Study: Neonicotinoids taking a toll on wild bees

A bumblebee

New research links neonicotinoid pesticides with declines in wild bee populations. @bberwyn photo.

Evidence piling up that pesticides are big factor in global bee decline

Staff Report

FRISCO — Treating seeds with systemic neonicotinoid pesticides has a significant impact on wild bee populations, Swedish scientists reported last week in the journal Nature.

The field research showed that, when neonicotinoids are used as a seed coating, it reduces wild bee density, solitary bee nesting and bumblebee colony growth. The researchers concluded that the “contribution of pesticides to the global decline of wild bees may have been underestimated.” Continue reading

Morning photo: Euro set

Have passport, will travel!


FRISCO —Sunday is the traditional day for travel sections in print newspapers, so every now and then I get the urge to post some travel-related content on this “day of rest.” Most of our readers these days know Summit Voice as a source for environmental news, but long-time followers know that, every now and then, we like to mix it up with tales of adventure and discovery in far-away places, like the time we enjoyed mystery meat and talking bumblebees on the Dutch island of Texel, or rambled through the mountains of Albania. Check out all our travel content here, and for daily photography updates, follow our Instagram feed, and visit our online gallery for an amazing selection of prints and greeting cards.

Conservation groups challenge Utah coal mining plan

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Coal mining in Utah’s Carbon County. Photo courtesy Utah Division of State History.

Activists say feds are making reckless decisions with regard to carbon pollution

Staff Report

FRISCO — King Coal’s robes may be fraying at the edges, but that news hasn’t yet reached federal agencies, which continues to make decisions that are in conflict with the Obama administration’s stated intention of reducing heat-trapping pollution.

In Utah, the federal government recently proposed auctioning leases for millions of tons of coal that will drive CO2 pollution to even higher levels. The coal leases beneath national forest lands in central Utah have been challenged by conservation groups under a formal objection process and could also face a lawsuit. Continue reading

Scientists say they’ve found ‘most polluted bird’

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A Cooper’s Hawk. Photo courtesy USFWS.

Cooper’s hawk in Vancouver area tainted with flame-retardant chemicals

Staff Report

FRISCO — Better living through chemistry may — or may not — be an apt motto for people. But it definitely doesn’t hold true for wild animals, who, to their detriment, ingest the toxic remnants of our industrialized society on a daily basis.

This trickle-down effect was recently illustrated once again as Canadian scientists announced that they found what they called  “the most polluted wild bird that has been found anywhere in the world.” Continue reading

Colorado sues feds over new fracking rules

Colorado AG claims BLM regs ‘invade’ state authority

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A fracking rig in western Colorado. @bberwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO —Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is challenging the federal government’s ability to regulate oil and gas development on federal public lands in the state. In a quiet Friday news dump, Coffman announced her department is suing the federal government over new fracking rules issued in March.

The lawsuit claims the federal rules “invade” the state’s regulatory authority, a similar argument over jurisdiction used by Gov. Hickenlooper and his administration when they sued a local jurisdiction that sought to impose fracking rules in a case that has since been dismissed. Continue reading

Study: Global warming slowdown just a ‘distraction’

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‘Greenhouse gases will eventually overwhelm this natural fluctuation’

Staff Report

FRISCO — The rate of global warming may fluctuate from year to year, and even on a decadal scale, but in the long run, Earth is still on course to heat up to dangerous levels, Australian researchers said in a new study.

By the end of this century, the planet will have warmed by 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut drastically during the next few years. Continue reading

Morning photo: Springtime in the Rockies

Bursting forth …

FRISCO —The Colorado high country is spectacular any time of year, but spring is my favorite season. It’s the time of year when you can still ski on the mountains, often in some of the best snow of the year. But down in the valleys, Mother Nature is busy building a new season. Since the mountain growing season is so short, spring comes in a hurry. Plants don’t have the luxury of taking their time if they want to bloom and produce flowers and seeds for reproduction, so everything seems to pop all at once with a fecundity that’s as astounding as it is reassuring.

For daily photography updates, follow our Instagram feed, and visit our online gallery for an amazing selection of prints and greeting cards.

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