Missouri Environment

Every two weeks Gary Grigsby produces a in-depth feature about an environmental issue of importance to Missourians. Photo courtesy of Christopher Starbuck.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue July 15, 2014

More Missourians turn to land trusts

James "Pop" Menafee discusses details about his property in Carthage with Margo Heekin of The Ozark Regional Land Trust.
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA

For a long time in this country, landowners have taken steps to preserve their land from ever being developed.

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Missouri Environment
7:12 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Columbia kids power up on solar science Saturday

Fairview Elementary School 5th graders Abby Szydlowski, Samantha Schupp and Addy Lockett test a volt meter as part of an exercise to create a solar panel at a Saturday science program in Columbia this April.
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA News

You might be surprised to find out that on many a Saturday in Columbia throughout the year, kids are getting up bright and early to take part in science-related activities.

And, it's not even required!  One of these events took place in late April when some Columbia Water and Light employees in conjunction with Columbia Public Schools helped about 15 students construct solar panels. 

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Science and Technology
7:04 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Missouri Coalition for the Environment raises concerns about the Ameren Callaway Nuclear Plant

The Callaway nuclear reactor
Credit Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

Ameren’s Callaway nuclear plant near Fulton is in its 30th year of operation. It has a 40-year license and is in the process of getting it renewed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC.

Missouri Coalition for the Environment is heading an effort to stop it from being re-licensed.

One of their main concerns is spent, or used, radioactive rods that are left over after making power. When they’re taken out of the reactor, they’re still extremely hot and need to be stored in a cooling facility.

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Missouri Environment
2:38 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Helping hands for Missouri Monarchs

Swamp milkweed at Greenscape Gardens in west St. Louis County
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA News

  Most of us are familiar with that icon of the insect world, the black and orange Monarch butterfly.

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Missouri Environment
7:52 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Universities turn food waste into compost

This trashcan full of food waste at the Plaza 900 dining hall was sent to Bradford Research Farm to be turned into compost.
Bridgit Bowden KBIA

  Food waste is something we all produce, but don’t like to think about. That’s why several large universities in Missouri are turning food waste from dining halls into compost.

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Politics
7:14 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Kinder, Kelly debate future of Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Representative Chris Kelly and Lt. Governor Peter Kinder on the steps of the Shannon County Courthouse in Eminence, Mo.
Credit Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

  The future of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways continues to be a matter for debate – particularly between Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder and state Representative Chris Kelly. The two politicians have been sparring over the park issue on Twitter, and on Saturday they met in the small southern Missouri town of Eminence for a formal debate.

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Agriculture
5:07 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Kelly, Kinder to debate future of Ozark Scenic Riverways National Park

The Current River in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways
Credit Meredith Turk / KBIA

 

Deep in the heart of the Ozark Mountains in southern Missouri a battles rages over the use of a National Park: The Ozark National Scenic Riverways. This national park is visited by millions each year and was the first federally protected river system, established in 1964.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue April 15, 2014

University of Missouri helps Feds with climate change research

M.U. School of Natural Resources research specialist Tom Bonnot works with data to develop models that predict how climate change will effect forests and wildlife.

With all the bickering taking place in Congress about what to do or what not to do about climate change, you might think federal agencies wouldn't be dealing with it either.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue April 1, 2014

The geology behind Columbia's water supply

One of the 15 wells atop the McBaine aquifer that pump a total of 30 million gallons of water a day to the city of Columbia.
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA News

You've probably read the headlines about the drought in California.  It got me to thinking about what many of us probably take for granted, our water supply.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Management of Ozark National Scenic Riverways sparks controversy

Kim Rains and Eric Mansfield prepare to gig for the first sucker, a fish in the Current River. “We get pretty competitive,” said Rains, who comes out on the river as often as she can.
Meredith Turk KBIA

Deep in the heart of the Ozark Mountains in southern Missouri a battles rages over the use of a National Park, The Ozark National Scenic Riverways. This National Park is visited by millions each year and was the first federally protected river system, established in 1964.

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Science and Technology
5:18 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Health concerns grow as frac sand mines creep into Missouri [INFOGRAPHIC]

A frac sand mine in Wisconsin. There are more than 100 located within the state.
Credit Carole Mitchell / Flickr

In Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., about 100 residents gathered for a town hall meeting in 2013 to discuss a new frac sand mine in their backyard. Officials from the county, state and mining company attended to answer questions residents might have.

Neighbors peppered the panel with questions: How will the mine’s sand dust be regulated? How will you prevent it from getting into our lungs? How will the traffic and explosions affect my health, my property and the ecosystem? Concerns about breathing in the microscopic sand particles, which could lead to silicosis in the lungs, abounded.

Jane Hardy, who lives about 1000 feet from the mine, said she wasn’t satisfied with the answers.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Proponents pushing a plan to reduce e-waste in Missouri landfills

Bert van Dijk flickr

In Missouri, certain businesses, schools, churches and government agencies are required by law to properly manage electronic waste or e-waste.

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Missouri Environment
9:04 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Elk program pleases hunters, but not farmers

These two bull elk were among the first to arrive at Peck Ranch in May, 2011. They were outfitted with GPS collars for tracking purposes.
David Stonner Missouri Department of Conservation

In 2011, the Department of Conservation started reintroducing elk into the state of Missouri.  The elk were brought in from Kentucky and released onto land designated as the Elk Relocation Zone.  Part of this “zone” is conservation land in the Missouri Ozarks called Peck Ranch. 

Right now, there’s a herd of more than a hundred elk roaming around in the Missouri Ozarks.  But, you might not know it just by looking around.  You see, they’re actually kind of hard to find in the woods.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Columbia Audubon Society assists state with controlled burn research

Members of the Columbia Audubon Society take part in a bird count late last fall as part of a DNR research project at Lake of the Ozarks State Park.
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA NEWS

Before the early settlers arrived in the Missouri Ozarks fire naturally moved through the area every few years or so creating more open space.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Carbon tax supporters lobby the old school way

Citizens Climate Lobby organizer Lynate Pettengill encourages people to get involved in its lobbying efforts at a informational meeting in Columbia.
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA News

The Washington D.C based Citizens Climate Lobby says if you want to take action on climate change one simple step you can take is to contact your members of Congress and ask them to support the Climate Change Act.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Hellbender survives in a tough environment

An Eastern Hellbender crawls along the bottom of the Big Piney River on Ft. Leonard Wood in Pulaski County.
Credit Kenton Lohraff

The Eastern Hellbender is a giant salamander that has been around for millions of years. 

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Battle over homegrown solar energy continues

Vaughn Prost, CEO of Missouri Solar Applications, stands amidst a solar array his company installed on the roof of Grace Episcopal Church in Jefferson City.
Credit Meredith Turk / KBIA News

The fight over Proposition C continues.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Finding different ways to save birds

Veronica Mecko of the Missouri River Bird Observatory gets some vital statistics from a Gray Catbird during a migration count at Van Meter State Park in October.
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA News

Listening to birds sing and talk is probably something we all take for granted at times.

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Missouri Environment
7:04 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Trees stressed by drought

Drought can kill a tree quickly or it can take years to do its damage.
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA News

As you watch a a tree grow you can grow attached to it.

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Missouri Environment
7:00 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Drought: Killing trees slowly

This tree on the MU campus survived the drought of 2012, but died this year, possibly due to the long-term effects drought can have on a tree.
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA

 

In much of mid-Missouri during June, July and August, rainfall was well below normal. 

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