Oregon Raises Protections for Rare Seabird: Logging, Loss of Prey, Climate Change All Endanger Marbled Murrelet

Here’s the press release from the successful conservation groups.

PORTLAND, Ore.— Responding to a petition from conservation groups, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted today to change the status of marbled murrelets from threatened to endangered under the Oregon Endangered Species Act.

The decision to uplist the murrelet reflects the increasingly imperiled status of the species in Oregon and represents an important step in reversing its ongoing decline toward extinction in the state.

“We applaud the commission for recognizing that the marbled murrelet warrants endangered status in Oregon,” said Nick Cady, legal director at Cascadia Wildlands. “This decision sets the stage for the state of Oregon to take the steps that will be necessary to recover this species in Oregon.”

The marbled murrelet is a seabird that nests in old-growth and mature forests and forages at sea. Its population has declined dramatically over the decades because of extensive logging in Oregon’s Coast Range. The commission’s decision could have implications for forest protection on state and private timberlands.

“While federal laws have stabilized habitat loss on federal lands, the state of Oregon has continued to allow logging of older forests at an alarming rate and failed to adequately address new threats to the species,” said Bob Sallinger, conservation director for the Audubon Society of Portland. “Changing the murrelet’s status to endangered will help ensure that Oregon takes the steps necessary to do its part to save this species.”

In response to a petition from multiple conservation organizations, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife developed a status review to assess the murrelet’s condition. The review demonstrated that murrelets need increased protections under the Oregon Endangered Species Act due largely to loss of nesting habitat from ongoing clear-cut logging. State protections are critical, because although many of Oregon’s Coast Range old-growth forests have been logged and converted into industrial tree farms, some of the best remaining older forests occur on state-managed lands.

“We’re pleased commissioners made a sound, science-based decision that’s exactly what these desperately imperiled seabirds need to survive,” said Tierra Curry, senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The science was absolutely clear that the murrelet warrants endangered status in Oregon. This protection will be critical to preserving an amazing part of our state’s natural heritage.”

The murrelet was listed as threatened in 1995. However, the recent status review conducted by Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife concluded that the “key threats identified at the time of listing have continued or increased, and many new threats have been identified since the 1990s … the life history exhibited by this species provides little opportunity for the population to rapidly increase even under the most optimal circumstances.” It also noted that the primary causes of marbled murrelet declines — loss and fragmentation of older forest habitat on which the bird depends for nesting — have “slowed, but not halted … since the 1990s,” with greatest losses occurring on lands managed by the state. The review specifically notes that existing programs and regulation have “failed to prevent continued high rates of habitat loss on nonfederal lands in Oregon.”

The Oregon Endangered Species Act requires that the commission adopt survival guidelines for the species at the time of reclassification. Survival guidelines are quantifiable and measurable guidelines necessary to ensure the survival of individual members of the species. Guidelines may include take avoidance and protecting resource sites such as nest sites or other sites critical to the survival of individual members of the species. They would serve as interim protection until endangered species management plans are developed by applicable state agencies and approved by the Fish and Wildlife Commission.

“It is remarkable that this species has been listed as threatened for more than 20 years but the state of Oregon has never developed a plan to actually protect murrelets on either lands owned by the state of Oregon or private timber lands,” said Quinn Read, Northwest director of Defenders of Wildlife. “The status quo has failed this iconic Oregon seabird. We look forward to working with ODFW and other agencies to developing a plan that will truly protect this species and allow it to recover in Oregon.”

“This is an important step for ODFW. The agency has struggled to faithfully act on it’s core mission of protecting all native fish and wildlife in our state, but with this action to protect the marbled murrelet we hope they have turned the page,” said Steve Pedery, Conservation Director for Oregon Wild.

The conservation groups that initiated the petition to declare the marbled murrelet endangered in Oregon were Cascadia Wildlands, Audubon Society of Portland, the Center for Biological Diversity, Oregon Wild, Coast Range Forest Watch and the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club.

39 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great news Matthew — just hoping it’s not too late.

    Here’s an excerpt of the abstract from “Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction”
    Gerardo Ceballos,1* Paul R. Ehrlich,2 Anthony D. Barnosky,3 Andrés García,4 Robert M. Pringle,5 Todd M. Palmer6

    http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/advances/1/5/e1400253.full.pdf

    “Even under our assumptions, which would tend to minimize evidence of an incipient mass extinction, the average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 100 times higher than the background rate… These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way. Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing.”

    • David,

      (1) There is no physical thing called “biodiversity”. it’s an abstraction that I think distracts people from thinking about physical things like species and genetic diversity.
      (2) We can look at photos, and read the history of where we live, and see the changes in recorded vertebrates over the past 200 years- other organisms have filled in the gaps according to ecological niche theory. Species have problems and other species move in. I can’t get from real world observations to mass extinctions built on assumptions in models.

      • “(1) There is no physical thing called “biodiversity”. it’s an abstraction that I think distracts people from thinking about physical things like species and genetic diversity.”

        I don’t feel distracted about physical things like species, but thanks for sharing these personal views Sharon. The scale of cognitive dissonance arising from a career in the USFS must be difficult. (How to rationalize working for a captured agency with its colossal scale of mismanagement and corruption marketed as “stewardship and restoration,” and “development”?)

        I have difficulties with agency abstractions of “development,” which distracts people from thinking about the consequences of devolution occurring on our public lands. But if I understand your strategy of denial and rationalization, I guess evolutionary degeneration is just another abstraction?

          • Evolutionary degeneration is but one of the ascribed definitions of devolution. So you’ll have to take your further arguments to the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary.

            “Degeneration” btw defined as: “the state or process of being or becoming degenerate; decline or deterioration”: (and their example apropos to public land mismanagement), “overgrazing has caused serious degeneration of grassland.”

            (Evolution-induced species richness, abundance and diversity being the standard measures of the overall health and resilience of an ecosystem.)

            In the most perverse sense, I can “understand,” (in a chilling sort of way), your embrace of the agency’s casual indifference to such mere “abstractions.” Fortunately, we have laws, public defenders, and courts.

            Fortunately your indifference to, and equivocation of, existing laws, ethical principles, as well as anthropogenic climate disruption and the sixth mass extinction event relegates you to the ignominious outlier minority.

            devolution | ˌdevəˈl(y)o͞oSH(ə)n |
            noun
            the transfer or delegation of power to a lower level, especially by central government to local or regional administration.
            • formal descent or degeneration to a lower or worse state: the devolution of the gentlemanly ideal into a glorification of drunkenness.
            • Law the legal transfer of property from one owner to another.
            • Biology evolutionary degeneration.

          • Sharon: – “Yes it is an abstraction, and I’ll bite, what is “evolutionary degeneration”?
            ====

            “Evolutionary Degeneration” is a useless, senseless, warped terminology in biology. These disciples of “devolution” keep trying to shove it into the faces of policy makers, like mobsters demanding payment for “protection.” They keep trying to convince biologists, ecosystem engineers and government officials that they “need” or require “evolutionary thinking” to solve problems. That’s bunk. Who needs to know what dumb luck and chance accompanied by blind selection did over 200,000 years ago (2ndLaw) in order to problem solve challeges in ecosystems today.

            A far better terminology than “evolutionary degeneration” is “reverse engineering.” If you view ecosystems as something from a designed engineered perspective (irrespective of what your worldview says about origins), you can make progress by knowing that a function exists for something you observe even if you do not totally understand it. As intelligent beings ourselves, we already know and understand how intelligent agents think and work. Hence we can therefore approach a problem from a designer’s perspective, and more often than not are often rewarded with success in finding a solution. You can contrast this with the approach many evolutionary biologists took when it came to deciphering the complexity of genetics. They had no clue as to what purpose or function non-coding DNA had and therefore rather than admit their ignorance to a layman public, they fabricated another worthless term we call “Junk DNA.” So evolutionary biologists gave up and called something they didn’t understand “junk.” So the question comes up, what should medical professionals do when faced with medical challenges, play dice? Should Doctors just wait another 200,000 years (2ndLaw) for a natural solution to “emerge” itself? Fortunately for us, more responsible scientists believed there was hidden treasure to be discovered in so-called “Junk-DNA” and found non-coding DNA actually working for a purpose or goal. But here is where Biomimetics comes into play in developing solutions to ecosystem challenges. Reverse engineering nature’s complex designs has been extremely fruitful in developing step by step ecosystem restorations. But you’ll never get these worldview obsessed ideologues to admit that.

            Yesterday I watched that video Matthew posted on Bulldozer chaining of Pinyon-Juniper woodlands. I totally agree with the opinion against chaining and destroying such an ecosystem for another purpose, I believe there are batter ways and I also believe humans have reverse enginered so many components on our planet as far as climate driving and weather creation mechanisms that have causedrapid increase in undesirable species which is simply a side effect. What they won’t ever admit is that the misuse and abuse of science in the first place has brought us to the brink. But in that video, the moment that non-profit organization started fingerpointing and demonizing another political ideology they hate and blaming them for the natural world’s decline, then I’m not interested in their message. It becomes clear their interest and love is not Nature, but rather political ambitions and grabbing power and holding onto it. Nature is simply used as a tool for agenda justification and crutch to lean on.

            • Thanks for your comments Kevin.

              Regarding this passage and allegation that you end with:

              “It becomes clear their [Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance] interest and love is not Nature, but rather political ambitions and grabbing power and holding onto it. Nature is simply used as a tool for agenda justification and crutch to lean on.”

              Yep. Clearly, if your “interest and love is not nature” but instead your interest and love is “political ambitions and grabbing power and holding onto it” working or volunteering for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is the best choice such politically ambitious and power grabbing people could make.

      • 1) Why is biodiversity less of thing than genetic diversity? I would say both are abstractions used to represent complexities in how the world works.

        2) Niche theory isn’t the issue. It’s the pace of their emptying and how long they are empty and whether in fact some will remain empty long enough to cause damaging cascading effects (think pollinators). We can talk about the degree of uncertainty about background levels (since no one was there to record the real world observations), but there is “best available science.”

        • I agree that genetic diversity is an abstraction, but say I wanted to estimate the genetic diversity of a prairie dog population near my house. I would get genetic samples and calculate something.
          So it is relatively bounded by its nature.. within and between populations within a species. Species, with various definitions, have had some staying power in terms of humans grouping organisms.
          .
          Biodiversity has “genetic diversity potentially of every population of every species from elephants to viruses including below ground, below the ocean and so on,” along with diversity of species from virus to elephant and every fungus, lichen, bacterium inbetween..”
          Plus “ecosystem diversity”..given that ecosystems are another abstraction (and not in the useful way that species are) biodiversity is a second order at least abstraction.

          Well, how would we know if an important niche remained empty? Like pollinators, there would be signs. Who would we employ to figure it out? Pollinator biologists. The problem would be that frogs, pollinators or owls are having a bad time. The solution is to figure out the cause, see if it can be fixed, and so on.. calling the problem a “biodiversity” problem doesn’t add any value to any pragmatic way of dealing with it.

          As to “best available science” that turns out to be opinions of scientists based on models that they made up. Sometimes acknowledging that we can’t know is better for policy than taking whatever some scientists have come up with based on a series of quantified assumptions.

          • By limiting genetic diversity, you end up with evolution. It’s done intentionally in breeding programs, but why would we assume that nature doesn’t do it also, or that it isn’t part of the natural process?

            • It’s true that evolution works either way, but some species can get their diversity so reduced that the organism’s survival or reproductive capability is at issue. So if they can’t reproduce they can’t evolve.

              That’s why they crossed the Florida panther with the Texas panther.

          • Sharon notes: “Sometimes acknowledging that we can’t know is better for policy than taking whatever some scientists have come up with based on a series of quantified assumptions.”

            Good point. It reminded me of a quote from Brooke Gladstone’s The Trouble with Reality, quoting Ursula K. Le Guin:

            To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times is stress and darkness.

            This is not to say that we dismiss biodiversity and other nebulous concepts outright, but rather that we put them in context in our storylines (e.g. in scenario planning, in assessment storylines, etc.). We too often pretend that things can always be reduced to numbers and other formulaic renditions. Often they cannot be. But this is very troubling to many bureaucrats and politicians who want simple answers to complex problems. So it goes.

  2. And in 20 years, after years of negative economic impact, we can come back to the issue and see that it made little difference, because the reasons why aren’t really known. Remind me, what was the impact on the spotted owl after 25 years, based on a similar lack of understanding as to the cause in decline?

    • ESA to begin with is at best, a rearguard after the fact, legislative firewall of “management” corrections applied in the wake of an often politically-induced crisis of mismanagement.

      “Negative economic impact” framing suggests the fault somehow lies with ESA rather than the aforementioned, “politically-induced crisis” of the threatened extinction of an entire species..

      The market metric of “economic” has no moral legitimacy nor any quantifiable equivalency in which to measure the dollar value of life, and existence itself.

      Moral Legitimacy matters. The “free market” (sic) has no moral basis — especially within the GS pay scales being regulated through pious demonstrations of professional adherence to market fundamentalism. ( to wit, Sharon, Larry, and 353– singing in 3 part harmony here)

      The fate of humanity has never been so clearly circumscribed as evidenced between the contrast of these two opposing world views: market and technological fundamentalism vs. the simple recognition of the sanctity of life itself.

      Sharon’s profound biases require frequent spiritual references over the years on this blog for good reason as she willfully defends the agency role of Creator/ Destroyer/rationalizer of entire species.

      Let’s get real. Language itself is abstraction. Sharon’s “abstractions” are more properly understood as her necessary distractions and professional rationalizations as to how we find ourselves at the edge of an existential abyss.

      Rest assured what happens within our lifetimes determines whether we have a habitable planet, or a snowball’s chance in hell.
      There will be holy hell to pay for such distractions — not so much by us — but certainly by our children, and more inescapably, by their children.

          • Zero is also the measure of signicance and relevance of your question Larry.

            First, the time frame you’re selecting demonstrates your incapacity to understand the significance of the time frame risk of extinction. Extinction is forever. (That is a long time Larry.) Species are not consumer plug-and-play 3D printer fabrications.

            You might have noticed there’s several species of plants and animals inhabiting our NFS which are listed on the threatened and endangered species list of ESA.

            Causality matters to a lot of people interested in actually solving problems.

            Others, like you Sharon and 353 get paid to deny the relevance of causality — and to defend business as usual. Still others get paid by the nonprofit industrial complex to market “collaborative” “win-win”, “triple bottom line” approaches “adapting,” “mitigating,” “offsetting,”etc. and otherwise conning the public into thinking the problem is magically solved without addressing causal factors.

            A far more relevant question for you to ask is, “how many species over the last 30 years which are threatened with extinction are still extant?”

            That, extinction of a listed species HASNT occurred in the last thirty years, that we know of, can be largely attributed to ESA.

            So, in spite of witless forest “management” practices and your professionally-inbred antipathy for environmental regulations, the only nominally relevant insight to your question proves the efficacy of ESA.

            There’s a strong argument that many species on that T&E list would have been rendered as extinct as the passenger pigeon, etc. Regardless, the point Larry, is not to have to resort to Sharon’s vacuous methodology for “saving” the genetic diversity of the last mountain lion, seabird, etc. by heroic genetic intervention with captive remnants of a formerly vital, functional species.

            Countless discreet wild salmon runs (not artificially raised salmon species of hatchery programs) of the PNW are EXTINCT Larry — in large part attributed to witless forest “management” practices. Further, the hatchery salmon are themselves directly threatening wild runs.

            Hatchery raised salmon are similarly witless, in regards to possessing the genetic code necessary to survive the idiosyncrasies of a particular watershed, lat and lon, geography, solar aspect, geology, microclimate, etc. etc. and all the variations in all those variables and many more…

            It’s not surprising you don’t “get” this.
            You and 353 get, and Sharon got, paid for not “getting” this about public land management ethics and your responsibility to the public trust.

            Then again, Sinclair Lewis noted a long time ago, “Its hard to get someone to understand something when he’s getting paid to not understand it.”

            • I don’t get paid a thin dime for doing ANYTHING, here. Matter of fact, I haven’t worked for ANY pro-management outfit since working as a temp for the USFS in 2012. I got paid for ‘boots-on-the-ground’ hard work, in the field. Stop talking about me, through your…. ummm… rectum, David. Your hatred of Forest Service people has been well-documented. This blog is about Federal Planning and I am on topic here, challenging people to look at facts and impacts, instead of blather and unrelated accusations.

              • I never claimed you nor anyone gets paid for commenting here Larry. That’s utterly absurd. You might want to carefully reread my response.

                In my careful review of this thread of discussion, I faithfully answered your “innocent and reasonable question that should be easy to answer.”

                It was easy to answer. But not without regret that I misattributed the timeless quote of Upton Sinclair (not Sinclair Lewis), the truths of which triggered your descent into adolescent potty talk. I find that hard to reconcile with your claim of being “on topic here.”

                If you worked in, (therefore received remuneration for) participation in public forest (mis)management and yet — continue to deprecate and malign public defenders of environmental integrity on public forests;

                and if you persist in denial, obfuscation, and rationalization of those industry malpractices aided and abetted by corrupt politicians and captured agencies — agencies which are directly responsible for wide scale habitat destruction that threatens the continued existence of multiple species on public forests, my points and Sinclair’s remain painfully and yet inescapably valid.

                As public owners of the national forest system, we are ALL on the receiving end of agency documented maladministration and mismanagement to say nothing of countless court-documented agency violations of laws and regulations.

                Unfortunately, there is no professional nor personal accountability by recidivist line officer perpetrators of violations of our laws — in fact, they get rewarded by promotion in pay scale. You may recall the documented illegal retaliatory actions of many whistleblowers by Abigail Kimbell, (former Supervisor of the Tongass National Forest, others).

                After the US taxpayer paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in reparations to several of her whistleblower victims, Abigail Kimbell was rewarded with the highest position in the USFS– Hail the “Chief.”

                In fact, I’ve borne personal witness over three decades of many other USFS line officers who have been routinely promoted and financially rewarded for harassment, intimidation, and wrongful termination of several agency whistleblower employee “boots on the ground.”

                It is to those principled victims of high level malfeasance, those well-intentioned selfless defenders of ecosystem and agency integrity, I dedicate my honor and deep respect.

                And it is to those who deny, obfuscate, and rationalize agency corruption, maladministration and landscape level mismanagement, who I’m compelled to differ with.

                • David Beebe: – “It’s not surprising you don’t “get” this.
                  You and 353 get, and Sharon got, paid for not “getting” this about public land management ethics and your responsibility to the public trust.”

                  Larry: – “I don’t get paid a thin dime for doing ANYTHING, here. ”

                  David: – “I never claimed you nor anyone gets paid for commenting here Larry. That’s utterly absurd. You might want to carefully reread my response.
                  ===
                  That’s funny, sounded like it to me when I first read it.

                  David Beebe: – Then again, Sinclair Lewis noted a long time ago, “Its hard to get someone to understand something when he’s getting paid to not understand it.””
                  ===

                  Sinclair Lewis was a novalist and published such well know works as Elmer Gantry in 1927 and also the first American to win a Nobel for literature.. The person behind that quote is Upton Sinclair who said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

                  Another quote from Upton Sinclair applies more often so on this forum:
                  “It is foolish to be convinced without evidence, but it is equally foolish to refuse to be convinced by real evidence.”

                  • Kevin Franck,
                    you must have missed my self-correction of misattribution submitted a full hour (according to my browser) before your reply restating what I’d already posted. But then again, it has been noted in the past that at least one of my submissions was deliberately delayed by an administrator of this blog.

                    I regret any confusion of my intent this may have caused. Again, it seems an absurd premise on its face for anyone to suggest any of us are getting paid to comment here. To be clear, I am specifically referring to former or current paid employees of the timber industry or the USFS employees administering timber sales on our NFS.

                    I’d hope Upton Sinclair’s premise, that if you work for a living in an agency or industry that limits the full range of opinions, beliefs, etc., — especially which run counter to the employer’s,– that it often functions as a filter on who gets employed and the full range of (permitted or otherwise) beliefs held by the employees.

                    Lastly, I can’t help notice the main points of my answer to Larry’s question seem to have been avoided. The “evidence” of extinct, and threatened wild runs of salmon of the PNW is well-documented many in Larry’s neck of the woods:

                    Pacific Salmon | Endangered Species Coalition
                    http://www.endangered.org/animal/pacific-salmon/
                    Twenty-seven West Coast salmon runs are endangered. Salmon and … habitat niches. In 1992, the American Fisheries Society (AFS) identified 106 distinct Northwest salmonid runs as extinct, with another 214 runs in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest at varying degrees of risk of extinction in the near future .

                    • Still, ZERO species lost, due to Forest Service activities, in the last 30 years. You’re veering off on a tangent, talking about stuff that the Forest Service has very little to do with, especially with current policies in place. Blaming the present for the past is a favorite pastime for preservationists.

                      Most of my career has been spent doing thinning projects, monitoring and controlling loggers, and salvage logging. None of that, I feel, has been corrupted or “mismanagement”. I’ve also done work in the support of “ologists”. Since you know nothing about what I’ve done in my career, you have no business calling my work “mismanagement”. It’s insulting and unwelcome.

            • David as is usual, from what you present on here, you are as accurate on your assumptions as the agenda based science that you defend and the cataclysmic doom you predict. Other than sponging up thousands of wasted dollars as AD overhead on USFS fires, I’ve avoided any employment from public agencies for a couple of decades. That being said I gladly volunteer my time and energy to combat the false premises and decisions made from agenda driven science, and with the same energy help to improve management practices for forest health. The difference between us is that over the last 30 years I can see and measure the benefits from what I do, while at the same time see the results and failures of the idiology you support. And just think it’s available free of charge to the general public who, I might add, seem to be noticing the falsehood of your claims also.

      • Again I’m impressed with the number of two dollar words, for your two cents, of our penny anty thoughts. Well that is until you claim that what we do in our lifetime determines whether we have a habitable planet, since in my life time we’ve had to stop an impending ice age, which obviously went wrong because we are now causing global warming. I guess my generation has always just been overachievers.

    • 353 says: “… in my life time we’ve had to stop an impending ice age, which obviously went wrong because we are now causing global warming.”
      ************************************
      Dave Iverson: “Quite the assertion.. About one minute
      on a search engine came up with this counter assertion:”
      ====

      I remember the subject of an “Ice Age” being all the rage throughout the 1970s. So? I don’t like the term they use now “Global Warming” when the reality is it’s only one symptom of a larger climate disruption brought to us by the misuse and abuse of Science. Now Scientists (along with the Media & Eco-groups) fingerpoint at all mankind as being a plague on the Earth and blaming them for Earth’s ecological woes while taking accepting attributing no accountability to themselves. But yes the 1970s were loaded with mythical futuristic tales of “Ice Age” horror stories.

      • I was not trying to defend anyone, Kevin. Rather I was suggesting that we try to be civil one with another. I advocate for civic discovery and deliberative engagement, without the name calling and finger pointing. This is something you have suggested as well, sort of. Except that you once advocated for separation from either side of politically motivated debates; Something you seem not inclined to do. This from your blog:

        http://timeless-environments.blogspot.com/2017/10/human-disconnect-to-reality-of-our.html

        Hard core Ideologues on various political sides rather than show genuine concern for fellow man are more interested in this stupid immature fingerpointing and scoring imaginary brownie points against their preceived worldview enemies. I’d encourage people everywhere reading to separate themselves from either side of this politically motivated controversy and consider what you can personally do for folks in need while at the same time watching carefully where you may be donating your money to what ever non-profits these days.

    • Apparently you missed the sarcasm in how well we over achieved the changing of global temperatures. But if you spend a few more minutes of quality time with your BSEF (best search engine forever, in case you missed it) you can find published “ science” that will support almost any agenda you want.
      To clarify, I believe in climate change, but I don’t believe there is accurate science to prove mankind’s ability to significantly influence climate change.

      • Forester353: “To clarify, I believe in climate change, but I don’t believe there is accurate science to prove mankind’s ability to significantly influence climate change.”
        ====

        Actually I believe humans can and have effected climate. Not simply in the main ways the Activists insist by continually demonizing every type of factory irrespective of the business type. Yes, emissions are bad, but there are other factors such as vegetation mismanagement, irrespectice of the vegetation type. What many parts of good science knows is that trees, shrubs and a host of other plants create weather and moderate climate mechanisms. As time goes on and earth’s ecosystems are reverse engineered (deforested, land cleared for agriculture, burned off or any other human endeavour) the negative effects can be felt and have been felt in the past historically. For example localized prolonged droughts experienced by Maya and Aztecs, etc.

        A better way to illustrate the importance of vegetation’s cover to climate is the example of Ascension Island in the southern Atlantic. Prior to the British landing on and claiming Ascension Island as their own territory, the island was almost devoid of any vegetation with the exception of lichens, ferns, mosses, small flowering plants. It had no streams or springs. It was a true desert volcanic island. Fred Pearce wrote a wonderful article about it back in October 2013. The short story is the British had to ship fresh water in, but gradually British sailors planted gardens to grow what they needed and for general landscaping around their homes. A British colonial botanist Sir Joseph Hooker, a future head of the famous botanical gardens at Kew in London who visited the island in 1843, came up with the idea of growing trees to green the arid island and increase its rainfall. Oddly enough it worked, but most rainfall is fog or occult precipitation. However it’s enough to create streams and pond up on what they call Green Mountain. Here’s the link:

        http://e360.yale.edu/features/on_a_remote_island_lessons__in_how_ecosystems_function

        The other strange thing was that in the beginning many of the world’s scientists showed little interest in studying this phenomena as Fred Pearce brought out. Most were offended by what they considered the unnaturalness of the place. In other words if Nature wanted a forest there it would have evolved one centuries ago. The Yale 360 page with this article has changed. I would have taken a screenshot had I known they would have later deleted all the original comments, many of them vicious and critical of Pearce’s take on dicovering how vegetative ecosystems and climate function. Their biggest outrage was that these plants were invasive and would cuase all the lichens, ferns and other small plant species to go extinct. I’ve been in contact ever since with the island’s conservation officer, Stedson Stroud, who told me and showed me photographs of where these lichens, mosses, ferns and other supposedly endangered rare plants are actually doing better than before and many of them growing on the Laurel Trees and Tree Bamboo which were brought in and planted. So within 100 years things are doing great. Hoever many of the religiously driven ideologues aren’t happy. Stedson said he often feels betrayed by many of them. One huge in your face insulting ideologue was none other than Kieran Suckling of CBD fame. Suckling kept slamming the article and it’s push for studying climate change at the expense of the native species. Kieran Sucking and Tucson Professor at ASU, Matt Chew is known for critiquing ecology’s overreliance on societal metaphors and conservationists’ misapplication of notions like ‘nativeness’, both spared bak and forth. You got the feeling they really do not tolerate each other. But this idea that species have gone extinct has been found to be untrue, many things are doing much better.

        Even the island’s ecologist Stroud stated, “Green Mountain might help inform strategies to green some deserts or other barren locations in the world.”

        And even the environmental ecologist Dr David Wilkinson beautifully put it this way:
        “Is it possible… to suggest, for example, that large deforested areas of Amazonia could be returned to functioning forest on a 100-year time-scale?”

        And Fred Pearce followed up with:
        “And maybe not just former rainforests. If a forest can form so quickly and successfully on a volcano in the middle of the Atlantic, they why not in other unlikely places?”

        Anyway good read and research if you have the time and interest for it. There was an updated article by National Geographic from May 2017 last year. Beautiful pics and hard to imagine it was nothing more than volcanic rock just 100 years ago. Also hard to imgaine somebody being deliberately disinterested because it smashes their worldview. Anyway, the only way to fix or reverse climate change is to actually study some areas where mechanisms and functionality has happened rapidly. If this World doesn’t get more researchers free of their religious baggage on board (unfortunately they won’t), then they can kiss fixing Earth’s the climate good bye.

        https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/05/ascension-island-terraformed-biology-evolution-conservation/

        • Yale360 published a counterpoint by Simberloff and Strong (I don’t know how frequently they do this) and they said:
          “Pearce does not understand the goal of ecological restoration. Restoration ecologists today do not “painstakingly reassemble the complex ecosystems that have been lost.” The static balance-of-nature idea has long been succeeded by the understanding that nature is dynamic. Restoration ecologists do not aim to recreate the past, but rather to reestablish the historical trajectory of an ecosystem before it was deflected by human activity, to allow the restored system to continue to respond to various environmental changes. ”
          (my italics)
          Does that seem difficult or impossible to anyone else (before Native Americans came and hunted large animals.. except that was right after glaciation)?

          • There has been an unfortunate change to the Yale 360 website page, it’s been altered in that, aside from the change in layout and other features, the comments section they had before was deleted. It’s now been replaced by DISQUS. In so doing they deleted all the old comments under Fred Pearce’s article which provided heated exchanges. Numerous so-called purests that disliked the island being altered in their view. One vicious ideologue was none other than Kieran Suckling who blasted Fred Pearce. He was counter with ASU’s “School of Life Sciences” Professor, Matthew Chew, who was once dubbed a ‘gadfly of invasion biology’ by “Scientific American.” Matt Chew, is known for his critiquing ecology’s overreliance on societal metaphors and conservationists’ misapplication of notions like ‘nativeness’. In today’s mind set regarding native plants, that sparks outrage. But if nothing else the exchange between Suckling & Chew was priceless. You definite get the idea that neither individual do NOT like one another.

            Last night after I posted this Ascension Island lik here, I spoke with the conservation officer of Ascension Island, Stedson Stroud, who said he’s now has been back living over on St Helena Island. He is now managing a farm there over the past couple of years. He said still volunteers as conservation duties on Ascension island and just last year he discovered a new population of Endemic Barn Fern. It amazes me how well the endemic ferns adapted to several of the trees in the cloud forest. There are more now that previously. Clearly with the forest’s presence and attracting fog precipitation, the increase in water allows the endemic things more opportunity to thrive than otherwisse before. But again, I’m amazed at the criticism and the missed opportunity by the majority of Climate Activists to ignore such mechanisms to observe in real time and dumping speculations nd assumptions about the past.
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            Sharon: – “Does that seem difficult or impossible to anyone else (before Native Americans came and hunted large animals.. except that was right after glaciation)?”
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            I’m always intrigued on how such Mammoth animals made a living in snow from some of the artist renderings I’ve seen. Should never have watched Ice Age. I’m intrigued by what possible benefits large megafauna had on forest health in clearing understories or keeping grasslands clean. Many out there have written about this. I’m not convinced about this “ecological Indian” myth. Yes they knew how to live off the land and had knowledge of doing so that the Europeans didn’t. Of course the Europeans had knowledge & technological advancement that the Indians didn’t. However the Indians were and still are human beings equal to those of European descent. Look how quickly they grasped and adapted to European technology (horseback riding, guns, steel knives, steel hatchets, clothing, etc). But before Buffalo Jump, maybe it was called Mammoth Jump. Makes sense that such animals would actually have been easy prey despite their size. Most were herbivores, slow and lumbering like the Ground Sloth. I’ve been studying the artist renderings of giant Sloths and others standing on hind legs and stripping trees of lower branches, even Australian megafauna are shown this way. What role did megafauna play in North America in thinning trees and keeping clean forest floors healthy before someone decided to invent this love affair with fire worship as the only way to maintain vegetation or other extreme measures like chaining or wholesale mechanized mastication. Even if Europeans weren’t around to see megafauna, what role did massive herds of modern present day herbivores (bison, elk, deer, bears, etc) play in keeping vegetation properly maintained ? I follow a number of ranchers who are ecologically minded and maintain their ranches holistically for both their cattle business livelihood and increasing biodiversity of wildlife on their land. One I like to follow is Circle Ranch in West Texas. They are often at odds with the government who wants the native Elk eradicated because the say they are not native and/or they harm the big horn sheep, both of which are untrue.

            http://circleranchtx.com/

            Another great example is farmer Gabe Brown of North Dakota who farms 5,500 acres in North Dakota and raises biodiverse perennial pasture fed beef and grain farming that involves no-till, no synthetic science-based inputs, non-gmo seed and gets the same or higher yields than the convention science-based industrial farms. He also takes no taxpayer farm subsidies. But their successes are often deliberately ignored by Academia and many scientists as a whole. I imagine it’s for a number of reasons. First off ranchers are generally lumped into the same evil category package, they’re often “white” which is today another bad mark against them, probably have traditional values (not all, but many) which is yet another bad mark and the list goes on.

            http://circleranchtx.com/multi-paddock-grazing-on-rangelands-why-the-perceptual-dichotomy-between-research-results-and-rancher-experience/

            But back to the ecological Indian, maybe we should rethink their role. Maybe Buffalo Jump was once called Mammoth Jump. Makes sense, they had no horses, so fire would have been used a weapon rather than conservation tool to scare large prey off cliffs. I have doubts too about that, “took only what they needed from the land” myth for no other reasons than they were real human beings equal to humans today.

            http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/01/29/252AE3FC00000578-2931519-image-a-52_1422542681715.jpg

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