Fungus and beetles threaten key pine species

Few trees are of greater ecological importance to the American northwest than the whitebark pine.  Its hardy branches and nutritionally dense seeds provide food and shelter for a host of animals including grizzlies, nutcrackers and red squirrels.  And it’s for this reason conservationists have become alarmed by its declining presence in which 90 percent of the trees have died off in recent years.  The villains are a pair of natural enemies: namely the pine beetle and a fungus called blister rust.  Fortunately biologists are fighting back by planting varieties of the trees that are resistant to the fungus and [...]

What’s the Dam Deal?

By Grace Cancelmo: In the U.S. alone, there are about 84,000 dams, ranging from small to large, however, less than ten percent of these dams are used to actually generate power. Hydroelectricity generates about twelve percent of the electricity in the U.S. The expansion of hydroelectricity to these dams is possible.