Tag Archives: environment

New pesticide rules for farmworkers

Frontera NorteSur

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a 60-day extension for public comment on upcoming rule changes related to farmworker exposure to pesticides. Running through August 18, 2014, the comment period is aimed at gathering public input for the updating of federal regulations governing the use of pesticides in the fields.

NM bears under siege, animal advocates say

Renee Blake

Public News Service | New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE — What is being portrayed by some as an infrequent and humane response to hungry bears entering towns looking for food, is actually quite another matter, according to Jan Hayes founder of Sandia Mountain Bear Watch. Hayes is looking for the state to institute stopgap diversionary feeding to keep the bears alive at this difficult time, and keep them away from people.

Bears in the Sandia Mountains are entering towns looking for food during the long New Mexico drought. Photo courtesy of: Jim Robertson via Public News Service)

Bears in the Sandia Mountains are entering towns looking for food during the long New Mexico drought.
Photo courtesy of: Jim Robertson via Public News Service)

She said what is happening to Sandia Mountain bears is an ecological disaster, that the drought and lack of food for the bears, along with the hunter-focused attitudes of New Mexico Game and Fish, add up to a decimated bear population.

“They want the animals to be there for hunter opportunity,” she said. “Their only mode of management is to trap or kill. The Sandias is a wildlife preserve. So, it’s not a moneymaker for Game and Fish. Bears are a problem species that they would really prefer not be here.”

Protecting the environment: An economic necessity in Texas

A crowd gathered to watch the release of baby sea turtles at Padre Island National Seashore. (Photo courtesy of National Park Service)

A crowd gathered to watch the release of baby sea turtles at Padre Island National Seashore. (Photo courtesy of National Park Service)

John Michaelson

Public News Service | Texas

AUSTIN — Industries such as commercial fishing, shipping, and gas and oil often come to mind when thinking about the Texas Gulf Coast – but an even larger economic engine for the region is tourism.

Lead, arsenic contaminate Sunland Park

The old Asarco smelter in neighboring El Paso is suspected as the source of lead and arsenic contamination in Sunland Park, NM. (Photo courtesy of Russell Neches via Flickr under Creative Commons license. License terms below.)

The old Asarco smelter in neighboring El Paso, seen in this 2008 photo, is suspected as the source of lead and arsenic contamination in Sunland Park, NM. (Photo courtesy of Russell Neches via Flickr under Creative Commons license. License terms below.)

Editor’s note: This story was made possible in part by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

By Kent Paterson

Frontera NorteSur | FNS Special Feature

In the US-Mexico border town of Sunland Park, NM, lead and arsenic contamination is a legacy that’s been passed down through the generations. Federal and state environmental authorities have long identified the shuttered Asarco smelter in neighboring El Paso, which operated for more than a century, as the likely source of much of the pollution, as well as the remains of an old gas refinery that sits on the banks of the Rio Grande.

Bill would increase Border Patrol access to sensitive federal lands, national parks

The Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park marks the border between the US and Mexico. Border Patrol agents will have more access to national park land in a bill that passed the House this week. (Photo courtesy of NPS/Eric Leonard)

Measure crucial to controlling border crime, DHS says

Charles Scudder

Scripps Howard Foundation Wire

WASHINGTON – The sweeping vistas of Big Bend National Park may be breathtaking, but the park’s proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border makes the deep canyons of the Rio Grande kindling for political feuds.

México: Predictions of a long, hard drought

Frontera NorteSur

México’s National Weather Service (SMN) has predicted that a drought afflicting more than half the country will likely last at least three more years. And according to the SMN, the upcoming winter rainfall could range between 20 and 30 percent of normal, especially in the northern, western and central parts of the nation.

New border environment plan announced

Frontera NorteSur

The US Environmental Protection Agency is accepting public comments on the draft of a new border environment plan. Titled “Border 2020: U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program,” the document is a framework for a new environmental protection and improvement plan designed to succeed the Border 2012 collaboration between Mexico and the US.

Mystery of the vanishing bumble bees

Hunt's bumble bee, a native of the intermountain west, is being studied as a potential crop pollinator for greenhouses in the western United States, as an indigenous replacement for declining bumble bee species. (Photo courtesy USDA)

Dennis O’Brien

US Department of Agriculture

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist is trying to learn what is causing the decline in bumble bee populations and also is searching for a species that can serve as the next generation of greenhouse pollinators.

Bumble bees, like honey bees, are important pollinators of native plants and are used to pollinate greenhouse crops like peppers and tomatoes. But colonies of Bombus occidentalisused for greenhouse pollination began to suffer from disease problems in the late 1990s and companies stopped rearing them. Populations of other bumble bee species are also believed to be in decline.

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