This week in the environment – Clean ups, Court rulings, and Controversy

Air Force begins clean up efforts in response to Colorado Springs water contamination 

The Air Force is launching a $900,000 research project to find a way to remove toxins they leaked into Colorado’s waterways last week that wastewater facilities are not able to treat. In addition, the Air Force is drilling to test water and soil samples at sites both on and near their base to identify sources of contamination. Meanwhile, affected residents continue to purchase bottled water for consumption and shorten bath times for their toddlers.

Colorado wildflowers will now be protected under federal court ruling

A federal court in Denver ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must protect the Graham’s beardtongue and the White River beardtongue flowers, native to Colorado and Utah. The Fish and Wildlife Service initially proposed protection in 2013 but retracted the following year after lobbying efforts by the oil and gas industry. Conservation groups backed by Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization, then filed a lawsuit against the FWS and won the case for protection.

Colorado wildlife managers propose killing bears and lions to save deer

Current state deer populations are at an estimated 110,000 in comparison to ideal populations of 560,000. Some wildlife officials believe that predators are responsible for dwindling deer numbers and that eradication is the best solution. Others, such as members of the Humane Society and the National Wildlife Federation site habitat loss and fragmentation due to housing developments and drill sites as the cause of decline, and oppose eliminating lions and bears.

 

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