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  • April 30, 2010

    Marshall: Why The Louisiana Oil Spill Will Be Worse Than The Exxon Valdez Disaster

    By Mike Toth

    Even in the cabin of a helicopter 2000  feet above, the fumes from the vast blanket of red crude oil spreading across the teal-blue Gulf of Mexico smelled as strong as pump-side at the local filling station. Too bad that wasn't the worst of the news.

    By Thursday night that oil began washing up on the most productive fish and wildlife habitat in the lower 48 states - and it's not expected to stop for two months, at the earliest. In the weeks ahead the delta of the Mississippi River will become the largest environmental battleground the nation has seen since the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989.

    The damage to natural resources, experts are now saying, will eclipse even that horrendous event. Here's why.

  • April 29, 2010

    Herring: Why Better Refrigerators Mean Bigger Deer

    By Hal Herring

    It is very hard to imagine- and I’ll admit that most of us wouldn’t want to try- how refrigerators and air conditioners running in Atlanta, Georgia could affect our chances to take a trophy mule deer in Wyoming or Montana.  But bear with me. It is more interesting, and more real, than it sounds.

    On March 26th, one of the top stories on Yahoo News was “Cash for refrigerators' kick-starts appliance sales
    WASHINGTON (AFP) – Americans are lining up to snap up rebates for "cash for refrigerators" and "dollars for dishwashers," as part of a government program aimed at both economic stimulus and reduced emissions.

    The effort, modeled after the "cash for clunkers" auto trade-in program, includes nearly 300 million dollars to encourage consumers to dump older appliances in favor of newer, energy-efficient models….”

    I read the story, and then I read the comments (I have become a comments section junkie, I’m afraid). Most of the 240 people who wrote in hated the idea of using the stimulus money for this program. There were posts about “socialism,” “more government waste,” etc.  But I had a much more personal stake in this story, and if you are a hunter or a fisherman, so do you.

  • April 26, 2010

    Herring: Remembering Moulder Branch

    By Hal Herring

    Moulder Branch is just a little creek in north Alabama – narrow enough to jump over in some places, and stretches of its upper reaches go dry almost every summer. It is not navigable even by canoe (though once in 1977 I floated it at flood stage on an old inner tube, an experience I would not recommend). I remember when the silver redhorse--a big sucker--ran every March up Moulder Branch, and how I and a few good friends spent some of the best afternoons of my life snagging for them, with Zebco 202s and bell sinkers under treble hooks, the fish exotic and beautiful in the clear water over the gravel beds.

  • April 23, 2010

    Bob Marshall: What Coastal Drilling Means For Sportsmen

    By Bob Marshall

    Editor's Note: Welcome to The Conservationist, a new blog on, where at least three times per week we'll be posting conservation news, analysis, and commentary from Conservation Columnist Bob Marshall, Contributing Editor Hal Herring, and Deputy Editor Jay Cassell.

    So what does President Obama's decision to open once-protected areas of our coasts to energy drilling mean for fish, wildlife and sportsmen?

    It could be terrible. It could be bad. Or it might not matter much at all.

    The Terrible: If this derails the push for meaningful carbon reduction legislation, it will be a black mark on his presidency, and a disaster for fish and wildlife and sportsmen.

    There is no greater threat to our outdoor pursuits than global warming, and the major cause of that problem is the accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere, primarily from fossil fuels. There are alternative fuels, but the only way to encourage development and use of those fuels is to place a penalty on the production of carbon. That's what cap and trade is all about.

  • April 20, 2010

    Sportsmen Meet With Members of Congress, Labor Leaders

    WASHINGTON – Members of Congress and American labor leaders joined with the sportsmen’s community this afternoon on Capitol Hill to review recent scientific findings on global climate change and discuss the need for dedicated funding to enable adaptive management strategies for fish and wildlife, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Bipartisan Policy Council announced today. Also profiled at the event was “Beyond Seasons’ End,” a new report about game species’ adaptation to climate change and climate change’s effects on hunting and fishing.

  • April 16, 2010

    ‘America’s Great Outdoors’ Initiative Aims to Preserve Lands

    In an effort to promote conservation and community-based recreation, President Obama on Friday launched The America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.

    Headed by the Offices of the Interior and Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Council on Environmental Quality, the initiative will form coalitions with state and local governments as well as the private sector.

  • April 14, 2010

    Federal Agencies Sign Agreement to Protect Sage-Grouse Habitat

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar yesterday announced a far-reaching agreement to support the conservation of greater sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystems in parts of 11 Western states.

    “Today’s agreement enables us to help this rare species in a comprehensive, integrated way,” said Vilsack. “By working cooperatively toward the same goal, we can build on the progress states have made protecting the sage-grouse and the sagebrush ecosystem it depends on.”

  • April 12, 2010

    RMEF Turns Up Heat on Pro-Wolf Groups

    MISSOULA, Montana-Pro-wolf groups were admittedly "surprised and disappointed" when the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation publicly challenged their mischaracterizations of the real impacts of wolves in the northern Rockies and are feeling even more heat today. Their recent call for a truce has been met with a scathing letter from RMEF President and CEO David Allen, who says Defenders of Wildlife, Western Wildlife Conservancy and others are party to what may become "one of the worst wildlife management disasters since the destruction of bison herds in the 19th Century."

  • April 8, 2010

    Utah-Wyoming Pipeline Plan has Many Pitfalls

    I read this is the April 6, 2010, issue of The Coloradoan. For the full story, go to Cassell

    Developer Aaron Million is selling his proposed 500-mile water pipeline from Flaming Gorge Reservoir on the Utah-Wyoming border to the Front Range as a win for everyone, from thirsty Front Range communities to farmers to fish.

    If you buy that, I've got riverfront property in the Mojave Desert to sell you.

  • April 6, 2010

    2010 Backyard Bird Count Results

    April 6, 2010--The 13th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) results are in and it was a record-breaking year for participation. During the four-day event in February, more
    than 97,200 bird checklists were submitted by an estimated 63,000 volunteer bird watchers from across the United States and Canada. From reports of rare species to large-scale tracking of bird movements, the GBBC provides insight into the lives of bird populations.

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