Energy and Environment

C.K. Benkman / University of Wyoming

Biologists at the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Wyoming are uncovering what could be a new bird species—one that is evolving in a unique way.

Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

The South Hills crossbill is a type of finch that does not migrate but instead lives permanently in southern Idaho. Now the bird is in what biologists are calling an evolutionary arms race between itself and its food source, the Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine.

Amy Westervelt

The recent approval of the Martis Valley West development near Lake Tahoe has brought up concerns about how these types of construction projects are getting the green light from local jurisdictions.

In this specific case, the Placer County Planning Commission voted to deny the proposal while the county board of supervisors eventually sealed the deal by voting in favor.

Bear Sightings Down In Nevada

Sep 21, 2016
William Andrus / CC BY 2.0

Nevada wildlife officials say fewer bears are roaming around the state's urban areas this year, likely because of weather conditions from El Nino. Our reporter Sarah Parks has more.

Ken Lund / Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Dozens of Nevadans recently protested at the state legislature about what they see as potential governmental overreach on the water rights of domestic wells. They rely on those wells as their main source of water. Our contributor Bob Conrad of has the story.

Ken Lund / Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Anaconda Copper Mine near Yerington is one step closer to getting federal funds to help officially clean up the site. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

The Environmental Protection Agency officially added its proposal for the site to the Superfund program’s National Priority List last week.

If accepted, federal funds would be available for the EPA, Nevada Department of Environmental Protection and the Bureau of Land Management to begin cleaning up the site as early as next year.

Twitter user @YubaNet

Friday, 9:58 a.m. update:

The Willard Fire outside Susanville is now 80 percent contained and emergency officials say fire activity remains minimal as crews work to improvement containment lines.

The fire started on Sunday and has burned nearly 2,600 acres, destroying two residences and five other structures. There has also been one minor injury. 

At this point, all evacuations and advisories have been lifted, but more than 1,600 personnel remain on site. 

Wednesday, 10:04 a.m. update:

Coyote Sightings Up In Western Nevada

Sep 9, 2016
Kevin Bovard / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

It's the time of year when coyote pups begin venturing out to hunt on their own. This means more sightings in urban areas and a greater risk for pet owners. Reno Public Radio’s Sarah Parks has more.

From late summer through fall, coyote sightings and attacks become more common, especially during the night and early morning.

Chris Healy from the Nevada Department of Wildlife says that they have received many reports of coyote attacks on pets in western Nevada, especially on small dogs.

Airwolfhound / CC BY-SA 2.0

A national conservation group has been collecting petition signatures in Nevada encouraging President Obama to permanently ban uranium mining in areas surrounding Grand Canyon National Park.  Reno Public Radio’s Steve Shadley spoke to an environmentalist who fears mining could contaminate Colorado River water that’s sent downstream to millions of people south of Las Vegas.

Photos: 20th Annual Lake Tahoe Summit

Aug 31, 2016
Marcus Lavergne/Reno Public Radio

On the 20th anniversary of the yearly Lake Tahoe Summit, political leaders like Senator Harry Reid, California Governor Jerry Brown, and for the first time, President Barack Obama came together to discuss their active involvement in preserving the environment and protecting national treasures like Lake Tahoe. 

Check out these photos from the Summit:






Marcus Lavergne

The annual Lake Tahoe Summit celebrated its 20th year the way it began, with a presidential visit. But the event is not just a media stunt, it actually has deep significance for the health of the lake. Our Tahoe-based reporter Amy Westervelt has that story. 

Most locals think of the Tahoe Summit as a simple celebration of the lake they call home. But the summit has actually had a big impact on conservation efforts, as Senator Harry Reid explained at this year’s event.