National Park Service rescinds ban on plastic water bottles – a bad and dangerous policy for wildlife

Plastic pollution – such as shown here in the Grand Canyon prior to the plastic water ban – will likely now become a common scene again.

In what is clearly bowing to pressure from both our infamous, uh, illustrious national leader and lobbying (as with beaucoup dollars thrown at them or the federal agency that oversees it) by plastic bottle manufacturers, the National Park Service has announced it’s lifting the 6-year ban on the sale of plastic water bottles within national parks.

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Lassen National Park – 100 Years of Changing Landscape

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Lassen Peak prior to its devastating eruption in 1915. Photo by B.F. Loomis, courtesy of National Park Service

The Cascade Mountains stretch from southern British Columbia, Canada, all the way into northern California. Part of the famed Ring of Fire – a string of volcanoes and mountains running throughout the Pacific Ocean – the southern Cascades contain hundreds of small to medium-sized volcanoes. This includes more than 30 volcanoes that make up California’s Lassen Volcanic National Park.

This week marks the 100th anniversary of one of Lassen’s most powerful volcanic eruptions.

To learn more about the explosive history of this remarkable national park and view rarely seen pictures that were taken during a major volcanic eruption, click here.

Historic New England village embraces renewable energy

This farmhouse, built in 1743, has been upgraded to solar

Built in 1743, Horowitz’s historic farmhouse now features solar power and LED lighting.

Adding solar and other renewable energy sources are getting to be easier and cheaper to own than ever before. But how well do these go with historic landmarks and century-old homes?

If you’re in Massachusetts, the answer is pretty well indeed.

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Yellowstone to cull (kill) 900 buffalo this year

Just saw this news item and wanted to pass it along, with some educated corrections.

Yellowstone BisonIn order to  reduce its bison population this winter, authorities in Yellowstone National Park plan to cull (read slaughter) as many as 900 buffalo, or a fifth of the herd. They’d do this by killing off those animals that stray from the park. This would be the largest such culling in seven years, the park’s wildlife chief said on Tuesday.

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10 National Parks (areas) you haven’t heard about

Lake Kuzitrin, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska. Photo credit: National Park Service

Lake Kuzitrin, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska. Photo credit: National Park Service

Editor’s Note:  I came across this article earlier today. As a Nature lover, I was surprised to learn about these national treasures. Perhaps if we know of them we can appreciate them more.

Of the 401 parks managed by the National Park Service, there are definitely some fan favorites—the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite. Each year nearly 275 million visitors flock overwhelmingly to the big names on the NPS list.

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Disappearing Glaciers – their impact effects us all

Melting World bookMost Americans have never visited Glacier National Park, which straddles northern Montana and southern Canada. Yet these beautiful ice-rock formations provide more than sixty five percent of the world’s fresh water – for drinking, irrigation, and for hydroelectric power.

The glaciers at Glacier National Park are disappearing faster than anywhere else in the world, says Christopher White, author of the new book “THE MELTING WORLD: A Journey Across America’s Vanishing Glaciers.

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Plastic Bottle Ban in National Parks: Common sense or Controversy

Editor’s note:  This article was originally published several weeks ago on SierraClubGreenHome.com.  It includes some useful information you might appreciate.

Grand Canyon National Park could soon ban plastic water bottles (photo by Moyan Brenn)

One culprit is causing nearly a third of the waste in our national parks. It’s something you might grab for a long hike, or camping, or washing down a meal cooked over the campfire. It comes in a convenient yet remarkably wasteful package, and it’s become an unlikely source of controversy. That culprit is bottled water.

Shawn Norton, who works on climate change and sustainability issues for the National Park Service, says in a January 2010 internal memo that banning disposable bottles would reduce waste, cut recycling costs, and save electricity. In fact, if just 15 parks (including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Death Valley and Grand Teton) banned bottled water, the savings could be 18 million kilowatt hours per year!

For more on the impact and controversy of banning plastic bottles in our national parks, see http://bit.ly/zqryKc.