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Environmental Journalism, Environmental Protection, Manic Media Monday / 21.02.2011

[caption id="attachment_4728" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Photo by Clint Thayer www.focalflame.com"][/caption] Protests around the world lead the news this week. Legislation here in Wisconsin threatens to remove the collective bargaining rights of state employees as demonstrations in Madison continue through the weekend into Monday. Unfortunately as all traffic Downtown was brought to a standstill the annual Winter Festival was forced to an alternate location. The much-anticipated celebration of snow sports was held this year instead at the University of Wisconsin Memorial Union. Typically an event that draws cross-country skiing, snowboarding and ice sculpting to the Capital Square, the event was thoroughly overshadowed by rallies and a chanting throng of protesters waving signs. While attempting to balance a budget deficit of $140 million newly elected Governor Scott Walker and a Republican majority face off against more than 50,000 union members and their supporters. World events will always have a direct impact  our daily lives, particularly those that effect the environment. Here are a few other stories in the news this week to keep an eye on:
Diversity, Environmental Journalism, Environmental Protection, Kids in Nature / 18.02.2011

This is likely one of many hundred videos, hopefully thousands. But it’s the first to come across my desk and it prompted me to write in support of one young man who hopes to represent his generation on behalf of the environment. Christian Alvarado is among the teens and young adults across America vying for the Sierra Club’s Best Internship on Earth.

Breaking News, Environmental Journalism, Environmental Protection, National Parks, Outdoor Recreation, Video / 17.02.2011

It’s hardly fair to berate the President of the United States for being late. The speech scheduled for 4:45 EST in the East Room of the White House didn’t get underway until well past the top of the hour. But for what its worth his report on America’s Great Outdoors Initiative arrives just in the nick of time. Through more than 10 months of outreach, research and planning the Obama administration tapped the leading minds in outdoor recreation and wilderness conservation to create a new plan. “And together, we’ve laid the foundation for a smarter, more community-driven environmental strategy,” the President said.
Assignment Earth, Environmental Journalism, Environmental Protection, Video / 16.02.2011

The Rio Grande flows through some of the oldest continually inhabited land in the United States. In northern New Mexico, the river follows a deep gorge formed by the separation of the Earth’s crust. Because of its wild and pristine state it’s home to a rich population of birds and mammals and is one of the world’s great migratory fly-aways linking the United States and Canada for hundreds of migrating bird species.

For the past 30 years concerned citizens and lawmakers have been working to create the Rio Grande Del Norte National Conservation Area along New Mexico’s northern boarder. The proposed NCA consists of 235,000 acres of rolling sagebrush hills and 70 miles of the Rio Grande, the first section of wild and scenic river established in the United States. The goal is not only to preserve this rare and wild landscape, but also a way of life that dates back hundreds of years.

Africa, Breaking News, Charitable Giving, Ethiopia, philanthropy / 15.02.2011

There’s nothing quite like having your imagination transformed into reality. Less than five months ago I stood taking pictures of a hole in the ground and pile of stones on a dusty plain in Sub-Saharan Africa. Today I received a photograph via Facebook of the newly dedicated Laelay Wukro Community Primary School. Though I was not surprised, I continue to be amazed.

Capital Region Business Journal, Charitable Giving, Madison, Magazines, philanthropy, Sustainable Living / 15.02.2011

Home improvement projects and discount building supplies make for strong communities at the Habitat For Humanity ReStore. Stocked exclusively with donated new and used household materials this retail establishment on Madison’s Eastside helps low-income wage earners work their way to homeownership while keeping tons of construction waste out of area landfills. The first of its kind in Wisconsin the ReStore at 208 Cottage Grove Road is now one of 19 locations in the state that take in unwanted supplies for home renovation. Staffed by volunteers the business with 750 storefronts nationwide offers those eligible for a home construction grant to invest their time and energy working to provide affordable supplies to Madison do-it-yourselfers on a budget.