Disappearing pika and coal’s latest hurdle

HCN.org news in brief.


For years, researchers have believed that climate change may be imperiling American pikas, which live in mountainous regions and are highly sensitive to warm temperatures. A study released last month further confirms their suspicions: Of 910 once-inhabited sites that researchers looked at, many were empty of the tiny lagomorphs.
-Anna V. Smith  

An American pika gathers vegetation for its hay pile.
Will Thompson/USGS

$1 BILLION: projected cost of the Grand Canyon Escalade, a development that may go through despite the election of Russell Begaye, who opposes the project, as Navajo Nation president.

16: number of votes needed, out of 24, for the Navajo Nation Council to overturn a presidential veto.

The Grand Canyon is the site of frequent development proposals, including a tram to Navajo land at the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers. A bill introduced in the Navajo Nation Council would approve the tram, despite opposition from the nation’s president, environmentalists and other tribes, setting up a potential legal battle.
-Krista Langlois 

In late August, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill prohibiting the California Transportation Commission from funding new coal exports, cutting coal from Oakland’s massive new import and export hub. The exports had drawn opposition for their possible health effects on the community. California’s ban is one of several recent West Coast rulings blocking the struggling coal industry, and proponents say it will curtail coal exports and push renewable energy forward.
-Paige Blankenbuehler 

The new Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal in California won’t be shipping coal when it opens in 2018.
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