Land
Increasingly frequent wildfires threaten California’s shrublands

Increasingly frequent wildfires threaten California’s shrublands

California’s chaparral ecosystem is the state’s iconic shrub-dominant vegetation that covers broad areas of foothills stretching across the state but particularly southern California. Chaparral wilderness occupies more than 8.5 million acres and the drought-resistant and woody shrubs and as the California Chaparral Institute explained, provides essential protection against erosion, allows underground water supplies to recharge, moderates local climates, provides important habitat for an interesting assortment of animals. Yet because of the increasing frequency of major wildfires in California, these shrublands are coming further under threat.

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Gov shutdown freezes vital research and training programs

Gov shutdown freezes vital research and training programs

As of the morning, the federal government shutdown has entered into its 24th day, making it the longest shutdown in US history. While 800,000 federal workers are caught in the crosshairs of the shutdown (and most of them missed a paycheck last Friday), countless amounts of scientists and other workers have had their research work frozen as well.

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Trump threatens to pull FEMA money from wildfire victims

Trump threatens to pull FEMA money from wildfire victims

Earlier this week President Trump tweeted out the above tweet and while many of us have ceased to be truly stunned by anything the president says and tweets, him stating that he won’t give government aid to desperate Americans struggling to survive is deeply troubling. Trump’s claim that “forest management” will magically stop the hellish infernos that California experiences each summer has been disproven numerous times but by actual fire scientists.

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Brazil’s Amazon Protected Areas Now At Risk

Brazil’s Amazon Protected Areas Now At Risk

Brazil’s new President, Jair Bolsonaro, who is ultra-conservative and ran on a promise of deregulation similar to President Trump’s, has moved the administration of Brazil’s extensive protected areas in the Amazon from the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs to the Agriculture Ministry.  This “paves” the way for new and increased development in the Amazon and the loss of a major global carbon sink.

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