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Hipsters fueling illicit cactus trade

Hipsters fueling illicit cactus trade

Cacti and succulents have rapidly grown in popularity in the past few years and it turns out that the insatiable demand to have the trendy plants adorn homes is driving poachers to dig them up from the wild and increasingly on public lands. The Guardian recently reported in its in-depth piece that “in the US […]

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One cool thing: 9 pioneering African American outdoorspeople

One cool thing: 9 pioneering African American outdoorspeople

Check out Sierra Club’s recent profile of 9 pioneering African American outdoorspeople. We highly recommend that you read the entire profile of the following trailblazers and explorers

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FDR’s New Deal Was Green

FDR’s New Deal Was Green

As we contemplate the sweeping Green New Deal resolution recently introduced, which promises that “public lands, waters, and oceans are protected” and that all Americans have “access to nature,” we should look back at the very green legacy of  FDR’s New Deal.  As part of historic first 100 days legislation, Roosevelt proposed the Emergency Conservation Work (EWC) Act, more commonly known as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to put to work unemployed young men in a peacetime “army” and “send them into battle” against destruction and erosion of our country’s natural resources. 

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Court OKs Border Wall Environmental Waiver

Court OKs Border Wall Environmental Waiver

The usually liberal federal appeals court in California sides with President Trump on Monday, ruling that the government has wide latitude to waive environmental laws to build a segment of the border wall in order to put on a speed construction of some border construction projects in southern California.  According to NPR, the court let stand a Department of Homeland Security decision to bypass environmental regulations — including the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, and Endangered Species Act — to quickly construct barriers and roads near the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Protests Against Drilling in ANWR Dominate Public Meeting

Protests Against Drilling in ANWR Dominate Public Meeting

Last week, the Interior Department held a public meeting in Fairbanks to hear their comments and concerns about plans to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling.  The agency brought scientists who were there to explain the environmental impact of the project and then take testimony from members of the public. 

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One Bubbly Problem: Soil Erosion in Italy

One Bubbly Problem: Soil Erosion in Italy

Italy is known for its delicious Prosecco – a sparkling wine from Italy that is similar to champagne.  As its popularity expands, so does the “footprint” of this wine — and a new study says it is unsustainable at its current rate of growth.  The Washington Post reports that increasing demand for the prosecco seems […]

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National Parks Picking Up

National Parks Picking Up

With the shutdown over, for employees of our country’s National Parks, the tough clean up job is just getting started.  Sadly the toll of the shutdown on our natural heritage may have been greater than feared in some locations.  For example, Joshua Tree National Park suffered damage from vandalism that will be irreparable for the next 200 to 300 years, according to former park superintendent Curt Sauer.  The Trump Administration kept many parks open for most or all of the shutdown, but volunteers who helped clean up trash and service bathrooms in popular parks like Joshua Tree could not keep up with routine maintenance, much less stop the vandals.  

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Southeastern Iran In the Grip of Climate Change Is a Dustbowl

Southeastern Iran In the Grip of Climate Change Is a Dustbowl

Heat, drought, and debilitating dust storms have, according to National Geographic, brought much of southeastern Iran to the brink of being uninhabitable.  The temperature in Sistan and Baluchestan province is often above 110 degrees F and it never rains, but the wind blows non-stop for 120 days straight each year. And so “the entire areas wanes under a months-long barrage of sand, cloying dust, and noise.” The entire area is in the grip of an unrelenting succession of environmental disasters that are a harbinger of what’s to come for many other parts of the planet.

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Earth’s magnetic north pole shifting more quickly than before

Earth’s magnetic north pole shifting more quickly than before

You may think of the north pole as an affixed point the very “top” of the planet (which would be correct and that’s called the geographic north pole) but since the Earth is essentially a giant magnet the magnetic north pole is where the northern lines of attraction enter the Earth or where a compass needle […]

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A Brief History of the Environmental Justice Movement

A Brief History of the Environmental Justice Movement

Many consider the street protests and legal challenges brought by the overwhelmingly poor and minority residents of rural Afton, in Warren County, North Carolina in 1982 to be the first major milestone in the national movement for environmental justice because they drew sustained media coverage and grabbed national attention.

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On the 25th anniversary of the Northridge quake, Bay Area experiences rumbles

On the 25th anniversary of the Northridge quake, Bay Area experiences rumbles

The Northridge Earthquake in 1994 was a massive 6.7 magnitude quake that struck Southern California’s densely populated San Fernando Valley, destroying freeways and leaving much of the area without power for extended periods of time. The quake struck at 4:30 AM on January 17th, 1994 making yesterday the 25th anniversary of the disaster and incidentally on the anniversary, the San Francisco Bay Area experienced its second tremor in 2 days. 

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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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