Environment news

fensterbme / https://www.flickr.com/photos/fensterbme/

The public has until Saturday to weigh in on the strategic plan that will guide how the state’s forestlands are used over the next four years. It proposes higher user fees – and no rollback in logging on state-owned land. 

A little more than 10 years ago, the Division of Forestry sold about 3 million board feet each year from state-controlled land. But today, more than four times that much timber – 14 million board feet – leaves the forest each year.

Specially-Bred Purdue Bees Are Biting Back

Oct 28, 2015
Sarah Fentem / WBAA


For around a decade, beekeepers have seen around one-quarter to one-third of their colonies die every year. There are many potential causes for the die-off, but most scientists agree a parasitic mite is a major factor.

Purdue entomologist Greg Hunt says if a bee were human-sized, the mite would be about the size of a balled-up fist. Other scientists say the size is more comparable to a pancake.

But now, Purdue University scientists have bred special bees that are biting back.

Niels Paul / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nureinpaarfotos/4481300759

A group of Indiana climate scientists say the Pence administration doesn’t understand the science of climate change and needs to take action to address the issue.

Gabriel Filippelli is an IUPUI earth sciences professor and led a group of scientists in penning a letter to Governor Mike Pence.  Filippelli says the reality of climate change – and that humans are largely responsible for it – is no longer debated by the scientific community. 

Alan Berning / https://www.flickr.com/photos/14617207@N00/2621375759

Indiana is once again headed to federal court to block and Environmental Protection Agency regulation. 

Indiana was part of an effort to block the EPA's power plant rule before it became final. The latest lawsuit -- involving Indiana and 23 other states -- takes aim at the regulation now that it's taken effect. 

The EPA rule would require Hoosier state power plants to reduce their carbon emissions between 30 and 38 percent by 2030....a mandate Gov. Mike Pence calls ill-conceived, saying it will be too costly for the state to comply, 

Joshua Duffy / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshduffyphoto/7283981926

Cities and counties around Indiana will have to recover from this summer’s storms and flooding without federal aid after FEMA Wednesday denied Governor’s Mike Pence appeal for help. 

Governor Pence in August asked FEMA to provide emergency grants to 19 counties.  The grants help pay up to 75 percent of costs incurred by local governments for road, bridge and utility repairs and building damage. 

Michael Hoy / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mjhoy/

Indiana environmental groups want Hoosiers to replace their pollution-emitting outdoor wood boilers, and a new grant program could help pay for people to move to renewable home energy alternatives.

The Hoosier Environmental Council has long been concerned about the effect of the roughly 8,000 outdoor wood boilers across the state.  One study posits that an outdoor wood boiler emits about as much pollution as four heavy-duty diesel trucks.  But council executive director Jesse Kharbanda stresses that the group isn’t trying to demonize outdoor wood boiler owners.

US Department of Agriculture / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/

For the second time in two years, the White County Area Plan commission will consider a rezoning request for a confined feeding hog operation that is opposed by neighboring residents.

Gary and Connie Rice want to build a barn that would house 4,000 hogs on nearly seven acres of land.

To do that, the land must be rezoned from General Agriculture to Agricultural Industry.

Indiana DNR

Though it may come as a surprise to some, there are indeed shipwrecks in Indiana. The unlucky vessels rest beneath the waters of Lake Michigan, and now, thanks to a new website from the Department of Natural Resources, you don’t need a scuba suit to visit them.

The new site, IndianaShipwrecks.org, is part of the DNR’s website. It provides detailed, virtual tours of historic shipwrecks lying off Indiana’s coast beneath Lake Michigan.

Jason Jenkins / https://www.flickr.com/photos/acrcc/


Asian carp are wreaking havoc on rivers across Indiana – most recently in Monroe County.

The invasive species has been detected in Salt Creek, sparking fears that the fish will make their way into nearby Lake Monroe. The Department of Natural Resources is alerting fishermen to try and prevent that from happening.

But if Asian carp do end up in Lake Monroe, there’s not much the state can do to get rid of them.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Residents of Danville, Indiana, along with the Hoosier Environmental Council, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against a large factory farm. If successful, the suit could have major consequences for the agriculture industry in the state.

Neighbors of the farm, which contains approximately 8,000 pigs, say the odor is unbearable. Gases like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide that waft from large manure pits could pose health risks. And they say their property value has plummeted, so they can’t just sell and move away.