Climate, cannabis and apex predators …
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — One of the top news stories in Colorado last week was the dramatic change in the federal government’s position on legal use of marijuana in Colorado. After decades of intolerance, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder indicated that the feds won’t seek to challenge Colorado’s new pot regime — at least for now. That leaves the state free to administer recreational sales of cannabis, as long as there is a robust state-based regulatory structure. Read the Summit Voice story, which includes the full text of the new guidance from the feds: Feds ease stance on marijuana.
In a couple of email interviews, Summit Voice explored the seasonal weather outlook. Making forecasts three months in advance is dicey at best, an in the absence of a clear El Niño or La Niña signal, meteorologists are struggling even more than usual to pin down upcoming patterns: Climate: With no Niño — what’s a forecaster to do?
For Mexican gray wolves living in the southwestern United States, the news was good. Rather than fighting conservation groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service backed down in the face of several lawsuits to give the predators a little more room to roam in the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico: Mexican gray wolves will get more room to roam.
A forest study in the eastern U.S. has implications for forest management here in the West, as well, showing that, when it comes to biodiversity, forest species need a mix of towering old growth and cleared areas, which are seen as important for birds just before they migrate: Study: Forest clearings crucial for some birds.
- Colorado wildlife researchers probe techniques to restore habitat after intensive energy development
- Climate: Arctic sea ice trend is ‘strongly downward’
- Global warming: Study shows far-reaching impacts of ocean acidification
- Climate: Parts of the Arctic getting greener
Two stories illustrated the complex top-down effects of apex predators on their ecosystems:
- Otters play crucial role in seagrass ecosystems
- Study shows link between grizzlies, berries and wolves
- Renewable energy in the West on track to be cost-competitive with fossil fuels — without subsidies
- Environment: Fukushima radiation plume to reach U.S. West Coast next year