USGS

The Department of the Interior is continuing its push to move some agency headquarters out West by asking Congress to fund the initiative.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is asking Congress for $10.5 million in the next fiscal year for the relocation efforts. The department says it plans to choose a new western location for the Bureau of Land Management headquarters later this year. It has also signaled that it may move the U.S. Geological Survey headquarters to the Denver area.

USGS

Scientists have discovered a new thermal area in Yellowstone National Park. The area is roughly the size of four football fields and is located in the northeast corner of the park.

Fossil Fuel-Associated Emissions of Greenhouse Gases from Federal Lands
USGS

You may have missed it, but on Black Friday the federal government released a second climate-related report. The United States Geologic Survey (USGS) found nearly one-quarter of carbon dioxide emissions come from fossil fuels extracted on public lands - that's the average from 2005 to 2014. Not to mention over 7 percent of methane and 1.5 percent of nitrous oxide, on average during that same time period.

Westerners in many states are using less water.  However that’s not the case in the Mountain West. In Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho, home usage went up; in Montana it stayed the same. Experts say these figures are based less on population growth and more on state water policies.

The US Geological Survey will merge operations from their Wyoming and Montana Water Science Centers this fall.
 

The centers measure stream flow and quality in each state, which share two water sheds and have similar geography.
 

Wyoming-based USGS Hydrologist says currently, each team can only do monitoring up to the state line.
 

A report by the U.S. Geological Survey documents how much human disturbance sage grouse can tolerate, and report co-author Steve Knick says the amount is very low.

He says most active leks, or breeding grounds, are in areas where less than three-percent of the land is developed.

Knick says the study shows that Wyoming is on the right track with its core area policy.

A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey finds that coal-bed natural gas production can affect water quality in nearby streams.

The study monitored water quality over a ten-year period in Wyoming and Montana, and found that in places like the Powder River, sodium levels increased. Other test sites showed little or no change in water quality.

Report author Melanie Clark says the changes occur because water that’s extracted during gas production sometimes flows into the streams and rivers.

But she says the additional sodium in the water isn’t particularly worrisome.

USGS

The U-S Geological Survey released a study examining how coalbed natural gas production affects water quality in nearby streams and rivers. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with Melanie Clark, the author of the report.