Environment

Environment
1:38 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

The Legacy Of American Forester Gifford Pinchot

SDPB-TV is airing "Seeking the Greatest Good: The Conservation Legacy of Gifford Pinchot" this Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Central. Gifford Pinchot was an American forester and politician. Pinchot served as the first Chief of the United States Forest Service from 1905 until his firing in 1910, and was the 28th Governor of Pennsylvania, serving from 1923 to 1927, and again from 1931 to 1935. He was a member of the Republican Party for most of his life, though he also joined the Progressive Party for a brief period.

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Environment
9:56 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Extreme Spring Weather Sets Records

Huge branches snap under the weight of April's ice storm.
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The season of spring comes with notions of new green plants peeking through the soil and warm sunshine. South Dakota’s first full month of spring this year was far from that picturesque mirage. The snowy weather and cold temperatures in some places were unprecedented. April offered some standout statistics, and some other weather elements that seem extreme but are really just average.

April showers bring May flowers, but what do April ice and wind and snow storms bring? According to weather experts, all-time records. Let’s start in Rapid City.

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Environment
1:54 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Fire Forecasting

Darren Clabo, state fire meteorologist, discusses the current fire weather conditions and the potential for the coming months. April, May, June and July are typically the region's wettest months, when the area receives 50 percent of its annual average of 21 inches precipitation. Although an improvement in drought conditions is predicted, Clabo is less than optimistic about the possibility of any significant drought relief.

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Environment
1:39 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Pennington County Master Gardener Joe Hillberry

Pennington County Master Gardener Joe Hillberry joins the program. After last week's last blast of winter it looks like spring has finally arrived and people can start work in their gardens and yards.

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Environment
11:42 am
Mon April 22, 2013

State Crews Aid SF Cleanup

Thousands of branches broke in the April storms.
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

More snow is slowing the cleanup effort in Sioux Falls since a vicious ice storm and inches of snow broke thousands of trees. The city declared a state of emergency and is using public and private resources in the recovery effort.

Sioux Falls Public Works Director Mark Cotter says the governor is making some state resources available, including the Bear Mountain Hand Crew. It’s made up of trained saw teams out of Custer.

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Environment
3:27 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Post-Storm Gardening Tips

Norm Evers of Norm's Greenhouse and Nursery in Aurora talked about getting lawns and gardens ready for spring.  He also discussed damage to trees during last week's ice and snow storm.

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Environment
1:18 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Latest Outlook For Sioux Falls Cleanup

Police Chief Doug Barthel, Public Works Director Mark Cotter, Mayor Mike Huether, Fire Chief Jim Sideras
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Sioux Falls has already closed schools for the rest of the week. Partners in Sioux Falls’ Emergency Operations Center say now is the most dangerous part of this spring’s extreme winter weather.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Chief Jim Sideras says he’s concerned people are going to rush cleanup despite heavy snow, slick ice and fierce wind gusts.

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Environment
7:29 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Sioux Falls Grapples With Snow, Ice

Sioux Falls residents are battling winds and nearly six inches of snow on top of a thick coating of ice. The brutal round of winter weather in April prompted the mayor of the state's largest city to declare a state of emergency.

City plows focus on emergency snow routes Thursday morning. More than 100 crews worked overnight as a majority of the snow fell to keep the most-traveled streets clear. The Sioux Falls area anticipates another inch or two of snow through Thursday noon.

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Environment
2:16 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Power Outages Widespread In SF

Crews in Sioux Falls work to restore power.
Credit Jordan Braa

Ice accumulating on power lines in Sioux Falls Tuesday left thousands of people without power. It’s all part of the massive system dropping severe winter weather across South Dakota this spring. 

 At the peak of power outages Tuesday, 9,000 people in Sioux Falls were without electricity. That includes homes, businesses and schools.  

By mid-morning, authorities received almost 200 different reports of power lines down. Crews work to restore electricity to people left in the dark, but they prepare for more power problems as ice collects on lines and fierce winds rage.  

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Environment
1:57 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Trees Break Under Weight Of Ice

Kealey Bultena SDPB

Trees in southeastern South Dakota are falling victim to thick coatings of ice. Freezing rain glazes over trees in Sioux Falls, and the branches are snapping under the weight of the ice. 

Director of Public Works Mark Cotter says officials are prioritizing tree-related calls. 

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Environment
1:43 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

South Dakota Mountain Lions

The mountain lion hunting season in the Black Hills has come to an end.  This year hunters were allowed to harvest up to 100 lions.  However, Game Fish and Parks officials say the fact that hunters harvested just 61 mountain lions likely shows the numbers of the big cats are now down in the Black Hills.  They say the lions are a renewable resource and their numbers will again return.  But critics see a red flag.  They say the GF&P allowed over-hunting of the cats. 

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Environment
2:55 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Gardening With Julie Hoffman

Julie Hoffman of East River Nursery in Huron discussed composting, worms and preparing for spring planting on Dakota Midday's bi-weekly gardening segment.

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Environment
3:49 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Resilient Landscapes

Tuesday, at 7:00 p.m., the Journey Museum in Rapid City presents "Resilient Landscapes: The History and Future of Black Hills Floods."  The immersive program uses scientific data to visualize the 1972 Black Hills flood, paleo "mega" flooding and more recent flooding from extreme weather.  Media artist and theorist David McConville and Journey Museum Executive Director Raymond Summers described the program which is a partnership with the Worldviews Network, a NOAA-funded collaboration including the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the California Academy of Sciences, NOVA/WGBH in Boston,

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Environment
9:40 am
Fri March 22, 2013

SD Has New State Park

Gov. Dennis Daugaard signs the bill creating Good Earth State Park at Blood Run, March 2013
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A culturally significant area in southeastern South Dakota is now a new state park.

A Senate Bill passed this legislative session found its way to Sioux Falls for the governor’s signature. His pen stroke officially designates 615 acres in Lincoln County as Good Earth State Park at Blood Run. It’s an historic landmark because of Native American culture dating back to the 1500s.

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Environment
1:44 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

First Day Of Spring/Gardening

Today is the first day of spring - even though temperatures remain below normal in South Dakota.  Regular Dakota Midday guest Norm Evers of Norm's Greenhouse in Aurora answered questions about spring planting.

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Environment
4:02 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Spring Weather: Present & Future

Brookings, SD looks like winter on the first day of spring
Credit Ashley Hubregtse

Geese flying north, robins, baseball and sunshine are just a few signs of spring.  It’s a season of the year people really look forward to—especially if the winter has been long and cold.

There aren’t many people sad to see winter go; most of us in the Northern Hemisphere look forward to the day and time the sun crosses the equator on its journey north—that’s the Vernal Equinox, the beginning of spring.  It happened at 6:02 a.m. Central time Wednesday. It just didn’t feel like spring in these parts.

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Environment
3:39 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Q And A With The National Weather Service

The winter storm that is being tracked is said to be in Southern South Dakota by daybreak. The heaviest amounts of snow are said to be in Northern Kansas and a large portion of Nebraska. South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Chris Laughery caught up with Brad Adams, a hydro-meteorological technician with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. He begins today’s Dakota Digest by telling us where this storm originated.

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Environment
12:49 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

State Climatologist Says February Forecast Difficult

South Dakota State Climatologist Dennis Todey
Credit American Meteorological Society

The previous month saw nearly every kind of weather reach South Dakota—from record highs in parts of the state, to several 50 below zero wind chill readings at months end. State Climatologist Dennis Todey says February’s weather is proving a bit tough to predict.

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Environment
10:59 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Western, Northern SD In Winter Storm Watch for Friday

US weather map as of late Wednesday morning. Areas in dark blue denote Winter Storm Watch
Credit National Weather Service

Roughly the western one-third of South Dakota is in a Winter Storm Watch for Friday. Alex Calderon with the National Weather Service in Rapid City says it’s a difficult storm to predict, but it’s headed this way.

Calderon explains, "There’s a system coming from the northern Rockies that’s going to go through the Northern and Central Plains Thursday into Friday, and then exiting Saturday. Looks like snow will start over northeast Wyoming to western South Dakota late Thursday night, into Friday and then continuing into Friday night."

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Environment
2:27 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

South Dakota's Aquifers

Garland Eberle, Chief Engineer for the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources Water Rights Program, visited about South Dakota's aquifers which are nearing full appropriation.  The Water Management Board may declare a groundwater aquifer off-limits.  That has only happened twice in state history.

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Environment
6:52 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Snowmobile Trails Rearranged

Snowmobile trails in the Northern Hills are scheduled to open on schedule.  The trails are different this year than they have been in years past.  Fifty-eight miles of trails near O’Neill Pass and Cement Ridge are being rearranged due to logging activity in pine-beetle infested areas in the high country. Affected areas are still being cleared. 
 

Bonnie Jones is the Recreation Specialist for the Northern Hills Ranger District.  She says snowmobilers need to be aware of trail changes.
 

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Environment
1:43 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Stopping The Mountain Pine Beetle

Infestations of Mountain Pine Beetles have reached epidemic levels in the Black Hills.  Because the beetles only have one life cycle, the best way to stop them is to kill the next generation while they are still in the larvae stage inside of trees.  Tim Bradeen, Habitat Resource Biologist for South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, said this method has proven to be 80 to 90 percent effective in stopping the infestation.

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Environment
2:43 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Climate And Drought

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray visited with Laura Edwards, South Dakota State University Extension Climate Field Specialist in Aberdeen.  Edwards comments on South Dakota's weather in 2012 which has been extreme at times and the lasting effects of the drought.

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Environment
2:18 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Weekend Winter Storm

Todd Heitkamp of the National Weather Service office in Sioux Falls joined Dakota Midday to talk about the winter storm that hit South Dakota over the weekend.  Heitkamp said that South Dakotans can expect a normal winter this year.

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Environment
10:48 am
Mon December 10, 2012

First Major Storm In South Dakota

Parts of East River went through the season’s first major winter storm this weekend.  The storm snarled traffic that could move, and closed parts of Interstates 90 and 29 Sunday.  A stretch of I-29 remains closed in both directions from Sioux Falls to Watertown.  Kelly Seer with the National Weather Service in Aberdeen says a lot of elements made for a messy weekend.

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Environment
11:38 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Winter Type Weather Moving Through Parts Of South Dakota

After several weeks of above normal temperatures, strong winter weather is forecast for parts of South Dakota this weekend.  Kelly Sair is with the National Weather Service in Aberdeen.

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Environment
12:16 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

SD Leaders Eye Army Corps Decision

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota’s Washington, DC delegation waits to see what agencies decide on Missouri River water regulation. Downstream Missouri River states want the President to declare an emergency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release water upstream to support barge traffic to the south.

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Environment
4:38 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Water, Weather and Climate

Dr. William Capehart is an Associate Professor Department of Atmospheric Sciences at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.  He studies how weather and water interact and what it means for the overall climate.  SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray sat down with Professor Capehart to talk about the current drought, Hurricane Sandy, and efforts to create computer models that can show what a changing climate might mean for South Dakota.  Capehart calls himself a meteorologist with hydrologic tendencies.  Ray began by asking what he means by this.

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Environment
4:26 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Dust Bowl

Donald J. Berg, Professor Emeritus of Geography and History at South Dakota State University, has been researching the Dirty '30s for some time and has reached the conclusion that many writers and researchers may have missed the boat on presenting a comprehensive narrative of the Dust Bowl.  Berg also discusses the Ken Burns Dust Bowl series which premiered last night.

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Environment
12:06 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

The Dust Bowl

KEN BURNS NEW FILM, “THE DUST BOWL,” LOOKS AT VERY SERIOUS ISSUES IN THE SOUTHERN PLAINS DURING THE 19-30S.  A PROFESSOR EMERITUS AT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY RESEARCHES THE DUST BOWL ON THE NORTHERN PLAINS—AND DR. DONALD BERG SAYS THE SITUATION IN THE DAKOTAS AND OTHER LOCATIONS WAS EVEN WORSE.   HE IS WORKING ON THE BOOK ON THE SUBJECT, AND HAS FINISHED A SCHOLARLY PAPER.  TODAY ON “DAKOTA DIGEST,” BERG VISITS WITH S-D-P-B RADIO’S GARY ELLENBOLT ABOUT HIS RESEARCH.  HE STARTS WITH HIS REASONS TO BELIEVE THE NORTHERN PLAINS ARE IGNORED IN ANY DISCUSSION OF THE “DIRTY THIRTIES.”

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