Mountain West (CO ID MT NV UT WY)

Rockets and Bombs and Chemicals — The Environmental Horrors of War

With the world in the midst of wars in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip, it’s time for journalists to appraise — and report on — the intersection of conflict and the environment, argues the new Backgrounder. That means considering the environment not only as a victim of war, but also as the cause of war and a means of carrying it out.

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Forest Service Pulls Permit For Construction Of Utah Oil Railroad

"The U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday withdrew its approval of a right-of-way permit that would have allowed the construction of a railroad project through about 12 miles (19 kilometers) of roadless, protected forest in northeastern Utah."

Source: AP, 01/19/2024

First US Uranium Mines in Eight Years Begin Operations Near Grand Canyon

"The push for more nuclear energy and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spiked uranium prices, leading mines for the element to begin operating again in the U.S. despite long-term environmental and health impacts."

Source: Inside Climate News, 01/17/2024

Clearing the Smoke — Collaboration Exposes Impacts of Wildfire Pollution-Reporting Rules

Climate change is fueling the frequency and severity of wildfires, but a little-known Clean Air Act rule lets environmental agencies downplay the impacts of wildfire smoke. A collaborative investigation into this loophole connected dots that even the experts didn’t know about. Journalists Dillon Bergin and Molly Peterson explain their reporting process and offer advice for following your own local leads.

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‘Zombie Deer Disease’ Epidemic Spreads In Yellowstone. Are Humans Next?

"When the mule deer buck died in October, it perished in a place most humans would consider the middle of nowhere, miles from the nearest road. But its last breaths were not taken in an isolated corner of American geography. It succumbed to a long-dreaded disease in the backcountry of Yellowstone national park, north-west Wyoming – the first confirmed case of chronic wasting disease in the country’s most famous nature reserve."

Source: Guardian, 01/08/2024

Colorado Releases First 5 Wolves In Reintroduction Plan Approved By Voters

"Somewhere on a remote mountainside in Colorado’s Rockies, a latch flipped on a crate and a wolf bounded out, heading toward the tree line. Then it stopped short. For a moment, the young female looked back at it’s audience of roughly 45 people who stared on in reverential silence. Then she disappeared into the forest."

Source: AP, 12/20/2023

Want To Protect Your Sources? It Helps To Know the Law

With climate-related legal disputes playing out worldwide, we could see more environmental journalists facing subpoenas to access their newsgathering materials and reveal their sources. Case in point: the legal battle embroiling a news nonprofit over its coverage of pipeline protests. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press’ Chris Young looks at shield laws and resources to help deal with legal threats to your journalistic integrity.

SEJ Publication Types: 

Greens Sue BNSF For Grizzlies Killed By Trains Without Safety Measures

"Wildlife groups aren’t sure what is worse: That trains have killed more than 63 grizzly bears in northern Montana since 2018, or that Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad has seemed to ignore requests to help alleviate the problem."

Source: States Newsroom, 12/15/2023

"Colorado Cattle Industry Sues Over Reintroduction Of Gray Wolves"

"The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and the Gunnison County Stockgrowers Association (GCSA) are taking legal action against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) “regarding the pending release of gray wolves in Colorado,” according to a blog post on the lawsuit from the CCA and GCSA, filed a couple of weeks before the wolves’ reintroduction as a result of a voter-approved initiative."

Source: The Hill, 12/13/2023

Two Men Indicted For Killing, Trafficking Montana Bald And Golden Eagles

"Two men were indicted by a federal grand jury in Montana on Friday on allegations they illegally killed 3,600 birds, including bald and golden eagles on the Flathead Indian Reservation, then illegally sold the eagles on the black market."

Source: States Newsroom, 12/12/2023


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