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Debate: Prescribed Burns in the Linville Gorge Wilderness?

first_imgThe U.S. Forest Service is planning to intentionally burn sections of the Linville Gorge Wilderness to reduce fuel loads and prevent more catastrophic fires in the future. If allowed, the burns would occur in four or more separate areas at different times and be repeated every three to five years.Should prescribed burns be conducted in the Linville Gorge Wilderness?YESThe Linville Gorge Wilderness is a unique and magnificent landscape.  The fact that it is designated as wilderness means that we are obligated to do what we can to protect its natural character and preserve its unique plant and animal communities. One of the ways we can do that is by reintroducing fire to the Gorge.Linville Gorge is a fire-adapted ecosystem, unique to our region, with several fire-dependent species and plant communities. These plant communities are in decline and two species are federally listed as “threatened”.  This means that fire has played a natural role and has shaped the Gorge throughout its history.For the last half century, fire has been kept out of the Gorge and every fire that ignites, whether by careless people or lighting strike, has been put out. Not allowing fires to burn has caused significant damage to the wilderness character and the ecology of the area. Without fire, the gorge has unnaturally built up heavy fuel loads of underbrush, and species that inhabit wetter areas have moved in, outcompeting the more native vegetation characterized by mixed hardwood and pine forests.These fuel loads of underbrush have also left the gorge susceptible to catastrophic wildfires which could devastate human settlements. The intensity of these fires would likely be outside of the natural range causing negative impacts to the forest communities. And, with a changing climate, we are likely to experience extended droughts and warmer temperatures, increasing the risk of catastrophic fire.Prescribed fires are those set intentionally by professionals under strict conditions that allow fire to burn under control. This approach is necessary to reduce heavy fuel loads of underbrush, thereby reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires. By reducing fuel loads, we will be able to allow wild fires to burn naturally without human intervention.  This is the best thing for the ecosystem and for wilderness.If we want to protect wilderness character, maintain the integrity of ecosystems, restore threatened species, prevent catastrophic wildfires, and protect local communities, we need to reintroduce and allow fire to once again play its important role in the Linville Gorge.Ben Prater is associate executive director for Wild South.NOThe proposed burning of the Linville Gorge Wilderness is not in the name of preservation. What is going to happen to our aquatic wildlife in the Linville River and its feeder creeks when the loose soil and soot erodes into it? As the Forest Service’s own manual on fire states, “On steep terrain, if post-fire storms deliver large amounts of precipitation, accelerated erosion and runoff can occur, even after a carefully planned prescribed fire.” With the Linville Gorge Wilderness receiving an annual rainfall of 67 inches or more, heavy erosion is sure to happen.What about our hemlock population? It takes hemlocks 450 years to completely mature to good cone production. With most of the old growth already decimated by adelgid infestation, prescribed burns will kill the hemlocks trying to make a recovery—the same trees that the Forest Service spent thousands in taxpayer dollars to protect less than 10 years ago.Exposure to relatively low smoke concentrations over many years can contribute to respiratory problems and cancer. In the name of profit, they are going to endanger our health.Linville Gorge’s rugged terrain – the toughest terrain east of the Rockies – will make it extremely difficult to control fires and will put more firefighters’ lives in jeopardy. Our local businesses stand to lose much needed tourist income. And they are violating the spirit and the letter of the Wilderness Act by manipulating the wilderness with prescribed burns.At the very least, the Forest Service should conduct an environmental impact study, as required by law, before proceeding. The Linville Gorge Wilderness is a world-class gem. There is no bringing it back once destroyed. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.”Phil Phelan recently hiked 160 miles through the Linville Gorge in five days to raise awareness about the proposed prescribed burns.last_img read more

Colombian Minister of Justice Yesid Reyes concerned over rise of synthetic drugs

first_imgColombian Minister of Justice Yesid Reyes said he’s concerned the increased growth of synthetic drugs in Europe could cause larger problems in his country, where designer drug use is greater than in neighboring countries. Pink cocaine, which was first made in The Netherlands, is attractive to narco-traffickers because it can be sold for more than cocaine. The drug can be diluted into liquids, making it harder to detect. Unlike substances such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, synthetic drugs are made exclusively from chemicals, not plants. One such drug, 2CB – commonly known as pink cocaine – has been on the rise in Colombia. It has led to an uptick in violence among drug cartels and organized crime groups which are seeking to control the synthetic drugs market. Until the emergence of pink cocaine, other illicit substances, including MDMA, which is known as ecstasy, and LSD, have dominated the synthetic drug market in Colombia. “We must recognize that to achieve adequate and harmonized international work demanded by the appearance of synthetic drugs, it is necessary to ‘decocaine-ize’ the problem of drugs in the region,” said Bo Mathiasen, the chief of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) in Colombia The production of designer drugs is booming, Reyes said. On average, drug traffickers and their operatives create a new synthetic drug every six days. Synthetic drugs are considered much more dangerous than traditional drugs because they drastically change chemical balances in the brain, which can be lethal. Colombian Minister of Justice Yesid Reyes said he’s concerned the increased growth of synthetic drugs in Europe could cause larger problems in his country, where designer drug use is greater than in neighboring countries. The production of designer drugs is booming, Reyes said. On average, drug traffickers and their operatives create a new synthetic drug every six days. The United Nations controls 234 substances, but there are 388 new psychoactive substances that are unregulated, creating a problem, according to Reyes. “The possibilities of molecular combination are virtually endless, so the output is easier and can be changed and therefore, is more difficult to control,” he said last week at the first international meeting on the issue of synthetic drugs, which occurred in Colombia’s coastal city of Santa Marta, the capital of the department of Magdalena. By Dialogo October 22, 2014 Unlike substances such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, synthetic drugs are made exclusively from chemicals, not plants. One such drug, 2CB – commonly known as pink cocaine – has been on the rise in Colombia. It has led to an uptick in violence among drug cartels and organized crime groups which are seeking to control the synthetic drugs market. Until the emergence of pink cocaine, other illicit substances, including MDMA, which is known as ecstasy, and LSD, have dominated the synthetic drug market in Colombia. Héctor Largo, who was wanted in connection with several homicides in the western department of Valle de Cauca, allegedly oversaw clandestine laboratories in the city of Cali that produced synthetic drugs and trafficked them nationwide. “We must recognize that to achieve adequate and harmonized international work demanded by the appearance of synthetic drugs, it is necessary to ‘decocaine-ize’ the problem of drugs in the region,” said Bo Mathiasen, the chief of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) in Colombia “It is a challenge worldwide, producing legislation to monitor new drugs because it takes governments longer to produce legal standards than for traffickers to introduce new chemical variations that sidestep the law recently issued,” Reyes said. Criminals sell more than 230 forms of designer drugs in Colombia, according to Gen. José Roberto León Riaño, the director of the Colombian National Police (PNC). The United Nations controls 234 substances, but there are 388 new psychoactive substances that are unregulated, creating a problem, according to Reyes. Héctor Largo, who was wanted in connection with several homicides in the western department of Valle de Cauca, allegedly oversaw clandestine laboratories in the city of Cali that produced synthetic drugs and trafficked them nationwide. “It is a challenge worldwide, producing legislation to monitor new drugs because it takes governments longer to produce legal standards than for traffickers to introduce new chemical variations that sidestep the law recently issued,” Reyes said. In March, PNC agents in the city of Pereira, in the department of Risaralda arrested suspected drug trafficker Héctor Castro, who is also known aka “Héctor Largo” and “Tsar.” Until police captured him, Héctor Largo was the the alleged leader of the country’s biggest synthetic drug ring and a suspected member of Clan Úsuga, one of largest drug trafficking groups in Colombia. “The possibilities of molecular combination are virtually endless, so the output is easier and can be changed and therefore, is more difficult to control,” he said last week at the first international meeting on the issue of synthetic drugs, which occurred in Colombia’s coastal city of Santa Marta, the capital of the department of Magdalena. Criminals sell more than 230 forms of designer drugs in Colombia, according to Gen. José Roberto León Riaño, the director of the Colombian National Police (PNC). In March, PNC agents in the city of Pereira, in the department of Risaralda arrested suspected drug trafficker Héctor Castro, who is also known aka “Héctor Largo” and “Tsar.” Until police captured him, Héctor Largo was the the alleged leader of the country’s biggest synthetic drug ring and a suspected member of Clan Úsuga, one of largest drug trafficking groups in Colombia. Synthetic drugs are considered much more dangerous than traditional drugs because they drastically change chemical balances in the brain, which can be lethal. Pink cocaine, which was first made in The Netherlands, is attractive to narco-traffickers because it can be sold for more than cocaine. The drug can be diluted into liquids, making it harder to detect. last_img read more

China reports one new coronavirus case versus 12 a day earlier

first_imgThe NHC also reported 20 new asymptomatic cases for May 1, down from 25 a day earlier.The total number of confirmed cases in the country has reached 82,875. With no new deaths on Friday, the toll remained at 4,633.Topics : China reported one new coronavirus case for May 1, down from 12 a day earlier, data from the country’s health authority showed on Saturday.The new case was imported, the National Health Commission (NHC) said, down from six imported cases a day earlier.China reported no domestic transmission cases down from six the day before.last_img

Andrew Wiggins has shoes, luggage stolen from Los Angeles home, report says

first_imgAndrew Wiggins’ Los Angeles home was burglarized earlier this month.The Timberwolves forward has been spending the summer on the West Coast working out when, according to a TMZ report, his shoes, luggage and rental car were stolen. Wiggins’ belongings are still missing. The TMZ report noted:”Law enforcement sources tell us the 24-year-old — who’s been in L.A. training for the NBA this summer — had his place broken into earlier this month.”But, we’re told cops described the scene as ‘amateur hour’ … because the burglars left jewelry and other valuables in the heist, and only took about $1,000 worth of the stuff instead.”We’re told the thieves stole a pair of Wiggins’ casual Nikes and his luggage — and also made off with his rental SUV Escalade. But, we’re told authorities were able to locate the vehicle a short time later.”The Los Angeles Police Department is still investigating the incident and no arrests have been made, TMZ added. Related News FIBA World Cup 2019: De’Aaron Fox leaves Team USA to focus on making NBA playoffs The robbery, according to an unidentified source close to the situation, was described as random.Last season, Wiggins averaged 18.1 points on 41.2% shooting for Minnesota. He also tallied 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1 steal, and 0.7 blocks per game.last_img read more

Leadership In Philanthropy Award Ceremony Recognizing Local Philanthropists

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by South Sound Partners for PhilanthropyYou are invited to recognize those caring individuals and organizations that generously support philanthropy in the South Sound, by honoring them at the Leadership in Philanthropy Awards luncheon.  The luncheon is brought to you by the South Sound Partners for Philanthropy (www.celebrategiving.org).What:              The 12th annual Leadership in Philanthropy AwardsWhen:              Tuesday, November 13, 201211:30 am- registration12:00 pm- luncheonWhere:             Saint Martin’s University, Norman Worthington Conference Center5300 Pacific Ave SE in Lacey WA 98503Cost:                $35.00 per person or $250 for a table of 8Gerry Alexander, retired Washington State Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.  Brian Baird will be the special guest speaker.South Sound Partners for Philanthropy is proud to announce the following 2012 award winners:Business of the Year: Washington State Employee Credit Union (WSECU)Philanthropic Organization of the Year: West Olympia Rotary ClubCouple of the Year: Rick and Ellen MiddletonFamily of the Year:  The Taylor FamilyYoung Philanthropist or the Year: Hung NguyenPaul Grudis Inspirational Award: Earlyse SwiftTo learn more about this year’s event, past award recipients or the South Sound Partners for Philanthropy group, please visit www.celebrategiving.org.Seating is limited, so please register no later than Thursday, October 25, to:Kelly Green, RegistrarPhone: (360) 596-5430Fax: (360) 586-3570last_img read more

Photos: Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob buys $29M Malibu mansion

first_imgGolden State Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob has purchased a mansion in Malibu, Calif. for $29.1 million, reports Variety.Click here if viewing from a mobile device.The luxurious 5,512 square foot home on Carbon Beach blends indoor-outdoor living with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open to a loggia and outdoor kitchen, fire pit and hot tub. Inside, there are five bedrooms and six baths. The property also touts a home theater, elevator and glass room gym, among many other …last_img

Jon Miller, Nov. 7

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We finished on Wednesday evening with the double-crops. They did extremely well. They were short but they still had a lot of beans on them. They were in the mid-40s over 300-some acres of double-crops. Even some of the beans we planted July 18 still made it in the upper 30s. On our first field we were hoping for 50 but it actually went 49. They matured great.The wheat looks great. The moisture we got helped it and the warm temperatures have it off to a really good start.It was probably one of the best years we’ve had for beans. One non-GMO variety that we plant could have been better on yield. It is an old variety and it does well for how old it is. We ended up averaging around 69 on beans. The last fields we had were in the low 60s and brought the average down.The corn high yield was a field averaging 240 and the lowest average yield was around180 bushels. Very few fields went below 200. It wasn’t a record yield for corn but it was still good. After talking to other people we can’t complain about 2016. With the way the fall went, it makes you feel good about doing it again next year.Prices stayed better than I anticipated with there being such a big crop out there. We sell double-crops straight to market because we can’t hold them and they were close to a dollar higher than last year.The wheat acres did extremely well with the wheat crop, the straw and a 40-bushel double-crop average. The income off of those acres was probably the highest.last_img read more

PH salvages silver in women’s wushu event

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program PH archers miss gold target anew, settle for bronze medals LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games Wong’s performance made up for Daniel Parantac’s showing on Sunday where the Filipino ended up in fourth place in men’s taijijian.Honetown bet Audrey Chan settled for a bronze with 9.64.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses MOST READ LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games LATEST STORIES UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Filipino wushu artist Agatha Chrystenzen Wong took home the silver medal in women’s taijijian event in the 29th Southeast Asian Games Monday at Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in Malaysia.Wong’s performance earned a score of 9.65 just .3 points behind gold medal winner and reigning world champion Lindswell Kwok of Indonesia (9.68).ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more