Tag Archives: agriculture

California Dairy Farmer Provides Habitat for 15,000 Imperiled Birds

I am reposting this great article from my law school colleague’s blog, The California Crow. The blog discusses the evolving world of food and agriculture policy. One hopeful story involves incentive programs in California to help farmers delay harvest long enough for imperiled birds to fledge their young. Read on.

The California Crow

Frank Mendonsa, a dairy farmer in Tipton, California, and the President of Western United Dairymen was recognized earlier this week for his significant contributions to protecting two colonies of the California emergency-listed Tricolored Blackbird. Since April, Mendonsa’s silage fields became a temporary nesting habitat for the colonies of nearly 15,000 birds, and Mendonsa is delaying harvest to help the birds safely fledge their young.

“When the birds first appeared on my property this spring, I didn’t know what kind they were,” said Mendonsa. “Once it was pointed out to me how few of these birds are left in the world and how many were on my property, I was very moved. I could see how much they needed my help and protection to build back their populations, so I have taken it upon myself to ensure their safety on this farm.”

Conservation partners working with Mendonsa to find win-win…

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Busy Beavers Fix Pollution Problems

“As beaver populations rebound across North America, the ponds they create are proving to be an important factor in removing rapidly growing levels of nitrogen from waterways and estuaries, according to a new study. By creating ponds that slow down the movement of water, the beavers enable nitrogen — which comes from agricultural runoff, septic systems, and other human sources — to seep into soil, where much of it is broken down by bacteria.

“[R]esearchers at the University of Rhode Island said that beaver ponds can remove up to 45 percent of nitrogen in the water. One scientist said that when researchers began to consider the widespread presence of beaver ponds, “we realized that the ponds can make a notable difference in the amount of nitrate that flows from our streams to our estuaries.” Nitrogen pollution is a major problem worldwide, causing toxic algal blooms in rivers, estuaries, and oceans.”

Quoted from the Yale Environment 360 original, here.