EnviroNews: Fracking Permits Threaten Pronghorn Migration

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A coalition of environmental groups has filed a legal objection to a federal permit for 3,500 fracking wells that would cut off the “Path of the Pronghorn,” a 170-mile migration route between Grand Teton National Park and winter range in the Upper Green River Valley. The petition notes that the pronghorn migration route is “one […]

Environews April 2020

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Utah Legislature: The good, the bad and the ugly. The 2020 General Session of the Utah Legislature wrapped up on March 12 with 510 new bills passed into law. Here is a selection of bills and resolutions that affect environmental issues. (See more on Grace Olscamp’s column, “At the Capitol,” this issue.) GOOD HB40 Water […]

It bears repeating: The dirty truth about burning wood

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Utahn’s are getting the message. Wood smoke contains over 200 chemicals and compounds, including carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), dioxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Woodsmoke is strikingly similar to cigarette smoke. The EPA estimates that a single fireplace operating for one hour burning just a few logs, or roughly 10 […]

Utah Environews

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To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe—to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it–is a wonder beyond words. Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all […]

EnviroNews: Condor 1000 Takes Flight

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The baby California condor that hatched in Zion National Park this past spring has fledged! On September 25, bird watchers witnessed the chick’s ungraceful first flight and reported it to Park rangers. California Condors are an endangered species re-introduced in their former range through a captive breeding program managed by the Peregrine Fund. The chick […]

Environews: State of the Air 2019

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The American Lung Association grades Salt Lake County “F” for clean air. As a whole, the Salt Lake metropolitan area (Salt Lake City-Provo –Orem) is ranked as the 8th most polluted city in the nation for particle pollution and 14th most polluted for ozone. The 2019 release of the annual State of the Air report […]

Environews: Utah Sierra Club rates Utah legislature

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The Utah Legislature is failing to protect the environment, according to the 2019 Legislative Scorecard issued by the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club.  The scorecard rates legislators according to how they voted on 20 key bills. In a press release, Utah Sierra Club Director Ashley Soltysiak lauded legislation to support public transit, air quality […]

Environews: An abundance of Painted Ladies!

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Back in 1935 Utah’s spring migration of Painted Lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui) was described as filling the air with a windstorm of butterflies, “the effect resembling an autumn day when the wind is whirling the leave about in great confusion.” There weren’t quite that many this spring, but there were still a lot of painted […]

Environews: Mighty 5 tourism woes

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One problem with tourism is that it begets more tourism. Overtourism is not just caused by irresponsible geotagging or people trying to recreate Instagram photos. It’s also caused by irresponsible tourism promotion. Researchers at Utah State University found that the “Mighty 5” tourism campaign launched by the Utah Office of Tourism in 2013 worked all […]

Meet the dust doctor

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Atmospheric scientist Kevin Perry knows what blows from the Great Salt Lake Last year I wrote about dust that often blows in from the southwest, plaguing areas of the Wasatch Front (see CATALYST, July 2018). I wanted to take a closer look specifically at the dust that comes from the Great Salt Lake. The lake […]

Building a dream

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Straw bale construction is happening in Salt Lake City It’s snowing. I have clay plaster in my hair, down my shirt, and up my nose as well as on the bale wall in front of me. Even mixed with hot water, the plaster is turning cold and uncooperative. And my muscles are sending the chemical […]

A win for pollinators

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Citizen action group does end-run around bureaucracy to change pesticide laws In their nearly 30 years of existence, neonicotinoids have become the most widely used insecticide in the world, with registration in 120 countries. When first developed, neonics were touted as a safer alternative to other insecticides. Bayer, the chemical company that developed these pesticides, […]

Pesticide free Salt Lake City

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Salt Lake City explores and encourages organic methods for yard care Healthy lawns and weed-free gardens are a primary goal for many householders. However, these desires are often followed closely behind by chemical pesticides and fertilizers. While they get the job done, it’s not without adverse effects. Exposure to certain chemicals can harm humans, animals […]

We have a food waste crisis

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Waste Solutions rescues healthy edible food Food insecurity, where a person is without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food, affects about 800 million people globally. More than 50 million Americans, including one in five children younger than five years old, are food insecure. Contrast this with the fact that approximately 40% […]

 
 
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