News: Endangered butterfly shows trouble is waiting in the wings

The thing about losing a species — no matter how seemingly small and insignificant — is it’s a signal that something in the system is going awry. And when one of those species plays the role of a pollinator, the cascade effect becomes harder to quantify. The northern prairies are home to several endangered butterflies; this article from the Winnipeg Free Press features one of them.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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Commentary: We Need to Kick our Addiction to Plastic

With Minot’s recycling program recently delayed, it may be prudent to consider policy changes that hasten our arrival in the land of environmental stewardship. At least, that’s the perspective presented by Ayana Johnson writing commentary — though not specifically about Minot — at Scientific American.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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Cold Feet on the Eve of Budgeting for Recycling

Commentary: Cold Feet on the Eve of Budgeting for Recycling

I wonder what would happen if those of us in government made a deal with the taxpayers and citizens; here’s the framework: as our part of the deal, we in government offer to be smart and resourceful with our dollars and spend them as an investment in a worthwhile outcome. In return, we the taxpayers and citizens agree to be more conscientious of our behavior and willing to...

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News: Optimistic investors pumping $75 million into meatless burgers

There are two companies chasing the concept of the meatless burger, and before you dismiss the idea with some picture of a bean patty or veggie burger, the goal is a burger that looks and tastes like real beef, and they’re closer than you realize. It may seem far-fetched or impossible, but the impacts on ranchers will likely be real as a more environmentally-focused food consumer comes of age....  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: The Gulf Of Mexico’s Dead Zone Is The Biggest Ever Seen

When agricultural producers use too much fertilizer, the surplus that isn’t absorbed into the land and plants runs off into the water shed. When it gets to the end of the downstream line, it dumps into the ocean or a lake. In North Dakota’s case, one of those end-of-the-line watershed deposits is the Gulf of Mexico. The environmental damage that’s done is hard to see, particularly from 2,000 miles...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: EPA chief to discuss water regulations during visit to state

Scott Pruitt, the EPA’s top administrator, will be visiting North Dakota next week, and the Waters of the U.S. rule making is expected to be a hot topic of conversation. Between agricultural and energy industries and our cultural disposition toward property rights, environmental regulations and rules have big impacts on North Dakota, and it sounds like those are some of the messages that will be carried to Mr....  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Stretch of Mississippi River in and around St. Cloud sheds its sullied history

For one city in Minnesota, the Mississippi River was just a water pathway that flowed through town. It was the place they dumped their sewage; it was the home of meat-packing plants that sent their environmental impacts downstream. They stopped the environmental damage they were doing a generation ago; now their eyes are opening to the economic and recreational opportunities of restored habitat. @sourisfriends, does any of this...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: Ward County asks N.D. board to stop cloud-seeding

Yesterday, the Ward County Commission voted unanimously to discontinue the County’s weather modification program for the rest of the year. This article on the story comes from the Grand Forks Herald — particularly local coverage.  But in the article, you’ll find a bit more scientific context (along with a bit of honest commentary) on the theory of cloud seeding and weather modification.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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News: A Toxic Legacy: North Dakota Looks To Clean Up Old Oilfield Waste

One of the considerable by-products of oil production in North Dakota is the extremely salty wastewater we get back along with the oil. It’s not a new problem. And though modern practices inject wastewater deep underground, there are still a number of legacy era brine pits that continue to leach salt water contamination into nearby fields. Amy Sisk with Inside Energy has the story that hits near to...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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Paddlers promote ‘positive trace ethic’ by cleaning up litter along Minnesota, St. Croix and Mississippi rivers

News: Paddlers promote ‘positive trace ethic’ by cleaning up litter along Minnesota, St. Croix and Mississippi rivers

The old mantra for the environmentally minded heading into the wilderness was, “take only pictures, leave only footprints”. But for a few, it seems that’s not good enough. The concept is called adventure stewardship, and the goal is to go out and have the fun recreationally but leave the environment better as a result. In other words, clean as you go. Check out the article on the concept...  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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North Dakota continues sampling for larval zebra mussels in Red River

News: North Dakota continues sampling for larval zebra mussels in Red River

With people and boats moving around for the holiday weekend, here’s a reminder that we have some hard-to-see invaders that we’re trying to keep out of North Dakota waters. Zebra mussels are great hitchhikers, and the fact that there’s now worry and some evidence that they’ve migrated into the Red River drainage system is reason enough to clean the boat and drain the live well.  summary by: Josh Wolsky

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