1) Sierra Club Names Upper Cahaba River "Important to Protect"
2) Alabama's Scenic Byways Named
3) Drought of 2007 Impact on Agriculture
4) New Initiative Aims to Restore 37,000 Acres in Longleaf Pine Forests
5) BEN Notes I (Jobs, Grants & Websites) - Red Mountain Greenway Commission Seeking Director, NWF Outreach Position, Forests Forever Grant Application, Biodiversity Heritage Library, NWF Climate Classroom, 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
6) BEN Notes II (Events) - Alabama Assets: Conservation Matters, Solar Home Tour, Mobile Baykeeper 10th Anniversary Celebration, Overfishing in the Gulf Press Conference, SEC's Ecofest, Alabama Coastal Bird Fest, Global Warming Conference in Birmingham, Weeks Bay Foundation to Hold Conservation Easement Seminar, 2nd Annual Raindrop Festival Art Auction
1. Sierra Club Names Upper Cahaba River "Important to Protect" - Recently, the Sierra Club released a new national report titled "The 52 Most Important Places to Protect Within the Next 10 Years." The report identified the Upper Cahaba River in metropolitan Birmingham as a priority "place to protect" in Alabama. The Club designated the Upper Cahaba because of the river's biological diversity and it's use as a primary drinking water source for the region. Population pressures and suburban sprawl were recognized as the primary threats to the river.
To read about the Upper Cahaba and the other "51 Most Important Places" visit : http://www.sierraclub.org/wildlegacy/52places/
2. Black Warrior Scenic Byway Designated - Recently, the Black Warrior Scenic Byway was named Alabama's seventh scenic byway designated by the state Scenic Byway program. The state program, which was founded in 1998, has named the following state scenic byways since its inception:
Appalachian Highlands Scenic Byway
Barbour County Governor's Trail
Black Belt Nature and Heritage Trail
Black Warrior River Scenic Byway
Leeds Stagecoach Route
Lookout Mountain Parkway
Alabama's Coastal Connection
Alabama has three (3) National Scenic Byways
Talladega Scenic Drive
Natchez Trace Scenic Drive
Selma to Montgomery March Scenic Byway
To learn more about the Alabama Scenic Byway program, visit their website at: http://www.alabamabyways.org
3. Drought of 2007 Impact on Agriculture - According to the Birmingham News, Alabama farmers planted 50% more of their land with corn this year hoping to benefit from high corn prices resulting from increased demand for ethanol fuel production. The hope for a big payday has been spoiled by this year's drought.
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service - the corn harvest forecast is a 31.3% increase from the 11.8 million bushels reaped in 2006. The increase occurred because the number of acres planted with corn rose from 200,000 last year to 300,000 this year - up by 50%. The predicted yield per acre for corn is 65 bushels, down from 72 bushels last year and a 10 year average of 95 acres.
Other crop impacts:
Hay Production is expected to fall from 2 tons per acre last year to 1.7 tons this year.
Peanut harvest is predicted to be 345.4 million pounds or 15.2% less than last year.
Cotton production is 470,000 bales or about 30.4% less than the 675,000 bales harvested last year.
4. New Initiative Aims to Restore 37,000 Acres in Longleaf Pine Forests - A new initiative under the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency's (FSA) Conservation Reserve Program aims to enroll and restore 37,000 acres of Alabama forestland into Longleaf Pine Forests. The program, which began last year in October and will end this year on December 31, 2007 seeks to restore more than 250,000 acres of longleaf pine throughout the South.
Historically, the longleaf pine was the dominant tree species on an estimated 60 million acres along the coastal plain from east Texas to the Piedmont of Virginia, and extending into the Mountains of Alabama. Today natural stands of longleaf pines currently occupy less than 3 million acres of its original range. To learn how to enroll in this program, contact your local Forestry Commission office or visit the Farm Service website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov
5. BEN Notes I (Jobs, Grants & Websites) - Red Mountain Greenway Commission Seeking Director, NWF Outreach Position, Forests Forever Grant Application, Biodiversity Heritage Library, NWF Climate Classroom, 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
Red Mountain Greenway Commission Seeking Director - The Red Mountain Greenway and Recreational Area Commission is seeking an Executive Director to lead the development and implementation of the Red Mountain Park. If you would like to request a full job description, please contact Lauren Seto at email@example.com or call 205-254-0129.
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is seeking a regional Outreach Director for their Atlanta Southeast Office. For details and application information go to: https://secure.nwf.org/careergateway/index.cfm?fuseaction=search
Forests Forever Grant Application - The 2008 Forests Forever Grant Application is available at the Alabama Forests Forever website - http://www.alaforestsforever.org The grant applications are due November 1st. If you have any questions about the application or process, call or email Rick Oates at 334-481-2130 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Biodiversity Heritage Library - Ten major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries, and research institutions have joined to form the Biodiversity Heritage Library Project. Over 1,124 million pages of key taxonomic literature are already available on the web. To visit this site go to - http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
NWF Climate Classroom - The National Wildlife Federation's Climate Classroom is designed to help parents and teachers talk to students of differing ages about global warming. Download slide presentations, age-adapted sources of useful curricula and educator guidelines at http://www.ClimateClassroom.org
2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species - The 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has been released. There are now 41,415 species on the IUCN Red List and 16,306 of them are threatened with extinction. Here is the IUCN Red List website - http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/redlist2007/index_redlist2007.htm
National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise - Check out this website on coastal vulnerability to sea rise from the US Geological Service - http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2000/of00-179/
6. BEN Notes II (Events) - Alabama Assets: Conservation Matters, Solar Home Tour, Mobile Baykeeper 10th Anniversary Celebration, Overfishing in the Gulf Press Conference, SEC's Ecofest, Alabama Coastal Bird Fest, Global Warming Conference in Birmingham, Weeks Bay Foundation to Hold Conservation Easement Seminar, 2nd Annual Raindrop Festival Art Auction
Alabama Assets: Conservation Matters - Check out Beth Maynor Young's latest opening in Birmingham at the Marilyn Wilson Gallery - Oct. 5th, 5-8PM at 3908 Clairmont Ave. Birmingham 35222. For more info call 205-591-1150 or visit http://www.kingfishereditions.com
Mobile Baykeeper 10th Anniversary Celebration - Mobile Baykeeper will be celebrating their 10th Anniversary on October 4th, 6-8 pm at the Five Rivers Delta Resource Center on the Causeway. The keynote speaker for the event will be Steve Fleischli, President of Waterkeeper Alliance. Entertainment will be provided by the local bluegrass band, Delta Reign, featuring Kenji Bunch, Composer in Residence with the Mobile Symphony. Food, beer and wine will also be served. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling Mobile Baykeeper at 251-433-4229. You can also visit http://www.mobilebaykeeper.org for additional details.
Solar Home Tour - Energize Alabama is sponsoring 2 local Solar Home tours in rural Blount County on Saturday Oct. 6th at 9:00am and 2:00pm. Register at email@example.com (put "home tour" in subject line) or call 205-429-4120. For additional info go to http://www.EnergizeAlabama.org
Overfishing in the Gulf Press Conference - On October 10th, 11:00am at Cathedral Square in downtown Mobile, a diverse coalition of Forty (40) fishermen, scientists, tourism providers and environmental groups will be holding a news conference calling for new regulations to end overfishing in the Gulf. To learn more about this event contact Emily Stone with USPIRG at 617-990-7430.
SEC's Ecofest - The Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham-Southern College will holding EcoFest 9, Thursday, October 11, 6-9pm at WORKPLAY in Birmingham. This year's gourmet food will be provided by Gray Bynum of Culinard & Chris Dupont of Cafe Dupont. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling the SEC at 205-226-4934.
Alabama Coastal Bird Fest - The 4th Annual Alabama Coastal BirdFest returns October 18-21 in Spanish Fort at the 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center. Visit http://www.alabamacoastalbirdfest.com for a complete list of field trip destinations, schedules, costs and registration and lodging information.
Global Warming Conference in Birmingham - Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens will be holding 'Calming Global Climate Change Symposium" on October 30, 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM at the Gardens. For registration details visit - http://www.bbgardens.org/Calming-Climate-Change_197_ev.htm or call 205-414-3950.
Weeks Bay Foundation to Hold Conservation Easement Seminar - The Weeks Bay Foundation is sponsoring an advanced seminar on conservation easements and land stewardship with Stephen Small. The seminar is scheduled for November 2nd at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, 8:00am to 4:00pm. For more information contact Mike Shelton at 251-928-9792.
2nd Annual Raindrop Festival Art Auction - The 2nd Annual Raindrop Festival Art Auction benefiting the Hulsey Little River Land Trust will be held November 10th at ROJO in Birmingham, Alabama. The Hulsey Land Trust was founded in 2006 in honor of Shane Hulsey, the Cahaba River Society's CLEAN Director who died in tragic accident. For information about Shane and the new Land Trust please visit http://friendsofshane.blogspot.com/2006/12/hulsey-little-river-trust.html