TipSheet is a weekly source for story ideas, background, interview leads and reporting tools for journalists who cover news of the environment.

Journalists can receive TipSheet free by subscribing to the SEJournal Online, the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here. TipSheet is also available through the searchable archive below and via RSS feed.

Also see searchable archives of SEJ's WatchDog TipSheet, featuring story ideas, articles, updates, events and other information with a focus on freedom-of-information issues of concern to environmental journalists in both the United States and Canada.

Latest TipSheet Items

December 22, 2010

December 8, 2010

  • 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.

  • This invasive grass that already has a grip on about 2 million acres in the West makes the rangeland it invades virtually worthless for grazing, harms many animals that contact it or try to eat it, increases wildfire risk, and creates monocultures that have very low biodiversity and crowd out numerous native plant and animal species.

  • NASA researchers have found the 104 selected lakes are warming by an average of 0.81 degrees Fahrenheit each decade (with some lakes increasing by up to 1.8 degrees F), and the temperature increase tends to be larger as you work toward the North Pole.

  • A US Geological Survey report offers a perspective on the global situation and an assessment of known US deposits. There may be about 13 million metric tons available in 14 states — with the sites generally posing the usual environmental challenges associated with mining and refining.

November 24, 2010

  • Land owners signed up to protect 272,762 acres, which in one year adds about 12% of the total acreage covered during the 15-year history of the voluntary Wetlands Reserve Program. Funding for the 1,414 contracts totaled $592,562,106.

  • The Department of Transportation awarded $2.4 billion for 54 projects in 23 states. The winners were selected from 132 applicants in 32 states, who had asked for a total of $8.8 billion for planning, construction, equipment purchases, and other closely related efforts.

  • Following a December 2008 USA Today report on outdoor air pollution at hundreds of schools, EPA began a monitoring process. Final reports for 21 (of the small number of schools selected) have now been released; the results are mixed.

  • This guidance would provide insights and reduce threats when competing forces — such as land availability, cost, timing, vehicle and utility access, zoning, and developer cooperation — drive decision makers to build a school at a site that may pose a toxic threat to the children and staff.

  • As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal government is shoveling more than $32 billion to the states to develop what it considers less-polluting energy and to train, certify, recruit, and retain workers.