Animals large and small once covered North America’s prairies – and in some places, they could again

Read the full story at The Conversation.

In the grip of winter, the North American prairies can look deceptively barren. But many wild animals have evolved through harsh winters on these open grasslands, foraging in the snow and sheltering in dens from cold temperatures and biting winds.

Today most of our nation’s prairies are covered with the amber waves of grain that Katharine Lee Bates lauded in “America the Beautiful,” written in 1895. But scientists know surprisingly little about today’s remnant biodiversity in the grasslands – especially the status of what we call “big small mammals,” such as badgers, foxes, jackrabbits and porcupines.

Land conservation in the heartland has been underwhelming. According to most estimates, less than 4% of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem that once covered some 170 million acres of North America is left. And when native grasslands are altered, populations of endemic species like prairie dogs shrink dramatically.

Together, we have more than 60 years of experience using field-based, hypothesis-driven science to conserve wildlife in grassland systems in North America and across the globe. We have studied and protected species ranging from pronghorn and bison in North America to saiga and wild yak in Central Asia. If scientists can identify what has been lost and retained here in the U.S., farmers, ranchers and communities can make more informed choices about managing their lands and the species that depend upon them.

Native Guide: Identify the local mussels that live around you with these handy apps

Read the full story at Great Lakes Now.

“Clam Counter” welcomes you with a wide-eyed, smiling orange mollusk waving from inside a bright blue shell.

It’s an app from Fisheries and Oceans Canada in partnership with the Toronto Zoo made to help children, families and everyday people learn about, identify and report sightings of native freshwater mussels.

How a Minnesota Town Fell In and Out of Love With Its Ginormous Geese

Read the full story at Atlas Obscura.

Many cities in the United States and Canada have a problem with Canada geese. Rochester, Minnesota, however, is a town that is uniquely proud of—and plagued by—its goose population.

Urban coyotes? In Evanston, not so far-fetched

Read the full story in the Daily Northwestern.

Urban coyotes, the medium-sized member of the canine family, are making their presence known in Cook County. Residents are consistently reporting urban coyote sightings, and calls to animal control have increased following two coyote-related incidents earlier this year, Evanston animal warden Jason Pounds said.

High Water Wreaks Havoc on Great Lakes, Swamping Communities

Read the full story in the New York Times. See also Lake Michigan Water Levels Have Always Ebbed And Flowed from WBBM.

High water is wreaking havoc across the Great Lakes, which are bursting at the seams less than a decade after bottoming out. The sharp turnabout is fueled by the region’s wettest period in more than a century that scientists say is likely connected to the warming climate. No relief is in sight, as forecasters expect the lakes to remain high well into 2020 and perhaps longer.

Imagining a world of sustainable, regenerative brands

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Instead of an abundance of material goods, we want an abundance of time, meaningful relationships, and passionate pursuits. We want an abundance of creativity, experiences, and freedom. How do we get there?

Trump proposes Superfund cleanup funding cuts

Read the full story in Waste Today.

The $113 million in Superfund cleanup cuts are part of Trump’s proposal for a $2.4 billion decrease in EPA funding.

Cross-State Air Pollution Causes Significant Premature Deaths in the U.S.

Read the full story at Inside Climate News.

More than four in 10 deaths in the United States associated with air pollution can be attributed to emissions that came from states other than where the deaths occurred, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

US Navy to Implement $58 Million Energy Resiliency Project at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

Read the full story in Environment & Energy Leader.

The US Navy has announced it will implement a $58 million energy resiliency project at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) in Kittery, Maine. This energy savings performance contract (ESPC) features on-site generation, battery storage, and microgrid controls to address the Navy’s priority of maximizing energy security at the Shipyard while reducing energy costs. Because ESPCs leverage the guaranteed savings the projects generate to secure third-party financing, the Navy will not have to contribute up-front funding during the project’s implementation phase.

All Government Buildings in LA to Be 100% Carbon Free Moving Forward

Read the full story in Environment & Energy Leader.

All new or major retrofitted municipal buildings in Los Angeles will be 100% carbon free moving forward.

Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti’s executive directive targets building pollution as part of a larger set of new measures related to LA’s sustainability plan. The announcement follows a wave of other cities like San Francisco and Seattle, which have committed all new government buildings to be all-electric or 100% emissions-free.