Tag Archives: environmental

See No Evil…. in Wyoming

Under statutes just signed into law by the governor, if you discover an environmental disaster in Wyoming you are required by law to keep it to yourself.  According to legal experts, the statutes which make it a crime to “collect resource data” from any “open land,” are clearly unconstitutional and interfere with the purposes of federal environmental laws by making it impossible for citizens to collect the information necessary to bring an environmental enforcement action.  The law defines the word ‘collect’ as any method to preserve information in any form, including taking a photograph so long as the person gathering the information intends to submit it to a federal or state agency.

Read how politics are being used to suspend free speech and circumvent the Clean Water Act via Slate http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/05/wyoming_law_against_data_collection_protecting_ranchers_by_ignoring_the.html

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Rotenone? 1952 Called Again and Wants Its Species Management Strategy Back

Native Frog dies from Rotenone Poisoning
The latest plan to ‘restore’ using poison has found its way to public comment this week as officials from Montana and Wyoming request feedback on the draft environmental assessment for the Soda Butte Creek drainage by June 13.  Readers who care about Yellowstone National Park or these important headwaters will want to learn more about this outdated practice of using poison to clear-cut the aquatic biota in order to stock a trout monoculture reared in hatcheries.  See www.stopriverkilling.org

Those wishing to share written comments Jason.rhoten@gmail.com Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 2300 Lake Elmo Drive, Billings MT 59105 and to Susan Stresser comments-rocky-mountain-shoshone@fs.fed.us , Wapiti Ranger District, 203A Yellowstone Ave, Cody WY 82412

Questions regarding the environmental risks and efficacy of these practices may be directed to Ken Frazer 406-247-2961 and Jason Rhoten 406-328-6160 Read More http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/article_80b78340-526d-5bdc-a716-7054e8dbb0c9.html

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Wetland, Stream, Species – State of the Markets

State of the Market Technical Memo - THI Internal 20150223_Page_1The NEW comprehensive State of the Markets report for Wetland, Stream and Species Conservation Banking shows ecosystem market trends,  regional breakdowns, credit transactions, permitting trends and more for this fast-growing industry.  The low-cost, high-value report provides more than 30 charts, graphs and maps detailing the mitigation and conservation banking industry across the U.S. through 2014. See Report Details> State of the Market Specifications.

“An up-to-date, valuable and comprehensive tool for anyone in the mitigation and/or conservation banking business.” – Rich Mogensen, Mogensen Mitigation

And for those looking to move their work to a new level, this latest report has been released with a FREE fully interactive 30-day DEMO for www.ecobluanalyst.com enabling you to drill down on any of the various markets or even explore emerging market-based conservation opportunities.  See > Top Ten Reasons for Using EcoBlu Analyst.  This bundled report AND data capability is unlike anything else in the space today and available for your immediate download and use. >Subscribe

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Smaller Environmental Footprints Spell Profit for Businesses

Dan Upham from Environmental Defense Fund writes recently that environmental progress may come in many forms, “from grassroots political action to international emissions reduction targets. But if you want to make major changes on a grand scale in a relatively short amount of time,”  he says “the marketplace offers some attractive possibilities.”
Upham reminds us that “good for business” and “good for the environment” are not mutually exclusive terms, and calls the notion “an increasingly antiquated and false dichotomy.”  >Read more on companies reducing impacts via http://www.edf.org/blog/2014/09/10/smaller-environmental-footprints-spell-profits-businesses

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Economic Benefits Provided by Nature in the Chesapeake Bay

Ever wonder about the value of the Chesapeake Bay and its streams and wetlands? An analysis recently released by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) finds that the economic benefits provided by nature in the Chesapeake Bay watershed will total $130 billion annually when the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is fully implemented.

The peer-reviewed report, produced by economist Spencer Phillips and CBF Senior Scientist Dr. Beth McGee, compares the value of those benefits in 2009, the year before the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint began being implemented, to the benefits that can be expected as a result of fully implementing the Blueprint. >Read the Full Report via Chesapeake Bay Foundation

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Yvon Chouinard: Tear Down ‘Deadbeat’ Dams

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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Benefits of Big Data for Environmental Management

In a recent interview with McKinsey’s Rik Kirkland, Fred Krupp of the Environmental Defense Fund points out that what gets measured, gets managed.  By serving markets increasingly interested in green goods and services, the advent of big data presents opportunities for businesses to improve their bottom line and the environment, he says.  >Read Full Story


Trout Headwaters, Inc. has pioneered big data systems for industry and private users enabling comprehensive analysis of various environmental data sets across a broad range of ecosystem services and markets.  Leveraging the capability to relate many, many, layers of complex data will continue to provide unique insights for our firm and our customers. Get your interactive tools today!  >Learn more about EcoBlu Analyst 

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A Strategy for Saving Planet Earth – Doug La Follette

It was my pleasure recently to spend the afternoon with Doug La Follette, Secretary of State in Wisconsin for a tour of some of his work and achievement.  He holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia, has worked as Public Affairs Director for the Union of Concerned Scientists, and has been board member of Friends of the Earth and other nonprofits.  He was a member of the 1970 National Earth Day organization and continues to speak about the importance of our environment.

As La Follette shared some of his photos and memories with me in his Madison, WI office recently, it became clear that his interests are centered on the outdoors.  Nature is the strong current that flows through his seemingly divergent world-wide adventures.  It follows that La Follette’s “The Survival Handbook – A Strategy for Saving Planet Earth” would remain a pertinent outline for those wishing to help their state (or the Earth) improve its natural, healthy condition.   And despite the 25 years since first published, the environmental issues and approaches in the book remain some of the most significant of our day.

While Doug La Follette would be the first to tell you that some of the specifics of his book may be dated, much remains sadly the same for planet Earth.  This carefully crafted discourse on the true meaning of ecology,  its connection to the economy and humanity’s dependence on a healthy environment deserves a place on every community leader’s bookshelf.  Buy via Amazon.com

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Greenwashing Takes “Green” Industries to the Cleaners

greenwashingThey used to mean something. Words like “sustainable,” “eco-friendly,” “green,” “low-impact,” and “natural” set apart products and services that were better for our environment.  But once these terms became trendy, the practice of “greenwashing” (so rampant now it has its own Wikipedia page) has rendered these words virtually meaningless.

First reported by Forbes and Business Pundit, now the web-based Greenwashing Index, developed by the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, is a clearinghouse for dishonest greenwashing in the media.

But greenwashing products like soda, coal and bottled water may be the most damaging to genuinely “green” companies, practices and products.  As these terms are devalued, how does a company, like Trout Headwaters, for example, set itself apart?

One word we’ve used quite a bit to describe our services is “sustainable.” Once an important identifier, sustainable and sustainability have become junk words that can mean whatever people want it to mean, from environmental perfection to, well, nothing.   As a recent article in a Charleston newspaper pointed out, when Smithfield, the U.S.’s largest factory hog processor announces, “Sustainability is integral to the way we conduct business at Smithfield Foods every day,” and Monsanto, the giant multinational maker of chemicals and genetically-engineered seed, declares it is “A Sustainable Agriculture Company,” all we can say is, “Really?!”

How are consumers to know if products and practices are truly sustainable, green, and eco-friendly, or if they are just being duped by a greenwashed marketing campaign?  We all just have to be more vigilant, and do our homework.

In our industry of freshwater resource renewal and repair, we define sustainable as “works with nature,” “adds multiple values,” “self-sustaining,” “maintenance-free,” and “improves over time.”  Maybe we’ll have to coin a new term.

You may also like: 10 Questions to Ask Before Restoring Your Stream or Wetland

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The EcoPerception Gap Can Mean Dangerous Mistakes

In Conservation Magazine, award-winning journalist David Ropeik explores why we worry too much about some environmental risks and not enough about others

For Conservation Magazine David Ropeik points out an interesting phenomenon he called the “perception gap.”  It’s the gap between our fears and the facts.  He describes his how his 55-year-old friend has cut way back on eating certain species of seafood because the government says those species may carry high levels of mercury. But the levels of mercury in those fish pose almost no risk to 55-year-old males, although they can be risky for fetuses and infants. What’s more, the fish his friend is forgoing are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which protect against heart disease—a very real threat for 55-year-old men.

At Trout Headwaters, we see that the plight of our freshwater resources also fits into the category of an ecoperception gap. Because in most places in the U.S. we can open a tap and get all the fresh water we want, there is a lack of acceptance and appreciation about the state of our nation’s freshwater resources, and the number of people around the world, who live without access to clean water.

A growing body of research into the neuroscience and psychology of fear and risk perception offers some provocative answers. Investigators are discovering that our health and safety rely on a system of risk perception that is instinctive—and mostly subconscious. It seems that no matter how hard we try to reason carefully and objectively, our brains are hardwired to rely on feelings as well as facts to figure out how to keep us alive.  In other words, we may not get it until we’re thirsty or sick from water-borne illnesses.

Until recent modern times, the system has worked well. But in the face of modern and complex environmental threats, it can make dangerous mistakes. Ropeik argues that perhaps it’s time to tap into the power of rational analysis and attempt to better understand how risk perception works. It’s time to learn how to avoid the risks that the perception gap creates.

Read more: http://conservationmagazine.org/2012/09/the-ecoperception-gap/




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