‘Black Birders Week’ promotes diversity and takes on racism in the outdoors

‘Black Birders Week’ promotes diversity and takes on racism in the outdoors

“We all have this shared experience where we have to worry about going into the field,” says Earyn McGee, a herpetology Ph.D. student at the University of Arizona and Black Birders Week co-organizer. Prejudice might drive police or private property owners to be suspicious of or antagonistic toward Black scientists doing field work in normal clothes, putting them in danger, she says. McGee conducts research near the U.S.-Mexico border and worries about encountering U.S. Border Patrol on her own while…

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Across Texas, diverse wetlands are benefiting Texans — and facing threats

Across Texas, diverse wetlands are benefiting Texans — and facing threats

“Historically, some people thought of wetlands like nasty places we need to fill in or useless land,” he said. “But really, they’re among the most productive and valuable ecosystem in terms of the goods and services they provide to humans.” Nicknamed the kidneys of the earth for their ability to filter water and improve water quality, wetlands are defined by three things: water, plants and soils. To be a wetland, water should flow through or stand in the area for…

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#BlackBirdersWeek aims to raise awareness, grow community

#BlackBirdersWeek aims to raise awareness, grow community

Just four days after the encounter between a white dog walker and African American birdwatcher Christian Cooper, a group of approximately 30 Black scientists, birders, and outdoor explorers have created a new awareness campaign to encourage birding among more people of color. The project is called #BlackBirdersWeek, and it will take place from Sunday, May 31, through Friday, June 5. Anyone who is interested should follow the hashtag #BlackBirdersWeek on Twitter and Instagram… “This effort was borne out of a large…

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Resources for new landowners: Aldo Leopold’s five tools of wildlife management

Resources for new landowners: Aldo Leopold’s five tools of wildlife management

Aldo Leopold – author, philosopher, conservationist, and so-called “Father of Wildlife Ecology” –  is a pillar of the modern-day wildlife conservation and management movement. His revolutionary musings on the value of land and wildlife and his intentional management techniques often appear in the discourse on wildlife management. In Game Management, Leopold wrote, “Are we too poor in purse or spirit to apply some of it to keep the land pleasant to see, and good to live in?” This conveys a…

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Hays County Parks & Open Space Advisory Commission call for projects

Hays County Parks & Open Space Advisory Commission call for projects

The Hays County Parks and Open Space Advisory Commission (POSAC) is now accepting project ideas for parks, open space and natural areas from cities, nonprofit organizations, homeowner associations, and other groups or individuals who see specific needs for their communities and for the county as a whole.  In February 2020 the Hays County Commissioners Court recognized the need for additional public park lands and conservation spaces in Hays County and established the POSAC to provide a democratic, public process to…

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‘Meandering’ restores twists and turns on Lambert Creek in Ramsey County

‘Meandering’ restores twists and turns on Lambert Creek in Ramsey County

A  portion of Lambert Creek prone to flooding in eastern Ramsey County is being reshaped into a meandering stream, the latest attempt to restore metro area rivers that have become polluted ditches… “Almost 50 percent of stream channels across the state have been altered — mostly by straightening,” said Jamison Wendel, stream habitat supervisor with the Fish and Wildlife Division of the state Department of Natural Resources. “There was a lot of ditching that occurred in the early 1900s. It…

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Congress could put Americans back to work through conservation

Congress could put Americans back to work through conservation

Why post-COVID economic recovery efforts should include investments in our public lands, fish and wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation infrastructure Across the federal government, there are a suite of habitat restoration programs designed to benefit fish and wildlife and enhance the resiliency of our natural systems, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the National Fish Habitat Partnership, and the Forest Service Legacy Roads and Trails Program. These on-the-ground restoration programs infuse important resources into local communities, generate construction jobs,…

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Montana judge upholds ruling that canceled Keystone XL pipeline permit

Montana judge upholds ruling that canceled Keystone XL pipeline permit

A federal judge in Montana on Monday upheld his ruling last month that canceled an environmental permit for the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline and threatened other oil and natural gas pipeline projects with delays… Morris said that the Army Corps did not adequately consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on risks to endangered species and habitat when it renewed the permit in 2017. To allow the agency to continue authorizing new oil and gas pipeline construction “could…

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Quarantined for the very first time

Quarantined for the very first time

Nearing the line of demarcation for achieving “octogenarian,” it has been a shock to the system to face the necessity of “quarantined.” Even as a youngster in a household of several children and on a city block populated by many more suffering from measles I remember being “one of the ones” able to go and come. With so many others, my spouse, Karen, and I have honored the urgent requests of our adult sons that we take all deliberate precautions and significantly modify our…

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Central Texas Gardener: PBS show producer offers tips

Central Texas Gardener: PBS show producer offers tips

Your garden need not be cancelled! Central Texas Gardener producer Linda Lehmusvirta offers pandemic-proof advice for growing food and sprucing up your yard. Spring and early summer are always a good time to get out in the garden—but of course, our notion of “getting out” this spring has changed, and how. Yet gardening and staying safe aren’t mutually exclusive. Read more from Andrew Keys with The Texas Wildflower here. 

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