About Exposing the Big Game

Jim Robertson

Harvey triggered the release of more than a million pounds of toxic pollutants | Grist

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Harvey triggered the release of more than a million pounds of toxic pollutants
By Emily Atkin on Aug 30, 2017

This story was originally published by New Republic and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the number of chemical plants, refineries, and other industrial facilities. So when one of the worst storms in American history hit the heart of Texas’ petrochemical industry, it also triggered one of the biggest mass shutdowns the area has even seen. At least 25 plants have either shut down or experienced production issues due to Hurricane Harvey’s unprecedented severe weather and flooding, according to industry publication ICIS. But those closures are not only disrupting markets; they’re also causing enormous releases of toxic pollutants that pose a threat to human health.
Take Chevron Phillips Chemical plant in Sweeny, Texas. When it shut down due to Hurricane…

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B.C. to end grizzly bear trophy hunting after this season

By Lisa Johnson, Bethany Lindsay, CBC News Posted: Aug 14, 2017 3:00 PM PT Last Updated: Aug 15, 2017 7:12 AM PT

About 250 grizzly bears are killed in B.C. each year by hunters, according to the provincial government. Hunting the bears for meat will still be allowed outside the Great Bear Rainforest.

About 250 grizzly bears are killed in B.C. each year by hunters, according to the provincial government. Hunting the bears for meat will still be allowed outside the Great Bear Rainforest. (Mathieu Belanger/Reuters)

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B.C’s new NDP government is ending the province’s controversial grizzly bear trophy hunt, saying British Columbians can no longer stomach the killing of grizzlies as trophies.

The ban will take effect Nov. 30, 2017, throughout the province — after this year’s season, which opens Tuesday in the Peace River region, and later elsewhere.

“It is time,” said Natural Resources Minister Doug Donaldson on Monday.

About 250 grizzlies are killed annually by hunters in B.C., a number Donaldson said is “sustainable” for the population estimated at 15,000 bears, but he said public opinion on the practice has turned.

“It’s not a matter of numbers, it’s a matter of society has come to the point in B.C. where they are no longer in favour of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.”

Grizzly bear buffaloberry bush

A grizzly bear eats buffaloberries. (Alex Taylor/Parks Canada)

The ban will also end all grizzly bear hunting in the coastal region known as the Great Bear Rainforest.

He said the ban isn’t taking effect before this season because there wasn’t time to give notice after the protracted B.C. election, which took place May 9 but didn’t produce a new government until mid-July.

Hunt for meat to be allowed

It’s not clear how many bears would be spared from hunting as a result of the ban.

Hunting bears for meat will be allowed, outside of the Great Bear Rainforest, and neither Donaldson nor ministry staff could say how many of the 250 grizzlies killed on average per year are killed for trophies.

When asked how hunting would be policed, Donaldson said the exact regulations would be determined following consultations with guide-outfitters and others between now and Nov. 30.

“There’s not going to be any loopholes,” he said.

“Hunters will no longer be able to possess the hide or the head or the paws of the grizzly bear.”

It’s not yet clear what hunters will be expected to do with those bear parts, but they would not be leaving the province, he said.

Bear 164

The grizzly bear trophy hunt has been controversial for years in British Columbia. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

The announcement shouldn’t be a surprise for those in the industry, said Donaldson.

“They knew this commitment was in our platform and they knew we were going to act on this commitment.”

Activists worry about ‘loophole’

The grizzly trophy hunt has long been the target of activists and conservationists, who applauded the NDP decision to end to all grizzly hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest.

But those same voices questioned the logic of allowing hunters to kill grizzlies for meat in the rest of the province.

Those critics include housing developer and art philanthropist Michael Audain, chairman of the Grizzly Bear Foundation. In March, the foundation released an 88-page report that included a recommendation to end the trophy hunt.

“My first reaction is one of delight,” Audain said Monday after the news was announced.

“At the same time, I must confess that we do have some concerns about whether the issue of packing the meat out … could become a bit of a loophole.”

Those concerns were echoed by Chris Genovali, executive director of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

“Virtually no one legitimately hunts grizzlies for food; killing these bears is strictly a trophy hunt,” Genovali said in a written statement.

Hunting guides disappointed

Meanwhile, B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver suggested the NDP’s measures don’t fully address the concerns of environmentalists or local hunters, who want to harvest all parts of the bears.

“I’m not sure how this will appease the concerns of anyone. It appears to me that the NDP were trying to play to environmental voters in the election campaign without thinking through their policies,” Weaver said in a written statement.

Mark Werner of the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. said he was disappointed that his group wasn’t consulted extensively during development of the new regulations. He argued that the true threat to grizzly populations isn’t hunting.

“If you want to do something great for grizzly bears, let’s work on habitat. Shutting down small businesses in this province isn’t going to help grizzly bears,” Werner said.

With files from Rafferty Baker and Ash Kelly

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/plan-to-end-grizzly-trophy-hunting-in-bc-announced-1.4247060

The B.C. government has announced plans to end the controversial grizzly bear trophy hunt, following up on a campaign promise made before the election.

Hurricane Harvey, 25,000-Year Storm: Enhanced or Caused by Climate Change?

The Extinction Chronicles

By Bruce MeltonClimate Discovery | News Analysis

Members of the South Carolina’s Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (SC-HART) perform rescue operations in Port Arthur, Texas, August 31, 2017. The SC-HART team consists of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from the South Carolina Army National Guard with four Soldiers who are partnered with three rescue swimmers from the State Task Force and provide hoist rescue capabilities. Multiple states and agencies nationwide were called to assist citizens impacted by the epic amount of rainfall in Texas and Louisiana from Hurricane Harvey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez)Members of the South Carolina’s Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (SC-HART) perform rescue operations in Port Arthur, Texas, August 31, 2017. The SC-HART team consists of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from the South Carolina Army National Guard with four Soldiers who are partnered with three rescue swimmers from the State Task Force and provide hoist rescue capabilities. Multiple states and agencies nationwide were called to assist citizens impacted by the epic amount of rainfall in Texas and Louisiana from Hurricane Harvey. (Photo: US Air National Guard / Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez)

It was a 25,000-year storm. Its area of 24-inch rainfall was 50 to 100 times greater than anything previously recorded in the lower 48. Up to a million cars may have been flooded. In Harris County alone, 136,000 homes were flooded. Yet the official…

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Petition · Dartmoor National Park Authority : End the Yearly Slaughter of Ponies From Dartmoor · Change.org

Climate Change Is Complex. We’ve Got Answers to Your Questions.

The Extinction Chronicles

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/climate/what-is-climate-change.html

Climate change? Global warming? What do we call it?

Both are accurate, but they mean different things.

You can think of global warming as one type of climate change. The broader term covers changes beyond warmer temperatures, such as shifting rainfall patterns.

President Trump has claimed that scientists stopped referring to global warming and started calling it climate change because “the weather has been so cold” in winter. But the claim is false. Scientists have used both terms for decades.

2.How much is the Earth heating up?

Two degrees is more significant than it sounds.

As of early 2017, the Earth had warmed by roughly 2 degrees Fahrenheit (more than 1 degree Celsius) since 1880, when records began at a global…

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A crossbow hunter thought he shot a coyote. It was a family dog named Tonka

 September 23 at 2:46 PM

Tonka, a 1-year-old Alaskan shepherd, sleeps next to James Mongno, 9, and Lauren Mongno, 3. Tonka died Sept. 20 after a hunter mistook him for a coyote and shot him. (Courtesy of Elizabeth Mongno)

Elizabeth Mongno was walking Tonka around her wooded property in rural New Jersey when the 1-year-old dog spotted a deer and decided to chase it.

Tonka liked to roam free on the 3-to-4-acre parcel of land divided among a handful of homeowners, and he usually came back within seconds. But when he dashed into the woods Wednesday evening, he didn’t return. She screamed for Tonka to come back, and about 30 seconds after her dog took off, she heard a yelp. She knew Tonka was hurt, and thought he had been bitten by another animal.

About 10 minutes later, her husband found Tonka on the ground about 50 feet from their property line. He’d been shot directly in the heart with an arrow. Tonka tried to walk home, Mongno said, but he didn’t make it.

“It didn’t occur to me that there’s a hunter in the woods,” Mongno told The Washington Post. “I started screaming.”

Police said Tonka was killed by a crossbow hunter who mistook the 95-pound Alaskan shepherd with white and gray fur for a coyote chasing a deer. The hunter, Romeo Antonucci, was licensed to hunt and was within the proper distance from houses when he fired, police said. But Antonucci has been charged with careless discharge of a weapon and damage to property. (In this case, Tonka is considered property, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection told NJ.com.)

Antonucci, of Kenilworth, N.J., did not respond to requests for comment.

Bowhunters in New Jersey are allowed to hunt deer as long as they are 150 feet from residences. The state legislature passed a bill in 2010 to shorten the minimum distance requirement from 450 feet to 150 feet, in an effort to curb the deer population.

Tonka sits on the couch with James Mongno. (Elizabeth Mongno)

State law also allows hunters to shoot coyotes. Only bows are allowed during the fall hunting season, which began this month. Firearms and bows are permitted from November to March.

Mongno said Antonucci is a relative of one of her neighbors, who gave him permission to hunt on their property, which is not far from Mongno’s. She said she and the other neighbors should’ve been made aware that somebody was hunting on the property, which is dotted with five houses, so that they knew to be more careful.

“We didn’t know that there was anybody hunting. . . . Children played in those woods,” Mongno said. “It didn’t even occur to us that anybody would even hunt there because it’s a small piece of property.”

Mongno said she is not against hunting. Though she doesn’t hunt, her husband is an avid hunter.

“If the rule is 150 feet, and that is what it is, that’s fine,” she said. “But we have the right to know if somebody is hunting in the property adjacent to us. . . . It never occurred to us that we needed to have hunting laws for our back yard.”

Tonka, an Alaskan shepherd, with  Lauren Mongno. (Courtesy of Elizabeth Mongno)

She also criticized Antonucci for mistaking her dog for a coyote.

“If he couldn’t tell the difference between a dog and a coyote, he should not have a weapon. . . . You need to know your target,” she said.

Mongno’s family got Tonka last year, when he was still a puppy. The beloved dog had become Mongno’s third child and her little boy’s best friend.

“I will never forgive myself for letting him get away from me. My poor kids couldn’t be more broken, especially my 9-year-old.  . . .  Tonka put so many smiles on so many faces. His lovable, goofy personality made everyone around him happy,” Mongno wrote on Facebook.

Mongno’s Facebook profile has many pictures of Tonka with her children.

One photo showed Tonka sleeping in the car with Mongno’s son James, 9, and daughter Lauren, 3. James was resting his head on Tonka, who was curled up in the middle seat between him and his little sister. Another photo showed a younger and smaller Tonka sitting on the couch with his tongue sticking out as James lay next to him with a big smile on his face.

“My son cried himself to sleep every night,” Mongo said.

James skipped school last Friday because he knew his friends and classmates would ask about what happened to his dog, Mongno said, but he didn’t want to talk about Tonka.

Read more:

Family dog found dead in plane’s cargo hold after a two-hour flight delay

Game wardens killed a deer — in front of the family that kept it as a pet

This Alabama hunter shot and killed an 820-pound hog — after it wandered into his front yard

Arcade Hunting: No Tribute To The Great Outdoors

The Extinction Chronicles

http://www.npr.org/2017/09/23/552985140/arcade-hunting-no-tribute-to-the-great-outdoors

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had a hunting video game installed in the agency’s cafeteria.

Molly Riley/AP

Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke has just installed an arcade game called Big Buck Hunter Pro in his department’s cafeteria. Interior staffers can now take a few minutes’ break to aim toy rifles at a video screen and plink away at animated elk, antelope, caribou and deer.

The bucks fall over dead, but don’t bleed. It’s a game.

Secretary Zinke tweeted on Tuesday, “To highlight #sportsmen contributions 2 conservation I installed Big Buck Hunter in the employee cafeteria. Get excited for #hunting season!”

Secretary Zinke recently signed an order to expand hunting on public lands.

I do not hunt. That will not surprise almost anyone who listens to Weekend Edition. I do not find hunting a sport, as long as the deer and bears…

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Alberta not likely to follow through with spear hunt ban until fall 2018

‘The legislation would refer to firearms and archery equipment as the only permitted weapons to be used.’

The Canadian Press Posted: Sep 21, 2017

Alberta does not expect to make good on a promise to ban what it has called the archaic practice of spear-hunting until at least next fall as it considers rule changes that could include prohibiting other methods of taking big game.

The government made the pledge in August 2016 after an online video surfaced showing an American hunter throwing a spear at a black bear in northern Alberta and then cheering to celebrate his kill.

People around the world reacted angrily to the video. Some called the use of a spear barbaric.

Matt Besko, director of wildlife policy for Alberta Environment, said the province is looking at updating regulations that already spell out rules for standard hunting weapons such as firearms and bows, but say nothing about other methods.

“It is not just about spears,” Besko said. “When we looked at our legislation, there are other potential inhumane or unethical methods that could be used.

“The legislation would refer to firearms and archery equipment as the only permitted weapons to be used to harvest game species in Alberta. All other methods would be prohibited.”

Some other non-standard hunting methods include the atlatl, a kind of stick a hunter can use to throw a dart or a short spear at prey.

Using rocks to kill game or running an animal to the point of exhaustion or death could be prohibited under changes.

Besko said Alberta began surveying the public about non-standard hunting methods in 2014.

‘Very small’ segment of hunting community

There was already opposition to the use of spears before the government received a storm of angry letters, emails and social media comments about the 2016 bear video.

“The large majority of respondents to that survey disagreed with the use of those so-called non-standard weapons, including spears,” he said.

“There is a segment of the hunting community — and it is a very small component — that actually use spears and atlatls.”

The government has been getting some pushback.

Earlier this year, the Alberta Fish and Game Association approved a motion that called on the province to maintain legal spear and atlatl hunting.

Martin Sharren, the association’s vice-president, said there aren’t a lot of people who use spears, but the organization is wary of hunting restrictions.

“It is another hunting opportunity that if it gets taken away, it gets taken away,” he said.

Brent Watson, president of the Alberta Bowhunters Association, said his members have different views on spear-hunting and clear rules are needed to ensure that animals are hunted humanely.

Besko said no final decisions have been made and the government could include hunting rule changes as part of a broader update to Alberta’s Wildlife Act.

Draft proposals are to be presented to the government within a year.

“The earliest that a decision could be made would be for the fall of 2018 and that is if all things would align in terms of the external review process.”

Josh Bowmar, the hunter who killed the bear with the spear, was not charged after the province determined that he had legally harvested the animal.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/spear-hunting-albetra-1.4301433