Where the Colorado River approaches the Sea of Cortez, a new agreement between the U.S. and Mexico shares the river’s water during times of drought and surplus and dedicates water to the environment, restoring flows and habitat along the river and at the Delta. Conservationists are working hard to re-plant forests and promote wildlife habitat to revive the Delta after years of neglect and desertification. On the leading edge of agricultural technology, young farmers are using data to minimize costs, improve yield and increase profits; a fourth-generation farmer in Illinois shows how it’s done.
With new water rights and a major irrigation project under construction, the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona is gearing up for a revival of an agricultural heritage that sustained them for centuries before white settlers arrived. Public-private partnerships in national parks are saving taxpayers money while supporting critical services, maintenance and repairs. With individual fishing quotas for red snapper, charter boat captains on the Gulf Coast adopt new sustainable practices that provide them with more income and safety.
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.
In northern California, residents in five counties work to protect and restore wild public lands and rivers that provide enormous economic benefits for the region. A summary report recaps how conservationists in 25 states are working together to restore grassland habitat for the bobwhite quail, an iconic game bird that has declined dramatically in recent decades. In Idaho, a wide coalition of local groups support federal wilderness designation for the remote Scotchman Peaks roadless area, one of the last and the largest wild landscape in the region. Scientists face the engineering challenge of harnessing the energy of ocean waves to generate electric power.
Local residents support a bill in Congress to designate new wilderness areas and wild & scenic rivers to ensure permanent protection of treasured public lands in the vast Los Padres National Forest. Farmers and ranchers in Louisiana add cover crops and rotational practices to improve soil health and keep their upstream runoff from contaminating the Gulf of Mexico. A small community in West Virginia was promised a recreational dream, but instead got a power plant’s coal ash dump that poisons their drinking water (co-produced with Earthjustice).
On a rafting adventure down the Etivluk River in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, a group of conservationists see first-hand why this immense landscape deserves protection as wilderness, despite its misleading name. Development, invasive species and fire are degrading Western sagebrush habitat that is critical for the greater sage-grouse and other wildlife. A coal-fired power plant Nevada produces coal ash that blows across the Moapa Indian Reservation, causing sickness and misery for the people who live there (co-produced with Earthjustice). To assist in conserving the vast range of California’s mountain lions, researchers use biology and computer science to better understand the movements of the majestic cats, resulting in benefits for humans as well.