Environment

Environmental issues

SDSU Extension

Dr. David Graper is professor of horticulture at South Dakota State University in Brookings. He’s also the SDSU Extension interim Coordinator of the South Dakota Master Gardener Program and former director of McCrory Gardens and the South Dakota Arboretum. He joined Dakota Midday and answered listener questions about ridding crabgrass from lawns; transplanting peonies; plum trees; and planting new bulb gardens.

SDSU Extension

One of the strongest El Ninos in recorded history could be on its way. That’s according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. While a strong El Nino event could bring much-needed rain to California, it could also disrupt weather patterns across the globe and boost temperatures in some areas.

El Nino is a climate phenomenon that occurs every two to seven years in the tropical Pacific and sets off a chain weather patterns.

CO Mine Wastewater Spill Highlights SD Cleanup Plan

Aug 13, 2015
Amy Varland

A recent spill of 3 million gallons of mine wastewater from an EPA Superfund Site in the Rocky Mountains turned Colorado’s Animus River orange.

South Dakota and other states across the west are dotted with abandoned mines that are now being cleaned up by government regulators.

Currently the Gilt-Edge Superfund Site in the Northern Black Hills has 68 million gallons of mine wastewater stored in holding ponds.     

But EPA and state officials are undertaking a $50 million project to reduce the annual cost of water treatment.

Caribou Productions for SDPB

Over the past several years, the Izaak Walton League has helped organize Missouri River clean-ups in the cities of Pierre, Ft. Pierre and Yankton. Since the first river clean-up in 2009, volunteers have picked up an average of 2.5 tons of garbage each year. They've found everything from bowling balls to pop bottles.

Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation, the conservation group is starting a pilot program to help prevent trash from getting into the river in the first place.

Charles Michael Ray SDPB

Norm Evers is the owner of Norm's Greenhouse and Nursery in Aurora. He’s also instructor emeritus of horticulture at South Dakota State University and the former manager of McCrory Gardens in Brookings. He joined Dakota Midday and discussed moss in the lawn, fertilizing, heirloom tomatoes, and transplanted weigela.

Nate Wek SDPB

The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States, but by the middle of the 20th century populations of the bird of prey were decimated. In 1963, there were only 487 nesting pairs in the contiguous states. However new regulations and the banning of the pesticide DDT helped the bald eagle population recover. 

Karl Gehrke SDPB

Norm Evers is the owner of Norm's Greenhouse and Nursery in Aurora. He’s also instructor emeritus of horticulture at South Dakota State University and the former manager of McCrory Gardens in Brookings. He joined Dakota Midday and discussed the care of trees, transplanting Virginia creeper, establishing hydrangeas, and planting grass in sparse areas.

SDSU

Over a 35 year period, the length of forest fire seasons worldwide increased by nearly nineteen percent. That’s according to a study co-authored by South Dakota State University professor and wildfire expert Mark Cochrane. He was part of a team that researched weather data from 1979 to 2013 to determine the impact changing climate has had on forest ecosystems.

Rapid City Skyline Changing As Power Plant Dismantled

Jul 20, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

A part of the skyline in West Rapid City is changing as Black Hills Power is beginning work on dismantling a coal fired power plant.  
 
The Ben French Plant located on Deadwood Avenue supplied electricity to Rapid City and parts of the Black Hills for about 50 years.    But in efforts to comply with federal guidelines to reduce carbon emissions Black Hills power is switching to a new cleaner natural gas fired power plant located in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
 

SDSU Extension

Late last week, South Dakota recorded its warmest temperatures of the season. The high heat and humidity pushed the heat index values to near 100 degrees in some parts of the state. The high temps have persisted and although today is expected to be a few degrees cooler than yesterday, highs across the state will still range from the upper 80s to low 90s. South Dakota state climatologist Dennis Todey joined Dakota Midday and discussed the hot weather and its impact and what we can expect in the weeks ahead.

Karl Gehrke SDPB

Julie Hoffman of East River Nursery in Huron joined Dakota Midday and answered listener questions about hot weather and tomatoes, planting ornamental grasses, problems with dianthus, and stressed bur oak trees.

South Dakota State University

Dr. David Graper is professor of horticulture at South Dakota State University in Brookings. He’s also the SDSU Extension Interim Coordinator of the South Dakota Master Gardener Program and former director of McCrory Gardens and the South Dakota Arboretum. He joined Dakota Midday and answered listener questions about clematis, blue spruce trees, planting onions, corn suckers and fall planting.

Amy Benson US Geological Survey

South Dakota was one of the last states east of the Rocky Mountains to be free of invasive zebra and quagga mussels. But that changed last fall. A single adult zebra mussel was detected at the Midway Boat Ramp on the Missouri River's Lewis and Clark Lake near Yankton. Larval quagga mussels were discovered in water samples collected in the Cheyenne River's Angostura Reservoir.

SDSU

Dr. David Graper is professor of horticulture at South Dakota State University in Brookings. He’s also the SDSU Extension Interim Coordinator of the South Dakota Master Gardener Program and former director of McCrory Gardens and the South Dakota Arboretum. He joined Dakota Midday and answered listener questions about clover in lawns, linden trees, hydrangeas, shade plants and Shasta daisies.

Amanda Bachmann

According to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, there are about 216 South Dakotans keeping bees. Around 93 of these producers maintain their bees on a commercial scale. The state usually ranks in the top five states for number of hives. South Dakota also ranks second in the nation for honey production.

SDSU Extension

After the driest January through April on record, much of South Dakota received a soaking in May. But the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows a large area of eastern South Dakota still with dry conditions. However, likely wetter conditions will continue to reduce precipitation deficits in those places as more rain in expected this week. SDSU Climate Field Specialist Laura Edwards joined Dakota Midday and discussed the wet May and what’s ahead for the summer.

Norm Evers On Gardening/Planting

Jun 1, 2015

Norm Evers, owner of Norm's Greenhouse and Nursery in Aurora, answered questions about gardening, planting and trees among other topics during Dakota Midday's bi-weekly segment on horticulture.

Hoffman Answers Gardening Questions

May 18, 2015

Julie Hoffman of East River Nursery in Huron joined Dakota Midday on Monday to take questions about gardening, planting and horticulture.  The segment is a bi-weekly feature of Dakota Midday from spring through autumn and includes experts from around the state.

Friends Of The Big Sioux River

May 18, 2015
www.southdakotamagazine.com

The newly formed non-profit, Friends of the Big Sioux River, held a press conference last Thursday to announce its vision to realize "a clean, healthy river for all to enjoy and share with pride."  In 2012, the Big Sioux was identified as the 13th dirtiest river in the nation.  Friends of the Big Sioux River was formed to bring awareness to the current condition of the waterway and to inspire action among all who influence its quality.  Matthew McLarty of the Environmental Law & Policy Center of South Dakota, Greg Veerman of Astronaut Studios and Friends of the Big Sioux River director

Norm's Greenhouse and Nursery

Norm Evers joined Dakota Midday and answered listener questions about planting sugar maples, mulching with wood, Creeping Charlie and Jenny and more. Norm Evers is Instructor Emeritus of Horticulture at South Dakota State University in Brookings and former manager of McCrory Gardens. He’s the owner of Norm’s Greenhouse and Nursery in Aurora.

National Park Service

Fire is one of the management tools used at Wind Cave National Park in the southern Black Hills to help maintain the health and natural balance of the grassland and forest. The park uses prescribed fires to achieve a more "natural" state by reducing accumulated fuel levels, reducing ponderosa pine encroachment on the grasslands, and eliminating exotic plants and increasing the diversity and health of native plant species.

Photo by JT Thomas

Colorado writer Craig Childs travels to some of the world’s most desolate and challenging places and reflects on the millions of years of change on Earth. In his latest book, Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Everending Earth, Childs goes from the driest deserts of Chile to the drowned land bridge of the Bering Sea to understand what could be next.

South Dakota Missouri River Tourism

According to a recent survey sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service, birding ranks as the 15th most popular outdoor recreational activity in the country. And the interest in birding is expected to grow over the next 50 years. Spring is perhaps the most exciting time for birders as they welcome the return of their feathered friends after a long winter.

Wikimedia commons

Norm Evers joined Dakota Midday and answered listener questions about fruit trees, grass seed, trimming mulberry trees, early spring planting and more. Norm Evers is Instructor Emeritus of Horticulture at South Dakota State University in Brookings and former manager of McCrory Gardens. He’s the owner of Norm’s Greenhouse and Nursery in Aurora.

NPS Asks Public To "Find Your Park"

Apr 20, 2015
Courtesy Badlands National Park

The National Park Service is asking members of the public to participate in a nationwide educational program called “Find Your Park”. As SDPB’s Jim Kent reports, the goal is for visitors to find and their favorite park and then share their stories on-line at the FindYourPark.com site.

Four years ago researchers in Antarctica completed drilling a nearly 11,000 foot column of ice. It's the second deepest ice core ever drilled and the longest ever done by U.S. scientists. Some of the ice is up to 100,000 years old. Researchers have been studying the gas bubbles trapped in the ancient polar ice to get answers to key questions about past climate changes.

Pine Engraver Beetles Poised For Attack During Drought

Apr 15, 2015

Over the last decade Mountain Pine Beetles have changed the landscape of the Black Hills—they’ve killed thousands of acres of trees.
 
But they aren’t the only beetle that likes to attack ponderosa pines.  Officials warn this year the conditions are ripe for an increase in the Ips beetle also known as the Pine Engraver Beetle. 

GF&P Aims To Bump Up Elk Population

Apr 8, 2015
Wind Cave National Park / National Park Service

The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department wants to increase the number of elk in the Black Hills.

Currently officials estimate the Black Hills wintertime elk population at about 6,300.  They hope to boost that to 7,000 over the next five years. 

Chad Switzer is with the Game Fish and Parks Department in Pierre.   Switzer says the elk population is growing.  

He says officials want to keep that growth in check with increased hunting this spring.

Northern Long Eared Threatened Listing

Apr 6, 2015
Dr. Kristen Page / Biology Dept, Wheaton College

The Northern Long Eared Bat is now listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is hoping to protect the bats from further harm from White Nose Syndrome—it’s a fungus that has decimated the population in some states.

SDSU Extension

A new $5 million drainage water management research project is exploring the economic and environmental benefits, as well as costs, of on-farm water storage. The project is investigating practices that can reduce crop losses from increasing drought and can improve water quality from drained farmland.

SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer Chris Hay is among researchers from seven other Land Grant universities participating in the project funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Chris Hay joined Dakota Midday and discussed the water research project.

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