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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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Lawmakers consider changes to Maine's Clean Election law, Florida offers a big no comment over "arranged" migrant flights to California, and the Global Fragility Act turns U.S. peacekeeping on its head.

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A bipartisan effort aims to preserve AM radio, the Human Rights Campaign declares a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people, and the Atlanta City Council approves funding for a controversial police training center.

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Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

A 2014 study predicted one million new homes will be built in very high wildfire severity zones between the years 2000 and 2050. (Sundry Photography/Adobestock)
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Wednesday, June 7, 2023
It is getting increasingly expensive to have a home on the edge of the woods in California, in terms of home value and insurance costs. A new study …

The Biden administration recently paved the way to make U.S. charging infrastructure available to everyone, regardless of what brand of car they drive. (Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 5, 2023
By Whitney Bauck for Reasons to be Cheerful.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Netw…

An increase in average global temperatures above 1.5 degrees Celsius risks sea-level rise, extreme weather and the loss of species and habitats, as well as food scarcity and increasing poverty for millions of people worldwide, according to ClientEarth. (Adobe Stock)
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Montana's environmental advocates are criticizing Gov. Greg Gianforte for signing a bill they said will allow the state to ignore the impacts of …

Public land makes up 37.5% of the acres in Montana, 12th most in the country. (Adobe Stock)
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Wednesday, June 7, 2023
The Bureau of Land Management has announced a $161 million investment in wildlife habitat projects in 11 western states, and Montana is getting the …

Parcels of land downstream of Ruybal Fox Creek Ranch have been subdivided into 35- to 50-acre large-lot tracts. (Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust)
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Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Ruybal Fox Creek Ranch sits in a dramatic canyon in the foothills of southern Colorado's San Juan Mountains, right next to the Rio Grande National …

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wetlands cover 5.5% of the 48 contiguous states, with one million acres of wetland in Virginia. (Adobe Stock)
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Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Virginia environmental advocates are not happy with the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision on the Clean Water Act. The ruling in Sackett versus E-P-…

According to the Mars Veterinary Health study, nearly 41,000 additional veterinarians will be needed to meet the needs of companion animal health care by 2030. (Adobe Stock)
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Tuesday, June 6, 2023
In Arizona, telemedicine is now not only available for humans but also for people's beloved animals. Last month Governor Katie Hobbs signed Senate …

While there has been some backlash from customers, a number of states have adopted laws that allow dogs to be at outdoor restaurants, so long as they stay away from food preparation. (Adobe Stock)
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May is National Pet Month, and South Dakota residents considering adoption are urged to do careful planning - while also making sure dogs can handle …

A trial involving three animal rights activists, charged with their entry into a breeding and researching facility in Wisconsin, is scheduled to begin in November. (Adobe Stock)
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A Wisconsin court case involving charges against animal rights activists remains in play. Ahead of trial proceedings, various groups are calling …

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Before being hunted to the brink of extinction, some 50,000 grizzlies roamed the lower 48 states. Today there are fewer than 2,000. (Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 5, 2023
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife and National Forest Services are headed back to the drawing board after a federal appeals court ruled that the …

The BLM manages over 48 million acres in Nevada, which equates to about 67-percent of the Silver State. (Adobe Stock)
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Nevadans will have the opportunity to learn more and weigh in on a proposed public lands rule that shifts the Bureau of Land Management's focus to pri…

Scientists say to correct the problem of overgrazing and wildlife habitat degradation on public lands, the livestock stocking rate would need to be reduced by about two-thirds from present numbers. (Adobe Stock)
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Critical Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear habitat has been degraded by a 2019 U.S. Forest Service decision to allow more than 17,000 …

The Snake River plain, which will receive restoration funds from BLM, is home to diverse landscapes.(Danita Delimont/Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 5, 2023
The federal government is investing $161 million into restoration projects across the West. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has selected 21 …

There are about 25,000 pronghorn in Oregon. (tomreichner/Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 5, 2023
The federal government is investing $161 million to restore landscapes across the West, including in Oregon. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management …

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership says mule deer are the most frequently hunted big game animals in Nevada, but they say the opportunity to do so has dropped by more than 30% since the year 2000.(Adobe Stock)
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The Nevada hunting and fishing community is sharing its top 10 conservation priorities for 2023 with Gov. Joe Lombardo's office, as they seek to …

Wallowa County is a sparsely populated county in northeast Oregon and recently voted in favor of joining Idaho. (Bob/Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 5, 2023
A dozen rural Oregon counties have voted to leave the state over the past three years. It's a signal that large parts of the state don't feel like …

In 2020, nearly 3.4 million people, or about 26% of Pennsylvania's 13 million residents, lived in 48 rural counties in the Keystone State. (Gary L Hider/Adobe Stock)
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A small Pennsylvania community is hoping Congress will remember the needs of rural areas as lawmakers negotiate the final, contentious debt ceiling …

States across the country are working to bring broadband to rural areas. (Pink Badger/Adobe Stock)
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State grants could bring high-speed internet access to nearly 15,000 Washingtonians. The State Broadband Office is awarding $121 million to 19 …

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The Biden administration has set a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind electricity generation by 2030, enough to power more than 10 million American homes. (Adobe Stock)
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Maine lawmakers are considering two pieces of legislation which supporters said are needed to ensure "responsible" development of offshore wind projec…

One of the tax credits offered under the Inflation Reduction Act is a home energy audit, where property owners can find out if their home is wasting energy. (Adobe Stock)
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Clean-energy products, such as electric vehicles or home heat pump systems, might seem out of reach for a lot of people. But with federal incentives …

Community solar projects can make solar energy accessible to residents who may not be able to install solar panels on their own home, according to the National Association of Home Builders. (Adobe Stock)<br />
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Amid rising energy costs and inflation, energy advocates said they have seen a jump in interest in community solar. Luanne McGovern, legislative …

The Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia is one of the largest freshwater wetlands in the United States. (Adobe Stock)
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More than 7.7 million acres in Georgia are wetlands, and groups aware of their value to the environment are worried the watery acreage might be in …

There used to be twice as many marshes and wetlands in Pennsylvania as there are today, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. (Christina Saymansky/Adobe Stock)
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From conservation to sportsmen's groups, the U.S. Supreme Court is getting plenty of backlash over its most recent ruling, which weakens federal …

The Cumberland Fossil Plant is the largest generating asset in the TVA coal fleet and is located in Stewart County, Tennessee. It powers approximately 1.1 million homes. (David/AdobeStock)
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Environmental groups in Tennessee have an urgent call to action for the Tennessee Valley Authority to cut fossil-fuel emissions and replace their coal…

In 2017, Delaware became the second state to adopt the Idaho Stop, 35 years after the Gem State did so. (skilas/Adobe Stock)
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The "Idaho Stop" measure for bicyclists is spreading to other states. Minnesota is the latest to adopt the so-called Idaho Stop, in which cyclists …

In Tennessee, growth in the electric vehicle/hybrid sector could add 200,000 EVs by 2028, which the Tennessee Department of Transportation said creates a challenge in terms of the state's ability to build and maintain transportation infrastructure. (Sundry Photography/Adobe Stock)
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Legislation has been signed to revamp the roads in fast-growing Tennessee and spend more money on them. The Transportation Modernization Act invests …

One of Pittsburgh's building efficiency goals is to reduce energy and water consumption by 50% by 2030, according to the city's Climate Action Plan. (Checubus/Adobe Stock)
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By Claire Elise Thompson for Grist.Broadcast version by Danielle Smith for Keystone State News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Netwo…

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A wetland and marsh area at Chain O' Lakes State Park. Illinois' Interagency Wetland Policy Act of 1989 set a goal of no net loss of wetlands due to projects funded by the state. (GoodFreePhotos.com)
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A U.S. Supreme Court decision is shaking up the environmental community in Illinois and across the country. The high court ruled 5-4 on Thursday …

A new ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court means ephemeral streams, such as this one in the mountains east of San Diego, are no longer protected by the Waters of the United States rule.  (Chris Hunkeler/Flickr)
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The U.S. Supreme Court has gutted federal protections for much of the country's wetlands. The court found that the Waters of the United States rule…

More than one-third of threatened and endangered species live only in wetlands, according to the EPA. In Maine, some of the threatened species found in wetlands include the Blanding's Turtle, Ringed Boghaunter Dragonfly, and English Sundew. (Adobe Stock)
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Environmental advocates say the U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a major blow to the Clean Water Act and to Maine's ability to protect some of its most …

PFAS, the chemicals contained in firefighting foam, are known to be toxic and affect ground and drinking water at many current and former military installations. (jana/Adobe Stock)
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New Mexico has eight military sites with known or suspected discharges of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS, also known as "forever …

The Indiana Department of Health says people should properly store products away from children if labels contain these words: toxic, irritant, corrosive or flammable. (Adobe Stock)
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It's the time of year when people start thinking about spring cleaning and lawn care - which also means more exposure to health risks from products th…

The Illinois Poison Center urges parents to store household cleaning chemicals and other toxic substances on high shelves and out of sight of young children. (Pixel Image/Adobe Stock)
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National Poison Prevention Week is coming up, and the staff at the Illinois Poison Center is getting the word out to be aware of toxic substances …

The lower Snake River dams are aging, reducing their usefulness especially in energy production. (Samir Arora/Adobe Stock)
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Funding in Washington state's budget is pushing efforts forward to remove four lower Snake River dams in order to save salmon. Lawmakers committed …

Construction of the Little Goose Dam in eastern Washington began in 1963 and was completed in 1970. (Brigida I. Sanchez/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
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Four dams on the lower Snake River have been the sites of contention in the Northwest, and a recent report of an oil spill at one of the dams could …

The Nez Perce Tribe finds spring chinook salmon on the Snake River are unlikely to recover without substantial intervention. (Hanjo/Adobe Stock)
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An announcement from Washington state leaders on the future of the lower Snake River dams contained both good and bad news for groups defending native…

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Once laptops have expired, they don't receive updates and can't access secure websites. (Adobe Stock)
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The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund is urging Google to allow Chromebook owners a right to repair the devices and extend their …

Chanalisa Sera finished the training program at Homeboy Industries and is now the first supervisor at Homeboy Threads. The new business plans to divert thousands of tons of clothes from landfills every month. (Caleigh Wells)
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By Caleigh Wells for KCRW.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public News S…

According to the Tennessee Environmental Council, recycling keeps valuable materials in the economy rather than in local landfills. It estimates Tennesseeans throw away $180 million worth of recyclable materials every year. (Sorapop/Adobe Stock)
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A bill in the Tennessee Legislature aims to reduce packaging materials that end up in landfills by improving recycling in the Volunteer State…

Produce Purpose has two goals in mind - to offer meaningful employment to individuals with special needs and to bring healthy, nutritional food to college campuses. (Adobe Stock)
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William Peace University is teaming up with Produce Purpose, a nonprofit organization, to install a hydroponic farming operation on campus. The new …

Agriculture accounts for about 60% of the land area in Georgia, according to the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.  (Budimir Jevtic/Adobe Stock)
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Georgia farmers are watching a bill that is being reintroduced in Congress for ways to help their farms become more sustainable and less likely to con…

Beyond improving soil and farm animal health, agriculture researchers say managed grazing also provides good habitat for pollinators and wildlife. (Adobe Stock)
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Congress has been holding hearings on the next Farm Bill, which has major implications for the nation's food system. It also shapes conservation …

The bat ray is one of the species often caught, killed and thrown overboard as bycatch by fishing crews using gillnets. (Jami Feldman/Underwater Paparazzi)
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Massive mile-long gillnets weighted to the seafloor three miles off the California coast are set to catch halibut or sea bass - but end up entangling …

William Toney is a fourth-generation fishing guide and Homosassa native who lobbied local and state elected officials to protect the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve. (Charlie Shoemaker/The Pew Charitable Trusts)
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Florida's newest aquatic preserve is officially set to move forward, with a management plan aimed at protecting some 350,000 acres of sea grass…

Kelp-restoration efforts to remove purple urchins are under way or are planned for locations near Fort Bragg, Monterey and Big Sur, as well as in Oregon. (Kevin Joe)
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Small sections of the kelp forests off the Mendocino coast are starting to recover with improved environmental conditions, thanks to a conservation …

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The Idaho National Laboratory is located near Idaho Falls. (MichaelVi/Adobe Stock)
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The U.S. Department of Energy has opened a short public-comment window on an experimental nuclear technology in Idaho. The agency has released a …

The Trojan Nuclear Plant in Oregon was connected to the grid in 1975 and shut down in 1992. (David Falconer/Wikimedia Commons)
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A film premiering this week tackles the potential harms of the nuclear industry. Portland State University professor emeritus Jan Haaken directed …

It is estimated the U.S. has more than 80,000 metric tons of highly radioactive spent fuel currently sitting in storage at 72 commercial nuclear plants across the country. (Destina/Adobe Stock)
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A bill to block a nuclear waste storage facility in southeast New Mexico is being watched closely by opponents of the project. Don Hancock, director …

 

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