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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Exposing the Big Game

http://www.washingtonnature.org/fieldnotes/2017-climate-change-facts-about-climate-change-to-share-social-media

There has been a lot of interest this week about the science of climate change. We’ve rounded up 10 of the most important factoids about climate change — some may surprise you. Share these with your friends on social media and spread the word about this critical issue.

1950: Year when atmospheric CO2 levels broke records from the previous 400,000 years, sharply rising and continuing to grow.

6.7 inches: Rise in global sea levels over the last century. The rate of rise has doubled in the last decade.

16: Number of record-breaking hottest years since 2000. 2016 was the hottest year yet.

1.5 degrees: The average worldwide temperature increase in Fahrenheit compared to a century ago.

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Natural History Wanderings

News Release from Center for Biological Diversity

Trump Orders Massive Rollback of Environmental Protections

Order Contains Dangerous, Illegal Requirement to Cut Two Rules for Every New One 

WASHINGTON— In a major effort to dismantle environmental protections, President Donald Trump today signed an executive order requiring all federal agencies to repeal two regulations before implementing a new rule.

This unprecedented and illegal restriction would hamstring every federal agency’s efforts to implement laws and dramatically curtail the federal government’s ability to protect human health, wildlife and the environment from emerging threats.

“This new policy is as dumb as it gets,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “How does this ‘one-step-forward-two-steps-back’ order work? So you’ll protect my drinking water but only in exchange for allowing oil drilling in national parks and more lead in my paint?”

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Exposing the Big Game

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/19/bureau-land-management-federal-lease

In the midst of highly publicized steps to dismantle insurance coverage for 32 million people and defund women’s healthcare facilities, Republican lawmakers have quietly laid the foundation to give away Americans’ birthright: 640m acres of national land. In a single line of changes to the rules for the House of Representatives, Republicans have overwritten the value of federal lands, easing the path to disposing of federal property even if doing so loses money for the government and provides no demonstrable compensation to American citizens.

At stake are areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Forests and Federal Wildlife Refuges, which contribute to an estimated $646bn each year in economic stimulus from recreation on public lands and 6.1m jobs. Transferring these lands to the states, critics fear, could decimate those numbers by eliminating mixed-use requirements, limiting public access and…

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GarryRogers Nature Conservation

GR:  Energy production destroys wildlife. Burning fossil fuel is has the worst impact, but wind and solar are also harmful. Unless we reverse our population growth, cut our resource use, and reduce our energy needs, we will continue to drive our fellow species toward extinction.

Small hibernating bat colonies need protection
to prevent extinction

“Between collisions with wind turbines and deadly white-nose syndrome, endangered Indiana bats may not have much of a chance of recovering, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.

“The researchers used a scientific model to compare how wind turbine mortality and WNS may singly and then together affect Indiana bat population dynamics throughout the species’ U.S. range.

“Bats are valuable because, by eating insects, they save U.S. agriculture billions of dollars per year in pest control,” said USGS scientist Richard Erickson, the lead author of the study. “Our research is important for understanding…

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Piedras Blancas in California has a thriving rookery of Northern Elephant Seals, a sub-species of the largest seals in the world reaching up to 5000 pounds and 16 feet in length. Pups are born here mostly in the month of January.

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Births peak mid January.
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Over 5000 births occur annually here. Some nice mamas like this one, feed pups other than their own!

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Elephant seals nurse for about a month, during this time, mothers stay with pups continuously and do not return to to the sea to feed until weaning is complete.

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Elephant Seal milk is the richest milk in the mammalian world, which it needs to be since elephant seals grow so rapidly. This cheeky seagull pecked this little pup causing him to unlatch during nursing, releasing milk, which the seagull tried to drink!

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Mama obviously did not approve!
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There are still newborns in the rookery now, identifiable by…

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Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin

Wolves were delisted in 2011 and Wisconsin state legislature designated the wolf a game animal to be managed through a wolf hunt, making Wisconsin; Out of all the states that hunt wolves, only Wisconsin allows hound hunters to use unleashed packs of dogs to hunt wolves. Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves.” Source

I sat through dozens of Wisconsin DNR Wolf Advisory Committee meetings and witnessed the imperiled wolf become nothing more; than a commodity for hunting. At the WAC monthly meetings recreational,  trophy hunts, harvest and it (meaning wolf) were the main words being tossed about in the name of wolf management. 

Wisconsin’s wolf recovery began in the late 1970s. 

I listened to the wolf advisory committee members discuss changing wolf hunt management zone boundaries. DNR biologists on the WAC suggested making sub zones in areas where chronic wolf depredations on livestock have occurred. But the outcry…

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Natural History Wanderings

NPR reported

Tuesday afternoon, a new Twitter account called “AltUSNatParkService” appeared and began tweeting out facts about climate change, support for the National Parks and comments in opposition of President Trump, who has called climate change a hoax created by China.

All this came in response to the news of new orders to limit outward contact with the public, including bans on social media postings, at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Interior Department, which oversees the National Park Service. The EPA was ordered to enact a temporary media blackout as the Trump administration transitions its team into the agency roles.

Read full story at Alternative National Park Twitter Accounts Appear As EPA Media Blackout Continues : All Tech Considered : NPR

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