Bama Environmental News - BEN
April 2, 2007 #282
1) Alabama Signs Safe Harbor Agreement For Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers
2) Unregulated Dams in Alabama Cause Concern
3) GEEKS in the Woods
4) BEN Notes: Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Clean Up, Auburn University's Emerging Issues Urban/Rural Interfaces, Shoals Environmental Alliance Spring Schedule, Ruffner Mountain's Bayou Trip, AEC's Green Tie Affair, Dauphin Island Sea Lab's Discovery Day, Alabama Earth Fest, Delta Blues Festival, Auburn University Earth Week Events, ALEEC E.O Wilson, Household Hazardous Waste Day in Jefferson County, 17th Annual Bay Area Earth Day, 3rd Annual Mountain Longleaf Festival, Earth Day at the Gardens, Auntie Litter's 16th Annual Earth Day Parade, Five Mile Creek Greenway Cleanup, Cocktails with the Critters, Great Southeastern Hiking Festival, Calming Climate Change Symposium
Please consider supporting a BEN Charity today! Learn more at:
1. Alabama Signs Safe Harbor Agreement For Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers - Last week, the Alabama Department of Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the establishment of a Safe Harbor Program for red-cockaded woodpeckers (RCW) in the state of Alabama.
An innovative and successful program, the Safe Harbor Program provides a mechanism through which private landowners can agree to manage their lands in a manner that benefits a protected species. In return, they receive an assurance that they will not suffer from increased regulatory requirements should more of the protected species occupy their land.
Since 1994, the number of active RCW clusters in the South have increased from 4694 to 6254. On private land, the numbers have increased from 969 to 1286. Alabama is the eighth state to implement a statewide Safe Harbor agreement for RCW's. Across the Southeast, there are 268 private landowners and 621,035 acres enrolled in the program. Acreage enrolled in the program accounts for 613 RCW groups, including 57 new Safe Harbor RCW groups that have been created.
The first enrollee in the Alabama Safe Harbor Program is Campbell Lanier III. A noted conservationist, Lanier has protected more than 18,000 acres under conservation easements. His Sehoy and Enon Plantations are expertly managed for bobwhite quail and contains more than 12,000 acres of suitable RCW habitat. For more information about the statewide Safe Harbor Program for RCWs in Alabama, contact Bob Hastings, Alabama Natural Heritage Program at 334-833-4064 or Mark Sasser, Department of Conservation at 334-242-3469.
2. Unregulated Dams in Alabama Cause Concern - According to an Anniston Star report that was released last month, Alabama is the only state in the country that has no regulations on the books for dam maintenance and safety (this finding does not include Alabama Power and TVA dams which are governed and inspected by federal regulations and agencies).
* No state office is sure of the number of dams in Alabama (it is estimated at 2100). The last time Alabama counted dams on its rivers, streams and ponds was in 1981.
* The last dam inventory in Alabama found 171 high-hazard dams. A high-hazard dam is one that could cause significant loss of life or property damage. High hazard does not necessarily mean the dam is in poor condition, but most states require frequent inspections.
Presently, no legislation has been proposed this session of the Alabama Legislature to address dam safety. By contrast, the state of Georgia has been regulating dams for nearly 30 years through the Georgia Safe Dams Act, which passed in 1978. That law was created after the 40 foot Kelly Barnes Dam broke over the town of Toccoa, Georgia killing 39 people in November 1977.
3. GEEKS in the Woods - Joshua Morrison, a 15 year old student at White Plains High School in Calhoun County noticed that his generation had lost touch with the natural world, captured by the virtual world of PS3, Wii and IPODs.
In response to that disturbing trend and inspired by Richard Louv's book "Last Child in the Woods" and his mother, Renee Morrison, an educator for the JSU Field Schools, Joshua created a group called "Geeks in the Woods" (Geeks stands for Good lookin environmentally educated kids) . Now, Joshua and his friends are reaching out to their generation, promoting nature. Check out this extraordinary new movement by visiting the group's website at http://www.geeksinthewoods.org .
4. BEN Notes - Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Clean Up, Auburn University's Emerging Issues Urban/Rural Interfaces, Shoals Environmental Alliance Spring Schedule, Ruffner Mountain's Bayou Trip, AEC's Green Tie Affair, Dauphin Island Sea Lab's Discovery Day, Alabama Earth Fest, Delta Blues Festival, Auburn University Earth Week, ALEEC E.O Wilson, Household Hazardous Waste Day in Jefferson County, 17th Annual Bay Area Earth Day, 3rd Annual Mountain Longleaf Festival, Earth Day at the Gardens, Auntie Litter's 16th Annual Earth Day Parade, Five Mile Creek Greenway Cleanup, Cocktails with the Critters, Great Southeastern Hiking Festival, Calming Climate Change Symposium
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Clean Up - Join the Friends of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge for Clean Up and Learn Days on April 7th at 8:30 AM. For additional information contact Teresa Adams at 256-350-6639 or visit http://www.fws.gov/wheeler/
Auburn University's Emerging Issues Urban/Rural Interfaces - Auburn University's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences is holding a 3 day conference titled Emerging Issues Along Urban/Rural in Atlanta on April 9-12. For details, visit http://www.sfws.auburn.edu/urbanruralinterfaces/
Shoals Environmental Alliance Spring Schedule - Check out the Shoals Environmental Alliance schedule of Nature Walks at - http://shoalsenvironalliance.netfirms.com/
Ruffner Mountain's Bayou Trip - Ruffner Mountain naturalists are leading a scenic 2 night journey along the Bartram Canoe Trail on April 13-15. To participate in this once in a lifetime trip call Josh Conway at 205-833-8264 ext. 13. The fee is $175 per person which includes meals, transportation, and canoe/tent rentals. For more info - http://www.ruffnermountain.org
AEC's Green Tie Affair - The Alabama Environmental Council will be holding its 11th Annual Green Tie Affair Dinner and Party on April 13th, 6:00 at the B&A Warehouse in Birmingham. For details about this exciting event go to - http://www.aeconline.ws
Discovery Day at Dauphin Island Sea Lab - Come celebrate Discovery Day - Dauphin Island Sea Lab's Annual Open House - and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 200th year of programs on April 14th, 9:00 AM at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, North Campus. For information about the day's activities visit, http://www.disl.org .
Alabama Earth Fest - Check out the "Run for the Crest" Road Race and Music Festival at http://www.AlabamaEarthFest.org. The event is scheduled for April 14th at Oak Mountain State Park.
Delta Blues Festival - Alabama's new Five Rivers Delta Resource Center in Spanish Fort, Alabama will be holding their grand opening on April 13th with a ribbon cutting ceremony. On Saturday, April 14th-15th the new Resource Center will be hosting the Delta Blues Festival featuring world famous Richard Johnston. For detail about the new center and the weekend long festival, visit http://www.alabamafiverivers.com
Auburn University Earth Week - Auburn University's Sustainability Initiative will be holding events throughout the campus from April 15 to April 21. For information about the week-long celebration visit http://earthday.auburn.edu
ALEEC E.O Wilson - On April 21, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Samford University's Leslie Stephens Wright Center, the Alabama Environmental Education Consortium will be hosting E.O. Wilson and a number of speakers, including Sally Bingham from the Interfaith Power and Light Program. Contact Ginny Brown at 205-726-4246 for additional information
Household Hazardous Waste Day in Jefferson County - Jefferson County will be holding their annual Household Hazardous Waste Day on April 21, 8:00 AM to Noon at Regions Park Stadium, the Center Point Court House, Bessemer Civic Center and the Alabama Fairgrounds. For additional info contact Sissy Mitchell at 444-7543.
17th Annual Bay Area Earth Day - The 17th Annual Bay Area Earth Day, now "Earth Fest" is scheduled for April 21, 10-5 at the Five Rivers Delta Resource Center on the Causeway. Check out the Earth Fest website at http://www.5riversearthfest.org for details.
3rd Annual Mountain Longleaf Festival - Don't miss the 3rd Annual Mountain Longleaf Festival on April 21, 10-3 at Historic McClellan near Anniston, Alabama. For event details, visit or call 256-782-5681.
Earth Day at the Gardens - The 10th Anniversary of Earth Day at the Gardens will be held Sunday, April 22, 1-5 PM at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. For details call Anna Sizemore at 205-414-3965 or visit http://www.bbgardens.org
Auntie Litter's 16th Annual Earth Day Parade - Auntie Litter's 16th Annual Earth Day Parade will be held Monday, April 23, at Kelly Ingram Park in downtown Birmingham from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. To participate, call 205-879-3009 or visit http://www.auntielitter.org
Five Mile Creek Greenway Cleanup - Help cleanup Five Mile Creek by participating in the 4th Annual Five Mile Greenway Cleanup on April 28. at 8:00 AM near Fultondale. For volunteer information contact Francesca Gross at 205-264-8464 or Michael Sznajderman, Alabama Power Service Organization at 205-257-4155.
Cocktails with the Critters - National Geographic's Photographer in Residence, David Doubilet will be the guest of honor at "Cocktails for Critters". The event will be held at the Five Rivers Alabama's Delta Resource Center on May 3rd from 6:30 until 9:30, and will benefit the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation. Tickets are $75. For additional info call 251-861-8710.
Great Southeastern Hiking Festival - Come celebrate "hiking" in the Southeast at The Great Southeastern Hiking Festival, to be held May 3-6 in Montreat, North Carolina. For more information about this regional event, visit http://GreatSEHikingFestival.org
Calming Climate Change Symposium - The Birmingham Botanical Gardens will be holding "Calming Climate Change" Symposium on May 16th, 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM. To register call 205-414-3950 or online http://www.bbgardens.org