief. 

The Department of Energy has awarded PacifiCorp $6.4 million to create a program to manage solar panels, batteries and electric vehicle charging stations as part of a new clean energy development.

The US Forest Service is proposing a revised forest plan for the Manti La Sal National Forest. The forest plan has not been updated since its inception 35 years ago.

esudroff from Pixabay


 

Over the past five years, the boundaries of two of Utah's national monuments have fluctuated dramatically. National monuments don’t usually change size from one administration to the next. But since 2016, the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase have experienced a yo-yo effect. 

A close-up of an otter.
No-longer-here / Pixabay

This summer, while running on the river trail, I saw an otter. A real life river otter. It leapt out of the water and darted into a pocket between rocks on the bank, with a trout in its mouth! It was one of those moments where I was confronted with something that was, in my mind, so wildly outside the realm of possibility that it took me a minute to figure out what the blurred brown weasel-shaped thing even was.


 

The Biden Administration’s oil and gas leasing moratorium last January was met with opposition. Landon Newell, a Staff Attorney with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, explained that an injunction was issued against the leasing pause, ending it. BLM offices in several states have since reopened lease sales. Oil and gas leasing is a concern for carbon emissions, contributing to climate change. 

The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling off and many birds are beginning to fly south for winter. There are many challenges birds face as they migrate. But there are ways people can help make birds' journeys a bit safer. 

Each fall thousands of salmon feel their internal clocks tick, and begin a perilous journey upstream to spawn. Spawning salmon look nothing like the silvery, trout-shaped fish you would catch when fishing for salmon in a reservoir.

Nicole Giampietro

The first Wild Miles virtual race began as a way for people to have something to do during the pandemic, when so many other events were being cancelled. The race enabled participants to feel like part of the Logan community while enjoying our outdoor areas, safely. 

Aimee Van Tatenhove

As the Great Salt Lake continues to decline, not only is wildlife is being impacted around the lake, but across the region.

Urvish Prajapati


 

The water levels of the Great Salt Lake have dipped to troublingly low levels this August – lower than any in recorded history. But what does this mean for the people and wildlife that call Utah home? (Part 1 of 2)

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Stock

An organization has rated Idaho lawmakers on how they voted for measures that affect children in the 2021 session. 

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.

Two landscape programs that encourage Utahns conserve water are expanding to Utah, Duchesne, Uintah, and Weber counties.

Last week, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson launched her Return Utah program. The program aims to help Utahns who have been out of work for an extended period of time re-enter the workforce.

Rigel

With the current megadrought Utah is experiencing, most reservoirs are at or below 50% capacity. For Utah’s fish, less water means their environments are shrinking around them and these smaller bodies of water tend to heat up faster.

In his monthly news conference, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox addressed a variety of issues, including the ongoing drought facing the state and the recent rise in COVID-19 cases. 

 

Utah is the second driest state in the country and currently suffering from a megadrought. Fire season is off to an early start since drier plants ignite easily and burn hot and fast— a combination that leads to wildfires that are especially difficult to contain.

Julie Marsh Unsplash

 

Rabbit hemorrhagic disease is a highly contagious virus that causes liver inflammation, leading to fatal hemorrhaging of blood in rabbits and pikas. The disease originated in Europe but spread to North America in 2018.

An Errant Knight, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

When Camp Williams was built, it was bordered by open land. Today it is located near some of Utah’s fastest growing communities, and much of the open land around it is being developed. 

Koshy Koshy, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Ever wondered what that bug crawling on your porch is? How about the flower you walk by every day? By participating in the City Nature Challenge you can answer these questions and contribute to a database of flora and fauna in your community.

Courtesy of Stokes Nature Center

Founded in 1997, Stokes Nature Center sits on the river trail at the mouth of Logan Canyon. After a complete renovation, the center is having a grand opening, just in time for Earth Week. 

damircudic/Getty Images

To better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affected Utah women and girls, the Women’s Leadership Project at USU surveyed 3,500 women across the state in January.

Representatives from the Utah Department of Military and Veterans Affairs are calling veterans across the state to inform them of their vaccine eligibility. They also have a specialized COVID hotline veterans can call with any coronavirus or vaccine related questions. 

How To Help Prevent Whirling Disease From Spreading

Mar 23, 2021
Pixy.org

Cases of whirling disease, which is caused by a parasite and can fatally affect salmonid fish like trout, have been recently confirmed in Jones Hole Creek in Northeastern Utah. 

slworking2, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

In 2015 hundreds of countries signed on to the Paris Agreement, where they committed to working to limit global average temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius or no more than 2 degrees Celsius.

Vicki DeLoach, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Millions of birds migrate each year and many take a path that leads them through Utah. Because these cross-continental journeys take so much energy, challenges like extreme weather, food shortages, or light pollution, are often fatal for birds.

Palacemusic

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses, schools and gathering places last year, many people turned to the outdoors for an escape. But the increase in visitors to places like national parks meant social distancing became a challenge in these places too. 

Wellbeing Survey Seeking Respondents In Vernal

Mar 9, 2021
InSapphoWeTrust, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

In an effort to better understand how individuals and communities in the state are doing, the Utah Wellbeing Project was developed by USU Extension.