In Iowa, activists use faith to mobilize farmers in a movement to adopt new measures like perennial crops to sequester carbon in their soils, and to get paid for doing it.
A farmer in southwestern Iowa has a mission to develop his farm as an example to others, using no-till seeding, multi-crop and pasture rotation, minimal fertilizing, and runoff filtering to keep the nutrients in his soil and prevent runoff. The backlog of deferred maintenance in national parks is a growing problem that needs Congress to act: we see the need for urgent maintenance and repairs at the Grand Canyon, the National Mall, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site in Atlanta. Rafting down the river through the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument.
With waste from a new industrial hog farm threatening the purity of the nation’s first national river, citizens raise the alarm and score a victory with a lawsuit. Farmers in Iowa and Illinois adopt new practices to prevent runoff of chemicals and waste that would pollute the Mississippi River. Running out of space in Yellowstone National Park, bison are re-located to Indian reservations in Montana where they can build new populations of wild herds (produced with Earthjustice).
Much of Oregon is a desert; and in the dry, remote southeastern corner of the state there’s a wild and captivating canyon landscape carved by the Owyhee River. It’s been described as the largest intact, unprotected stretch of the American West, but it needs more protection from development pressure, including mining. A robust campaign for wilderness designation is making progress.
Sustainable Alaskan Village:
We travel to a remote Alaskan village, Igiugig, where young native Alaskans are adopting new technologies and green ethics to build a healthy, sustainable future while keeping true to their traditions.
With another report on emerging biofuels, we learn about new advances in converting algae into a wide range of useful products, including oil, growing the algae with by-products from corn ethanol distilleries.
Climbing Fish: Researchers study a type of Goby fish in Hawaii that climbs up steep waterfalls to reach its freshwater spawning areas, an amazing story of adaptation and evolution over time.
Tiny Fish: Big Deal:
Researchers on the Oregon coast study the role that forage fish play in the food chain. Sometimes called “bait fish”, sardines, anchovies, smelt and other small fish are vitally important in sustaining larger species – including sea birds, salmon, and marine mammals like sea lions. Humans also catch forage fish, mainly for animal feed, and there’s growing concern that large-scale commercial harvesting of forage fish comes at the expense of other marine life, potentially with catastrophic results.
Wild Olympics: Spectacular Olympic National Park is the centerpiece of the verdant Olympic Peninsula in northwest Washington State, right up against the Canadian border. There’s now a bill in Congress that would add more protection to the forests and watersheds around the park, and we explore why there’s wide support for the proposal among the people living there.
Biofuel from Cornfield Residue: In another report on emerging second-generation biofuels, we travel to Iowa where farmers are discovering there’s growing demand for the residue in their cornfields – stalks, leaves, husks and cobs – left on the ground after the corn is harvested, That residue, called “corn stover”, is biomass that can also be converted into ethanol.
Fire Ants: Everybody wants to eradicate biting, invasive fire ants, but scientists say they can learn a great deal by studying the social structure of these insects. New research shows that the widespread success of fire ants has been assisted when humans disturb natural areas with roads and development.
Grass for gas: new frontiers in growing biofuels
In Iowa and Tennessee, researchers and farmers are on the front lines of the biofuel revolution where switchgrass, sourgum and miscanthus are grown specifically as renewable fuel sources
Backyard wilderness in Los Angeles
Unlike most wilderness areas that are remote and hard to access, the San Gabriel Mountains are within easy reach of the L.A. urban sprawl, forming the centerpiece of an imaginative plan for a 600,000-acre national recreation area
Restoring native plants in Utah
High school students in Kanab learn the importance of protecting vanishing native plants and tackling invasive species. Harvesting native seeds, sprouting them in a greenhouse and transplanting them in acre-sized test plots, they track the plants’ progress with GPS technology