‘Sportsmen’s Heritage Act’ Threatens Wolves, Elephants, Polar Bears, Birds, People
WASHINGTON— In a partisan vote, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed the so-called “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act” that would end federal protection for gray wolves in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes. The bill includes a grab bag of additional special-interest provisions that primarily benefit the livestock industry, National Rifle Association and those who peddle elephant ivory. More than 60 conservation organizations signed an open letter opposing the Sportsmen’s Act.
“There’s nothing sporting about wolf slaughter, elephant poaching or lead poisoning,” said Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “In the Sportsmen’s Bill, House Republicans have once again ignored science and protected special interests instead of wildlife.”
One of the many bad provisions of the bill not only strips protection from wolves but forbids court challenges. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife…
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Source: Animals Don’t Smoke
Methane Discovered in Drinking Water Near Fracking Wells
A Stanford researcher found the highest risk of leaks was from shallow natural gas wells drilled in California, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Padma Nagappan is a multimedia journalist who writes about the environment, renewable energy, sustainability, agriculture, and biotechnology.
A Stanford University scientist has found that people who live near shallowly drilled oil and natural gas wells risk drinking water contaminated with methane.
A potent greenhouse gas, methane is highly flammable.
“The main risk is from chemical spills and poorly constructed wells that leak,” said Rob Jackson, a professor of earth system science at Stanford, who presented his findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington, D.C., last week. “Our research shows that most problems typically occur within half a mile.”
“In Parker County, Texas, we found homes with very high levels of methane when their water bubbled due to gas,” Jackson said. “The biggest risk from methane in water is explosions, which could happen in a basement or sheds where gas builds up. Also, a well that leaks methane could be leaking other things into the groundwater.”
The government does not classify methane dissolved in drinking water as a health hazard
Such contamination was typically traced to natural gas wells with insufficient cement barriers to separate them from surrounding rock and water, or to improperly installed steel casings that allow the gas to travel upward.
Hydraulic fracturing wells that were installed at depths of 3,000 feet or less posed a risk for groundwater contamination. Jackson found there were at least 2,600 such shallow fracking wells in the United States, many of which were drilled directly into freshwater aquifers.
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In California, Jackson discovered hundreds of wells drilled into aquifers fewer than 2,000 feet from the surface.
“There are a lot of pockets of natural gas and oil that are found in shallow levels, plus we don’t do very deep drilling because of seismic activity,” he said.
Regions of the U.S. with the highest risk for groundwater contamination from fracking include California as well as parts of Pennsylvania and Texas where bedrock is naturally fractured. Millions of abandoned oil and gas wells in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and other gas-producing states also pose a threat.
Local geology plays a role in leaks. For instance, when Jackson sampled groundwater in Arkansas, he didn’t encounter contamination because rock formations provided a seal against potential leaks.
But fracking has led to significant increases in groundwater contamination in Pennsylvania and Texas. He found high levels of methane, ethane, and propane in the drinking water of homeowners living within half a mile of wells in northeastern Pennsylvania, near the Marcellus shale gas field.
“Fracking can be and is done safely much of the time,” Jackson said. “Occasionally, though, companies make mistakes. We need to understand why they occur and how to prevent them from happening elsewhere.”
10 Images Show What Coastal Cities Will Look Like After Sea Levels Rise Photo Gallery Sea-level rise is coming. Even if we keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above historic norms—the benchmark for … Continue reading
Karen Ducey Photography & Multimedia
This Horse Hasn’t Been Let Out Of His Stall In YEARS
By Christian Cotroner
Feb. 25, 2016
Not many people have seen him since his glory days as a Tennessee walking horse.
Today, See My Magic lives in a small stall on a picturesque property in Roy, Washington.
Karen Ducey Photography & Multimedia
He’s still wearing his plastic “walking” shoes — they’re kind of like high heels attached to the hooves, giving these horses their unique, albeit exaggerated, gait. Magic has likely been wearing his unwieldy rubber and plastic shoes for years.
Tennessee walking horses are accustomed to the pageantry of equestrian events — but many, for all the flash and show, don’t always have the happiest of home lives.
Yes, they can be showstoppers. The thing is, the show stopped long ago for 13-year-old Magic.
“We suspect the horse has been in the stall for more than three years and possibly even four years without ever having been let outside,” animal activist Nicki Callahan, who lives about 50 miles away in Seattle, tells The Dodo.
In fact, when photojournalist Karen Ducey visited the farm recently, the owner told her Magic hadn’t been outside in years.
The situation isn’t lost on the neighbors in this equestrian community. Several of them have spoken with Callahan. Many of them own horses who frolic in long paddocks or open pastures.
“Most of these people are aware of the situation,” Callahan says. “They’ve offered to let Magic go into their paddock, to go into their pasture.”
The owner, she says, has declined those offers.
When Callahan went to visit the owner a couple of weeks ago “just to see how I could work with him,” she was threatened with a call to police.
Animal control officers have visited several times, once as recently as last Saturday for more than two hours.
“Nothing’s going on,” Brian Boman, supervisor at Pierce County Animal Control, tells The Dodo. “There’s no crime that’s been committed, I can tell you that. There’s no code that requires the horse to be removed from his stall.”
Indeed, Boman says Magic is in “outstanding” physical condition. No laws in Washington state have been broken.
But that hasn’t stopped a campaign to buy Magic from gaining momentum. An online petition has garnered more than 9,000 signatures. A GoFundMe effort has raised more than $3,000 in an effort to buy the horse.
The group has already offered to purchase Magic for $6,000 — an offer, they say that’s been declined.
If Magic is to step out of his stall again, they will need more.
The owner, Callahan says, has asked for $20,000.
And those “high heels?”
“We have to prove that it’s unjustifiable or unnecessary physical pain,” Boman says. “There’s no way possible that we could prove that with this animal.
For now, Boman thinks his officers have better things to do than chase complaints about a well-fed horse who just happens to never set foot outside.
“I’m getting pretty fed up and tired of it because it’s wasting our time when we actually have other cruelty cases that we need to deal with,” he says. “This is taking too much time from my officers.”
What do you think? Does Magic deserve to step outside of his stall? Lend your voice to the petition.
If you would like to read more about Magic and see more pictures of his situation, check out Karen Ducey’s firsthand account in Animal News Northwest.
Topics: see my magic tennessee walking horse roy washington horse in barn horse stuck in barn
Christian Cotroneo Staff Writer
For decades, the Wyomissing Family Restaurant has supported the fur industry by allowing Pollack Furs, a local fur shop, to
have trunk shows in their banquet hall. A trunk show is a sales event for showing merchandise to any number of select customers. They often use huge discounts like 25%, 50% or 75% off to bring in more people, which creates larger sales volume. Larger sales volume in the fur and animal skin trade is no bueno. Each time the Wyomissing Family Restaurant allowed the Pollacks a platform to make their blood money, the restaurant was in turn making a bold statement that they too supported this egregious industry. An offense we did not take lightly.
When we first found out about their relationship with the Pollacks, we contacted the restaurant immediately and respectfully let the owners know that we were extremely disappointed to hear that they were supporting the…
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Folks – you can do whatever you want this information. I am not suggesting Obama is the anti-Christ, although I would not doubt it for one second. I am also not pushing any crazy conspiracies. This is purely factual information for you to make conclusions on your own.
Personally, I could have written just about all of it off as coincidence until I saw a replica of Hitler’s Pergamon Altar on Obama’s 2008 stage. At that point I was convinced there was WAY too much admiration on Obama’s part… and then I compared inauguration speeches… ugh… just when you thought you couldn’t think less of Obama… it becomes quite easy…
All I ask is that you pay attention to the facts presented below. Pay attention to…
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Today, February 25, 2016,The Share Act(Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 2406)) is being voted on in the U. S. House of Representatives today. This bill would return wolf management back into states that cannot be trusted to manage an endangered species like the iconic wolf.
It’s important that you contactYour U. S. House member right now.You can call this morning (you can call the Congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121 and be connected with the office of your U.S. Representative)(Source: HSUS)
The following is fromWayne Pacelle’s blog.Read on:
It is imperative that lawmakers hear from you this morning or by early afternoon. Here are some provisions coming up in this bill.
An amendment from Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin would subvert two federal court rulings and cherry-pick gray wolves for removal from the federal list of endangered species for purely…
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Dogs are being viciously murdered by security guards on a university campus in India. The killings are being done by ruthlessly beating the dogs and puppies and leaving them to suffer painful and lonely deaths from their injuries. Urge this university to stop these senseless murders.
Microplastics, © 5Gyres, courtesy of Oregon State University
23 February 2016
Microplastics are Major Threats to Wildlife
Animals trapped, tangled in, even eating plastic show a clear picture of the threat this material can post to wildlife. But there’s more to the plastic problem than what we can easily see. When we take a closer look at the smallest fragments of plastic that are discarded into natural environments, especially our aquatic and marine systems, it becomes obvious that the scope of this threat is far wider than most of us realize. And that it impacts wildlife and human health alike.
One of the most pervasive kinds of microplastic pollution comes from microbeads, which are manufactured and disposed of by the billions every day. These micro-plastics consist of sharp fragments or round beads that range in size from just 5 micrometers up to 1 millimeter across. These tiny beads are generally composed of polyethylene, polylactic acid, polypropylene, polystyrene, or polyethylene terephthalate. And if those substances sound unusual to you, think again. These materials are found in everyday home- and self-care products like toothpaste, face and body washes, cosmetics, and cleaning supplies.
Every day about 8 trillion tiny plastic particles enter the rivers, streams, lakes and other aquatic habitats of the United States. That’s enough material to entirely blanket 300 tennis courts!1 Even in the ocean, where such small pieces might seem like even smaller problems, the concentration of these particles can still reach 100,000 particles for each cubic meter of sea water.2
Humpback Whale Feeding Frenzy, ©Alice Cahill
Dangers from these small particles are two-fold. First, they are eaten by plankton, which make up the base of the ocean’s food web.3 Then, as a wide variety of marine species eat the plankton, they take in these particles as well.4 Microplastics also find their way into filter feeders large and small, from marine worms, mussels and other shellfish all the way up to humpback whales and whale sharks. Even seals and seabirds can end up eating microbeads. By 2012, 59% of the world’s seabird species had ingested some plastic. Today that ingestion rate is estimated to be 90% for individual seabirds, and is expected to reach 99% of all species by the year 2050.5
Unfortunately, it’s not just the microbeads themselves that can be dangerous – it’s what they carry with them. These tiny bits of plastic absorb nasty contaminants. After a time, microplastics become weathered by ultraviolet radiation, microbial degradation, and fracturing. These processes turn microplastics into tiny sponges that absorb PCBs, pesticides, hydrocarbons, and other contaminants. Once the particles are eaten, those chemicals interact with biologically important molecules in the body, and disrupt the endocrine system, leading to organ damage. And because these contaminants become more concentrated as they work their way up the food chain, we humans can also be exposed.
So what can you do to help protect our wildlife and environments from microbeads?
There are a number of ways you can help:
Don’t buy or use products that contain microbeads. Here’s a good list to get you started: http://www.beatthemicrobead.org. You can also download the Beat the Microbead APP: http://get.beatthemicrobead.org/ to screen for products containing microbeads.
Talk to the companies whose products DO contain microbeads, and demand corporate responsibility to phase them out.
Some states are working to ban microbeads. In fact, there is even some national legislation in the works, like H.R. 1321, the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015. Contact your representatives to let them know that you support these efforts.
Ask your city or county waste management system if it intercepts and recycles all plastics before they ever reach our watersheds. If not, ask for appropriate changes.
1 Rochman, C.M., et al. 2015. Scientific evidence supports a ban on microbeads. Environmental Science and Technology 49: 10,759–10,761.
2 Wright, S.L., R.C. Thompson, and T.S. Galloway. 2013. The physical impacts of micro-plastics on marine organisms: a review. Environmental Pollution 178: 483–492.
3 Setälä, O., V. Fleming-Lehtinen, and M. Lehtiniemi. 2014. Ingestion and transfer of micro-plastics in the planktonic food web. Environmental Pollution 185: 77–83.
4 Cole, M., et al. 2011. Micro-plastics as contaminants in the marine environment: a review. Marine Pollution Bulletin 62: 2,588–2,597.
5 Wilcox, C., E. Van Sebille, and B.D. Hardesty. 2015. Threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1502108112.
Chris Haney, Chief Scientist
Chris oversees Defenders’ Conservation Science and Economics division, which provides research and analysis to guide and support Defenders’ science-based policy and advocacy agenda. Research priorities include wildlife viability and adaptation to climate change; biodiversity conservation; and natural resource economics, including conservation incentives.
Categories: Habitat Conservation, Living with Wildlife, Marine Habitat, Take Action, Toxins, Whales, Wildlife
by Robert Harrington
It is being reported that tainted food from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Gumma, and Chiba is making its way into local supermarkets in Taiwan due to the irresponsibility of mislabeling. What’s more, these food products were banned in Taiwan since March of 2011.
The first question is: Why are food products from the concerned Japanese prefectures surrounding Fukushima mislabelled?
The second question is: Why is Japan attempting to foist its unsafe and inferior radioactive foods on Taiwan?
Instead of humbly acquiescing to Taiwan’s wishes, Japan takes an aggressive approach even threatening WTO arbitration.
Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration said the latest enforcement was in line with radiation safety management practices that other countries have put in place on Japanese food imports following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
It said it “is necessary to protect the safety of food consumption” for Taiwanese.
But Japan is protesting the move, with the government…
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Too many animal abusers get away with trivial fines or no punishment at all. The ASPCA is proposing two bills that would see dogs and other pets better protected by the law. Urge President Obama to support these bills and ensure they are passed as laws.
Polar bears are muzzled and forced to stand on their hind legs for long periods of time in a popular Russian circus act. They are also allegedly beaten and starved. Demand the immediate closing of this cruel circus.
Thirteen bald eagles died under questionable circumstances, and authorities are concerned that poison may have been involved. Demand the outlawing of all poison near bald eagle habitats and protect this vulnerable species.
There are less than 100 vaquita porpoise left in the world, and gill net fishing of totoaba fish in the Gulf of Mexico may bring the dolphin relative to extinction. Demand that China’s government put an end to the sale of totoaba swim bladder and save the remaining vaquita population.
Eighteen wild elephants were captured from the wild and are planned to be imported from Africa to spend the rest of their lives in captivity in U.S. zoos. Stop the importation of these harmless animals to end elephant captivity in our zoos.