Tags >> animals
Mar 24

Bees vs. Mandarins

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , policy , legislation , land rights , government , food , farms , environment , economy , conservation , business , animals , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

 An ongoing dispute between beekeepers and citrus growers in the Central Valley raises questions that could profoundly affect agriculture throughout the state.


Read the state's proposed rulemaking language here.



Serge Labesque, with one of his hives.


There's also a solid, dispassionate summary of the whole issue on the Civil Eats blog.

 Petaluma's Libery 4-H club maintains a comprehensive website on beekeeping basics.

Mar 15

Masai land rights

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , resources , policy , legislation , land rights , international , history , government , families , environment , economy , community , business , animals , agriculture , Africa , activism

Bruce Robinson

 Western concepts of property rights don't mesh well with the nomadic lifestyle of East African tribes like the Masai -but it's possible that eco-tourism can.











Elias Morandot and his wife, Mary, have been visiting California and reporting on the circumstances that face their Masai people as guests of Global Partners for Development, a Rohnert Park based non-profit that provides heath, educational and economic development assistance to small rural communities in East Africa, including Morandot's villagage of Arkaria (seen below.)


A more detailed analysis of the Maasai tribal land rights issue can be read here.


Ngorogoro Crater is one of the most popular destinations for tourists to see African wildlife within the Masai people's traditional territory. Two others are Seregeti National Park and the MasaiMara National Reserve.




Jan 14

Pond turtle breeding

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , students , Sonoma , Science , resources , environment , conservation , animals , agriculture

Bruce Robinson


Hatching endangered pond turtle eggs in a biology lab not only aids understanding the unusual creatures, it may aid their survival as a species, too.


Nick Geist (right)  is a professor of Biology at Sonoma State University where he directs the North Bay Pond Turtle Project




Some people have questioned taking the eggs of an endangered species for a laboratory experiment, but Nick Geist says his students may actually have saved some eggs that would otherwise have perished.


Newly hatched turtles are small and vulnerable (above), until they grow and their shells harden. This may take two years or more in the wild, but the process is accelerated in laboratory conditions, where that state can be reached in about nine months.

Why invest so much effort into the lowly pond turtle? Geist suggests they are a surprisingly significant species.

Natural selection has enabled turtles to survive for millions of years. But some species, such as the endangered Western Pond Turtle,  may need human assistance just to get through the rest of this century.












Dec 29

The West at Risk

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , Sebastopol , resources , public safety , policy , planning , ocean , history , Health , government , environment , economy , conservation , business , author , animals , alternative energy , air quality , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

The seeds of the rapacious exploitation of the American West lie in the popular myths about the region's history, but there's not very much real history within those myths.


  Two of the three co-authors of The American West at Risk, Howard Wilshire and Jane Neilson, are Sebastopol residents.   Wilshire (left)  was a U. S. Geological Survey research geologist for thirty-five years and now is Board Chairman of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.




Nielson was a U. S. Geological Survey research geologist for twenty-five years and now is President of the Sebastopol Water Information Group.






The third co-author, Richard  Hazlett, is Professor of Geology and the coordinator of the Environmental Analysis Program at Pomona College.



While popular histories romanticize the "winning of the west," we now must make some hard policy decisions to keep from losing it.

At left, huge deposits of mining wastes fill the landscape near Yerrington, Nevada.  Below, craters from atomic bomb tests further south in the Nevada desert.

The authors have developed an extensive website with photos, updates, extra chapters, quotations and other materials at LosingTheWest.com