"Neighbors of a toxic mine in northern Nevada have filed a class-action lawsuit against BP America and Atlantic Richfield Co. accusing them of intentionally and negligently concealing the extent of the contamination leaking off the abandoned site for decades."
Mountain West (CO ID MT NV UT WY)
Colorado does not have enough money to fix more than 50 unsafe and potentially deadly dams. But keeping reservoir levels low to prevent disastrous failure deprives the state of water it badly needs right now.
"Yellowstone National Park's iconic bison herds are suffering their worst winter in several years with almost 400 of the animals being held for possible slaughter — and a much-heralded initiative to expand where they can roam on the verge of failure."
The federal government has released its draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for identifying and evaluating the best areas on public lands for building utility-scale solar plants. A 90-day public comment period ends March 17, 2011, preceded by 14 meetings in 6 Western states and Washington, D.C.
The map and report on known greater sage grouse high-density breeding populations is a starting point that can be refined with the input of state fish and wildlife agencies. But you can use it right away as you cover various land use and environmental issues.
"A small environmental miracle has occurred in Beatty, Nev., a former mining town that sits on the eastern edge of Death Valley between Jackass Flats and Sober Up Gulch. The people of Beatty have helped revive the Amargosa toad, a warty, speckled, palm-sized creature that's unique to the area and, just a few years ago, seemed headed for extinction."
"The 2.5 million cubic yards of fine-grained sediment dredged from the former reservoir east of Missoula has been spread 2 feet thick over more than 600 acres of wasteland between Anaconda and its satellite community of Opportunity. But it won’t grow grass."
USDA and USGS researchers found about one of every five acres of rangelands in 17 western states, as well as portions of Louisiana and Florida, has some degree of degradation of at least one factor (soil and site stability, hydrologic integrity, and biotic integrity).