Wild horse found dead on the Outer Banks — but cause is a mystery, officials say
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One of the wild horses that roam the Outer Banks was found dead on a beach at Cape Lookout National Seashore, and the cause remains a mystery, the National Park Service said Wednesday.The animal was identified only as “a younger horse” living on the Shackleford Banks, an island at the southern end of the Outer Banks.“Unfortunately, it wasn’t discovered soon enough for our staff to determine what exactly caused the death at this time,” the park said in a Facebook post. “The natural mortality rate for the horses on Shackleford Banks is about 6%.”The gender and age of the horse ...
The Charlotte Observer
Bulldozers were ready to fight California fires. Why did Forest Service turn them away?
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Loyalton fire was 2 days old and starting to pick up momentum in a heavily forested area 50 miles north of Lake Tahoe. That’s when Jeff Holland offered to help.Holland’s logging company, CTL Forest Management Inc., happened to have an array of firefighting equipment — bulldozers, water trucks, a wood-chipping machine called a masticator — parked on a property he owns in Loyalton, just west of where the fire started in mid-August. He proposed hiring out the equipment to the U.S. Forest Service, which was in charge of fighting the fire.He was turned down.“I had several p...
The Sacramento Bee
Wolf researcher's new book explores predators, prey on Isle Royale
MINNEAPOLIS — Renowned Minnesota wolf researcher Dave Mech was in his early 20s and a graduate student at Purdue University when he arrived on Isle Royale in 1958 to study the predator-prey relationship between wolves and moose. Mech’s three-year groundbreaking project detailed for the first time the killing efficiency of wolves and the vulnerability of moose on the 210-square-mile Lake Superior island.Now in a compelling new book to be launched Tuesday titled “Wolf Island: Discovering the Secrets of a Mythic Animal,” Mech, along with Twin Cities co-writer Greg Breining, chronicles Mech’s life...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Illinois launches statewide plan to boost monarch butterfly population: 'If enough people get on board, we can turn this thing around'
CHICAGO — Monarch butterflies have flown south for the winter, but efforts to protect them in Illinois are sticking around.As butterflies east of the Rocky Mountains migrated thousands of miles toward Mexico, a group of stakeholders representing farms, cities, roadsides and natural areas signed on to the Illinois Monarch Action Plan, the state’s all-hands-on-deck effort to ensure the survival of that unmistakable orange-winged butterfly.The plan is part of an effort to add regionally 1.3 billion stems of milkweed, which monarchs depend upon. Illinois aims to add 150 million stems of the state ...
Will Bunch: Trump, TV pundits don't have a fracking clue about Pennsylvania and fossil fuels
Both President Donald Trump and a small army of TV talking heads were on full alert at Thursday night’s debate for a Joe Biden “gaffe” that could change the dynamic of an election that the incumbent seems to be losing by a large margin. And when the Democratic nominee said near the end of the 95-minute session that a Biden administration would “transition from the oil industry” while fighting climate change, Trump and the pundits pounced.An unusually animated Trump claimed that “basically what he’s saying is he’s going to destroy the oil industry. Will you remember that Texas? Will you remembe...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Editorial: Trump's promise to protect Florida from oil drilling — worthless
On Sept. 8, President Donald Trump came to Jupiter, Florida, and signed an executive order that he said would protect the state from offshore drilling for 10 years. Trump added this laughable claim: “To my administration, environmental protection is a sacred obligation.”Just three months earlier, Trump sounded more like the president who believes public lands are made for private exploitation.In declaring June to be National Ocean Month, he noted that nearly 20% of the country’s oil and gas production comes from offshore sources. “There is great potential,” he said in his proclamation, “to bol...
Tough fire season takes toll on firefighters' mental health
Josh Baker just got home from a 50-day deployment to three California wildfires. Although his job wasn’t dangerous — he worked on a support team, making calls to track down equipment such as port-a-potties and bulldozers — the hours were long, the stakes were high and the work was exhausting.He’s still feeling tense. “I’m anxious, nerves are kind of frayed, things that would normally not be a big deal — kind of water off a duck’s back — hit a little harder,” said Baker, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) fire captain who spoke to Stateline as a member of the age...
New Caribbean system near Florida developing; Hurricane Epsilon maintains strength
ORLANDO, Fla. — A Caribbean low-pressure system will possibly become the next tropical depression or tropical storm as it escalates to a 100% chance of development, according to the National Hurricane Center’s Saturday afternoon update.The system is about 125 miles west-southwest of Grand Cayman Island and is producing showers and thunderstorms mainly east and south of the center.“The system could move near western Cuba on Monday and move across the southern Gulf of Mexico or the northeastern portion of the Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday,” senior hurricane specialist Eric Blake said in the lates...
Caribbean system near Florida now at 70% chance to develop; Hurricane Epsilon's swells to affect East Coast
ORLANDO, Fla. — A Caribbean low pressure system had its chances of becoming the next tropical depression or tropical storm escalate Friday afternoon to a 70% chance of developing in the next two days.The broad area of low pressure is becoming better organized and will likely become a tropical depression, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 2 p.m. EDT update. The system is west of Grand Cayman Island and is producing showers and thunderstorms mainly east and south of the center. It will likely move near western Cuba by Sunday.If the system does become a tropical storm it will be the 27...
Rare two-headed snake found in Florida
Florida’s latest salvo in the Bingo game that is 2020 is a two-headed snake.Images of the snake were posted to the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s Facebook page.“A rare two-headed southern black racer was recently found at a residence in Palm Harbor by Kay Rogers and family,” reads the post.FWC said the split heads on a single body is known as bicephaly, and it occurs while the snake is developing as an embryo “when two monozygotic twins failed to separate, leaving the heads conjoined onto a single body.”The snake is now in the care of FWC staff.“Two-headed snakes are unlikely to su...