Nature Noted

Notes on a changing Nature

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

I never would have predicted this one

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The City of Sore Shoulders

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, I just moved in from across town, and boy are my shoulders tired! The big move is over and thanks to help from my family and a team of strong movers, the Nature Noted world headquarters is officially back up and running. Special thanks to my long suffering and extremely efficient wife who has the entire house looking like we've lived here for years. Now.... on to the news.
Breaking News
Pennsylvania's Earth Conservancy is facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the mother of a 30 year old man who died when the vehicle he was riding in went off the road and into a waterhole. The suit accuses "the conservancy of failing to post the property, place a fence or other barricade around the property, maintain the property in a safe condition, warn the public of dangerous conditions and other violations." But " conservancy executive director Mike Dziak said the property was open to the public for hunting and other recreational activities in the manner of state game lands, but motorized vehicles are strictly prohibited. Dziak also said the property -- a densely wooded parcel popular for partying and four-wheeling -- is not routinely patrolled." The article says it's the second fatal accident on the property, five other people died in a similar accident in 1998.
Conservation Easement News
Jon Christensen is stepping to the fore in defense of conservation easements. Check out his defense with Terry Anderson of the easements in Tidepool . Jon also points out that easements are beginning to spread worldwide. A program is underway in Mexico by the International Community Foundation to buy easements along the coast of Baja to protect whales and other sea life.
Jon also reports that the Senate Finance Committee is expected to hold hearings April 5 on non profit governance, and may also release the results of the two year long investigation in the Nature Conservancy in the next month. Stay tuned.
In South Carolina The Beaufort Gazette is the latest media outlet to do a story on the importance of conservation easements there.
But while most legitimate land trusts are working hard to clear the name of conervation easements, there are others who still pushing for the type of easements that have caused Congress to investigate. A press release on the results of a survey by "the Golf & Resort Industry Team of Foley & Lardner LLP" discusses the problems of the declining number of golfers and says that "The findings show the majority of respondents are missing profit opportunities by failing to maximizing their tax incentives. This year, only about one in five respondents plan to utilize conservation easements, and just one half plan to take advantage of the depreciation of their greens and tees. These figures highlight an opportunity to educate the industry about methods to leverage the existing tax laws."
Wouldn't want to miss those profit opportunities now, would we?
Reaching Out
Finally, an article on AlterNet by Russ Baker argues that "Thus far, the environmental movement and progressives in general have not done nearly enough to engage the millions of Americans who hunt and fish. When they come to understand the direct consequences of the administration's steady unshackling of polluters, they will realize that there's more at stake in local, state and federal elections than the kind of gun they may carry. As for Christian fundamentalists, they have recently developed a vocal environmentalist wing, based on the religious conviction that humans should act as "good stewards," not despoilers, of God's green earth."
Mr. Baker might be on to something, but there already are conservation groups that have been reaching out to sportsmen and women for years. Memphis' own Ducks Unlimited is spreading the word on land preservation and conservation easements. Check out the page on how Ducks Unlimited is saving wetlands.
That's enough for now, I need another Advil.


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