Salmon On Northeastern USA Rivers

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American shad in fishlift in Holyoke Dam on Connecticut River in Holyoke, MA. Courtesy of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Of all North America’s Atlantic salmon rivers none compared in size or productivity with the 407-mile-long Connecticut River that drains Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut. But early in the 19th century all strains of salmon uniquely adapted to this sprawling system (at least 25) had been rendered extinct by dams. Continue reading

Please Support Sierra Club On This Initiative

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Photo credit: B. Bartel/USFWS

We know that most of our readers on this platform, and most guests we serve at the various properties we have developed and managed over the years, care deeply about primary forests and the ecosystems they support. Here is a chance to vocalize together with one of the influential organizers of vocalization:

Help Protect Tongass National Forest: Stop the Clearcutting

They’re about to start their chainsaws. Timber companies are trying to clearcut one of the most primeval wild places — and this is our last chance to stop them.

Alaska’s Tongass National Forest is nothing short of magical: it contains centuries-old trees and one-of-a-kind wilderness, home to animals like Alexander Archipelago wolves and bald eagles. Your voice is needed to pressure Congress to bring an end to old growth logging and save the Tongass for our children and grandchildren.

Take action today to save the Tongass National Forest.

Responsible Fish-Sourcing, 2.x

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Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch App best choice recommendations for cod. Screenshot by NPR

Rules change. Guides get updated. Staying on top of this topic requires effort. But it is worth it. Thanks to the folks at the salt for an acknowledgement that choosing fish in a responsible manner is no easy task, even for those regularly paying attention:

This month, I ventured to ask the man behind the counter at a Whole Foods Market what kind of shrimp he was selling. “I don’t know,” he replied. “I think they’re just normal shrimp.” I glanced at the sustainable seafood guide on my phone. There were 80 entries for shrimp, none of them listed “normal.”

What about the cod? Was it Atlantic or Pacific? Atlantic. How was it caught? I asked. “I’m not sure,” he said, looking doubtfully at a creamy fish slab. “With nets, I think. Not with harpoons.” Continue reading

Massive Scale of Discovery In Remaining Forests Inspires, Raising The Stakes For Conservation

Douglas Adams @ 65

It has been four years since we last noted his birthday and the most recent public event we can find now is this video is from two years ago.  65 is a suitable birthday to merit coming back to a favored writer and thinker with a small celebration. Neil Gaiman, starting at about nine minutes in to this video, pays fitting tribute to his friend, and ours, and what may have been his most important work.

Borneo Bridge Not Needed, Thank You

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Pygmy elephant males play-fighting near the Kinabatangan river in Borneo. Photograph: Alamy

What he said:

David Attenborough attacks plan for Borneo bridge that threatens orangutans

Endangered pygmy elephants and orangutans threatened by scheme for Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary

David Attenborough and Steve Backshall have joined conservationists and charities asking officials in Borneo to reconsider a bridge that threatens one of the last sanctuaries of the rare pygmy elephant.

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Patagonia’s Defense Of Bears Ears

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This banner was displayed during the last 12 hours across more than one of the news websites we monitor daily, perhaps showing up on our browsers because of our featuring a reference to Patagonia’s activism here. We had also recently noted their action on Bears Ears. Regardless of why this banner ad reached us, we are happy to extend its reach. Click above if you are in a position to explore and take action on this particular campaign.

Demanding Action From Those Accountable

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Newly bleached coral on the Great Barrier Reef near Palm Island in February. Photograph: Australian Marine Conservation Society

We could not have said it better:

As the Great Barrier Reef faces the return of coral bleaching, why are Mantra, Accor and Marriott still silent on Adani? Continue reading

Thank You National Public Radio (USA)

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In this 2014 photo, two Siberian tigers rest beside a gamekeeper’s vehicle at the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park in China’s Heilongjiang province. Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images

We watched this video, from a link on social media that sometimes offers excellent, informative material related to the animal kingdom, wilderness, and conservation; but this turned our stomach so we are happy that NPR gives it exactly the kind of attention it deserves:

The Problem With That Video Of Tigers Squaring Off With A Drone

By Colin Dwyer

The video of about a dozen hefty Siberian tigers chasing and batting a flying drone from the sky seemed a lighthearted reprieve from the more serious news of the day. But since sharing the footage, we’ve become aware that it may conceal a darker story. Continue reading

Oh Amazon, Where Art Thou?

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By The New York Times

It is a heavy read, but now is not the time to shrink away from the tough news. Something can be done, and something must be done. Soon. Thanks to the New York Times for the reporting on this topic:

Amazon Deforestation, Once Tamed, Comes Roaring Back

A decade after the “Save the Rainforest” movement captured the world’s imagination, Cargill and other food giants are pushing deeper into the wilderness. Continue reading

Forest Attrition Distance

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A forest in Oregon along Highway 30, part of which has been clear-cut. Researchers say the average distance to the nearest forest from any point in the continental United States widened in the 1990s. Credit Leah Nash for The New York Times

Thanks to the Science section of the New York Times, for the description of the research as well as for the name of the measurement:

How Far to the Next Forest? A New Way to Measure Deforestation

The Future Of News

2503_cover_beigeThe purpose of this, where I am typing this just now, is to share information. Sometimes that information comes in the form of a personal story, which is highly subjective but informative about the challenges, the innovations, and accomplishments related to conservation and the wellbeing of communities around the world. We depend on the New York Times for this kind of information every day, and more days than not we link out to stories they publish related to the environment, community, or other topics of interest on this platform; so this story matters to us:

ARTHUR GREGG SULZBERGER doesn’t remember the first time he visited the family business. He was young, he says, no older than 6, when he shuffled through the brass-plated revolving doors of the old concrete hulk on 43rd Street and boarded the elevator up to his father’s and grandfather’s offices. He often visited for a few minutes before taking a trip to the newsroom on the third floor, all typewriters and moldering stacks of paper, and then he’d sometimes go down to the subbasement to take in the oily scents and clanking sounds of the printing press. Continue reading

Healthy Prairies & Space Cowboys

Thanks to Cool Green Science:

Space Cowboys: A New Generation of Prairie Keepers

Continue reading

Same Jaguar, Different Camera

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Yesterday I posted a couple images from a guest’s phone camera, including one of the cat above seen through the lens of a scope. What I did not know when I posted that was that another guide, Marvin who was with two other guests, had come upon the cat first and had signaled to Luis to bring his two guests to see the cat, which seemed quite relaxed in this location. Al Erickson, who is at Chan Chich primarily for photographing birds, took the photo above. Incidentally, he and his wife were the ones who pointed us to Bird Tales.

Jaguar & Other Surprises At Chan Chich Lodge

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I was just starting to think how surprisingly awesome broccoli is, when a guest at Chan Chich Lodge showed me the photo he took about an hour ago. It was taken using his phone, through the scope that our guide Luis had while they were on the morning Gallon Jug tour. That complements well, to say the least, the photo the guest took with just his phone last night. Continue reading

Recommended By Guests At Chan Chich Lodge

bird-tales-kitWhen guests of Chan Chich Lodge told me last evening about their local Audubon Center in Connecticut (USA), my first thought was a memory of the Audubon Center in my hometown, also in Connecticut, and how essential it was to the decisions I made to do what I do today.

Then they mentioned Bird Tales, and I had never heard of anything like this before, but it made so much sense to me I thought I should excerpt the description here and point it out to the many bird-centric visitors to our platform here (click the image to the left to go to the website of the Center that created the program):

…Initially working with four facilities operated by Transcon Corporation, our Audubon Center Bent of the River Education Program Manager, Ken Elkins, incorporated Audubon at Home environmental principles into the goals of these facilities to improve the quality of life for their residents. Continue reading

Pythons, Everglades & Unintended Consequences

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Thanks to Anthropocene for providing a summary of recent science on a topic of concern in these pages from time to time in the last few years:

Invading pythons and the weird, uncertain future of the Florida Everglades

Jimmy’s Sunny Disposition

What a decent man, we say every time we see news of Jimmy Carter. This story is no exception, and we especially appreciate the example he is setting with this action:

PLAINS, Ga. — The solar panels — 3,852 of them — shimmered above 10 acres of Jimmy Carter’s soil where peanuts and soybeans used to grow. The panels moved almost imperceptibly with the sun. And they could power more than half of this small town, from which Mr. Carter rose from obscurity to the presidency. Continue reading

From Behind the Camera Trap

Ocelot curious about the red light of the camera

Ocelot curious about the red light of the camera

For years the camera traps at Chan Chich Reserve have been capturing images of wildlife both day and night. In addition to helping to document the size and health of the population of a specific species within the reserve, the cameras also capture the particular behavior of the species.

Continue reading