Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Rock Creek Park: The Hunt Is On

March 18, 2013

Rock Creek Park: The Hunt Is On
Rock Creek Park runs right through the middle of Washington DC, and it has a problem. The skinny ribbon of National Parkland is infested with deer, five times more than the 1,750 acres can support. The deer wander onto Rock Creek Parkway where commuting motorists mince them into Bambi-burgers. They cause international incidents by browsing backyards on Embassy Row and visit the grounds of the Vice President’s residence for wrestling matches with the Secret Service.

The National Park Service issued shoot-to-kill orders, but five DC residents went to court to stop the hunt. A judge just threw out their lawsuit so the hunt is back on. The NPS plans to donate harvested venison to area homeless shelters.

UPDATE:

“Rock Creek Park Deer Killing for Me, Not for Thee,” Will Sommer, Washington CityPaper blog

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Vehicular Venison

November 5, 2012

Vehicular Venison

It’s that time again. The leaves are turning bright autumn colors, and lovesick deer on the road to romance are finding it crowded with motor vehicles. There are more deer and cars in the U.S. than ever before, so the situation isn’t as amusing as it might initially seem. Deer cause car crashes that kill about 200 people in the US each year, twice as many as Hurricane Sandy. State Farm Insurance says deer collided with 1.23 million vehicles between July 2011 and June 2012, 7.7 percent more than last year. The company’s claims from deer collisions rose almost 8 percent while those for other collisions fell 8.5 percent.

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Gibson Guitars Caught Smuggling

August 9, 2012

Gibson Guitars Caught Smuggling

Gibson Guitars agreed to pay penalties totaling over $$600,000 for smuggling exotic endangered wood into the United States in violation of the century-old Lacey Act. The Act was amended in 2008 to ban importation of illegally harvested hardwoods like Madagascar ebony. Gibson builds many well-known guitar models including the ES-355 (B.B. King and Chuck Berry play it) and the Les Paul, and many of these guitars have ebony fretboards. Madagascar has forbidden logging of its slow-growing ebony since 2006, meaning US importation from that date forward was illegal.

In order to avoid criminal prosecution, Gibson acknowledged that it imported exotic wood in violation of environmental laws, paid the Justice Department $300,000 in penalties, forfeited claims to over $250,000 worth of wood seized by the Feds, and contributed $50,000 to a foundation to promote the conservation of protected tree species.

At least Gibson didn’t get caught smuggling illegal weapons into the country. Blackwater did that.

More:

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Bambi Must DIE!

May 20, 2012

Bambi Must DIE!

“. . . wildlife managers slice intact forests into sunny woodlots that maximize the number of deer and the frequency of encounters between deer and hunters. Private landowners are encouraged by wildlife agencies to crisscross their forest acreage with tasty plantings of clover and wheat in support of what is now a burgeoning population of perhaps 50 million white-tailed deer — in some places as many as 75 deer per square mile.

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BP Oil Spill +2

April 17, 2012

BP Oil Spill +2

While the media fleet sailed with the Titanic centennial story, this week marked the anniversary of another maritime disaster. The Deepwater oil spill happened two years ago, but you wouldn’t know it unless you live on the Gulf Coast. Most media coverage  boosted the recovery of tourism and the fishing industry. Only the editors of the Tampa Bay Times have a weather eye on the future:

“Two years later, spill’s dangers linger,” Tampa Bay Times editorial

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Omnivore, Animated

February 19, 2012

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce or RSA, home of the amazing RSA Animate series of visually-interpreted lecture videos by Cognitive Media, is running a film contest. Maria Popova at Brain Pickings harvested this brilliant short interpretation of omnivore Michael Pollan’s Food Rules by Marija Jacimovic and Benoit Detalle.

If you find the video tasty, leave a tip beside your plate. Vote for this entry in the RSA/Nominet Trust competition (click here).

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Let Them Eat Carp

July 15, 2011

Let Them Eat Carp

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources plans to process tons of fish and donate it to area food banks. The fish: Asian carp, several aggressive, invasive species bent on world domination. They can weigh over 50 pounds and jump 8 feet in the air, knocking over fishermen. They also destroy underwater habitat, vacuum up plankton and algae, crowd out other fish species, and have no natural enemies.

DNR pays commercial fishermen to take Asian carp out of the Illinois River. The result: Asian carp haven’t taken over Lake Michigan yet, and the state has a heap of dead fish, 150 tons in the last year.

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Attack of the Plastic Bags!

June 2, 2011

Attack of the Plastic Bags!
Disposable plastic bags just sit there, clogging our landfills and oceans, but their manufacturers aren’t so passive. Three of them are suing a reusable bag maker for saying  … that plastic bags clog our landfills and oceans. They claim such talk has “irreparably harmed” their business.

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Exploding Melons!

May 17, 2011

Exploding Melons!

The melons of China are exploding. They’re not bursting with goodness, but with chemicals. Chinese farmers have been speeding the watermelon harvest by treating plants with a little too much Forchlorfenuron (FCF), a growth regulator.

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Earth Day Echoes

April 22, 2011

Earth Day Echoes

April 22nd  has been celebrated as Earth Day since 1970. A holiday that raises humankind’s awareness of our responsibility for the natural health of our planet. Sounds good, right?

Not in some ways:

“The 15 Corniest Pro-Environmental Songs,” Stacey Anderson, Rolling Stone

 

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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