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[1THING] Blog: Archive for July, 2015

[ Cerros del Norte Conservation Act Heads for Full Senate Vote ]

Michael Reinemer

“The Wilderness Society applauds the actions by Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall to introduce and guide the Cerros del Norte Conservation Act forward,“ said Michael Casaus, New Mexico Director with The Wilderness Society in Albuquerque.

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[ Proposed legislation could reduce wasted energy resources on public lands ]

Led by Congressmen Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Alan Lowenthal of California, this legislation would stop the practice of venting and flar

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[ Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness Will Become a Reality ]

Michael Reinemer

This bill protects a wild area of Idaho called Boulder-White Clouds.  The House of Representatives passed an identical bill so all that’s left to enact the legislation into law is President Obama’s signature.

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[ The Ocean needs you… ]

Sacramento_1Thing_OceanCleanUp_FlipperAndrew from our sister cluster Sacramento Entercom sent the heads up on a great cause.. the Ocean. Keeping the Ocean clean helps our well being and the well being of Mama Earth. Here are some tidbits you might not have known. I didn’t realize the problem to this extent when it came to plastic and other trash mucking it up! 8million tons EACH YEAR!

About 8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year. Part of this accumulates in 5 areas where currents converge: the gyres. At least 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic are currently in the oceans, a third of which is concentrated in the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

ENVIRONMENT

At least one million seabirds, and one-hundred thousand marine mammals die each year due to plastic pollution (Laist, 1997). The survival of at least 100+ species (Gall et al., 2015), including the Hawaiian Monk Seal and Loggerhead Turtle, could be jeopardized by plastic debris (Derraik, 2002). Plastic pollution is furthermore a carrier of invasive species, threatening native ecosystems (Barnes, 2005).

ECONOMY

Globally, plastic pollution causes at least US $13 billion each year to industries that include fishing, shipping, tourism and the cleaning of coastlines (UNEP 2014). The US West Coast spends approximately US $500 million each year to clean up their beaches. The costs of removing debris from beaches is on average US $1,500, and up to US $25,000 per ton (APEC 2009).

HEALTH

Toxic chemicals (including PCBs and DDTs) are adsorbed by the plastic, increasing the concentration a million times (Mato et al., 2001). After entering the food chain, these persistent organic pollutants bio-accumulate in the food chain, resulting in an even higher concentration of pollutants inside fish (Tanaka et al., 2013), including ones consumed by humans. Health effects linked to these chemicals are: cancer, malformation and impaired reproductive ability (Takada, oceanhealthindex.org).

Click here to find out more

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[ Financial investment in power line studies for the southwest could protect wildlands and advance clean energy ]

Though the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has made progress in improving transmission corridors, the lack of money for studies and public outreach has been a barrier.

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[ Coal Listening Session Kickoff in DC Validates the Need for Reform ]

On Wednesday, July 29, the Bureau of Land Management kicked off their listening sessions to hear local community input about reforming the federal coal leasing program – marking an opportunity for modernizing an outdated program.

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[ DC Coal Session press statement_7 29 2015 FINAL ]

Jul 29, 2015

  

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[ 3 Reasons Your Farmers Market Rocks ]

3 Reasons Your Farmers Market Rocks

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Photo: Erica Flock

 

Guest post by Robert Connelly, Manager of Membership & Special Gifts at American Farmland Trust

I haven’t always been a farmers marketeer.

Growing up in North Carolina my family never really went to the farmers market.

In fact, I remember as a kid thinking it was kind of odd that our neighbors, The Andersons, went every Saturday morning.

Looking back, I realize that the Anderson family was on to something amazing.

Over the last eight years, interest in local food and farmers markets has grown. According to USDA, consumers have more opportunities than ever to purchase food directly from farmers — with 8,268 farmers markets operating nationwide in 2014 – up 180 percent since 2006.

And, the interest is driven by us – the consumer! Our communities’ interest in farmers markets is a direct result of our growing concern for local family farmers, the environment, access to healthy foods, and our local economy. I’ve been trying to coin the phrase “Keep it local-tastic!” around AFT’s national office. 

Here are three reasons why supporting your local farmers market can be one of the best choices you make for yourself and your community. 

Your family farmers stay in business: Family farmers selling at farmers markets have almost a 10 percent greater chance at staying in business when compared to those just selling through traditional channels.

Your community grows: Businesses near farmers markets report higher sales on market days – supporting the local economy and generating extra tax revenue in the community. That’s money often re-invested back into the businesses and community.

More cash money in your pocket: In a recent report by USDA, farmers market shoppers save on average nearly 25 percent on food annually – when compared to shopping at grocery stores. This means more money in your pocket to go buy those shoes you’ve been eyeing, or finally spring for that Apple Watch. (One can dream.)

If these sound appealing to you, head over to our national Farmers Market Celebration, happening at markets.farmland.org. Find a farmers market near you, endorse it as one of your favorites, and tell us why it’s special to you and your community. At the end of the summer, we’ll give away awards to the best of America’s farmers markets. I look forward to seeing what makes your farmers market notable. 

As always, keep it local-tastic!

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[ Fate of Boulder-White Clouds Rests with U.S. Senate ]

Michael Reinemer

The Wilderness Society released the following statement regarding passage of Rep. Mike Simpson’s bill to protect the Boulder-White Cloud mountains out of the U.S. House of Representatives:

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[ August is National Water Quality Month ]

AUGUST NATIONAL WATER QUALITY MONTH 591X218

 


Austin Water
has a bunch of 411 on what they are doing and what you can do to help ATX w/ the water shortage and the water quality.  Drinking Water Quality Report, Watering RestrictionsWater Conservation, Austin Water History and more.   Click here to find out more!

 

Promo_Stage2Austin Water is currently in Stage 2 Water Restrictions. This means the amount of water in lakes Travis and Buchanan have fallen below a minimum supply level.  Water is a limited resource. Remember to adjust your automatic sprinklers or manual watering times based on your address. Click here!

Here’s another way to conserve water when it comes to your lawn. Thanks to Shannon / PA for sending this heads up!

Besides having a lack of water supply in Texas, nationwide and even worldwide, water quality is an issue too. The month of August is dedicated to getting the word out about improving water quality. Did you know we’re in the tailend of the International Decade of ‘Water For Life’? 

“Declining water quality has become a global issue of concern as human populations grow, industrial and agricultural activities expand, and climate change threatens to cause major alterations to the hydrological cycle.

Globally, the most prevalent water quality problem is eutrophication, a result of high-nutrient loads (mainly phosphorus and nitrogen), which substantially impairs beneficial uses of water. Major nutrient sources include agricultural runoff, domestic sewage (also a source of microbial pollution), industrial effluents and atmospheric inputs from fossil fuel burning and bush fires. Lakes and reservoirs are particularly susceptible to the negative impacts of eutrophication because of their complex dynamics, relatively longer water residence times and their role as an integrating sink for pollutants from their drainage basins. Nitrogen concentrations exceeding 5 milligrams per litre of water often indicate pollution from human and animal waste or fertilizer runoff from agricultural areas.” More 411 here. 

There are things you can do to help w/ the quality of used water coming from your home/business through ‘Clean Water Action’

“About half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a coastline where runoff flows quickly to the ocean. This is why watershed protection — attention not only to the body of water but the area that drains into it — is important.

The Environmental Protection Agency, which reports that 40 percent of the nations waterways suffer water quality problems, has a detailed watershed database, which allows users to locate which watershed they live in and learn about how polluted it is and what actions they can take to protect their regional water quality.

Clean Water Action offers a succinct but thorough factsheet on what individuals and families can do to prevent water pollution from their homes, including:

  • not using antibacterial soaps or cleaning products
  • not flushing unwanted or out-of-date medications down the toilet or drain
  • not putting anything but water down storm drains
  • fixing leaks that drop from cars and putting liners in driveways to collect oil and other materials
  • avoiding using pesticides or chemical fertilizers
  • choosing nontoxic household products when possible
  • picking up after pets
  • not paving properties

More 411 here!”

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