Latest Deserts News

Utah approved to build highway through conservation area

Jan. 16, 2021 11:14 AM EST

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — The Utah Division of Transportation and Washington County received approval to build a four-lane highway that would pass through the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, a protected Mojave desert tortoise habitat in southern Utah. President Donald Trump's administration granted...

Construction boom awaits Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Jan. 16, 2021 1:01 AM EST

MEDORA, N.D. (AP) — Big plans are ahead for Theodore Roosevelt National Park this year. Long-awaited road repairs will begin to take shape. The $5.5 million Peaceful Valley Ranch restoration project is expected to be complete in the spring. And the park will be working closely with the planned Theodore...

In this Oct. 27, 2020 image, Cristal Franco, center, arranges bags of food to be delivered to families in need at a food pantry in Ajo, Arizona. When COVID-19 emptied the shelves of Ajo's lone grocery store, the Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture stepped in to help. It runs a pantry that has distributed more than 20,000 boxes to about 2,000 families. (Katherine Sypher/Cronkite News via AP)

Arizona town teams up to fight COVID-19 food insecurity

Jan. 4, 2021 10:18 AM EST

AJO, Ariz. (AP) — On an early autumn morning, the whitewashed churches of Ajo are quiet, and the town square is still. The only sounds are dump trucks rumbling by, headed for border wall construction sites to the south. But inside the Ajo Farmers Market & Cafe, the atmosphere is buzzing. It’s...

This photo taken in  Aug. 2020 shows the carcass of a woolly rhino, taken in Yakutia, The well-preserved carcass with most of its internal organs still intact was released by permafrost in August and scientists hope to transport it to the lab for studies next month. (Valery Plotnikov/Mammoth Fauna Study Department at the Academy of Sciences of Yakutia via AP)

Well-preserved Ice Age woolly rhino found in Siberia

Dec. 30, 2020 2:08 PM EST

MOSCOW (AP) — A well-preserved Ice Age woolly rhino with many of its internal organs still intact has been recovered from permafrost in Russia's extreme north. Russian media reported Wednesday that the carcass was revealed by melting permafrost in Yakutia in August. Scientists are waiting for ice roads in...

Oil well plan for North Dakota grassland frustrates some

Dec. 21, 2020 9:05 AM EST

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A plan that designates where oil wells can be built within the Little Missouri National Grassland is frustrating conservationists, who say it allows wells near roads in certain pristine areas where new roads generally are not allowed to be built. The plan by the U.S. Forest Service...

A pathway cleared by explosives to make way for border wall construction separates Mexico, right, and the USA, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Guadalupe Canyon, Ariz.  Construction of the border wall, mostly in government owned wildlife refuges and Indigenous territory, has led to environmental damage and the scarring of unique desert and mountain landscapes that conservationists fear could be irreversible. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Damage from border wall: blown-up mountains, toppled cactus

Dec. 18, 2020 1:00 PM EST

GUADALUPE CANYON, Ariz. (AP) — Work crews ignite dynamite blasts in the remote and rugged southeast corner of Arizona, forever reshaping the landscape as they pulverize mountaintops in a rush to build more of President Donald Trump’s border wall before his term ends next month. Each blast in...

Officials: Rodents likely destroyed rare plants at mine

Dec. 4, 2020 5:38 PM EST

RENO, Nev. (AP) — DNA evidence suggests rodents destroyed part of an area of an extremely rare desert wildflower being considered for endangered species protection at a contentious mine site in Nevada, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday. James Calaway, executive director of the Australian...

A monolith stands on a Stadium Park hillside in Atascadero, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2020. Days after the discovery and swift disappearance of two shining metal monoliths half a world apart, another towering structure has popped up, this time at the pinnacle of a trail in Southern California. Its straight sides and height are similar to one discovered in the Utah desert and another found in Romania. (Kaytlyn Leslie/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP)

California monolith pops up after finds in Utah, Romania

Dec. 3, 2020 7:38 PM EST

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Days after the discovery and swift disappearance of two shining metal monoliths half a world apart, another towering structure has popped up and then quickly vanished, this time from the pinnacle of a trail in California. After photos were posted on social media, the tall, silver...

FILE - This Nov. 18, 2020, file photo provided by the Utah Department of Public Safety shows a metal monolith in the ground in a remote area of red rock in Utah. The mysterious silver monolith that was placed in the Utah desert has disappeared less than 10 days after it was spotted by wildlife biologists performing a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep, federal officials and witnesses said. The Bureau of Land Management said it had received credible reports that the three-sided stainless steel structure was removed on Nov. 27.  (Utah Department of Public Safety via AP, File)

Disappearance of Utah monolith won't prompt major probe

Nov. 30, 2020 1:10 PM EST

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Police won't be opening a major investigation into the disappearance of a mysterious silver-colored monolith that generated international attention and a mess when curious visitors made their way to the site of the discovery in the Utah desert. The sheriff in San Juan County says the...

In this Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, photo provided by Kelsea Dockham, rocks mark the location where a metal monolith once stood in the ground in a remote area of red rock in Spanish Valley, Utah south of Moab near Canyonlands National Park. The mysterious silver monolith that was placed there has disappeared less than 10 days after it was spotted by wildlife biologists performing a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep, federal officials and witnesses said. (Kelsea Dockham/Canyon State Overland via AP)

Mysterious silver monolith disappears from Utah desert

Nov. 29, 2020 7:19 PM EST

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A mysterious silver monolith that was placed in the Utah desert has disappeared less than 10 days after it was spotted by wildlife biologists performing a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep, federal officials and witnesses said. “We have received credible reports that the...