Author: Susan Sunflower

Got Hemlocks? Get Help!

Sign up by 16 April to help with improving hemlock protection against the wooly adelgids, in the greenhouse and in the field.  Here’s how, from The Hemlock Initiative Hello Hemlock Helpers, I would like to invite you to celebrate Earth Month with the Hemlock Restoration Initiative by volunteering at one or both of our upcoming work days. On Thursday, April 26th from 10 am to 4 pm, we will be working at the Forest Restoration Alliance research and breeding facility in Waynesville, NC.  We will work in and around their greenhouses to help with their selective breeding program, which may include repotting trees in the greenhouse, helping prepare their new indoor facility, weeding or other maintenance in their outdoor growing areas, and general work maintaining the greenhouses. Volunteers will also get a tour of the facility by researcher Ben Smith and learn about their efforts to restore hemlocks.  This day will not involve pesticides.  Learn more about the FRA at On Sunday, April 29th from 9 am to 3 pm, we will be chemically treating hemlocks in the Green River Game Land, home of the famous Narrows, a draw for whitewater kayakers from around the country.  If you are a landowner thinking about treating your own trees, this is a great opportunity to be trained in the soil drench method.  We will be working off-trail but on flat...

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The Importance of GREENSPACE in Our Lives

Greenspace or open space reserve, protected areas of undeveloped landscape. Urban open space, open space areas for “parks”, “green spaces“, and other open areas. (Wikipedia. Picture: Creative Commons.) This March, the Brevard City Council changed the Unified Development Ordinance ( UDO) Density and Dimensional Requirements Among other things, they removed the necessity of building developments to provide geenspaces. This means is there’s no longer space required for plantings for pollinators, birds, squirrels  – not even our iconic white squirrels! There’s no space for us to walk, to play, to sit and breathe around a development. There’s no requirement for greenery, proven to improve our mental and emotional health, through visual and touchable plants around homes; nor any throughout the commercial areas. Developers, on their own, seldom consider preserving trees, nor creating visually pleasing planting areas as part of their design work – just look at the clearcut on Rice Street, recently done so 3 houses could be put in. Think of the difference well grown trees in front and back of each would make! Increased dollar value, too. It isn’t just Brevard of course. In SCIENCE DAILY, Science News, March 23, 2018 Biodiversity and nature’s contributions continue dangerous decline, scientists warn Human well-being at risk. Landmark reports highlight options to protect and restore nature and its vital contributions to people Summary:          Biodiversity — the essential...

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Conservation & Social Justice …

From SCIENCE DAILY. 5 March 2018, web edition Just conservation is where environmental issues and social justice commingle Date: March 1, 2018 – Source: Michigan Technological University Summary: Social justice and environmental conservation are considered great values in our society. However, in some conservation efforts, conflicts arise. Natural resource management needs to incorporate both social justice and environmental conservation. Credit: Sarah Bird/Michigan Tech More people, limited resources. Environmental ethicists consider best practices for conflict resolution and fairness when people and the environment are at odds. Conservation is increasingly stymied by people who object to particular conservation actions-claiming them to be unfair for one reason or another. In a new paper published in Biological Conservation (DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.02.022), the authors propose principles for resolving such conflicts-principles that redress shortcomings in existing methods for addressing conservation conflicts. “Social justice and conservation each represent great values of our society,” says John Vucetich, professor of ecology at Michigan Technological University, who led the study. “We aimed to examine those values from first principles to better understand how to respond when social justice and conservation seem to conflict.” Vucetich’s co-authors include Jeremy Bruskotter from Ohio State University and a team from the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) from Oxford University-Dawn Burnham, Ewan Macdonald, Alexandria Zimmerman, David Macdonald and Silvio Marchini, who is also associated with the University of São Paulo. Vucetich explains the foundation of the analysis is...

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A positive response re Pesticides for pollinators, water quality and us!

  Pesticide Action Network: Reclaiming the future of food and farming:   A city goes ‘organic’ In early January, the City Council of Portland, Maine unanimously passed a tough ban on synthetic pesticide use in the city, leading many Portland residents to applaud their city’s new “organic” status. The ordinance comes in as one of the strongest pesticide use reduction policies in the country. A strong city ordinance Beginning July 1, 2019, residents and city workers of Portland won’t be using synthetic pesticides, and violators will face fines ranging from $100 to $500. The ordinance also creates an advisory committee to develop a robust campaign to educate the public and retailers about organic approaches to maintaining their lawns and gardens. A grassroots group called Portland Protectors has been lobbying for a strict pesticide ordinance in the city for about two years, and applauds the new rules. The ordinance includes exceptions for a minor league baseball field, a golf course and several athletic fields that will remain exempt until 2021, as well as an exemption for invasive pests. Starting at home Every year, U.S. homeowners apply 80 million tons of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to their lawns, and on a per-acre basis, American homeowners use 10 times more pesticides than what is used on U.S. farms. So a policy like Portland’s new ordinance, though seemingly small in scope, has the...

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Grocery store program improves farmers’ adoption of environmental practices

A local action/education opportunity for our grocery stores?  Greenhouses are only one sustainable practice; there’s drip irrigation, raised beds/rows, and ….. Of course, many selling at the Saturday Farmer’s Market have sustainable farming practices already. From Science Daily, 10 Jan 18: Leafy green vegetables are produced in a growing facility in Western Cape Province, South Africa. A new study shows a company-led sustainability program at a major food retailer in South Africa drove increased adoption of environmental practices at the farm level. Credit: Tannis Thorlakson  When grocery stores tout sustainable products, consumers may take their claims at face value. Yet few studies have analyzed whether or not companies who claim to improve the sustainability of their products are actually changing practices in their supply chains. In a new study published online Dec. 22 in the journal Global Environmental Change, Stanford researchers carried out one of the first analyses of a company-led sustainability program in the food and agriculture space. Studying the agricultural supply chain of Woolworths Holding Ltd. (Woolworths), one of the five largest supermarket chains in South Africa, they found that its Farming for the Future program drove increased adoption of environmental practices at the farm level. Agriculture is one of the largest global environmental polluters, driving deforestation and contributing an estimated 30 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. “If indeed these company-led policies are effective and able...

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  • 19

    6:00 pm-8:30 pm
    Coffee Carts
    1061 Rosman Hwy, Brevard, NC 28712, USA

    Community Compost Raising

    You have heard of a barn raising.
    Join us for a community drop-off
    compost raising!

    When: April 19th at 6 pm

    Where: Coffee Carts
    1061 Rosman Hwy, Brevard, NC

    Hosted by: Moving to Conservers

    All are welcome! Please join us!

    We will be constructing a community
    compost drop-off site at Coffee Carts
    and celebrate with a community potluck!
    Bring a dish to share and your own
    non-disposable place setting. This is
    a zero-waste event.

    For more information email

  • 28

    8:00 am-12:00 pm

    The annual spring plant sale by the Transylvania Master Gardeners, The Transylvania Garden Club, The French Broad Garden Club and the Heritage Museum will be held Saturday, April 28, from 8 a.m. until noon at the Brevard Ingles parking lot on Asheville Highway. This will be the second year in this location and it allows very easy access and plenty of parking for customers.

    The annual plant sale raises funds to support gardening and landscape projects throughout Transylvania Count including the Master Gardeners projects including those at Silvermont and the Pisgah Ranger Station and scholarships provided by the garden clubs.

    Come early for the best selection from a large variety of high quality, locally raised perennials, annuals, vegetables, trees and shrubs. Local gardeners also will be on hand to offer advice.

    The plant sale takes place rain or shine. Admission is free.

    For more information, contact the Transylvania County Extension office, (828) 884-3109 or

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RSS US House Activity Excerpt

  • H.R.5447
    Music Modernization Act (04/25/2018 legislative day)
  • H.R.3144
    To provide for operations of the Federal Columbia River Power System pursuant to a certain operation plan for a specified period of time, and for other purposes. (04/25/2018 legislative day)
  • H.R.4009
    Smithsonian National Zoological Park Central Parking Facility Authorization Act (04/25/2018 legislative day)
  • H.Res.839
    Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 4) to reauthorize programs of the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other purposes; providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3144) to provide for operations of the Federal Columbia River Power System pursuant to a certain operation plan for a specified period of time, and for other purposes; […]
  • H.R.256
    Protect Our Military Families' 2nd Amendment Rights Act (04/25/2018 legislative day)

RSS US Senate Activity Excerpt

  • PN1761
    Mike Pompeo, of Kansas, to be Secretary of State, vice Rex W. Tillerson. (04/25/2018 legislative day)
  • S.Res.429
    A resolution commemorating the 59th anniversary of Tibet's 1959 uprising as "Tibetan Rights Day", and expressing support for the human rights and religious freedom of the Tibetan people and the Tibetan Buddhist faith community. (04/25/2018 legislative day)
  • S.Res.401
    A resolution designating May 5, 2018 as the "National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls". (04/25/2018 legislative day)

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