"With the removal of many dams, conservationists are seeing the return of the natural bounty that fed Native Americans and astonished European settlers."
"Pennsylvania has 86,000 miles of rivers, streams and creeks — a total length eclipsed only by the vast wilderness in Alaska."
"New herds of genetically pure wild bison may once again roam vast expanses of the American West where the iconic animal has been absent since the end of the 19th century, under a tentative plan federal officials advanced on Wednesday."
Here are some recent explainers of interest to environmental journalists from the CRS, which Congress does not allow to be released to the taxpaying public who paid for them. The WatchDog thanks those who leaked them and the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy for publishing them.
"Two years ago, Bill Orem and his team of researchers were setting up air monitors in the yards and on the porches of residents in Artie, a small Raleigh County community surrounded by mountaintop removal mines."
"For years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been frustrated in its efforts to pursue hundreds of cases of water pollution — repeatedly tied up in legal fights about exactly what bodies of water it has the authority to monitor and protect. Efforts in Congress to clarify the EPA's powers have been defeated. And two Supreme Court decisions have done little to decide the question."
"Belize has made a great effort to protect its coral reef system — the largest in the Western Hemisphere — by establishing more than a dozen protected areas. But patrolling large stretches of ocean and coastline and enforcing fishing regulations takes time, people and boats. Or drones."
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday said it intends to take extraordinary action to protect Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon runs and unparalleled natural habitat from destruction by the proposed Pebble mine. But the agency is stopping short of blocking the mine outright and instead is proposing caps on how many miles of streams and acres of wetlands could be lost."
A sloppily written provision that could have opened the door wider for federal land managers to charge fees or require permits for news photography died in the Senate July 10, 2014, along with the "Bipartisan Sportsmen's Bill" to which it was attached. SEJ and other media groups had objected to the language. According to the AP, the bill "would have opened more federal lands to hunters and other sportsmen, increased funds for shooting ranges and blocked government curbs on bullets and fishing gear containing lead."
"A federal appeals court today sided with U.S. EPA in a broad challenge from two states and the mining industry to controversial Obama administration policies aimed at addressing the environmental effects on waterways of mountaintop-removal coal mining."