“2 Thumbs Up Award Mex. wolf count up”


To all those who are helping protect our endangered Mexican wolf population in the wild –Mother Nature and the wolves thank you.

Open season every for wolf pups

The annual survey for the number of Mexican Wolves in the wild is out and the news is good

the number of wolves has risen to 58. (up from 50 last year) This includes 6 breeding pair. (up from two last year).

The story has been reported in six regional papers – all listed below.  Let’s blitz them this weekend with a barrage of letters and show the editors, the public, and our elected officials the public cares about Mexican Wolves.  Everything you need, including talking points, links to the articles, tips for writing, and where to send your letter, follow below.

Newspapers in both Arizona and New Mexico reported this, and I encourage you to send your letter to more than one newspaper – changing it as needed to fit that publication. This way, with one letter, you have six chances of getting published.  If from Arizona, send a letter to the New Mexico papers and vice versa.   Include a personal note why you, as an out of state person, care. E.g. “I often camp in the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico out of chance I may hear a wolf howl,” or “A New Mexico with wolves is a place I’d visit as a tourist,” etc.

Be sure to send me a copy (BCC) so I can track what they’re printing. Pasted below is Defenders statement on the count.

Stories (by state) New Mexico Papers:

Albuquerque Journal (South):  More Mexican Wolves Roam the Southwest

Santa Fe New Mexican: More Mexican Wolves in the Wild

Alamogordo Daily News  More Mexican Wolves in the Wild

Las Cruces Sun-New   More Mexican Wolves Thrive in the Wild

Arizona Papers

Tucson Arizona Daily Star More Mexican Wolves in the Wild

Arizona Daily Sun:  More Mexican Wolves in the Wild

 

Sample Talking Points  Pick and choose from the following, but remember: these are just ideas to get you started.  Also, please USE YOUR OWN WORDS, don’t just cut and paste.

 

Ø  Thank the Newspaper for covering the story. E.g.  “Thanks to the Albuquerque Journal for the Mexican wolf story….”

 

Ø  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts to keep more wolves in the wild  by emphasizing tactics that help ranching and wolves coexist instead of removing wolves is starting to pay off.

 

Ø  When packs are more stable they’re able to be better parents, and pups have a better chance at reaching adulthood and reproducing themselves.

letters@lcsun-news.com

Ø  The increase comes as good news for these highly endangered animals, but Mexican wolves are not out of the woods yet.

 

Ø  A population of 58 wolves is still extremely small and at risk from threats such as disease, inbreeding, or catastrophic events like the Wallow Fire, which burned through Mexican wolf habitat last year.

 

Ø  We’re extremely fortunate that the Wallow Fire didn’t wipeout an entire generation of pups, but we can’t continue to rely on luck.

 

Ø  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must build on this momentum. The service should work with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to release new wolves into the wild, adding depth to the population’s gene pool and giving lobos a better shot at survival.

 

Ø  Defenders of Wildlife is leading efforts to create coexistence programs and is seeing significant increases in interest in programs to help ranchers learn to live with wolves.  These programs are expanding in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and other groups.

 

Ø  There are wolves eligible for release in both New Mexico and Arizona. The Fish and Wildlife Service should move forward with these releases soon

 

Ø  The Service also should move quickly to revise its out of date policy which prohibits the release of wolves directly from zoos into New Mexico.

 

Ø  Top predators, such as Mexican gray wolves, are vital to keeping wildlands healthy and full of life. Wildlife biologists believe that Mexican wolves will improve the overall health of the Southwest and its rivers and streams – just as the return of gray wolves to Yellowstone has helped restore balance to its lands and waters.

 

Ø  Citizens in Arizona and New Mexico strongly support wolf reintroduction.  Over three-quarters (77%) of Arizona voters and 69% of New Mexico voters say they either strongly support wolf recovery. See Arizona survey here.  See:  New Mexico Survey here

 

Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points

Below are suggestions for your letter.  If you are unsure and want me to look at your letter before sending, send to sjohnson@defenders.org

 

·         Keep it short  – 150 words or less. Read the articles linked above and use the talking points above if needed. USE YOUR OWN WORDS.  (Do not simply cut and paste)

·         Start by thanking the paper for their story and tie your letter to the article. E.g. “Thanks to the Journal for your story, “Can bad meat deter wolves?”

·         Make one or two strong points, don’t try to cover them all: space doesn’t permit.

 

·         Provide your name, address and phone number; your full address and phone number will not be published, but they are required in order to have your letter published.

 

·         If you are uncertain about your letter and want suggestions, I am happy to review letters.  Send to sjohnson@defenders.org

 

·         Submit your letter by email, or cut and paste online (some papers prefer email, others online) at:

 

1.      Albuquerque Journal (click here) Send letter to the Journal

2.      Santa Fe New Mexican (click here)  Send letter to the New Mexican

3.      Alamogordo Daily New (Click here) Send Letter to Alamogordo Daily News

4.      Las Cruces Sun New  email to:  letters@lcsun-news.com

5.      Submit Letter to the Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff)  (click here) Submit Letter to the Daily Sun

6.      Submit to Tucson Arizona Daily Star send email (with name and contact info) email letters@azstarnet.com

 

·         Blind copy me  what you send the paper.  This helps me track what they are publishing.

 

Provided courtesy of Scotty Johnson Defenders of Wildlife Tucson, AZ

Image courtesy of Nature’s Crusaders Library

“2 Thumbs Up Award -757 Imperiled Species protected”


The “Two Thumbs Up Award”  goes to the Center of Biological Diversity and the the US Fish and Wildlife Service and an enlightened federal judge for helping save 757 threatened species. Thank you from Mother Nature and all of us at Nature’s Crusaders.

 

Court Approves Historic Agreement to Speed Endangered Species Act Protection for 757 Imperiled Species

Walrus, Wolverine, Albatross, Fisher, Mexican Gray Wolf, Sage Grouse,
Golden Trout Among Those Fast-tracked for Protection

TUCSON, Ariz.— A federal judge today approved a landmark legal agreement between the Center for Biological Diversity and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requiring the agency to make initial or final decisions on whether to add hundreds of imperiled plants and animals to the federal endangered species list by 2018. The court also approved an agreement with another conservation group that it had previously blocked based on legal opposition from the Center.

“The court’s approval today will allow this historic agreement to move forward, speeding protection for as many as 757 of America’s most imperiled species,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center. “The historic agreement gives species like the Pacific walrus, American wolverine and California golden trout a shot at survival.”

The Center wrote scientific listing petitions and/or filed lawsuits to protect the 757 species as part of its decade-long campaign to safeguard 1,000 of America’s most imperiled, least protected species. Spanning every taxonomic group, the species protected by the agreement include 26 birds, 31 mammals, 67 fish, 22 reptiles, 33 amphibians, 197 plants and 381 invertebrates.

“With approval of the agreement, species from across the nation will be protected,” said Greenwald. “Habitat destruction, climate change, invasive species and other factors are pushing species toward extinction in all 50 states, and this agreement will help turn the tide.”

Individual species included in the agreement include the walrus, wolverine, Mexican gray wolf, New England cottontail rabbit, three species of sage grouse, scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper (‘i‘iwi), California golden trout and Rio Grande cutthroat trout — as well as 403 southeastern river-dependent species, 42 Great Basin springsnails and 32 Pacific Northwest mollusks.

The agreement, formalized today with the judge’s approval, was signed by the Center and the Fish and Wildlife Service on July 12. Already dozens of species have been proposed for listing, including the Miami blue butterfly, one of the rarest butterflies in the United States.

While the agreement encompasses nearly all the species on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s official list of “candidates” for Endangered Species Act protection, two-thirds of the species in the agreement (499) are not on the list. This corresponds with the conclusion of numerous scientists and scientific societies that the extinction crisis is vastly greater than existing federal priority systems and budgets.

“The Endangered Species Act specifically allows scientists, conservationists and others to submit petitions to protect species,” said Greenwald. “These petitions play a critical role in identifying species in need and help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the ever-expanding task of protecting species threatened with extinction.”

The species in the agreement occur in all 50 states and several Pacific island territories. The top three states in the agreement are Alabama, Georgia and Florida, with 149, 121 and 115 species respectively. Hawaii has 70, Nevada 54, California 51, Washington 36, Arizona 31, Oregon 24, Texas 22 and New Mexico 18.

An interactive map and a full list of the 757 species broken down by state, taxonomy, name and schedule of protection are available here.

Highlighted species are below.

Species Highlights

American wolverine: A bear-like carnivore, the American wolverine is the largest member of the weasel family. It lives in mountainous areas of the West, where it depends on late-spring snowpacks for denning. The primary threats to its existence are shrinking snowpacks related to global warming, excessive trapping and harassment by snowmobiles.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned to list the wolverine as an endangered species in 1994. It was placed on the candidate list in 2010. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2013 and finalize the decision in 2014 if warranted.

Pacific walrus: A large, ice-loving, tusk-bearing pinniped, the Pacific walrus plays a major role in the culture and religion of many northern peoples. Like the polar bear, it is threatened by the rapid and accelerating loss of Arctic sea ice and oil drilling.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 2007. It was placed on the candidate list in 2011. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2017 and finalize the decision in 2018 if warranted.

Mexican gray wolf: Exterminated from, then reintroduced to the Southwest, the Mexican gray wolf lives in remote forests and mountains along the Arizona-New Mexico border. It is threatened by legal and illegal killing, which has hampered the federal recovery program, keeping the species down to 50 wild animals.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned to list it as an endangered species separate from other wolves in 2009. It is not on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2012 and finalize the decision in 2013 if warranted.

Black-footed albatross: A large, dark-plumed seabird that lives in northwestern Hawaii, the black-footed albatross is threatened by longline swordfish fisheries, which kill it as bycatch.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned to list this albatross as an endangered species in 2004. It is not on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection, determine it does not qualify, or find that it is warranted but precluded for protection in 2011.

Rio Grande cutthroat trout: Characterized by deep crimson slashes on its throat — hence the name “cutthroat” — the Rio Grande cutthroat is New Mexico’s state fish. It formerly occurred throughout high-elevation streams in the Rio Grande Basin of New Mexico and southern Colorado. Logging, road building, grazing, pollution and exotic species have pushed it to the brink of extinction.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 1998. It was placed on the candidate list in 2008. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2014 and finalize the decision in 2015 if warranted.

403 Southeast aquatic species: The southeastern United States contains the richest aquatic biodiversity in the nation, harboring 62 percent of the country’s fish species (493 species), 91 percent of its mussels (269 species) and 48 percent of its dragonflies and damselflies (241 species). Unfortunately the wholesale destruction, diversion, pollution and development of the Southeast’s rivers have made the region America’s aquatic extinction capital.

In 2010, the Center for Biological Diversity completed a 1,145-page, peer-reviewed petition to list 403 Southeast aquatic species as endangered, including the Florida sandhill crane, MacGillivray’s seaside sparrow, Alabama map turtle, Oklahoma salamander, West Virginia spring salamander, Tennessee cave salamander, Black Warrior waterdog, Cape Sable orchid, clam-shell orchid, Florida bog frog, Lower Florida Keys striped mud turtle, eastern black rail and streamside salamander.

Only 18 of Southeast aquatic species are on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will issue initial listing decisions on all 403 plants and animals in 2011.

Pacific fisher: A cat-like relative of minks and otters, the fisher is the only animal that regularly preys on porcupines. It lives in old-growth forests in California, Oregon and Washington, where it is threatened by logging.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list the fisher as an endangered species in 2000. It was placed on the candidate list in 2004. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2014 and finalize the decision in 2015 if warranted.

Cactus ferruginous pygmy owl: A tiny desert raptor, active in the daytime, the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl lives in southern Arizona and northern Mexico. It is threatened by urban sprawl and nearly extirpated from Arizona.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 1992. It was protected in 1997, then delisted on technical grounds in 2006. The Center repetitioned to protect it in 2007. It is not on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2011 and finalize the decision in 2012 if warranted.

42 Great Basin springsnails: Living in isolated springs of the Great Basin and Mojave deserts, springsnails play important ecological roles cycling nutrients, filtering water and providing food to other animals. Many are threatened by a Southern Nevada Water Authority plan to pump remote, desert groundwater to Las Vegas.

In 2009, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list 42 springsnails as endangered species, including the duckwater pyrg, Big Warm Spring pyrg and Moapa pebblesnail. None are on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will issue initial listing decisions on all 42 species in 2011.

Scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper (Iiwi): This bright-red bird hovers like a hummingbird and has long been featured in the folklore and songs of native Hawaiians. It is threatened by climate change, which is causing mosquitoes that carry introduced diseases — including avian pox and malaria — to move into the honeycreeper’s higher-elevations refuges. It has been eliminated from low elevations on all islands by these diseases.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 2010. It is not on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2016 and finalize the decision in 2017 if warranted.

Ashy storm petrel: A small, soot-colored seabird that lives off coastal waters from California to Baja, Mexico, the ashy storm petrel looks like it’s walking on the ocean surface when it feeds. It is threatened by warming oceans, sea-level rise and ocean acidification.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 2007. It is not on the candidate list. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2013 and finalize the decision in 2014 if warranted.

Greater and Mono Basin sage grouse: Sage grouse are showy, ground-dwelling birds that perform elaborate mating dances, with males puffing up giant air sacks on their chests. The Mono Basin sage grouse lives in Nevada and California. The greater sage grouse lives throughout much of the Interior West. Both are threatened by oil and gas drilling, livestock grazing, development and off-road vehicles.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned to list the Mono Basin sage grouse as an endangered species in 2005. It was placed on the candidate list in 2010. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2013 and finalize the decision in 2014 if warranted.

The greater sage grouse was petitioned for listing in 2002 and placed on the candidate list in 2010. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2015 and finalize the decision in 2016 if warranted.

Miami blue butterfly: An ethereal beauty native to South Florida and possibly the most endangered insect in the United States, the Miami blue

was thought extinct after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 but rediscovered in 1999. It is threatened by habitat loss and pesticide spraying.

It was petitioned for listing as an endangered species in 2000 and placed on the candidate list in 2005. The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it on an emergency basis in 2011. Under the agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was required to propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2012 and finalize the decision in 2013 if warranted. In August, the agency protected the butterfly on an emergency basis. 

Oregon spotted frog: The Oregon spotted frog lives in wetlands from southernmost British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to northernmost California. It is threatened by habitat destruction and exotic species.

 

Press release provided by The Center for Biological Diversity http://goo.gl/DlFGk

Image courtesy of  http://goo.gl/bl00h

Image Ca. Golden trout courtesy of dfg.ca.gov http://goo.gl/1nNls

Image Pacific walrus courtesy of farnorthscience.com  http://goo.gl/P6MJE

Image Miami Blue butterfly courtesy of dep.state.fl.us  http://goo.gl/nTRNf

Image Oregon spotted frog courtesy of blm.gov  http://goo.gl/Cin8a

“Victory for threatened species”


House Votes Down ‘Extinction Rider’ That Would Have Halted Spending to
Protect New Species Under the Endangered Species Act

TWO THUMBS UP AWARD Center for Biological Diversity

In a victory for imperiled species, the U.S. House of Representatives today voted not to include the “extinction rider” in an appropriations bill that would have stopped the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from spending any money to protect new species under the Endangered Species Act or to designate “critical habitat” for their survival. The House voted 224-202 in favor of an amendment from Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) to strip the “extinction rider” from the Interior department’s appropriation bill.

“The extinction rider would have been a disaster for hundreds of animals and plants across the country that desperately need the help of the Endangered Species Act to survive,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species program director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Today’s vote is a promising sign for wolverines, walruses and species in all 50 states that, without help, face the very real prospect of extinction.”

Plants and animals across the country are at heightened risk of extinction due to habitat destruction, global climate change, extreme weather events and other factors. Earlier this month the Center and the Fish and Wildlife Service reached a landmark agreement to speed protection for 757 imperiled U.S. species, including the wolverine, Pacific walrus, Rio Grand cutthroat trout and Mexican gray wolf.

For more information Center for Biodiversity

TWO THUMBS UP AWARD goes to the Center for Biodiversity and everyone that has helped save our threatened and endangered species.-“Thanks” from Mother Nature

Images

Wolverine  Wikimedia.org

Walrus  Wikimedia.org

Grey wolf pups  Natures Crusaders library

“Japanese need your help”


World Care Civilian Emergency Relief Center of Tucson is on high alert to assist

An 8.9 earthquake hit Japan, March 11, 2011. As aftershocks continue to hit the region, assessments of the tsunami will continue to come in over the next week. Thousands of bodies are reported to have washed ashore and worse yet nuclear power plant melt downs are increasing.

World CaWorld Care is collaborating with FEMA Region 9 to manage civilian volunteers and supply aid to affected regions if needed. Region 9 includes Hawaii, California, Arizona, Nevada, Guam, the North Mariana Islands, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Federal State of Micronesia, and American Samoa.

Rescue workers combed the tsunami-battered region north of Tokyo, where officials say at least 10,000 people were killed in the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that followed it.

“It’s a scene from hell, absolutely nightmarish,” said Patrick Fuller of the International Red Cross Federation from the northeastern coastal town of Otsuchi.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has dubbed the multiple disasters Japan’s worst crisis since World War Two and, with the financial costs estimated at up to $180 billion, analysts said it could tip the world’s third biggest economy back into recession.
World Care is collaborating with FEMA Region 9 to manage civilian volunteers and supply aid to affected regions if needed. Region 9 includes Hawaii, California, Arizona, Nevada, Guam, the North Mariana Islands, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Federal State of Micronesia, and American Samoa.

Early warning systems and FEMA evacuation plans have been very effective in Hawaii and California so that casualties and injuries caused by this disaster are prevented or minimized.

World Care encourages civilians within communities to be ready to respond when disasters strike. It is currently working in partnership with local and state government agencies in a city-wide effort to develop a disaster communications plan and training.

Fifth largest earthquake in the 20th century and the largest since the Japanese have begun taking recordings in the 18oos.  See video.

Please if you cannot give any of the things World Care needs then sent light, love, comfort and support to all suffering people and animals everywhere. Thank you-Mother Nature

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/ga2hEB

Excerpts and Image courtesy of  http://yhoo.it/eWgPXt

“Come to the Sandhill crane party”


Join the Flight of the Cranes

Saturday, February 5
You are invited to come to the Flight of the Sandhill cranes in the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, near Blythe, Arizona on the Arizona – California border.  Cibola is one of Arizona’s nine wildlife refuges.

Sandhill cranes, one of the largest birds in North America with a wingspan of up to eight feet, spend the winter in areas of southern Arizona. Thousands of people visit these areas annually to witness the spectacular sight of these birds as they launch into the air in the morning and return to roost in the evening.
Cibola NWR is located in the floodplain of the lower Colorado River and surrounded by a fringe of desert ridges and washes. The refuge encompasses both the historic Colorado River channel as well as a channelized portion constructed in the late 1960’s.

Over 288 species of birds have been found on Cibola NWR, including many species of migratory songbirds, Gambel’s quail, roadrunners, mourning and white-winged doves, phainopepla, greater sandhill cranes, Canada and snow geese, Vermilion flycatchers, grosbeaks, the bald eagle, southwestern willow flycatcher and Yuma clapper rail are among the endangered birds that use Cibola NWR. Other listed species include the desert tortoise, razorback sucker, bonytail chub, and desert pupfish.

Desert mule deer, bobcat, and coyotes also call this refuge home.

For more information, please contact Rebecca DeWitt at (602) 405-9060 or rebecca.dewitt.az@gmail.com.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/gmIPyJ

Image courtesy of  http://bit.ly/eTT0JR

“Endangered turtle populations dropping”


Around the world in the Year of the Turtle, turtle populations are declining due to  climate changes, habitat loss and over-exploitation.


Historically, the common snapping turtle is widespread in the Eastern and Central United States, but not much is known about their current distribution. They are a target species for the USA Turtle Mapping Project currently being organized by Dede Olson of the US Forest Service. Credit: Mark Feldman

Sex affected nest temperature
The sex of some species of turtles is determined by the temperature of the nest: warm nests produce females, cooler nests, males. And although turtles have been on the planet for about 220 million years, scientists now report that almost half of the turtle species is threatened.

Turtle scientists are working to understand how global warming may affect turtle reproduction.

Why should we be concerned about the loss of turtles?

“Turtles are centrally nested in the food web and are symbols of our natural heritage. They hold a significant role in many cultures. For example, in many southeast Asian cultures turtles are used for food, pets, and medicine,” explains Deanna Olson, a research ecologist and co-chair of the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation steering committee spearheading the Year of the Turtle campaign.

Turtles (which include tortoises) are central to the food web. Sea turtles graze on the sea grass found on the ocean floor, helping to keep it short and healthy. Healthy sea grass in turn is an important breeding ground for many species of fish, shellfish, and crustaceans.

The same processes hold for freshwater and land turtles. For example, turtles contribute to the health of marshes and wetlands, being important prey for a suite of predators. The Year of the Turtle activities, include a monthly newsletter showcasing research and conservation efforts, education and citizen science projects, turtle-themed art, literature, and cultural perspectives, says Olson, a scientist with the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Turtles facts:

+ 50 percent of freshwater turtle species are threatened worldwide, more than any other animal group.

+ 20 percent of all turtle species worldwide are found in North America.

+ Habitat loss and exploitation are the biggest threat to turtles.

+ Climate change patterns, altered temperatures, affected wetlands and stream flow  are key factors that affect turtle habitats.

+ Urban and suburban development causes turtles to be victims to fast-moving cars, farm machinery; turtles can also be unintentionally caught in fishing nets.

Help conserve turtle populations?

+ Protect rare turtle and tortoise species and their habitats.

+ Manage common turtle species and their habitats so they may remain common.

+ Manage crisis situations such as acute hazards (i.e., oil spills) and rare species in peril.

Excerpts and Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/gYErJY

“Edwards-Trinity Aquifer System at risk from radioactive waste dump”


What are we thinking!
The Edwards-Trinity Aquifer System is in carbonate and clastic rocks of Cretaceous age in a 77,000-square-mile area that extends from southeastern Oklahoma to western Texas (fig. 78). The aquifer system consists of three complexly interrelated aquifers-the Edwards-Trinity, the Edwards, and the Trinity aquifers.  The Edwards-Trinity and the Trinity aquifers are stratigraphically equivalent in part and are hydraulically connected in some places. The Edwards aquifer overlies the Trinity aquifer  and the two aquifers are hydraulically connected where no confining unit separates them. The ground-water flow systems and permeability of the three aquifers are sufficiently different, however, to allow them to be separately mapped and described.

A Texas commission that has no staff or bylaws are attempting to make very substantial changes and rules that would allow low level radioactive waste from the entire country,to be dumped into a the landfill close to a major aquifer that provides water to one-quarter of the country’s irrigated land as well as drinking water to thousands of people. approved rules on Tuesday that pave the way for 36 states to export low-level radioactive waste to a remote landfill along the Texas-New Mexico border.
The 5-2 vote by the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Commission came after last-minute legal maneuvering on Monday failed to delay the meeting, environmentalists warned the dump would pollute groundwater and more than 5,000 people commented on the plan.
So much for safe disposal of our nuclear trash.
The site’s owner, Dallas-based Waste Control Specialists, convinced the commission the West Texas landfill was a “secure solution” to permanently dump radioactive waste. Until now, the site has only accepted waste from Texas, Vermont and the federal government.
“We are certainly very pleased and happy,” CEO Bill Lindquist told The Associated Press after the vote in Andrews, Texas.
The rush vote came two days before Vermont’s incoming governor, Peter Shumlin, takes office. The Democrat has openly criticized the plan and had said he would replace the state’s two commissioners with members more in line with his views.
The first phase of construction should be completed by November. In early 2012, the federal dumping section will also be finished, he said.
While the facility will now be able to accept waste from 36 states. Vermont paid $25 million to guarantee 20 percent capacity in the finished dump. Vermont now has only one nuclear facility, but will phase it out in the next 30 to 40 years.
Vermont’s concerns about where to get rid of its waste are shared by other states. In 2008, South Carolina severely curtailed who could send waste to its low-level nuclear dump, shutting down the last major facility that had been accepting the waste. And a battle over burying high-level nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, a years-long, multimillion dollar project that has suffered a series of setbacks, has created fierce opposition to building additional nuclear facilities.
Opponents argue that until there are viable solutions for dealing with the dangerous radioactive waste, no new plants should be built and the U.S. should instead focus on expanding solar and wind energy. Others, including Obama, believe nuclear energy is a clean, viable alternative to oil.
“You do sense the panic in the marketplace that there’s no place for this stuff to go,” Lindquist said.
Texas Commissioner Bob Wilson has opposed the expansion plans and the rules for some time. He voted against the rules on Tuesday, but largely because he fears the commission is unprepared to deal with the enormity of the task once the 1,340-acre site begins accepting waste from other states. The commission, he said, is largely unfunded, getting $25,000 a year from Vermont and money from Texas only to cover meeting and travel costs. In addition, he fears expanding the importation of waste will interfere with the site’s capacity. He also questions whether it will be as profitable as is being predicted.
“I thought it was premature,” Wilson said.
Trevor Lovell, a spokesman for Public Citizen, one of the most outspoken opponents of the plan, said his group will meet Wednesday to decide the next step, but he said a lawsuit was possible.
“The commission that is moving forward on this has no staff, has no bylaws, and yet they are attempting to make very substantial changes and rules that would allow in radioactive waste from the entire country,” Lovell said. He noted that the landfill is close to a major aquifer that provides water to one-quarter of the country’s irrigated land as well as drinking water to thousands of people.
“We don’t feel that it’s been demonstrated that the landfill is safe,” Lovell said.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://yhoo.it/igaT64
Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/eXqz66
Map courtesy of            http://bit.ly/fi4sX1

“Animals’ New Year sharings”


Throughout the rest of this 2011 and beyond Nature’s Crusaders wishes you

May you always make the right moves.

May your cup runneth over with love.

May you always find shelter from any storm.

May you remain good looking and looking good!

May you find the perfect diet for your soul.
(If this face doesn’t make you want to stop eating sausage, nothing will.)

May you find perfect balance in the company you keep.

May you have as much fun as you can before someone makes you stop.

May the worst thing that happens to you come in slobbery pink and furry tan.

May you manage to make time for siesta.

May all the new folks you meet be interesting and kind.

May your accessories always harmonize with your natural beauty!

Should your mouth be bigger than your stomach, may you have a chewing good time!



And may your friends always bring you comfort!

May You Have a Joy filled NEW YEAR
Overflowing with Compassion, Prosperity, Health And Hope

Images courtesy of a friend of Nature’s Crusaders library

“Kids have bee project paper accepted by Royal Society”


Valid scientific research is being done by 8 to 10 year olds in london, England. To boot, a hand written elementary school science project has made it into a peer-reviewed journal from Britain’s prestigious Royal Society. The scientific organization, more than three centuries old and includes some of the world’s most eminent scientists, said the children research findings were a advance” in the field of insect color and pattern vision.
Biology Letters published a report Wednesday . The students investigated the way bumblebees see colors and patterns.Working with a neuroscientist from University College London, the children carefully documented their methodology and discussed the data they collected.
The group learned to trained bumbleees Bombus terrestris, buff-tailed bumble-bee to go to targets of different colors by giving them a sugar reward, and reported that the insects are able to learn and remember cues based on color and pattern.
The study successfully went through peer review — although its presentation was slightly unconventional.
“Scientists do experiments on monkeys, because they are similar to man, but bees could actually be close to man too,” the introduction read. The report was peppered with other amusing phrasing and diagrams drawn in colored pencil.
Scientists who commented on the kids’ report in the journal say although the experiments were modest and lacked statistical analyses, they were cleverly and correctly designed and hold their own compared to those conducted by highly trained specialists.
Laurence Maloney and Natalie Hempel wrote in commentary alongside the children’s report.
Beau Lotto, the scientist who coordinated the study, said she hoped the project could inspire people to approach science in a way that’s creative and fun.
“We like bees. Science is cool and fun because you get to do stuff that no one has ever done before,” the children concluded.

Bombus terrestris, the Buff-tailed Bumblebee or Large Earth Bumblebee is one of the most numerous bumblebee species in Europe. The queen is 2–2.7 cm long, while the workers are 1½–2 cm. The workers are characterized by their white-ended abdomens and look (apart from their yellowish bands being darker in direct comparison). The queen has a buff-white abdomen (“tail”) tip.
Resources

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“AZ people and wildlife snared in leghold trap controlled by vote on Prop 109”


AZ. wildlife are under siege from NRA who want to control wildlife with traps and snares and the gun.


This Election Day, take a stand for Arizona’s wildlife. Pledge to vote “NO” on Prop 109.

Sierra Club, the AZ. Human Society of America, Nature’s Crusaders and many others are part of a coalition of groups urging

Arizonans to vote “NO” on Proposition 109 in the November 2, 2010 election. Here’s why:

  • Prop 109 could open the door to inhumane and extreme wildlife-killing practices.Prop 109 makes it almost impossible to halt inhumane and unsporting practices. It could even result in the nullification of the 1994 voter-approved ballot initiative that banned steel-jawed leghold traps and poisons on public lands. Leghold traps are cruel and indiscriminate, but Prop 109 could reverse a sixteen-year-old victory and legalize these voter-outlawed landmines for wildlife and pets—putting Mexican wolves and other wildlife  at risk.
  • Prop 109 is a power grab that puts special interests ahead of scientific wildlife management.This measure would give the Arizona Legislature “exclusive” authority to make decisions on wildlife issues. If Prop 109 passes, wildlife management would no longer be based on science, but on the whims of politicians and powerful special interests.
  • Prop 109 takes away your voter freedoms and your right to protect wildlife.The politicians who wrote and support Prop 109 want to grab more power and prevent voters or professional wildlife scientists from having a say over wildlife protection policies. Arizonans have used petitions to protect animals when the state legislature has failed to act. Supporters of Prop 109 want to take away our freedom to protect animals at the ballot box.
  • Prop 109 could cost taxpayers millions and open the door for frivolous lawsuits.The vague language in Prop 109 could subject the state to expensive lawsuits from poaching criminals who want to argue that bag limits or season dates for a particular species are “unreasonable.”

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/96Qky5

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Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/cyvDo6

Image 1. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/bJpO3B

 

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