Category: Environment

Trump Again Wrongly Suggests That Cold Weather Disproves Climate Change

We have previously discussed the continued statements of President Donald Trump questioning the overwhelming science behind climate change. Yesterday, President Trump was again mocking the notion of climate change by pointing at the polar air hitting the Midwest. It is part of a long history of Trump transposing weather with climate change — a point repeatedly made by experts but ignored in these tweets. Notably, recent polls show less division among the public, including Republicans, who overwhelmingly agree that we are experiencing climate change.

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Alaskan Guide Fined After Herding Grizzly Bears With Snowmobiles So Clients Could Shoot Them More Easily

USFWS

As many on this blog know, I am no fan of trophy hunting.  I fail to see why it is impressive or thrilling to shoot a giraffe or elephant with a high-powered rifle.    I just do not understand the thrill kill. I feel the same way about shooting grizzly bears, which I have traveled to Alaska to watch in the wild. However, there are many responsible hunters and, while I would not allow hunting grizzly bears, it is lawful in some states. What is not lawful is herding with snowmobiles so some fat cat on a high priced hunting thrill could shoot one. That is what Brian Simpson of Fairbanks, did for Wittrock Outfitters. He is now stripped of his master guide’s license and fined $2,600 in restitution for the killing of two grizzly bears.

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American Television Host Denounced After She Posts Pictures With Dead Animals

As many on this blog know, I am no fan of trophy hunting (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). The latest controversy centers on Larysa Switlyk, 33, who is a trophy hunter from Sarasota, Florida who recently posed with dead animals on the island of Islay, Scotland with Instagram photos during the hunt.  With her boyfriend Jason and another American, they shot an assortment of goats, stags, and sheep and then gleefully demonstrated the kill. I find these images entirely perplexing why people get such a thrill for such kills. I also fail to see the pride in posing with a beautiful animal that you just destroyed — let alone traveling around the world just to shoot their native wildlife for fun. In this case, shooting a bunch of sheep does not even strike me as challenging. There is simply the thrill of killing beautiful animals.

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Famed Yellowstone Wolf “Spitfire” Killed By Trophy Hunter Just Outside Of Yellowstone

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A trophy hunter in Montana killed the most famous and beloved wolf in Yellowstone National Park after “Spitfire” wandered slightly outside of the park.  This hunter will now be able to enjoy the thought of killing this beautiful animal that has inspired thousands of visitors.  Spitfire was a seven-year-old wolf from the Lamar Canyon Wolf Pack and dubbed the Queen of the Lamar Valley. It is a tragedy that is all too familiar, including our prior discussion of the shooting of one of the last wolves from the most famous pack in Denali National Park in Alaska under similar circumstances. Continue reading “Famed Yellowstone Wolf “Spitfire” Killed By Trophy Hunter Just Outside Of Yellowstone”

Road Rage: Man Hit Elephant . . . Elephant Crushes Man

African_elephant_maleIn Thailand, police are dealing with a rather novel case of road rage after a man was driving at an excessive speed through the Khao Yai National Park after being warned about animals on the road and hit an elephant in its back legs. The elephant proceeded to crush the car with the man in it.

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Rare White Lion To Be Auctioned Off To Be Shot In South Africa

We have yet another disturbing account of a trophy hunt.  This time the victim is still breathing.  His name is Mufasa and he is a rare white lion who was rescued and sent to a rehab center. Now tribal leaders are refusing to give him back and instead want to sell the right to shoot the young lion among eager trophy hunters. Continue reading “Rare White Lion To Be Auctioned Off To Be Shot In South Africa”

Federal Court Moves To Protect The Red Wolf Population Against The Federal Government

There was an important victory for the environment this week after Chief Judge Terrence W. Boyle excoriated the Interior Department for its management of the the last red wolf population in the wild.  His decision could well have kept the red wolves from extinction — against the best efforts of the Interior Department to allow landowners to wipe out the only remaining members of this incredible breed of wolves.  The orders of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were a disgrace and utterly disregarded their duty in protecting the environment.  The case is Red Wolf Coalition v. United States, 2018 U.S. Dist. Lexis 188522.  Continue reading “Federal Court Moves To Protect The Red Wolf Population Against The Federal Government”

EU Set To Ban Single-Use Plastics

UnknownThere was a time when the United States led the world in environmental protection.  That position has now been taken over by Europe on areas ranging from eliminating fossil fuels to recycling.  Now the European Parliament is about to take a bold stand against plastic pollution ruining our oceans with a ban on single use plastics.  This comes at a time when plastics not only are close to outnumbering fish in the ocean but plastic saturation in the environment and food chain have been found to have contaminated human bodies.

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THE WONDERS OF THE OLD RAG

As many on the blog know, one of my favorite hikes is the Old Rag trail the Shenandoah National Park.  Depending on your trail, it is roughly 11 miles to the parking area and is one of the most challenging hikes in the area.  Due to my travel schedule, I had hoped to see the fall foliage on Friday but the trees are not ready to their annual show.  Nevertheless, it was spectacular.  I followed my usual practice of starting at dawn as the sun was rising. (That means leaving Northern Virginia at 5 am to make it near the trailhead in Sperryville, Virginia). Continue reading “THE WONDERS OF THE OLD RAG”

“Baboons Are Free!”: Idaho Fish And Game Commissioner Causes Outrage After Posing With Dead Family Of Baboons

idaho-fish-game-commissionerI have previously expressed my disgust over trophy hunting game like lions and elephants — people who post accounts of the thrill of killing a giraffe or rhino with a high-powered rifle.  I simply do not understand the joy or power felt in these thrill kills.   Nothing however quite prepared most of us for Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer. Fischer shared photos of his hunting trip in Africa where he posed with a photo of a entire “family of baboons,” including a baby, that Fischer massacred with a recurve bow.  He gleefully reported that, while you are charged for killing large animals, “Baboons are free.”

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Former NHL Player Tim Brent Under Fire In Latest Big Game Trophy Controversy

We have previously followed the controversy over the shooting of “Cecil the Lion” by an American dentist Walter Palmer from Minnesota as well as  subsequent controversies of a Idaho hunter taunting animal advocates and killing giant elephants or giraffes for trophies.  As many of you know, I am no fan of such trophy hunts.  I often hike in remote spots to see bears and other animals in their natural habitat. I cannot understand the joy of killing one of these animals or the challenge of shooting them with a high-powered rifle.  I seek out these animals and take pictures with the same ease it would be to kill them.  Yet, many feel a tremendous release in killing these animals and posing with their dead bodies.  The latest is Tim Brent, 34, who played hockey for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Carolina Hurricanes before retiring in 2016.  He is receiving a body slam from readers who do not understand his expressions of joy in posing with a dead grizzly bear.  His description of the kill made things only worse. Continue reading “Former NHL Player Tim Brent Under Fire In Latest Big Game Trophy Controversy”

Ode To Stumps

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Nature can be mesmerizing when we afford ourselves the opportunity to believe such. Often we keep ourselves at a distance to the outdoors and view each element only as an abstraction: too ordinary and mundane and something simply to drive past.

In such as this example of nature before us, from afar we only see stumps in a drying reservoir. Yet for a small investment in our time and close attention, a century of nature’s craft shows some true woodworking.

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks