On the Radio: Experience Iowa’s natural beauty through geocaching


Photo by lindztrom, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s episode discusses a popular outdoor recreational activity known as geocaching.

Thanks to geocaching, you don’t have to be a pirate to search for treasure in Iowa.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity where participants use GPS tracking to find various buried objects, referred to as “caches”. Geocachers can find the coordinates of nearby caches online from many different websites.

This is a great way to explore Iowa’s nature. There are caches all over our state along beautiful nature trails. Iowa even has an official geocaching organization with thousands of members.

The caches range in size. Some are small containers that only contain a logbook for geocachers to sign. Other caches contain objects such as a button or a playing card that geocachers can take in exchange for another prize.

For more information, including links to online geocaching resources, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

I’m Jerry Schnoor from the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Thank You.

On the Radio: Roundup may present danger to Iowa’s environment


A tractor spraying herbicide on field. Photo by Tpmartins, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s episode discusses the effects of the herbicide known as Roundup.

Should Iowans worry about how the world’s most widely used herbicide affects our environment?

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

A series of studies are raising questions about the herbicide Roundup. Last year, a report out of the University of Pittsburgh found that tadpoles grew longer tails when exposed to Roundup – the same adaptation as when they are exposed to other threats. This indicates that the herbicide may have unwanted effects on some species.

Past studies have found that glyphosate-based herbicides – like Roundup – cause birth defects in laboratory animals. Roundup is also believed to have caused the development of “superweeds”, which have grown resistant to herbicides and are so large that they can damage farm equipment.

A U.S. Geological Survey study last year found traces of glyphosates in nearly every air and water sample collected in Mississippi and Iowa.

For more information on this issue, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

I’m Jerry Schnoor from the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Thank You.

DNR to conduct prescribed burns across Iowa


A firefighter controls a prescribed burn in Coconino National Forest, AZ. Photo by Coconino National Forest, Flickr.

This spring the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will conduct a series of prescribed burns in forests and wildlife areas throughout the state.

These burns are used to reduce hazardous fuel loading, which reduces the potential for wildfires, while also reducing vegetative cover, controlling exotic species, cycling nutrients, controlling weeds, and restoring native prairie.

For more information on prescribed burns in Iowa, read the full Iowa DNR press release, or check out the Iowa Environmental Focus’ radio segment on the subject.

On the Radio: Charles City named Iowa “River Town of the Year”


Check out this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below.  It features our latest sustainble city – Charles City, Iowa.

After a series of devastating floods in 1999 and 2008, Charles City has rebounded to become Iowa’s “River Town of the Year”.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus on sustainable communities.

Continue reading

On the Radio: Environmentally friendly spring cleaning


Photo by Katie Earley, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment suggests environmentally friendly tips for spring cleaning.

Getting ready for spring cleaning? This year, take measures to clean you home without dirtying the environment.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Continue reading

On the Radio: Environmental e-waste disposal


Photo by Mosman Council, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment suggests environmentally friendly options for e-waste disposal.

No longer want your old computer? Neither does your local landfill.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Continue reading

On the Radio: Safety tips for winter ice activities


Photo by Tom Gill (lapstrake), Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment suggests a number of safety tips for winter ice activities.

Iowa’s frozen rivers and lakes can provide an excellent setting for a number of recreational activities – but do you know how to avoid falling through the ice?

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Continue reading

On the Radio: Environmental winter driving tips


Photo by Will Merydith, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment suggests a number of tips to make winter driving more environmentally friendly.

For additional winter driving tips, check out our blog post here.

Winter driving can be tough on drivers, but that does not mean it has to be tough on our environment too.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Continue reading

Lead shot regulation faces opposition


Lead shot is often used in the hunting of mourning doves.

A pair of legislative panels today voted in favor of abolishing a state administrative rule that would ban the use of lead shot in the hunting of mourning doves. It is predicted that the Iowa House and Senate will agree to nullify the regulation as early as next week.

The regulation was originally proposed by the Natural Resource Commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor.

Many hunters use lead shot as an effective and inexpensive alternative to other types of ammunition, but environmental advocates argue that lead pellets harm the environment by poisoning the animals that inadvertently ingest them.

Continue reading

On the Radio: Butterfly species sees sharp population decline in Iowa


The Poweshiek Skipper. Photo by Mike Reese, wisconsinbutterflies.org.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment discusses the declining population of a once common Iowa butterfly.

Is it too late to save a once common Iowa butterfly?

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

The Poweshiek skipper is a small moth-like butterfly that was discovered in Iowa’s Poweshiek County in 1870. Now due to its plummeting population the Poweshiek skipper is a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Continue reading