Recent Articles

Groups file UNESCO petition to save monarch World Heritage Site in Mexico

April 15, 2015By
Groups file UNESCO petition to save monarch World Heritage Site in Mexico

The monarch butterfly refuge in Mexico, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is winter home to tens of millions of migrating monarchs, should be declared “in danger” because the remarkable transcontinental migration it was established to protect “is at risk of disappearing,” a group of Mexican, American and Canadian civil society and conservation organizations said in a petition today.

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Monarch butterflies: How we can help save them — one garden at a time

April 13, 2015By
Monarch butterflies: How we can help save them — one garden at a time

Monarch butterflies are — quite literally — a force of nature. They strike out each year by the thousands on a four-generation, 3,000-mile-long journey of pure instinct and faith.

They use both inherent and imprinted knowledge. They use subterfuge, placing their eggs on a plant that feeds their young caterpillars, but makes them poisonous and distasteful to predators. They use natural GPS.

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EPA will require weed-resistance restrictions on glyphosate herbicide

April 2, 2015By
EPA will require weed-resistance restrictions on glyphosate herbicide

U.S. regulators will put new restrictions on the world’s most widely used herbicide to help address the rapid expansion of weeds resistant to the chemical, Reuters has learned.

The Environmental Protection Agency confirmed it will require a weed resistance management plan for glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s immensely popular Roundup weed-killer.

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Environmental Engineer and Farmer Nancy Hayden Lives Her Ideals

March 15, 2015By
Environmental Engineer and Farmer Nancy Hayden Lives Her Ideals

Nancy Hayden filled many roles during the Northeast Organic Farming As¬sociation of Vermont’s (NOFA-VT) Winter Conference, on Valentine’s Day weekend, Feb. 14-16. Hayden has attended NOFA-VT’s annual gathering for 22 of its 33 years — as a farmer, workshop leader and artist.

This year, she was there as an exhibitor, for the first time. She prefers farming and painting over marketing.

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Marla Spivak: To grasp our bees’ plight and prospects, stay focused on food

March 15, 2015By
Marla Spivak: To grasp our bees’ plight and prospects, stay focused on food

As I listened to Marla Spivak discuss the plight and prospects of our honeybees on Monday evening, it occurred to me that I was watching a masterful application of Albert Einstein’s principle that complex matters should be made as simple as possible – but not simpler.

Most of us have grasped by now that honeybees are under pressure from multiple sources, with certain insecticides, habitat loss, parasites and disease in the leading roles.

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Conservation Status and Ecology of the Monarch Butterfly in the United States

March 11, 2015By
Conservation Status and Ecology of the Monarch Butterfly in the United States

North America forms the core of the monarch’s distribution but the overall range extends through Central America and the Caribbean to South America. Monarchs also occur in Hawaii, Australia, and several Pacific islands, as well as parts of Asia, Africa, and southern Europe (Zhan et al. 2014).

Several populations outside of the Americas appear to be nonnative, originating from introductions that are thought to have occurred in the 1800s (Vane-Wright 1993), but Zhan et al. (2014) suggests that introductions may have occurred much earlier.

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The Drought Fighter

March 9, 2015By
The Drought Fighter

One afternoon last March, on a small vegetable farm that Paul Kaiser runs in a particularly chilly valley in Sebastopol, California, a group of agriculture specialists gathered around a four-foot steel pole.

The experts had come to test the depth and quality of Kaiser’s top-soil, and one of them, a veteran farmer from the Central Valley named Tom Willey, leaned on the pole to push it into the dirt as far as he could.

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Reclaiming Broken Places: Introduction to Civic Ecology

March 9, 2015By
Reclaiming Broken Places: Introduction to Civic Ecology

The actions of ordinary people are often absent in studies of urban renewal and urban ecology. Around the world, people who are fed up with environmental degradation and the breakdown of their communities come together to transform blighted vacant lots, trashed-out stream corridors, polluted estuaries, and other “broken places.”

Civic ecology practices—such as community gardening, wetlands restoration, river cleanups, and tree planting…

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