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Rural News

Researchers question conservation community's acceptance of trophy hunting

Science Daily | Posted on May 15, 2018

Researchers at Oregon State University are challenging the premise that trophy hunting is an acceptable and effective tool for wildlife conservation and community development. They argue that charging hunters to kill animals and claim body parts should be a last resort rather than a fallback plan.In a paper published today in Conservation Letters, the researchers label the practice as morally inappropriate and say alternative strategies such as ecotourism should be fully explored and ruled out before trophy hunting is broadly endorsed."Trophies are body parts," said lead author Chelsea Batavia, a Ph.D. student in OSU's College of Forestry. "But when I read the literature, I don't see researchers talking about them like that. Nobody's even flinching. And at this point it seems to have become so normalized, no one really stops to think about what trophy hunting actually entails."Furthermore, the authors point out, the notion that trophy hunting is imperative to conservation seems to have taken hold largely without compelling empirical evidence. Such an assumption is not only unsubstantiated but can also serve to squelch the search for alternatives.

Hassan says rollback of net neutrality rules could hurt NH’s dairy farmers

New Hampshire Public Radio | Posted on May 15, 2018

Senator Maggie Hassan met with employees of New Hampshire-based organic yogurt-maker Stonyfield Farm Monday. The company voiced concerns over the FCC's decision to end ‘net neutrality’ rules. Representatives from Stonyfield are worried, among other things, that Internet Service Providers could start charging more for access to some websites and services. Britt Lundgren is Stonyfield's Director of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture. She says small dairy farmers her company works with rely on affordable Internet service to manage records and access markets. "They need that technology to manage their business, just the same way that a startup in Silicon Valley needs that technology,” Lundgren said. "If farmers, who are operating on pretty small margins, now have to pay even more to get the kind of speed on the Internet that they need to be competitive, this could really be debilitating to them,” Hassan said. Local New England farmers also voiced concerns about a general lack of broadband infrastructure in rural areas. “For a small business like mine - and I think probably many of the small farms that Stonyfield is sourcing milk from - everything is internet-based now,” said Roger Noonan, President of the New England Farmers Union.

New state office seeks to bring high-speed internet to rural Missouri

KSMU | Posted on May 10, 2018

Missouri will soon open a state office devoted to helping rural communities get access to high-speed internet. The Department of Agriculture and Department of Economic Development launched a joint broadband expansion initiative last week as part of a 16-point plan to address the needs of the state’s agricultural and rural communities.The newly established Office of Broadband will help these communities navigate federal programs to bring broadband networks where only expensive or low-quality internet access exists, said Chris Chinn, Missouri Department of Agriculture director.

Blue Wave has been a trickle outside largest cities

Daily Yonder | Posted on May 10, 2018

The only place Democrats rack up big wins is in the core counties of the nation’s largest cities. Everywhere else, it’s either a close race or a runaway victory for Republicans. The trend is pronounced and has been accelerating since 2010.

The Geography of Food Stamps

Daily Yonder | Posted on May 10, 2018

With the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the news because of proposed cuts, we took another look at the data. The bottom line: Rural areas cluster near the top of counties that are most reliant on SNAP.

Telemedicine: DIfferent Types of care require different kinds of broadband

Daily Yonder | Posted on May 10, 2018

Communities should consider the needs of both long-term and acute medical care as they create networks for telemedicine. Whether it’s providing lifesaving stroke treatment or caring for chronic conditions like addiction or wound management, different treatments require different tools.

Rural Kansas is dying. I drove 1,800 miles to find out why

New Food Economy | Posted on May 10, 2018

 A native Kansan returns home to find that the broken promises of commodity agriculture have destroyed a way of life. Most Americans experience Kansas from inside their cars, eight hours of cruise-controlled tedium on their way to someplace else. Even residents of the state’s eastern power centers glimpse its vast rural spaces at 85 mph, if at all.But on recent trips back, I wanted to really see my home state—so I avoided I-70, the zippy east/west thoroughfare. The slower pace paid off in moments of heart-stopping beauty. At dawn, outside Courtland, wisps of morning mist floated above the patchwork of farms that gently rolled out all around me. Driving up a slight incline, I had a 360-degree panorama to a distant horizon. And that is when I realized what was missing. As far as I could see, there was an utter lack of people. The only other sign of human life was a farm truck roaring down a string-straight road toward the edge of the earth.

Va. state senator files suit against Forest Service in support of pipeline protests

The Washington Post | Posted on May 10, 2018

A Virginia state senator filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday, claiming that federal officials are illegally blocking access to a road in the Jefferson National Forest where several people are protesting construction of a natural gas pipeline. State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax), who is a lawyer, filed the suit at the federal courthouse in Roanoke after being prohibited from using the road to reach the protesters last week.His action opens another legal front in the fight over the right to protest the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 303-mile project that starts in West Virginia and crosses through Virginia’s southwest mountains.

LePage veto fails, clearing way for recreational pot sales in Maine

Bangor Daily News | Posted on May 10, 2018

Maine lawmakers overrode Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of an adult-use marijuana regulatory bill Wednesday, putting the state on track to regulate a retail market that has been in limbo since voters legalized recreational marijuana use in 2016. The proposal that survived the Republican governor’s pen was Maine’s second attempt to create a framework for the system after a veto of an earlier bill was upheld in 2017, sending a special committee that was convened to handle the issue back to rehash it.

ABAC to house new Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation

The Multrie Observer | Posted on May 10, 2018

Gov. Nathan Deal opened a new door of opportunity for economic revitalization for rural Georgia on Wednesday afternoon when he signed House Bill 951, creating a Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation that will be housed at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. “On behalf of all Georgians who live in rural Georgia or who grew up in rural Georgia, I want to thank Governor Deal and the legislators who turned this idea into reality,” ABAC President David Bridges said. “Rural communities face many challenges, hurdles, and obstacles as they attempt to revitalize and strengthen their situations.”Bridges grew up in rural Terrell County in the tiny town of Parrott. President of ABAC since 2006, he is the longest serving president among the 26 institutions in the University System of Georgia. He prepared a proposal for enhancing community and economic development in rural Georgia and presented it the Georgia House of Representatives Rural Development Council in February.“Shrinking populations, export of the most ambitious and talented young people, failing businesses, loss of access to primary health care services, closure of hospitals and loss of tax-paying brick and mortar retail stores plague much of rural Georgia,” Bridges said in the report.