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  • February 28, 2011

    A Prescription for Nature May Help Bump the Blues

    By Chad Love

    Feeling dragged out and down? Are you sick in body and spirit? Maybe your doctor needs to write you a prescription for a day in the woods.

    From this story in USA Today:
    Here's what Matias Rojas Perez first saw on a trail walk in the Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge: a wild rabbit dashing past, a 3-inch-long endangered fish, soaring birds and creeping snakes. Here's what his doctors saw: a chance for 200-pound, 5-foot-3, 10-year-old Matias to grow healthier. Instead of an order for pills, pediatricians at the Children's Heart Center in Las Vegas have given Matias, his mother, who is diabetic, and his 9-year-old, 136-pound little brother, a "nature prescription."

  • February 28, 2011

    Indiana Proposing New Catfish Limits in Response to Commercial, Sport Fishing

    By Chad Love

    The state of Indiana is proposing new limits on catfish in response to what it sees as increased pressure on big cats from both commercial and sport anglers.

    From this story in the Evansville Courier and Press:
    Indiana is proposing to increase the size limit on all catfish (channel, flathead, blue) from 10 to 15 inches in inland rivers (but not the Ohio) and to limit sport anglers and commercial fisherman to a daily limit of one large catfish of each of those three species, which makes the possession limit two. The DNR's release tsaid the proposals are in response to public concerns regarding increasing harvest pressure on catfish, recently completed catfish research in the Wabash River and "fish management discussions with other Ohio River states."

  • February 25, 2011

    Texas Lawmakers: Universities Should Allow Concealed Handguns

    By David Maccar

    While students at the University of Iowa  are being trained to survive a violent incident while unarmed in response to the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings and similar incidents, Texas is taking a different approach.

    More than half the members of the Texas House have signed on as co-authors of a measure directing universities to allow concealed handguns for students and teachers. With 38 public universities and more than a half-million students in the Lone Star state, that’s a lot of potential firepower.

    Those supporting the measure argue that examples of gun violence on campuses show the best defense against a gunman is students who can shoot back.

    From this story in the Huffington Post:
    Texas is preparing to give college students and professors the right to carry guns on campus, adding momentum to a national campaign to open this part of society to firearms. More than half the members of the Texas House have signed on as co-authors of a measure directing universities to allow concealed handguns. The Senate passed a similar bill in 2009 and is expected to do so again. Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who sometimes packs a pistol when he jogs, has said he's in favor of the idea.

  • February 25, 2011

    University of Iowa is Training Students, Staff to Survive Violent Incidents

    By David Maccar

    by David Maccar

    The University of Iowa Department of Public Safety has developed a training program for students and staff to prepare them to survive violent incidents on campus and teach alternatives to helplessness.

    The program is designed to teach students available options during a dangerous incident, such as the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007.

    About 1,000 faculty, staff and students have already gone through the two-hour class, learning five steps: alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate.

    The students learn how to improvise and adapt in a given situation by using objects at hand, like tying a door closed with a belt to prevent a gunman from entering,

    The students are also taught a technique called “the swarm,” in which, upon the entry of a gunman into a classroom, the students immediately pelt the person with anything at hand, books, bags, laptops (they use Styrofoam balls and rubber guns during the training course) to block his vision as much as possible and maybe injure the attacker, causing him to lower his gun for a moment. Then the group collectively brings the person to the ground while gaining control of the weapon.

  • February 25, 2011

    It's Not Delivery, It's a Drugged Elk...and A Free Meal for a Mountain Lion

    By Chad Love

    --Chad Love

    There are lucky days, and then there are lucky days. For one South Dakota mountain lion, last Saturday was definitely the latter...

    From this story in the Rapid City Journal: 
    Talk about an unlucky elk. And a lucky lion. The two got together Saturday in Custer State Park as a helicopter crew was shooting sedation darts at cow elk to drug them so they could be handled in a research project. One elk hit by a dart staggered over into some vegetation to lie down. It never got up, thanks to the lion, which was waiting nearby.

  • February 25, 2011

    Bald Eagles Starving, Falling From Sky in British Columbia

    By Chad Love

    --Chad Love

    Anglers may bemoan poor salmon runs, but for wildlife that depend on them, it's a matter of life and death. Bald eagles in British Columbia are starving, and in some cases literally falling from the sky, due to poor fall-chum-salmon runs.

    From this story in the Globe & Mail:
    When David Hancock saw the bald-eagle count on the Chehalis River drop from more than 7,000 to fewer than 400 over a few days in December, he knew a crisis was coming. Earlier this week, news reports that starving eagles were “falling out of the sky” in the Comox Valley, on Vancouver Island, confirmed his fears. Wildlife rescue centres on the Island have reported birds growing so weak from hunger that they fall out of trees, or fly so clumsily they hit things. One crashed into a roof. Mr. Hancock said a collapse of chum salmon runs has left British Columbia’s bald-eagle population without enough food to make it through the winter, leaving them weak from hunger and forcing thousands of birds to scavenge at garbage dumps.

  • February 24, 2011

    Pennsylvania May Change Date of Deer Rifle Season Opener

    By Chad Love

    Tradition versus convenience is the question concerning a bill to change the season opener of deer rifle season in Pennsylvania.

    From this story in the Pocono Record:
    State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, has introduced legislation that would move the first day of antlered rifle deer season in Pennsylvania back two days, from the Monday following Thanksgiving to that Saturday. Mullery is a member of the House Game and Fisheries Committee and says he was approached by several constituents requesting the change, which he has introduced in House Bill 566. One constituent provided him with a petition signed by more than 100 outdoorsmen. According to Mullery, "For many hunters, taking a day off from work creates further financial burden during these difficult economic times." But for many, having the opening day of deer season on the Monday following Thanksgiving is a tradition that has been in place for several family generations

    So what do you think? Should traditional season openers go the way of Sunday hunting laws, or are they sacrosanct?

  • February 24, 2011

    Obama Announces Move to Strengthen National Conservation Efforts

    By Chad Love

    President Obama last week announced his "America's Great Outdoors Report," which seeks to strengthen the nation's conservation efforts.

    From this story in the Baltimore Sun:
    The America's Great Outdoors report, introduced by President Barack Obama last week, is a bold promise to strengthen Americans' connection to their greatest treasure: their waterways, forests, fields and urban parks. The plan would better target conservation dollars; coordinate federal, state and local programs; and fully fund the nation's primary source for conservation, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, with $900 million from gas and oil drilling royalties. It would use that fund not just for the conservation of grand natural features such as Yellowstone National Park, but for the development of new urban green spaces, the conservation of working ranches, farms and forests; the expansion of public access to the nation's rivers and new watertrails called blueways; and the restoration of major ecological systems.

  • February 23, 2011

    Malaysian Woman Saves Husband From Tiger With Soup Ladle

    By Chad Love

    --Chad Love

    So say you're out squirrel hunting and you suddenly find yourself being attacked by a tiger (Hey, it could happen. Invasive species are becoming a real problem). What do you do? If you're American you'd probably shoot the tiger with your .22, which would only enrage the tiger and cause him to eat even more of you than he originally planned. But in Malaysia what you need is a wife. A very angry wife. With a soup ladle.

    From this story on the (I kid you not) Weird Asia News website:
    We have all heard that old expression about being “saved by the bell,” but how many of us can claim to have been saved by an angry woman and a soup ladle? Such is the weird tale of a Malaysian wife who saved her husband from the jaws of certain death by beating a tiger over the head with a soup ladle! Tambun Dedin, aged 60, was hunting squirrels in the forest near his home in northern Malaysia when he came face to face with the deadly cat that immediately pounced on him.

  • February 23, 2011

    Rare but Real: 8 Mountain Lions in One Trail Cam Photo

    By Chad Love

    This image of eight mountain lions in one photo that has gone viral is rare, but real, according to this story in the Tri-City (Wash.) Herald:

     

    A Wenatchee hunter has a right to be proud for his photo showing a pride of mountain lions on the Douglas County ranch where he has permission to hunt.The black and white trail-cam image, which shows eight cougars in one spot, has gone viral in Northwest websites and e-mail lists since he first released it to acquaintances on Christmas Day. Wildlife enthusiasts were in awe of the scene, which few people will see in their lifetimes. Alarmists were ready to take up arms against the lion onslaught on the Central Washington deer population.

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