Posted on May 22, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Wolves are recovered in Yellowstone, but a possible plan to take them off the Endangered Species List is highly controversial. Photo courtesy Yellowstone NP.
Leaked plan doesn’t live up to intent of Endangered Species Act
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A group of prominent scientists with expertise in wolf biology is taking issue with a draft plan to take wolves off the Endangered Species List. The document was leaked a few weeks ago, eliciting widespread criticism from wildlife advocates.
Federal wildlife agencies are under intense pressure from states to turn over wolf management. Congress has already set the stage for political interference in the wolf recovery process, and that step has put the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service at the edge of a very slippery slope. Any proposal to de-list wolves is likely to face significant opposition and legal challenges from conservation advocates. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: endangered species, endangered species act, Gray Wolf, United States, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, wolf delisting, wolves | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 29, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Wolves may not be in danger of extinction, but are they recovered?
The current legal status of wolves in the U.S.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO —An oft-discussed proposal to remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species List has progressed to the point that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a fairly detailed draft version of the plan. The draft rule proposes removing all protections for wolves in 29 eastern states but maintaining endangered status for the Mexican wolf by listing it as a subspecies.
“We propose these actions because the best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the currently listed entity is not a valid species under the Act and that the Mexican wolf (C. l. baileyi) is an endangered subspecies,” the agency wrote in the draft. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: bioddiversity, endangered species, endangered species act, Gray Wolf, Mexican wolf, United States, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, wolves | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 7, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Brilliant April light
Constant diversions through the Roberts Tunnel have left Dillon Reservoir quite low.
FRISCO — Sunrise is getting to be pretty early these days, and it was a bit of a battle to get up and out the door Saturday morning, especially after a week of getting up before dawn to fix breakfast for our high-schooler, who has to be at the bus stop by 7:05 a.m. Not sure who thought up the school schedule locally, but it’s wrong, kind of like cruel and unusual punishment for teenager. But I did manage to scoot from our home in Frisco to nearby Heaton Bay to grap a few sunrise snapshots, and was happy, in the end, that I did, as I was treated to a glorious sunrise. Here are some the best shots from Saturday morning. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, seasons | Tagged: Colorado photography, Dillon Reseroir, mountain landscapes, Summit County photography, sunrsie, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 11, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
U.S. must help address global warming risks in vulnerable nations
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Debate about climate change has often been framed in a partisan context, at least in the U.S., but a recent statment by a nonpartisan security think tank points at finding common ground around the issue based on national security concerns.
A recent open letter from the Partnership for a Secure America starkly outlines the national security threats of climate change, stressing the urgent need for action to prevent disastrous impacts on U.S. interests. Mobilizing public and private support for international mitigation and adaptation projects in vulnerable communities must be a priority, according to the letter.
The group’s members are hardly wild-eyed environmental radicals; Instead, the letter was signed by seventeen former Senators and Congress members, nine retired generals and admirals, both the Chair and Vice Chair of the 9/11 Commission, and Cabinet and Cabinet-level officials from the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and both Bush administrations. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, National security, Partnership for a Secure America, United States | 3 Comments »
Posted on February 3, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Staffing, hours could be cut drastically
Arches National Park. Photo courtesy NPS/Jacob W Frank.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO —Failure to develop a long-term budget deal would hit the National Park Service hard, as the agency would be forced to slash staff, cut park hours and reduce other key services expected by visitors, according to documents obtained by the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.
“This is very troubling and it has the potential to turn already budget–strapped national parks into ghost towns,” said CNPSR Chair Maureen Finnerty, former superintendent of Everglades National Park. “This would be devastating for America’s national parks, for the nearly 300 million Americans who visit them, and for the irreplaceable natural and cultural resources the parks were established to protect,” Finnerty said. (more…)
Filed under: national parks, public lands | Tagged: Budget sequestration, federal budget, National Park Service, public lands, United States | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 14, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
‘Climate change is already affecting the American people’
There is no letup in the steady long-term rise of global temperatures.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Coming shortly after the National Climatic Data Center reported that 2012 was the warmest year on record for the U.S., a new federal report on global warming doesn’t mince words, starting with the first paragraph of the executive summary:
“Climate change is already affecting the American people. Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense, including heatwaves, heavy downpours, ain, in some regions, floods and droughts. Sea level is rising oceans are becoming more acidic and glaciers and arctic sea ice are melting.”
Along with laying out the science, the report cites experiences that most Americans can relate to. “Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington State, and maple syrup producers in Vermont have observed changes in their local climate that are outside of their experience. So, too, have coastal planners from Florida to Maine, water managers in the arid Southwest and parts of the Southeast, and Native Americans on tribal lands across the nation.” (more…)
Filed under: agriculture, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, ocean conservation | Tagged: climate change, drought, Environment, extreme weather, global warming, United States | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 31, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Is the government listening to your phone calls?
Warrantless wiretapping authorized for 5 more years
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The federal government will be able to listen in to your phone calls and snoop around you emails without a warrant for at least five more years, after Congress passed — and President Obama signed — the FISA Amendments Act, which authorizes the government to violate of basic constitutional rights in the name of national security.
The biggest concern for civil liberty advocates is the warrantless wiretapping program that dates back to the Bush administration’s war on terror. The program has helped the government gather intelligence, but critics like U.S. Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.) say the law doesn’t do a good job of balancing national security and civil liberties.
In a release, Udall said he opposed the extension partly because Congress failed to address the loophole. In past years, Udall has said it’s not even clear how many Americans have been targeted under the program, and called for more transparency and oversight of the program. (more…)
Filed under: federal government, world news | Tagged: civil rights, FISA Amendments Act, Mark Udall, NDAA, Ron Wyden, United States | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 26, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Will the world get it together on climate change?
Global warming crisis must be met with resolve and collaboration
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — With Arctic ice on the brink of near-total meltdown, super storms brewing in the oceans and after a summer of heatwaves and drought, about 17,000 delegates start meeting this week in Doha, Qatar to try and make some progress on the UN’s annual climate talks.
The backdrop for this year’s talks are continued dire warnings from scientists, who are saying that, if we can’t cap emissions by 2020, the world could be headed for runaway warming, with temperatures not seen on Earth for millions of years and almost unimaginable consequences for all life on Earth.
This is not a joke or some sort of purely academic debate. It could literally be a matter of life and death, but even though there’s a lot at stake, expectations aren’t very high for COP 18. The talks have become a frustrating exercise in futility, as politics and economics continually push the existential question of global warming into the back seat. What’s lacking most of all is clear leadership from the world’s most influential countries, including the USA. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, renewable energy | Tagged: climate change, COP18, Doha, Environment, global warming, UN climate talks, United States | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 19, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
This land is your land …
The U.S. Department of Interior last week announced the 2012 schedule of fee-free days for national parks and other federal public lands. Photo courtesy Leigh Wadden.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — If you’re starting to think about your next trip to a national park, you could plan your visit around one of the fee-free days in 2013, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 21), Great Outdoors Day (June 8), or even national parks week (April 22-26), when entry to national parks and other public lands are free (full schedule below). (more…)
Filed under: national parks, public lands, recreation, Travel | Tagged: Ken Salazar, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, National Park Service, National Parks free days, National Public Land Day, recreation, Tourism, Travel, U.S. National Parks, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 9, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Near-record heat prevailed across the West, with a small patch of cooler-than-average temperatures in the Midwest.
Heat wave shifts west, with much of the eastern U.S. reporting near average temps for the month
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A brutal summer-long North American heat wave eased up last month, but the monthly temperature was still 1.4 degrees above the long-term average, making it the 23d warmest September on record, and the 16th month in a row with above-average readings in the contiguous 48 states.
The month also brought record and near-record dry conditions to the Northern Plains and Northwest, according to the National Climatic Data Center’s monthly update. Hot readings shifted west, with multiple states states from California through the interior West reporting September readings among the top-warmest on record, including Nevada (third-warmest) and Utah (ninth-warmest). (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather | Tagged: 2012 hottest year, climate, Contiguous United States, global warming, National Climatic Data Center, September 2012 temperatures, United States | Leave a Comment »