Nature Noted

Notes on a changing Nature

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

I never would have predicted this one

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A site to check out

No, we didn't lose access to the internet or electricity here in Memphis. My semi-regular blogging has been less regular lately, but I shake out of Greta Garbo land to pass along an interesting website. It's Ecosystemmarketplace.comand it's an eclectic mix of news, opinion and eco-market tracking. A particular article of note is on the lessons learned from the collapse of a California land trust. Interesting reading, interesting site.
Ok, back into my hole now.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Urban Land Trusts

Land trusts aren't just for wilderness. Here's a plea for for Urban Trusts as well.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Accreditation Board Named

The Land Trust Alliance has announced the formation of its new commission to oversee land trust accreditation. The "Land Trust Accreditation Commission: An Independent Program of the Land Trust Alliance" will consist of 13 members.
This is the next step in the LTA's promise to Congress to set accreditation standards across the country to cut down on conservation easement tax abuses.

Those named are:
Larry Kueter (CO)
Counsel, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust
Attorney, Isaacson Rosenbaum PC
Board Member, Land Trust Alliance

David MacDonald (ME)
Director of Land Protection
Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Ann Taylor Schwing (CA)
Attorney, McDonough Holland & Allen PC
Board Member
Land Trust of Napa County

Katherine Imhoff (VA)
Chairwoman, Virginia Outdoors Foundation
Vice President for Planning and Facilities, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc.

Elizabeth Crane (GA)
Program Manager
Forest Legacy, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service

David Hartwell (MN)President, Bellcomb Technologies Inc.
Board Member, Land Trust Alliance

Lucinda Hunt-Stowell (CT)
Board Member, Southbury Land Trust
Chairwoman, Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust

Jennifer Lorenz (TX)
Executive Director, Legacy Land Trust

Marc Smiley (OR)
Marc Smiley Organizational Development
Board Member, Columbia Land Trust

Peter Stein (NH)
Partner, Lyme Timber and LTC Conservation Advisory Services

Henry Tepper (NY)
New York State Director
The Nature Conservancy

Wesley Ward (MA)
Director of Land Conservation
The Trustees of Reservations

Michael Whitfield (ID)
Executive Director
Teton Regional Land Trust

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Great Bear Rising

After years of wrangling and debate, The Great Bear Rainforest is about to become one of the largest protected areas in North America. The new park is the result of years of negotiations between the Canadian government, environmental groups, logging companies and native, or First Nation tribes.
The Great Bear Rainforest is located on B.C.'s north and central coast.
Covering more than six million hectares, it is one of the world's largest intact temperate rainforests. The largely roadless area is laced with salmon rivers and has large populations of grizzly bears and white "spirit" bears, which are a rare genetic variation of black bears....

The Nature Conservancy press release has details on the plan to transform the economy of the area from extraction based to a more sustainable one.
Ecosystem-based management in the Great Bear Rainforest seeks to direct the sustainable and cautious use of resources at all scales, from broad landscapes to individual plants.
At the landscape level, a network of new and existing protected areas extending over 5 million acres will protect a core of ecologically and culturally significant areas from logging and other industrial uses. These areas provide the most secure habitat for sensitive native plants and animals, such as the white Spirit bear and many of the most productive salmon streams.
At the watershed level, such as a 20,000-acre river valley, management plans will set aside reserves where little or no resource extraction takes place. These reserves will maintain wildlife habitat and travel corridors, protect waterways and preserve specific values such as threatened species, sensitive soils and cultural, scenic and recreational areas.
At the site level, such as a 250-acre timber stand, forest harvesters will design their logging plans to retain individual trees, or groups of trees, to maintain key habitat features such as streamside forest cover, trees for nesting, or bear or wolf den sites. Logging plans will also seek to sustain ecological process by, for example, leaving large fallen trees in rivers where they form pools and side channels necessary for salmon.

As in every negotiation, the idea was to give all the parties a little something.... but the import of this deal is to protect a huge area... what TNC is calling 25% of the world's remaining temperate rainforest. A remarkable achievement.
Here's a link to a photo essay on the park.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Marty Bender

I didn't know Marty Bender, but after obituary on the home page of the Land Institute, I thought what a shame he won't be around as the country debates the future of using our natural resources. Here's an excerpt..
"Historian and Land Institute board member Donald Worster said he once asked Bender for a few facts about energy consumption on a Kansas farm.
"Back in the mail came a response that must have taken him several hours to assemble — far more information than I needed, all given in a spirit of selfless generosity that characterized Marty to the core. Besides his family, he lived for The Land Institute and its research programs."
Bender's answers were both blunt and exacting, what institute board Chairman Conn Nugent called a "tough theology":
"Will biofuels one day power an expanding American economy? No way, says Marty: You could grow fuel crops on every square inch of North America, and still fall way short of the net energy provided by the contemporary supply of fossil fuels. Solar panels? Wind machines? Hybrid vehicles? Sure, Marty would say, those are good things. Just don't expect them to let you live in the style to which you've become accustomed."

Tough theology, tough answers. A reminder that our greatest natural resource is smart, curious and honest people.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

No Going Back?

Depressed yet? If not, this article should do the trick
"Now that most scientists agree human activity is causing Earth to warm, the central debate has shifted to whether climate change is progressing so rapidly that, within decades, humans may be helpless to slow or reverse the trend.
This "tipping point" scenario has begun to consume many prominent researchers in the United States and abroad, because the answer could determine how drastically countries need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years. While scientists remain uncertain when such a point might occur, many say it is urgent that policymakers cut global carbon dioxide emissions in half over the next 50 years or risk the triggering of changes that would be irreversible.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

It's getting hot in here

2005 warmest year in last 100 years.... and that's without any major weather disturbances.... yikes.
2005 warmest year on record:NASA.
"Here's a striking fact from the NASA press release: Since 1890 the global average temperature has increased about 1.4 degrees F., but a full degree of that has been in just the past three decades. It's a different world than the one many of us were born into. And the bad thing about wrecking the Earth is that it's not the kind of thing where you're given a do-over."
..Yes, I'm getting my science from a humorist... but read the rest of Joel Achenbach and his reader's comments in the Washington Post.

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