Volunteers Transform Illegal Encampments into Welcoming Public Places

Many of you know I was a long time resident of Northern California, a place of beauty and many natural wonders that still holds a special place in my heart. The following is an excerpt from an article I wrote that was recently published online about one of these remarkable public places and the trials and transformations it’s gone through.

A cleared section of Lower Diestelhorst Open Space is once again available for visitors to enjoy

With wildfires and smoke threatening the north state and beyond, it’s easy to forget the natural wonders in the middle of Redding (California). Those of us who’ve meandered our river trails recognize these as crown jewels.

Among these is the land on the north and south sides of the Diestelhorst Bridge. Many have enjoyed its paved paths, but few know the hidden trails of what’s called Lower Diestelhorst Open Space – the long-overgrown area between the Union Pacific Railroad trestle and the Anderson Cottonwood Irrigation District (A.C.I.D.) intake. Continue reading

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Thousands of farmed salmon escape into the Pacific – after the powers that be said it wouldn’t happen

Farmed fish have escaped into the Pacific, threatening wild salmon, photo courtesy of NOAA

Contrary to assurances by fish farming concerns, thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon have escaped into the Pacific Ocean. They escaped from a damaged net pen at a Cooke Aquaculture fish farm off Cypress Island in Washington’s Puget Sound on Saturday, This has sparked fears that the farm-raised fish could threaten wild Pacific salmon.

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Bridging the Disconnect – Schoolkids Learn about Growing Food

Editor’s Note:  The following article was published in the March-April 2017 issue of AgMag magazine.

The Science Academy of South Texas has a secret – a garden where students learn about growing food

Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley used to mean being surrounded by citrus orchards and farmland. Today, residents are surrounded by strip malls, countless restaurants, pawn shops and automotive repair places, many reminiscent of junk yards.

“There’s a big disconnect between food producers and consumers,” said Brad Cowan, Texas A&M AgLife Extension Service‘s County Extension Agent – Agriculture, Hidalgo County.

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26 Puget Sound (Washington) cities to plant cloned Coastal Redwood trees

Archangel-Ancient-Tree-Archive 1

Trees are vital to life. They provide oxygen, store huge amounts of carbon and provide critical habitat and food for wildlife. Yet the world’s forests are dying. In California alone, over 100 million of them have died due to climate change related factors, to say nothing of the scourge of clear cutting that’s decimating our forest land.

But there are rays of hope.

In Washington state, twenty-six Puget Sound cities are planting sapling clones of Coast Redwoods – among the oldest, largest, most iconic trees on earth.

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Trees do have feelings – and they talk too!

Ever wondered about the language of trees? They have one.

If you haven’t spent much time walking or hiking through a forest, you may not grasp the amazing link trees have with each other. Scientists now know that they communicate with each other and support each other through difficult times.

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Wind turbines on the Great Lakes? Not a great idea for the birds

Saw an interesting article today about how putting wind turbines on the Great Lakes could do serious harm to the birds around and migrating through the Great Lake region.

Traditional wind turbines create a horrendous level of bird kills. Endangered birds such as bald eagles, which are federally protected,  and bats – which are threatened by the white nose syndrome plague – are losing their lives in continually growing numbers due to strikes by wind turbines.

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Why Australia’s loss of 7,000 hectares of mangroves will have serious consequences

Dead mangrove forest off Australia's east coast, photo by James Cook University

Dead mangrove forest off Australia’s east coast, photo by James Cook University

Climate change has wrecked havoc not only on our weather patterns but on the world’s forest and ecological systems. And the impact is devastating.

In the U.S., severe drought and major insect infestations have been responsible for almost unimaginable die-offs of old growth forests. In Australia El Nino conditions have caused the die-off of a 7000 kilometer (approximately 4,349 miles) stretch of mangrove shoreline in the southern reaches of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

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