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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AUG 27 Columnist Stephanie Grace is writing about those bosom buddies (not), Bobby Jindal and David Vitter, in this post. On the one hand, the two politicians have so much in common, it's hard to tell them apart, she says. But Vitter has taken pains to distance himself from the governor, she says.
AUG 27 This post by blogger Katie East on DIG Baton Rouge is (unfortunately) an accurate reflection of many Americans' experience with our health care system. She has to be impatient, to be "bitchy," to fight to get her physicians to take her seriously. We have the most expensive health care in the world, and East has to use Wikipedia (and her mom) to get a CAT scan? Really?
AUG 27 State retirees who get their health coverage through the state can look forward to paying more for premiums, drugs and out of pocket costs, blogger Tom Aswell tells us in this post. The problem is that Bobby Jindal's plan to privatize the system has resulted in a monthly $16 million deficit, Aswell says, so Bobby's trying to price retirees out of the system.
AUG 27 This post on The Lens takes a look at the so-called "stand your ground" laws that are common across the United States, including in Louisiana. But even though they exist in most states, the enforcement of these laws hasn't been consistent, the story reports.
AUG 27 Blogger CB Forgotston is bumping up against shrill in this post, when he's talking about the taxpayer-funded house where State Police Commander Mike Edmonson lives on your dime. For instance, CB's complaining about the "servants," but the story he links to here reports that a convict cleans the house. CB also calls it a "mansion" but it sure looks more like a standard brick suburban house.
AUG 27 This story on WWL is about some college students who have created a nail polish that can detect date rape drugs. That's really cool, but the real story is in the comments from female college students who say that date rape is routine in college. Hello? Not OK. Can we do something about that, please?
AUG 27 Columnist Rolfe McCollister pays tribute to Robin Williams in this post on Baton Rouge Business Report. In particular, he's reminding us of some of the actor's best lines from Dead Poets Society, one of Williams' most beloved roles.
AUG 27 The woman's right to vote is celebrated this week, but in Louisiana, Women's Equality Day has a different relevance, this post on NOLA Defender tells us. Even though more than 60 percent of the women in this state are the sole bread winner for their household, we still can't do right by them.
AUG 26 Here's blogger Ian McGibboney's take on the great NFL-Slap Ya Mama controversy of 2014. Ian's explanation of the expression is a lot better (and more accurate) than the PR nonsense that has come out, and he also raises a pretty good question: can Boudreaux's Butt Paste be far behind? (Wups! No pun intended...)
AUG 26 Sen. Elbert Guillory's bill aimed at preventing "armed and incapacitated geezers" from working as Justices of the Peace was a huge joke, columnist James Gill writes in this post. Nobody knows who really called Guillory asking for it, nor who sent him the text for it, but they certainly got a lot of mileage out of one phone call, Gill says.
AUG 26 This post on the NOLA Defender blog takes a look at the recent decision by the NFL to cancel the advertising it previously accepted from the "Slap Ya Mama" seasoning. In light of recent events in which the NFL's ability to take domestic violence seriously was questioned, the league felt it wasn't a good idea, the post reports. The best part of this (kinda ridiculous) story, however, is the explanation the PR people give for the expression.
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