Friday, December 2, 2022

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Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

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The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

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The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Wyoming Could Face Multiple Years of Snowless Winters

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Thursday, December 16, 2021   

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Wyoming and other western states are projected to see multiple years in a row without any snow as soon as 35 years out if efforts to rein in fossil-fuel emissions fail to meet global targets, according to a new report.

Almost 75% of water use in western states comes from snowpack.

Matt Rice, southwest regional director for the group American Rivers, said the report should be a red flag for water managers and policymakers to make plans now for a future with a lot less water.

"How do we build resilience in this new more arid future for the West?" Rice questioned. "It's important to make sure that we have the ability to keep water in rivers, to dedicate water to the environment, for fish, for wildlife."

Rising temperatures already have cut snowpack by 20% below 1950s levels, and researchers project by century's end, the vast majority of years -- up to 94% -- will see little or zero snowfall. Loss of snow will not just close ski resorts. Scientists already have linked vanishing snowfall to more frequent and catastrophic wildfires.

The first sector likely to see water restrictions will be agriculture.

Rice said investments are needed to help farmers and ranchers retool for more efficient irrigation and conservation, because no one wants to see a mass dry-up on lands across the West.

"And it's not like when you remove water that land comes back with native grasses and plants and shrubs," Rice cautioned. "This is oftentimes land that has been irrigated for 100-plus years, and to take water off of it, it creates a kind of 'deathscape.'"

Recommendations for adaptation include monitoring weather patterns to avoid flooding by capturing increasingly intense, if less frequent, downpours to refill aquifers. While conflicts over water rights have a long history in western states, Rice noted the issue traditionally has cut across political boundaries.

"As scarcity increases, my fear is that it will digress into a partisan issue, or rural versus urban, when it comes to water," Rice stressed. "These challenges are so significant that we can't afford not to all be in this together."


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