endangered species, Environment, environmental agencies, Nature, trees

Positive News about Trees & the Environment


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.


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.


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


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.


Environment, environmental agencies, global warming, Nature, trees, Trees in the News

Stories from the Treetalker- Winter Solstice – 2014

Stories from the Treetalker- Winter Solstice – 2014

(Well, it’s only a day away.)

The Yuroks, CA’s largest tribe, is supplementing their income, not by selling their forests, but by selling carbon credits to some of the state’s biggest polluters. Believed to be a force in ultimately reducing carbon emissions, there is, of course, a lot of debate. Visit my website for details of this and the other stories.

Brian van der Brug

photo: Brian van der Brug, for the L.A. Times

 The U.S. Forest Service is growing “elite,” genetically resistant Whitebark pine trees to improve the chances of survival of the key high-elevation species, which blister rust is wiping out in the Northern Rockies. 

Tanya Murphy

photo: Tanya Murphy


Six years after a catastrophic coal ash spill in Tennessee washed away homes and polluted rivers, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday the first federal regulations for the toxic wastes created by coal burned to produce electricity. Many believe it is nowhere near enough regulation, believing coal ash should be classified as “hazardous waste.”

Gerry Broome:AP

photo: Gerry Broome, A.P.

Governor Cuomo of NY State bans fracking in the state. The state of New York has now developed the most comprehensive, deep-diving evaluation in the country of the science as it currently stands on fracking. You can be sure that affected communities and advocates in states across the nation will be bringing these science and health facts to their decision makers.


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Environmental and Tree News/The Treetalker

Environmental and Tree News/The Treetalker

Lotsa stories this week: First, an Indonesian project, funded by the Dutch branch of Oxfam, is helping survivors of the Dec 26, 2004 Tsunami to plant Mangroves and Casuarina trees along vulnerable coastlines, which is hoped will protect residents from future disaster, revive nature and improve local livelihoods.

Indonesian Mangrove forest/photo:Eric Guinther


Rainforest Rescue, funded by the Arbor Day Foundation, is working with locals in Madagascar to implement reforestation, which will also help wildlife. They gather fruit seeds that have been partially digested by lemurs, planting them in nurseries for eventual replanting.

The Nature Conservancy of Tennessee has partnered with Nashville’s Metro Parks to install custom tree signs in Centennial Park that have scanable QR codes and web addresses where you can go directly to a video of a Nashville music artist, telling you about that type of tree and why it’s important to us. Including Reba MacEntire, Will Hoge, Big Kenny.

John Partipilo/The Tennessean

Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen is funding a lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior. The suit claims that allowing coal mining companies to do business on public lands without considering the environmental ramifications of doing so violates the National Environmental Policy Act.

photo: Associated Press

The Lima, Peru climate summit talks have continued past the dates of the conference. They aim to advance a new global treaty, but the talks have been hampered by the “rich nation/poor nation issue. US’s John Kerry says, “No country should have a free pass.”

photo: Reuters

And last, but not least—for me, anyway, since my books are all about what the trees have to say . . .

Plants Can Hear You! – a video with Trace Dominguez/Discovery News from March, 2013, talking about research that has shown that plants can not only hear you, but feel you, smell you, and remember things. (So vegetarians aren’t so kind after all!)


Environment, environmental agencies, GMOs, Nature, trees

Stories this week:

Grenoble to Replace Street Advertising with Trees and ‘Community Spaces – The city’s 326 advertising signs, including 64 billboards, will be removed between January and April next year and its contract with JCDecaux, the world’s leading outdoor advertising company, will be cancelled.alamy


Money Grows on Trees with Great Walnuts of China – Demand for Walnut toys has grown alongside China’s economic boom, and vendors say they are especially popular among the newly wealthy and gangsters profiting from Beijing’s grey economy.


China’s barriers to imports of some U.S. GMO crops are disrupting seed companies’ plans for new product launches and keeping at least one variety out of the U.S. market altogether.Agrochemicals maker Syngenta's logo is seen in front of the company's headquarters in Basel

Other stories: Wildlife Managers Confirm Rare Sighting of Gray Wolf at Grand Canyon,

and France to Stop Credits for Coal Projects in Developing CountriesA pair of gray wolves are seen in the Red Feather Lakes, Colorado wolf refuge in this file photo.

Environment, environmental agencies, Nature, photography, tree plantations, trees, trees and fire, Trees in the News

Trees in the News

Retired surgeon, Dr. Salem Saloom, from Evergreen, CO, takes special pride nurturing the Longleaf Pine, a plant species wiped out by intensive commercial logging more than a century ago. His 2,200 acres of pine forest is part of an effort, spearheaded by the federal government, and supplemented by conservationists and private landowners, to restore what was once called “the Piney Woods.”

An announcement – Researchers have found some survivors of fatal Emerald ash borer beetle infestations of our native ash trees, and are asking for the help of private citizens in finding more in areas that have NOT been treated with pesticides. See http://nrs.fs.fed.us/SurvivorAsh to describe the whereabouts of ash trees they believe would be candidates.


And a slideshow of some of the most magnificent trees in the world.unnamed-18 unnamed-8

Environment, environmental agencies

Environmental News from The Treetalker

Oil Train Rule Cracks Down on Transport of Flammable Materials – Following a host of oil train derailments over the past year, the U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed regulatory changes to improve the safe transportation of large quantities of crude oil and ethanol by rail.

Federal Agencies Cut Greenhouse Gases, Increase Renewables – The federal government announced today that it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent since 2008, the equivalent of permanently taking 1.8 million cars off the road, and that nine percent of federal government electricity is now from renewable sources.

Read more about all these storieshttp://laurajmerrilltreetalker.com


Pop-Up Books Make Environmental Science Easy-Peasy For Kids, by Melissa Pandika, for National Public Radio – “You can teach anything to children if you pitch it at the right level and use the right words,” says Christiane Dorion, a U.K.-based author. Dorion distills hefty environmental concepts into bite-sized, kid-friendly explanations. Along the way, whimsical pop-up spreads — complete with pull-tabs, flaps and booklets ­­— engage even the shortest attention spans.

General Mills is tackling climate change, because it’s a threat to the bottom line.The huge corporation released a new set of climate policies that Oxfam says makes it “the first major food and beverage company to promise to implement long-term science-based targets to cut emissions.” The policy states unequivocally that [they recognize] the risks that climate change presents to humanity, our environment and our livelihoods.

What I’ve Learned about Food and Sustainability, by Jason Clay, for World Wildlife Magazine

and a Blessed Lammas Day to us all…

Environment, environmental agencies, Nature, tree plantations, trees in the cities, Trees in the News

The Treetalker

This has been a big week – Earth Day and Arbor Day all at once.

The first Arbor Day was held in Spain in 1805. Today, it is celebrated all over the world, but on different dates, as is Earth Day. I guess the easiest thing to do is plant a tree, but (just to put in my 2 cents) plant one that’s native to your area, so it has a chance to survive! Read more about both occasions at my website.