The centerpiece of Mesa Verde National Park, Cliff Palace was discovered in the late 1800s. Park archaeologists noticed a small crack in the masonry and then discovered the north wall was leaning precariously into the structure.
Research derived from ponderosa pine forests in the Southwest indicates that while low-severity surface fires are common historically, today’s large-scale forest fires are enabled by fire-suppression efforts and other human activities.
The benefits of releasing captive-bred Mexican wolves into the wild include support of wolf reintroduction efforts in the Southwest and ecosystem balance, groups say.
A report focusing on agricultural, urban and environmental water use in the West suggests several ways to share and transfer water among traditionally competing interests.
An unusually dry year or sustained drought would mean unstable and variable water deliveries for a system that relies on the huge reservoirs Lake Mead in Arizona/Nevada and Lake Powell in Arizona/Utah.
The findings dramatically alter the climatic framework used by geologists reconstructing past climate change; archaeologists describing human responses to environmental change; and water managers tasked with balancing environmental, agricultural and urban water needs in drought-stressed southwestern North America.
The number of endangered Mexican gray wolves confirmed in the wild declined for the third successive year as a result of trapping and shooting by the U.S. government.
Cultural changes during this period, including the earliest evidence for cultivation of corn and cotton, occur concurrently with changes in available moisture.
The Colorado River basin is home to more than 40 dams and diversions and functions more as a system of regulated canals and reservoirs than a river.
Scientists and managers in the Sierra Nevada parks have long recognized the essential nature of fire in these forests and have responded over the years with an increasingly sophisticated fire restoration program using both prescribed burns and natural fires.