The Caribbean has reopened and COVID-19 is spreading — but one island is finding success
After being hit with an “Avoid non-essential travel” warning by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of the coronavirus, the eastern Caribbean island of St. Lucia recently got some good news: it was moved to the “No Health Warning” list.“The key here is confidence,” St. Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet told the Miami Herald. “Confidence of my nationals; confidence of the persons who work with us and then confidence of the persons who are coming down here on vacation. That’s where you have to start: How do we gain that confidence?”St. Lucia, which has suffered more th...
Tropical Storm Beta remains at a standstill in Gulf Coast; Hurricane Teddy expected to grow, aims for Bermuda
ORLANDO, Fla. — The National Hurricane Center continued to monitor several storms across the Atlantic basin Saturday, including Hurricane Teddy, and Tropical Storms Beta and Wilfred.Tropical Storm Beta, named using the Greek alphabet after Wilfred took up the last name in the “2020 hurricane season list,” has been stationary in the Gulf Coast for the past several hours, according to the NHC’s latest report.As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Beta was located 320 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, and 245 miles south of Lake Charles, Louisiana, with sustained winds of 60 mph, moving west at 2 mp...
The Bear Fire 'smoldered for weeks,' then destroyed a town. Was Forest Service slow to fight it?
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Started by a lightning strike in mid-August, the Bear Fire had been burning for weeks in the rugged mountain terrain of the Plumas National Forest — attracting comparatively little attention from the public or media as much larger wildfires burned elsewhere in Northern California.And then on Tuesday, with fierce Diablo winds blowing, it turned into a monster. By Wednesday, it had destroyed much of the tiny community of Berry Creek, had killed three people and was threatening the city of Oroville.The sudden devastation left some local officials irate and defeated Berry Cree...
The Sacramento Bee
The wilds of one Lake Ontario bay reveal how coastal habitats suffer from changing climate, human choices
GREECE, N.Y. — Lake Ontario is more swamp than mighty Great Lake at the edge of Braddock Bay, where 15-foot cattails rustle in the breeze.The wetland is thick with the giant invasive plants. They stretch from the coastal forest into the bay, obscuring the view of the choppy open water beyond the peninsula that shields the calm inlet.Somewhere among the cattails is wetland scientist Rachel Schultz, tromping through the soupy muck in knee-high wading boots. She’s talking with graduate student Sarah Kirkpatrick, and while her voice is audible, the wall of vegetation obscures the two scientists fr...
Wolverines return to Mount Rainier National Park after 100 years
SEATTLE — Mount Rainier National Park is now home to wolverines again after a more than 100-year hiatus.A reproducing female, named Joni, and her two babies, called kits, were discovered by scientists of the Cascades Carnivore Project in collaboration with the National Park Service, according to a recent announcement. To make the rare and historic discovery last week, scientists used camera stations designed to photograph the animals and identify them using their uniquely patterned chest markings.“It’s really, really exciting,” Chip Jenkins, superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park, said ...
The Seattle Times
With Canada closed, duck hunters will pile into North Dakota this year
MINNEAPOLIS — With the prairie provinces of Canada most likely off limits to most Americans this year, North Dakota is bracing for an onslaught of waterfowl hunters who have been crossing the border for decades.“It could be a real zoo,” said Al Afton, a hunter and wildlife ecologist who lives near Bemidji. “North Dakota will be shoulder to shoulder.”Afton, an adjunct professor of renewable natural resources at Louisiana State University, said the global coronavirus pandemic will lessen pressure and disturbance on ducks and geese as they begin their migration from arctic and sub-arctic breeding...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
4 bears hit by cars in Yosemite; rangers urge motorists to slow down
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Four black bears have been hit by cars in Yosemite National Park over the last three weeks, leading rangers to urge motorists visiting the famed Sierra Nevada destination to slow down in a summer in which the human traffic has been cut in half because of the coronavirus.Two of the bears died. The other two were injured and it is unclear whether they survived.“Yosemite National Park is a big park,” said Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman. “People who come here sometimes are not familiar with the roads or the wildlife. You get bears, foxes, deer and other animals that cross the ...
The Mercury News
Family travel five: Time for a breath of fresh air
In an era when fresh air is favored, it may be an ideal time to nurture your family’s interest in the natural world.Here are five ways to encourage the next generation of outdoor adventurers.———1. Opt for outside fun.A slew of experts agree that regular, unstructured outside play is critical for a child’s healthy development.To that end, encourage youngsters to head out the door with the freedom to roam, staying safe within set boundaries, guided by their age, environment and experience.Pair free play with plans for regular outdoor activity as a family: opt for cross-country or downhill skiing...
Isaias now predicted to cross Bahamas as Category 2 hurricane
MIAMI — Hurricane Isaias is expected to strengthen from a Category 1 to a Category 2 hurricane as it crosses over the Bahamas Friday and Saturday, lashing the still-recovering islands with up to 100 mph sustained winds.According to the National Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. update, Isaias is about 340 miles southeast of Nassau and maintaining 80 mph winds.Southeast Florida from Ocean Reef north to the Sebastian Inlet and Lake Okeechobee remain under tropical storm watches, and the hurricane center predicted South Florida could see several inches of rain and tropical-storm-force winds over the week...
'A win for the Everglades': 5,000 pythons removed in state-sponsored capture program
MIAMI — Florida’s fight against the invasive Burmese python has hit a new milestone: 5,000 snakes captured in the Everglades since wildlife managers started paying hunters to remove the destructive constrictors in 2017.The South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which manage the state’s python elimination programs, announced the achievement on Tuesday.“Another win for the Everglades,” said “Alligator Ron” Bergeron, a water district board member and an avid python hunter. “Each invasive python eliminated represents hundreds of native Fl...