"The Biden administration reversed a Trump administration position and upheld the Mandan, Hidatsa Arikara Nation's claim to mineral rights beneath the Missouri River within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation."
Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)
"Nebraska has become the first Republican-dominated state to commit to a goal of net-zero electricity emissions by 2050."
"The vital Kansas ecosystem is rapidly shrinking. Its future depends on private landowners like Lorna Harder."
The Mississippi River and its tributaries drain more than 40% of the continent, but most coverage of environmental stories within the Mississippi Basin is localized and siloed. The recently launched Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk hopes to help news outlets provide region-wide reporting that contextualizes issues like climate change-driven flooding and the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.
"Mask mandates saved lives and prevented COVID-19 infections in Missouri’s biggest cities during the worst part of the delta variant wave, an analysis by the state Department of Health and Senior Services shows. But the analysis, conducted at the request of Gov. Mike Parson’s office in early November, was never made public and was only obtained by The Missouri Independent and the Documenting COVID-19 project after a Sunshine Law request to the department."
"Janis Elliott started testing the private well water that comes out of the faucets in her home for nitrates after she attended an environmental meeting more than five years ago. Elliott lives in the small unincorporated town of Avon, Iowa not too far south of Des Moines."
The history of environmental racism is a long one in the United States, far longer than the efforts to address the problem. But reporting on environmental justice continues to tick upwards, and an analysis in the latest Backgrounder points to promising progress, explaining why for journalists the year ahead may yield important stories, whether about future footholds or new missteps.
After an 18-month buildup, a one-day U.N. Food Systems Summit earlier this fall generated hundreds of commitments to end global hunger and a dizzying array of alliances dedicated to the cause. Despite controversies surrounding the summit, this groundbreaking event highlighted opportunities for reporting on food and food systems. Award-winning agriculture journalist Chris Clayton shares his insights.
While climate change is certainly a global phenomenon, conflicts over addressing it often turn on local concerns. Case in point: Community bans on the use of the fossil fuel methane (aka natural gas), which has in turn prompted some states to ban the bans themselves. The latest TipSheet explains the bans and how they play into the climate change debate, plus story ideas and resources.
The origins of the struggle to protect animal welfare began with preventing the brutal mistreatment of carriage horses. And a new volume explores how one man did much to extend those protections to many species with the founding of the ASPCA. Our BookShelf has a review of “A Traitor to His Species: Henry Bergh and the Birth of the Animal Rights Movement.”