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Positive Notes.

lambs, rats, crickets and snails of God Christian and secular activists have filed a joint lawsuit against the US Fish and Wildlife Service in defense of seven endangered species: the Alameda whipsnake, the Zayante band-winged grasshopper, the Morro shoulderband snail, the San Bernardino kangaroo rat, the spectacled eider and the Steller's eider, and the arroyo toad. Christians Caring for Creation, of Pasadena, California, provides "moral authority" and poetical clout, while the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity, operating in California, Arizona, and New Mexico, provides the science. The plaintiffs are urging the federal agency to do its duty in designating critical protected areas for the endangered animals; their survival completely depends upon preservation of their habitats. [SWCBD, Box 710, Tucson, AZ 85702, <>]

Wind power surges 2,100 megawatts (mw) of wind power were added to the global total in 1998, according to Worldwatch Institute. In Denmark, 1,350 mw of wind-generated power make up 8 percent of total Dane electrical capacity. A wind energy tax credit -- due to expire in June, 2000 -- may be one reason the US has seen a 235-mw increase. In the UK, Greenpeace avers that coastal winds could produce three times more electricity than that nation now uses, via 5000 wind turbines grouped in clusters three miles offshore. British Wind Energy Association head Nick Goodall assures all that the proposed offshore wind park clusters won't be all that visible: "We will not see the UK surrounded in a picket fence of turbines."

Cannabis reprieva Decreeing, "[A]ny person in this state may plant, grow, harvest, possess, process, sell and buy industrial hemp," HB1428 passed in the North Dakota legislature by a landslide and was signed in into law in April by the governor, making that state the Union's first to re-legalize industrial hemp.

[For the full text of the landmark bill, see < text/BIll_INDEX/BI1428.html> For further info, contact Gov. Ed Schafer, (701) 328-2200]

The life of the land is preserved in righteousness Hawai'i's motto is exemplified by native Hawai'ian fishermen, who have foregone two hard-won permits to fish in endangered seal habitat. The Mau Zone, encompassing Nihoa and Necker islands (in the northwestern segment of the Hawai'ian Islands chain), is home to threatened Hawai'ian monk seals, whose population has declined by 60 percent in the last forty years. Hawai'ian members of the Native and Indigenous Rights Advisory Panel (NIRAP) have recommended that the two permits not be used until they see proof that increased fishing in the area won't further contribute to the extinction of an endangered species. Says former NIRAP chairperson Isaac Harp: "Before we can exercise our inherent rights to gather resources to help our people economically, we must first exercise our inherent responsibility."

Got a clean tissue? Wisconsin Tissue Mitts has decided to use cleaner technology at its proposed mitt in North Carolina, announcing that it wilt not use any chlorine-based chemicals there. This is the outcome of sustained challenges from Native Forest Network (NFN) <> and other activists. Public opinion also played a major role in this decision, according to published reports and emails received by NFN from Wisconsin Tissue Mills.

Ward Valley saved Native American tribes and environmental activists have kept Ward Valley, in California's Mojave Desert, from being used as a nuclear waste dump. With transfer of the land from the federal government blocked, plans to bury highly-radioactive waste from reactor and medical sources are all but dead. Good thing: the land is home to the endangered desert tortoise, and is held sacred by five local Indian tribes: the Fort Mojave, Chemehuevi, Colorado River, Cocopah and Ouechan. If the dump had opened, nuclear waste could have seeped into the Colorado, which provides water to 22 million people and waters food crops distributed worldwide. An April federal court decision favoring dump opponents threw out a last-ditch lawsuit filed by former California Governor Pete Wilson, no friend of the environment, to force transfer of the land. Credit goes to the Colorado River Native Nations Alliance and the Save Ward Valley Coalition for their heroic and successful efforts! [Save Ward Valley, 107 F St., Needles, CA 92363, fax: (760) 326-6268, email:; <http.//>]

Keepsaking treasures and tales The Storyscape Project of the Cultural Conservancy [Box 29044, The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129, 415-752-8678, <>] is gathering indigenous stories and mapping sacred sites to preserve and empower native communities. Now collecting traditional Mojave Indian songs and producing video site tours narrated by Mojave elders, the Storyscape Project offers its expertise, full sound studio, and video equipment when invited by an indigenous tribe or community to archive its intellectual, physical, or spiritual treasures. The results are for public sharing or for the group's own purposes. Healing properties of local plants and sustainable land management practices are other facets of indigenous culture that can be documented, with all intellectual property rights remaining with the tribe.

Green light for night games Where the Los Angeles Dodgers have gone, will others in the smog-besotted freeway-threaded field of dreams called LA dare to follow? Angelenos can now opt to power their houses using environmentally friendly electricity generated by water and wind. Economic incentives include subsidies on low-power light bulbs, and new refrigerators and air conditioners. For those of limited means, DWP will waive the usual 6 percent "green surcharge" and improve the customer's home energy efficiency, at no charge. The utility plans to develop new sources of clean power, rather than signing up with existing suppliers. The main takers so far are a department store chain, a real estate developer, and the LA Dodgers. DWP is soliciting community organizations' help in recruiting residential customers.

Bikestation A bike transit center geared toward commuters and pleasure bikers has opened in Palo Alto, California's train depot. A bike commute program allows participating organizations' employees to hop a rented cycle from the train to the company campus in the morning and back again at work's end. Other amenities include a changing area, coffee bar, tuneups, repairs, gear, and accessories. Pittsburgh, Denver, and Seattle are pursuing the bikestation idea as well. [(750) 328-7411; or <>]
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Title Annotation:environmental activism
Publication:Earth Island Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 1999
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Next Article:Bio Watch.

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