Rio Grande del Norte. Photo by Irene Owsley

Rio Grande del Norte. Photo by Irene Owsley

13
Feb
2017

Environmental Justice in Colorado’s Conejos Land Grant Region

by Justin Garoutte, Executive Director of Conejos Clean Water Category: , ,

Louis Bacon and The Trinchera Blanca Foundation, an affiliate of  The Moore Charitable Foundation are proud to partner with Conejos Clean Water. It’s another morning in southern Colorado’s Conejos Land Grant Region, a region that has seen more sweat and tears than I will ever know, a region with so much promise, resiliency and aspirations for a brighter future. I walk the aching streets of Antonito, and the warm Colorado sun spreads its blessings upon the adobe houses, houses that were once homes, some that still are, holding on in a town whose heart beats slow and steady for its people, our culture and the land, air and water that give us life. If you walk around town long enough, you’ll eventually find Conejos Clean Water, a grassroots organization, now it its seventh year. Conejos Clean Water came about in 2010 though a struggle for environmental justice when radioactive, hazardous nuclear waste was to be transferred at a site just south of town, right next to the San Antonio River that provides life for our people. We won that... read more +

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13
Jan
2017

A Victorious Year Against Offshore Drilling along East Coast – Thanks to a Grassroots Movement

by Claire Douglass, Campaign Director for Climate and Energy, Oceana Category:

Last week, the Obama administration formally denied all pending seismic airgun blasting permits in the Atlantic, favoring local voices over oil interests in a move that goes against the grain of our historically fossil fuel dependent society and solidifies the path to a cleaner, more sustainable renewable energy future. Although in recent months groups have been making headway, the fight against offshore drilling and exploration in the Atlantic certainly started as a seemingly losing battle. In 2008, the Bush administration lifted a longstanding moratorium on offshore drilling in the Atlantic. Done quietly, most East Coast communities had no idea their waters were open to the prospect of offshore drilling, and up until 2014, the only people privy to proposed drilling plans were those who supported it. Virtually unopposed, the government proceeded with plans to open up the Atlantic to offshore drilling – plans that surely would have gone smoothly, except for one little hitch: people like you. In 2014, Oceana planted the seeds of a grassroots movement that would eventually sweep across the East Coast. It all started... read more +

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The “Fire Forests” of the southeast need fire the way rain forests need rain.

27
Dec
2016

Fire and the Longleaf Pines of the Southern US: A Bright Future for a Magical Forest

by Angie Carl, SE Coastal Plain Stewardship & Fire Program Manager, The Nature Conservancy Category: ,

The longleaf pine forests of the southern US have a unique and subtle beauty. The secret to this beauty is fire. The “Fire Forests” of the southeast need fire the way rain forests need rain. Most of the plants and animals here have adapted to years of fires that occurred as frequently as every one to five years, through lightning and Native American burning. Without these fires the woods become overgrown, shading out the natural systems and rare plants that therefore can no longer survive. I have been leading burns in the forests of southeast North Carolina for 13 years. They are some of the most beautiful and difficult forest in which to burn. I do it because the health of our unique forests – an amazing array of carnivorous plants, orchids, grasses, birds, bears, bobcats, and many other animals depends on it. A dramatic fact is that the Venus Flytrap, which now only grows here naturally, would die off forever if we ceased to burn. Recently The Nature Conservancy (TNC) purchased a new tract in Brunswick County,... read more +

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21
Dec
2016

An Ode to the Act of Giving Thanks to Dosher Memorial Hospital Grant from Louis Bacon’s Orton Foundation

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On December 16, 2016, team members from The Orton Foundation, the North Carolina affiliate of Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation, visited Dosher Memorial Hospital to deliver a $30,000 contribution for the hospital’s Emergency Department, which treats more than 13,000 patients per year. During the check presentation, Dr. Joseph P. Hatem MD, MPH, gave a kind and poignant speech about the act of giving, the ripple effect of hope, and the spirit of the holidays. Dr. Hatem has graciously agreed to let us publish his wonderful remarks here in their entirety.  On behalf of the doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, and staff of the J. Arthur Dosher Memorial Hospital Emergency Department, I would like to thank the Orton Foundation, Mr. Louis Bacon, Mr. Dillon Epp [Property and Wildlife Manager, Orton Plantation Holding LLC], and Ms. Ann Colley [Executive Direction and Vice President, The Moore Charitable Foundation], for the continued gift of faith they have in our hospital. Again to put this into perspective, the original hospital cost $30,000 to build in 1928, with Brunswick County Hospital Opening, June 2, 1930. James B. Duke and The Duke Endowment... read more +

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BGCSLV connects kids to the many environmental wonders of the San Luis Valley

5
Dec
2016

How a San Luis Valley club is helping youth connect to their local environment and impact the future of conservation

by Chris Lopez, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley Category: ,

A group of 50 or so kids are on a pedestrian bridge that connects the east-west dykes of the Rio Grande River as it flows through Alamosa, Colorado. The kids are standing on the bridge looking south and hearing how the river flows to deliver water into neighboring New Mexico and eventually into Mexico at the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez border, just 460 miles away. It’s nearing the end of summer and the mountains that surround the San Luis Valley are bare of snow. Generally, the mountains of the Valley are snow-capped beginning around November and continue to keep some snow cover through the spring runoff and into the heat of the summer. By August, though, when the kids from Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley are on their twice-a-week nature walk, the snow has melted completely and the mountains that surround look naked, albeit still inviting. On this day the youth members of Boys & Girls Clubs are learning how the river that they see every day flows. Standing on the bridge looking south helps... read more +

The Community Preservation Fund (CPF) has provided the five East End Towns of Long Island with an important revenue source to protect what we know and love - land, water and wildlife
16
Nov
2016

A Great Win for Water on the East End of Long Island and a Renewed Call to Action for Land Protection

by Robert S. DeLuca, President and CEO, Group for the East End and John v.H. Halsey, Founder and President, Peconic Land Trust Category:

On November 8th,  East End voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum to extend the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund through 2050 and to allow up to 20 percent of its future proceeds to be used for water quality initiatives. Group for the East End and Peconic Land Trust are two of many groups who collaborated to ensure this huge win. Louis Bacon, The Moore Charitable Foundation and local affiliate The Robin’s Island Foundation are longtime supporters of both. Since 1999, the Community Preservation Fund (CPF) has provided the five East End Towns of Long Island with an important revenue source to protect what we know and love – our working farms and natural landscapes, watersheds and habitats, shorelines and wetlands, as well as our historic resources.  While we have achieved so much – over 10,000 acres protected — there is still much to be done. Basically a real estate transfer tax program, the fund has raised more than $1 billion since its inception. An important component of the funding is that the dollars raised, in each town through these sales (2% tax on real... read more +

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17
Oct
2016

Conservation Easements: Keeping Colorado, Colorado

by Amanda Barker, Executive Director, Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts Category: , ,

Colorado has a rich, proud heritage of working landscapes. Our productive farms, ranches, and abundant natural resources stretch from our prairie vistas to our mountain peaks. Coloradans – natives and newcomers, alike – are proud of our lands and we overwhelmingly support protecting them. These working lands have drawn people to Colorado for hundreds of years and they will continue to do so for many years to come. But our state’s continued growth has led to an important balancing act between development and maintaining what makes Colorado, Colorado. As Coloradans know, our state continues to grow. By 2050, the population is expected to exceed 9 million, nearly doubling the current number of residents and putting more pressure on our land and water. These pressures threaten the viability of our farms and ranches as well as iconic landscapes and scenic places. We see those threats becoming realities as family farms and ranches are sold into development, or lost due to financial hardships. There are, however, tools to protect our lands and our heritage. One of those tools is the... read more +

"Bringing our forests back to health should be one of our nation’s top priorities" - Lesli Allison, Western Landowners Alliance
27
Sep
2016

Lesli Allison: Our Changing Forests

by Lesli Allison, Executive Director, Western Landowners Alliance Category:

Louis Bacon‘s Trinchera Blanca Foundation recently hosted a roundtable discussion in southern Colorado about best practices in forest health management with partners and other practitioners in the area. A thought leader in this conversation is Lesli Allison, founding member and Executive Director of the Western Landowners Alliance and the Chama Peak Land Alliance. Through both organizations, Lesli has worked extensively with private landowners and multiple stakeholders to advance conservation, sustain working lands and support rural communities.  When I was a young child, my family lived in a cabin in a tiny inholding in the middle of a national forest. It was nestled in the bottom of a narrow canyon, three miles up a rugged two-track road. With the exception of a few generally vacant summer cabins, we had no neighbors. We also had no television, no phone and no radio.  My mother taught school and left early each day. My father stayed at home, trying to write the next great American novel. Because he needed to concentrate, my father tossed me out of the house whenever the weather was fair and I was left... read more +

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A fine balance: a healthy forest counters living trees with those dead and dying.

1
Sep
2016

Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities, Healthy Landscapes – Letting Fire Back In

by Tony Cheng, Professor of forestry and director of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute at Colorado State University Category:

My kids are at an age where they still like to hang out with me. My work as a forestry professor at Colorado State University, where I’m also the director of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, takes me out into the woods a lot. I frequently drag my kids along on field trips, where I give presentations to a variety of audiences. Unlike calculus, forestry is a tangible science, where even kids can immediately grasp concepts. On a recent field trip that my son attended, he afterwards said, “Fire is actually good for the forest, right dad?” The simple answer is, “Yes.”  But it’s obviously more complicated. Like anything in the natural world, simple answers belie how complex things really are. Like in virtually every place on the planet, the forests of the Rocky Mountains are facing an uncertain future. Wildfires, large insect outbreaks, and other climate-induced die-offs are changing the complexion of the region’s forests. This has led to a common refrain: we are facing a “forest health crisis.”  But what exactly is a healthy forest?  There... read more +

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1
Aug
2016

Six Ways Save The Colorado River is Saving the Colorado River, Right Now

by Gary Wockner, PhD, Executive Director, Save The Colorado River Campaign Category:

The Colorado River is the lifeblood of the Southwest. From Denver to San Diego, the entire region lives off its water, slurped out in unsustainable ways from top to bottom. The two big reservoirs in the system, Lakes Mead and Powell, have shrunk to their combined lowest level in history. Further, that slurping has endangered fish, severely depleted river flows, and drained the Colorado River bone dry – all 5 trillion gallons are drained out before the river meets the Gulf of California. Here are six ways that Save The Colorado is turning back this tide and working to not just protect, but restore, the Colorado River. We support stopping all new proposed dams and diversions of water out of the Colorado River and its tributaries. Even though the river system is in severe decline, more dams and diversions are planned along the river in Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. We oppose these new dams and diversions and are prepared to fight to stop them in court. We support dramatically ramping up water conservation programs in cities across the... read more +