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    Oregon’s wildfire recovery debris removal begins with clearing of hazard trees – KTVZ - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) - Crews around the state are beginning to clear roads and private properties of trees damaged in Septembers wildfires.

    The tree-clearing is part of the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Debris Management Task Forces effort to provide cleanup for homes and businesses in the eight affected counties Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion.

    The work paves the way for rebuilding efforts, community recovery and helps revitalize Oregons economy, the state Office of Emergency Management said in a news release Thursday, which continues in full below:

    Before crews begin clearing hazard trees from private property, they will clear remaining logs and debris from roadsides. Drivers in fire-affected areas should keep an eye out for crews and be prepared to stop.

    State contractors are marking trees for removal with blue dot and a barcode tracking tag. Many other entities, including utilities and private companies, continue with their own tree removal operations and have their own markings.

    On private property, dead or dying trees will be removed if they pose a threat to the safety of cleanup crew or public right of ways. Ash and structural debris removal will soon follow, including concrete and other household and construction materials, from private homes and businesses. A list of what is included in cleanup isavailable.

    Hazard trees and ash and debris cleanup are the focus of Step 2 of the cleanup, and includes homes, mobile home parks, second homes, businesses and other structures. Step 1 involved removal of hazardous household waste and was completed in December.

    Home and business owners must sign an All Wildfire Debris Right of Entry Form with their county to allow cleanup crews onto their property. Visithttps://wildfire.oregon.gov/or call 503-934-1700 to submit your form and for more information. Even those who did not join in Step 1 of the cleanup may still opt into the program.

    Participating property owners also need to complete a questionnaire about their property, to help with planning and ensure an efficient, safe removal of debris.

    The contractors

    As the task forces contract manager, the Oregon Department of Transportation is awarding three types of contracts for Step 2: hazard tree removal, debris and ash removal, and monitoring.

    Given the large geographic area and volume of work, ODOT awarded the hazard tree, and ash and debris removal contracts over multiple operational areas and not as a single statewide contract.

    A separate company is monitoring the cleanup work, environmental testing, and document completion of Step 2, property by property. The Federal Emergency Management Agency requires an independent company to perform monitoring work. This firm will monitor contractors removing hazard trees, ash, and debris to ensure cleanup and safety protocols and proper accounting. FEMA requires monitoring to control costs, reduce waste, and help eliminate fraud.

    ODOT has awarded the following contracts:

    Monitoring (1)

    CDR Maguire Emergency Management

    Hazard Tree Removal (3)

    Ceres Disaster Recovery Disaster Recovery Ceres Environmental

    ECC https://www.ecc.net/ecc/

    Suulutaaq Inc. suulutaq.com

    A video describing the OR 126 Holiday Farm Fire hazard tree removal work isavailable.

    Ash and debris removal contracts have been awarded and that work also begins later this month.

    Oregons 2020 Labor Day fires constitute the largest and most expensive disaster in our states history, burning over 1 million acres and destroying over 5,000 structures.

    Initial estimates put the debris cleanup from the September 2020 Oregon wildfires at over $600 million, including $326 million for ash and debris removal and $295 million to remove hazard trees.

    More information

    Wildfire cleanup webpage:https://wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanupWildfire debris cleanup hotline:503-934-1700 odot.wildfire@odot.state.or.usHighway travel conditions:TripCheck.com

    Oregons Debris Management Task Force, which includes the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Oregon Department of Transportation, and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, is coordinating federal, state, and local government agencies to clean up debris from the 2020 Oregon wildfires.

    Read the rest here:
    Oregon's wildfire recovery debris removal begins with clearing of hazard trees - KTVZ

    Oregon wildfire recovery debris removal begins with hazard trees – The News Guard - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Crews around the state are beginning to clear roads and private properties of trees damaged in Septembers wildfires.

    The tree clearing is part of the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Debris Management Task Forces effort to provide cleanup for homes and businesses in the eight affected counties Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion. The work paves the way for rebuilding efforts, community recovery and helps revitalize Oregons economy.

    Before crews begin clearing hazard trees from private property, they will clear remaining logs and debris from roadsides. Drivers in fire-affected areas should keep an eye out for crews and be prepared to stop.

    State contractors are marking trees for removal with blue dot and a barcode tracking tag. Many other entities, including utilities and private companies, continue with their own tree removal operations and have their own markings.

    On private property, dead or dying trees will be removed if they pose a threat to the safety of cleanup crew or public right of ways. Ash and structural debris removal will soon follow, including concrete and other household and construction materials, from private homes and businesses. A list of what is included in cleanup is available.

    Hazard trees and ash and debris cleanup are the focus of Step 2 of the cleanup, and includes homes, mobile home parks, second homes, businesses and other structures. Step 1 involved removal of hazardous household waste and was completed in December.

    Home and business owners must sign an All Wildfire Debris Right of Entry Form with their county to allow cleanup crews onto their property. Visit https://wildfire.oregon.gov/ or call 503-934-1700 to submit your form and for more information. Even those who did not join in Step 1 of the cleanup may still opt into the program.

    Participating property owners also need to complete a questionnaire about their property, to help with planning and ensure an efficient, safe removal of debris.

    As the task forces contract manager, the Oregon Department of Transportation is awarding three types of contracts for Step 2: hazard tree removal, debris and ash removal, and monitoring.

    Given the large geographic area and volume of work, ODOT awarded the hazard tree, and ash and debris removal contracts over multiple operational areas and not as a single statewide contract.

    A separate company is monitoring the cleanup work, environmental testing, and document completion of Step 2 property by property. The Federal Emergency Management Agency requires an independent company to perform monitoring work. This firm will monitor contractors removing hazard trees, ash, and debris to ensure cleanup and safety protocols and proper accounting. FEMA requires monitoring to control costs, reduce waste, and help eliminate fraud.

    ODOT has awarded the following contracts:

    CDR Maguire Emergency Management

    Ceres Disaster Recovery Disaster Recovery Ceres Environmental

    Contracts awarded Nov. 25, 2020

    Archie Creek Fire, OR 138, $25.78 million

    Thielson Fire, OR 138, $2.07 million

    Two Four Two Fire, U.S. 97, $1.91 million

    Contracts awarded: Nov. 30, 2020

    Beachie Creek / Lionshead Fire, OR 22, $17.18 million

    Riverside Fire, OR 224, $71.63 million

    Based in Alaska, with an operations office in Eugene

    Contract awarded Nov. 30, 2020

    Holiday Farm Fire, OR 126, $22.94 million

    A video describing the OR 126 Holiday Farm Fire hazard tree removal work is available.

    Ash and debris removal contracts have been awarded and that work also begins later this month.

    Oregons 2020 Labor Day fires constitute the largest and most expensive disaster in our states history, burning over 1 million acres and destroying over 5,000 structures.

    Initial estimates put the debris cleanup from the September 2020 Oregon wildfires at over $600 million, including $326 million for ash and debris removal and $295 million to remove hazard trees.

    View post:
    Oregon wildfire recovery debris removal begins with hazard trees - The News Guard

    Paradise Rebuilding and Recovery: Preview into 2021 – Action News Now - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    PARADISE, Calif. -Action News Now continues to provide the latest updates on recovery and rebuilding in the Town of Paradise. Below this article is a full preview of the Town's goals for 2021.

    PREVIEW OF 2021

    As the community embarks on our third year of recovery after the Camp Fire, the Town of Paradise is excitedto share some project milestones they anticipate in 2021.

    Removing Hazardous Trees Removing barriers to rebuilding: The GovernmentTree Program is currently removing about 200-250 hazardous trees per day. The town expectsthis program to be completed in the first quarter of 2021. The Town of Paradise hasapplied for additional Federal funding to remove the remaining hazardous trees onprivate property that were not eligible for the government program. If we receive thefunding, the Town will start removing those additional trees later this year.

    Reseeding Program Plan Recreating beauty on the Ridge: The next step afterremoving hazardous trees damaged by the Camp Fire is to re-plant and re-seed thecommunity. The Town received a grant for this purpose and will be welcomingproposals in early 2021 from contractors to evaluate and establish the next steps forreseeding after tree removal and educating the community on vegetation opportunities.Once a contractor has been established, we anticipate community input and educationopportunities throughout 2021. Upon completion of the plan, the Town will seek fundingto implement a re-seeding program in 2022-2024.

    Sewer Economic recovery and opportunity: With the Councils approval of the RegionalSewer Connection to the City of Chico late last year, the Town has begun theEnvironmental Review Process for the Sewer Project. The project would install a sewerin the primarily commercial areas of Skyway, Pearson and Clark. The Environmentalprocess is expected to take about 18 months, then we will move on to design andconstruction in about 3-5 years. A sewer for the primarily commercial areas of Paradiseis important for the recovery of our businesses and economy. For more information onthis important project, visit http://www.paradisesewer.com.

    Early Warning System Safety for residents in an emergency: The safety of the town'sresidents continues to be a top priority. With the Early Warning System plancompleted and approved last fall, the Town is submitting a grant application forconstruction funding. Pending approval, construction is estimated to begin in 2021.

    Broadband Services Increased access for businesses and residents:The town says itanticipates our Broadband Feasibility Study to be completed and presented in early 2021.This will answer questions about the possibilities we have for a broadband community and what implementation would look like. In the coming years, the town says it will have a focus onestablishing implementation opportunities.

    Roads Prioritizing road improvements: In 2021 The Town will be working on its Transportation Master Plan, funded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA)last year. This study will conduct a holistic analysis of the Paradise transportationnetwork and will outline critical gaps in infrastructure, conflicts, pinch points and otherbarriers to potential future evacuation events. Using this information, the study willidentify priorities and a plan for town-wide safety and circulation improvements.

    Original post:
    Paradise Rebuilding and Recovery: Preview into 2021 - Action News Now

    Frustrations over tree removal program in Paradise – Action News Now - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    PARADISE, Calif. -Some people in Paradise are frustrated over the way tree removal is being handled.

    "We are being burdened again, those of us that are victims in the fire are being burdened again by more government ineptness," said Steve Culleton.

    Steve Culleton is a Camp Fire survivor who says because trees weren't removed quickly, they are now getting snapped from the wind... and then says those trees are not going to be removed.

    "FEMA allotted the money to do this, they had an estimated 300,000 trees, and now they have paired down to 100,000 or 75,000 or whatever it is. They have already allocated the money," said Culleton.

    The frustration is about the trees that have blue dots on them and are snapped halfway down.

    Because the weather has already broken them, there is no guarantee they will be removed, even though they were marked in the original tree removal program.

    "Before we have a chance to remove it and it has come down by weather, it needs to be assessed to see if it is still a threat to the public right of way. If it is still a threat it will be removed," said Jim Kyle from Cal OES.

    "That is my point, you allocated the money, it is not about some budget thing. You identified the trees, you mapped them, you had arborists certify they are dead. You tagged them, you marked them they are ready to go, your program got delayed, so now it is winter time and now we have winds and wet dirt, and some of them are falling over. You still have to haul it off, why would you put it on the homeowner," said Culleton.

    "It stands the most threat while it is still standing, and coming down. If it is already down it is a new story, we have to see if it is still a threat or not," said Kyle.

    Culleton added during the tree removal process, the stump is still left and the homeowner has to deal with it.

    Link:
    Frustrations over tree removal program in Paradise - Action News Now

    Removal Of Trees At The Colby Townhomes Site – Patch.com - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    January 13, 2021

    This week, the Community Development Department approved the removal of the existing trees located within the two surface parking lots north and south of Colby Circle. Street trees along the easterly portion of Colby Circle and along Indian Hill Boulevard (north and south of Colby Circle) are also being removed, and will be replaced as part of the new project landscaping. The existing Coast Live Oak tree located at the north knuckle of Colby Circle will be retained.

    Tree removal is the first step in the demolition of the parking lots to allow the grading and construction of the 96-unit Colby Townhomes. The project was originally approved under the Old School House/Claremont Inn Specific Plan in 2006, and the project design was approved by the Architectural Commission in 2008, with several revisions approved in 2019.

    The developer of the project, Intracorp Homes, will begin tree removal activities on Thursday, January 14, 2021.

    Read the original post:
    Removal Of Trees At The Colby Townhomes Site - Patch.com

    Nanaimo fitness park to close for removal of hazard trees and invasive plants – Nanaimo News Bulletin - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Kinsmen Participark in Beban Park will be closed next week so city workers can remove dangerous trees and invasive plant species. The work is the start of an improvement project that includes replacing signs and fitness stations in the spring. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

    Tree cutting to start in Beban Parks Kinsmen Participark as part of improvement project

    Hazardous trees and invasive plants are about to be removed from Kinsmen Participark, located in Beban Park.

    According to a City of Nanaimo press release, the work will start Monday, Jan. 18, to enhance the health of the forest ecosystem and improve usability of the park by removing hazardous trees and invasive plant species. Replanting will follow in the spring.

    The project is a precursor to further planned improvements to the park that will include new educational interpretive signs and replacement of old workout stations with a new workout station circuit.

    The park will be closed while the tree removal work is carried out Jan. 18-22.

    Coupled with future replanting, the tree work planned for the Participark will protect and enhance the valuable forest ecosystem which we are fortunate to have in the heart of the city, said Charlotte Davis, city parks operations manager, in the press release. This work is the first step in an exciting plan to improve the user experience of this park.

    The 9.3-hectare forest is more than 60 years old and is a second growth stand of Douglas fir, western red cedar, shore pine and arbutus.

    For more information, click here.

    photos@nanaimobulletin.comLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

    Fitnessparks

    More:
    Nanaimo fitness park to close for removal of hazard trees and invasive plants - Nanaimo News Bulletin

    Insurance A to Z: What you need to know about your policy – WFMYNews2.com - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Christopher Cook from Alliance Insurance Services joined 2WTK to answer viewers' insurance-related questions.

    GREENSBORO, N.C. Christopher Cook from Alliance Insurance Services joined 2WTK to answer your questions.

    AUTO INSURANCE. DO YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED?

    NC law requires you to have liability insurance. This pays for damage and injuries to other drivers. Collision coverage is optional. It pays for damages to your car. Without it, all your accident expenses are out of pocket.

    Comprehensive coverage is for non-accident issues, like if a tree falls on your car. If you dont have comprehensive, you also pay for repairs out of pocket.

    GAP INSURANCE. This kind of insurance is good when you have a car you are still paying for. For example:

    Your car is worth only $25,000

    If you get into an accident, and your car is totaled, your insurance will only pay you $25,000. If you owe $30,000 on the loan, youll still have to pay that $5,000 even though you dont have a car! GAP insurance covers the difference in the cost and worth.

    COULD YOU REMEMBER EVERYTHING IN YOUR HOUSE?

    No. Which is why its smart to do a home inventory. Its basically a list of the contents of your house.

    You can do it with your phone. Video your electronics, art, furniture, appliances. Open cabinets, the garage, closets. Scan model numbers.

    Then send that video to your insurance agent, copy it to your email at home and at work so you always have a copy.

    DID YOU GET MARRIED OR ENGAGED?

    You need to get insurance on the ring. Most standard policies only cover about $1,500 in jewelry. Chances are, you would need more than that to replace the ring if something happened to it. For about $5 to $10 a month, you can make sure the ring could be replaced if it was lost, stolen, etc.

    The answer most of the time is.you. If your tree falls on your house or your neighbor's tree falls on your house, its your insurance. The only time this doesnt hold true is if the tree was documented to be a problem.

    Know this, homeowners policies cover house damage due to a fallen tree. If the tree just falls in the yard, its your responsibility. And, homeowner policies dont cover tree removal clean-up.

    Know this, homeowners policies cover house damage due to a fallen tree. If the tree just falls in the yard, its your responsibility. And, homeowner policies dont cover tree removal clean-up.

    Your homeowner policies cover nothing flood-related.Flood and content policies are extra. For example: to cover a $150,000 house in a low-risk area will cost you about $400 a year.

    Read more here:
    Insurance A to Z: What you need to know about your policy - WFMYNews2.com

    30 new trees to be planted at Norwalks Calf Pasture Beach – Thehour.com - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    NORWALK After the coronavirus pandemic and the summer drought pushed the plans back a year, 30 maple trees are set to be planted at Calf Pasture Beach come spring, according to Superintendent of Parks and Public Property Ken Hughes.

    Initially, the trees were set to be planted in spring 2020, but the pandemic disrupted the plans and the dryness of subsequent summer forced them to be moved to 2021.

    Hughes, a licensed arborist, has worked with the city of Norwalk for 10 years and is the sole arborist employed by the city, he said.

    About 75 percent of the young maples will be planted in the parking lot island and the remainder will be scattered throughout the beach, Hughes said.

    Theyll be planted first thing in the spring when the weather allows, middle to end of April hopefully, Hughes said. But the weather has been so wacky who knows.

    Maples were chosen as the species fares best in the conditions, he noted.

    The conditions down at the beach are not the best conditions to grow trees, Hughes said. You have salt spray, the public climbing trees.

    The parks department has an annual allotment of $50,000 to be spend on trees. Each new maple to be planted cost $1,800, for a total of $54,000, Hughes said.

    About four years ago, an additional 35 trees were planted along the beach, Hughes said, adding as older or damaged trees require removal, the city is quick to replace them.

    The only time we remove a tree is if theres an imminent risk to the public, he said. If the tree is on a consistent decline, any large limbs need to be removed. We dont go around randomly removing trees.

    One particular trees removal recently caught the publics attention, however, resulting in Norwalk residents taking to social media to share their favorite pictures of it and question if the removal was necessary.

    During the rain storm which hit the area last month on Christmas Eve, the well-known tree growing in the middle of the beach was severely damaged and removed.

    Ill be honest, that tree was growing in the most unfriendly conditions, Hughes wrote in response to a Facebook post. Im not sure a new tree would survive long in that location. Storm tides are getting higher and higher and reach the root system (contributed to demise).

    Resident Jurgen Pichler, 60, said he is unhappy with the mainenance of the citys beaches, particularly upkeep conducted on the trees.

    Additionally, Pichler said he is concerned about the citys efforts to drive away the Canadian geese that congregate on the shore.

    The Canadian geese are great, Pichler said. They fertilize the grass, it grows nice and lush, yet the recreation thinks its OK to spend money to pay somebody to chase the geese away.

    However, the Canadian geese and the amount of feces on the has become a health concern, Hughes said.

    We take pride in the maintenance at the beach, but we are limited by budget and manpower, Hughes said. Thats the reality of things. I want to go plant and prune every tree, but its not realistic.

    abigail.brone@hearstmediact.com

    See the original post:
    30 new trees to be planted at Norwalks Calf Pasture Beach - Thehour.com

    Family thankful to be unharmed by falling tree that destroyed home – KHQ Right Now - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Families across our region are cleaning up the aftermath Wednesdays wind storm.

    One family in Coeur dAlene is counting their blessings that everyone is okay, because survival for one family member was a matter of inches.

    Justin Ator was eating breakfast Wednesday morning, when he said he had a feeling the tree in his neighbors yard was going to fall.

    Moments later, Ator said the power went out, and the tree fell into their main living area just a few feet away from him andjust a foot away from where his 12 year old daughter was sleeping.

    Iheard a big bang, my heart started racing and I started screaming, said his daughter.

    Ator saidif the branch had landed a foot further it could have taken something priceless. But, the chimney stopped it from going any further.

    The whole scenario is really scary, we are just really grateful no one got hurt, said Ator.

    Ator said that his family has rented this home for 4 years, and has been worried about the tree in his neighbors property since moving in.

    He said he tried contacting the city council, his landlord, and his neighbor to do something about it for years.

    Anything that is as large as that should in a residential area I dont think is safe, I guess this proof this is correct, said Ator.

    Now in the aftermath.

    Its hard to see this, said Ator.

    Its going to be really hard to leave this place, said his daughter.

    But, they still have each other.

    The family that I have I wouldnt trade them for anything, said his daughter.

    We are going to take all the good things out of this that we can, its life at its best, said Ator.

    Councilman Dan Gookin responded and said the issue is private property rights.

    If the tree is in the public right of way, the City can send out our arborist to have a look at it for potential removal, Gookin said. Otherwise, any issues regarding trees are between neighbors.

    Read the original here:
    Family thankful to be unharmed by falling tree that destroyed home - KHQ Right Now

    Top 15 Conservation Issues of 2021 Include Big Threatsand Potential Bright Spots – The Pew Charitable Trusts - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    As 2021 dawns, people, ecosystems, and wildlife worldwide are facing a panoply of environmental issues. In an effort to help experts and policymakers determine where they might focus research, a panel of 25 scientists and practitionersincluding mefrom around the globe held discussions in the fall to identify emerging issues that deserve increased attention.

    The panel, coordinated by the U.K.-based Cambridge Conservation Initiative, conducted a horizon scanan effort to spot early signs of significant phenomenaof global biological conservation issues. For the resulting study, which was funded by the U.K.s Natural Environment Research Council and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the panel winnowed down an initial list of 97 topics, settling on the following 15 because of their novelty or their potential to move the conservation needle in either a positive or negative direction over the coming decade.

    Seabirds often follow fishing vessels to score easy meals. Now, scientists are hoping to exploit this behavior to help spot illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, which accounts for up to $23.5 billion worth of seafood every year, or 1 in 5 fish sold. Researchers have had some success attaching transmitters to seabirds to locate fishing vessels in the Indian Ocean, but more study is needed to validate the use of this tactic.

    Vessels plying the ocean navigate and transmit their locations and identities mainly through the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and automatic identification system (AIS). The panel points out that a recent rise in GNSS spoofing and AIS cloning incidents could facilitate the trade of illegal goods and hamper authorities efforts to identify vessels engaged in illicit resource extraction activities such as fishing and dredging.

    Several factorsincluding climate-driven marine heat waves and nutrient runoff from landcan lower oxygen levels in the ocean. Corals in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans have died from this hypoxia, and, although those events werent widespread, some scientists fear that the threat may grow significantly as climate change further warms the ocean. Research is needed to better understand the extent and impact of low oxygen conditions on coral reefs.

    Coastal zones in polar latitudes are among Earths most productivethat is, they create and support large numbers of organisms ranging from tiny marine plants to animals such as polar bears and sealsa characteristic driven by the availability of dissolved iron from glaciers and ice. Increased melting in the polar regions will result in higher iron concentrations, which in turn will probably fuel more intense phytoplankton blooms and enable organisms on the seafloor to capture more carbon and other nutrients. Such changes could have wide-ranging effects including impacts on the structure of the regions marine ecosystems and on carbon sequestrationand warrants investigation.

    It is estimated that 3,000 offshore oil and gas platforms will be decommissioned in the coming decades and that the number of offshore wind farms will continue to grow. Currently, decommissioning practices vary by country and include full removal, conversion of platforms to artificial reefs, and abandonment. As new offshore energy infrastructure is built and old platforms are phased out, nations will need to evaluate the immediate and long-term impacts of their decommissioning strategies on the marine environment.

    When some chemicals used in pharmaceuticals and in garden and farm products are introduced into waterwaysusually through runoff or via sewage systems directly or in human waste they can cause changes in fish and other organisms, including altering the number of female to males in a population, lower fertility, and deformities. There is emerging evidence that the effects of exposure can be multigenerational, affecting organisms that were never directly exposed.

    Low clouds shade sizable portions of the planet in subtropical regions. It is predicted that these clouds will become increasingly unstable if atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to rise at current rates. The resulting changes could have negative effects on wildlife and human communities.

    Pledges to plant large areas of trees to help tackle climate change are often perceived as a win for conservation. However, tree planting must be planned and implemented with a clear understanding of regional ecosystems to avoid negative effects on biological diversity.

    As nations around the world contend with more extreme wildfires, some policymakers suggest that tree removal may be part of the solution. However, the effectiveness of such policies is uncertain, and any short-term gains from removing trees are often offset by the growth of non-native grasses and flowering plants, which may themselves be highly flammable.

    Driven by government policies and local innovations, sustainable farming practices are becoming more prevalent in India. The state government of Sikkim has adopted organic farming as policy, and the state of Andhra Pradesh, with 6 million farmers, plans to adopt natural farming practices by 2025. Other states across the country plan to follow suit. Early evaluations indicate that these large-scale transitions boost crop yields and incomes, improve the health of farmers, and increase women's access to microfinance. With such results, there is the potential for similar large-scale shifts in other parts of the world.

    More than 2,600 artificial satellites currently orbit the Earth, a number that is rapidly increasing. Many species of mammals, insects, and birds use celestial cues to migrate long distances and to orient themselves in local habitats and could be affected by the proliferation of satellites.

    An emerging use for stranded energy sources, such as low-value methane byproducts vented from oil wells and excess energy produced by wind turbines and solar panels, is to power computers used for Bitcoin miningthe process of creating new Bitcoin by solving complex algorithms. Monetizing stranded energy in this way is a mixed bag that decision-makers will probably have to evaluate. The practice could increase carbon emissions from marginal fossil fuel sources but also could incentivize the deployment of renewable energy by guaranteeing a minimum selling price.

    Scientists demonstrated some success with using online videos, social media posts, and other open-source data to document the effects of the locust swarms in East Africa in 2020. As faster internet connections and access to smartphones continue to grow globally, the use of open-source data may become an effective tool for researchers.

    The potential to engineer building materials made of chemicals, polymers, and bacteria that can fix themselves when damaged could reduce the need for repairs and shrink the environmental footprints of construction projects. Recently, scientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder used a type of cyanobacteria found in the ocean, along with other materials, to engineer a living building material that can regenerate when fractured.

    A planned 1,200-mile inland navigable waterway connecting the Baltic and Black seas would alter the flow of cargo and trade in the region. However, the waterway, which would pass through Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine, could alter habitat in 70 wildlife areas and numerous international conservation areas, introduce non-native species, and change the regions rivers and wetlands. Additionally, dredging in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone could disrupt radioactive sediment.

    Jim Palardy is a project director with The Pew Charitable Trusts conservation science program. He served on this years horizon scan panel and is a co-author on the resulting study.

    See the original post:
    Top 15 Conservation Issues of 2021 Include Big Threatsand Potential Bright Spots - The Pew Charitable Trusts

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