Environment | KUNC


Mitch Tobin / waterdesk.org

When the Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1966, it was a major development for water management in the arid west. It would also transform Glen Canyon, sometimes described as America's "lost national park," into the second largest man-made reservoir in the country.

In 2013, an 18-month old boy got sick after playing near a hollow tree in his backyard, in a remote West African village. He developed a fever and started vomiting. His stool turned black. Two days later, he died.

Courtesy Glenn Spencer

Contractors continue to install new border barriers across the U.S.-Mexico border, including many across sensitive lands, including Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge and Cabeza Prieta National Monument.

In January, hundreds of people gathered on a small bridge spanning the San Pedro River to protest the pending construction of a border barrier across the riverbed.

KUNC Composite Illustration

Recent Colorado transplants might be in for a surprise this summer: The return of the miller moth.

Common to the state, the pests have been relatively under the radar for the past four years, said Whitney Cranshaw, a professor of entomology and extension specialist at Colorado State University.

Yasunori Koide / CC BY-SA 4.0

As if there wasn't enough to worry about with the COVID-19 pandemic, a new twist to 2020 was recently announced. This time it's the Vespa mandarinia - better known as the Asian giant hornet. The world's largest hornet, it can reach up to two inches long, has a wingspan up to three inches wide and a quarter-inch stinger to inject its venom. 

Steven Bratman/CC BY 2.0

The massive Suncor oil refinery near low-income neighborhoods in Denver will pay roughly $9 million due to air pollution violations as part of a settlement that Colorado officials lauded as the largest ever for a single facility.

Courtesy of Colorado College

Last week Colorado College, a private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs, announced that it had reached carbon neutrality. They say they are the first institution of higher education in the Rocky Mountain region to do so.

Ian Johnson, Colorado College’s director of sustainability, joined KUNC’s Colorado Edition to discuss how the college did it, and what work is left to be done.

Amber Powell / U.S. Air National Guard

A group of chemicals called PFAS are common in firefighting foams, as well as household products like rain jackets, pizza boxes and non-stick pots and pans. They've been in use since the 1940s and have come to be known as "forever chemicals" because they persist in the environment.

PFAS, which stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have made their way into watersheds around the world, and as a recent study found, even into raindrops. Some are considered a threat to human health. 

Researchers including Jens Blotevogel, an environmental engineer at Colorado State University, are studying ways to get rid of the compounds. 

Gray wolf
Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Signatures are due on Friday, Dec. 13 for petitioners who are hoping to reintroduce wolves to our state. Wolves were last known to be living in Colorado in the 1940s. If the petitioners get enough signatures, the question will be put to Colorado voters during the 2020 election. 

In A Revived Arizona River, A Wildlife Oasis Is Remade

Nov 11, 2019
Ariana Brocious / Arizona Public Media

Much of the Santa Cruz River is a dry, desert wash, only flowing after heavy monsoon rains. As Tucson Water hydrologist Dick Thompson and I walk along the river south of Starr Pass Boulevard, he points out how brown the vegetation looks.