CoastalRestoration_report2

“We are increasingly learning the cost of losing landscapes once thought to be valueless.  The wetlands ecosystem provided numerous services to society that we now are beginning to sorely miss,” write the authors at the Center for American Progress.

The new CAP and OXFAM America report by Michael Conathan, Jeffrey Buchanan, and Shiva Polefka “The Economic Case for Restoring Coastal Ecosystems” released this spring makes a solid case – in support of jobs,  tourism, commercial fishing, and other businesses.  It demonstrates the real values of ecosystem restoration in positive returns both for ecosystems and for our economic outputs.

The strange myth that environmental protection is somehow bad for business clearly could not be further from the truth.  In fact, restoration not only protects vital ecosystem services necessary to our survival, but also contributes to positive economic growth and employment.  Read The Economic Case for Restoring Coastal Ecosystems via http://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CoastalRestoration_report2.pdf

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Brett Walton posts that water scarcity has driven prices upward 33 percent since 2010 and that the price of water rose again in 2014 about six percent on average according to a survey of water rates in some 30 major U.S. cities.  Water providers, he notes, are changing the structure of rate schedules, altering both monthly fees and volume fees in order to enable utilities to deal with dropping revenues resulting from water conservation.  In some cases explicit policies promoting water conservation have meant that less water sold is less money paid to utilities.  >Read More via http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2014/world/price-water-2014-6-percent-30-major-u-s-cities-33-percent-rise-since-2010/

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Reuters reporter Scott Malone writes that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told the recent graduating class at Boston College that they should play a role in pushing for new energy policies.  Kerry said the problems are not without solutions and reminded graduates that climate change and inadequate water are related to potentials for greater conflict and social instability.

The address follows on release of an 800-page report released earlier this month by the White House highlighting the effects that climate change could have on infrastructure, critical water supplies and agriculture.  >Read More via http://news.yahoo.com/kerry-calls-u-college-graduates-face-down-climate-155204832.html

 

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A recent Cornell University lecturer, Luc Gnacadja warns that the worldwide problem of soil erosion is contributing to poverty and hunger, threatening both food security and freedom.  Gnacadja recalled President Franklin Roosevelt’s admonition that ‘a nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself’ in his recent April lecture at Cornell.  Careless planting and other practices, he said, continue to cause severe land degradation in many parts of the world and he cautioned that in certain areas, agricultural practices are causing soil to erode almost 100 times faster than the rate at which soil can naturally regenerate.  >Read More via http://phys.org/news/2014-04-land-restoration-expert-cautions-nature.html

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Montana Department of Environmental Quality have issued a joint notice advising plans currently being considered by the District Engineer at Omaha, Nebraska.  According to the notice NOW-2008-02556-MTB the applicant is intending to “conduct periodic placement of rock” on the existing diversion dam and to enable full flows to the applicant even in the event of severe water shortages in the Yellowstone.

The project reach at Intake Dam east of Glendive, Montana is occupied habitat for Pallid Sturgeon, an endangered species presently under federal and state protections.  According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks:  “It’s present range in Montana includes the Lower Yellowstone River where damming, channelizing and diking has destroyed much of its habitat.”  More http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/species/endangered/pallidSturgeon/

Photo below of the dam on the Yellowstone River at Intake proposed for yet more rock.

Dam across Yellowstone-IntakeMT

Read a copy of the Public Notice:  NWO-2008-02556-MTB or via

http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Portals/23/docs/regulatory/publicnotices/MT/NWO-2008-02556-MTB.pdf

The Public Comment period is open through June 6, 2014 by writing the US Army Corps of Engineers, PO Box 2256, Billings MT 59103 or calling direct to Cathy Juhas at USACE (406) 657-5910.

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Following major floods in January 2014 Marina Pacheco, the chief executive of the UK Mammal Society, recommended that the UK Government promote beaver reintroductions as a means of reducing flood risk in the future.

“Restoring the beaver to Britain’s rivers would bring huge benefits in terms of flood alleviation. These unpaid river engineers would quickly re-establish more natural systems that retain water behind multiple small dams across tributaries and side-streams. As a consequence the severity of flooding further downstream would be greatly reduced, at no cost to the taxpayer,” wrote Pacheco.

This regulation in river flow may also help reduce flooding and bankside erosion downstream according to the biofresh blog http://biofreshblog.com/2014/04/18/beavers-ecological-stress-and-river-restoration/

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A recent New York Times Opinion piece by Yvon Chouinard titled “Tear Down ‘Deadbeat’ Dams,” rightly questions the values and highlights the environmental risks associated with dams, underlining that the benefits “for water use, flood control and electricity – can now be met more effectively without continuing to choke entire watersheds.”

He goes on to say that: “Of the more than 80,000 dams listed by the federal government, more than 26,000 pose high or significant safety hazards. Many no longer serve any real purpose.” For Chouinard, an adventurer and founder of Patagonia, this has long been an important issue.  “I’ve been working to take down dams for most of my life.  The idea, once considered crazy, is gaining momentum.”  >Read On

 

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DumbellRanchMitigationBank.CopyrightTHI2012Trout Headwaters, Inc is pleased to announce the approval of the first mitigation bank in the history of Wyoming and sponsored by Sweetwater River Conservancy, LLC.  Following on publication of the state’s first Stream Mitigation Procedure (SMP), the Dumbell Ranch Mitigation Bank has received approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, WY Department of Environmental Quality, Wyoming Department of Game and Fish and the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office.

“This first bank represents a very significant step for advance mitigation in the state and we expect will facilitate increasing restoration efforts across a potentially vast landscape,” said Trout Headwaters’ President, Michael Sprague.

The 1047 acre Stream, Riparian and Wetland Bank will provide credits for an area spanning north of  Rawlins, Wyoming.   The bank will provide credits to offset impacts to palustrine emergent wetlands, riverine wetlands, stream channels, and riparian areas. Prior to THI’s assessment of the property in 2012, the ranch had been used exclusively for cattle grazing and hay production.  As a result of the practices, the stream banks and buffers as well as wetlands had been destroyed or significantly degraded.  Approved plans include restoration of these resources using sustainable techniques and the long-term conservation of these restored resources.

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State of the Markets CoverTrout Headwaters, in conjunction with the National Mitigation Banking Association is pleased to release its annual “State of the Markets” Report for 2014 showing trends in Wetland Mitigation Banking over the period from 2000-2013 with updated data provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  This concise report is available only to THI clients and partners interested in the latest statistics and trends for the growing industry.  To request a copy by email info@troutheadwaters.com

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