Reliable Answers - News and Commentary

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 

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.

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."

latimes.com

August 21, 2015

We've heard that a "Godzilla" El Niño could be coming this winter and could help bring some relief from California's punishing four-year drought. But what do Godzilla El Niño winters really mean, based on past experience? Let's take a look.

California's drought has been worsened by a mass of relentless high pressure sitting atop the Gulf of Alaska, scaring off the cool, wet storms ferried by the jet stream away from the West Coast. "It moved the jet stream into northern Canada, swooping it into the Midwest and Boston," Patzert said. In California, "we were left high and dry, and Boston got our rain in the form of blizzards."

wholefoodsmagazine.com

August 10, 2015

Edinburgh, Scotland-Scottish rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead announced genetically modified crops would be formally banned, saying that the move will help preserve Scotland's "clean, green status."

This decision follows up a previous ruling by the European Union earlier this year that allows member states and devolved administrations to restrict or ban the cultivation of genetically modified organisms within their territory. This decision includes the genetically modified maize previously approved by the EU, along with six other crops currently awaiting

bigislandvideonews.com

August 1, 2015

HILO, Hawaii - The Hawaii County Council will consider a bill next week that will ban certain pesticides from being sprayed on government grounds.

Bill 71, introduced by Kohala councilwoman Margaret Wille, "prohibits toxic herbicides in all County owned or maintained public parks and along all County owned or maintained roads, bikeways, sidewalks, trails, and waterways." The Council Committee on Environmental Management will hold a hearing on the bill during its 2:30 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, August 4th in Hilo.

fredericksburg.com

June 28, 2015

Officials at Yosemite National Park said Wednesday they have selected a new company to take over hotels, restaurants and outdoor activities under the national park system's most lucrative single contract for services.

Aramark has been offered the 15-year contract valued at $2 billion, park spokesman Scott Gediman said. If the deal is approved, the Philadelphia-based company would replace Delaware North on March 1, the day after the old contract expires.

radionz.co.nz

June 24, 2015

A kaumatua is making a plea for his community to get behind a campaign to save the Ngunguru pipi beds.

Sonny Wellington from Ngunguru said a recent mass die-off of shellfish was a sign that all is not well with their environment. Mr Wellington, 82, said when he was a boy shellfish of all kinds were abundant at Ngunguru and people could catch a good snapper from the beach.

      
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