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Threshold

Threshold is a Peabody Award-winning public radio show and podcast that tackles one pressing environmental issue each season. We report the story where it's happening through a range of voices and perspectives. Our goal is to be a home for nuanced journalism about human relationships with the natural world. www.thresholdpodcast.org Season 1 -- "Oh Give Me a Home" Can we ever have wild, free-roaming bison again? Season 2 -- "Cold Comfort" Climate change in the Arctic through the eyes of people who live there. Season 3 -- "The Refuge" The controversy over drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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The Refuge | 1 | Sibling Rivalry

The question of whether or not we should drill for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most contentious public lands debates in the United States. Even though most Americans would have a hard time finding it on a map, the topic seems to ignite intense feelings in just about everyone. After 40 years of fighting, Congress voted in December 2017 to allow drilling in the refuge. As we release this, the Trump Administration says they’ll start auctioning off development rights to oil companies as soon as this winter. But opponents to drilling are trying to stop that from happening, and at this point, no one really knows how things will play out. In this episode, we take you to the refuge, track down the origin story of the conflict, and follow that conflict through the decades.   Learn more about Threshold on our website. Become part of our passionate network of supporters here.  This series was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.  Archival footage in this episode is from the documentaries Alaska Highway and Journey to Prudhoe, and from CNN, Eddy Arnold’s 1952 rendition of Smokey the Bear, PBS NewsHour, and ABC.

41mins

6 Nov 2019

Rank #1

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The Refuge | 5 | Path Dependence

When the debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge first emerged, most people had never heard of global warming. So over the last four decades, the controversies over oil in the Refuge and climate change evolved on different tracks.  Now, those tracks are intersecting. We dive into the resulting tensions and contradictions around oil and climate in this final episode of our series on the Refuge. Learn more about Threshold on our website. Our reporting is made possible by listeners like you. Become part of our passionate network of supporters here.  This series was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

53mins

27 Dec 2019

Rank #2

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Oh, Give Me A Home | 3 | Born Free

Many cattle ranchers view wild bison as a threat to their livelihoods. But some think cattle and bison can coexist. On episode three of Threshold, you'll meet two cattle ranchers with different perspectives on wild bison — and, we'll take you on a controversial bison hunt.

29mins

16 Feb 2017

Rank #3

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Oh, Give Me A Home | 5 | Heirs to the Most Glorious Heritage

"We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune." ~ Theodore Roosevelt In 1908, the National Bison Range was created by carving 18,000 acres out of Montana's Flathead Reservation. Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is willing to transfer the land back to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. But, a lawsuit has been filed to stop the proposed transfer. In this episode we meet tribal members who feel they are the rightful stewards of the land and the historic bison herd, and others who are trying to stop the transfer.

30mins

2 Mar 2017

Rank #4

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The Refuge | 4 | Do It in a Good Way, Pt. 1

The Gwich’in have lived and hunted in the Refuge long before it was carved out as federal, protected land. Their territory spans a huge swath of northeastern Alaska and northwestern Canada, and their health and culture depends on the Porcupine caribou herd - a group of animals 200,000 strong that calve on the area of the coastal plain slated for drilling. In this two-part episode, spend time in Arctic Village, a community just over the southern border of the Refuge, and hear from the Gwich’in about what’s at stake for them as development looms in the 1002 area. Learn more about Threshold on our website. Become part of our passionate network of supporters here.  This series was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

37mins

20 Dec 2019

Rank #5

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Oh, Give Me A Home | 4 | Tatanka Oyate

In episode four of Threshold, we meet Robbie Magnan of the Fort Peck Tribes. He believes his community can prosper in the future by reconnecting with their roots as the Tatanka Oyate — the buffalo people. Magnan has built a quarantine facility that could be an alternative to the Yellowstone bison slaughter, but right now it sits empty while more than a thousand bison are being culled from the herd. Why? We'll learn more about Magnan's vision for bison restoration, and investigate why some people are opposed to it.

28mins

23 Feb 2017

Rank #6

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The Refuge | 2 | To Secure the Blessings of Liberty

For 40 years, the fight over drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been waged mostly from afar, in Washington, D.C. But what would oil development mean to the people who live closest to the proposed drilling area?  Kaktovik, Alaska is the only town within the boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Now that drilling has been approved by Congress, it could mean people here someday have oil rigs right next door. But it could also mean this small town is suddenly awash in cash.  Kaktovik may have more to lose, and more to gain, than any other community in the country, so we’re going to spend two full episodes listening to people here. Learn more about Threshold on our website. Our reporting is made possible by listeners like you. Become part of our passionate network of supporters here.  This series was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. 

36mins

20 Nov 2019

Rank #7

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Oh, Give Me A Home | 7 | Oh, Give Me A Home

In the last episode of Season One of Threshold, listeners will encounter pearls of wisdom from youth who have grown up with bison in their midst, and take a trip to the Oakland Zoo, which will soon receive buffalo from the Blackfeet tribe that will help jumpstart a conservation herd there. We also conjure the big ideas driving this first season - what's our future with this animal? How does that connect with our history? Can America ever have wild, free-roaming bison again?

29mins

16 Mar 2017

Rank #8

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Oh, Give Me A Home | 6 | Territory Folks Should All Be Pals

Visit the American Prairie Reserve, a conservation project in the heart of Montana that could eventually be home to 10,000 bison. The vision is to stitch together 3.5 million acres of public and private lands to form the largest wildlife park in the lower 48. But some nearby ranchers feel the push to build the APR is pushing them off their land, and they're mounting a resistance. We also try to solve the Great Elk Mystery: why are elk that have been exposed to brucellosis allowed to roam free in Montana, while bison are not?

28mins

9 Mar 2017

Rank #9

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Cold Comfort | 1 | The Water is Wide

In Shishmaref, Alaska, no one’s asking if climate change is real. What they want to know is how bad it has to get before the world decides to act. Find out more at www.thresholdpodcast.org. Our reporting is made possible by listeners like you. Become part of our passionate network of supporters at https://www.patreon.com/thresholdpodcast.

29mins

25 Sep 2018

Rank #10

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Cold Comfort | 12 | Here Be Dragons

The Greenland ice sheet is basically a giant ice cube the size of Alaska. What happens when it melts? We spent five days camping out on the ice with a team of scientists who are trying to find out. Find out more at www.thresholdpodcast.org/donate. Our reporting is made possible by listeners like you. Become part of our passionate network of supporters at https://www.patreon.com/thresholdpodcast. This season is underwritten by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Production partners: Montana Public Radio and PRI’s The World.

30mins

11 Dec 2018

Rank #11

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The Refuge | 3 | Listen to the People, Pt. 1

We continue our reporting from Kaktovik, Alaska—the only town within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—to find out how the conflict over drilling for oil in the refuge feels to the people who live there. The more we listened, the more we realized: the heart of the issue isn’t just over oil extraction and development, wilderness and wildlife. Whatever side people took, their focus is on their community, sovereignty, and survival. Learn more about Threshold on our website. Our reporting is made possible by listeners like you. Become part of our passionate network of supporters here.  This series was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

33mins

9 Dec 2019

Rank #12

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The Refuge | 3 | Listen to the People, Pt. 2

We continue our reporting from Kaktovik, Alaska—the only town within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—to find out how the conflict over drilling for oil in the refuge feels to the people who live there. The more we listened, the more we realized: the heart of the issue isn’t just over oil extraction and development, wilderness and wildlife. Whatever side people took, their focus is on their community, sovereignty, and survival.  Learn more about Threshold on our website.  This series was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

29mins

9 Dec 2019

Rank #13

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Cold Comfort | 8 | Oil and Water

What happens when the thing you can't live without in the short term threatens your very existence in the long run? Meet two whalers in Utqiagvik, Alaska trying to answer that question. Find out more at www.thresholdpodcast.org/donate. Our reporting is made possible by listeners like you. Become part of our passionate network of supporters at https://www.patreon.com/thresholdpodcast. This season is underwritten by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Production partners: Montana Public Radio and PRI’s The World.

33mins

13 Nov 2018

Rank #14

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Oh, Give Me A Home | Extra 4 | Out of Africa

Humans first encountered bison more than 75,000 years ago, as we migrated north out of Africa. We retrace that journey across Europe and Asia, and into the Americas.

19mins

21 Feb 2017

Rank #15

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Cold Comfort | 5 | Just Decide

Everyone's heard of Vikings -- their daring North Atlantic voyages, their mysterious runes. But there's another ancient culture in Arctic Scandinavia that's much older, and just as fascinating -- the Sámi. While the Vikings have been celebrated, Sámi music, language and traditions were forced underground. Why? Find out more at www.thresholdpodcast.org. Our reporting is made possible by listeners like you. Become part of our passionate network of supporters at https://www.patreon.com/thresholdpodcast. This season is underwritten by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Production partners: Montana Public Radio and PRI’s The World.

32mins

23 Oct 2018

Rank #16

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Cold Comfort | 11 | Life Is Too Hard Without Music

All across the Arctic, indigenous languages are on the decline. But in many communities, people are finding new ways to reclaim both language and culture. Join some Inuit rockers in northern Canada in the recording studio, singing in their own language and making their first new studio album in more than 30 years.   Find out more at www.thresholdpodcast.org/donate. Our reporting is made possible by listeners like you. Become part of our passionate network of supporters at https://www.patreon.com/thresholdpodcast. This season is underwritten by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Production partners: Montana Public Radio and PRI’s The World.

30mins

4 Dec 2018

Rank #17

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Cold Comfort | 2 | Invisible Hands

When a major storm hit Shishmaref, Alaska in 2005, it became a poster child for climate change in the Arctic. Dramatic pictures of houses falling into the sea showed up in news outlets around the world. But the story here starts way before that storm. Find out more at www.thresholdpodcast.org. Our reporting is made possible by listeners like you. Become part of our passionate network of supporters at https://www.patreon.com/thresholdpodcast. This season is underwritten by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Production partners: Montana Public Radio and PRI’s The World.

29mins

2 Oct 2018

Rank #18

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The Refuge | 4 | Do It in a Good Way, Pt. 2

The Gwich’in have lived and hunted in the Refuge long before it was carved out as federal, protected land. Their territory spans a huge swath of northeastern Alaska and northwestern Canada, and their health and culture depends on the Porcupine caribou herd - a group of animals 200,000 strong that calve on the area of the coastal plain slated for drilling. In this two-part episode, spend time in Arctic Village, a community just over the southern border of the Refuge, and hear from the Gwich’in about what’s at stake for them as development looms in the 1002 area. Learn more about Threshold on our website. Our reporting is made possible by listeners like you. Become part of our passionate network of supporters here.  This series was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

35mins

20 Dec 2019

Rank #19

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Cold Comfort | 13 | Try Harder

18 months of reporting. All eight Arctic countries. So many fascinating people. On the final episode of season two of Threshold, we pull back a little and try to see the big picture. Join us as we bust some myths, travel back in time in a Swedish forest, and search for roadmaps into the future. Find out more at www.thresholdpodcast.org/donate. Our reporting is made possible by listeners like you. Become part of our passionate network of supporters at https://www.patreon.com/thresholdpodcast. This season is underwritten by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Production partners: Montana Public Radio and PRI’s The World.

30mins

18 Dec 2018

Rank #20