Seattle Times 5/15/2013
Excerpt: “The Obama administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind farm for killing eagles and other protected bird species, shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret, an Associated Press investigation found.
More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin. …”
Read entire article at http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020993836_windfarmsbirdsxml.html
Summit County Voice 4/7/2013
Excerpt: “FRISCO — I’ve been working my way through a series of stories about Colorado’s forests the past few weeks — after all, lodgepole pines are only one part of the state’s forest landscapes, and in looking at the overall picture, it’s clear that global warming and drought are probably going to have a big effect.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Even though the pine beetle outbreak was scary big and scary fast, it looks like those lodgepole groves will grow back just fine, at least in the short-term (the jury is still out on the impacts of global warming). ….”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/04/07/environment-whats-the-outlook-for-colorado-forests/
Denver Post 4/4/2013
Excerpt: “The hotter, drier climate will transform Rocky Mountain forests, unleashing wider wildfires and insect attacks, federal scientists warn in a report for Congress and the White House.
The U.S. Forest Service scientists project that, by 2050, the area burned each year by increasingly severe wildfires will at least double, to around 20 million acres nationwide. Some regions, including western Colorado, are expected to face up to a fivefold increase in acres burned if climate change continues on the current trajectory. …”
Read entire article at http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22943189/feds-project-climate-change-will-double-wildfire-risk
Scientific American 3/22/2013
Excerpt: “FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The smell of wood-burning stoves seems to permeate this gateway to the Grand Canyon and pit stop on the legendary Route 66.
In this corner of the state, trees, wood and fire have an ever-evolving relationship. Surrounded by the Coconino National Forest, this northern Arizona town sat at the edge of the 2010 Schultz fire, which burned 15,000 acres. While the Schultz fire visibly marked the landscape, the damage was relatively benign compared with the floods that came a month later. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=us-starts-massive-forest-thinning-project
Summit County Voice 3/13/2013
Excerpt: “SUMMIT COUNTY — Recent research suggests that most beetle-hit lodgepole pine forests are recovering about as expected. But other Colorado forest types have been also suffered the effects of drought and insect infestation — and the outlook for recovery is not as clear.
Across much of the West Slope and especially in the Four Corners region, the tiny ips beetle struck after piñon-juniper woodlands were left dessicated by the early 2000s drought. Within just a couple of years, by 2004, up to 80 percent of the mature piñons in the hardest hit areas were dead, and U.S. Forest Service researchers say some of those areas show little signs of regrowth. ….”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/03/13/colorados-forgotten-forest/
KCET; 3/6/2013 By Char Miller
Excerpt: ““One of the foundational principles of the U.S. Forest Service is water,” observed Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell in an interview with me in mid-February. His observation was made in reference to the impact of the Clean Water Act on and importance to watershed management within the national forests. His insight is now a matter of heightened concern as a shifting climate alters the levels of precipitation across the country.
But to understand the hydrological challenges of our immediate present, and the drier future they may presage, it is critical to recognize the implicit thrust of Tidwell’s comment: history matters. ……”
Read entire article and other Char Miller columns at http://www.kcet.org/news/the_back_forty/commentary/golden-green/water-rules.html
Excerpt: “On climate change, the Obama administration seems to be finding its voice. That was not always the case: because President Obama was not about to let climate change disrupt his second-term chances, during his first term he sat quietly as Republicans vociferously attacked anyone trying to construct an effective climate-change policy for the nation. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.kcet.org/news/the_back_forty/commentary/golden-green/on-climate-change-the-obama.html
Summit County Voice 2/28/2013
SUMMIT COUNTY — Between mountain pine beetles, sudden aspen decline, spruce beetles and ips beetles that attacked southwest Colorado piñon pines in early 2000s, a significant chunk of the state’s forests have changed significantly in the past decade.
But climate change is also driving more subtle changes in forests around the country, and on the ground, those changes may not be as easy to see as a stand of dead lodgepoles. Using satellite images, to track vegetation patterns, NASA scientists say warmer temperatures and changes in precipitation have resulted in a significant decline in forest canopy cover.
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/02/28/climate-nasa-satellites-see-thinning-forest-cover/
Summit County Voice 2/16/2013
Excerpt: “SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s aspens could take another big hit in the next few years as the after-effects of last summer’s heat wave take a toll on the state’s iconic trees. Recent research suggests that aspens damaged in previous droughts are more likely to die during subsequent heat waves.
Overall, Colorado reported one of its hottest summers on record in 2012, and even though researchers didn’t see excessive aspen mortality last year, it may take a few years before the full impact becomes apparent. …”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/02/16/colorado-research-shows-last-summers-heat-wave-likely-to-result-in-another-wave-of-aspen-mortality/#more-54167
Christian Science Monitor 2/13/203
Excerpt; “Over the past decade, researchers have documented the increased vulnerability of large stands of a Southwestern forest icon – the pinyon pine – to the dangers associated with a warming climate: drought, insects, and wildfires.
Now, it appears that rising temperatures could also put a damper on pinyon reproduction, potentially limiting the ability of trees that survive the other scourges to recolonize disturbed areas, a recent study says. …….”
Read entire article at http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2013/0213/Global-warming-Yet-another-threat-to-Southwest-s-iconic-pinyon-pine