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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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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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Planting a future for monarch butterflies

March 9, 2015By
Planting a future for monarch butterflies

I have a confession to make. A few years ago, on a farm I own in eastern Nebraska, I took 44 acres out of production, on purpose. That’s a lot.

Where corn and beans once grew, I planted tall, native grasses and wildflowers. Among area farmers, this was seen as nothing short of scandalous.

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4 Million People Demand Obama Administration to Protect Bees from Toxic Insecticides

March 9, 2015By
4 Million People Demand Obama Administration to Protect Bees from Toxic Insecticides

Today, a coalition of more than 125 conservation, beekeeping, food safety, religious and farming advocacy groups rallied in front of the White House and delivered more than four million petition signatures calling on the Obama administration to put forth strong protections for bees and other pollinators.

The rally coincided with both a D.C. metro ad campaign, and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and John Conyers’ (D-MI) reintroduction of the Saving America’s Pollinators Act…

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