The red-cockaded woodpecker, a small bird native to the United States, used to cause a lot of trouble to the military. The bird’s habitat is living long leaf pine trees, and vast stretches of Louisiana’s Fort Polk military reservation, which is located next to Kisatchie National Forest in Leesville, are dominated by piney woods. As the great forests of North America were logged, the bird’s habitat became so diminished that the red-cockaded woodpecker was placed on the endangered species list in 1970.
For years, the ranking officers at Fort Polk resisted the efforts of U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to create a recovery population in the Vernon District of Kisatchie, fearing that military exercises would be curtailed by nesting pairs. All of that has changed. Today the army and wildlife officials are working together in partnership on the Louisiana Statewide Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Program, which bands and studies breeding pairs both on the military base and in the national forest. The military has become great stewards of the land, says Monica Sikes, a biologist for U.S. Fish and Wildlife. “In our experience Fort Polk has worked proactively to conserve the species while meeting their training needs.”
Today’s New York Times is featuring a video, "Military Bases as Wildlife Havens," detailing the relationship between wildlife conservation and the military, focused on Eglin Air Force Base, in Florida. The work to preserve the red-cockaded woodpecker could just as easily have been shot at Fort Polk. Scroll down to the midsection of the NYT website and click on the video image.
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NOV 26 Zach Kopplin, who we came to know and love when he was a Louisiana high school student lobbying for the continued inclusion of science stuff in science class, pens this post in The Atlantic about a "textbook" available for social studies instruction in Texas that discusses how Moses contributed to the Constitution. (Oy! Texas rednecks love Jews. Who knew?)
NOV 26 Finally, mad people on the interwebz is a good thing! World wide webby outrage has caused the village of Moreauville to reverse its plan to confiscate pit bulls and Rottweillers and euthanize them simply because of their breed, WAFB reports here. The plan? They're going to enforce the leash law. Well, that would have been a good place to start.
NOV 26 Jim Brown, like many of us Louisiana voters, seems fed up with out of town know-it-alls trying to tell us what to do. Bill Cassidy can't make it through the day without flying someone in to "tell us political retards" how to vote, he says.
NOV 26 Blogger Tom Aswell is writing about the behavior of the two finalists in the 6th Congressional District race: Edwin Edwards and Garret Graves. Edwards has come out swinging, but Graves' campaign seems bent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Tom says.
NOV 26 Unless you're in Virigina, you shouldn't count on seeing our Governor on Election Day. Mark Ballard writes in the Advocate's political blog that Bobby will be appearing at a GOP love fest of some kind there, instead of spending the day here.
NOV 26 This post on The Lens takes a look at the ongoing dispute in New Orleans over the banners about the upcoming tax election for the school system. The banners are hanging on schools, and some feel they are promotional, which is not allowed, instead of educational - which is allowed.
NOV 26 Not all college students are focused on football games and parties at this time of year. This post on DIG Baton Rouge recounts an LSU student group that tries to make sure that those who are hungry and homeless are not forgotten by those of us who aren't.
NOV 25 Edwin Edwards took off the gloves on Monday, this post on WAFB tells us. At a Press Club appearance, he wondered how his 6th Congressional District opponent, Garret Graves, could be an expert in all the areas in which he claims to be - when he has no college degree in anything. (Five years - FIVE YEARS - in college, but no degree. Huh?)
NOV 25 Blogger Mike Deshotels offers this primer on predatory charter schools and how they operate, specifically in Louisiana. They're not just profiting from our tax dollars, they're using children and shortchanging them to do so, Deshotels says.
NOV 25 Here's a link to the petition that has been created to save Zeus, a family dog who is targeted for death by the learned fathers of the Avoyelles Parish village of Moreauville. They passed an ordinance based on nothing that outlaws pit bulls and Rotweillers. As of Tuesday morning, the petition had more than 230,000 signatures - a number that's a wee bit higher than the village population of 929.
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