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In Death Valley, A Carpet of Colorful Life – March 10, 2016

A last minute trip to see rare wildflower super bloom was well worth the long haul

Years ago, when I first read about the desert “super blooms” that explode some of the world’s most arid places into riots of colorful flowers, catching a glimpse of the rare phenomenon immediately jumped to the top of my bucket-list. The contrast between a stark desert landscape and fields of wildflowers seemed too amazing to miss. So, two weeks ago, when I learned that Death Valley National Park was abloom with more than 20 species of wildflowers, I knew I had to see it.

Photo of Death Valley Super BloomPhoto by Zoe Loftus-Farren Desert gold wildflowers blanket rocky field in Death Valley National Park… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Freeing the Klamath – February 25, 2016

Water rights issues remain to be resolved in largest dam removal project ever in the US

Update: On April 6, representatives from California, Oregon, the federal government, dam-owner PacifiCorp, tribes, conservation groups, and agricultural interests signed an amendment to the Klamath Hydropower Settlement Agreement. Pending approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions, the amendment provides a path toward removal of four dams on the lower Klamath River.   

After more than a decade of negotiating, and waiting, and negotiating again, it looks like four dams on the lower Klamath River may finally be removed. On February 2, a coalition of state governments, the US Department of the Interior, and dam-owner PacifiCorp reached a tentative agreement to demolish the dams, which are located in Oregon and Northern California.… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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‘I Consider Myself to Be a Fossil Fuel Abolitionist’ – January 26, 2016

A conversation with climate activist Tim DeChristopher

In 2008, climate activist Tim DeChristopher arrived at a BLM oil and gas lease auction in Utah with the intention of disrupting it. He was thinking along the lines of making an impassioned speech, but when he was offered the chance to register as a bidder in the auction, he saw an opportunity he couldn’t pass up, and made a choice he knew would likely land him in prison.

DeChristopher Photo by Stephen Melkisethian

As bidder number 70, DeChristopher won nearly $1.8 million in bids for some 22,000 acres of public land — bids that he had no intention of paying for — before he… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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The Ten Most Ethical Travel Destinations for 2016 – January 19, 2016

This year’s list of best developing countries to visit includes Cabo Verde, Mongolia, and Panama

January can feel like a long month. In the northern hemisphere, at least, the days are short, temperatures are low, and skies are often cloudy. In many ways it is the perfect time to fantasize about, and, better yet, plan a summer vacation.

Image of MongoliaPhoto by Bernd Thaller Mongolia made Ethical Traveler's list of the 10 most ethical travel destinations for 2016. Seventy percent of Mongolia’s herder populations now have access to solar power.

But nothing is simple these days, and that includes travel. On top of planning flights, booking hotels, and off-setting carbon emissions, many travelers want to know more… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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A Coal Terminal in Oakland? – December 16, 2015

Activists, local residents are fighting a proposed coal export facility in one of the nation’s most polluted cities

From Oregon, to Texas, to Washington DC, environmental advocates across the United States are involved in battles against fossil fuel infrastructure expansion. So far, however, northern California has largely escaped these big industry vs. activist showdowns. Yes, there have been protests in Oakland and marches in Richmond, but there hasn’t been a local Keystone to rally around.

Photo of Port of OaklandPhoto by Russell Mondy The Port of Oakland. When the Port of Oakland rejected Bowie Resource Partners’ proposal for a coal export facility at the port, the company turned its sights upon the Oakland Army Base redevelopment project.

That may soon… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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