Southern Appalachian Office Internship
[ California desert residents join Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, elected officials and community leaders to dedicate new national monuments ]
The Wilderness Society is pleased to join California desert residents, local elected officials, tribal representatives and community leaders dedicating the newly designated Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains National Monuments.
The Wilderness Society 2015 Annual Report
During its history, the state of Idaho has sold off more than 1.7 million acres of land to private interests, according to an analysis of land sale data by The Wilderness Society released this week.
On Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and National Forests, the agencies are mismanaging the use of off-road vehicles (ORVs) such as dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and all-terrain vehicles, resulting in unnecessary damage to watersheds and wildlife, and conflict with other recreationists.
For this report, The Wilderness Society reviewed data from more than 16,000 parcels auctioned off by the state. The analysis details more than a century of land sales that have privatized and closed off an amount of once-accessible lands nearly the size of the entire Sawtooth National Forest.
The Clean Lakes Alliance released its annual State of the Lakes annual report. The report, which looks at phosphorus reduction efforts through the 2015 calendar year, also addresses lake education, volunteerism, and corporate involvement.
Following the Yahara CLEAN Strategic Action Plan, which was first published in 2012, the State of the Lakes report tracks progress on 14 cost-effective actions which hopefully will lead to a 50% (46,200-pound) phosphorus reduction by 2025. This year, 18% of that goal (8,200-pounds) of phosphorus was successfully diverted from the watershed. Clean Lakes Alliance executive director James Tye says, “It makes a big difference because one pound of phosphorus translates to 500 pounds of algae.”
Stormwater management projects like pond construction, erosion control at construction sites, and stabilizing urban waterways were urban actions that helped achieve the phosphorus reduction. Improved cropping, tillage, and field management, as well as functioning manure digesters, helped reduce phosphorus from rural areas.
While we’re making progress on the ground, our community is facing very real “headwind” issues. Climate change means more frequent and more intense rainstorms that wash more phosphorus into our lakes. Invasive species like the spiny water flea throw lake ecosystems for a loop year after year. Increasing urbanization and and intensified agriculture means more demands on less available land, often at a cost to our lakes. Addressing these “headwinds” in 2016 and beyond will be the key to further phosphorus reduction.
In 2016, Clean Lakes Alliance will focus on three areas: legacy sediment, nutrient management, and leaf management. For legacy sediment, Clean Lakes Alliance has committed $25,000 to a Dane County project that will remove accumulated, phosphorus-laden sediment from the bed of Dorn Creek – a major tributary to Lake Mendota. If successful, this practice could be applied in other areas of the watershed in order to remove this source. Addressing nutrient management, Clean Lakes Alliance is working with Yahara Pride Farms, Dane County, and Yahara WINs to help farmers improve soil health and the way they manage phosphorus by assessing the water quality impacts of manure management techniques like windrow composting and promoting low disturbance manure injection. Finally, leaf management: after a successful leaf pilot program in DeForest in 2015 that focused on removing leaves from street gutters, Clean Lakes Alliance will continue to push for action and work to understand how much phosphorus can be diverted from the lakes through leaf management.
For a complete copy of the 2015 State of the Lakes annual report, please contact Adam Sodersten at email@example.com
About Clean Lakes Alliance
Clean Lakes Alliance is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the improvement and protection of the lakes, streams and wetlands in the Yahara watershed. Through community support, advocacy and education, we are working to restore and protect our lakes for future generations.
According to the report, Idaho’s 1.7 million acres of sold-off state lands have included more than 100,000 acres sold since the year 2000. In many cases, these sales have cut off public access to cherished outdoor recreation spots or even allowed lands to become industrialized.
Here’s an organization that’s doing something about that. For nearly 30 years, Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all. In 2016, Entercom Communications partnered with Conservation International to protect 150 acres of valuable habitat for bees and other pollinators.
Pollinators like bees and birds are responsible for about one in every three mouthfuls of food we eat — which makes their recent population collapse a major cause for concern. Without bees, yields of crops like almonds, apples and avocados would collapse, or possibly disappear altogether. In addition, a recent study found that because pollinators support certain crops that provide important nutrients to malnourished countries, a decline in pollinators could worsen global malnutrition.
The importance of bees means we should heed their recent dramatic declines. Although there are likely numerous causes of this collapse, protecting bees from known threats like pesticides is an essential step in maintaining our food security.
Conservation International’s success protecting nature around the world stems from the generous support of donors. Help ensure that flowers, plants and trees continue to provide food, medicine — and inspiration for all.
Find out more about Conservation International, including how to donate, at www.conservation.org