The Nature Conservancy, Inc. v. Sims – Preservation Law Digest

Jul 16, 2012 by steve

The Nature Conservancy (“Conservancy”) and the Sims entered into a conservation easement on land the Conservancy sold Sims. The Conservancy subsequently asserted that the Sims violated the easement in several ways

via land preservation – Google Blog Search http://preservationlawdigest.com/2012/05/29/the-nature-conservancy-inc-v-sims/

The Nature Conservancy (“Conservancy”) and the Sims entered into a conservation easement on land the Conservancy sold Sims. The Conservancy subsequently asserted that the Sims violated the easement in several ways

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Middle River conservation land targeted for housing growth …

Jul 16, 2012 by steve

By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun Baltimore County planners want to allow hundreds of houses on waterfront conservation land along the Bird River in Middle River, over the strong objections of environmental regulators.

via land preservation – Google Blog Search http://lcatrust.org/blog/2012/05/middle-river-conservation-land-targeted-for-housing-growth-baltimore-sun/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=middle-river-conservation-land-targeted-for-housing-growth-baltimore-sun

By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun Baltimore County planners want to allow hundreds of houses on waterfront conservation land along the Bird River in Middle River, over the strong objections of environmental regulators.

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Eating Invasives: Delicious or Dangerous?

Jul 16, 2012 by steve

Iguanas are becoming a menu item for local foodies

Warm spring days evoke a strong memory of my grandmother: She’s hunched over the yard, seemingly picking randomly at the grass.

Her short stature and rapid movements give the appearance of a dervish. She grips at a plant, plucks and plops it into the bucket, then moves a short distance away to resume her harvest.

My grandmother collected dandelions, a spring bounty she served with a bacon dressing. The bitter greens were not unlike spinach or kale, bitter yet tasty. My grandfather used the flowers to make a potent wine.

This time of year, I so often encounter dandelions shriveled from hefty doses of herbicide. Recalling my grandmother, it seems a waste: Here are delicious, nutritious greens that could be providing some free meals. Instead, they’ve become toxic reminders of the so-called “war on weeds” — the scorched earth approach to invasive control favored by both surburban lawn owners and conservationists.

Why aren’t we instead looking at some non-native, invasive species as a sustainable source for fresh, local food?

The idea is popular. Books like Jackson Landers’ upcoming Eating Aliens encourage local foodies to eat such invasives as iguanas and nutrias. Marine conservationists have launched campaigns to encourage restaurants to carry lionfish, a species devastating coral reefs.

Even governments have urged their citizens to eat non-native gray squirrels (in Britain) and camels (in Australia).

As history shows, people can certainly eat their way through populations of species. As such, eating invasives doesn’t only provide good food, it’s good conservation.

Or is it?

An upcoming paper by ecologist Martin Nunez and others to be published in Conservation Letters, the journal of the Society of Conservation Biology, encourages skepticism to this approach.

In the paper, they argue that encouraging people to eat invasives may have unintended consequences. There’s a real risk, the authors argue, that people will start actually liking said invasives.

Entrepreneurs could develop markets for them; hunters could enjoy pursuing them. Invasives could become a part of the local culture.

As a review in Conservation Magazine points out, native Hawaiians often oppose eradication measures for non-native pigs because pig hunting and eating is so clearly linked to their culture.

I can relate: On a recent weekend, my friends and organic gardeners Clay and Josie Erskine asked me to their farm to hunt the non-native (in Idaho) wild turkeys that had begun raiding their gardens.

As we looked across their farm, ring-necked pheasants ran from the kale patch. Valley quail called from literally every corner of the property.

“Every one of them is a non-native species,” Josie sighed. “And they’re all absolutely devastating to vegetable farmers like us.”

Non-native quail, pheasants and turkeys have a constituency, though. Membership organizations advocate for their conservation. Landowners can receive government funding for practices that largely benefit these birds.

I reluctantly admit, as a non-native gamebird hunter, I would oppose any effort to eliminate these species.

Could campaigns to eat kudzu or camels or carp actually have the reverse effect? Could such campaigns lead to people protecting or spreading them?

It bears serious thought.

The risks need to be recognized. So, too, do the benefits.

Intensive invasive species control poses risks of its own. With its war metaphors and scorched earth campaigns, invasives eradication often requires hefty doses of toxic chemicals. And just as often, weeds or invasive animals still flourish. Aside from cases small islands such as Santa Cruz, complete eradication is usually impossible.

Recognizing dandelions as a food source will not eradicate the plant. But spraying dandelions doesn’t, either.

In many ways, eating invasives is not a control measure so much as it is a new way of interacting with non-native species. Through eating them, they become part of our environment rather than “enemies.” And because they’re prolific and abundant, they make ideal sustainable, low-carbon, local food sources.

Despite our best efforts, invasive species already thrive in our midst. Is serving them for dinner really going to make them even more prevalent?

Doubtful. These species are here to stay. It’s time to recognize them as a truly sustainable and abundant food source. I’ll take the fried iguana served over a bed dandelion greens, please.

[Image: Iguanas, an invasive species in places like Florida, are becoming a menu item for local foodies. Image source: Matt Miller/TNC]

via Cool Green Science: The Conservation Blog of The Nature Conservancy http://blog.nature.org/2012/05/eating-invasives-delicious-or-dangerous/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nature%2FpCgI+%28Cool+Green+Science%29

Iguanas are becoming a menu item for local foodies

Warm spring days evoke a strong memory of my grandmother: She’s hunched over the yard, seemingly picking randomly at the grass.

Her short stature and rapid movements give the appearance of a dervish. She grips at a plant, plucks and plops it into the bucket, then moves a short distance away to resume her harvest.

My grandmother collected dandelions, a spring bounty she served with a bacon dressing. The bitter greens were not unlike spinach or kale, bitter yet tasty. My grandfather used the flowers to make a potent wine.

This time of year, I so often encounter dandelions shriveled from hefty doses of herbicide. Recalling my grandmother, it seems a waste: Here are delicious, nutritious greens that could be providing some free meals. Instead, they’ve become toxic reminders of the so-called “war on weeds” — the scorched earth approach to invasive control favored by both surburban lawn owners and conservationists.

Why aren’t we instead looking at some non-native, invasive species as a sustainable source for fresh, local food?

The idea is popular. Books like Jackson Landers’ upcoming Eating Aliens encourage local foodies to eat such invasives as iguanas and nutrias. Marine conservationists have launched campaigns to encourage restaurants to carry lionfish, a species devastating coral reefs.

Even governments have urged their citizens to eat non-native gray squirrels (in Britain) and camels (in Australia).

As history shows, people can certainly eat their way through populations of species. As such, eating invasives doesn’t only provide good food, it’s good conservation.

Or is it?

An upcoming paper by ecologist Martin Nunez and others to be published in Conservation Letters, the journal of the Society of Conservation Biology, encourages skepticism to this approach.

In the paper, they argue that encouraging people to eat invasives may have unintended consequences. There’s a real risk, the authors argue, that people will start actually liking said invasives.

Entrepreneurs could develop markets for them; hunters could enjoy pursuing them. Invasives could become a part of the local culture.

As a review in Conservation Magazine points out, native Hawaiians often oppose eradication measures for non-native pigs because pig hunting and eating is so clearly linked to their culture.

I can relate: On a recent weekend, my friends and organic gardeners Clay and Josie Erskine asked me to their farm to hunt the non-native (in Idaho) wild turkeys that had begun raiding their gardens.

As we looked across their farm, ring-necked pheasants ran from the kale patch. Valley quail called from literally every corner of the property.

“Every one of them is a non-native species,” Josie sighed. “And they’re all absolutely devastating to vegetable farmers like us.”

Non-native quail, pheasants and turkeys have a constituency, though. Membership organizations advocate for their conservation. Landowners can receive government funding for practices that largely benefit these birds.

I reluctantly admit, as a non-native gamebird hunter, I would oppose any effort to eliminate these species.

Could campaigns to eat kudzu or camels or carp actually have the reverse effect? Could such campaigns lead to people protecting or spreading them?

It bears serious thought.

The risks need to be recognized. So, too, do the benefits.

Intensive invasive species control poses risks of its own. With its war metaphors and scorched earth campaigns, invasives eradication often requires hefty doses of toxic chemicals. And just as often, weeds or invasive animals still flourish. Aside from cases small islands such as Santa Cruz, complete eradication is usually impossible.

Recognizing dandelions as a food source will not eradicate the plant. But spraying dandelions doesn’t, either.

In many ways, eating invasives is not a control measure so much as it is a new way of interacting with non-native species. Through eating them, they become part of our environment rather than “enemies.” And because they’re prolific and abundant, they make ideal sustainable, low-carbon, local food sources.

Despite our best efforts, invasive species already thrive in our midst. Is serving them for dinner really going to make them even more prevalent?

Doubtful. These species are here to stay. It’s time to recognize them as a truly sustainable and abundant food source. I’ll take the fried iguana served over a bed dandelion greens, please.

[Image: Iguanas, an invasive species in places like Florida, are becoming a menu item for local foodies. Image source: Matt Miller/TNC]

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Cool Green Morning: Tuesday, May 29

Jul 15, 2012 by steve

Here are today’s top green news stories to ease you back into the work week.

  1. Sequoia National Park is home to ancient redwoods… and smog. (Huffington Post Green)
  2. To save some species, zoos must let others die. (New York Times)
  3. Would you like a little radiation with your tuna? (TreeHugger)
  4. Tropical dams are a false solution to climate change. (Mongabay)
  5. Let’s end on an upbeat note: how to dry you hands with only 1 paper towel! (Discovery News)

via Cool Green Science: The Conservation Blog of The Nature Conservancy http://blog.nature.org/2012/05/cool-green-morning-tuesday-may-29/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nature%2FpCgI+%28Cool+Green+Science%29

Here are today’s top green news stories to ease you back into the work week.

  1. Sequoia National Park is home to ancient redwoods… and smog. (Huffington Post Green)
  2. To save some species, zoos must let others die. (New York Times)
  3. Would you like a little radiation with your tuna? (TreeHugger)
  4. Tropical dams are a false solution to climate change. (Mongabay)
  5. Let’s end on an upbeat note: how to dry you hands with only 1 paper towel! (Discovery News)

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Prepaid Electric Metering – Business Review USA (press release)

Jul 15, 2012 by steve

Prepaid Electric Metering
Business Review USA (press release)
The global growth of prepaid electricity programs has been steady and gradual in recent years. But with the increasing adoption of smart meters across the world, the prepaid metering market is now poised to take off at a larger scale.

and more »

via smart growth – Google News http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNFWUQ1R0G7CDQWvHMydrzvDQrKc_w&url=http://www.businessreviewusa.com/press_releases/prepaid-electric-metering

Prepaid Electric Metering
Business Review USA (press release)
The global growth of prepaid electricity programs has been steady and gradual in recent years. But with the increasing adoption of smart meters across the world, the prepaid metering market is now poised to take off at a larger scale.

and more »

read more

Urban Food Jungle from AECOM Offers Towers of Pineapples and More

Jul 15, 2012 by steve


Design proposes “bringing together sustainable food production, entertainment, education and culinary delight.”

via Latest Items from TreeHugger http://www.treehugger.com/urban-design/urban-food-jungle-aecom-offers-towers-pineapples-and-more.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+treehuggersite+%28Treehugger%29


Design proposes “bringing together sustainable food production, entertainment, education and culinary delight.”

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Co-operative wind harvesting in the Netherlands

Jul 14, 2012 by steve

Harvesting using wind power in the Netherlands

This blog post comes from the Netherlands where Stephan de Clerck, his family, and his neighbours are harvesting wind energy. It is a good example how people come together to produce wind energy, resulting in a financial gain that benefits their families. It is part 4 of a series of wind energy stories from the Force project by photographer Robert van Waarden – designed for TckTckTck partners to tell the stories of sustainable solutions and their benefits for people and nature in the run up to Rio+20.

Cycling along the country roads of Flevoland, you can’t help but notice the wind. If one is lucky, it is behind you, if it isn’t… well, good luck. It is no wonder that windmills haphazardly dot the landscape. They fit. This is the Netherlands, a country where wooden windmills have dotted the landscape for hundreds of years. Now instead of pumping water, modern windmills are powering thousands of homes.

Stephan de Clerck and his brother Ralph live within a few kilometres of each other in Flevoland, and they are no strangers to the wind. They have been harvesting wind energy for 10 years. In the beginning they were looking for ways to diversify their farms and incomes. They love how wind energy perfectly complements their other crops, like potatoes, onions or sugar beets. Once installed, the windmills turn steadily in the background, while the day-to-day life of a farmer continues. For them, wind energy is a valuable crop, and one that gets better the stormier the weather.

Together, Stephan and Ralph produce enough wind energy to power 5000 homes. Their energy is sold through WindUnie, a co-operative that sources and sells wind power to residents of the Netherlands. Ten years ago, WindUnie was a small start-up, but through the engagement of landowners like Stephan and Ralph, this co-operative has grown to be a major player in wind energy market in the Netherlands. Connecting residential customers with small scale producers, the WindUnie website intelligently allows you to explore the suppliers of wind energy, meet their families and see where your wind is coming from. In the case of Stephan and Ralph, you find out that they have 3 and 4 kids respectively and love skiing and walking on their holidays.

Stephan was very happy with the first set of windmills, so much so that he wished to build more. But, by then, the zoning laws had changed and regulations were now requiring windmills to be built in a line rather then individually. Stephan realized that he couldn’t do it on his own. So he went knocking on his neighbours doors and together the 5 of them launched Samen voor de Wind, (Together for the Wind), a co-operative farm of 7 windmills.

Samen voor de Wind has substantially contributed to the financial well-being and health of the families. All the members have young families and they are naturally happy to have the extra income. Furthermore, the co-operative has built a stronger community between the neighbours.

Stephan believes that for renewable energy to succeed, we desperately need to level the subsidy playing field. With the removal of fossil and nuclear fuel subsidies, the market would take over and clean energy would rise to top.

“In the future, instead of all of us being energy users, we will all become energy producers,” says Stephan.

via TckTckTck http://tcktcktck.org/2012/05/co-operative-wind-harvesting-in-the-netherlands/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=co-operative-wind-harvesting-in-the-netherlands

Harvesting using wind power in the Netherlands

This blog post comes from the Netherlands where Stephan de Clerck, his family, and his neighbours are harvesting wind energy. It is a good example how people come together to produce wind energy, resulting in a financial gain that benefits their families. It is part 4 of a series of wind energy stories from the Force project by photographer Robert van Waarden – designed for TckTckTck partners to tell the stories of sustainable solutions and their benefits for people and nature in the run up to Rio+20.

Cycling along the country roads of Flevoland, you can’t help but notice the wind. If one is lucky, it is behind you, if it isn’t… well, good luck. It is no wonder that windmills haphazardly dot the landscape. They fit. This is the Netherlands, a country where wooden windmills have dotted the landscape for hundreds of years. Now instead of pumping water, modern windmills are powering thousands of homes.

Stephan de Clerck and his brother Ralph live within a few kilometres of each other in Flevoland, and they are no strangers to the wind. They have been harvesting wind energy for 10 years. In the beginning they were looking for ways to diversify their farms and incomes. They love how wind energy perfectly complements their other crops, like potatoes, onions or sugar beets. Once installed, the windmills turn steadily in the background, while the day-to-day life of a farmer continues. For them, wind energy is a valuable crop, and one that gets better the stormier the weather.

Together, Stephan and Ralph produce enough wind energy to power 5000 homes. Their energy is sold through WindUnie, a co-operative that sources and sells wind power to residents of the Netherlands. Ten years ago, WindUnie was a small start-up, but through the engagement of landowners like Stephan and Ralph, this co-operative has grown to be a major player in wind energy market in the Netherlands. Connecting residential customers with small scale producers, the WindUnie website intelligently allows you to explore the suppliers of wind energy, meet their families and see where your wind is coming from. In the case of Stephan and Ralph, you find out that they have 3 and 4 kids respectively and love skiing and walking on their holidays.

Stephan was very happy with the first set of windmills, so much so that he wished to build more. But, by then, the zoning laws had changed and regulations were now requiring windmills to be built in a line rather then individually. Stephan realized that he couldn’t do it on his own. So he went knocking on his neighbours doors and together the 5 of them launched Samen voor de Wind, (Together for the Wind), a co-operative farm of 7 windmills.

Samen voor de Wind has substantially contributed to the financial well-being and health of the families. All the members have young families and they are naturally happy to have the extra income. Furthermore, the co-operative has built a stronger community between the neighbours.

Stephan believes that for renewable energy to succeed, we desperately need to level the subsidy playing field. With the removal of fossil and nuclear fuel subsidies, the market would take over and clean energy would rise to top.

“In the future, instead of all of us being energy users, we will all become energy producers,” says Stephan.

read more

Transformer Seesaw Bench For The Kids In All Of Us

Jul 14, 2012 by steve


Clever design by Dirk Ploos van Amstel turns from bench to teeter-totter, but how easy is it?

via Latest Items from TreeHugger http://www.treehugger.com/eco-friendly-furniture/transformer-seesaw-bench-kids-all-us.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+treehuggersite+%28Treehugger%29


Clever design by Dirk Ploos van Amstel turns from bench to teeter-totter, but how easy is it?

read more