Friday, May 30, 2008

BEN - May 27, 2008 #304

Climate Change and the Future of Hunting and Fishing

Eight of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership's partner hunting, fishing and conservation organizations have released Season's End, a new report detailing the impacts of climate change on the habitat and distribution of fish and game in the U.S. and implications for sustainable hunting and fishing.

The contributing partners include: Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, BASS/ESPN Outdoors, Izaak Walton League of America, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Coastal Conservation Association, American Sportfishing Association, Pheasants Forever, and Wildlife Management Institute.

Check the website at:


Sen. Sessions Energy Tour - This week, Senator Jeff Sessions will be holding an ambitious 15 event statewide energy tour of Alabama outlining his vision for conservation and energy efficiency and a transition to advanced technology.  Some of the events include:

May 27, 8:00 AM - Tour of the LEED Certified Social Security Administration Building with Green Alabama Members

May 29, Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit - Huntsville

May 30,  11:15-12:45 - Auburn University Energy Forum/Lunch

For information about Sen. Session's entire schedule call 202-224-3121.


1. Forever Wild Adds 154 Acres to Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville - Last week, Forever Wild and the Land Trust of Huntsville and North Alabama announced the preservation of 154 acres on Monte Sano Mountain in Huntsville, Alabama.

The Land Trust nominated the property known as the "Terry Tract" to Alabama's Forever Wild conservation program.  It is located on the north end of Monte Sano Mountain and connects The Land Trust's Monte Sano Preserve and Monte Sano State Park.  The Terry Tract is home to a long section of the much loved "Flat Rock" trail which features rock formations and waterfalls.  The new addition, which will be a part  of  Monte Sano State Park was made possible by a partnership between the city of Huntsville, the Land Trust and Forever Wild.

Since 1994, Forever Wild has purchased and preserved more than 138,000 acres of land in Alabama for wildlife management, nature preserves, additions to state parks and outdoor recreation.

2. TVA Sets New Environmental and Energy Goals - In celebration of TVA's 75th Anniversary, through the adoption of a new broad environmental policy, the federal utility's board of directors pledged to reduce its carbon footprint while meeting the region's growing electricity demand.

The new policy calls for TVA to generate half of the agency's power needs from renewable and clean energy sources by 2020, up from 35% today.  The agency also plans to spend as much as $1 billion over the next several years on energy conservation and efficiency programs.  TVA's goal is to reduce growth in peak demand by up to 1,400 megawatts by the end of 2012.  That would exceed the output of one new nuclear reactor.

According to the Associated Press, TVA also expects to complete a seventh nuclear reactor in Tennessee, by 2012, and is studying whether to build a next generation twin-reactor plant in Alabama.

3. Mobile Register: Plan to Open Dams to Restore Fish Migrations - According to Sunday's Mobile Register, a coalition of federal and state regulators, and environmental groups are working on a plan to restore fish migrations between the Cahaba River to the Gulf of Mexico, by helping the fish get around dams.

The plan in Alabama follows a similar effort in Georgia which "opened up" navigation locks to allow flow, in lieu of spending millions of dollars and building complicated fish ladders.  By restoring the fish migrations and reconnecting the Cahaba to the Gulf, conservationist hope to "recover" a multitude of fish and mussel species whose populations have declined drastically since the locks were built in the late 1960s.

Check out the entire story about this exciting new conservation project from the Mobile Register - here

4. Freshwater Land Trust Partners With FoodSource Lures - Here is a creative way to raise funds for conservation.  The Freshwater Land Trust and FoodSource Lures have created the Alabama Rivers  series of fishing lures named after Alabama waterways.  The first lures in the series include:

1) the 2-inch Turkey Creek Darter, named for Turkey Creek in Pinson, Alabama

2) the 3-inch Little Warrior, named for the Little Warrior River, a tributary of the Black Warrior River

3) the 4-inch Coosa Flick, named for the Coosa River.

FoodSource has agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of lures to help the Freshwater Land Trust fulfill its mission of acquisition and stewardship of lands that enhance water quality and preserve open space.  For more information about this program, contact the Freshwater Land Trust at 205-226-7900.

5. BEN Notes:  Job Openings: Red Mountain Park Director, Mobile Bay NEP Program Director, 4-H Asst. Manager,   Cahaba Lily Festival, Black Warrior Riverkeeper Concert, Dauphin Island  Sea Labs Summer Programs,

Job Openings: Red Mountain Park Director, Mobile Bay NEP Program Director, 4-H Asst. Manager

Red Mountain Park Executive Director - The new Red Mountain Park in Birmingham is seeking its first executive director.  For information about the position contact Wheless Associates, Morley Alexander at 205-531-6925 or forward your resume and biography to

Mobile Bay NEP Program Director - The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is seeking a Program Director to implement its many community based programs.  To obtain a complete job description visit - or

4-H Asst. Manager - The 4-H Youth Development Center of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System located in Columbiana, Alabama is seeking an Assistant Manager, Education and Programming.  To obtain forms and information concerning this position, call 334-844-5324 or visit

Cahaba Lily Festival - Join us in West Blocton at the Cahaba Lily Festival on May 31st.  This year there will be a dulcimer and bluegrass concert and a story telling event.  For details visit

Black Warrior Riverkeeper Concert - The Black Warrior Riverkeepers will be holding a benefit concert featuring Rollin in the Hay - June 5th at Bottletree in Birmingham, Alabama.  Tickets are $10.  For additional call 205-458-0095 or visit

Dauphin Island  Sea Labs Summer Programs - Dauphin Island Sea Lab still has openings for its summer programs for students of all ages  Check them out at or call 251-861-2141.  -  We have all seen those websites calculating your carbon footprint.  Check out this new site which measures your "water footprint".  Visit

Saturday, May 24, 2008

2008 Sheffield High School Byington Environmental Public Service Scholarship Awarded to John Carr

Yesterday, I awarded Sheffield High Senior John Carr the 7th Annual Byington Environmental Public Service Scholarship (the picture above Left to Right - * Pete Carr (John's proud father), John Carr and Pat Byington).  Please consider making a donation to the scholarship in lieu of a subscription to the Bama Environmental News.

Here is a description of the scholarship and where you can send a donation.

Sheffield High School "Environmental Public Service Scholarship"

Sheffield Education Foundation

c/o Dr. Richard Gardner, Ed. D.

300 West Sixth Street

Sheffield, Alabama 35660


The Sheffield High School "Environmental Public Service Scholarship" was created in November 2001 to support graduating students from the high school Bama Environmental News publisher Pat Byington attended. From 2001 to 2006 , Mr. Byington donated his commissioner's salary from his service on the Alabama Environmental Management Commission to the scholarship fund. Additional monies raised will help continue the scholarship program beyond Mr. Byington's service on the Commission, which ended September 30, 2006.

The scholarship honors a student who has shown an interest in the protection and enhancement of Alabama's environment and natural heritage. 

Please make checks payable to the Sheffield Education Foundation (note the scholarship on the check).


* Here is a neat bit of info about John's dad, Pete Carr.  Check out his website at   -  From the website :  

Pete Carr, recognized as one of the most versatile studio guitarists of the past three decades, has contributed to hit recordings by Bob Seger, Simon and Garfunkel, Rod Stewart, Hank Williams, Jr., Barbra Streisand, Luther Ingram, Willie Nelson and many other artists. Carr is known for versatility, using the electric or acoustic guitar, playing with taste and his ability to create standout guitar lines on hit songs. 


Also, met the Carr family on Friday including John's mom Debra Carr and Sue Lansdell, his grandmother.  

Wonderful folks!  

Please consider making a contribution to this very worthwhile cause.

Picture of the Day - Limestone County, Alabama

Friday, May 09, 2008

Little River Canyon Field School Becoming a Reality

BEN Publisher Pat Byington and Jacksonville State University Environmental Policy and Information Center Director Pete Conroy at the new Little River Canyon Field School construction site.

Check out the new center at

Governor Riley Honors Legacy

Attended the Legacy Earth Day Celebration at the State Capitol on April 29th.  Governor Bob Riley announced to the audience his next car tag will be a Legacy tag.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

BEN - April 24, 2008 #302

Freshwater Land Trust Seeking Input From the Public

The Freshwater Land Trust is seeking accreditation from the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission. The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Freshwater Land Trust is pleased to announce it is applying for accreditation. A public comment period is now open. Please visit: for more information.


Check out BEN Publisher, Pat Byington's latest Earth Day commentary in the Birmingham News and his past commentaries on Recycling and Cancer Risk
Earth Day -
Recycling -
Cancer Risk -


1. ADEM Commission Lowers Cancer-Causing Pollutants - After a year long effort, the Alabama Environmental Management Commission, the board that governs the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), voted 3 to 1 to establish stronger standards for more than 50 cancer causing pollutants.

The new rule passed by the Commission will change the cancer risk level used to calculate human health criteria from one cancer per 100,000 residents to one cancer in a million. The stronger, "more protective of health" regulation will bring Alabama in line with neighboring states - Mississippi, Florida and Georgia.

Cindy Lowry, executive director of the Alabama Rivers Alliance stated, "This is an important step toward cleaner water in Alabama, which will reduce the risk of harmful health effects to aquatic species and citizens around the state.

According to the Huntsville Times, ADEM has said that about 1900 businesses and municipal sewage treatment plants are permitted to release carcinogens into state waterways.

2. Governor Signs Solid Waste/Recycling Legislation Into Law - This week, Governor Bob Riley celebrated Earth Day signing Alabama's most comprehensive solid waste law in nearly two decades.

The Solid Wastes and Recyclable Materials Management Act, sponsored by Rep. Frank McDaniel of Albertville, passed both houses of the Alabama Legislature earlier this month. The new law imposes a statewide tipping fee of $1 a ton on solid waste disposal which will adequately fund ADEM's solid waste regulatory activities, and provide funds to clean up illegal dumps and support statewide and local recycling efforts.

According to a December 2007 Birmingham News story, records showed that solid waste volume rose in Alabama from 2.79 million tons in 1995 to 4.39 million tons in 2007, a 57% increase. The rise in solid waste volume occurred despite an early 1990s state legislative goal to reduce solid waste by 25%.

For information about this new law and the Governor's Earth Day signing ceremony, visit

3. Statewide Water Planning Resolution Passes - Led by State Senator Kim Benefield and Representative Greg Canfield, both the House and Senate passed a resolution, earlier this month, that establishes the Alabama Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Water Policy and Management to develop the Alabama Water Management Plan. This action is the first step toward a comprehensive water policy in Alabama.

The committee's primary charge, to develop a Alabama Water Management Plan, will be taken up during the 2009 legislative session. The committee itself is made up of legislators only, but there will be subcommittees consisting of citizen and industry experts.

4. Estuarium At Dauphin Island Re-Named After George Crozier - Here is a well deserving honor. This past weekend, through a resolution by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab's Board of Directors, the Estuarium at Dauphin Island changed its name to the George F. Crozier Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

Dr. Crozier served as Executive Director of the Sea Lab from 1977 to 2007. Check out our "Take 5" interview with George that was conducted this winter.

5. BEN Notes - Alabama Wildlife Center Seeking Executive Director, Ruffner Mountain Seeking Educator, Legacy Grants (Friday, April 25 Deadline) &Scholarships, Environmental, Leadership Program Seeking Applications, Waterkeeper's Online Auction, 2008 Gulf Guardian Awards Applications, TVA Energy & Climate Change Public Hearings, Raindrop Festival, Energy Summit in Tuscaloosa, ADEM Regulatory Update

Alabama Wildlife Center Seeking Executive Director
- The Alabama Wildlife Center is seeking a new Executive Director. To access a detailed job description visit,

Ruffner Mountain Seeking Educator - Ruffner Mountain Nature Center is seeking an Education Director. To learn how to apply, make a request application procedures at or visit . Ruffner's job description is about 5-6 job descriptions down the list.

Legacy Grants (Friday, April 25 Deadline) &Scholarships - Please check out Legacy's Competitive and Mini-Grant applications (the deadline is Fri. April 25th!) at . You can also find Legacy's Scholarship application at the same website. The scholarship deadline is May 2.

Leadership Program Seeking Applications - The Environmental Leadership Program is now accepting applications for the 2009 Southeast Fellowship class. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at

Waterkeeper's Online Auction - Check out Waterkeeper Alliance's Earth Day Online Auction at

2008 Gulf Guardian Awards Applications - The Gulf of Mexico Program is currently soliciting entries for the 2008 Gulf Guardian Awards Program. The entry deadline is May 1st. Go online to to apply.

TVA Energy & Climate Change Public Hearings - TVA is seeking public comments on their Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Renewable Draft Plans. The plans can be accessed at The Alabama meeting will be on April 28th at the Huntsville Marriott (at the Space Center) from 6PM to 8 PM.

Raindrop Festival - Please join the Hulsey Little River Trust, April 25-26 at the 2008 Raindrop Festival at Bottletree in Birmingham - For more info visit

Energy Summit in Tuscaloosa - "Energy Summit of 2008" Hosted by Congressman Artur Davis - 9:30 to 11:30 at the Child Development Resource Center, 651 5th Ave. East in Tuscaloosa, Alabama - For more info call 205-254-1960.

ADEM Regulatory Update - On May 22nd
ADEM will be holding a "Regulatory Update" in Montgomery at the new Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center - For additional info call 334-260-4510 or visit