Natural Resource Management ISAT 424
Rachel Carson…she’s one of my heroes. This year for Earth Day (April 22, 2012) it is fitting to honor the 50th anniversary of Rachael Carson’s book, Silent Spring.
In our quest to profit from the land and feed a hungry planet with annual crops such as corn and soybeans, we have abandoned one of the most powerful conservation practices known to science – contour farming.
Beef cattle biosecurity and stream exclusion are very important to this large animal veterinarian. His First Week on the Job On his first week on the job as a veterinarian back in 1993, Scott Nordstrom treated a case that would stick with him the rest of his life. Shockingly, half of a herd of cattle […]
It’s happening. Throughout the 64,000 square miles of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, there are small watersheds being restored, one by one, slowly but surely. We are going to achieve a restored Bay, one small watershed at a time.
Imagine paddling a canoe upstream forever. That’s my metaphor for environmental activism. Activists have been paddling against the current with the Clean Water Act on their backs ever since its passage 50 years ago. We have made a lot of progress, but it’s been against the current the whole time—and we are still paddling. The […]
Note: The News Leader of Staunton, Virginia published an op-ed version of this piece on 8/15/2017. It can be found here. Mayhem of Construction Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), if allowed to be built, will be the largest disturbance of land and water in the Commonwealth of Virginia since the Interstate highways were built. Is […]
Tofu. That’s what most people think soybeans are grown for. But most soybeans in the U.S. are grown for oil and livestock feed. It’s big business. America is the world’s largest producer and exporter of soybeans with almost 75 million acres planted annually.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline Set To Destroy Old-Growth Forest “At least three hundred trees, older than this nation, will be destroyed if the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) comes through this ridge on our property,” Bill Limpert lamented. We were walking his part of Jack Mountain in Bath County, Virginia. I could smell the old-growth forest as […]
I was there to hear first hand all the arguments in four cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Jeanne and I are part of a group of plaintiffs in one of those cases, Appalachian Voices v. State Water Control Board (18-1077). All four cases involve the pipelines being built to move fracked gas through our mountains.
Maryland: The newly elected Republican governor, Larry Hogan repealed the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s “Phosphorus Management Tool”. Read my rant here. Students, yes, read that rant. This trashes decades of phosphorus research and will further pollute the streams in Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay. It basically allows farmers to continue applying poultry manure to fields […]
FERC held a “scoping” meeting at Stuarts Draft High School on March 19th, 2015. This was an opportunity for members of our community to voice concerns and participate in the democratic process about the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). If it’s built it will bisect Augusta County, Virginia, the place where we live.
Virginia Wildlife Magazine published my article “Fish Need Leaves” in their Jan/Feb 2015 issue. More information about Virginia’s premier wildlife magazine can be found here: www.dgif.virginia.gov/virginia.wildlife Excluding livestock from streams is a first big step for agriculture in restoring water resources and complying with the law that the US Congress passed in 1972 – The Clean […]
“Well-managed” farmland and other working “open-spaces” should not be taxed when they provide ecosystem services exceeding the cost of public services for the land. In many states including Virginia, local governments have a special way of collecting revenue from their constituents that have farmland or “open-space” called “land-use” taxation. It’s a method of calculating a tax on […]
The flames of the fire hold my senses hostage. Staring at the orange flames dancing upward I hear the crackling release of carbon entombed in the hardened cell walls of the log. I feel the heat, a byproduct of the transfer of energy as the log is transformed from a solid to a gas. I […]
When I was born in 1955 the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was 313 ppm. What? In 66 years, the CO2 concentration has increased by over 100 ppm!
We can’t plop an expanse of solar panels just anywhere and expect it to be right. Solar panels require special conditions to function at their best, and every locality planning to welcome solar panels needs to develop a strategy for optimal placement.
At last, farmers and foresters might have a seat at the carbon market table. Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in both the Senate and the House of the United States Congress to help farmers and foresters receive credits for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing soil organic matter—carbon.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which officially occurs on April 22. In a normal world, this would be a really big deal and we’d be gearing up for a big celebration—Earth Day helped elevate the importance of protecting our environment in a whole new way. But it’s hard to think about pollinator corridors and carbon sequestration during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A bumblebee, a bat, a mussel, and a half-inch, blind crustacean are in the proposed path of the 42-inch, fracked-gas pipeline. All four species are on the brink of extinction—the death of the last individual of the species.
Over the years they slowly disappeared. And then they were gone. I last saw a Loggerhead Shrike in Swoope in 2014. The Loggerhead Shrike is a “common bird” whose population is in “steep decline”. In this post, I will describe the bird, chronicle its population, report efforts to bring the bird back, and relate what you can do to help.
Livestock that have access to streams and rivers pollute the water with their manure and urine. But perhaps even worse, when they access a stream and “hang out” to cool off, their cloven hooves gouge and dislodge soil from the banks of the stream causing the death of the aquatic ecosystem.
Ash trees are disappearing from the American landscape. All three of the aforementioned ash tree species are critically endangered because of the nonnative Emerald Ash Borer.
Celebrate the victory—the defeat of Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), a 600-mile, high-pressure, fracked-gas pipeline planned to rip through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. It was a six-year fight for people’s land rights, our water, environmental justice, and common decency.
A textbook example of environmental racism has unfolded in Union Hill, Virginia. When Dominion Energy was looking for a site for its Buckingham compressor station the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Virginia’s Air Pollution Control Board (APCB) chose the predominately African American community of Union Hill—a community of descendants of freed African slaves.
It was an event of a lifetime—sitting in the courtroom of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) hearing arguments in the U.S. Forest Service v. Cowpasture River case on Monday, February 24—the case that will determine if a dirt path, known as the Appalachian Trail, is actually “land” or not.
The Virginia State Water Control Board must deny 401 certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). It should have denied 401 certification for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). Building these fracked gas pipelines through steep, rough terrain and karst geology is fraught with danger. Construction is already causing massive soil erosion that pollutes our streams, […]
Shepherdstown, WV: It used to be part of Virginia before our war against slavery. I’m here, standing on the southern bank of the Potomac River looking at the large windows and columns of the mansion of Ferry Hill Plantation on the northern, Maryland side of the river. I’m mesmerized, staring at it. I can imagine […]