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  • August 25, 2010

    Herring: What Makes U.S. Hunters Different?

    By Hal Herring

    In the July 26th issue of the New Yorker magazine, there is an excellent story by novelist Jonathan Franzen called “Emptying the Skies” about illegal songbird market hunting and trapping in the Mediterranean nation of Cyprus. Franzen, who is apparently as effective a journalist as he is a fiction-writer, accompanies a group called the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) as they try to free warblers and flycatchers and other species from “lime sticks,” a trap made from a long switch coated in sticky sap that bird poachers place in orchards and anywhere that birds gather. The poachers’ goal: a bagful of songbirds for sale to restaurants and markets for pickling or to make ambelopoulia, a platter of fried little birds that has been a traditional delicacy in the Mediterranean since the 16th century.

  • August 17, 2010

    Herring: How to Dynamite a Creek

    By Hal Herring

    I’ve been thinking and writing a lot lately about the clearing and straightening of creeks, and how that produces a wide range of negative effects, from the devastating floods that occur when stormwater that used to be absorbed by trees and wetlands and blunted by meanders and bends suddenly comes freight-training downstream, to the dry and sterile creekbeds that are left behind after the raging waters have scoured the habitat and wreaked havoc further down.

  • August 10, 2010

    Marshall: "The Oil Has Not Left the Building"

    By Bob Marshall

    Call it a "Mission Accomplished" moment for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    Minutes after NOAA released a Wednesday report intimating nearly three fourths of the 4.9 million barrels of oil BP spewed into the Gulf of Mexico was either removed or otherwise no longer a threat, the marine science community was charging the barricades, claiming major combat was far from over.

  • August 6, 2010

    Herring: Getting Lost in the Glorious Wilderness

    By Hal Herring

    The White River tumbles fast and cold over its bed of rose and white stones, through the country burned by the 2003 fires, a green mess of a country now in a blaze of come-back: blooming fireweed, balsamroot, Indian paint brush, and jackstrawed timber for mile after exhausting mile. We rode under the enormous fire-scarred survivor pines on a park-like plain to the place where the White pours into South Fork of the Flathead River, and tied our horses and mules to the cottonwoods on a gravel flat carved and mounded by the snow-melt floods. We had planned to swim, and fish the big river, where I had heard so many stories of hooking cutthroats, only to lose them to the bull trout that rose like makos through the clear green water to take any thrashing creature that they could close their jaws around.