Recent Articles

Organic Pioneer Sees Hope for Movement’s Future

June 15, 2015By
Organic Pioneer Sees Hope for Movement’s Future

In 1995, National Geographic sent a reporter to the American West to document what the magazine called “A Farming Revolution“: a back-to-basics movement that eschewed monoculture crops and synthetic fertilizers and relied on crop rotation, green mulches and respect for the soil.

Fast forward 20 years, and the principles expressed by the fringe farmers in that story have become the basis of organic agriculture and the bedrock of the food movement.

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How Obama’s ‘butterfly highway’ paves way to save embattled monarchs

May 27, 2015By
How Obama’s ‘butterfly highway’ paves way to save embattled monarchs

The Obama administration is hatching a plan to establish a 1,500-mile butterfly corridor along US Interstate 35 connecting Minnesota and Texas to protect the monarch butterfly.

The majestic North American monarch is well known for both its trademark orange and black stripes as well as its epic annual migration from Canada to Mexico.

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How the White House plans to help the humble bee maintain its buzz

May 19, 2015By
How the White House plans to help the humble bee maintain its buzz

The humble bee — nuisance, threat, and linchpin of the American food supply — has won over the leader of the free world. And now President Obama is intervening on the bee’s behalf as its habitat dwindles.

On Tuesday, the Obama administration will announce the first National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, a bureaucratic title for a plan to save the bee, other small winged animals and their breeding grounds.

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To Fight Bee Decline, Obama Proposes More Land to Feed Bees

May 19, 2015By
To Fight Bee Decline, Obama Proposes More Land to Feed Bees

The Obama administration hopes to save the bees by feeding them better. A new federal plan aims to reverse America’s declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations by making millions of acres of federal land more bee-friendly, spending millions of dollars more on research and considering the use of fewer pesticides.

While putting different type of landscapes along highways, federal housing projects and elsewhere may not sound like much in terms of action, several bee scientists told The Associated Press that this a huge move.

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Migratory Monarchs as Messengers of Climate Change

May 7, 2015By
Migratory Monarchs as Messengers of Climate Change

Monarch butterflies: They are the iconic symbols of international cooperation in North America in the face of climate change.

Because of their long distance migration across a variety of climates and habitats, monarchs serve as a messenger of the collective global effects of climate change interacting with a variety of other stressors, natural and human-triggered.

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Will superweeds, regulation create a perfect storm in Iowa farmlands?

May 2, 2015By
Will superweeds, regulation create a perfect storm in Iowa farmlands?

Since the onset of spring, one kind of game-changing news after another has reached Iowa farmers. These announcements will affect the third of the state’s farmers who are struggling to control superweeds by using glyphosates and other herbicides.

New research revelations, government policy changes and farmers’ own dissatisfactions could radically alter both weed and pollinator management in the Midwest.

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What’s killing the monarchs?

April 19, 2015By
What’s killing the monarchs?

In 1996, World Wildlife Fund Mexico counted almost a billion monarch butterflies overwintering in the mountain forests of that country. By 2014 the number had plummeted to just 57 million, a decline of almost 94 percent.

The numbers were even lower the year before when only 34 million monarchs migrated to Mexico.

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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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