Latest Environment and nature News

Officials report Oregon's largest daily COVID-19 case count

Sep. 25, 2020 4:27 PM EDT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Health Authority reported 457 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, the state's largest daily total since the the start of the pandemic. Officials attributed the rise in cases to Labor Day celebrations, the return of college students to campus and the interruption of testing...

Terry Fuller, chairman of the state Plant Board, stands outside Fuller Seed & Supply in Poplar Grove, Ark., on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Fuller, the head of an Arkansas agency that has placed restrictions on the use of dicamba believes his farming operations were targeted by vandals because of his stance on the herbicide. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Fuller says his eastern Arkansas farm has been vandalized three times this summer, resulting in more than $80,000 in damage. (Stephen Steed/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP, File)

Arkansas official says vandals targeted him over dicamba

Sep. 25, 2020 4:07 PM EDT

POPLAR GROVE, Ark. (AP) — The head of an Arkansas agency that has placed restrictions on the use of dicamba believes his farming operations were targeted by vandals because of his stance on the herbicide. Terry Fuller, a Plant Board member for seven years who was recently elected chairman, said his eastern...

Another baby orca born to endangered southern residents

Sep. 25, 2020 3:49 PM EDT

SEATTLE (AP) — The Center for Whale Research has confirmed that another baby orca has been born to a pod of endangered southern resident orcas that frequent Puget Sound. It’s the second calf born this month for J pod, according to director Ken Balcomb, who confirmed the birth in a text message to...

Cal Fire air tankers help stop the spread of a brush fire in Larkfield Calif, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP)

Largest California wildfire threatens marijuana growing area

Sep. 25, 2020 3:47 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California’s largest wildfire is threatening a marijuana growing enclave, and authorities said many of the locals have refused to evacuate and abandon their maturing crops even as weather forecasters predict more hot, dry and windy conditions that could fan flames. The wildfire...

Climatologist: Dry areas in US Southwest getting drier

Sep. 25, 2020 3:44 PM EDT

BERNALILLO, N.M. (AP) — A sliver of water runs under the bridge here as sand bars and thickets of willow come closer to choking off the Rio Grande as it flows through New Mexico. It's another sign of dry times in the American Southwest, where New Mexico state climatologist Dave DuBois said the fingerprints...

Police: CT man shot, killed bear that his dog confronted

Sep. 25, 2020 2:52 PM EDT

THOMASTON , Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man shot and killed a black bear that his dog confronted near his yard, police said. William O’Connor, 26, of Thomaston, will appear in court on a summons for illegally killing the animal on Tuesday, the Republican-American reported. It is illegal to shoot...

Oil well pad converted into campsite at NM national park

Sep. 25, 2020 2:37 PM EDT

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A former oil and gas well pad has been converted into a campground for visitors to Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park in New Mexico. The new campground will comprise 174,240 square feet (16,187 square meters) of land, with five RV spots and six...

Die-off of pinyon pines spurs concern at Idaho state park

Sep. 25, 2020 2:36 PM EDT

ALMO, Idaho (AP) — The steward of the City of Rocks National Reserve in southern Idaho says more and more of the few pinyon pines that live in the reserve are dying, spurring investigations to try to find out why. Wallace Keck, the superintendent of the City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks...

FILE - In this July 30, 2019, file photo, a red-cockaded woodpecker looks to a biologist as it is released back into in a long leaf pine forest at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. A bird declared endangered in 1970 -- the red-cockaded woodpecker, which taps pine sap to protect babies from snakes and gets its sons to help care for the next clutch of nestlings -- has recovered enough to relax federal protection, officials said Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Feds: Relax protections for woodpecker endangered since 1970

Sep. 25, 2020 2:17 PM EDT

The red-cockaded woodpecker, a bird declared endangered in 1970 and surviving today in the scattered longleaf pine forests that remain in 11 U.S. states, has recovered enough to relax federal protections on the species, officials said Friday. But not all wildlife advocates agree. Ben Prater, southeastern director...

In this Sept. 2019, photo provided by the White Oak Conservation, Asian elephants, Kelly Ann, born Jan. 1, 1996, and Mable, born April 6, 2006, are seen at the Center for Elephant Conservation in Polk City, Fla.  A Florida wildlife sanctuary is building a new 2,500-acre home for former circus elephants. The White Oak Conservation Center announced Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, that it's expecting to welcome 30 Asian elephants starting next year. (Stephanie Rutan/White Oak Conservation via AP)

Florida wildlife refuge to take 30 former circus elephants

Sep. 25, 2020 2:16 PM EDT

YULEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida wildlife sanctuary is building a new, spacious home for former circus elephants. The White Oak Conservation Center north of Jacksonville is expected to welcome 30 Asian elephants to a 2,500-acre (1,010-hectare) refuge starting next year, the center announced Wednesday. The...