Last year at this time, the toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie caused nearly half a million people in and around Toledo, Ohio, to be without safe drinking water. Clean water from our taps is something that many of us take for granted, but if we don’t protect our water sources — like the residents of Toledo discovered — we won’t be able to take it for granted anymore.
“The Wilderness Society applauds the actions by Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall to introduce and guide the Cerros del Norte Conservation Act forward,“ said Michael Casaus, New Mexico Director with The Wilderness Society in Albuquerque.
About 8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year. Part of this accumulates in 5 areas where currents converge: the gyres. At least 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic are currently in the oceans, a third of which is concentrated in the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 mammals will die due to this pollution each year; the pollution impacts the economies of fishing and tourism, and the impact of the toxic chemicals on health may not even be fully realized yet.
To find out more about the damage this problem is causing and what you can do to help, go to The Ocean Cleanup.
It is NOT impossible to clean up the ocean. Learn more here: Technology
It’s no secret that bees and other pollinators play an enormous role in our environment and ecosystem, but what exactly is pollination? According to Wikipedia, “Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred from the anther to the stigma of the plant, thereby enabling fertilization and reproduction.” In other words, it is what allows a plant to flower or produce fruit, nuts or vegetables. Everything from celery to apples, to strawberries, melons and squash require pollination in order for food to be produced. Coffee is on the list too! What would happen without your morning coffee? With the decline in pollinators, a coffee-free world could become a reality.
Bees make more than just honey happen. And their numbers are declining. There are many thoughts as to why, but there are also lots of ways you can help save the bees, and other pollinators. Sometimes thought of as pests, bees, birds, bats, butterflies, moths and even flies are all considered pollinators. And it’s not that difficult to help save them!
Simple ways to help:
• Help create a habitat in your community. Even a tiny spot in your yard can be designated to be a bee or bird habitat.
• Plant native flowers and plants. Bees are not attracted to exotic species, so that bird of paradise on your deck won’t do them any good. Try planting lupines, echinacea, penstemon, Rocky Mountain bee plant, black eyed susans, elderberry or indian grass in your garden. The list is long of native plants that will grow in Colorado. http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/Garden/07242.html
• Cluster plantings of native flowers together to ensure continuous blooms.
• Avoid pesticides and yard chemicals as much as possible! One possible theory of the disappearance of the honeybee is from neonicotinoids, which confuses the bees nervous system and they are unable to find their way back to their hive, and they drop dead from exhaustion. Other garden pesticides can affect bees and other pollinators too.
• Try organic pest control techniques. Handpick worms and caterpillars off your vegetables in the garden, plant marigolds or calendula to act as a deterrent, or use plain white vinegar as a weed killer (spray in the morning on a sunny day). Dishsoap or dishsoap with oil in water sprayed on plants helps with aphids and other bugs (do not use in direct sun). http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/xcm221.pdf
• Keep the garden healthy from the beginning! Strong plants will help attract beneficial bugs and detract from the bad. Rotate your crops so the soil can recover. Use compost to enhance the soil, not chemical synthetic fertilizers. (Be cheap and save your food scraps and make your own compost! Make Compost) Pull unhealthy or diseased plants out immediately.
• Provide shelter for the bees and other pollinators. They need shelter from the wind and adverse conditions near food sources, trees or ‘shelterbelts’. Old logs, old foliage from plants (wait until spring to clean up), open patches of dirt and even a simple block of untreated wood with holes drilled in it can be a new nest for a bee! Bee Nest
• Make sure there is water nearby too! Bird baths can be too deep, so add some marbles or rocks to it so bees, butterflies and baby birds can get a drink without drowning. Remember to fill daily! Honeybee Watering Station Butterfly Puddling
• Next spring, try sprouting your own seeds too. Too often plants from the big stores are loaded with pesticides that affect the bees. More stores are starting to change, so look for labels on the plant to see if it does, or doesn’t, contain neonicotinoids. There are also petitions on line to sign to encourage your favorite store to make its bee friendly plants really bee friendly!
• Shop your local farmers market and buy organic whenever possible. Both practices help protect the environment that we, and the pollinators, live in.
• Celebrate National Honeybee Day on August 15. Learn more about bees, honey, bee husbandry and more at your local farmers market, local beekeeper or www.nationalhoneybeeday.com.
This bill protects a wild area of Idaho called Boulder-White Clouds. The House of Representatives passed an identical bill so all that’s left to enact the legislation into law is President Obama’s signature.
[ Financial investment in power line studies for the southwest could protect wildlands and advance clean energy ]
Though the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has made progress in improving transmission corridors, the lack of money for studies and public outreach has been a barrier.
On Wednesday, July 29, the Bureau of Land Management kicked off their listening sessions to hear local community input about reforming the federal coal leasing program – marking an opportunity for modernizing an outdated program.
The Wilderness Society released the following statement regarding passage of Rep. Mike Simpson’s bill to protect the Boulder-White Cloud mountains out of the U.S. House of Representatives: