Environment

Susan Bence

The center, in the midst of a major green makeover, resides west of Ashland and south of Bayfield and is nearly twenty years old.

With its sweeping 180 acres before him, US Forest Service program manager Jason Maloney beams as he watches a crew erecting the infrastructure to support four rows of solar panels - 100 kilowatts’ worth.

The work – and the effort to fund it - goes back ten years, to Maloney’s predecessor at the center.

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

The Schlitz Audubon Nature Center hugs the Lake Michigan shoreline a dozen miles north of downtown Milwaukee. Trails crisscross the center’s 185 acres and visitors can find themselves walking through wetlands, forests, restored prairie and along the undeveloped shore of the lake itself.

The nature center’s acreage was formerly a farm for the Schlitz Brewery draft horses. And while the horses are no longer in residence, some of their avian brothers and sisters are, including several birds of prey.

Worm isn't a scientific term. According to one of the Smithsonian's worm experts, Anna Phillips, a worm is just "an organism that is long and thin ... without legs ... that's not a snake."

It's dusk at a park in Dallas, and white sheets are pinned up next to tall trees, fluttering like ghosts in the wind. They've been lit up with ultraviolet lights to attract moths.

A handful of people are holding up their smartphones, zooming in on the small dark specks that fly to the cloth.

"Bugs have become my obsession," says Annika Lindqvist. "And the more you look, the more you have to look at the tiny things, and when you blow them up you see that they are gorgeous."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Severe Drought Hits Majority Of Massachussetts

Aug 6, 2016
Copyright 2016 WBUR. To see more, visit WBUR.

On a game ranch on the plains outside Johannesburg, where a few shrubs are the only things that break the view across the vast, flat landscape, a handful of workers drop feeding bins from a flat-bed truck.

They're watched by about a dozen rhino waiting for feeding time. There's something odd about the animals, though: They don't have horns.

Buried below the ice sheet that covers most of Greenland, there's an abandoned U.S. Army base. Camp Century had trucks, tunnels, even a nuclear reactor. Advertised as a research station, it was also a test site for deploying nuclear missiles.

Susan Bence

Special projects leader Tommy Richardson led WUWM's Susan Bence on a tour of Stockton Island. The experience proved to be as much an exploration of a major boardwalk project as it was demonstration of Richardson’s love for his job.

Richardson says he never dreamed he’d be working here. We’re on a Park Service boat, heading from a dock outside Bayfield to Stockton Island.

He grew up “near” but a world away from the Apostle Islands. Richardson's grandfather farmed outside Ashland; his dad worked at the local paper mill for 30 years.

One year ago — on Aug. 5, 2015 — an EPA crew at the Gold King Mine in southwest Colorado accidentally unleashed 3 million gallons of orange water filled with mercury and arsenic.

The toxic spill flowed into the Animas River, eventually running into New Mexico's San Juan River and into Lake Powell. So far, disaster response and water quality monitoring have cost the EPA about $29 million — and the problem isn't over yet.

Jodi Parins

Sixteen large dairy operations pepper Kewaunee’s county landscape – so do the fields on which they spread their manure. Today, more than 30% of Kewaunee County residents’ wells are contaminated.

The geology of the county allows manure to seep into the groundwater, and the situation finally resulted in action.

Resident Lynn Utesch served on workgroups, along with representatives from agencies, such as the EPA and state DNR.

Each day, 520 trucks with more than 7,000 tons of garbage trundle through the potholed streets of Dunmore and Throop, Pa. The two small towns, just outside of Scranton, are home to the Keystone Sanitary Landfill. The trash, however, comes from all over — just about half arrives from out of state.

Keystone Sanitary recently requested a 40-plus year extension of its permit, which is slated for another eight years, but local activists are pushing back.

The spreading of manure has become a heated issue in Wisconsin. Especially with the emergence of CAFOs - farms with large concentrations of animals. Some residents blame CAFOs for contaminating drinking water.

Today, dozens of people will trek to Ashland, in the far north, where the Natural Resources Board is supposed to decide how the state will proceed.

There's a voracious little bug destroying forests across the eastern U.S. Scientists say emerald ash borers, exotic beetles imported accidentally from Asia, have killed as many as 50 million trees.

They're now threatening groves in New York's Adirondack Mountains that are used to make an iconic kind of baseball bat.

McDonald's is no longer serving chicken raised on antibiotics that are important to human medicine. The company made the pledge last year, and now reports that it has completed its transition to the new antibiotic policy ahead of schedule.

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