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Arizona projects get sizeable cut of Great American Outdoors Act funds

Arizona projects got $110 million last year and will get another $159 million in the fiscal year that started this month, or more than 9% of all funding nationally under the Great American Outdoors Act for those two years. ... Read more»

National parks refine ticketed-entry systems to manage visitor boom

Some of the country’s most famous national parks are grappling with an increasingly unsustainable rise in visitors - 327 million visits to U.S. national parks in 2019 — and ticketed-entry systems for summer-season visitors have been implemented at some landmarks.... Read more»

National parks struggling with maintenance would get boost in Biden budget

Basic needs at the largest U.S. national parks top the Biden administration’s first proposed lists of projects to receive funding through public lands trust funds, showing how much maintenance is needed even as parks brace for record numbers of visitors this summer.... Read more»

Feds cite safety for Quitobaquito closing; critics see other motives

The National Park Service cited public safety concerns for its decision this week to prohibit access to a sacred Tohono O’odham site, a move that comes amid rising tensions between border wall protestors and federal agents.... Read more»

Preliminary OK for Little Colorado dam proposals worries plan’s critics

Federal regulators have given a Phoenix company the green light to study a hydropower project for the Little Colorado River, what opponents fear is a first step toward “destroying incredibly rare, beautiful, sacred resources.”... Read more»

Grand Canyon lodging, food services shuttered in face of CV-19

Grand Canyon National Park is still open, but the same cannot be said for lodging and food services in the park that will be shuttered for the next two months by concerns over coronavirus. ... Read more»

Az GOP congressmen call for end of Ironwood, Sonoran nat'l monuments

A group of Republican representatives, including three Arizona congressman, are calling for the complete elimination of four national monuments in Arizona, including the Ironwood Forest just outside Tucson. They also called for shrinking or de-listing others across the nation.... Read more»1

National park visitors spent $995 million at nearby businesses in Arizona

The 12 million people who visited national parks in Arizona last year spent more than $995 million with nearby businesses, a $63 million increase from the year before, the National Park Service said.... Read more»

Trump orders review of predecessors’ national monument designations

President Donald Trump ordered the Interior Department Wednesday to review two decades of national monument designations, actions he said represent an “egregious use of government power” affecting millions of acres of land — including four monuments in Arizona.... Read more»

Mercury found in trout caught in three Grand Canyon creeks

With their natural beauty and protected environments, the Grand Canyon and other national parks in the West would seem removed from having mercury in their streams and rivers. But a federal study found small levels of the contaminant in rainbow and brown trout at three Grand Canyon creeks, as well as in fish at 20 other parks.... Read more»

Buckmaster Show

Buckmaster: What tree rings tell us about climate change

An interview with Kevin Dahl, Arizona program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association. Next, Tom Collier, Buckmaster consumer affairs contributor, followed by Fletcher McCusker talking about his new venture, Sinfonia Health Care Corporation. Plus, how tree-rings tell the story of climate change. We hear from Dr. Tom Swetnam, director of the UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. ... Read more»

Gov't shutdown could cost Az millions as national parks close

Arizona’s tourism industry stands to lose millions of dollars per day if national parks close as part of a possible federal government shutdown next week.... Read more»

Navajo electric plant offers alternative emissions plan

Owners of the Navajo Generating Station offered an alternative plan last week to what they called a too-costly Environmental Protection Agency demand to reduce emissions from the coal-fired power plant near Page. The plan, submitted to the EPA for review, calls for one of the plant’s three generating units to be shut down by 2020, for installation of equipment to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 2030 and for an end to coal use by 2044.... Read more»

Desert storm brews over Obama renewable energy plan

America’s deserts are stark, quiet places, where isolation and the elements have long kept development at bay. To outsiders, these arid expanses may not seem like prized land. But they are poised to play a key role — and perhaps, to serve as a battleground — in President Obama's plan to double U.S. electricity from wind, solar, and geothermal sources by 2020.... Read more»