the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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prison dairies give inmates a sense of purpose

via NPR

Lisa Morehouse went to Corcoran state prison in California’s Central Valley to report on inmates who work in the dairy there. “I really enjoy what I do,” says Edward Wilson, who tests the milk for bacteria and is serving time for second-degree attempted murder. “I consume the milk, and I wouldn’t want to send out milk that’s not good for consumption. I take pride in what I do.”

You can read the whole article from NPR HERE.


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switzer fellowship app is open — let’s get a farm leader in there!

Every year the Switzer Foundation provides funding for 20 scholars and innovators in terminal graduate programs in New England and California. The scholarship is $15,000 for the course of a year for people doing work on sustainability, agriculture, urban development, and related fields/issues.

Their call of for applications says, “Candidates for the Fellowship should demonstrate outstanding leadership potential, be able to clearly communicate how they will apply their technical or professional expertise to environmental issues, and convey a clarity and sense of purpose about their work.  Leadership qualities valued by the Switzer Foundation include a desire to work collaboratively and across disciplines, a commitment to applied environmental work, interest in developing leadership skills and an appreciation of the importance of networks.  Candidates for the Switzer Fellowship are chosen not only for their excellence in academic and scientific or technical work, but also on their true dedication to aggressively pursue practical solutions to environmental problems.”

If this sounds like you or anyone your know, check out the application instructions HERE, and look at last year’s grantees HERE.


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interactive california water rights map

Scottsdale-Golf-Course-sprinklers

So much has been said about California’s record-breaking draughts this year, but some experts have proposed that it’s not so much a an absolute lack of water, but a problem of water management. A group of organizations in California have banded together to provide us with this INTERACTIVE MAP OF WATER RIGHTS in their state. It is meant to help citizens, journalists, and researchers understand the state of water management in an accessible and intuitive way.


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corridors of nature…in the city

Red-Mural-Amber-Hasselbring

A Butterfly Species Settles in San Francisco’s Market Street
Two advocates track Western tiger swallowtails through the city and use art to encourage residents to think of the fluttering creatures as welcome neighbors

By Aleta George for smithsonian.com
August 28, 2013

“Nature is everywhere,” says lepidopterist Liam O’Brien about the tigers of San Francisco’s Market Street—Western tiger swallowtail butterflies, that is.

O’Brien and naturalist Amber Hasselbring of Art-ecology have launched a campaign called “Tigers on Market Street” to speak for the butterflies that live in the canopy of trees that line the busiest street in downtown San Francisco. They are bringing the butterfly’s story to light using science and art as the City of San Francisco re-imagines the role of this hardworking boulevard in a project called Better Market Street. On blank walls and in Powerpoint talks given to groups throughout the city, the duo display photographs, paintings and fantastical collages of the butterflies and the urban world in which they live. Continue reading


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land access event

Land Access and the Challenge for the Food Movement: Panel discussiontruck
AUG 20, 2014 , 6:30PM- 8:30PM| LA PEÑA CULTURAL CENTER, BERKELEY, CA

Land access is a serious challenge facing small-scale farmers. Concentration of ownership, increasing farm size, rural gentrification, financial speculation, and rising pressure from residential and industrial real estate developers have made farmland increasingly difficult to get.

One strategy for increasing land access that we are seeing with increasing frequency is the development of land trusts that attempt to intervene in speculative land markets in order to protect farmland. According to the American Farmland Trust’s 2012 national survey, agricultural easements have facilitated the protection of 5 million acres of land. Continue reading


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the wild west of weed has a water problem

Some drought-stricken rivers and streams in Northern California’s coastal forests are being polluted and sucked dry by water-guzzling medical marijuana farms, wildlife officials say — an issue that has spurred at least one county to try to outlaw personal grows.

State fish and wildlife officials say much of the marijuana being grown in northern counties under the state’s medical pot law is not being used for legal, personal use, but for sale both in California and states where pot is still illegal.

This demand is fueling backyard and larger-scale pot farming, especially in remote Lake, Humboldt and Mendocino counties on the densely forested North Coast, officials said.

“People are coming in, denuding the hillsides, damming the creeks and mixing in fertilizers that are not allowed in the U.S. into our watersheds,” said Denise Rushing, a Lake County supervisor who supports an ordinance essentially banning outdoor grows in populated areas.

“When rains come, it flows downstream into the lake and our water supply,” she said. Many affected waterways also contain endangered salmon, steelhead and other creatures protected by state and federal law. Click HERE to read more about this dilemma.

 

 

 

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