Large migratory species have been traveling across the North American continent for thousands of years. But the land has been dramatically affected, altering how these big game move about. A new data mapping site for scientists can now help environmental journalists track Western wildlife herds and their health as well. The latest from Reporter’s Toolbox.
Mountain West (CO ID MT NV UT WY)
With wildfire exploding across the West this season, it may not be long before insurance companies worried about houses built along the wildland-urban interface try to raise premiums or drop policies altogether. It’s already happening in California, which is pushing back. Will it happen in your region as well? TipSheet has the backstory, plus a range of reporting resources.
"Admirers of national parks and world-class trout streams in the state of Montana have expressed alarm over the election of a new Republican governor and his environmental plans."
"In Colorado, a historic ballot measure to force the state to reintroduce gray wolves has passed by the slimmest of margins."
"Nevada voters approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday that requires the state to get at least half its electricity from renewable sources by 2030."
Respiratory risks are high on the public health agenda these days amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So when Reporter’s Toolbox noticed some exemplary reporting on how West Coast wildfires were polluting the air, it took a look under the hood to see how other environmental journalists might use the same data sets for localized stories.
"Stoked by high winds, a wildfire burning for two months in northern Colorado exploded in size this week to surpass 167,000 acres, making it the largest blaze in state history, officials said on Thursday."
When it comes to climate change, coal’s carbon emissions mean trouble. But as Backgrounder explains, if the once-powerful coal industry is on the decline in the United States, the fuel’s still finding favor worldwide. And that’s bad news for the Paris climate accord’s hopes of gaining control of runaway warming. The story behind the “exaggerated death” of coal.
"In most American cities, white residents live near parks, trees and baseball fields, while communities of color are left with concrete and the heat that comes with it. Now, in a push that could provide a road map for other cities, officials in Denver are working to rectify that historical inequity."
"The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has provided preliminary approval for new regulations for well drilling sites, including a 2,000-foot (610-meter) buffer requirement from homes."