By Chris Mooney – The Washington Post – July 14, 2016

In an ambitious study that represents the latest merger between big data approaches and the quest to conserve the planet, scientists have found that across a majority of the Earth’s land surface — including some of its most important types of terrain and its most populous regions — the abundance or overall number of animals and plants of different species has fallen below a “safe” level identified by biologists. For full story, click here.

By Laura Parker – National Geographic – July 14, 2016

Beijing is sinking. In some neighborhoods, the ground is giving way at a rate of four inches a year as water in the giant aquifer below it is pumped. The groundwater has been so depleted that China’s capital city, home to more than 20 million people, could face serious disruptions in its rail system, roadways, and building foundations, an international team of scientists concluded earlier this year. Beijing, despite tapping into the gigantic North China Plain aquifer, is the world’s fifth most water-stressed city and its water problems are likely to get even worse. For full story, click here.

By David Erickson – Missoulian – July 7, 2016

Herbicides have been widely used on public lands in North America to kill non-native and invasive plants for decades. But a new report raises serious questions about whether taxpayers are footing a significant bill for a widespread but not widely known land management practice that may be causing more harm than good. A pair of researchers at the University of Montana recently contributed to a new study that has found a lack of government data and accountability on whether this method is actually destroying “non-target” species and ecosystems and possibly allowing more destructive invasive species to take root. For full story, click here.

Contact: Office of Communications – USDA Department of Agriculture – July 7, 2016

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is awarding $44.6 million through its Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership to support 10 wetland enhancement projects on private and tribal agricultural lands in 12 States. Recipients for each project are providing more than $4.3 million in matching funds, bringing the total investment to approximately $49 million. In total, the projects will help to protect, restore or enhance 15,000 wetland acres in critical watersheds across the United States. For full story, click here.

Newsroom America – June 30, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency located and removed two underground storage tanks at the former Smith Lake Trading Post in McKinley County, New Mex. last month. The thousand-gallon tanks may have been buried for over 70 years. The trading post burned down in 1995 and was abandoned. The Navajo Nation EPA identified this site as one of many abandoned gas stations throughout the reservation. The two underground storage tanks at the site are thought to have been taken out of service in 1981. At that time, the tanks were not checked to see if petroleum product remained. This work is part of EPA’s ongoing efforts to identify and remove abandoned underground storage tanks that have the potential to contaminate groundwater throughout the Navajo Nation. For full story, click here.