Environment

Sarah Kellogg / KBIA

Mid-Missouri is home to cows, horses and even alpacas, but not everyone knows it’s also home to lions, tigers and pumas. Nearly a dozen of these jungle cats live on a farm north of the Columbia Mall.

The D&D Farm and Animal Sanctuary, just off Old Highway 63, houses more than 100 animals on a farm about five miles north of the Columbia Mall. It’s named for its owners, Dale and Deb Tolentino. Dale, a former mailman, and Deb, a former veterinarian technician, spend their retired years caring for these animals, day in and day out. There are lions, tigers, ligers, bobcats, mountain lions, pumas, wolves and other predators.

Sebastian Martinez / KBIA

Native plants are having a a boom year, thanks in large part to a butterfly.

The sharp decline in monarch butterfly numbers in the winter of 2014 led to headlines about the destruction of their habitat in the U.S.

It sparked a national movement to plant milkweeds: the family of plants monarchs rely on to lay their eggs and feed upon as caterpillars. 

cwwycoff1 / Flickr

 U.S. forecasters will review whether they went too far out on a limb to warn people about bad weather that didn't fully develop.

Sebastian Martinez / KBIA

The greater prairie chicken is one of Missouri’s rarest birds. There are actually fewer than 300 left in the state. So the opportunity to see one is coveted by nature lovers. Even when it means getting up before dawn on a Saturday, and making the trip down to Wah’Kon Tah prairie, which many of the remaining chickens call home.

A group of about forty people did just that, turning up to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s El Dorado Springs office for one of a handful of greater prairie chicken viewings the department has organized this spring. After a brief orientation, the attendees hopped onto two buses, one lead by wildlife biologist Matt Hill and the other by Max Alleger, the department’s grassland coordinator.


Sebastian Martinez / KBIA

Fire plays an important role in many Midwestern ecosystems, but when it burns out of control it can also be devastating, as the wildfires in Oklahoma and Kansas have demonstrated. This time of year, when a lot of summer grasses and brush are still dead but the weather is warming up, the land is particularly flammable. That’s why agencies like the Missouri Department of Conservation take meticulous care in planning prescribed fire.


In the wilderness of southern Missouri, 44 miles of the Eleven Point River is part of the National Wild and Scenic River system. Part of the river is nestled between the Mark Twain National Forest and a historically rich parcel called the Irish Wilderness. As the river descends to the Missouri-Arkansas border, cattle grazing intermingles with the edge of the forest.

Now, Missouri is considering developing the southern part of the river into a state park. But the park has become controversial -- both for its very existence and for the money used to buy it.

Sebastian Martinez / KBIA

  The Eleven Point River flows for more than 100 miles through Oregon County, and right through the heart of the almost 4,200 acres the Department of Natural Resources recently bought to create a new state park. The river starts just north of the small town of Thomasville: home to the Eleven Point Cafe.

Like a lot of people in the county, the cafe's owner Jamie Warren is conflicted about the new park. "I think it could bring in a lot of tourists and it could help the economy, but it’s going to take a fight," Warren said. "I’m like most of the locals: we hate change."


Attorney General's Office

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency for missing deadlines in its planned cleanup of the West Lake Landfill near St. Louis.

Charlie Llewellin / CC BY SA 2.0 / Flickr

4,167 acres of land in Oregon County are at the heart of a dispute between state legislators and state agencies, supported by a slough of environmentalists.

That land, part of the former Pigman Ranch, is the subject of a proposal the Missouri Department of Natural Resources put forward last year to create a new state park.

Missouri Group Sues EPA Over Nutrient Levels in Lakes

Feb 25, 2016
bsabarnowl / flickr

 A Missouri group is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, accusing it of shirking its responsibility for regulating nutrient levels in the state's lakes.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment Foundation has filed the lawsuit in Kansas City against the EPA and its administrator, Gina McCarthy.

Sebastian Martinez / KBIA

A crucial part of the effort to mitigate climate change is finding alternatives to fossil fuels.

A recent conference at the University of Missouri in Columbia focused on one of the most controversial of those: nuclear power.


Sebastian Martinez / KBIA

On a cold but clear Saturday evening, with the sun dipping towards the horizon, a group of 20 or so bird watchers assembled at Wah Sha She Prairie, about half an hour north of Joplin. They braved the cold, hoping to see the migratory short-eared owl.


Missouri is looking at more than 4,000 acres in the southern portion of the state for a new state park, but it's not without opposition. 

PG Palmer / Flickr

 

 Ashland water and sewer customers have started to see an increase in their monthly bills thanks to a ballot issue passed in 2014.

The ballot issue asked voters if the city could issue $7 million in bonds for a new mechanical sewage facility. The city currently uses a lagoon for sewage.

Mike Tobias / Harvest Public Media

The population of monarch butterflies has declined so dramatically in recent years that the iconic insect is being considered for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species list. In Nebraska and across the other areas of the Midwest, a stop on the monarch migration route, efforts are underway to determine the scope of the decline.

 


Antler Restrictions Revoked

Nov 2, 2015
Missouri Department of Conservation

Missouri deer hunters will not have to worry about shooting a deer whose antlers aren’t big enough. 

Since 2004, hunters have been limited to antlered bucks with at least four points on one side of the bucks rack.  The Missouri Department of Conservation announced it is repealing the previous antler restrictions for a portion of the firearm season from November 14-24. 

Emily Flynn is a deer biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation.  She says that the restrictions were revoked because of a deadly disease that is spreading. 

Via the PlanetReuse website

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says a weekend brush fire near a suburban St. Louis landfill makes a pressing case for a federal remedy to the area where a slow-burning underground fire could threaten a cache of Cold War-era nuclear waste.

Koster says he's relieved that the Environmental Protection Agency's studies show no immediate public danger from the West Lake Landfill near Bridgeton.

2jaysjoju / Flickr

Research shows that the Earth’s warming climate can have a massive impact on many parts of the ecosystem, from the ocean down to the tiny bee. Recently, bees have been dying in increasing numbers due to environmental changes.

Some sub-species, however, seem to be putting up a better fight than others.


Dave Schumaker / Flickr

A pair of earthquakes hit southeast Missouri, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey said a 3.4-magnitude earthquake, followed 24 minutes later by a 3.2-magnitude aftershock, hit southeast Missouri on Friday afternoon.

The Daily American Republic reports residents in Butler, Ripley and Carter counties reported feeling the quakes.

Flickr

Some residents in southeast Missouri want money from a lead mining settlement spent in communities impacted by contamination, not on a new state park.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports residents panned a plan to buy 2,500 acres for the Oregon County Park during a special meeting Tuesday. The proposal would use part of a $40 million settlement with mining company Asarco.

Sara Shahriari / KBIA

On this week's Intersection, the focus is on native plants and our environment – with a special emphasis on the relationship between milkweed and monarch butterflies. Host Sara Shahriari explores efforts to preserve and create native plant habitats in our own backyards, and beyond. Our guests are Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch, Carol Davit of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, Pete Millier of the Mizzou Botanic Garden and Mervin Wallace of Missouri Wildflowers Nursery. 


Pheasant Hunting Expands Statewide

Oct 12, 2015

  COLUMBIA- The Missouri Department of Conservation announced that it will expand pheasant hunting statewide starting Nov. 1. Hunters in mid-Missouri will now have the opportunity to hunt the popular bird closer to home.

In years past hunting was limited to the area north of I-70, all of St. Charles County and a portion of the Southeastern corner of the state.

dishfunctional / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Conservation is taking measures to save the deer population in the state.

Martin LeBar / Flickr

 

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Those royally beautiful creatures, monarch butterflies, are declining in numbers, partly because a certain weed is disappearing, especially across the American Midwest. The monarch butterfly caterpillar depends on milkweed to survive. And that's something you can help with by planting milkweed, which is really a pretty flower in your garden. I know. I have lots of milkweed in mine and lots of monarchs. From member station KBIA, Sara Shahriari has more.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said new reports raise troubling concerns about the environmental fallout from contamination and a subsurface fire at a landfill in St. Louis County.

Koster on Thursday  released several reports related to the Bridgeton Landfill. One found radiological contamination in trees outside the landfill's perimeter. Another indicates that the underground fire has moved past two rows of interceptor wells built by owner Republic Services to keep the fire from reaching buried nuclear waste in an adjacent landfill.

The Sierra Club says Ameren's Labadie power plant in Franklin County does not meet state and federal water quality standards and wants it brought into compliance.

On Friday, the environmental group filed an appeal with the state, alleging the plant’s operating permit does not do enough to protect wildlife or groundwater.

File Photo / KBIA

Fifty bridges were added to the list of bridges in critical condition across Missouri this year.

LED Connects Mid-Missouri with Lower Cost Lighting

Sep 1, 2015
Gary Grigsby / KBIA

In the world of lighting, reducing energy costs rules the day especially in lighting used outside the home.


Officials are planning a $7.3 million cleanup of a contaminated site in downtown Springfield.

The Springfield News-Leader reports officials have known for years that the land is contaminated. The land, which is owned by City Utilities, is in the Jordan Valley Corridor, a former industrial area that was once home to several factories.

Mike Kromrey, executive director of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, says the pollution is likely at least 150 years old.

Matt Veto / KBIA News

The city of Columbia will stop burning coal at its power plant in mid-October.

Pages