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 

Find Law's Legal Commentary

by Noah S. Leavitt

May 9, 2005

Late last week, the U.S. House quickly approved an $82 billion appropriations bill to fund America's military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. This bill is headed to the Senate in the next few days.

Tucked inside this massive funding package are some of the most sweeping - and, many have said, harshest - changes to immigration law in years. Representative James Sensenbrenner (R - Wis), the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, is the primary sponsor of this legislation, which is known as the "REAL ID" Act.

The most high-profile provision of REAL ID would mandate that applicants for state drivers' licenses must prove they are in the U.S. legally, in order to get identification that may be used at federal facilities (airports, national parks, government offices, and so on).

The Press Democrat (CA)

by Mike Geniella

June 3, 2005

Jurors say they wanted to send message to Ukiah school district for death during swimming class.

In a stinging rebuke to local school officials, a Mendocino County jury Thursday awarded $4.25 million to the grieving parents of a 13-year-old boy who drowned at the city pool during a 2003 swimming class. The jury, which took less than 90 minutes to reach its unanimous verdict, awarded Sandy and Joe Talamo $250,000 more than their attorneys had sought.

The Washington Post (DC)

by Spencer S. Hsu and Dana Hedgpeth

July 16, 2005

D.C. Control of Mostly Waterfront Property Could Increase Tax Revenue by Millions.

President Bush proposed yesterday to give the District government control over roughly 200 acres of federal land in the city, most of it waterfront property where redevelopment could increase D.C. tax revenue by tens of millions of dollars a year. The 15 acres of National Park Service land northwest of RFK would be turned over to the city on the condition that some of it be provided to a D.C. public charter boarding school, such as one run by the nonprofit SEED Foundation, city officials said.

Guardian Unlimited (UK)

by Ian Sample

August 11, 2005

Siberia feels the heat It's a frozen peat bog the size of France and Germany combined, contains billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas and, for the first time since the ice age, it is melting.

The area, which covers the entire sub-Arctic region of western Siberia, is the world's largest frozen peat bog and scientists fear that as it thaws, it will release billions of tonnes of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere.

by C. Josh Donlan

August 18, 2005

As the first Americans strolled onto their open real estate 13,000 years ago, at the end of the Pleistocene epoch, their continent quickly lost much of its grandeur.

Elephants: not just for zoos, anymore "Rewilding" - bringing elephants, cheetahs, and lions out of captivity to run free in parts of North America -could help save these megafauna from global extinction. More important, it would restore to the continent biological functions lost millenniums ago. The big guys would help stop the march of the pests and weeds-rats and dandelions-that will otherwise take over the landscape. And they would promote the natural processes that generate biodiversity.


by Daithi O hAnluain

August 23, 2005

A "chemical wringer" developed by researchers in Florida leaves clothes 20 percent drier than a normal wash, and could save consumers millions in electricity bills.

A novel mix of common detergent ingredients that lowers the surface tension in liquids could force extra water from clothes during the final spin cycle, the researchers found.

Auburn Journal (CA)

by Michelle Miller

August 28, 2005

Michelle and Wes Burris' Thursday morning routine included the usual cup of coffee and the not-so-usual mountain lion sighting. The couple spotted a lion behind their Silver Bend Drive home at around 6:30 a.m.

"The dog was barking and barking and I thought he saw a deer, but usually if it's a deer, she'll try to chase it," said Michelle Burris. They looked out the window to see an adult lion lying down in the tall weeds 20 feet in front of them.

The Black Hills Pioneer (SD)

by Joe Kafka

August 29, 2005

State lawmakers have signed off on the first-ever mountain lion season in South Dakota, allowing the predators to be killed with rifles, pistols, shotguns that fire slugs, and bows and arrows.

Lawmakers who serve on the Legislature's Rules Review Committee endorsed a set of standards 4-2 on Monday that establish the season. Hunters can begin stalking the big cats on Oct. 1 in the Black Hills. A 25-lion quota has been set, but the season will end on Dec. 15 or whenever five breeding-age females have been killed.

The Malibu Times

by Lori Allen

August 31, 2005

The two lions have been tracked by Park Service researchers since 2003. The two had four yearling offspring, which researchers say are doing well.

Malibu's mountain lions are downsizing in the Santa Monica Mountains. The National Park Service reported that a local male mountain lion, called P1 by rangers, fatally wounded his female mountain lion partner, P2, on Aug. 12.

The Arizona Republic

by Kate Nolan

September 5, 2005

A mountain lion prowling the Scottsdale's Stonegate community for the past two months tests new protocols set by Arizona Game & Fish. The cat has not yet posed a public safety hazard, but has been sighted in the area 15 times.

Fifteen sightings of the cat, usually spotted in one of the upscale community's nine washes, have been reported to the Arizona Game and Fish Department since June 23. Response from residents varies from "the lion adds a special interest" to serious concern for public safety, said Larry Paprocki, director of the Stonegate Community Association.

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