More than perhaps any creature, salmon epitomize modern wildlife management. We are willing to bend over backwards, to the point of comedy, to recover species we cherish: We captive-breed black-footed ferrets; we shoot barred owls to save spotted owls; we patiently teach whooping cranes to migrate behind aircraft. Yet coexistence occurs strictly on our terms — and there is always at least one term left non-negotiable. We spend millions on wildlife crossings over highways, yet would never close the highways themselves; we relocate imperiled trees to help them weather climate change without daring to retool our carbon-based economy. In the Columbia Basin, the dams, and their power, are the inviolable condition, the infrastructure that fish and managers must turn cartwheels to accommodate. We will give salmon everything, except what we don’t want to give.The great salmon compromise: High Country News' Ben Goldfarb explores the complicated legal and biological tradeoffs in federal and tribal salmon recovery efforts in the Columbia Basin. [more inside]
"On the shores of Payette Lake are crates full of beavers, part of a shipment to be dropped in the primitive area by parachute from an airplane." A clip from Fur for the Future, a recently rediscovered documentary from 1948 about Idaho Fish and Game parachuting beavers into the state's backcountry.
Photographer Ami Vitale was allowed exclusive access into the Wolong National Nature Reserve managed by the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda as it trains pandas to be released into the wild. [more inside]
Syd Mead's Stanford Torus Illustrations for National Geographic got him the job, 40 years later, of designing Elysium for Neill Blomkamp. Mead calls the unique visual effect of these interior drawings, in which the horizon wraps up and over the viewpoint, 'inverse perspective'. This effect, and others like it, have been explored in the concept art for large, rotating, space habitats at least since the early 1960s. [more inside]
Skylab, NASA's budget space station, launched 40 years ago today. Designed as an orbiting optical laboratory, she served as a cold war weapon, underwent an historic salvage job, and was the site of America's first space mutiny before landing hard in Australia while waiting for the Space Shuttle to be invented.
Because they protect young trees from wind, animal browsers, and weather, abandoned and open silos can sometimes make an excellent tree habitat. Silo Trees: NYT, flickr pool, Missouri Department of Conservation, TGAW, Ken Wolf
Unf**k Your Habitat. Billed as "Terrifying motivation for lazy people with messy homes", it's more a place to go if you're desperately untidy, you like GIFs, and you want to hang out with people who are averse to tidying. There are challenges and tips. If, like me, the confusion of being a Tumblr and a community is too much, then the about page may be a good place to start.
Subway Submarines - a photo essay by and interview with industrial art photographer Stephen Mallon on NYC subway cars repurposed into underwater reefs. (via @stevesilberman) [more inside]
OdyseeTV explores the pressures faced by wildlife and habitat. Featuring video content like the Plight of the Snow Leopard, or a feature about manatees, Can Gentle Survive?, by conservation organizations worldwide. Limited at present to about 30 programs, but growing as more groups come on board.
Tigers bite back. Endangered Sumatran tigers have taken the destruction of their habitat into their own mouths by killing three & mauling several other illegal loggers.
Save the Pacific Tree Octopus! There have been many debates about loss of habitat for localized species, but a little known fight is underway to help save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus. "An intelligent and inquisitive being...the tree octopus explores its arboreal world by both touch and sight." Won't you help?!