Spotlight on green news & views: 2 nat’l monuments safe from shrinking; quakes batter Oklahoma

This is the 517th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) usually appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Here is the August 2 Green Spotlight. More than 27,495 environmentally oriented stories have been rescued to appear in this series since 2006. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.

OUTSTANDING GREEN STORIES

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On the trail

Sylvanus Prince writes—The Daily Bucket: Frustration, success, and (scary) Surprise! “I am new to this madness hobby of nature and wildlife photography, in that for the first time in my life, having recently retired, I now have the time and opportunities to frustrate myself to the point of insanity pursue and enjoy it.  However, since I live in Reno, Nevada, and I don’t drive I have to

my excursions a bit of forethought and planning.  There are limits to the when, where and how of getting there and back.  Fortunately, Reno is right on the eastern edge of the northern Sierra Nevada mountains and there are places I can get to “on foot”, as it were.  The Mt. Rose Wilderness is one of them.  That being the case, I recently made what was intended to be a two-night backpack trip up the Jones-Whites Creek Loop Trail to Church’s Pond.  My primary intention was to get some photographs of nature and wildlife worthy of the Daily Bucket.  Secondarily, I just enjoy backpacking and the adventure of it all.  You never know what you might see.  You never know just how you might be surprised.  All that said then, let’s go! Taking off Monday morning July 31, by city bus and then a relatively short taxi ride I was soon up on the trail.”

Assaf writes—Pruitt Forces EPA to Undermine Tribal Sovereignty on Clean Water: “The Federal government was moving towards letting Native nations set their own clean water standards within their reservations. This move is still documented on the EPA website. It was all said and done but for the finishing touches – and then the man-made catastrophe named Trump fell into the White House.Trump appointed as EPA head one Scott Pruitt, who unlike most *45’s appointees seems reasonably competent at what he does. Unfortunately, what he does is mostly to destroy the EPA from above, and to sacrifice the environment at the feet of narrow financial and political interests.In this vein, EPA professionals were recently told to put the Native American clean-water sovereignty process on hold, and instead to contact county governments overlapping with these reservations and invite them to provide input on the process. Sounds deceptively innocuous, but 1. County governments have no business interfering with this, it’s outside their juridsiction and over their heads. States are the ones setting water standards, so they might have a valid say, maybe – but not counties. 2. Most sizable Native American reservations are in remote areas, very often surrounded by rural Whites who as a rule skew heavily to the right and have many direct conflicts of interest with Native Americans, in particular over land and water.”

TulsaGal writes—Observations on the Oklahoma Earthquakes: 2011 – Present: “I read Walter Einenkel’s recent article on the latest spate of earthquakes centered around Edmond, Oklahoma, on what appears to be a NEW fault, with interest, and resignation. Now, queue a big old sigh, signifying, ‘oh lord, not again’. Yep. Again. We hate this, but it is what it is. The tradition has always been, in Oklahoma, that oil and gas interests call the shots traditionally, and it’s been taking to extremes under GOP guidance in the governor’s mansion and the state legislature. Hence, our earthquake problems. And OH JOY, the state’s conducting an investigation, because, apparently, a NEW fault has been activated. Yippee. [See also www.yahoo.com/…].I ’m back in Tulsa these days, and the accursed things are a daily (sometimes hourly) nuisance now. I have family in Edmond who are dealing with being at the epicenter this go-round. This includes one badly frightened three year old boy, his mama (my brother’s youngest), her sister, who just PCSed back to the States from Italy and is stopping over on her way to her new duty station in Texas, and their mother.”

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