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Trump says he is not buying U.S. intelligence as he meets with Putin. Also on the rundown: as harvest nears, farmers speak out on tariffs; immigrant advocates say families should not be kept in cages; and a call for a deeper dive into the Lake Erie algae troubles.

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Earth Day in SD - A Time to Reflect on Environmental Progress

April 22, 2009

Washington, D.C. – Earth Day, an observance that began 39 years ago and blossomed into a global event, is being celebrated today. Campaign for America's Wilderness policy director Doug Scott was one of two graduate students who served on the board of directors that organized the first Earth Day observance in 1970. He says it signaled the arrival of environmental concerns on the national agenda, where such concerns remain today.

Scott says that, although progress has been made with passage of the federal Endangered Species Act and Clean Water and Air Acts, South Dakota residents need to remain vigilant in protecting the state's abundant natural resources.

"I would say that it's one of the states most blessed with wildlife, wide-open spaces, clean air, clean water and gorgeous rivers."

Scott says many of the legal tools that protect the country's environment were enacted by Congress in the 1960s and '70s and have been strengthened through the years.

"We measure that by the progress of wilderness designations the Congress has enacted, along with wild and scenic rivers designations. And, of course, they've repeatedly gone back to strengthen the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Now, those become the foundation stones for trying to address a more rational energy policy and climate change policy."

Scott says Earth Day is a good time to acknowledge the work needed to meet the next challenges, including global climate change and protecting the state and the country's most vulnerable remaining public lands.

David Law, Public News Service - SD