books, endangered species, Environment, environmental agencies, Frog, Green Frog, Grizzly Bear, Crow, Crow hunt, Wolf, Wolf rider, tariffs on solar panels, habitat restoration, Solar energy, solar power, trees, Uncategorized, Wildlife

News from The Treetalker

I haven’t posted for a while, as I’ve spent most of my time working on Volume Three: The East of my book series, Secret Voices from the Forest—Thoughts and Dreams of North American Trees. This volume concerns trees east of the Mississippi River, but doesn’t include most of Florida, as it will be featured in Volume Four: Tropics and Deserts.

Anyway, I’ve just spent some time updating my website http://laurajmerrilltreetalker.com

where you can find the following articles, as well as my blog and updates on the book (and eventually) how to buy it.

in “Focus On”

 Green frog
rana-clamitans03    Ranidae has the widest distribution of all frog families, and its members are abundant throughout the world, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Its origin was Indochina, and over a 40 million year period, its ancestors dispersed, diversifying according to the different environments they encountered.
The green frog has a smooth, moist skin, large powerful legs and highly webbed feet. Like another member of this family, the much larger bullfrog, the green frog will eat any other animal that it can fit into its mouth, including other frogs, sitting and waiting for the prey to come near.
It is both terrestrial and aquatic, and lives in the borders between freshwater ponds, streams and lakes, ditches and swamps, able to escape predators by leaping into the nearby water. The male is territorial, staking his 3-20 foot claim by patrolling the outer edge and singing, or growling if an intruder male comes near. A green frog has a number of different calls for different purposes; its call to advertise for a mate sounds has been likened to the plucking of a loose banjo string.
Mating takes place in the water, and produces egg clusters containing one to five thousand eggs each that float on the water or hang from aquatic plants. A tadpole, which eats algae and water plants, overwinters in the water, taking three to twenty-two months to mature and begin to breed. Adult frogs reach their maximum size at around the age of four, and may live ten years. (From Tamarack Companions, Secret Voices from the Forest, Volume 3: The East.)

From “Environmental Happenings”

from The Washington Post: 
Even under pro-coal President Trump, U.S. solar is doing pretty well

(Lucy Nicholson:Reuters)

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

By Chris Mooney March 15

An analysis by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Assoc. (SEIA), published on  March 9, 2018, found that the U.S solar industry had its second-best year on record for installations in 2017. New capacity of 10.6 billion watts was installed by a combination of Utilities, individuals (like me!) and businesses. The previous year set the record, with 15.1 billion watts, under President Obama, although installations in 2016 were boosted by companies that were moving quickly on projects to ensure they didn’t miss out on a 30 % federal investment tax credit.

With President Trump at the helm, who proposes slashing funding for solar energy programs, and has recently imposed import tariffs (China is a big producer of solar panels) that are expected to lead to few installations, because of increased costs.

However, the “growth in midsize solar, or the nonresidential market, was driven in part in 2017 by a major “community solar” initiative in Minnesota. In community solar programs, large groups of individuals in a community in effect share solar power from a larger installation. This is expected to be a growth area in coming years, in part because apartment and condo residents cannot put solar panels on their roofs but still may want solar power in some manner.

Mr. Trump’s tariffs will have the effect of slowing the growth of the industry by 10-15%, but the industry is considered to be strong enough to keep growing.

Full article at – www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/03/15/under-coal-boosting-president-trump-u-s-solar-is-actually-doing-pretty-well/?utm_term=.9deb5d0dd53c&wpisrc=nl_green&wpmm=1

Next:
Hunting Club Cancels Crow Shoot in Face of Criticism
March 25, 2018, WILLIAMSTOWN, Vt. (AP)

Lars Petersson

©️Lars Petersson


A Vermont hunting club has cancelled its crow shooting competition after a social media outcry.  Critics of the shoot say they understand “hunting for food” but are against “wanton killing.”

The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

Full article:  www.usnews.com/news/best-states/vermont/articles/2018-03-25/hunting-club-cancels-crow-shoot-in-face-of-criticism

Good News for Grey Wolves—The Anti-Wolf Rider Didn’t Make it!

gray-wolf-sam-parks

©️Sam Parks, for Defenders of Wildlife

Posted on March 22, 2018 by Rachel Tilseth“Congress passed the 2018 spending bill without the War-on-Wolves rider that would eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming.”

Full wordpress blog post at:  wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com/2018/03/22/good-news-for-gray-wolves-as-the-anti-wolf-rider-didnt-make-it/

Zinke backs grizzly bear recovery in N. Cascades—Interior secretary surprises conservationists
By Joel Connelly, SeattlePI March 23, 2018

rizzly Bear #399 and her cubs. Photo by Mike Wheeler

“Bear 399 and her cubs” ©️ Mike Wheeler


“Restoring the grizzly bear to the North Cascades ecosystem is the American conservation ethic come to life,” said Zinke, a former Montana congressman.

“We are managing the land and the wildlife according to the best science and best practices. The loss of the grizzly bear in the North Cascades would disturb the ecosystem and rob the region of an icon. We are moving forward with plans to restore the bear to the North Cascades, continuing our commitment to conservation and living up to our responsibility as the premier stewards of our public lands. ”

Surprising words from the Trump administration’s point man in cutting 2 million acres out of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah.

I agree, and it seems a bit hypocritical, considering all the other areas that are threatened by this current administration, and the fact that it has already lifted Endangered Species Act protection for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

Federal agencies have received more than 126,000 comments and correspondence in preparing their environmental studies.  The bulk of it has supported grizzly recovery. “Wildlife science as well as public opinion support restoration of the grizzly bear to the North Cascades for ecosystem health and as a legacy for future generations.”

The British Columbia government has recently put an end to all trophy hunting of grizzly bears.

Full article at:  www.seattlepi.com/local/politics/article/Connelly-Sec-Zinke-backs-grizzly-bear-recovery-12777419.php

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endangered species, Environment, environmental agencies, Nature, trees

Positive News about Trees & the Environment

Jaguar-Marco-Zanferrari-537x358

Costa Rica just became the first country in Latin America to ban hunting for sport. Costa Rica’s Congress voted unanimously on Monday to approve the ban, which will protect the country’s wildlife – including several species of native big cats, such as the pictured Jaguar. Any hunters caught breaking the new law will face jail time or hefty fines.

green.si

An Oxford-based startup, UAE Drones for Good, has an ambitious plan to combat deforestation by planting 1 billion trees a year by using drones.

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I don’t usually promote somebody elses sales pitch, but you can get a good book about seed libraries from Mother Earth News. See their site for details.

Rod Mast

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) funds grants to civil society groups that implement diverse projects to safeguard the world’s biodiversity hotspots – areas that harbor 90 percent of the biological diversity of the planet. The article, the gist of which you can read at

http://laurajmerrilltreetalker.com

is about “Five of the Threatened Species We’re Fighting to Save.” They are: Rhinos, Tigers, African and Asian Elephants and the Saola, a deer-like animal.

 

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endangered species, Environment, trees

Positive News about Trees & the Environment

Jaguar-Marco-Zanferrari-537x358

Costa Rica just became the first country in Latin America to ban hunting for sport. Costa Rica’s Congress voted unanimously on Monday to approve the ban, which will protect the country’s wildlife – including several species of native big cats, such as the pictured Jaguar. Any hunters caught breaking the new law will face jail time or hefty fines.

green.si

An Oxford-based startup, UAE Drones for Good, has an ambitious plan to combat deforestation by planting 1 billion trees a year by using drones.

unnamed

I don’t usually promote somebody elses sales pitch, but you can get a good book about seed libraries from Mother Earth News. See their site for details.

Rod Mast

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) funds grants to civil society groups that implement diverse projects to safeguard the world’s biodiversity hotspots – areas that harbor 90 percent of the biological diversity of the planet. The article, the gist of which you can read at

http://laurajmerrilltreetalker.com

is about “Five of the Threatened Species We’re Fighting to Save.” They are: Rhinos, Tigers, African and Asian Elephants and the Saola, a deer-like animal.

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biomass, endangered species, energy efficiency, Environment, forests, green living, habitat restoration, Renewable Energy, trees

Positive news about trees and the environment (for a change!)

Great wall of trees keeps China’s deserts at bay, called “The Great Green Wall” – a massive belt of trees being planted across China’s arid north -“ has reportedly improved vegetation and dust storms have decreased significantly in the region, compared with other areas. Read the full text of this and other stories at my website, listed below.

Landov:Xinhua:Press Association Images)

http://laurajmerrilltreetalker.com
Steam to run one of Procter & Gamble’s largest paper manufacturing plants will soon be created by using peanut and pecan shells, treetops and mill waste such as sawdust. A $200 million biomass cogeneration plant, which is now under construction in Georgia, will significantly increase the Cincinnati-based company’s use of renewable energy.

6a00d834519bc269e20133eccaf23c970b-580wi
Chiefs’ Joint Restoration Projects to have Meaningful Impact on Family-Owned Forests in Oregon’s Elkhorn Mountains and Wisconsin’s Lake Superior watershed, where family forest owners are being engaged to help reduce the risk of wildfire, improve the habitats of threatened fish and animals, ensure clean water, and other critical outcomes.

Elkhorn_Mountains_(Union_County,_Oregon_scenic_images)_(uniDA0022a)
U.S. Wildlife Managers Mark Population Rise for Rare Mexican Grey Wolf, which were believed to be all but extinct in the United States in 1998 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began reintroducing the animal to its native range. The number climbed to 109 in 2014, marking the fourth consecutive year that the population has risen by at least 10 percent.

desert.usa.com

EU Introduces New Rules to Make Cooking Greener. The sale of energy wasting ovens and cooking hobs will be banned across the European Union, beginning Friday. The cumulative savings from the rules across the bloc would run into billions.

Gas_cooker_gas_hob_stove

Epercent percent.WildlifeService began reintroducing the animal to its native range. The number climbed to 109 in 2014, marking the fourth consecutive year that the population has risen by at least 10 percent.
EU Introduces New Rules to Make Cooking Greener. The sale of energy wasting ovens and cooking hobs will be banned across the European Union, beginning Friday. The cumulative savings from the rules across the bloc would run into billions.

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Corporate Greed, endangered species, forests, Green Movement, Mexico, Minnesota, monarch butterfly, Renewable Energy, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife

Some positive tree and environmental stories

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR MONARCH BUTTERFLY LOVERS: The number of Monarch butterflies that reached wintering grounds in Mexico has rebounded 69 percent from last year’s lowest-on-record levels, but their numbers remain very low, according to a formal census by Mexican environmental authorities and scientists released Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015.

Rebecca Blackwell, AP

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced plans Monday to spend $2 million this fiscal year on conservation projects to save the declining monarch butterfly species.
The agency is teaming up with the National Wildlife Federation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to restore and enhance 200,000 acres of monarch butterfly habitat on private and public land. The population of the North American pollinator has declined by 90 percent since the 1990s, largely due to the destruction of milkweed — the primary food source of monarch caterpillars. Complete stories and links for all these stories can be found at my website – link below.

http://laurajmerrilltreetalker.com

On a really positive note, Burlington, Vermont, the state’s largest city, recently became the first in the country to use 100 percent renewable energy for its residents’ electricity needs. In a state known for socially conscious policies, the feat represents a milestone in the growing green energy movement.

bilde

Diver finds 10,000-year-old FOREST hidden under the North Sea. It is believed the forest, which originally stretched as far as Europe, was drowned when the ice caps melted and the sea level rose 120 meters, and may have become exposed following the stormy weather last winter. The fallen trees are now lying on the ground where they have formed a natural reef, which is teaming with colorful fish, plants and wildlife.

2509406F00000578-2925776-image-a-29_1422212416824

Minnesota officials on Thursday put the brakes on the rapid conversion of pine forests to potato fields in the northwestern part of the state while they conduct an environmental review to get a better understanding of the potential threats to groundwater, fish and wildlife.
This is a story worth following, for as we know, big business usually gets it’s way – these guys – R.D. Offutt, the nation’s largest potato grower, supplying the fast food industry and potato chip manufacturers with potatoes commonly drowned in pesticides – has obtained permits for 32 irrigation wells in 4 counties since 2010, with applications pending to drill 35 more. The forests they intend to clear are in an area whose sandy soils are highly permeable to agricultural fertilizers. That raises the risks of nitrate contamination of waters that feed into the Mississippi River, which supplies drinking water to Minneapolis and other downstream communities.

21296122-wild-northern-minnesota-minnesota-wilderness-scenic-lake-and-forest-line-nature-collection

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endangered species, Environment, forests, rhinos, tigers, trees, trees and fire

Good News About Trees and the Environment

Stories this week:

$10 million forest restoration project in tri-state Great Lakes area will help preserve several at-risk species, including Golden-winged Warbler, American Woodcock, Ruffed Grouse, Black-billed Cuckoo, Moose, Canada lynx, and Northern long-eared bat.

article.292052

New study reveals that Western dry forests are affected 7 times more by insect outbreaks and droughts than they are by wildfires. Forests have historically contained up to 92% small trees, so reversing the modern restoration treatment of removing small trees will increase the resilience of the dry (tall pine) forests, as the smaller trees are attacked by insects less than larger ones.

2

According to experts from the U of Copenhagen, crops are able to do their own weed control, if we would plant in tight grid patterns, rather than in rows. The employment of new seed-sowing techniques would allow farmers to use little or no pesticides on crops, to obvious advantage to the environment in general, not to mention our own health.

South Africa said on Thursday that it had moved around 100 rhinos to unspecified neighboring states as part of efforts to stem the illicit slaughter of the animals for their horns. Home to around 80 percent of the global rhino population, South Africa is at the epicenter of a poaching crisis. Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa told a news briefing that for security reasons, the precise countries where the rhinos had been moved would not be named.

A rhino is kept in an enclosure at the Kruger national park

India’s tiger population has increased by nearly a third to 2,226, a recent government survey showed, boosting conservation efforts in the country with more than half the world’s population of the endangered big cats. Conservation experts credit the increase to better management and policing of tiger habitats across the country.

Raja Royal Bengal Tiger rests inside tiger rescue centre at Jaldapara

For the details of these stories, please go to http://laurajmerrilltreetalker.com

 

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endangered species, forests, rhinos, tigers, trees

Good News About Trees and the Environment

Stories this week:

$10 million forest restoration project in tri-state Great Lakes area will help preserve several at-risk species, including Golden-winged Warbler, American Woodcock, Ruffed Grouse, Black-billed Cuckoo, Moose, Canada lynx, and Northern long-eared bat.

article.292052

New study reveals that Western dry forests are affected 7 times more by insect outbreaks and droughts than they are by wildfires. Forests have historically contained up to 92% small trees, so reversing the modern restoration treatment of removing small trees will increase the resilience of the dry (tall pine) forests, as the smaller trees are attacked by insects less than larger ones.

2

According to experts from the U of Copenhagen, crops are able to do their own weed control, if we would plant in tight grid patterns, rather than in rows. The employment of new seed-sowing techniques would allow farmers to use little or no pesticides on crops, to obvious advantage to the environment in general, not to mention our own health.

South Africa said on Thursday that it had moved around 100 rhinos to unspecified neighboring states as part of efforts to stem the illicit slaughter of the animals for their horns. Home to around 80 percent of the global rhino population, South Africa is at the epicenter of a poaching crisis. Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa told a news briefing that for security reasons, the precise countries where the rhinos had been moved would not be named.

A rhino is kept in an enclosure at the Kruger national park

India’s tiger population has increased by nearly a third to 2,226, a recent government survey showed, boosting conservation efforts in the country with more than half the world’s population of the endangered big cats. Conservation experts credit the increase to better management and policing of tiger habitats across the country.

Raja Royal Bengal Tiger rests inside tiger rescue centre at Jaldapara

For the details of these stories, please go to http://laurajmerrilltreetalker.com

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