October 31, 2011
Canadian National Symbol

Canadian National Symbol, The Beaver     Photo: Like_the_Grand_Canyon/flickr

Canada's National Animal Challenged

Politician wants polar bear, not beaver

A Canadian senator launched a campaign Thursday to change the country's national emblem from the beaver to the polar bear. Referring to the beaver as a "dentally defective rat," Conservative Senator Nicole Eaton said the animal should "step aside" in favor of a more majestic species. "The polar bear, with its strength, courage, resourcefulness and dignity is perfect for the part," Eaton said. Critics of Eaton's proposal point out that the Conservative party opposes initiatives that would offer further protections for polar bears, which are on the endangered species list.  

Read more at Reuters


Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear     Photo: S-t-v/Flickr

Widow Files Lawsuit Over Grizzly Death

Man was killed near govt. bear study area

The widow of an Illinois man killed by a grizzly beat near Yellowstone is suing the federal government, claiming that it failed to warn the couple that researchers had released tranquilized bears in the area. Erwin Evert, 70, was mauled to death after he encountered a bear while on a walk near the cabin he and his wife, Yolanda, kept in Wyoming. Evert's lawyer, Emily Rankin, says that the government created a dangerous condition by trapping and releasing tranquilized bears in the area without posting warning signs.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune


Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park     Photo: Jeff Gunn/Flickr

Record Year for Rescues in Grand Teton

Cost of rescues rises dramatically

Grand Teton National Park has reported that expenses for search and rescue missions in 2011 have  exceeded $219,000, an increase of $60,000 over the previous well above the single-year record from 2003—and two missions from September have yet to be calculated. For the fiscal-year period running from October 1, 2010, to September 30, 2011, staff at the park participated in 33 major rescue operations. The park bears most of the costs from these rescues.

Read more at the Casper Star-Tribune


Nantucket Sound

Nantucket Sound     Photo: Putneypics/Flickr

Judge Deals Cape Wind Serious Blow

Plane-safety review insufficient, court finds

In a decision that jeopardizes the Cape Wind project, a federal appeals court in Washington has ruled that the Federal Aviation Administration underestimated the danger the wind farm's turbines would pose to planes flying over Nantucket Sound. A 2009 report by the FAA found that Cape Wind's 440-foot turbines were "no hazard" to planes flying without the aid of instruments. The report was a key factor in the U.S. Department of the Interior's decision to grant final approval to the project earlier this year. Cape Wind, which would have been the first offshore wind project in the United States and could power as many as 420,000 homes in Massachusetts, has faced a series of legal challenges since it was introduced in 2001. The court's ruling could jeopardize the project's lease on its proposed building site, a 24-square-mile section of ocean between Cape Cod and Nantucket.

Read more at The Boston Globe