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Lay of the Land

Poland's Eco-Farms | Factory Farms | Snowmobile Ban | For the Record | Clean Car Bill | Protect California Wilderness | Take a Friend to the Polls | Bold Strokes | All Species Foundation | Updates

For The Record

Dirty Dump
According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, since 1996 the United States has lost track of nearly 1,500 items tainted with radioactive material, from industrial cameras to emergency-exit signs. Since monitoring this equipment is left largely to the universities, hospitals, construction companies, and military operations that use it, the NRC doesn’t know whether the contraptions have been stolen, fanning concern that their radioactive components could wind up in a terrorist’s "dirty bomb." But many of the missing items simply end up in landfills and scrap yards, where they can endanger anyone exposed to them.

War of the Words
When California activists began gathering signatures for a ballot initiative to prohibit cutting trees over 150 years old, the California Forestry Association went to court, hoping a judge would throw the dictionary at environmentalists. The industry lobbying group insisted three of the measure’s terms–"old growth," "heritage tree," and "protects"–were "meaningless politically charged words." They asked a state superior court judge to toss out the initiative, which would affect state-owned and private forest lands. But the judge ruled that the words were "not inaccurate," and the signatures poured in.

Paws Back and Spread ’Em!
This summer, Canadian wildlife officials trapped and collared grizzly bears in the vicinity of the Group of Eight (G-8) summit in Alberta to head off confrontations between the bears and armed security personnel swarming the woods. The radio collars allowed biologists to track an estimated 40 bears so they could be chased away before wandering into the conference site in a provincial recreation area in Kananaskis Country. Wildlife biologist Brian Horejsi called the effort an overreaction. "They have twisted things around so that every animal that can bite somebody or pee on a tire requires intensive monitoring," he said.

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