A soothing humpback whale symphony; Kerry’s war on deniers

A soothing humpback whale symphony; Kerry’s war on deniers

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CRITTERS AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS

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Surfbird on the hunt

BrownsBay writes—The Daily Bucket: The Surfbird: “The Surfbird (Calidrus virgata) is considered a rarity in my neck of the woods.  But they’ve been showing up regularly every winter on the Edmonds marina breakwater since about 2014.  They prefer rocky shores where they forage for intertidal invertebrates, especially bivalve and gastropod mollusks, and barnacles, which they swallow whole.  There aren’t many rocky shorelines along Puget Sound except for a few human-created structures like the Edmonds breakwater. I’m not what you’d consider an avid birder and don’t generally chase after rarities unless they’re nearby.  When I do, often I strike out.  Saturday morning, rather than waste time in front of the computer, I got with it and drove down to the Edmonds Fishing Pier, like 10 minutes to drive there.  I knew from reports that the Surfbirds had arrived.  And so there they were, a couple Surfbirds doing their thing, foraging on the breakwater rocks, right at the waterline .  They move quickly and purposefully. ”

BrownsBay writes—The Daily Bucket: From Working Forest to Park: “ North Kitsap County Park lies on the north end of the Kitsap Peninsula. The Kitsap Peninsula is a wide finger of land moated by the Hood Canal on the west separating it from the vast wilderness expanse of the Olympic Peninsula, and on the east by Puget Sound across which lies the Seattle metropolitan area that holds the majority of Washington State’s population and dominates its politics. The Kitsap Peninsula is still largely well forested by second and third generation forest that remains in places a working forest. Kitsap County purchased the land for North Kitsap County Park from Olympic Property Group, a successor to Pope & Talbot, one of the oldest and most dominant lumber companies in the Puget Sound area. The park land had been logged by Pope & Talbot and others for the last 150 years. The Park now comprises 809 acres of woodland crossed by old logging roads and interconnected trails. The Park is being managed in a way to improve the ecosystem by increasing wildlife habitat and diversity, and forest health.”  

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Mystery bird

Kestrel writes—Dawn Chorus: The Kids Are Alright: “My birding has been limited to what I can see out the window and at the feeders in my back yard and that’s been slim pickin’s. A few Anna’s hummers here and there, some House Finches, a scrub jay or two. Then yesterday, from out of the blue, a whole flock of LBJs (Little Brown Jobs) landed in my yard and I was absolutely baffled. I know all my yard birds and these were foreign to me. Streaked brown all over, these birds — easily 20 or 25 of them — were landing and climbing all over the place, up the jasmine vines, in the grapefruit tree, on the roof, in the shrubs, on the grass, in the fountain. They were everywhere. A dozen or so of them discovered the small saucer of water I keep on the patio and mobbed it, drinking furiously with more of them right behind and jostling for their turn, Who are these unknown visitors? As I looked, every LBJ I know came into my head and was rejected — not finches, not sparrows, not anything I could think of. Coincidentally, a friend of mine called just then. He’s a photographer and avid birder. After he suggested every bird I’d already thought of and rejected, he then said the magic word that I hadn’t thought about: juveniles.”

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Townsend’s chipmunk with cheeks packed. 

OceanDiver writes—The Daily Bucket – thankful for nature: “November 2020. Pacific Northwest. It’s Thanksgiving today, and I’d usually be down on the mainland at my extended family’s annual gathering where I’ve spent this holiday for the past 60-some years. But this year like many folks I’m at home today celebrating the occasion just with my husband instead, to avoid what might otherwise be a superspreader event. For example my 95-year old mom has COPD, and as  much as we all enjoy getting together to visit, it would be horrible if she or anyone in my family died for it. I will especially miss seeing my kids and grandkids, but there’s the phone and FaceTime during these COVID times, and we have a zoom event planned for this evening among the larger family and friends who usually attend our Thanksgiving. So even though this year has been terrible in many ways, there are still things to be thankful for. Today I will pass on politics and health problems near and far, and focus on what makes life good. The biggest part of that for me is my husband and family, and nature and wildlife. For today’s Daily Bucket, this might be a good day to post some nature moments we are thankful for, since I know all of us here love the natural world.” 

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Loggerhead Shrike

funningforrest writes—The Daily Bucket. Wayward Bird? My good fortune: “November 21, 2020. This bird, photographed out on the Leonhardt Ranch Learning Landscape, in a sense does not belong here.  Range map, edited by me to show out-of-range sighting location, via The Cornell Lab All About Birds. I had taken my “usual” walk out in the Leonhardt Ranch Learning Landscape sort of on a whim this day; I had a couple of errands to dispose of downtown (library, bank) and since it was a beautiful sunny afternoon I decided to also take a peek at Dellinger’s Pond, my other “go-to” birding spot close by.  I was headed back home from the pond, with some good photos and interesting changes about the pond to report, and since the ranch walk was right there on my way and I had plenty of time I took the walk, because you never know what you might see.”

funningforrest writes—The Daily Bucket. A Raptor-ous Tale; A Tale of Red-Tails: “QUINCY, CA. April 2020 had arrived. The early spring days were delightful.  I was getting outdoors regularly again (the pandemic wasn’t yet locking everything down), I had rejoined the Daily Bucket after finally getting a computer in the house, and my desire to get good nature and wildlife and bird photos was almost like a cabin fever reaching its peak and being released. Of all birds, raptors have always been my favorite. There’s something about them that just makes them special. They are Rulers of the Sky and the Earth Beneath. Talons of Terror to many other animals, Omens of Portent to humans in times past and Signs of the Seasons to many today. Thus it was with me. Winter was over. The hawks should be showing up any time now, I thought. So, get out and find them. Well, May:  no raptor sightings. June:  no raptor sightings. Early July:  still no raptor sightings. Where were they? Surely they ought to be around by now. Had something bad happened to my natural world that I wasn’t sensing? Or was it just me, not being well informed of their natural ways and patterns of moving around as the seasons changed?”

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Noble Fur poses

foresterbob writes—Celebrating Five Years with Noble Fur: “2015 was an eventful year for me, especially the last five months. I had made the long drive from Georgia to the Pacific Northwest to work in the vast forests of that region. In mid-August I needed a break, and a week at my remote cabin in Washington seemed like the perfect remedy. Instead, I found myself documenting two massive forest fires that threatened to turn my cabin into ash. Later on, there were adventures on muddy roads and farflung tracts of forest land. One late (and financially lucrative) job near the gorgeous Cascade peak named Mount Adams put a fitting end to my western work. On my way back home I took a route that led through southern Missouri, where I spent time with relatives. Finally, on the night of November 16, I returned to the house that I had not seen since June, and began unpacking. The next day, the neighbor who had been looking after my home during my absence pointed out a half-grown cat wandering through her yard. It had shown up in my firewood pile one day, alone and hungry, and she started feeding it. The cat was mine if I wanted it, she said. Y’all already know the outcome of that offer. Resistance was futile. The very next day, I was already taking pictures of the new cat, and she was hanging out at my house. Well, we are now at the fifth Nobleversary.”

David Neiwert writes—Listen: A remarkably soothing hourlong underwater symphony of humpback whales singing: “Four years ago this month, a trio of humpback whales—two adults and a juvenile, sex unknown—decided to spend several hours hanging out along the western side of Washington State’s San Juan Island and vocalizing. No one could see them because it was late at night and moonless. But underneath the surface, they put on a performance that lasted well over an hour—and it was being picked up on a hydrophone. I was fortunate enough to log on to that hydrophone, which runs live on the internet 24/7 thanks to the fine folks at OrcaSound. (Another feed is available through SMRU Consulting.) I recorded the resulting musical symphony over the next hour and a half and posted it on Soundcloud.” 

  

Joan McCarter writes—An infrastructure project everyone can love: “There has to be a chicken crossing the road joke somewhere in here, but I’m not finding it. Nevertheless, here’s several minutes of wildlife having a much easier journey through Utah because of a brand new wildlife crossing. […] According to National Geographic, one stretch of Utah highway saw ‘98 deer, three moose, two elk, multiple raccoons, and a cougar … a total of 106 animals’ killed by cars in a two-year period. Further, there are 21 threatened and endangered species in the U.S. whose continued existence is threatened specifically by cars including ‘Key deer in Florida, bighorn sheep in California, and red-bellied turtles in Alabama.’ Wildlife crashes kill people, too, of course. ‘Over the most recently reported 15-year period, wildlife-vehicle collisions have increased by 50 percent, with an estimated one to two million large animals killed by motorists every year,” says Rob Ament, the road ecology program manager at the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University.

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Double-crested cormorants perch on a sign whose sentiments we can all identify with.

Lenny Flank writes—Photo Diary: Another Heaping Helping of Florida Wildlife: “Seen recently during my daily walks in St Pete’s wonderful public parks system. For those who don’t know, I lived in a converted campervan and traveled around the country, posting photo diaries of places that I visited. But the pandemic has clipped my wings, and I am now holed up in Florida until I can begin traveling again. 🙂

lostintheozarks writes—The Daily Bucket – Following A Different Path: “Douglas County, Missouri. November 22, 2020. It has been about a week since my last Bucket was published, and I hardly have enough new photos to scrape together the backdrop for a new Bucket. I almost decided to do an Open Forum, but thought I should at least attempt to do this right! So I thought that maybe I could weave the story of my different excursions into nature last week into one coherent story. We shall see! We have actually been having some wonderful weather lately. Most of last week was sunny, with temperatures getting into the 60’s and 70’s at the heat of the day. The winter birds have been arriving on schedule, and they have enthusiastically endorsed our new feeder pole. The feeders are getting emptied quite regularly now:” 

CLIMATE CHAOS

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Chuckie Koch Rebranding, Even As One of His Newest Fronts at Tufts Releases Old-School Climate Hit:As the scion of a family fortune built on selling oil technology to both Hitler and Stalin, Charles Koch knows a thing or two about the dangers partisanship can pose to achieving one’s goals. But with perhaps his greatest success still clinging to the illusion of a second term, Charles Koch is in what Douglas Belkin describes as “a yearslong process of rebranding,” because “Mr. Koch, it seems, doesn’t want to be forever known as a hard-driving partisan.’  In his new book, he apparently even laments his past partisanship, writing: ‘Boy, did we screw up! What a mess!’ Well golly gee Mr. Koch, sir, don’t be too hard on yourself! All you did was use your fortune and influence to build an army of pseudo-intellectual puppets to carry your anti-government crusade to the point where it successfully installed a racist bully into the presidency, who is now actively denying the democratic outcome of the election he lost! No biggie, lol! Oh and about that pesky Tea Party business that the Koch network most certainly orchestrated, he claims ‘we did not create the tea party.’ So he’ll admit some culpability, but clearly isn’t coming clean with the full truth.” 

Mike Coblenz writes—The Simple Science of Climate Change:There are a couple of pervasive myths about climate change that are frequently exploited by skeptics to deny its existence. The first is that the science underlying climate change is somehow complex or esoteric. Nothing could be further from the truth. The underlying science is very simple. It’s basic high school physics. If you add an impurity to a solution you change its physical properties. The experiment we conducted in high school involved adding salt to water to change its freezing point. Anyone who has ever put salt on an icy sidewalk understands this simple physical phenomenon. This is the same physical phenomenon behind climate change. An impurity – carbon dioxide – changes the ability of air to retain heat. It’s so simple even a sixteen-year-old can understand it. The second myth is that this is some kind of new-fangled science, dreamed up by Al Gore in the 1990s. That’s also not true.

Pakalolo writes—Oh no, she didn’t:This is remarkable. Ivanka tweets some gobbledygook about how daddy has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10 percent last year. This is a lie; the emissions drop she references is not from 2019, but 2020. Sneaky she is. And the drop in emissions is due to daddy’s ineptitude in dealing with a pandemic that has killed a quarter of a million Americans (so far anyway), all of whom her father had sworn to protect from all enemies foreign and domestic. Cruelty and callousness don’t fall far from the mango tree. Mark Kaufman writes: What the tweet fails to explicate, and perhaps Ivanka Trump fails to comprehend, is that carbon emissions fell significantly in 2020 because of the largely uncontrolled COVID-19 disease outbreak in the U.S., not bold actions by her father Donald Trump’s administration to radically curb carbon emissions. (In laughable contrast, this administration selected a dubious climate adviser who believes the planet is in dire need of more CO2.)

Pakalolo writes—Laptev and East Siberian sub-sea methane activated: “ ‘It’s gotten so out of whack that we are now looking at survival for our children, not survival of our grandchildren,’ Peter Carter, M.D., —reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and founder of the Climate Emergency Institute. Dozens of scientists from Sweden, Russia, China, and seven other countries studied methane emissions from Siberia’s shallow continental shelves. One methane “fountain” was so large that the scientists saw it with their own eyes (see below video). Russian scientists call this phenomenon a super seep. Methane is bubbling into the ocean surface of the Laptev and East Siberian Seas. The powerful greenhouse gas is nine times the global average and is a potent greenhouse gas. Its impact on the climate is 84 times greater than CO2 over 20 years and 34 times greater over a century. The Arctic has massive methane stores in the permanently frozen soil and the coastal waters off Siberia. The release of the gas will be devastating to the climate and our chances of survival.”

Pakalolo writes—John Kerry declared war on climate change deniers in an effort named World War Zero: “In 2019 John Kerry was awarded and accepted the Arctic Circle Prize in a speech to an assembly of climate scientists and other Arctic stakeholders in Reykjavik, Iceland. In his dramatic speech, Secretary Kerry, who has been nominated by President-Elect Joe Biden, to be the first ‘Climate Tsar’ in a cabinet-level position, declared war on climate change deniers and their enablers. The principals of the World War Zero organization were quite active in the 2020 elections. Kerry described a coalition of the ‘top roots and the grassroots’ that will take on the well-funded fossil fuel industry and their bought and paid for representatives in the house and senate. Attendees broke out in raucous cheers in appreciation. The great ice sheets of the Arctic and Antarctica are part of nine tipping points that are now active. All of these have a cascading effect on the biosphere and will cull most species from the earth, including humans, that is just another mammal unlikely to survive hothouse earth. There is no do-over on climate; action was needed yesterday. Hoorah, Secretary Kerry, the world needs a hero and we will do our best to have your back.”

Pakalolo writes—The descendants of Chinggis Khan face an unprecedented and dangerous climate change feedback loop: “Men argue. Nature acts. Voltaire. Climate change does not respect any international borders, and those countries that have contributed the least to the climate crisis suffer the most. Disaster is coming for us all at some point, regardless of the color of our skin. […] George Dvorsky of Earther writes: New research published today in Science is painting an alarming picture of the current climate situation in inner East Asia. Contemporaneous heatwaves and droughts in the region are happening more often now than they did 20 years ago, but as the new study points out, the current climate situation in the region has no precedent over the past 260 years. The authors of the new paper reached this conclusion after analyzing tree-rings, which document droughts and heatwaves dating back to the mid-18th century.

Dan Bacher writes—President-Elect Joe Biden’s choice of John Kerry as climate czar draws both praise and criticism: “Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, 350.org North America Director, also lauded Biden’s choice of Kerry as ‘climate czar,’ but said Kerry must prioritize ‘working closely with Black, Indigenous, and communities of color around the world.’  ‘The appointment of John Kerry as a full-time International Climate Envoy aligns with the Biden-Harris team’s orientation to climate policy, and is a signal of commitment to collaborative action,’ said O’Laughlin. ‘Kerry must lead the Biden administration to demonstrate their global commitment to climate leadership beyond the Paris agreement, and we look forward to working with him and the national counterpart, once appointed, starting on day one with executive actions from The Frontlines Climate Justice Executive Action Platform and ClimatePresident.org. Sec. Kerry must prioritize working closely with Black, Indigenous, and communities of color around the world who are most impacted by the climate crisis, and young leaders calling for critical environmental justice and climate measures at scale of the Green New Deal. We are ready to work with Kerry to sharpen the urgency and existential importance of the Biden administration’s climate plans, with emphasis on the Global South and commitment to advocating for the communities hit first and worst by the crisis,’ she stated.” 

Kerry Eleveld writes—Biden plans to make climate change an ‘all-of-government’ agenda: “Let’s just start by acknowledging that whatever the incoming Biden administration does on climate change, it likely won’t be enough for environmental activists and it likely shouldn’t be. Nonetheless, we are starting to get some encouraging news about Joe Biden’s approach to tackling climate change issues.  Most importantly, rather than relegating climate action to a single agency, Biden plans to take a whole-of-government approach to combatting the biggest existential threat of our time. According to The Washington Post, he plans to “embed action” across the federal government in departments ranging from Agriculture to Treasury to State instead of simply tasking the Environmental Protection Agency with creating every climate initiative. Most of it will be done by executive action rather than requiring the passage of legislation.

A Siegel writes—Trump boosts careerist climate-science denier: “This morning, (un)Real Donald Trump tweeted out boosting a careerist who has made a fortune in propagating climate-science denialism. Once a Jim ‘snowballs disprove science’ Inhofe staffer, that careerist — Marc Morano — merits distinction as the Andrew Breitbart of the climate-science denial worldBreitbart [specialises in] twisting the truth, editing video to make black look like white and up look like down —
that’s the stuff of hocus-pocus and snake oil; it’s not the work of the journalist.
 Well, when it comes to the echo chamber of deceptive truthiness and outright deceit in the arena of climate change, sadly there is a pantheon of Breitbarts to chose from who are actively disseminating confusing material and outright falsehoods with gullible (or collaborating) journalists always ready to echo their falsehoods and give them voice in “faux and balanced” Global Warming reporting. If, however, forced to narrow down in this pantheon of anti-science syndrome sufferers, there seems to be one name that sinks to the bottom: Marc MoranoMorano’s career path includes Swift Boating Senator Kerry, being “Rush Limbaugh’s ‘Man in Washington””, writing an article for the Family Research Council (in the 80s) attacking those seeking resources for AIDS research and funding with a (false, baseless) claim that a fund-raiser “lewd dancing, nudity, illicit sex and evidence of illegal drugs,” , etc … etc … etc …”

Angmar writes—Covid recovery plans threaten global climate hopes (& Remembrance Day For Lost Species): “The last chance. Revealed: Covid recovery plans threaten global climate hopes. Exclusive: analysis finds countries pouring money into fossil fuels to fight recession. The prospect of a global green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is hanging in the balance, as countries pour money into the fossil fuel economy to stave off a devastating recession, an analysis for the Guardian reveals. In at least 18 of the world’s biggest economies, more than six months on from the first wave of lockdowns in the early spring, pandemic rescue packages are dominated by spending that has a harmful environmental impact, such as bailouts for oil or new high-carbon infrastructure, outweighing the positive climate benefits of any green spending, according to the analysis.” 

ENERGY

Fossil Fuels & Emissions Controls

Dan Bacher writes—California Department of Finance audit reveals repeated violations of oil and gas regulations: “Just days after California oil and gas regulators approved eight more fracking permits for Chevron this year, the California Department of Finance released an audit detailing repeated violations of the state’s oil and gas regulations The [64-page] report published on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend reveals that the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM), the state’s oil and gas regulatory agency, repeatedly skipped required reviews when approving hundreds of oil and gas wells last year. ‘It’s shocking to see the rampant rubberstamping of dangerous oil projects without even the basic review requirements,’ said Hollin Kretzmann, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute, in a press release. It’s absolutely reckless for Gov. Newsom to continue approving new projects when so many haven’t been properly reviewed’.” 

TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE

maggiejean writes—Overnight News Digest: GM Hits Reverse on Bar of CA Emissions Rules: General Motors Co said on Monday it was reversing course and will no longer back the Trump administration’s effort to bar California from setting its own emissions rules in an ongoing court fight. GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said in a letter to environmental groups it was ‘immediately withdrawing from the preemption litigation and inviting other automakers to join us.’ The about-face came as GM sought to work with President-elect Joe Biden, who has made boosting electric vehicles (EVs) a top priority. The Detroit automaker has laid out an ambitious strategy to boost EV sales and last week said it will increase spending on EVs and autonomous vehicles by 35% from previously disclosed plans. The announcement reflects Corporate America’s move to engage quickly with the incoming Democratic administration.

AGRICULTURE​, FOOD & GARDENS

DownHeah Mississippi writes—Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol.16.47: SMGB Revisited: The Founder: “Good morning Y’all, and welcome to another DownHeah Edition of Saturday Morning Garden Blogging.  The topic for my diary today was spawned about 6 weeks ago.  I was up early, going through my usual news sites, and becoming increasingly angry and depressed.  How did we ever get here…? One thought led to another, and I finally asked myself: How did we, as a group (SMGB), get here in 2020?  It all started with Frankenoid, “Franki” to her friends, on February 26th, 2005.  The 1st one Here.” 

IDrew writes—The Future of Food: “A crisis can lead to a better life for all, but it is now worrisome to see that one in five Americans are suffering from hunger and food insecurity, a problem made worse by the pandemic.  We as a society ought to strive to make our local areas more resilient, less reliant on a food supply that is inaccessible, expensive, and not so great for the planet’s ecosystems. I don’t believe the answer lies in food banks and other emergency hunger ‘stopgaps.’  I want to hear what other ideas people have, but for now I am energized to read that there is a city in Brazil, Belo Horizonte, that has a new model for feeding its citizens.  To read about the food plan in Belo Horizonte, follow these  links to articles in Yes! magazine: Yes! This City Made Access to Food a Right of CitizenshipYes! This City Makes Sure No One Goes Hungry–Even During Covid. Essentially, the city made access to healthy food a right of citizenship.  The city implemented a number of measures to connect its people with local growers, and started a network of ‘public restaurants.’  I have heard of such restaurants in China and India, and wonder if we could ever envision something like this in America. What do you think?”

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Merry Light writes—Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 16.48 – Time for Some Changes: “The next set of gardener’s chores coming up are the houseplants. Sadly, I neglect them in the summer, and although I water them faithfully all during the hot months, my attention is caught by the glory of summer yard flowers. Now I can give them some much needed TLC. I have probably talked about my obsession these days with succulents.  There are so many varieties! I’ve been able to have good success with most of them and now I have many bowls of succulents to repot. I can’t seem to help myself when I see them at the nursery or grocery store, so I have some new ones to add in to the mix. My baby succulent plant nursery is doing well.. these have been in the nursery all summer. I have a couple of these little nurseries. They need a new home!” 

NAT’L FORESTS, PARKS, MONUMENTS & OTHER PUBLIC LANDS

DrMarmot writes—Always Threatened: How Trump Is Using A Law From 1872 to Endanger the Grand Canyon and Its Peoples:It was in this context of desperately needed economic opportunity, the desire to settle the West’s vast landscapes, and dismissal of native sovereignty that congress passed the General Mining Law of 1872. The law codified existing informal systems of acquiring and protecting mineral claims on public lands. By providing dirt cheap mineral rights it encouraged the development and settlement of publicly owned lands in the western United States. Amazingly, in our age of highly technical resource extraction wrought by richly capitalized corporations, the law still governs the mining of valuable minerals from public lands. And, even more astonishingly, it does so at 1872 prices. Corporations thus gobble up mineral rights on public lands—over 3 million acres worth—for five dollars or less per acre. And the gold, silver, copper, platinum, and uranium extracted from our public lands? Those go to the extractors for free. It is as if the hardrock mineral market is still dominated by lone, grizzled miners prospecting with a pan, pickaxe, and mule. The public treasury does enter the equation, however: taxpayers often pay for the environmental legacies of mining operations, including the tens of thousands of large mines that scar the landscape and the many thousands of miles of streams poisoned by acid-laced runoff. (The General Mining Law does not cover fuel minerals such as coal and natural gas; those resources generate a paltry 8-12% royalty to the public treasury.)

Username4242 writes—Where Coyote turned the legend people to stone: hiking the bizarre landscape of Bryce Canyon (Video): “Last of my National Park adventures in Utah (never made it to Zion this trip!), then heading south. Much wonder to follow outside the national parks (with a few here and there for good measure: Grand Canyon hike included!)” 

Username4242 writes—Cliffs, dunes, and canyons! Adventures in southern Utah and northern Arizona (Video):

REGULATIONS & PROTECTION

Senor Unoball writes—Pebble Mine Permit Denied! “Alaska’s two Republican senators have even recently come out against the mine. Pretty astonishing, as both Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan have rarely met a development project they do not love. Anchorage Daily News: After years of review and analysis, the Army Corps has found that this project is ‘contrary to the public interest,’ ending consideration of its permit application and affirming that this is the wrong mine in the wrong place,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Given the special nature of the Bristol Bay watershed and the fisheries and subsistence resources downstream, Pebble had to meet a high bar so that we do not trade one resource for another, said Sen. Dan Sullivan. “As I have been saying since August, Pebble did not meet that bar.” Environmentalists have fought against the mine proposal for many years, and it was strongly opposed by Native Alaskans and others who live in the Bristol Bay area. Bristol Bay has the largest salmon run in the world, and fears are that pollution from the mine would harm the fishery.”

e2247 writes—Bristol Bay Tribes and others celebrate news that Army Corps denies Pebble Mine permit – ☺Yay ☺: “This victory is to celebrate, in keeping with the prophetic mission of The Condor and The EagleArmy Corps of Engineers 24 Nov 2020 statement says that the permit application to build the Pebble Mine was denied under both the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act. United Tribes of Bristol Bay, ( UTTB.org, Dillingham, Alaska) a coalition of 15 federally recognized Yup’ik, Dena’ina, and Alutiiq tribes in Southwest Alaska, said the threat of large-scale mining will loom until permanent protection of the Bristol Bay watershed is achieved. “Future generations should not have to live with the threat of mining developments that would devastate our cultures, communities, and existing economies. We must ensure that Bristol Bay’s pristine lands and waters are protected in perpetuity (photos here). 

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MISCELLANY

Gabe Ortiz writes—Environmental activist calls damage that Trump’s wall has inflicted on the land ‘incalculable’: “”   

Meteor Blades writes—Earth Matters: Giant solar farm planned for Texas; ‘unprecedented’ not OED’s ‘Word of the Year’: “ Nature-hating Trump undermines program he used to greenwash his environment record: In August, Donald Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act, a truly bipartisan bill allocating $9.5 billion to fix the nation’s decaying National Parks infrastructure and permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million a year, the revenue coming from offshore fossil fuel fees and royalties to protect parks, forests, and wildlife refuges and habitat. This was a substantial increase from previous funding, and a surprise since the Trump regime had repeatedly tried to slash the LWCF’s budget. Trump used the signing to boast that “There hasn’t been anything like this since Teddy Roosevelt, I suspect.” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt noted at the time that the law wouldn’t have passed without Trump’s strong and bold action. Proving to all that this move marked no change of heart but mere pre-election greenwashing, on Nov. 9, Bernhardt issued an order that gives state and local governments authority to veto LWCF acquisitions they don’t like. The order is a gift to extremists eager to turn federal lands over to the states where, in many cases, protection is the last thing politicians have in mind.





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