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Archive for April, 2012

BLM releases solar draft mitigation, adaptive management plans

(April 24, 2012)

Red Lodge Clearinghouse/ EE News

“The Obama administration released draft plans last Friday for monitoring and offsetting impacts to wildlife and their habitat as a result of commercial-scale solar development on public lands in the Southwest.”

California Wins Temporary Reinstatement of Carbon Fuel Standard

(April 24, 2012)

Bloomberg Business Week

California won temporary reinstatement of its low-carbon fuel standard, which was blocked last year by a federal judge on the basis that it was unconstitutional and discriminates against inter-state commerce.

Study: Northeast states bucking carbon emissions trend

(April 20, 2012)

Inside Climate News

According to a recent study, cap-and-trade and other measures to combat climate change and stimulate demand for renewable energy helped 10 Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states cut per-capita emissions of carbon dioxide 20 percent faster than the rest of the nation between 2000 and 2009.  Download pdf here: A Record of Leadership_Study (428 kb).

Land managers act to protect whitebark pine

(April 19, 2012)

The Billings Gazette

“Calling whitebark pine a critical component of high-elevation ecosystems, members of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee signed an agreement to unify efforts to inventory, monitor and manage the native species” across the greater Yellowstone area, which includes 2 national parks and 5 national forests.

CU research shows warming climate threatens ecology at mountain research site west of Boulder

(April 18, 2012)

University of Colorado, Boulder

“A series of papers published this month on ecological changes at 26 global research sites — including one administered by the University of Colorado Boulder in the high mountains west of the city — indicates that ecosystems dependent on seasonal snow and ice are the most sensitive to changes in climate.”  In the reports, Long Term Ecological Research site scientists had to “come up with a new evaluation system the research sites that brings in the “human dimension,” said CU-Boulder Professor Mark Williams, the principal investigator on CU’s Niwot Ridge LTER site.  “In the past we tried to look at pristine ecosystems, but those are essentially gone,” said Williams. “So we’ve come up with an approach that integrates human activities with our ecological research.”

Research blames climate change for West Coast oyster die-off

(April 12, 2012)

Bend Bulletin

New research points to a rise in ocean acidity from increased levels of atmospheric CO2 for the widespread failure of Pacific oysters to reproduce since 2005 in Washington’s Willapa Bay. The research, conducted by Oregon State University and NOAA Seattle, controlled for temperature, bacteria, and other factors to show pH as the controlling factor is oyster’s ability or failure to reproduce.  According to The Seattle Times (April 12), the region produces one-sixth of the nation’s oysters, and has asked Congress for help replumbing hatcheries and developing monitoring systems to track upwelling events and the quality of incoming seawater.

New Website Resource:

Practitioner’s Network for Large Landscape Conservation

The Practitioners’ Network for Large Landscape Conservation is an alliance of professionals and citizens engaged in leading, managing, researching, advocating, funding, educating or setting policy to advance large landscape conservation initiatives.

The website is intended to:

  • build a community of practice by linking practitioners to one another and to policy makers and resource professionals;
  • provide information, tools, and resources related to the theory and practice of large landscape conservation; and
  • provide a shared calendar for meetings and events.

One key way they are linking practitioners and resource professionals is by asking everyone interested or involved in large landscape conservation to join the network by completing a brief survey. They will use this information to help connect people and organizations who share a similar geography, focus, or strategic approach to large landscape conservation.

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Tree pathogens likely to spread as temperatures rise, says Forest Service

(April 11, 2012)

Redlodge Clearinghouse, via EE News Greenwire

A new report from the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station, which synthesizes information from more than 200 individual studies, examines the effects of eight tree diseases under two different climate-change scenarios.  Climate change is expected to facilitate the spread of some diseases, while also making trees more susceptible to disease.

Federal wildfire predictions mixed for West

(April 4, 2012)

Redlodge Clearinghouse via EE News Greenwire

“This wildfire season should be far less eventful than last year’s, but some parts of the West could still see a few large fires, according to the federal government’s new wildfire outlook.”

Global Warming Close to Becoming Irreversible

(March 26, 2012)

Scientific American

Scientists warn that the earth is close to reaching a tipping point that will make it irreversibly hotter, with the world temperature set to reach 6 degrees Celsius warmer by the end of the decade under continued uncontrolled emissions.  Some tipping points , such as the melting of huge ice sheets, have already been passed, while others linger, such as the thawing of the siberian permafrost which holds twice the amount of carbon than is in the atmosphere today.

Reports:

Preparing for a Changing Climate: Washington State’s Integrated Climate Response Strategy

April 2012

State of Washington Department of Ecology

This new report/ state response strategy warns that the state of Washington could face billions of dollars in costs from climate problems such as flooding in the next decade if it does not act to protect the state’s infrastructure, wildlife and communities, and “offers recommendations on how existing state policies and programs can better prepare Washington State to respond to the impacts of climate change. It urges state agencies to make adaptation a standard part of agency planning and to make scientific information about climate change impacts accessible to public and private-sector decision makers. It also recommends that state agencies strengthen existing efforts to help local and tribal governments, private and public organizations, and individuals reduce their vulnerability to climate change. The response strategy underscores the need to build strong partnerships to support state, local, and tribal adaptation; coordinate activities across sectors; and engage stakeholders and the public.” (From the documents short description- full report available to download on site).

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