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Tue, May. 15th, 2007, 04:46 pm
cyotha: Cattle versus wildlife in the dry American West

Here's an interesting article about grazing on public lands in Eastern Washington State.

The many comments submitted by readers are even more educational than the article (if you ignore the usual knee-jerk name-calling by idiots).

The debate represents widely varying points of view, from recreational users, hikers and hunters, to cattle ranchers. It brings up a number of issues, including taxpayer subsidies to resource users, invasive species, grazing impact on the environment, abuses of the system, state politics and how that affects land-use decisions...you name it.

Cattle vs. wildlife at Whiskey Dick by Joel Connelly

Thu, Feb. 1st, 2007, 02:24 am
smushedfairy: Corinna Maine

Hi, I found this community by searching "super fund site"

My husband and I are looking to move to middle Maine, maybe Corinna Maine. Land is ample and inexpensive and I want a garden and some chickens.

Does anyone have first hand experience about Corinna? It's downtown was declared a superfund site in 2000 and abatement was begun and I am wondering just how is it still?

I understand that the major chemical was benzene from textile processing and that it spilled into the river and that a few private wells were also contaminated and that thousands of pounds of soil were removed from the downtown area.

Soooo 6 years later how is it? What is happening in Corinna?

I appreciate any first hand knowledge that can be sent my way because the facts only say so much.

Tue, Nov. 21st, 2006, 09:55 pm
cyotha: Focus on Water

Husbandry of water resources is a basic issue in land use management, so I'd like to throw a spotlight on a few interesting water-related links.

Access to water for drinking, crops, and household uses is a continuing struggle for much of the world's poor. This year, the UN released its second World Water Development Report, "Water, a shared responsibility," which surveys global freshwater resources and progress towards water-related targets of the Millenium Development Goals.

Developing nations often undertake megadam projects, thinking they are the magic bullet to solve water scarcity. Unfortunately, megadams also spawn a number of negative consequences as well, some foreseeable, some not. Rainwaterharvesting.org is a website which explores dam alternatives, with a focus on India.

Climate change threatens water supplies even in the industrialized world. The Global Change Program of the Pacific Institute has published a report detailing how climate change is likely to affect water resources in the US ("Water: Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change"). They also have an online, searchable database for researchers, The Water and Climate Bibliography.

Tue, Nov. 21st, 2006, 12:07 am
cyotha: UN's 2006 climate change talks conclude

The annual UN climate change convention and Kyoto Protocol meeting ran from November 6 to November 17, 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya. Outcomes included additional help for developing nations to diversify their economies and reduce fossil fuel dependence.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, developing nations are not bound to reduce their carbon emissions; the burden of reducing emissions falls on industrialized, developed nations, such as the EU and the US. While the US, under President Clinton, signed the convention, it has never been ratified by the Senate. The US Constitution requires ratification by the Senate before the US can be bound by any treaty, so the US, to date, has not participated in the Kyoto emission-reduction goals.

President George W. Bush and others have justified the US's refusal to ratify the treaty with two arguments: first, that developing nations (China, in particular) should have emission-reduction goals as well; and second, that it could hurt the US economy.

Do the decisions taken in Nairobi address these concerns at all? Are these reasons sufficient justification for the US to abstain from Kyoto?


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (official website). Includes press releases and full text of decisions and conclusions adopted by the Nairobi conference.

Kyoto Protocol: Wikipedia article. An excellent overview of the convention's complexities.

Thu, Nov. 9th, 2006, 10:41 pm
cyotha: Land use hits the ballot across the West

A coordinated campaign put initiatives to "protect property values" on the ballot in a number of Western states on Tuesday, November 7. The initiatives fell into two categories: first, those limiting government's power of eminent domain, or the ability to condemn (purchase) private land for public use; and second, "pay or waive" laws which would require government to compensate landowners if any law or regulation caused a reduction in the value of their property.

The eminent-domain ballot measures were straightforward reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Kelo v. City of New London. In that case, the court ruled that a city could condemn land in order to hand it over to a private developer.

In contrast, "pay or waive" initiatives basically do away with any zoning or environmental regulations, because no matter what, all zoning ends up affecting somebody's property value. Fortunately, almost every state that had a pay-or-waive initiative on the ballot rejected it, except for Arizona.


Here's a pre-election report on "Direct Democracy and Development" from the USC's Initiative & Referendum Institute (pdf format).

And here's great coverage of land-use election results by Dan Richardson at Newwest.net.

Wed, Nov. 8th, 2006, 09:05 pm
madegreeen: (no subject)

I created a community for the LEED rating system. I thought I would invite anybody from here that would like to join, as LEED address "sustainable sites" in the rating system. ie. developed land is preferable to natural untouched land for buildings. you can join at learnleed. You can read about the rating system here. :)

Tue, Mar. 28th, 2006, 03:19 pm
push_stars: Hi

Hi, I was wondering if any of you could help out our community. You guys are way ahead of us and we are trying to raise awarness of a lot of the same issues you are dealing with here. Here is a link to the discussion we are having: http://community.livejournal.com/b0st0n/4081543.html feel free to plug your community page there. I am posting links to the discussion on other local pages like craigslist and others... trying to get a lot of traffic!

thanks so much for anything you do!

Wed, Nov. 30th, 2005, 08:36 pm
drdirt: Hi community

I have been a soil scientist for 20 years. Most people jump from geology straight to the surface without considering the soil resource in planning. I would be glad to supply information on this resource whenever it is needed. I rant and rave on my journal about origins of the earth. It is my hobby.

If I can ever be of any assistance on issues related to soil, just ask.

Wed, Nov. 30th, 2005, 12:48 pm
julymale: habitatjam

Habitat JAM
Hey folks, This might be of an interest to you, if you don't know about it already: http://www.habitatjam.com/index.php
"As part of the preparations for the third session of the World Urban Forum, the Government of Canada in partnership with UN-HABITAT is sponsoring this 72-hour internet event. From December 1-3, 2005, the Habitat JAM will gather your input and add it to thousands of others to turn ideas into actions for the Vancouver World Urban Forum agenda and influence the Forum's content."

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