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The Rangers Risking Their Lives for Virunga’s Gorillas – April 6, 2018

The huge national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most dangerous conservation projects in the world

It is dawn on the shores of Lake Edward and the sun is rising over the volcanoes on the eastern skyline. Mist lies over the still water. In the forest there are elephant, hippopotamus and buffalo. Guarding them are 26 rangers in a single fortified post.

Then the silence is rudely broken. There are shouts, scattered shots, volleys from automatic weapons. Waves of attackers rush through the brush and trees. Some are close enough to hurl spears and fire arrows.

mountain gorilla in Virunga park, CongoPhoto by Joseph KingThanks to the efforts of a committed force of rangers, populations of endangered species are recovering… more

by: The Guardian

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Starbucks Cafe Opens in Yosemite, to Delight and Dismay – March 26, 2018

To many, the cafe represents a trend of commercialism and 25,000 people petitioned to stop it from opening

It looks and feels just like any of the other roughly 27,000 Starbucks locations that have opened around the world. The green apron-clad barista makes tall, grande and venti coffee concoctions that are handed over in familiar mermaid-endowed cups.

yosemite in winterPhoto by armboyted/Flickr A petition against the cafe states that with a Starbucks, Yosemite “will lose its essence, making it hardly distinguishable from a chaotic and bustling commercial city”.

But from the parking lot outside – where there is an intentional lack of Starbucks signage - the world-famous Yosemite falls can be heard through the patter of an early… more

by: The Guardian

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Who Owns Water? The US Landowners Putting Barbed Wire Across Rivers – March 20, 2018

New Mexico is a battleground in the fight over once public waterways

As Scott Carpenter and a few friends paddled down the Pecos river in New Mexico last May, taking advantage of spring run-off, the lead boater yelled out and made a swirling hand motion over his head in the universal signal to pull over to shore. The paddlers eddied out in time to avoid running straight through three strings of barbed wire obstructing the river.

Swinging in the wind, the sign hanging from the fence read “PRIVATE PROPERTY: No Trespassing”.

kayaker trying to get past barbed wire fence across riverPhoto courtesy of Scott CarpenterA paddler navigates through barbed wire across the Rio Chama in New Mexico… more

by: The Guardian

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Ryan Zinke to Look into Unpopular Montana Land Exchange Proposal – March 16, 2018

The 5,000-acre proposal by Texas oil barons was twice rejected under Obama

The US interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, has promised to look into a Montana land exchange proposal from Texas oil and gas billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks that was twice rejected under the Obama administration, the Guardian can reveal.

upper missouri big breaks national monumentPhoto by Bob Wick/Bureau of Land ManagementTexas oil and gas billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks offered the BLM territory in and around the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (pictured above) in exchange for federal land within their N Bar Ranch in eastern-central Montana.

The Wilkses and their lobbyist met Zinke, a Montana native, last September.

Zinke said he’ll look… more

by: The Guardian

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California Aims for World’s Highest Farm Animal Welfare Law – March 7, 2018

New law would ban the sale of all eggs, pork, or veal from a caged animal, putting the state ahead of the EU – if campaigners can get enough signatures

They call Chris Winn the signatures guy. A delivery driver by day, he spends his free time drumming up support for animal rights. “When I did the shark fin ban I got 4,000 signatures,” says Winn, 53. “Usually I’m the top guy in California.”

Now he’s on a new mission. It’s a cold Saturday afternoon in San Francisco and Winn is jubilant, bundled in a hat and sweatshirt, scouting for signatories for a proposed law that would ban the sale of any eggs, pork or veal that comes from an animal that spent its life in a cage. If passed it would be the most progressive farm animal welfare law in… more

by: The Guardian

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