EJToday: Top Headlines
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With a $10 billion maintenance backlog, the National Park Service is struggling to make do as aging buildings deteriorate. This week it shuttered the Grand Teton's Indian Arts Museum, because uncontrolled humidity and other conditions there were ruining a world-class collection of ancient Native American artifacts.
"MONUMENT, Colo. -- The 50,000 drivers who cruise daily along Interstate 25 between Denver and Colorado Springs drive through ranch and farm land marked by dramatic buttes and the presence of wild animals, a vista that might have been very different but for a little-known federal program. "The Land and Water Conservation Fund, which Congress created in 1965, helped pay for this open space, along with large swaths of land in other areas across the country. But there is a fight looming in Washington as Congress plans to drastically cut the program’s budget, and President Obama, who had accepted cuts in the past, appears ready to oppose them."
"A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ruled with the coal industry — and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection — in the first phase of a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s crackdown on mountaintop removal mining."
"WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Supreme Court [Monday] denied consideration of an appeal by the Public Lands Council of previous federal court decisions overturning Bureau of land Management grazing regulations promulgated during the George W. Bush administration. The decision affects over 160 million acres of public land in 11 western states."
"An all-but-forgotten rocky outcropping in Southern California contains ore that could help break the country’s dependence on China for certain types of rare earth metals, according to the only American producer of rare earths."
"ALBUQUERQUE -- Acquisition of 570 acres to establish a national wildlife refuge along the Rio Grande in Albuquerque has been approved, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today in Albuquerque."
"WAYNESBURG, Pa. -- A surge in mining damage to waterways, houses and roads has sparked a fierce debate in southwestern Pennsylvania's coal region about whether regulations are strong enough to protect property and natural resources."
"The last decade was the greater Yellowstone region's hottest on record, according to a study released Tuesday by a pair of environment-oriented nonprofits."
"So what the heck is a pawpaw?"
"The North Woods is being targeted for lucrative, but dangerous, mineral mining."
"Farmer Brian Schaumburg has planted corn for five straight years in some of the thousands of acres he tends in central Illinois."
"The National Park Service has released a draft assessment of a California oyster farm's impact on a wilderness area, concluding that the farm's continued operations would harm harbor seals."
"The U.S. Department of the Interior is reviewing whether any of the 175 Marcellus Shale gas wells drilled in Pennsylvania state forests or other permitted or planned well developments on publicly owned land violates a 1964 federal land conservation law."
"Port Angeles, Wash. — In a deep turquoise pool in a gorge of steep granite and thick Douglas fir, dozens of salmon swam fitfully. Swirling and slow, they made their way up one side of the riverbed, only to run into the steep concrete face of Elwha Dam — the formidable barrier that for nearly 100 years has cut off most of the Elwha River from the salmon that traditionally populated it."
"Excess exports from China's rare earth industry kept prices artificially low for years, and it was now 'unrealistic' to expect them to fall back to previous levels as Beijing reins in the sector, a senior industry official said on Thursday."