$87M wildlife bridge in California will be a haven for mountain lions

August 23, 2019 by  
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Mountain lions in Southern California will have a safer place to roam by 2023 thanks to an $87 million bridge being designed northwest of Los Angeles and spread out above the busy 101 Highway. California is the only state in the country where shooting the creatures for sport is banned . But a March study published in the journal Ecological Applications suggested mountain lions could be extinct within 50 years if changes to their environment don’t happen. Related: Utah plans $5 million wildlife bridge over deadly I-80 highway “ Animals were able to move around through different parts of the mountains until humans cut them off with giant roads,” said Beth Pratt of the National Wildlife Federation. “GPS tracking shows that the animals are largely isolated in their own small areas, unable to mingle. Segmentation impacts animals both large and small: lizards and birds up to mountain lions.” Once the project is completed, the wildlife bridge will connect various sections of the Santa Monica Mountains, hopefully giving mountain lions and other wildlife better protection. It is designed to blend into the scenery, so the creatures won’t know they are on a bridge. Pratt stressed this ecological environment needs to be rebuilt for the sake of all animal welfare and thinks the wildlife bridge is a good idea. “This is an animal that is particularly beloved in California ,” Pratt said. “We want these animals on the landscape, and the population will go extinct if we don’t do something soon.” The project has been 20 years in the making, with the National Park Service closely studying the area during this time. It wasn’t until about a decade ago the idea became a reality; funds totaling $13.4 million have been raised by private contributors, according to The Guardian. The project has caught the attention of actor Leonardo DiCaprio , who has been a supporter of the project, as well as other big names around the world. About 9,000 comments were posted in favor of the project, and only 15 were against it when the public was given the opportunity give feedback. “We’re doing this in LA, a city of 4 million people,” Pratt said. “If LA can do it, it can work anywhere. Even in a giant city , we’ll make a home for a mountain lion.” + Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains + Clark Stevens Via The Guardian Design and images via Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains and Clark Stevens Architect/Raymond Garcia Illustrator

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$87M wildlife bridge in California will be a haven for mountain lions

Tesla solar panels now available to rent

August 23, 2019 by  
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If you’re looking to cut your electric bill by installing solar panels but are looking for an affordable option, Tesla may have the answer– rent them. Hoping to offer homeowners a better money-saving option by renting the streamlined panels, Tesla offers renters monthly payments, no installation costs, no long-term contracts and the ability to cancel monthly rental payments anytime. However, the company will charge a $1,500 fee to remove the system from your roof and return it to its original condition. Related: Chattanooga becomes first 100% solar-powered airport in US If customers were to sell their homes, Tesla offers a convenient contract transfer option that can be set up under the home’s new owner. The solar panel rental program is currently available to rent in six states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico. The Tesla panels come in three sizes starting at a small 3.8 kilowatt solar panel at $50 per month which generates an average of 10 to 14 kilowatt hours of energy per day; a medium 7.6 kWh for $100 per month, generates between 19 to 28kWh per day; or the large 11.4kWh option for $150 per month producing 29 to 41kWh per day. Keep in mind that the average U.S. household uses about 28 kilowatt hours of electricity per day While Tesla expects the solar panel renting to be a big hit, energy experts say the company wants to give customers the chance to rent panels as way to boost its struggling solar business. Earlier this year the company reportedly cut its solar panel prices and also allowed customers to purchase residential systems in increments. +Tesla.com Via Yale Environment 360 Image via Tesla

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Tesla solar panels now available to rent

Eastern Puma officially extinct, allows for mountain lion reintroduction

February 8, 2019 by  
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The eastern puma, which used to range from Quebec and Manitoba to South Carolina and Illinois, is now officially  extinct , said Officials with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The government agency has also removed the cougars from endangered species list. Taking the eastern pumas off the endangered list will enable eastern states, such as New York, to reintroduce western pumas, also called mountain lions, into the region. The last eastern puma killed in the wild was in Maine over 80 years ago. Hunters killed off the majority of these pumas in the 18th and 19th centuries. “We need large carnivores like cougars to keep the wild food web healthy, so we hope eastern and midwestern states will reintroduce them,” Michael Robinson, who works for the Center for Biological Diversity, explained. Reintroducing western pumas will cut down on deer population and help decrease tick-borne illnesses that are harmful to humans. Government officials believe there are eastern regions that are suitable for the reintroduction of pumas. These areas include New England, Adirondacks and the Great Lakes. Related: Conchs in the Bahamas could be extinct in 10 years Unlike their eastern counterparts, western pumas have successfully repopulated regions in Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. Although western pumas and their close relative the Florida panthers have been spotted in eastern states, they have not been able to successfully reproduce because of human intervention and hunting . Deer populations have skyrocketed in the absence of predators like pumas and wolves. Certain kinds of deer populations, like white-tail deer, eat saplings and acorns, which has led to a rapid decline in new tree growth in the region. This also hurts ground-nesting birds as they do not have enough vegetation to protect themselves. Now that eastern pumas have been taken off the endangered list, politicians can start spearheading efforts to reintroduce western pumas into the region. Although it is extremely sad that the eastern puma has gone extinct, experts hope that reintroducing another predator will help the environment in the long run. At one point in time, pumas were one of the most widespread animals in North and South America. Via Biological Diversity Image via Shutterstock

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Eastern Puma officially extinct, allows for mountain lion reintroduction

In California, conservationists face off with vineyard owners

September 5, 2017 by  
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It’s vines versus old-growth forests, a biodiversity debate with consequences for steelhead trout, mountain lions and spotted owls.

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In California, conservationists face off with vineyard owners

Can business save the world from climate change?

September 5, 2017 by  
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A growing number of initiatives are giving corporations the resources to help achieve global climate goals regardless of government support.

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Can business save the world from climate change?

Wildlife officials deny mountain lions have returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains

September 15, 2016 by  
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Mountain lions once roamed the continent from west to east, but the spread of human communities have led to a massive reduction in the number of big cat populations in the east. In fact, the only recognized population of mountain lions east of the Mississippi River are southern Florida panthers and DNA testing has confirmed that population is not migrating north. Declining numbers of mountain lions over the past 100 years led wildlife officials in other Eastern states to declare them extinct . However, the growing number of sightings in Tennessee since September 2015 has environmentalists arguing that it’s time to reconsider the species’ status, and work to conserve their habitat to encourage further population increases. So far, wildlife officials do not seem eager to take action. Related: LA lawmakers take steps to create wildlife corridor to protect big cats Are they really mountain lions? A mountain lion is a wild cat ranging from two to three feet tall, with females weighing up to 120lbs and males up to 200lbs, making it the fourth largest cat in the world. They are also known as cougars, panthers, pumas, or catamounts—all are the same animal. While bobcats are considerably smaller (the largest among them are under 20lbs), their similar coloring can lead to cases of mistaken identity, especially from a great distance. What’s more, mountain lion kittens and young bobcats are very difficult to tell apart. Many reports of mountain lion sightings are immediately dismissed as a case of mistaken identity and some, like this alleged sighting of a dead mountain lion on a highway cutting through North Carolina’s stretch of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Wildlife officials claim no knowledge of the carcass, but there are any number of alternate explanations, such as scavengers dragging it off the road or a passerby collecting it. The scientific evidence Tennessee wildlife officials admit cougars roam the mountains in that state, after the first cougar in 100 years was photographed there. Despite the mounting number of sightings, videos, and captures over the past year , the state does not recognize the big cats as a permanent residents, because of the lack of evidence of reproducing females. A study from University of Minnesota reviewed 18 years of cougar sightings in an effort to understand the big cats’ activity. The study argues that the increased population in Tenn. suggests that cougars are expanding their Midwest territory in search of adequate habitat to reproduce. Some say the big cats could reestablish their populations in the Blue Ridge Mountains within 25 to 50 years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYUQaF3mK_w One of the early sightings caught on video (above) was of this female mountain lion, who was subsequently captured in Nov. 2015 in Olbion County, Tenn. DNA testing revealed the cougar is not related to known populations of panthers in southern Florida , and the notion that the big cats have traveled from western states has been dismissed due to common sense. The remaining logical conclusion points to a slow resurgence of the eastern cougars that once lived all over the Eastern mountains. Alleged mountain lion attack A man injured while hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail near Humpback Rock in Virginia was initially reported as the victim of a mountain lion attack  on Jul. 1 of this year. At that time, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, suggested that was unlikely and issued a statement recalling that “since 1970, 121 sightings have been identified as possible mountain lions, but have not been officially confirmed. Most sightings occur in Shenandoah National Park and in Bedford, Amherst and Nelson County region.” The victim’s mother, who had called 911 on his behalf, later revealed that a miscommunication led her to identify the wrong animal. She said that her son was actually attacked by a bobcat, which he had referred to as a “big cat.” She made an assumption when she told the 911 operator it was a mountain lion. This clarifying piece of information fuels the doubt about the true resurgence of the eastern cougar. What’s next for the eastern cougar? Environmental conservation groups are urging wildlife officials to review the status of mountain lions across several states, including Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia, and little progress has been made. The federal Fish & Wildlife Service removed the eastern cougar from the Endangered Species List last year, and reclassified them as an extinct subspecies after a four-year review. Prior to that decision, the Mountain Lion Foundation sponsored a petition to urge the opposite, suggesting FWS work to support the eastern cougar’s repopulation of the Blue Ridge Mountains instead. Just months after the federal agency declared the big cats extinct, the animals began appearing in the Tennessee mountains, leading to a renewed effort to protect the eastern cougar. MLF and other conservation groups argue that genetic testing proves all mountain lions are the same subspecies, so the FWS decision to declare them extinct in the Eastern states is not only irresponsible but unethical. Will it take federal wildlife officials another four years to recognize that eastern cougars are trying to make a comeback in the Blue Ridge Mountains, or will their tracks once again fade into oblivion? Lead image via Wikipedia , additional images via TN Fish & Wildlife , Wikipedia ( 1 , 2 , 3 ), and Eastern Cougar Foundation

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Wildlife officials deny mountain lions have returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains

5,600-Square-Foot Tah.Mah.Lah. Passive House Restores the Surrounding Environment

May 13, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of 5,600-Square-Foot Tah.Mah.Lah. Passive House Restores the Surrounding Environment Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Control4 monitoring system , geothermal underfloor heating system , HKS Hill Glazier Studio , LEED Platinum House , mountain lions house in California , Native American Ohlone , Portola Valley Passive Home , recycled steel roof , salvaged construction materials , Tah.Mah.Lah house by HKS Hill Glazier Studio , Tah.Mah.Lah. House

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5,600-Square-Foot Tah.Mah.Lah. Passive House Restores the Surrounding Environment

Daily Mail Article Glorifies Hunting Culture that Teaches Children to Kill

February 28, 2014 by  
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 Photo © Shutterstock The UK tabloid the Daily Mail isn’t exactly known for its compassionate or nuanced take on the environment (or its journalistic respect for the facts ), but a recent article celebrating a family that’s training their young children to murder cougars is beyond the pale. The paper tells the story of Shelby White, an 11-year-old whose claim to fame is shooting and killing an emaciated cougar that wandered onto her family’s property. Read the rest of Daily Mail Article Glorifies Hunting Culture that Teaches Children to Kill Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Big Game Hunting , cougars , daily mail , hunting for sport , journalism , mountain lions , photos with dead animals , sport hunting , uk journalism , washington state        

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Daily Mail Article Glorifies Hunting Culture that Teaches Children to Kill

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