Southwest (AZ NM OK TX)

"Amid Texas Drought, High-Stakes Battle Over Water"

"The current drought, drier than any other October-through-May stretch in Texas history, has heightened the stakes in an already contentious long-term planning battle over water from these lakes, which feed the lower Colorado River as it runs southeast to the Gulf of Mexico. It has pitted fast-growing cities like Austin, which depend on the water for drinking and recreation, against rice farmers near the Gulf, who need vast amounts of water for irrigation."

Source: Texas Tribune, 06/20/2011

Huge AZ Wildfire Enters New Mexico as It Spews Unhealthy Air Eastward

Firefighters working dangerous night shifts were barely beginning to get a handle on some 6 wildfires in Arizona that were spreading to New Mexico, the largest of which, the Wallow fire, was barely more than 10 percent contained. Regional smoke continued to be a serious health threat. Authorities looked for a human cause to blame the fire on, even though the tinder-dry conditions had been causing the Wallow fire to spread at nearly 1,000 acres per hour. Evacuations began in New Mexico even as some Arizona evacuees were being allowed to return home.

Source: AP, 06/13/2011

41 New Trails Span About 650 Miles

Just in time for summer, 41 new segments of the US National Recreation Trails system in AL, AR, CT, FL, IL, IN, KS, MA, MD, MI, MN, NJ, NM, OK, PA, TN, and WV, covering about 650 land and water miles in 17 states, are open for business. These are part of a much larger system of about 1,100 trails spanning 13,000 miles.

August 7, 2011 to August 12, 2011

Ecological Society of America's (ESA) 96th Annual Meeting

The Austin, TX meeting, which has the theme "Earth Stewardship: Preserving and enhancing the earth's life-support systems," is expected to draw more than 3,500 scientists, policy makers, educators and concerned citizens to share emerging research and explore strategies to enhance community-based approaches to global responsibility.

USFS Releases Court-Ordered EIS for Fire Retardants

Information sessions and webinars on possible health and environmental effects of aerial-applied chemicals used to fight wildfires will be held in various locations around the country during the 45-day public comment period that ends June 27, 2011.

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