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Nature in the News

Channel Island Fox at the Coyote Point Museum, San Mateo, CA

Channel Island Fox

Nature in the News contains interesting, entertaining and educational articles about wildlife, nature and ecology issues. This news page contains information on everything from Yosemite rock slides and mountain lion legislation, to global warming, climate change and tiny little hummingbirds.

If you aren't sure where you stand on the issues, don't feel alone. The world we live in becomes more complex every single day. Is the earth as fragile as some would have us believe or has it endured because it's quite resilient? You decide. These issues are not going away and will continue to plague us with complex problems that will require us all to make hard decisions.

You will find plenty of food for thought and information to contemplate. Be sure to check back often.

      
 Title   Date   Author   Host 

uniondemocrat.com

by Guy McCarthy

November 10, 2015

Trees fall year-round in the Mother Lode from factors including age, stress, infestation and structural weakness. In recent weeks, several trees have fallen, from Twain Harte to Columbia, and some of the falling trees have coincided with wet weather.

Telltale orange, red and brown patches are visible along the Highway 4, Highway 108 and Highway 120 corridors in and near the Stanislaus National Forest and in Yosemite National Park. But there's more going on with pines and oaks than drought-stress and infestation, said Scott Nye, owner of Twain Harte Tree Service.

japantimes.co.jp

by Philip Brasor

November 7, 2015

South Korean director Kim Ki-duk is a noted provocateur. His latest movie, "Stop," is about a Japanese couple who were living near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant when it suffered a meltdown in March 2011.

They evacuate to Tokyo, where the wife is pestered by an underground cult that insists she abort her presumably irradiated fetus, and she becomes convinced she should. Her husband is equally convinced there is nothing wrong with the baby and ties his wife up to prevent her from doing anything. Kim's point seems to be that whichever position you take on the nuclear accident, it will invariably drive you insane.

globalresearch.ca

November 7, 2015

It came as no surprise, to those following the ongoing nuclear melt-downs at Fukushima, and the continuation of pouring seawater to cool the Corium masses, the T.E.P.C.O would "simply run out of room" for the highly radioactive waste water.

TEPCO has no choice but to pour the cooling water straight back into the Pacific Ocean from whence it came, after assurances that this practice was never going to happen. The implications and ramifications for the Pacific ocean, and food chains around the world, is a fact and an eventuality, no longer a possibility. As this is a first time Global crisis phenomenon, there is no data, no science and no research to lead us on with a solution, nor guide us with any protective measures as to the ongoing crisis. TEPCO released the following information on sheer volume of the highly toxic, deadly radiocative releases going on, on a daily basis from Fukushima.

ideas.ted.com

November 2, 2015

To restore the ocean ecosystem, you're saying we must put an end to overfishing and bottom trawling, which you liken to "catching songbirds with a bulldozer." Is there such a thing as eating fish responsibly these days?

Except for those living in coastal communities - or even inland if we're talking freshwater species - for most people, eating fish is a choice, not a necessity. Some people believe that the sole purpose of fish is for us to eat them. They are seen as commodities. Yet wild fish, like wild birds, have a place in the natural ecosystem which outweighs their value as food. They're part of the systems that make the planet function in our favor, and we should be protecting them because of their importance to the ocean.

lohud.com

October 28, 2015

In the late 1800s, one of every four trees in our forests was the American chestnut. These stately native trees provided valuable and handsome timber, excellent firewood and plentiful, nutritious nuts for both people and wildlife.

The two dozen tiny trees (12-inch "plantlets") were planted in May at a 1-acre site on the Camp Fire Club's 232-acre grounds and will be monitored closely by federal officials over the next few years. "The trees are 99.9 percent pure American chestnuts, with the addition of one wheat gene" to protect the tree from the killing fungus, says Preston Bruenn, the club's Conservation Committee chairman who is also an ESF alumnus. The main lodge of the Chappaqua club was built from American chestnut in the early 1900s.

washingtonpost.com

by Steve Volk

October 28, 2015

A prominent Agriculture Department scientist is alleging that he was suspended after complaining that the agency was blocking his research into the harmful effects of pesticides on pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.

In a whistleblower complaint filed Wednesday, Jonathan Lundgren, an entomologist and 11-year veteran of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, says his supervisors retaliated against him by suspending him initially for 30 days before reducing it to 14 days.

kcra.com

October 16, 2015

California officials are considering allowing inmates with violent backgrounds to work outside prison walls fighting wildfires, and the idea is generating concerns about public safety.

The state has the nation's largest and oldest inmate firefighting unit, with about 3,800 members who provide critical assistance to professional firefighters. That's down from about 4,400 in previous years, however, and so prison officials are looking for ways to add inmates.

myMotherLode.com

October 15, 2015

Tuolumne, CA - An increasing concern throughout the state and certainly in the Sierras, tree death was a top topic in a local water district's meeting on Tuesday.

In its monthly report, the Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) staff has identified 485 dead and dying trees due to drought-related causes, including bark beetle infestation. A more detailed presentation on the issue by Operations Manager Don Perkins reveals that over 400 trees now impact TUD's ditches in Section 4, Upper and Lower Soulsbyville, Upper Columbia and Eureka. To date, the district has had eight trees in Section 4 removed at a cost of $900. Dead trees are also an issue at seven TUD facilities, according to the presentation. Of 125 trees around the Twain Harte WWTP, 99 were removed at a cost of $6,740; of 10 at Tuolumne WTP, nine were removed for $3,500; one near the Michigan Tanks was removed for $500. Several other trees were identified near Rainbow Reservoir, Cedar Ridge WTP, CR Upper Tanks, and Phoenix. "We've identified the location of the current trees [impacted]...we've also identified the property owners associated with the trees, so we're sort of at the starting point right now," stated interim TUD General Manager Dave Andres. He pointed out, "This is not a one-year operation - there might be 800 trees next year, if we continue the drought - and even if we don't, you might have to continue to harvest over the next five years to keep the ditch safe. So, there's a lot of issues that have to be worked out."

capradio.org

October 15, 2015

Two weeks after the Butte Fire in Amador and Calaveras counties was contained, fire managers are assessing the blaze and the effort to fight it.

The Butte Fire burned more than 70,000 acres in Amador and Calaveras counties last month. It killed three people and destroyed nearly 500 homes. "The main message that I'm hearing is that history didn't help them at all to fight this fire," says McClurg. "It acted erratically, violently, completely unpredictably. And they feel like the fires they're seeing today... the Valley Fire, the King Fire last year. They're fighting the fires behind instead of out front because they can't predict what they're going to do."

capradio.org

by Lesley McClurg

October 15, 2015

The U.S Forest Service is assessing the damage and considering next steps to restore the landscape in the Butte Fire area. Nearly 71,000 acres burned in Amador and Calaveras counties in September.

Much of the burn area is completely devoid of life. The trees are blackened sticks. Large areas suffered "high severity" burns, which means no vegetation survived the extremely hot flames. "We don't have any trees there anymore," says Barnie Gyant, a deputy regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service. "No seed source for natural generation so when we look at this drought and what this costs on these fires are in the region, it's a system gone bad."

      






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