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A screenshot of the petition as it looked in November, back when interest was high.

It appears there will not be an Independent Republic of Arizona after all, at least not for now. A post-election petition calling on the federal government to let Arizona secede was pulled from the White House website Monday, falling shy of the 25,000 signatures needed for an administration response. Read more» 1

Among other changes, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn said the new lease-approval rules for tribal lands mean families 'will no longer have to wait years for federal government approval of a simple mortgage application, for example.'

The Interior Department unveiled a streamlined process last week for approving leases on tribal lands that federal officials hope will spur development by replacing outdated and unresponsive 50-year-old regulations. Read more»

Boats cruise on the Colorado River’s Lake Havasu. The five-year deal will mean an additional one-time allocation of nearly 100,000 acre-feet of water to the U.S., of which Arizona would get 23,750 acre-feet.

Business and environmental groups both hailed an agreement last week that will allocate more Colorado River water to the U.S. in exchange for helping Mexico repair earthquake-damaged irrigation canals. Read more»

The EPA said new emissions requirements at three Arizona power plants will remove 22,700 tons of nitrogen oxide a year from the air over much of Arizona and a four-state region that includes 18 national parks and wilderness areas.

The Environmental Protection Agency will require millions of dollars in new equipment at three coal-fired power plants in eastern Arizona, saying it will cut emissions and improve visibility at national parks and wilderness areas in the region. Read more»

This petition is one of several dozen calling for specific states to secede from the union. They have been posted on a White House website, 'We the People,' that allows people to put up petitions and seek a response from the administration.

Arizona has been in the union more than a century, but some residents appear to want out after the last election. A petition to let the state secede went up on the White House website Saturday, and by Tuesday it already had received more than half of the 25,000 signatures needed to trigger an official response. Read more» 2

A California condor, tagged with the number 22, spreads its wings as it flies over the Grand Canyon.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department wants a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit by conservation groups that aims to ban the use of lead ammunition in the Kaibab National Forest. Read more»

The Cholla Power Plant in Joseph City, near Holbrook.

The EPA has proposed new air-quality regulations at three Arizona coal power plants to help improve visibility at 18 national parks in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado – including the Grand Canyon – and to protect the health of people living in the region. Critics say the rules will boost electric bills. Read more»

The solar power array at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada uses tracking devices to keep the solar panels pointed toward the sun. Tilted south, each set of panels rotates around a central bar to track the sun from east to west.

The Bureau of Land Management is set to identify a third parcel of land in Arizona on Friday as a potential site for development of utility-scale solar-power projects. Read more»

Kyle Travis, left and Jon Jackson, with Lighthouse Solar, install microcrystalline photovoltaic solar modules on top of a Colorado townhome in this undated photo.

There are four elements needed for the growth and vitality of the solar-energy industry, but none may be more important than continued incentives for both manufacturers and consumers, industry officials said last week. Read more» 1

The camp at Poston included barracks for relocated families as well as a police office and barber shop, shown in this historical photo, and other service buildings.

The Department of the Interior has declared two Arizona sites national historic landmarks – one from the state’s prehistory and the other from a darker time in modern history. Read more»

To deter copper thieves at his Valley commercial properties, Michael Pollack has installed security cameras at more than 100 locations and had air conditioning coils welded to the units. Because not everyone is able to take such precautions, Pollack said the government should do more to help. Read more» 1

A captive Mexican gray wolf at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility in New Mexico in 2011. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declined to identified the wolves, found in Arizona and New Mexico, as separate from the larger gray wolf population.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said this week that it will not extend special protection to Arizona’s gray wolf population, known as the Mexican gray wolf. Read more»

The U.S.-Mexico border fence, running from upper left to lower right in this 2004 aerial photograph, divides Nogales, Ariz., on the left and Nogales, Sonora, on the right.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Arizona agree that the city of Nogales would be in compliance with clean-air standards, if it wasn't for 90 percent of their pollution drifting over from Mexico. Read more»

The Tohono O’odham Nation has unveiled plans for a Las Vegas-style casino on property in the middle of Glendale, but city officials say it has no place there. A court Tuesday sided with the tribe.

A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of the Tohono O'Odham Nation's plan to establish reservation land in the middle of Glendale, land where the tribe wants to develop a Las Vegas-style casino. City and state officials have challenged the project in a "family-friendly" area. Read more» 1

A condor in flight over the Sespe Condor Sanctuary in California in early 1993.

Conservation groups filed a suit against the Forest Service on Wednesday, seeking a ban on lead ammunition in the Kaibab National Forest, where they say spent ammo is the leading cause of death for endangered condors. Read more»

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