The West Wind fire destroyed at least 25 structures in the central Montana town of Denton on Wednesday. Downed power lines are believed to be the cause of the fire that started north of Stanford on Tuesday night. High winds spread the fire to Denton by early Wednesday afternoon. “Yesterday high winds pushed the fire from Judith Basin County into our small town of Denton taking with it around 25 structures to include grain elevators and bridges,” a Fergus County Sheriff’s Office press release stated.
“What’s going to happen with the winters, it’s still tough to say, but the effects of warming, they’re becoming more and more apparent with every year that goes by,” said Russ Schumacher, the state’s climatologist.
In a part of the country mythologized for its rugged individualism, going it alone will be a recipe for disaster, climate experts say. States and tribes, big cities and rural towns, liberals and conservatives alike will need to cooperate.
As the Arctic warms and transforms, many of its most iconic, frozen features are dissolving away. Glaciers are melting and trickling into the sea. Sea ice is giving way to open ocean. Permafrost is thawing and turning to mush. And the snow that caps the extraordinary Arctic environment is increasingly turning to rain. The gradual shift to a rainy climate isn’t unexpected. But new research now suggests that this transformation may happen faster than earlier studies had predicted.
Across Indian Country, tribes are working to restore one species and sustainably manage the other. Both buffalo and horses have troubled places in the American West, mirror images of wildness, colonialism and Indigeneity. Two ungulates occupy the same physical territory — but on seemingly different maps. Each testifies to the unresolved questions of what, and who, the West is for.
As the U.S. turns to electric vehicles, solar and wind for its clean energy transition, the demand for lithium—used in rechargeable batteries—is on the rise. In a remote corner of the Nevada desert sits Thacker Pass, the site of a planned lithium mine that would make a major contribution to domestic supply of the mineral. But the project faces opposition from members of nearby Indigenous communities, who say the area holds spiritual, cultural and historical importance and would be irreversibly damaged by large-scale mining activity.
The state raked in $5.3 billion in fiscal 2021, according to a report today from the New Mexico Tax Research Institute, a nonprofit that weighs in on tax issues in the state. That’s up from the $5.16 billion record set in 2019. The Land of Enchantment, long a producer of natural resources like crude oil, has surged ahead in recent years to become one of the most prolific producers in the country, drawing from both federal and private lands.
There is wide agreement among climate experts that efforts to restrict fossil fuel production on public lands pale in comparison to other climate initiatives being pursued by the administration—like new methane regulations and transportation electrification.
Among states with onshore federal oil and gas development, major reforms may disproportionately impact Wyoming. About half the state’s surface and nearly 70% of the underlying mineral estate is federal. Nearly 53% of the state’s annual revenue comes from mining federal coal and extracting federal oil and natural gas, according to the Wyoming Taxpayers Association.
What about Biden’s other energy promise for America’s public lands—that his presidency would be a boon for the construction of solar and wind farms, which would create jobs and tax revenues and limit the need for fossil fuels?
Culled bison will either get shot by hunters as herds leave Yellowstone National Park to find food or they will be rounded up. Most of the captured animals will be sent to slaughter, but about 80 can be entered into the park’s quarantine program, which is in the midst of an expansion.
Opponents of the Jordan Cove project, which would have created the first liquefied natural gas export terminal on the West Coast in the lower 48 states, rejoiced at the news. The marine export terminal would have been located at Coos Bay, with a 230-mile feeder pipeline crossing southern Oregon.