Land
Stewart Udall’s Legacy: Celebrating Parks Across The Country

Stewart Udall’s Legacy: Celebrating Parks Across The Country

Today would have been Stewart Udall’s 100th birthday — and while many Americans may not know his name — he was Secretary of Interior to President’s John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and led the birth of today’s conservation movement in the 1960’s — there are few Americans who have not benefitted from his legacy, parks large and small across the nation.  He made parks an integral part of modern America.

 

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Trump Seriously Slow Walks Superfund Cleanups

Trump Seriously Slow Walks Superfund Cleanups

Superfund sites universally have a negative connotation–as something bad and contaminated. This is usually the case but many may not realize the specifics of how the Superfund program was created or how cleanups are prioritized. To give you a better understanding, we’re going to take a deeper dive into this important government program. As NatGeo […]

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New Report Urges Congress to Permanently Fund “America’s Best Conservation Program”

New Report Urges Congress to Permanently Fund “America’s Best Conservation Program”

A new report published yesterday by the Surfrider Foundation documents the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to America’s conservation legacy by showing how the special places supported by the Fund over its 55-year history have become the “heart and soul” of numerous communities — “protecting unique ecosystems and cultural resources, providing solace and recreation, and contributing extensively to our nation’s economy.” 
Why This Matters:  Without permanent funding, the LWCF is likely to continue to be a “political hostage” — used as a bargaining chip in whatever battle is brewing in Congress.
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UK’s Post-Brexit Farm Subsidies Will Prioritize Carbon Sequestration

UK’s Post-Brexit Farm Subsidies Will Prioritize Carbon Sequestration

Throughout Brexit, many have wondered about the environmental implications of the UK leaving the European Union. When the split becomes official at the end of the month it will also mean a severing with Europe’s notorious farm subsidies. As Science Mag reported, many researchers see this as a good thing as this week “the U.K. […]

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Australia’s Wildfire Hell Continues

Australia’s Wildfire Hell Continues

To say that Australia’s massive wildfires have been unprecedented is an understatement. The world has watched in disbelief at images of people and animals fleeing for their lives as more than 200 fires have burned roughly 12 million acres. As CBS News reported, the fires have forced more than 100,000 residents and tourists to flee […]

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Interview of the Week: Emily Ellison

Interview of the Week: Emily Ellison

Emily is the Executive Director of the St. Simons Land Trust on Georgia’s famed St. Simons Island. ODP: We’ve talked before about why land trusts are an important part of conservation. What is something that SSLT has accomplished this year that exceeded all of your expectations?  EE: This year, the St. Simons Land Trust celebrated […]

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Farm State Voters Want Candidates to Talk Conservation

Farm State Voters Want Candidates to Talk Conservation

Farm state voters in swing states like Minnesota see extreme weather, such as droughts and floods, as a significant threat to farming. According to a new poll conducted by Iowa-based RABA Research on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a majority of these voters say they would be more likely to back a 2020 […]

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After NZ Volcano Eruption, Should Adventure Tourism Be Better Regulated?

After NZ Volcano Eruption, Should Adventure Tourism Be Better Regulated?

Last week, an eruption at New Zealand’s popular White Island volcano killed 16 people and it’s raised questions about why potentially dangerous tourist destinations aren’t better regulated for safety.

This follows a year on Mt. Everest where overcrowding from unqualified mountain climbers created dangerous conditions at the summit.

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A New Kind of National Park, Not Everyone’s Thrilled

A New Kind of National Park, Not Everyone’s Thrilled

The American Prairie Reserve in northeastern Montana is a non-profit working to create the largest nature sanctuary in the continental United States. Founder Sean Gerrity made his money in Silicon Valley and hopes to create a preserve that’s made up of private properties stitched together with vast tracts of neighboring public lands to create one […]

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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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