Ben Westfall Joins QDMA as a QDM Cooperative Specialist | QDMA

In partnership with the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF), Ben will work with private landowners and hunting clubs to establish and support QDM Cooperatives in Southwest Alabama. He will also work closely with the AWF’s Land Stewardship Assistance biologists to encourage and facilitate management practices that enhance wildlife habitat and meet landowner objectives.

via Ben Westfall Joins QDMA as a QDM Cooperative Specialist | QDMA

‘If we don’t burn it, nature will’: Georgia blazes old fears, leads nation in prescribed fire | Southerly

Fire managers across the United States are grappling with more frequent, extreme wildfires caused in part by a changing climate and nearly a century of ardent fire suppression. In the Pacific Northwest, for example, increasing temperatures along with the knee-jerk tendency to extinguish fire has created an environment ripe for higher-intensity, larger flames, according to a study published last month in Ecosphere.

But the Southeast takes a different approach to fire.

In 2018, Georgia, Florida and Alabama prescribed burns to more than 4 million acres of land, while the remaining 47 states and territories burned about 2 million acres combined, according to data collected by the National Interagency Fire Center and analyzed by Climate Central. Experts warn this data may undercount prescribed burning, but a country-wide survey by the National Association of State Foresters and the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils similarly found that, in 2017, the Southeast was responsible for two-thirds of the nation’s prescribed burns.

Although each state requires a different amount of prescribed burning to sustain a healthy ecosystem, many states with sizable amounts of federal and state lands aren’t meeting their goals. Staff at the U.S. Forest Service, which treated only about 1% of the nearly 200 million acres of land it manages with prescribed burns in 2018, are alarmed by their own agency’s lack of burning. For the first time in history, they’re considering restructuring the agency to facilitate more prescribed fires.

via ‘If we don’t burn it, nature will’: Georgia blazes old fears, leads nation in prescribed fire | Southerly

Franklin Haney’s $1 million donation to Trump faces scrutiny in Alabama nuclear plant deal – al.com / Associated Press

Real estate mogul Franklin Haney contributed $1 million to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee and all he’s got to show for the money is the glare of a federal investigation.

The contribution from Haney, a prolific political donor, came as he was seeking regulatory approval and financial support from the government for his long-shot bid to acquire the mothballed Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant in northeastern Alabama. More than two years later, he still hasn’t closed the deal.

via Franklin Haney’s $1 million donation to Trump faces scrutiny in Alabama nuclear plant deal – al.com

Coosa Riverkeeper: Alabama Power should remove coal ash – News – Gadsden Times – Gadsden, AL

The Coosa Riverkeeper, a watchdog organization that monitors water quality along the Coosa’s 220-mile path through Alabama, spoke out after the utility last week was fined $250,000 for pollutants found in groundwater near the Gadsden Ash Pond on the banks of the river.

“We firmly believe that leaving the ash to sit in an unlined pit and pollute the nearby groundwater for decades to come is irresponsible,” said Justinn Overton, the Riverkeeper’s executive director.

Coal ash is a by-product created when coal is burned for electricity. Plant Gadsden stopped burning coal in March 2015 and finished closing the pond in 2018, implementing monitoring wells it committed to checking for pollutants.

via Coosa Riverkeeper: Alabama Power should remove coal ash – News – Gadsden Times – Gadsden, AL

Advisory Board Approves Flounder, Seatrout Changes | Outdoor Alabama

The length and bag limits of two of Alabama’s most popular inshore fish species will likely change soon after proposals by the Alabama Marine Resources Division were approved last weekend by the Alabama Conservation Advisory Board.

Under the new regulations, spotted seatrout (speckled trout) and southern flounder will have reduced bag limits to deal with concerns that the species are not able to sustain healthy populations.

via Advisory Board Approves Flounder, Seatrout Changes | Outdoor Alabama

Hooking Redeye Bass Highlights Scenic Trip Down the Tallapoosa | Outdoor Alabama

“East and northeast Alabama have a lot of great places to fish, especially the redeye bass,” he said. “Redeye bass are endemic to Alabama, which means they don’t live anywhere else. These fish like current in cool Piedmont streams with a lot of flow. They like clean water. This river is so clean, and it has so much oxygen in the water that these fish live in the shoals on this big river.

“Redeye bass are our own version of trout fishing, but I think it’s cooler than that because the redeyes are native. They are colorful, very aggressive and eager to eat. I think this is something really special for Alabama to have in our waters.”

via Hooking Redeye Bass Highlights Scenic Trip Down the Tallapoosa | Outdoor Alabama

Alabama Historians: The Last Known Slave Ship Has Been Found – The New York Times

The discovery was aided by input from the Smithsonian Institution, the National Park Service, the National Geographic Society and the Slave Wrecks Project, a multinational group researching the slave trade, and comes at a moment when civil rights museums have opened across the South. African-American history is also finding powerful new expression in the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in Washington in 2016.

But the news is likely to resonate most forcefully in Africatown, a working-class community of about 2,000 people north of downtown Mobile. It was founded by people who had been transported to Alabama in the Clotilda’s hull, and it was a place where African languages were spoken for decades.

via Alabama Historians: The Last Known Slave Ship Has Been Found – The New York Times

In Africatown, the found ship Clotilda ignites hope, validates heritage – al.com

“It lends credibility to the community and to who we are as not just West Africans, but we are North Africans and West Africans and part of a human story, not a human tragedy.”

via In Africatown, the found ship Clotilda ignites hope, validates heritage – al.com

Clotilda, ‘last American slave ship,’ discovered in Alabama – National Geographic

“The discovery of the Clotilda sheds new light on a lost chapter of American history,” says Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, which supported the search. “This finding is also a critical piece of the story of Africatown, which was built by the resilient descendants of America’s last slave ship.”

via Clotilda, ‘last American slave ship,’ discovered in Alabama

What is the Clotilda? Last American slave ship found in Alabama; What it means, what happens now – al.com

The wreckage of the Clotilda – the last known ship to bring enslaved people from Africa to the U.S. – has been found in the waters off Mobile, a discovery that provided proof of what some had deemed a legend.

via What is the Clotilda? Last American slave ship found in Alabama; What it means, what happens now – al.com

States of the Union: Ranking America’s Biodiversity – Prepared for The Nature Conservancy (2002)

Four states in particular emerge from these analyses as having exceptional levels of biodiversity—California, Hawaii, Texas, and Alabama.

via stateofunions.pdf

Opening the Cahaba to More Active Tourism – Over the Mountain Journal

The Cahaba Blueway has dedicated 10 new canoe and kayak launching sites and swimming access points along the Cahaba River in Mountain Brook, Irondale, Trussville and other locations.

“The Cahaba River has always been a recreational outlet in our community, but you have to be a local person who is familiar with the area to know where those access points are,” said Brian Rushing, program coordinator for the Cahaba Blueway.

In efforts to heighten awareness of the river as an outstanding recreation- al asset for tourism, the Cahaba Blueway Society partnered with the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development to provide new infrastructure and information outlets.

via Opening the Cahaba to More Active Tourism – Over the Mountain Journal

Federal court rules Alabama coal company Drummond is violating Clean Water Act | Southern Environmental Law Center

An Alabama federal judge has ruled that Drummond Company is violating the Clean Water Act at its Maxine Mine site by continuously discharging acid mine drainage into the Black Warrior River’s Locust Fork. In an order issued May 7, Judge Abdul Kallon rejected Drummond’s arguments that the Clean Water Act does not apply to ongoing pollution originating from a substantial coalmine waste pile left when mining operations ceased.

The lawsuit was filed in 2016 by Black Warrior Riverkeeper, represented by SELC and Public Justice. This week’s ruling granted Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s motion for summary judgment seeking to hold Drummond liable for these discharges. Additional liability claims by Black Warrior Riverkeeper, as well as the determination of an appropriate remedy for the site, will be determined later at trial.

via Federal court rules Alabama coal company Drummond is violating Clean Water Act | Southern Environmental Law Center

Lumber Prices Have Unseasonable Slump – WSJ

Bad weather in key markets has hampered building and renovating new homes and limited orders. Nashville, Tenn.’s hot housing market was doused by more than a foot of rainfall in February. Seattle suffered record snowfall, and it has been extremely soggy in two of the country’s top markets for fix-and-flip jobs, Birmingham, Ala., and Memphis, Tenn.

via Lumber Prices Have Unseasonable Slump – WSJ