Fire season is back, if it ever went away. And it's no longer a natural disaster story limited in geographic scope. Now it's a nationwide U.S. story touching on climate, money, politics, zoning, pollution and more. The latest Tipsheet runs down key information sources, plus what make a good peg for your local wildfire reporting.
"A wildfire that has burned more than 100,000 acres (40,469 hectares) at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia could take until November before it is put out, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said on Monday."
"A top federal appeals court has added fuel to a long-running fight over federal protections for the northern spotted owl in California, Oregon and Washington state."
"Wildfires across the country had consumed more than 1 million acres by Tuesday night, taking at least 7 lives."
"Ancient indigenous peoples had a far more profound impact on the composition of the vast Amazon rainforest than previously known, according to a study showing how tree species domesticated by humans long ago still dominate big swathes of the wilderness."
"A decade after the 'Save the Rainforest' movement captured the world’s imagination, Cargill and other food giants are pushing deeper into the wilderness."
"Over several decades in the past century, city populations swelled as Americans moved away from rural forests. Now the forests are moving farther away from Americans."
Bobby Magill, in his most recent SEJ President's Report, recalls his time traversing federal wilderness areas that are now increasingly the subject of dispute. How are they to be used? Who is to hold them? Will these vast Western lands remain in the public domain? And what is the role of journalists in covering this story?
For the first time, Sundance Film Festival spotlighted a single theme, and it was climate change. Documentaries highlighting the issue including a sequel to Al Gore's blockbuster, as well as more than a dozen other films dealing with issues like coral reefs, recyling, changing landscapes and rainforest destruction.
Dozens of renegade government Twitter accounts have sprung up, with claims they're run anonymously by employees of various agencies whose missions appear threatened by the Trump administration. TipSheet has the story, plus a list of more than 40 accounts of interest to environmental reporters.