EJToday: Top Headlines
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The American chestnut once dominated the forest landscape from Georgia to Maine. Then the blight struck, and by the 1950s, it was all but extinct. Now, after 30 years of breeding and crossbreeding, the American Chestnut Foundation believes it has developed a blight-resistant tree.
"MIAMI -- The battle to control Burmese pythons in the Everglades has employed an array of tactics to date, including snake-sniffing dogs, GPS-equipped 'Judas' snakes and teams of state-licensed reptile wranglers."
"Cheatgrass is about as Western as cowboy boots and sagebrush. It grows in yellowish clumps, about knee high to a horse, and likes arid land. One thing cheatgrass does is burn — in fact, more easily than anyone realized. That's the conclusion from a new study that says cheatgrass is making Western wildfires worse."
"CHICAGO — A federal judge Monday threw out a lawsuit filed by five states that want barriers placed in Chicago-area waterways to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes, but said he would consider new arguments if the case were filed again."
Cornfields -- which occupy a big fraction of U.S. farmland -- differ from normal ecosystems in that they are nearly sterile ecologically. Breeding and spraying aim to prevent anything from living but corn.
"We'll start in a cornfield — we'll call it an Iowa cornfield in late summer — on a beautiful day. The corn is high. The air is shimmering. There's just one thing missing — and it's a big thing...
...a very big thing, but I won't tell you what, not yet.
"New Zealand has joined Australia in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a case against Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said on Friday."
"The Obama administration [Wednesday] released a final rule setting aside 9.6 million acres of critical habitat for the federally threatened northern spotted owl, a species whose population continues to slide despite decades of conservation efforts."
"A top Mexican government official said Thursday that the long-awaited but highly controversial approval of genetically modified (GM) corn fields on a commercial scale will drag into next year."
"A species of giant tortoises from the Galapagos Islands could be brought back from extinction despite the death earlier this year of the famed 'Lonesome George,' a tourist magnet and conservation icon who was the last of his kind."
"Organic growers and food safety advocates on Tuesday condemned an advisory report to the Agriculture Department claiming its recommendations would be costly for farmers who want to protect their conventional crops from being contaminated by genetically modified (GMO), also known as genetically engineered (GE), varieties."
"Gill nets and a tippy rowboat are being used this month to pluck thousands of alien critters out of San Francisco's Mountain Lake as part of an innovative effort to resurrect the area's ecological history."
"The West Nile virus epidemic of 2012, the worst in a decade, may be notorious for yet another reason: The virus, in some cases, is attacking the brain more aggressively than in the past, raising the specter that it may have mutated into a nastier form, say two neurologists who have extensive experience dealing with the illness."
"Twenty-five species of humans' closest living relatives -- apes, monkeys and lemurs -- need urgent protection from extinction, a report by international conservation groups said on Monday."
"The salamander, long a metaphor for the Mexican soul, risks extinction unless its sole habitat, the canal system of Xochimilco, can be restored."
"Approval of foods from genetically modified animals is unjustifiably slow, scientists say; some are looking abroad."