Energy and Environment

Report: BLM Wild Horses Sold For Slaughter

Oct 26, 2015
Courtesy of Firelizard5, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

  A scathing federal report released Friday found that the Bureau of Land Management knowingly sold thousands of wild horses for slaughter. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey reports.

The BLM, which is charged with protecting wild horses actually sold more than 1,700 of them to a Colorado rancher who illegally sent them to slaughterhouses in Mexico.

That’s according to a new report.

Over the course of four years, from 2008-2012, the rancher, Tom Davis, purchased loads of horses for $10 each and resold them for meat.  

Subway Is Cutting Antibiotics From Its Meat

Oct 23, 2015
Subway.com

Earlier this month we ran a feature on antibiotics in meat and how they’re linked to superbugs in humans. Now, Reno Public Radio’s Amy Westervelt reports that the major restaurant chain Subway will actually be eliminating all antibiotics from its menu.

Nevada has more large nail salons than any other state, but new research has found a troubling health issue lurking at them. 

A study published this week in the journal Environmental International found high levels of the chemical Diphenyl phosphate, or DPHP, in women who had just painted their nails. DPHP is created when the body metabolizes Triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), a common component of flame retardants. 

Coyote Derby Renews Debate Over Competitive Hunting

Oct 16, 2015

  Coyote hunting competitions are a regular occurrence in many parts of rural Nevada, but the controversial practice has animal rights activists renewing efforts to ban them. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

A flyer for a coyote derby in Austin, Nevada, this weekend advertises prizes and awards for hunters grouped into two- and three-person teams.

Phil Marshall is one of the organizers of the event. He says there are two benefits; the first is driving economic activity to a remote part of the state.

The Nature Conservancy

Independence Lake is just north of Truckee but is perhaps one of the last hidden gems of the Sierra. It’s pristine, quiet, and it serves as Reno’s last resort water supply—all reasons why more than twenty agencies are partnering to preserve it. For our series Beyond Tahoe: Exploring Our Waterways, KUNR News Director Michelle Bliss heads to this small, relatively unknown, lake to learn more.

In order to set foot on the rocky, seemingly untouched shore of Independence Lake, it’s recommended that you have 4-wheel drive. 

Michelle Bliss

The CDC has been sounding the alarm about the link between antibiotics in meat and antibiotic resistance in humans, but a new report finds that antibiotic-free options are still relatively scarce. Reno Public Radio’s Amy Westervelt talked to one Nevada rancher in Fallon who's made the switch.

"See how there's so much less fiber in this year's cow pie?"

State To Curb Pumping In Smith, Mason Valleys

Oct 7, 2015
Julia Ritchey

After four years of drought, the state wants to restrict the amount of groundwater being pumped for agriculture in the Smith and Mason valleys.  Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey reports.

Farmers have already voluntarily cut back on their use of these supplemental wells, which they've relied more heavily on due to lack of surface water from the parched Walker River.

But Jason King, the state engineer, says it isn't enough in these dry conditions.

US Forest Service / U.S. Department of Agriculture

Last week, Congress set aside emergency disaster aid for fighting wildfires, but it's only a temporary fix.

In August, the U.S. Forest Service released an alarming statistic: For the first time in history, more than half the agency’s annual budget is going to fight wildfires, compared to 16 percent in 1995. Tom Blush, with the U.S. Forest Service, explains.

“The fires are sucking our funding from just about everything else we do. ”

Is Something Fishy At Donner Lake?

Oct 5, 2015
Amy Westervelt

Donner Lake in Truckee holds some of the largest lake trout in California, but Reno Public Radio’s Amy Westervelt reports that Donner fish might not make for the healthiest meal.

Truckee residents take pride in having their own lake. At only 1.3 square miles compared to Tahoe’s nearly 200, Donner may be small, but the clear, cold lake, ringed by mountains is no less popular for swimming, paddleboarding, and fishing. It also boasts one of just a few sandy stretches in the area.

As Pyramid Lake Popularity Grows, So Does Trash

Oct 5, 2015
Julia Ritchey

Although it receives far less attention than Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake is one of Nevada's most picturesque desert oasis. But Pyramid faces a number of challenges as a recreational destination, including illegal dumping and increasing salinity levels. Today, as we begin our series called Beyond Tahoe: Exploring Our Waterways, reporter Julia Ritchey travels to Pyramid Lake to tell us its story.

It's a busy weekend at the Pelican boat launch at Pyramid Lake. A line of eager boaters wait to unload pontoons, jet skis and other watercraft at the bottom of the ramp.

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