Public Lands And Private Empires

Watersheds Vital To Homeland Security

The United States has about 640 million acres of public lands—an area more than seven times larger than Germany. If America needs a wall for defense, we need it around our public lands—which are critical to our heritage and homeland security.

“There is nothing more practical in the end than the preservation of beauty,” said President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. “I feel most emphatically that we should not turn a tree, which was old when the first Egyptian conqueror penetrated to the valley of the Euphrates, which it has taken so many thousands of years to build up, and which can be put to better use, into shingles.”

Three years later, Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act of 1906, to protect our national heritage by authorizing the president to proclaim national monuments on public lands. Congress passed this act in response to concerns over the theft and destruction of archaeological sites and the plundering of the West’s forests and other vital resources. 

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Public lands and public resources in America are under assault by private interests from around the world. It’s not just about beautiful landscapes. It’s about healthy ecosystems, biodiversity and sustaining all of God’s creations, including humans. National parks, National Forests, National Monuments, Bureau of Land Management property and beyond are the latest takeover targets of multinational and domestic corporations alike. Private interests have plundered our public riches for years, but the U.S. government is speeding up the process with collusion, corruption and cover-ups. We the people are being trampled.

Throughout the West, a network of special interest groups and politicians are attempting to dispose of national public lands to state, local, and private control. Dozens of bills to achieve this goal have been introduced in state legislatures, and the debate has even reached the U.S. Congress, which has taken steps to undermine our system of public lands.

Studies have shown that efforts to dispose of national public lands to the states would reduce access for recreation, hunting, and fishing—that’s why sportsmen and outdoor groups have fought strongly against such proposals. Additionally, economic analyses demonstrate that states could only afford the costs of managing public lands under extremely unrealistic and idealized scenarios. If land seizure proponents are successful, Western taxpayers would be saddled with the costly burden of wildfire prevention on public lands. These political attacks on American public lands are an affront to our heritage and to the collaborative spirit needed to manage our lands and resources wisely for this and future generations.

These land grabs (corporate giveaways) put biodiversity at risk. They threaten entire watersheds, which threatens our national security.We are told that this dismantling of America will create jobs and make us more energy independent, while preventing forest fires and other potential crises. They might as well say that killing wild mustangs, endangered species and our last forests will make the nation leaner and meaner so get out of the way. These thieves proclaim to be patriots for progress to disguise the fact that they are fascists in sheep’s clothing. While hiding behind bullets and bibles they are duping innocent Americans into help them take over our country at the highest levels.

Although public support for wilderness, national parks, and other public lands is high, these open spaces face serious threats. The sentiments that led to the Sagebrush Rebellion and Wise Use Movement are not in the past, Davis tells us. In his first chapter, “Public Land and its Discontents,” Davis details how,since the gains of the Tea Party in 2010, those against public lands have the support of a large number of office-holders in state and federal legislatures.“What was previously seen as the intemperate agitation of fringe activists is now the standard stuff of political platforms, floor debates, and campaign speeches,” he writes.

Since 2010, conservative lawmakers have introduced proposals to:

  • Open all national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges to roads and motors;
  • Require the government to transfer, without sale, thirty million acres of their holdings;
  • Sell all lands in the Rocky Mountains states to the highest bidder;
  • Shield timber sales from any kind of public or environmental review; and
  • Prevent the creation of any new wildlife refuges.

The Republican Party’s 2012 platform, for example, stated,“Congress should reconsider whether federal government’s enormous landholdings and control of water in the West could be better used for ranching, mining, or forestry through private ownership.”

Unfortunately, the missing piece of the equation is public comment and a level playing field. Most land grabs and giveaways are acts of favoritism not patriotism. What could possibly go wrong when corporations control entire watersheds?

Many of these initiatives are based on template legislation created by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which was founded in 1973 to support policies favorable to its corporate advisory board, including Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries. ALEC state legislators organized a 2014 conference in Salt Lake City that they called the “Legislative Summit on the Transfer of Public Lands”—an outright assault on the Homeland.

With Trump in office, lawmakers have doubled down on efforts to open public lands to extractive industries and corporate development. The Department of the Interior under the direction of Ryan Zinke opened two million acres of land in two national monuments in Utah, while supervising the largest lease sale ever (10.3 million acres) of Alaskan federal lands for oil and gas extraction.

To shrink national monuments last year, senior Interior Department officials dismissed evidence that these public lands boosted tourism and spurred archaeological discoveries, according to documents the department released and retracted a day later.

The thousands of pages of email correspondence show how Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his aides instead tailored their survey of protected sites to emphasize the value of logging, ranching, and energy development if the land was not designated as national monuments.

Comments that the department’s Freedom of Information Act officers made in the documents show that they sought to keep some of the references out of public view because they revealed the agency’s strategy to influence the review.

Presidents can establish national monuments in federal landor waters if they determine that cultural, historical or natural resources are imperiled. In April, President Trump signed an executive order instructing Zinke to review 27 national monuments established over a period of 21 years. He claimed that his predecessors had overstepped their authority in placing these large sites off limits to developers.

Trump has already massively reduced two of Utah’s largest national monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, and has not ruled out altering others.

Read the full story about public lands and private interests at http://crossbowcommunications.com/public-lands-under-assault-by-private-empires/

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Crossbow is an award-winning and record-setting communications firm. We are public affairs and public relations experts who influence public opinion, public policy and business decisions around the world. We’re helping stakeholders tackle some of the most urgent issues of our time. Our headquarters are in Denver, Colorado.We’re opening a new office in Phoenix, Arizona.

Predators Critical To Ecosystems

Killing Predators Undermines Science

By Vic Van Ballenberghe

In 1994, Alaska’s Legislature passed the Intensive Management Law intended to increase populations of moose, caribou and deer and thereby provide increased harvests for hunters. Hunting organizations supported the bill that paved the way for large-scale predator control programs. The prevailing model crafted at the time by Department of Fish and Game biologists predicted that in nearly all cases, reducing wolves and bears would increase moose and caribou numbers and would ultimately benefit hunters. The Board of Game eagerly adopted this model and vigorously applied it after 2002 across a broad area of the state. Thousands of wolves and bears were killed as part of intensive management programs featuring controversial, extreme methods including public aerial shooting of wolves, gassing of wolf pups in dens, trapping bears and shooting bears from helicopters.

wolf conservation

From the beginning, some biologists warned that managing wildlife was far more complex than simply reducing predators. We knew that predation sometimes limited prey numbers, but other factors often overshadowed predation. These included food quantity and quality, severe winters, dry summers and hunting. We stressed the importance of conducting field studies before implementing predator control, during control to monitor progress and after control to evaluate effectiveness. But some of the approved control programs lacked the necessary studies and information to justify, implement, monitor and evaluate predator reductions.

The best example of this occurred at McGrath in 1999 when local residents claimed moose were virtually gone due to wolf predation. The Game Board hastily approved a wolf control program. Field studies subsequently indicated that predation by black bears, not wolves, was limiting moose, and moose were four times as abundant as previously estimated, with enough animals present to satisfy subsistence demand. Wolf control was unnecessary.

Biologists also warned about long-term negative impacts of predator control. Decades of study indicated that if predator control worked, moose and caribou could increase to levels that over-grazed food plants, damaged habitat, reduced production and survival of young animals and ultimately led to population crashes. But the Game Board seemed to ignore these warnings. Intensive management population objectives for moose and caribou set by the board were often based on historical highs that were proven to be unsustainable and were likely unattainable in modern times. 

Now, 23 years after passage of the Intensive Management Law, have we learned enough to evaluate the law’s effectiveness and to perhaps revise our approach to managing wildlife?

In 2010, a respected biologist who studied the effects of lethal wolf control on moose and caribou populations in the Yukon for 18 years concluded that broad-scale wolf control “has limited benefits to prey populations, it does not last, and should be relegated to the past along with poison and bounties.”

My own analysis of statewide moose harvests before and after aggressive, intensive management showed no significant increase in harvests as a result of reducing predators. Intensive management didn’t result in larger moose harvests despite an increase of about 5,000 hunters per year on average during aggressive management programs.

Recently published research by state and federal biologists on the Fortymile Caribou Herd in the eastern Interior provides strong evidence that both nonlethal and lethal wolf control were ineffective as methods of increasing caribou numbers in this herd. Growth of the herd from 6,000 to 52,000 during 1973-2014 could not be attributed to either form of control. Caribou numbers increased at their highest rate before nonlethal control began and at their lowest rate during the years of lethal control. In addition, negative effects of high caribou density and reduced food resources at the current herd size indicate that wolf control should cease. The studies also concluded that each caribou herd exists within the constraints of its own unique environmental features. Field studies on each herd are therefore necessary to evaluate predator reductions.

The intensive management population objective for the Fortymile Herd is currently 50,000 to 100,000 caribou. Clearly, the Game Board should revise this to reflect that a population of 50,000 caribou in this herd is likely not sustainable. The board should also review objectives for other caribou herds that have declined greatly in recent years, including the Western Arctic Herd, down from 490,000 to 201,000 in recent years, and the Central Arctic Herd, down from 70,000 to 22,000.

A 1997 National Research Council review of Alaska’s predator control programs prior to 1997 concluded that most did not result in prey increases and several lacked the necessary information to evaluate them. Now, after more than two decades of intensive management, we can reach the same conclusions for control programs approved after 1997.

Hopefully, the Fortymile Herd case history will demonstrate to the Game Board that caribou herds can increase absent wolf control, that wolf control sometimes does not work, that expensive, long-term field studies are necessary to justify, monitor and evaluate predator reductions, and that caribou herds can reach high densities and crash after damaging their habitat.

A good first step would be for the board to revisit each herd’s intensive management population objective and revise those that appear unsustainable based on the best available information.

Alaska’s Intensive Management Law is unique in North America. Its implementation has been highly controversial. Hopefully, we can learn from past mistakes and revise our approach. Those who depend on our wildlife resources, predators as well as prey, deserve management programs that are the best they can be.

Biodiversity News Update.

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Crossbow Communications is an international public affairs firm. It specializes in health and environmental issues. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com to join our network.

The Top Destinations In Indonesia

Visit Everything From The Jungles To Jakarta

Indonesia is a very large and diverse country. With 18,110 islands, 6,000 of them inhabited, it is the largest archipelago in the world. The population of 240 million people is composed of about 300 ethnic groups who speak more than 250 different languages. While Bali and Jakarta are often the destinations of choice for business and pleasure, let’s explore some other top tourist attractions in Indonesia.

Yogyakarta: This is the historic and cultural capital of Java and Indonesia. The sultan of Java lives here in the Kraton. The area features some of the most impressive ancient monuments in Indonesia–Borobudur and Prambanan. Borobudur is the largest Buddhist monument in the world, while Prambanan is one of the largest Hindu monuments in the world. Mt. Merapi is visible from Yogyakarta and most of the region.

Indonesia volcano

Merapi is one of the most active volcanoes in all of Indonesia. Yogyakarta also is famous for its arts, especially batik fabrics. Bicycles and horse-drawn carts are still very common forms of transportation in the region, which gives the area a special charm, despite its sprawling size. Yogyakarta also is a university city, which gives it even more character.

Komodo Island: The only way to reach Komodo is by boat, which is an experience that can’t be missed in this island nation. Most visitors arrive on large live-aboard boats, which is a first-class way to eat and sleep in this extremely remote region.

The Komodo dragons live on three islands in the area–Komodo, Rinca and Padar. A few have even crossed the strait to the western tip of Flores. These arid, volcanic islands are inhabited by about 5,700 giant lizards, which grow as large as 12 feet long (three meters). They exist nowhere else in the world and are of great interest to scientists studying the theory of evolution.

Komodo dragon

The local villagers call the Komodo dragon ora, which means land crocodile. The dragons are normally a sandy brown with dark markings against very coarse and dry scales. They have a long neck and a tail that is longer than their body. They have strong, sharp claws that are used in combat with other dragons and during feeding frenzies.

The rugged hillsides of dry savannah and pockets of thorny green vegetation contrast with the brilliant white sandy beaches and the blue waters surging over coral. Although the dragons are the primary attraction to the area, these waters offer some of the best scuba diving in the country and the world. The marine fauna and flora are generally the same as that found throughout the Indo Pacific area, though species richness is very high, notable marine mammals include blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and sperm whale (Physeter catodon) as well as 10 species of dolphin, dugong (Dugong dugon) and five species of sea turtles.

Camp Leakey: Tanjung Puting National Park is located on the island of Borneo in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. The park is a popular ecotourism destination, with many local tour companies offering multi-day boat tours to view wildlife and visit the research centers. Wildlife include gibbons, macaques, clouded leopards, sun bears, pythons, crocodiles and – most famously – orangutans. Unfortunately the park is heavily threatened by illegal logging and forest clearing for agricultural uses., this is your best opportunity to see orangutans in their own habitat. Some are being rehabilitated, while wild orangutans also visit the area, which is not fenced.

orangutan Camp Leakey

With some luck, you might meet, Dr. Birute Galdikas. In the early ’70s, Dr. Galdikas traveled from Los Angeles to the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan on Borneo island to study the red-haired primates. She has spent much of the last 45 years on the island, researching the orangutan and fighting to protect its habitat.

Bunaken: Located at the north of the island of Sulawesi, Bunaken is one of Indonesia’s most famous dive and snorkeling areas. The island is part of the Bunaken Marine Park where you can see more than 70 percent of all fish species that live in the western Pacific ocean.

dive Indonesia

Indonesia is an epicenter of underwater biodiversity, hosting a greater variety of marine life than anywhere else on earth. The South China Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean converge here, on the world’s largest archipelago of more than 18,000 islands, and the result is spectacular diving. Thriving off Indonesia’s vast coastline are more than 600 coral and 3000 fish species. The best time for diving in Bunaken is between April and November.

Torajaland: Also known as Tanah Toraja, this is a highland region of Sulawesi, home of the Toraja people. Torajans are famous for their massive peaked-roof houses and spectacular funeral rites. The region also features some interesting megaliths.

Lake Toba: Lake Toba is on the island of Sumatra. It’s an immense volcanic lake about 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide. Formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago, it is the largest resurgent caldera on Earth. Genetic estimates suggests that there were only a few thousand humans that survived the catastrophe. The island in the middle – Pulau Samosir – is the largest island within an island and contains two lakes. Tourists from around the world come here to relax and swim in the volcanically warmed waters. The volcanic activity of this region produces fertile land and beautiful scenery. It also contains rich deposits of coal and gold.

spa Bali

Ubud: Perched high in the hillsides, Ubud is much cooler and greener than life on the beaches far below. Ubud is considered the cultural heart of Bali and one of the top tourist attractions in Indonesia. There are dance and music performances every day throughout the city as well as numerous art galleries and craft shops to explore. Although Ubud has long been valued as a great place to learn about Balinese culture. Tourism in Ubud boomed exponentially in the last decades. Fortunately, it only takes a short walk or bicycle ride to escape from the crowds and commercialism. An area called the monkey forest sits on the edge of town and its filled with wild monkeys that will beg you for food.

Raja Empat: This is a fascinating diving destination near Papua. It’s a great region to see manta rays and other rare marine life. Over time, tourists mispronounced the name so much that even locals refer to the area as Raja “Ampat.” Don’t be fooled and please don’t perpetuate the error. Raja Empat means “four kings.” As with the best diving in Indonesia, this trip requires a live-aboard boat.

The waters of Raja Empat boast more than 1200 marine life species. The reefs at Kofiau are filled with colorful soft and hard corals that hide myriad creatures while blue and gold fusiliers flow like living rivers of color overhead. These coral bommies and gardens harbor some of the highest marine biodiversity in the region. At Northwest Misool, a blue water mangrove maze of trees meets the color of the reef. If you’re a photographer who likes over/under images, you’ll want to take up permanent residence. The Passage is a narrow river of sea between Waigeo and Gam Islands, the coral here grows pretty much to the surface and you’ll find piles of nudibranchs, sharks, cuttlefish and octopus among the soft corals.

dive Indonesia

Wakatobi: Wakatobi is a world-class scuba diving destination. It’s drop-off is famed for its action and color, with everything from blue ringed octopus and ghost pipe fish to resident sea turtles cruising past soft corals and gorgonians. Lembeh is renowned for muck diving. With a sharp eye, you’ll find banded snake eels, pygmy seahorses, octopus, scorpion fish and literally hundreds of extraordinarily well-camouflaged critters. Almost anything could be hiding in the black sand.

Those who make the journey to Wakatobi are well rewarded. Above water, the islands are stunning. Below, the diverse and memorable house reef is home to creatures ranging from the small and strange to giant mantas and resident turtles. In addition, the readily accessible coral garden at Teluk Maya harbors Pegasus sea moths, pipe fish, and an endemic pygmy seahorse species.

Many dive sites feature thick forests of vibrant soft corals, which hide lots of animals. Seamounts dominate the extraordinarily photogenic dive at Blade where sea fans, sponges and corals abound and seem to have positioned themselves in the most picturesque places on the reef.

Indonesia language and travel guide

Indonesia Travel News via http://indonesiantravelbook.com/indonesias-top-destinations/

PR Firm Launches Campaign To Defend Biodiversity, Stop Deforestation

Deforestation Promoting Climate Change, Loss Of Biodiversity

Deforestation generates about 20 percent of greenhouse gasses and cripples our planet’s ability to filter carbon dioxide from our air. Unfortunately, deforestation also threatens entire watersheds, endangered species and endangered cultures around the world. An international PR firm based in Phoenix, Arizona has launched a program to help reverse deforestation, while defending entire ecosystems.

If all CO2 emissions stopped today, climate change will still intensify because of existing carbon in the atmosphere. Energy conservation, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture are vital, but we need proven carbon capture strategies to help restore balance to our atmosphere. Forest conservation is more important than ever.

deforestation and endangered species

“Thousands of community stakeholders across East Africa are ready to act now,” said Gary Chandler founder of both Crossbow Communications and its subsidiary Sacred Seedlings. “They can help us all fight global climate change, while defending critical ecosystems in Tanzania, Kenya and beyond. We’re launching a campaign to help them secure the resources to succeed.”

According to Chandler, several NGOs, including the Mellowswan Foundation Africa-Tanzania have plans to save remaining forests in the region, while promoting reforestation, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. The program will plant more than 10 million new seedlings just in the Kilimanjaro ecosystem.

A new report by the United Nations Environment Programme says that protecting East Africa’s mountain ecosystems would safeguard the region’s $7 billion tourism industry, not to mention the lives of millions of people and iconic endangered species.

“Across the continent, the damage done to these ecosystems is depriving people of the basic building blocks of life,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment agency.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

He said Mt. Kilimanjaro was an example of how climate change was severely damaging Africa’s mountains and the people who depend on them. Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest in Africa, contributes to more than a third of Tanzania’s revenue from tourism but is facing several problems, ranging from shrinking glaciers to rampant wild fires. As climate change intensifies, it is essential that governments act swiftly to prevent more harm and more downward momentum. The report urges Tanzania to protect the mountain’s water catchment area by reforestation, investing in early warning systems and making climate adaptation a top priority.

Forests are critical to the way Earth functions. They lock up vast amounts of carbon and release oxygen. They influence rainfall, filter fresh water and prevent flooding and soil erosion. They produce wild foods, fuel wood and medicines for the people who live in and around them. They are storehouses of potential future crop varieties and genetic materials with untapped healing qualities. Wood and other fibre grown in forests can be used as a renewable fuel or as raw material for paper, packaging, furniture or housing.

While the pressures on forests vary across regions, the biggest cause of deforestation is expanding agriculture – including commercial livestock and major crops such as palm oil and soy. According to Chandler, Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, carbon capture, reforestation, urban forestry,sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems, including millions of people who live in the region.

Tanzania lion conservation

Loss of forests isn’t the only problem in East Africa. Tanzania may have lost half its elephant population since 2007. It could be wiped out entirely in just seven years. Kenya’s wildlife also is under assault like never before. Adding to the crisis, there has been loss of wildlife habitat and biodiversity as a result of fragmentation and loss of critical ecosystem linkages and over-exploitation of the natural habitats. This loss of habitat brings humans and wildlife into more and more conflict over food, water and space–which means more bloodshed.

Tanzania’s elephant population declined from an estimated 109,000 elephants in 2009 to around 70,000 in 2012. Approximately 30 elephants are killed for their ivory every day.

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Thanks to the leadership of NGOs and stakeholders in East Africa, we now have 14 comprehensive plans that can fight global climate change, while defending cultures, communities and entire ecosystems. We need your help.

Read More About Deforestation and Loss of Biodiversity at http://crossbowcommunications.com/deforestation-contributing-to-climate-change-loss-of-biodiversity/

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications is a full-service advertising agency and public relations firm in Denver, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona. The PR firm specializes in issue management and public affairs.

Palm Oil Casts Dark Shadow Over Corporate Buyers

Sustainability Claims Riddled With Fraud, Abuse

Today Amnesty International has published a damning new report into the practices of major consumer goods multinationals. The human rights NGO unpicks the palm oil supply chain and finds evidence of forced labor, child employment and dangerous working conditions within the palm oil supply chain.

Although the company primarily under investigation is Wilmar, the world’s largest palm oil producer, it is the brand names that this firm suppliers that faces the charity’s opprobrium. Colgate, Nestlé and Unilever all come under heavy criticism for allowing conditions to emerge in their supply chains that many would regard as shocking.

palm oil deforestation

Amnesty International interviewed 120 workers within Wilmar’s plantations, as well as digging deeper into their  suppliers in Indonesia.

“Corporate giants like Colgate, Nestlé and Unilever assure consumers that their products use sustainable palm oil, but our findings reveal that the palm oil is anything but,”noted Meghna Abraham, Senior Investigator at Amnesty International.

“Companies are turning a blind eye to exploitation of workers in their supply chain. Despite promising customers that there will be no exploitation in their palm oil supply chains, big brands continue to profit from appalling abuses.”

Palm oil is a highly versatile product that is estimated to be in half of all consumer products, ranging from toothpaste to shampoo. It is mostly produced in Indonesia, which services over half of global demand.

The palm oil sector is rife with corporate social responsibility issues and is linked to deforestation, where its land-intensive farms denude the Indonesian jungle and deny rare species, such as orangutans, of habitation. It also is an area of alleged worker exploitation.

palm oil deforestation

The Amnesty International report describes a punishing work regime with demanding performance targets. Failure to meet objectives can yield financial deductions. Penalties are levied at the manager’s discretion.

Many laborers, the reporters find, feel compelled to work 10-11 hour-long days, accumulating to exceed the legal maximum of 40-hours per week in Indonesia. Despite this grueling schedule many claim they are paid beneath the legal minimum wage.

The report finds that, such are the pressures under which workers are placed, they enlist their spouses and children to toil unpaid to avoid penalties from the employer. The charity found children as young as eight in employment, many of whom dropped out of school to meet their quota.

“I get the premi [bonus] from the loose fruit that’s why my kids help me<” said a plantation worker. “I wouldn’t be able to meet the target otherwise. The foreman sees my children helping me. The foreman says it is good that my child is helping me.”

Indonesia bans child labor.

Amnesty International also finds evidence of using paraquat, highly dangerous herbicide. The chemical is banned in the European Union and Wilmar itself has made commitments to phase out its use. The report finds that suppliers are still routinely making use of the chemical.

forest conservation

The investigators  found one instance of a worker that was splashed in the face by the chemical, leading to severe injuries.  “I can’t see through the eye. I get headaches in part of my head, when I do, my eye feels really swollen. I still get a bit dizzy.”

These allegations are obviously serious and, if true, highly damaging to the brands concerned. Wilmar acknowledge the report’s findings, and urged many within the industry to help combat these issues.

Read The Full Story About Palm Oil Abuses at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jwebb/2016/11/30/amnesty-international-slams-colgate-nestle-and-unilever-for-palm-oil-supply-chain-abuses/2/#456cd1564161

UN Report Urges Reforestation Of Mt. Kilimanjaro

Climate Change Threatens Water Supplies Across East Africa

The greater Kilimanjaro region is one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. A new report by the United Nations Environment Programme says that protecting East Africa’s mountain ecosystems would safeguard the region’s $7 billion tourism industry, not to mention the lives of millions of people and iconic endangered species.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

“Across the continent, the damage done to these ecosystems is depriving people of the basic building blocks of life,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment agency.

He said Mt. Kilimanjaro was an example of how climate change was severely damaging Africa’s mountains and the people who depend on them. Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest in Africa, contributes to more than a third of Tanzania’s revenue from tourism but is facing several problems, ranging from shrinking glacier to rampant wild fires. As climate change intensifies, it is essential that governments act swiftly to prevent more harm and more downward momentum. The report urges Tanzania to protect the mountain’s water catchment area by reforestation, investing in early warning systems and making climate adaptation a top priority.

Mt. Kilimanjaro’s forests are a vital source of water for the surrounding towns and the wider region. Water from the mountain feeds one of Tanzania’s largest rivers, the Pangani.

The report titled Sustainable Mountain Development in East Africa in a Changing Climate warned that the glaciers are likely to vanish completely within a few decades as a result of climate change if urgent action is not taken. Meanwhile, higher temperatures have increased the number of wildfires, which have destroyed 13,000 hectares of the mountain’s forest since 1976.

forest conservation Tanzania and Kenya

The town of Moshi, which is located in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, is already experiencing severe water shortages as rivers begin to dry up, starving farmland of water in an area already struggling to cope with a dramatic drop in rainfall.

The report was produced by UN Environment, GRID-Arendal, East African Community, the Albertine Rift Conservation Society and Nature-RIDD. It was produced as part of the Mountain Adaptation Outlook Series, which was launched by the UN Environment Programme at the climate talks in Paris in 2015.

global reforestation and climate change

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support.

Read More About Our Program To Reforest Mt. Kilimanjaro and all of East Africa http://sacredseedlings.com/un-supports-reforesting-kilimanjaro/

Infectious Waste Spreading Brain Disease To Wildlife

Chronic Wasting Disease Caused By Dumping Of Infectious Waste

Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other forms of neurodegenerative disease are collectively becoming the leading cause of death around the world. Brain disease also continues to expand in wildlife. Is there a connection?

Prions and Prusiner win Nobel Prize

Keep reading to find out why:

  • Alzheimer’s disease is an infectious prion disease;
  • Prion infectivity is in the bodily fluids of those with prion disease;
  • Wastewater treatment plants are spreading deadly prions via sewage sludge, biosolids and reclaimed wastewater.They also spread nuclear waste and toxic waste;
  • Wildlife are contracting prion disease from people because of this contamination. So are people. So are sea mammals.
  • Caregivers are in harm’s way because of widespread denial and mismanagement.
  • It’s time for several reforms. It’s time to reclassify biosolids and reclaimed wastewater as infectious waste. Prions are unstoppable. It’s time to enforce the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.

The Brain Disease Epidemic

Alzheimer’s disease alone is killing 50-100 million people now. Millions more will contract the disease this year, while just as many will go undiagnosed and misdiagnosed.

transmissible spongiform encephalopathy

Thanks to misinformation and the mismanagement of infectious waste and bodily fluids, people of all ages are now exposed to an expanding spectrum of brain disease. So are other mammals.

The most common forms of neurodegenerative disease include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease–the most aggressive and infectious of them all. According to Nobel Prize Laureate Stanley Prusiner, these brain diseases are part of the same disease spectrum—prion disease. It’s also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is transmissible.

prion disease epidemic

Prion disease also includes chronic wasting disease among cervids (deer) and mad cow disease among cattle. It’s been found in dozens of mammals.

Pandora’s Lunchbox

Many factors are contributing to the epidemic. Unfortunately, it appears that Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s are just as infectious as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The bodily fluids of people with prion disease are infectious. Prions are the X factor in the global epidemic.

biosolids land application disease

Prion disease is a spectrum disease that varies in severity. It also varies depending on which region of the brain is impacted first. It affects most, if not all, mammals. Prion disease causes memory loss, impaired coordination, and abnormal movements. Prions are an infectious form of glycoprotein that can propagate throughout the body. TSE surveillance is important for public health and food safety because TSEs have the potential of crossing from animals to humans, as seen with the spread of mad cow disease. TSEs also have the potential of being transmitted from humans to animals. The most common example is chronic wasting disease (CWD) among deer species.

CWD was first detected in deer in North America. Then it was detected in a variety of other animals, including an elephant at the Oakland zoo. It’s been found in a variety of animals across the United States and Canada. All hypotheses seem to center around contaminated feed and deer farmers. Then the deer spread the disease via nose-to-nose contact. Those theories were just rocked by the discovery of CWD in Norway in moose and reindeer. The disease didn’t jump the Atlantic from the Americas. However, Norway dumps tons of infectious waste on land every year–infectious waste from people with prion disease.

chronic wasting disease caused by prions

It’s not known which patients with brain disease become infectious or when. The medical community prefers to ignore the topic. The legal industry is about to have a bonanza because negligence is the rule and not the exception regarding Alzheimer’s disease and the mismanagement of infectious waste. Savvy neurologists won’t touch patients with these symptoms because of the risks. Unfortunately, caregivers aren’t warned accordingly.

“There is now real evidence of the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s,” says Thomas Wiesniewski M.D. a prion and Alzheimer’s researcher at New York University School of Medicine. “In fact, this ability to transmit an abnormal conformation is probably a universal property of amyloid-forming proteins (prions).”

Prions are unstoppable. The pathogen spreads through the bodily fluids and cell tissue of its victims. The blood, saliva, mucus, milk, urine and feces of victims are infectious. Wastewater treatment doesn’t touch prions. In fact, these facilities are now helping incubate and distribute prions via solids and wastewater released. Once unleashed on the environment, prions remain infectious. They migrate, mutate and multiply as they infect crops, water supplies and more.

biosolids land application and disease

When the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, it classified prions as select agents that pose an extreme risk to food, water and much more. Unfortunately, the CDC quietly took prions off the list because the regulation criminalized entire industries and several reckless practices.

Unfortunately, prions linger in the environment, homes, hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices and beyond infinitely. Prions defy all attempts at sterilization and inactivation.

Prions shed from humans are the most deadly. They demand more respect than radiation. They’re being ignored by regulators and industry alike. As such, food and water sources are being contaminated with the deadliest forms of prions. Municipal water systems can’t stop them from reaching water taps in millions of homes. Filtration doesn’t phase them.

Alzheimer's disease prevention

Scientists have shown that infected tissues can transmit prion disease between animals. There is no species barrier. A new study published in the journal Nature renews concern about the transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease between people. A second study by the same scientist in early 2016 adds to the stack of evidence. There is no evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is not infectious.

Although there are many causes and pathways contributing to prion disease, many pathways are being mismanaged around the globe. Not only are homes and hospitals exposed to the prion pathogen, so are entire sewage treatment systems. Wastewater treatment plants are prion incubators. Sewage sludge and wastewater pumped out spread the disease.

The risk assessments prepared by the U.S. EPA for wastewater treatment and sewage sludge are flawed. Many risks are not addressed, including prions and radioactive waste. They don’t mention prions or radiation because there is no answer. Most nations are making the same mistake. Failure to account for known risks is negligent. Crops for humans and livestock grown grown in sewage sludge absorb prions and become infectious. We’re all vulnerable to Alzheimer’s and other forms of prion disease right now due to widespread denial and mismanagement.

land application sewage sludge

Sewage treatment plants can’t detect or stop prions. Just ask the U.S. EPA. If sick deer are serving as a canary in a coal mine, what is this infectious sewage sludge doing to livestock and humans?

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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and the prion disease epidemic is one of our special areas of practice. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform gary@crossbow1.com. Stop prion disease.

Read More About Prion Disease at http://alzheimerdisease.tv/wildlife-contracting-brain-disease-from-humans/

Wolves Keep Making Tracks To California

Wolves Critical To Healthy Ecosystems

Evidence of a wolf in Modoc County was reported yesterday by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The 3-year-old male wolf, who is radio-collared and dubbed OR-25 by the state wildlife agency in Oregon, left his birthpack in northeastern Oregon in April, was in southwestern Oregon by December and recently crossed the border into California.

wolf California OR-25

“California is clearly wolf country because they keep coming here from Oregon. This is a great moment to celebrate,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Perhaps they are following a scent trail from other wolves that have come here the past couple years but, whatever the reason, it makes it all the more necessary to ensure they have the protections needed to thrive once they get here.”

OR-25 was born into the Imnaha pack in northeastern Oregon, as was California’s first known wild wolf in 87 years, OR-7, who first came to California in 2011. OR-7 ranged across seven northeastern counties in California before returning to southwestern Oregon, where he found a mate and had litters of pups in 2014 and 2015.

In August 2015, California’s first wolf family in nearly a century, the Shasta pack, was confirmed in Siskiyou County. The breeding female of that pack, which has five pups, is also related to the Imnaha pack.

The gray wolf (Canis lupus) is native to California but was driven to extinction in the state by the mid-1920s. After OR-7 dispersed from Oregon into California, the Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned the state to fully protect wolves under California’s state endangered species act. In June 2014 the California Fish and Game Commission voted in favor of the petition, making it illegal to intentionally kill any wolves that enter the state. In 2012 the California Department of Fish and Wildlife convened a citizen stakeholder group to help the agency develop a state wolf plan for California, and recently released a draft plan for public comment.

“With the establishment of the Shasta pack and now with OR-25’s presence, it is all the more critical that the state wolf plan provide management strategies that will best recover and conserve these magnificent animals,” said Weiss.

Endangered Species News via http://www.planetexperts.com/new-wolf-detected-in-californias-modoc-county/

Climate Change Impacting Endangered Cultures, Species

Plans To Fight Defend Ecosystems

Forests in East Africa are still vanishing due to agriculture and the need for fuel wood and charcoal. This deforestation threatens ecosystems that support millions of people and endangered species.

wildlife conservation Tanzania

To help stop this growing crisis, dozens of NGOs and thousands of stakeholders across five nations have united to develop plans that can make this entire region more sustainable and resilient. These plans include:

  • forest conservation,
  • reforestation,
  • agroforestry,
  • sustainable agriculture/aquaculture,
  • solar energy,
  • wildlife conservation,
  • ecotourism and more.

The projects include Burundi, Kenya,RwandaTanzania and Uganda. They represent one of the largest, proven carbon-capture opportunities available today.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

“These projects are all planned by the stakeholders who depend on their success,” said Gary Chandler, founder and executive director of Sacred Seedlings. “They are large enough and comprehensive enough to make a significant impact across East Africa and around the world.”

Chandler hopes that these plans will serve as models and motivation for similar projects around the world. As he explains deforestation generates about 20 percent of greenhouse gasses, which contribute to global warming and climate change.

Deforestation cripples our planet’s ability to filter carbon dioxide from our air. Deforestation also threatens endangered species and endangered cultures around the world.

Tanzania lion conservation

NGOs behind the visionary plans include Mellowswan Foundation Africa-Tanzania, Megabridge Foundation, Youth Link, Earth Keepers Centre, and many others. The plans to fight climate change will conserve forests, while restoring ecosystems and watersheds with more than 100 million new trees just in Tanzania. The projects are ready to proceed once funded.

Save Kilimanjaro

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support.

forest conservation and reforestation

For more information about these projects, visit http://sacredseedlings.com/deforestation-and-climate-change/ 

Killing Wolves Backfires On Ranchers

Pack Disruption Detrimental To Livestock

The best way to control wolf populations and minimize livestock predation may be to stop shooting, trapping and poisoning them, Washington State University researchers say.

A review of 25 years of data from lethal control programs from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services found that shooting and trapping the carnivores leads to more dead sheep and cattle in subsequent years, rather than less.

wolf conservation

Writing in the journal PLOS ONE, WSU wildlife biologist Rob Wielgus and data analyst Kaylie Peebles say that, for each wolf killed, the odds of more livestock depredations increase significantly.

Predator control and sport hunting are often used to reduce predator populations and livestock depredations, – but the efficacy of lethal control has rarely been tested. We assessed the effects of wolf mortality on reducing livestock depredations in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming from 1987–2012 using a 25 year time series. The number of livestock depredated, livestock populations, wolf population estimates, number of breeding pairs, and wolves killed were calculated for the wolf-occupied area of each state for each year.

wolf consevation

 

The trend continues until 25 percent of the wolves in an area are killed, a rate of removal that is unsustainable for maintaining the species. Researchers found that killing one wolf increases the odds of depredations four percent for sheep and five to six per cent for cattle the following year. If 20 wolves are killed, livestock deaths double.

Work reported in PLOS ONE last year by Peebles, Wielgus and other WSU colleagues found that lethal controls of cougars also backfire, disrupting their populations so much that younger, less disciplined cougars attack more livestock.

Wielgus did not expect to see the same result with wolves.

“I had no idea what the results were going to be, positive or negative,” he said. “I said, ‘Let’s take a look at it and see what happened.’ I was surprised that there was a big effect.”

Wielgus said the wolf killings likely disrupt the social cohesion of the pack. While an intact breeding pair will keep young offspring from mating, disruption can set sexually mature wolves free to breed, leading to an increase in breeding pairs. As they have pups, they become bound to one place and can’t hunt deer and elk as freely. Occasionally, they turn to livestock.

Wielgus said wolves generally account for between .1 per cent and .6 per cent of all livestock deaths — a minor threat compared to other predators, disease, accidents and the dangers of calving. He encourages more non-lethal interventions like guard dogs, “range riders” on horseback, flags, spotlights and “risk maps” that discourage grazing animals in hard-to-protect, wolf-rich areas.

“The only way you’re going to completely eliminate livestock depredations is to get rid of all the wolves,” Wielgus said, “and society has told us that that’s not going to happen.”

Wolf Conservation News via http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0113505

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Sustainable Palm Oil A Fraud

Sustainable Palm Oil A Label Bought Not Earned

The sustainable palm oil industry is destroying biodiversity at the speed of light. In a rush to greenwash the industry, biodiversity is being crushed and pushed toward extinction. The culprits then offset the death and destruction with a token green project somewhere else around the world.

palm oil deforestation

Companies like Unilever, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Kraft and hundreds of others use tons of vegetable oil every year. Most of it is palm oil, which is 50 percent saturated fat. Palm oil is clogging arteries and killing biodiversity at the speed of light.

Most palm oil is grown on land that was once pristine rainforest and habitat for orangutans, tigers and Asian elephants. Even so-called “sustainable” palm oil is driving deforestation and the death of endangered species today. That’s because the industry embraces a practice where companies can buy green certificates to pay for their irreversible sins in the rainforest.

Sustainable palm oil today is a myth. Destroying the pristine habitat of Sumatra and Borneo (and now South America and Africa) under the label of Sustainable Palm Oil only adds fuel to a very ugly fire. Instead of propagating lies and smokescreens, the industry should put its energies toward different models, including urban plantations.

palm oil deforestation

Killing orangutans and tigers under the name “Sustainable” Palm Oil is fraud, a crime against nature, and a crime against humanity. Sustainable Palm Oil is a label bought not earned, which is a very deadly form of fraud. You can’t destroy peatland and endangered species on Sumatra and then offset it with a eucalyptus plantation in Costa Rica. That is far from sustainability and corporate leadership. It’s organized crime.

Palm-oil bashing at times is extreme. I understand the temptation to fight fire with fire given the industries blatant lies and schemes. I do my best to stay neutral, but factual. I have offered suggestions and resources to palm oil companies in an attempt to be constructive and productive, while saving forests, wildlife and cultures. My attempts at constructive dialogue have been ignored.

Indonesia deforestation and endangered species

Unfortunately, I see a massive rush to a scheme called Sustainable Palm Oil. That BS unfortunately, and intentionally, fails to account for biodiversity. With enough Sustainable Palm Oil, we will soon have no orangutans, tigers, and other valuable species that belong to the people and the planet. Selling these nations and species down the river for mass destruction and private profits is industrial terrorism. Following in the footsteps of other industrial nations is hardly an excuse. That’s how sheep are led to slaughter.

I offer my input out of my respect for Indonesia and Malaysia in particular. However, I hope that the emerging palm oil plantation zones in South America and Africa will resist the temptation to embrace the agricultural cancer known as palm oil. Future generations are being robbed and their planet is at extreme risk thanks to palm oil.

Palm Oil News via http://crossbowcommunications.com/sustainable-palm-oil-fraud/

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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. It’s also promoting forest conservation, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, and wildlife conservation through its subsidiary–Sacred Seedlings. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com to join our network.

Conservation Plans Must Include Community Stakeholders To Succeed

Villagers Caught In The Crossfire Of Economics, Land Use

Surrounded by a wall of fire and angry Tanzanian villagers, the elephants were forced off a cliff some 50 meters high. When the dust settled, six of the herd lay dead. The now jubilant crowd took photos of themselves among the carcasses.

It was a violent climax to a long-simmering conflict, which saw farmers regularly lose harvests as protected elephants raided their crops. But on that summer’s evening in 2009, the inhabitants of West Kilimanjaro reached breaking point, says Sayuni Mariki at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

Unfortunately, the incident is far from an isolated one. People regularly risk injury and prosecution to attack protected wildlife. Tigers and leopards have been beaten to death, wolves are illegally hunted and birds of prey fall victim to poison, to name just a few.

On the surface the motives seem simple: protecting people and their property. Scratch a little deeper though, says Mariki, and it becomes clear that the animals are often just convenient scapegoats. The real hatred is reserved for conservationists and government officials.

Mariki arrived in West Kilimanjaro in the aftermath of the elephant killings to find a disenfranchised and disillusioned village. Conservation policies had restricted access to ancestral lands, reducing the settlement to an island in a sea of game reserves. Locals watched powerlessly as private safari operators and government officials became rich from the booming tourist trade, while their crops were regularly destroyed.

Tanzania lion conservation

“Local communities feel that wild animals are valued more than people by the authorities,” says Miriki. Her interviews with those involved in the slaughter, now published, reveal that killing the elephants was as much about rebelling against this state of affairs as protecting crops and livelihoods. Similar motivations appear to drive violence in Bangladeshi villages plagued by tiger attacks.

So what is the solution? Governments should stop imposing conservation rules on communities and instead involve them in discussions, giving them power over how wildlife protection is carried out on their lands, says Francine Madden of the conservation group Human-Wildlife Conflict Collaboration.

Save Kilimanjaro

Offering local people a social or financial stake in conservation seems to have worked in East Africa. Here, lion-killing Masai warriors have swapped spears for radio antennas and are now among the species’ most dedicated guardians.

And in the Sundarbans region of Bangladesh a charity called Wild Team is training villagers how to deal with tiger incursions – and tiger killings are down as a result. Locals no longer feel powerless and so are less likely to take out their frustrations on an unlucky big cat, says Chloe Inskip at the University of Kent, UK, an author of the study on tiger killings in Bangladesh. “If you don’t understand these deeper levels of the conflict, it is just like putting a plaster on it without getting to the root of the problem,” she says.

Wildlife News Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530034.300#.VK6kWmTF-Ws

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. It’s also promoting forest conservation, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, and wildlife conservation through its subsidiary–Sacred Seedlings. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com to join our network.