Environment & Weather
New USDA TV Feature October 11, 2011: Finding The Best Fall Colors PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by USDA Communications Office   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 14:07

Finding The Best Fall Colors

The USDA Forest Service can help you find the best Fall colors

A new TV feature is available on the USDA FTP site

Filename: Fall Color feature

Download instructions:

The host: ftp://ocbmtcmedia.download.akamai.com

User name: usdanews

Password:  Newscontent1

The new file is in QuickTime Movie (H.264 ), MPEG 4, MPEG2 and HDV.

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twNOResyOWU&feature=channel_video_title

video podcast: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/usda-down-to-earth-video-podcast/id461819504?uo=4

RSS feed: http://downtoearth.usda.libsynpro.com/rss

Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have problems or suggestions.

Also, use this free ftp client if you have problems.

http://filezilla-project.org/download.php?type+client

FEATURE – FINDING THE BEST FALL COLORS

INTRO: Leaf viewing season is upon us and the U-S-D-A’s Forest Service has information on the best colors. The U-S-D-A’s Bob Ellison has more. (1:25)

 

FALL IS HERE AND PEOPLE WANT TO SEE THE CHANGING LEAVES. BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW WHERE AND WHEN TO SEE THE BEST FALL COLORS? THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE’S FOREST SERVICE CAN HELP WITH ITS FALL COLORS WEB PAGE AND HOTLINE.

 

Tom Tidwell, Chief, USDA Forest Service: So you don’t have to spend any time trying to wonder if this is the right weekend to get out. Call our hotline. We do have a website that you can go to that you can get the best up to date information. We keep it up to date and we’re going to tell you when the Fall colors are peaking in the area where you want to visit.

 

MANY FACTORS INFLUENCE FALL COLORS SO THE FOREST SERVICE RELIES HEAVILY ON EYEWITNESS REPORTS.

 

Tidwell: And each year depending on how the weather develops in the Fall that helps dictate the color changes. So not only do have the science but we also have folks out there observing when these colors are changing so we can give you the best up to date information that’s available.

 

AND WHILE FALL COLORS CAN BE ENJOYED IN MANY PLACES, TIDWELL SAYS SOME OF THE BEST VIEWING OPPORTUNITIES ARE IN THE NATIONAL FORESTS.

 

Tidwell: Where you have the variety of both the hardwoods and also of our conifers. So you get that combination of the brilliant, magnificent Fall colors also with that solid green color from our conifer trees.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO F-S DOT FED DOT U-S FORWARD SLASH FALL COLORS OR CALL ONE EIGHT HUNDRED THREE FIVE FOUR FOUR FIVE NINE FIVE. FOR THE U-S DEPARMENT OF AGRICULTURE, I’M BOB ELLISON.

 
Putting America’s Wind Power on the Grid PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Elisha Smith   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 13:58

By Johnathan Hladik, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Center for Rural Affairs

Here at the Center for Rural Affairs we talk a lot about clean energy transmission. We’ve long recognized that improved transmission infrastructure is the key to job creation and economic development, in rural and urban communities alike.

Fortunately, others do too. Last week the Obama administration announced a plan to fast-track the approval of much-needed electric transmission lines. This follows the creation of two USDA Rural Development loan programs designed to improve transmission facilities in rural areas.

What does this mean for rural residents? It means that now is the time to become engaged. Each proposed line offers an opportunity for you to become involved almost every step of the way.

Before a project moves forward, the developer will look for input from the community. Each will hold educational meetings and open house events to share information and better understand your needs.  Objectives will be discussed, as will route estimations.

Next, most states require the developer to demonstrate project need, and to prove the project is in the public interest.  This determination is made by a state regulatory agency, most often the public service commission or a variation thereof.

Finally it will be time to determine the route. This offers yet another opportunity to weigh in and submit comments to your state regulatory agency. Your concerns will be taken into account and influence the final determination.

To get you started, we’ve created a transmission map. Visit http://www.cfra.org/clean-energy-transmission-map to find projects in your area and learn more about those affecting you.

 
SERVICE SUPPORTS “DOUBLE UP FOR THE DUCKS” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kim Betton   
Monday, 03 October 2011 13:27
Ducks Unlimited Campaign for Wetlands and Waterfowl Habitat Conservation
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is supporting Double Up for the Ducks –  a new campaign by Ducks Unlimited encouraging duck hunters and all persons who would like to make a difference for wildlife conservation to purchase two federal Duck Stamps this year to help conserve habitat for wild ducks, geese and other waterfowl.

“The Service certainly appreciates this effort being undertaken by Ducks Unlimited to further waterfowl and wetlands conservation across the country,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “The Duck Stamp program has been one of the most successful conservation programs in history and buying not one but two duck stamps is one of the best ways around to protect wildlife and waterfowl habitat.”

“The Federal Duck Stamp has been an important tool in waterfowl habitat conservation for 77 years, but its ability to purchase and conserve important waterfowl habitat has been greatly diminished by inflation and rising land prices,” Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall said.
Since 1934, sales from the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly known as the Federal Duck Stamp, have helped to acquire more than 5.3 million acres of waterfowl habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System.  Ninety-eight cents out of every dollar is spent to acquire land and protect waterfowl habitat.  Stamp revenues benefit waterfowl and countless other wildlife species as well as people by expanding opportunities and access for wildlife dependent recreation.

The cost of the Duck Stamp has remained the same since 1991. Based on the Consumer Price Index, the stamp would need to cost more than $24 today to have the same buying power that $15 had in 1991. In 1991, revenue from the Duck Stamp enabled the Service to acquire 89,000 acres of habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System at an average cost of $306 an acre. In 2010, the Service was able to acquire only 32,000 acres because land values had tripled to an average of $1,091 an acre.

There are many easy and convenient ways to buy Duck Stamps:

•       Call or order online from the United States Postal Service at 1-800 STAMP-24 (1-800-782-6724) or online at http://shop.usps.com

•       Visit your local post office

•       Call or order online from Amplex Corporation at 1-800-852-4897 or online at www.duckstamp.com

•       Contact the Federal Duck Stamp Office at 703-358-1784 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

•       Duck Stamps can also be purchased at most major sporting goods stores that sell hunting licenses.

Review the Service’s Federal Duck Stamp video: http://www.fws.gov/video/flash/ds_promo.html

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq.

 
President's Environmental Youth Awards Competition Accepting Nominations from Students in Grades K-12 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kirk Lancaster   
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 11:49

(Kansas City, Kan., Sept. 19, 2011) – Entries are now being sought for the 2011 President's Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA), which recognize individuals, school classes (kindergarten through high school) and youth organizations for protecting our nation's air, water, land and ecology.

The program, which honors a variety of environmental projects developed by students, is open to students in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska through EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan.

The program has two components: the regional certificate program and the regional award winner.  Regional certificates are awarded by each of the regional offices of the EPA. Each regional office also selects one first-place project as its regional award winner.

Projects must be postmarked by December 31, 2011. Program guidelines, eligibility information and applications are available online at http://www.epa.gov/enviroed/peya/index.html or by contacting Denise Morrison, 1-800-223-0425. Regional award winners will be notified in February 2012.

The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. It is one of the most important ways EPA and the Administration demonstrate commitment to environmental stewardship efforts created and conducted by our nation’s young people. Winning projects in the past include environmental science projects, recycling programs in school and communities, construction of nature preserves and major tree planting programs.

 

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Illinois National Guard Finishes Vermont Relief Efforts PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 09:24

Mission Complete, Troops Heading Home

SPRINGFIELD – September 2, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Illinois Army National Guard members assisting with Vermont flood relief operations have completed their mission and are heading home. Earlier this week Governor Quinn ordered Illinois National Guard helicopters and troops to active duty in Vermont after receiving a request for assistance from the state.

“The Illinois National Guard has again responded when the state and country has called on them,” Governor Quinn said. “Our servicemembers are some of the greatest this nation has to offer.  Time and again, they show their dedication by answering the call to duty and we are proud of them.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to help another state in need,” said Maj. Gen. William Enyart, Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. “This shows we are prepared to assist, not just in Illinois, but throughout our country.”

Approximately 95 members of the Illinois National Guard set up an operating base in Rome, N.Y., while their helicopters flew into Burlington, Vt. The Illinois Army National Guard assisted delivering food, water and other supplies to several towns in Vermont that were isolated by flooding.

“The Illinois National Guard has done amazing work here in Vermont. The towns I visited today that have been cut off by road for days were cheering when the helicopters started to arrive on Wednesday,” said Maj. Gen. Michael D. Dubie, Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard. “We have stocked up the isolated towns and established rough road access to many that will soon support civilian vehicle traffic. A huge thank you to the entire Illinois team that made this happen.”

During operations in Vermont, the Illinois National Guard provided the following air movements of critically needed supplies:

  • 58 pallets of water
  • 63 pallets of food
  • 4 pallets of blankets
  • 3 pallets of cots
  • 3 pallets of tarps
  • 1 generator
  • 16 passengers

The six UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters, pilots and crew, ground support vehicles, and command and control staff were prepositioned in New York Aug. 29 to 30.  After completing needed operations today, they will head home and arrive in Illinois over the weekend.

Units that provided hurricane relief in Vermont include: Headquarters and Headquarters Company; 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment in Peoria and elements of Company A, 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment in Decatur; Company B, 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment in Chicago; Company C and Company D, 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment in Peoria; and 2nd Battalion, 238th General Support Aviation Battalion in Peoria.

“These Soldiers put aside their daily lives and commitments in a moment’s notice to come to the aide of residents more than 1,100 miles from them on the East Coast,” Enyart said.  “We also owe their families and employers a thank you for their support.”This is the fifth time this year the Illinois National Guard has responded to assist others in need. More than 500 Soldiers were activated for the February winter storms. Approximately 500 Soldiers responded to the southern Illinois flooding this spring. The Illinois National Guard also sent one CH-47 Chinook helicopter with five crew members from Company B, 2nd Battalion 238th Aviation based in Peoria to help the South Dakota National Guard battle flood waters on June 3.  A UH-60 Blackhawk and four crew members with Company A, 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment in Decatur, deployed to Omaha, Neb., in support of flood relief efforts June 21.

For video: http://www.dvidshub.net/video/124512/106th-avn-vermont-b-roll-and-interviews

 
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