Peter Douglas Photo: Courtesy of California Coastal Commission
The next time you find yourself on a stretch of pristine California coastline, you can thank Peter Douglas for what you don't see, such as high-rises or offshore oil-drilling platforms. The 69-year-old, who died April 1, fought hard against coastal development throughout his storied career as an attorney and the director of the California Coastal Commission.
His and the commission's long list of conservation victories includes blocking the Pebble Beach Company from developing a golf course that would have cleared thousands of trees. His work to protect public access led to the development of a number of state parks all along the state's 1,100 miles of coastline. Tomales Bay in Marin County, north of San Francisco and Crystal Cove State Park in Orange County are two examples.
In 2010, while pursuing her degree in product design at Detroit's College for Creative Studies, a single idea changed the course of Veronika Scott's life. She decided to make a coat.
Not just any coat. She designed and prototyped a coat to withstand the frigid, snowy winters in Detroit. And we're not talking about walking or ice skating or playing hockey or commuting in Detroit winters. We're talking about living in Detroit winters, without a home.
Last year, the presidents of five African nations made official the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA), the largest conservation area to ever be approved. And last month the park was officially launched during a ceremony in the Namibian town of Katima Mulilo.
The East Rim of the Grand Canyon, where the Little Colorado River meets the Colorado River, is a remote, quiet area, especially compared to the crowded Southern Rim. But it might not remain that way.
The 27,000 square-mile Navajo reservation is adjacent to the National Park and Navajo President Ben Shelly in late February signed a memorandum of agreement with a development company Confluence Partners, LLC, that could turn the area around the East Rim into a tourist attraction, reports the Associated Press. The plans include a resort hotel, spa, and RV park. There's also a proposal to build an aerial tram that would bring visitors from the rim of the canyon all the way down to the riverside, where they could get a meal at a new restaurant.
Unsurprisingly, the National Park Service as well as environmental groups are raising red flags.
Black bear scavenges at a dump. Photo: Flickr/Mr Emprey
As the debate rages over the environmental costs and benefits of oil derived from the tar sands in northern Alberta, wildlife near a major extraction area is already coming out on the losing end.
Alberta wildlife officials killed 145 black bears last year within tar sands areas because the bears had become habituated to garbage. Nearly half of those bears were shot in the tar sands camps and facilities that have been erected around near Fort McMurray, a major tar sands production region, according to the Calgary Herald.
Darcy Whiteside with the Canadian government's Alberta Sustainable Resources Council, told the newspaper that the number of black bears killed near Fort McMurray last year was three times as many as in 2010, and the highest number in recent history.