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[1THING] Blog: Archive for November, 2015

[ 5 anti-conservation pet projects Congress is using to hijack the budget ]

Congress is working on a deal to fund our government for the coming year, but this fundamental congressional obligation may be hijacked by anti-conservation interests.



[ Mitigation strategy is key to protecting the western Arctic ]

Today, that work is focused on developing a Regional Mitigation Strategy that will help offset the negative environmental impacts of future oil and gas development in the reserve under the IAP, which allows industry access to 72 percent of the reserve’s economically recoverable oil.



[ The Wilderness Society Statement on Badger-Two Medicine Oil and Gas Leases ]

Anastasia Greene

“Secretary Jewell is on the right track. The plan to pursue cancellation of this oil and gas lease sets the stage for getting rid of the remaining leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region,” said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society


[ December is Protect Our Winters Month! ]

Protect Our Winters (POW) is a non-profit environmental organization involving individuals in the global winter sport community and supported by companies in the business.  It is the leading climate advocacy group for the snowsports community.  The organization’s goal is to bring awareness to and fight against climate change by means of community based projects, advocacy, and educational initiatives mainly across the United States. Founded in 2007 by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones (freerider), Protect Our Winters currently remains active in the mobilization of the snow sports community for issues regarding the effects of climate change.


Some of Protect Our Winters current programs include:


  • Hot Planet/Cool Athletes:  In partnership with The North Face and Clif Bar, this in-school climate assembly program, led by pro athletes, educates young students about climate change and inspires them to become the next generation of environmental leaders.  For more information or to book an assembly, please click here.
  • Climate Advocacy:  Protect Our Winters’ goal is to mobilize the snowsports community to create the political will for climate action.  They urge lawmakers to support strong climate policy, such as The Clean Power Plan.  POW also convenes a diverse group of pro athletes, industry representatives, resorts, and trade groups to visit Washington to meet with lawmakers on key climate issues, focusing on the economic impacts on tourist-dependent economies and the hard data, while adding a unique perspective to the typical climate discussions with first-hand, personal accounts of climate impacts.
  • POW Riders Alliance:  The POW Riders Alliance is a platform for over 60 professional outdoor athletes to speak for the environment and opportunities are provided throughout the year for them to do so. View The Team Here.

Find out more about Protect Our Winters and learn what you can do to protect our winters for future generations by visiting http://protectourwinters.org/



[ Badger-Two Medicine: Too sacred to drill ]

“Today’s decision is a turning point in the decades-long fight to protect the Badger-Two Medicine area of Montana.” said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society. “The Interior Department recognizes that the Badger is simply too sacred and too wild to drill.



[ Badger-Two Medicine: Our partners ]

Badger-Two Medicine: Our partners

Protecting and preserving the Badger-Two Medicine area requires a strong collaboration between the Blackfeet people and local and national conservation groups and political leaders.



[ Badger-Two Medicine: Work we are doing ]

Badger-Two Medicine: Work we are doing

The Wilderness Society has a long-standing commitment and an impressive track record when it comes to working in this part of Montana.



[ AskHRGreen.org’s Thanksgiving Tips! ]

What to do with turkey leftovers such as fats, oils and grease? Don’t put them down the drain! Just askHRgreen.org.




“Did you know”:

  • “FOG” or fats, oils and grease, clogs sanitary sewer systems across Hampton Roads.
  • If you’re frying your turkey, you can reuse the strained oil, storing it for up to six months in the original container.
  • If you’re not reusing the turkey frying oil, freeze it and throw it away on trash day.
  • You can also mix the leftover oil with UNSCENTED kitty litter, sawdust or sand, and then throw it away. Scented kitty litter can react with the oil and may start a fire.
  • If a clog occurs in your home plumbing, the responsibility and cost of repairs falls to you. If a clog occurs in the municipal sewer line, the cost of repairs could be passed on to users (you and your neighbors) in the form of higher utility fees.
  • When a clog or breakdown occurs, untreated sewage can back up into your home, your neighborhood or our waterways.
  • If untreated sewage backs up into streets, it has a chance to enter our storm drains and waterways.
  • Untreated sewage is a dangerous pollutant because it causes sudden increases in nitrogen and bacteria. High levels of nitrogen and bacteria result in declines to local aquatic life (like plants, fish and crabs), beach closures and health warnings on local seafood consumption.

What is considered a fat, oil or grease?

  • Cooking oil (for example: turkey frying oil)
  • Cooking grease
  • meat fats
  • lard/shortening
  • butter/margarine
  • food scraps
  • dairy products
  • batters and icing
  • dressings and sauces


Garbage disposal use can do more harm than good.


  • Use a strainer in your sink drain to catch any food particles that attempt to escape; throw the scraps collected into the trash or compost bin.
  • Thoroughly scrape plates into the trash before washing.
  • Wipe pots, pans and cooking utensils with a paper towel prior to washing.
  • Never pour oil, drippings, sauces or dressings down the drain. Absorb these substances with a paper towel and toss into the trash.
  • Pour used cooking grease into an empty, heat-safe container like a soup can. Freeze it and toss it out with the garbage.



[ Why the Badger-Two Medicine? ]

Why the Badger-Two Medicine?

Culture and wildlands converge in the Badger-Two Medicine.



[ Monkeys and Wolves Make a Last Stand Together ]

Monkeys and Wolves Make a Last Stand Together

Monkey wolves

By William H. Funk

Earlier this summer I wrote about the Ethiopian wolf, the world’s most endangered canid with a worldwide population of less than 500 animals. Though a megafaunal predator balanced on the brink of extinction, the kind of critter that typically attracts a lot of attention from academics and conservationists, the remarkable hunting behavior of this wolf is just now beginning to be understood, thanks in part to a recent study.

The gelada (Theropithecus gelada) is a big beautiful monkey—not a baboon, which at 45 pounds and with a regal mane and intimidating canines it certainly resembles. This is the only grazing primate in the world, dining on grass 90 percent of the time, supplemented with various roots, flowers and herbs. Their greatest concentrations are in the Semien Mountains of north-central Ethiopia’s magnificent Afroalpine highlands, where the peaks top out at 15,000 feet and there’s more snowfall than almost anywhere else in Africa.

The gelada is also known as the “bleeding-heart baboon” for the exquisite hourglass-shaped crimson cravat of bare skin framed by white hair displayed on the chest of adult males. Their close relatives the baboons often have brilliantly colored rumps to advertise their sexual prowess, but the gelada’s unique method of feeding consists of scooting about meadows on its butt while collecting grass, so its personal ad stays up front where the ladies can admire it.

As grazers the gelada have adopted the ecological role that antelopes serve in lower elevations; this unique behavior (for monkeys) long ago attracted the attention of the Ethiopian wolf, which has molded its hunting patterns so as to benefit from the gelada’s grazing. This spring a paper in the Journal of Mammalogy concluded that this incredible interaction, in which hunting wolves are breezily tolerated by browsing monkeys—even those with vulnerable young—amounts to an astounding portrait of predator/potential prey benevolence, in which the wolf deliberately forgoes opportunities to snatch up an easy meal of baby monkey meat so that its preferred prey, rodents, accustomed to feeding freely in the presence of grazing lookouts, are more easily ambushed. Over eight years of research, the study’s authors recorded only a single (unsuccessful) attempt by a wolf to kill a young gelada.

The paper’s lead author, Vivek V. Venkataraman of Dartmouth College, says that the wolf’s behavior, while remarkable, is imminently logical from a predator’s standpoint, noting that, “our present results suggest that the primary benefit of being among geladas is avoiding the energetic costs of failed predation attempts.” The noise and disturbance of plucking grass made by a rowdy group of highly social primates is seen as offering a kind of auditory camouflage for the wolves, and they make the best of it. In fact, the researchers found that the Ethiopian wolf has adopted a slow and stealthy mode of hunting that serves two purposes: to sneak up on distracted rodents and to reassure the geladas that they are not themselves the objects of pursuit.

Why do the geladas put up with these carnivores in their midst, however benevolent? The researchers offer no conclusions other than to observe that, “there is no discernible cost or benefit to geladas from the presence of Ethiopian wolves, suggesting a commensal or weakly parasitic relationship between the species…” Perhaps the geladas, over slow eons of interaction, have collectively decided that the wolf poses no threat, and anyway all they’re doing is thinning out herbivorous competitors. The wolves could also possibly serve as olfactory sentinels against such genuine dangers as leopards, hyenas, dogs and people.

The gelada’s remarkable tolerance of predators is limited to the wolf; when feral or domestic dogs happens on the scene they trip the alarm, sending the entire gelada troop racing for the refuge of the cliffs where they routinely spend their nights out of reach of danger. The dogs come from encroaching pastoralists who mercilessly target wolves in the false belief that they pose a danger to their herds (in fact wolves have been observed hunting rodents amid grazing cattle just as they do with geladas). Dogs pose a distinct threat to both species, spreading rabies to the wolves and actively pursuing the geladas.

With one of the most rapidly growing human populations on the continent, Ethiopia’s remaining wildlife and unspoiled vistas are increasingly under threat of annihilation.

Faced with the ruthless expansion of farms, roads and hungry people, it could well be that the gelada—whose hourglass insignia perhaps ominously brings mortality to mind—is simply willing to share these last scattered redoubts of freedom and wilderness with another natural component of the landscape, to assist, however passively, in the last desperate stand of the Ethiopian wolf.

About EarthShare member organization AWF:
Africa is home to some of the world’s most beloved, iconic species, including lions, elephants, and rhinos. Sadly, most species are experiencing rapid population declines due to poaching, land loss, human-wildlife conflict, and illegal trafficking. The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) works diligently to protect Africa’s wildlife, so that they can thrive successfully in their natural environment. AWF implements conservation projects that incorporate animal welfare, land and habitat preservation, community empowerment, and awareness programs, all which serve to better ensure the survival of Africa’s wildlife.We hope you will consider donating to AWF (CFC #11219) in your workplace giving campaign or the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) so we can continue to create and manage innovative conservation projects to protect Africa’s wonderful and unique wildlife!