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Invasive Species Invading National Parks According to New Study

Invasive Species Invading National Parks According to New Study

CNN reported last week that a new study warns that the unaddressed problem of invasive (non-native) animal species in National Parks is threatening many parks — that are now being overwhelmed with rats, domesticated cats, feral hogs and many other non-native animals that also thrive there.  Scientists from within the Department of Interior and several universities found that of the 1,409 reported populations of invasive species in National Parks, only 11% are under control.

Why This Matters:  There is a backlog of maintenance projects at National Parks across the U.S. totaling nearly $12B – and those are just for maintenance of roads and facilities, not eradicating invasive species.

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Supreme Court Hears Superfund Case — Seems To Lean Toward Limiting Polluter’s Liability

Supreme Court Hears Superfund Case — Seems To Lean Toward Limiting Polluter’s Liability

The Supreme Court heard oral argument yesterday in a case brought by a group of Montana landowners who want to force ARCO (which is owned by oil giant BP) to comply with state law and reduce arsenic levels in the soil throughout their community to pre-contamination levels.  The Justices — even the liberal ones — appeared to side with the Company.

Why This Matters:  When the EPA cares more about protecting a polluting company and limiting its liability than protecting the innocent victims of that toxic pollution from harm, federal “pre-emption” of state law claims can actually frustrate the intent of the statute — which was to make the polluters pay for the clean up of their toxic contamination.

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Something to Be Thankful For: Land Trusts

Something to Be Thankful For: Land Trusts

When we asked our partners at the St. Simons Land Trust about what they’ve been thankful for this year they told us that the opportunity to operate a land trust in one of coastal Georgia’s most diverse ecosystems is something to be thankful for in and of itself. Land trusts are a really important conservation […]

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GAO Report Warns: EPA Must Prepare Superfund Sites for Natural Disasters

GAO Report Warns: EPA Must Prepare Superfund Sites for Natural Disasters


According to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, climate change may increase the frequency and intensity of certain natural disasters, which could damage Superfund sites—the nation’s most contaminated hazardous waste sites.

Why This Matters: Spilled Superfund sites can cause deadly outcomes for the people that have to live near them, not to mention the havoc they wreak on wildlife.

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Deep Breath Millennials, Climate Change is Coming for Your Truffles

Deep Breath Millennials, Climate Change is Coming for Your Truffles

Rising global temperatures are worrying truffle hunters around the Italian town of Alba, where the most prized specimens can fetch twice the price of gold. To stave off the longer-term climate change impact on the production of the highly prized white truffle, experts have launched initiatives to better preserve the territory where they grow.

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House of Representatives Votes To Protect Sacred Sites and Iconic Landscapes from Mining

House of Representatives Votes To Protect Sacred Sites and Iconic Landscapes from Mining

The Grand Canyon National Park and Chaco Culture National Park both are under threat from nearby mining and drilling developments being advanced by the Trump Administration.  The House of Representatives voted by comfortable margins on Wednesday to protect both Parks from contamination by banning nearby extraction activities, but there is no companion legislation in the Senate so these measures will likely stall now.  

Why This Matters:  The Trump Team is trying to “camouflage” its plans to expand mining near the Grand Canyon as a national security imperative and then pad the pockets of the developers by having the government buy the uranium.  The Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic U.S. Parks and a natural wonder — it is hard to imagine the public would support uranium mining adjacent to the Park — it is a national treasure.  

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A “Sand Crisis” Looms in the United States

A “Sand Crisis” Looms in the United States

Rising sea levels, as well as stronger hurricanes, are washing sand off of our beaches. Replacing sand is a lot harder than it sounds and comes with a heavy environmental cost.

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A Year After Paradise, Identical Conditions Spark More Wildfires in California

A Year After Paradise, Identical Conditions Spark More Wildfires in California

A year after the deadly Camp Fire that killed 85 people in Northern California and destroyed an entire town, dry and hot conditions are creating a perfect storm for more wildfires.

Why This Matters: See where active fires are burning and whether PG&E’s planned outages are doing anything to prevent them.

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Regenerative Farming Up Close: Our Daily Planet’s Field Trip to Clagett Farm

Regenerative Farming Up Close: Our Daily Planet’s Field Trip to Clagett Farm

Last week we got a chance to visit Clagett Farm, one of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s working farms that supports the development of sustainable agriculture practices. The farm raises vegetables, fruits, beef cattle, and sheep and supports a Community Supported Agriculture program as well as a tree farm. We write a lot about farming and […]

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Trump Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee Recommends Privatizing Campgrounds

Trump Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee Recommends Privatizing Campgrounds

The Hill reports that an advisory committee recommended to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt that he should privatize campgrounds within national parks, cut benefits for senior visitors, and allow food trucks into Parks as a way to bring increase money coming into the Parks system, according to the panel’s memo.

Why This Matters:  This recommendation is likely to be extremely divisive — with environmental groups and advocates for seniors arguing that this is likely to hurt low and middle-income Americans and benefit the President’s rich benefactors. 

 

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Dry Farming, an Ancient Practice, Helps Farmers Adapt to Climate Change

Dry Farming, an Ancient Practice, Helps Farmers Adapt to Climate Change

As climate change continues to alter rainfall and water sources for farmers across the country, some farmers are turning to an ancient farming technique called dry farming to help cope with the changes. As Oregon Public Radio reported, dry farming relies on the moisture that’s stored in the soil from winter rainwater. It’s successful in […]

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Tribes Fighting Trump Administration Policies That Harm Native Sites

Tribes Fighting Trump Administration Policies That Harm Native Sites

Native American tribes are using litigation, lobbying and protests to push back against Trump administration policies that would damage their lands and their way of life.

Why This Matters:  Native American tribes are uniquely positioned to challenge some of the Trump administration’s most aggressive moves to develop (timber harvest, mining, oil and gas drilling) on federal lands.  Often these cases are thrown out because the plaintiffs are found not to have a sufficient “interest” in or connection to the government’s action — but when it comes to the destruction of sacred sites, that argument really does not work.  And once these lands and sacred sites are spoiled by development, they cannot be restored.  

 

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