The green divide, a mermaid and hantavirus

September 10, 2012

Happy Monday news digest:

Rich people have a lot more trees than poor people, according to research into “green” income inequality. The U.S. Forest Service and other groups are taking notice and trying to bridge the green divide so that trees are not only a form of decoration but part of the infrastructure fabric of the community. [Contra Costa Times]

Silly story of the day. Guerneville hairstylist turns into a mermaid (seriously?) and splashes around the Russian River to raise awareness around river stewardship. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat].

The 50 year anniversary of Point Reyes National Seashore is this week, an amazing accomplishment considering that before President John F. Kennedy signed legislation to establish the 71,000 -acre park on Sept 13, 1962, developers had their eyes on the land for cities and freeways. [Marin Independent Journal] For more on the anniversary, check out Bay Nature Magazine’s July issue.

The San Francisco ballot initiative to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley has big implications. Supporters say if voters pass the measure, it will inspire restoration efforts across the country. Critics say it sends a signal to businesses that a basic necessity — water — is at risk here. [New York Times]

Fracking for oil and shale gas in California requires a fraction of the water necessary in Pennsylvania and Texas, say industry officials who are trying to alleviate public concerns here about the impact on the state’s limited water resources. The reason is simple geology. California usually requires vertical wells. [San Francisco Chronicle]

A third hantavirus death has occurred from someone who stayed at Yosemite’s “Signature Tent Cabins” in Curry Village. The disease, although deadly, is extremely rare. About 20 percent of deer mice are known to carry the disease, but since hantavirus was discovered two decades ago, there’s been only 600 documented cases. [Scientific American]


About the Author

Alison Hawkes was a Bay Nature editor from 2011-2017. Before Bay Nature she worked in journalism for more than a decade as a former newspaper reporter turned radio producer turned web editor with each rendition bringing her closer to her dream of covering environmental issues. She co-founded Way Out West, a site dedicated to covering Bay Area environmental news.