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Rural News

‘Puppy Mills’ Targeted by One State, Activists Seek Others

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted on December 18, 2017

The number of local ordinances across the country banning the sale of pets from commercial breeders, defined as large operations that raise pets for wholesale distribution, has grown from about a hundred last year to about 250. “The momentum is there,” said Goodwin, senior director of the Humane Society’s Stop Puppy Mills campaign. California this fall became the first state to outright ban sales of commercially raised animals in retail shops — a new success for activists working across the country to transform the way pets are taken in by families.Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates large-scale commercial breeders, animal welfare activists say that as shelter adoptions continue to rise, consumers are becoming more aware of the unsafe, unsanitary conditions in which commercially bred pets are sometimes raised.Activists nationwide hope California becomes a model of how to turn local ordinances into a statewide law. The idea is to approach smaller jurisdictions first, planting the seeds for statewide action, said Elizabeth Oreck, national manager of puppy mill initiatives at Best Friends Animal Society, a nationwide organization.In California, at least 36 municipalities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento, approved banning the stores from selling pets before the California Legislature acted.


Forest resilience declines in face of wildfires, climate change

Science Daily | Posted on December 18, 2017

The forests you see today are not what you will see in the future. That's the overarching finding from a new study on the resilience of Rocky Mountain forests.Researchers analyzed data from nearly 1,500 sites in five states -- Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho, and Montana -- and measured more than 63,000 seedlings after 52 wildfires that burned over the past three decades. They wanted to understand if and how changing climate over the last several decades affected post-fire tree regeneration, a key indicator of forest resilience.They found sobering results, including significant decreases in tree regeneration following wildfires in the early 21st century, a period markedly hotter and drier than the late 20th century. The research team said that with a warming climate, forests are less resilient after wildfires.


Suburban ponds are a septic buffet

Science Daily | Posted on December 18, 2017

Human waste accounts for a high percentage of nutrients consumed by some animals and plants in suburban ponds, new research indicates. Researchers found that residential, suburban land use is altering the dynamics of the food chain, as well as where nutrients originate and how they move through pond ecosystems.


Getting somewhere in net neutrality

Daily Yonder | Posted on December 18, 2017

The topic of net neutrality provides an opportunity to talk about potentially contentious issues without triggering our fight or flight response. Perhaps there’s a lesson here all of us could apply to other public discussions.


Breaking ground on the future of rural healthcare

Hutchinson News | Posted on December 13, 2017

Officials were scheduled to gather in a large open field in rural Harper County at 2 p.m. Sunday to break ground on a new $41 million medical complex that its developers say will introduce an entirely new model for rural health care. Funded in large part by the late Neal Patterson, a Harper County native who was co-founder and former CEO of medical technology giant Cerner Corp., and his family, the 62,500 square foot complex will consolidate the current clinic, hospital and rehabilitation services offered in both Harper and Anthony into one place, under one roof.The Patterson Health Center won’t just offer traditional health care, however, said Kimberly Temple Schrant, vice president of the recently formed Hospital District #6, but a path to wellness.The health center will include a 15-bed critical access hospital, neighboring health clinic, physical therapy and rehab center, and a wellness center.


To Build a Progressive Populism, Look to Farm Country

Civil eats | Posted on December 13, 2017

Political strategists could learn much from the work of farm communities who have fought racism and corporate control.Scapegoating leaves us at a standstill. It also ignores a rich history: In the 1980s, when rural life was rapidly becoming as bleak as it is today, a perfect storm of politics and economics hit middle America, in the form of the farm crisis. In response, white Midwestern farmers emerged at the forefront of resistance to the prevailing government agenda of privatization and deregulation, fighting white supremacist groups, and partnering with labor unions and Black politicians.Instead of demonizing the descendants of that rural-populist uprising, we need to ask: How did that happen and how can it happen again?Over 500 farms a week were lost through the ‘80s; the properties were sold to larger operations and families were forced to move from land they had farmed for generations. Without the engine of farm sales, Main Street businesses, farm-implement factories, schools, churches, and eventually whole towns dried up. Promised economic efficiency became on-the-ground desolation. Mental health advocates at the time suggested that farm loss was so emotionally and financially significant that it traumatized not only individual families, but entire rural communities, leaving swathes of the country with chronic long-term stress and depression.


USDA nearing end of feral hog removal

Albuquerque Journal | Posted on December 13, 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is nearing the end of an eradication program targeting feral hogs that have been rooting up New Mexico and other parts of the country. The program is set to end in September 2018 and more funding will be needed to continue fighting the pests, USDA District Supervisor for Wildlife Services Brian Archuleta said.


Scientists call on US to allow research on pot meds for pets

Leader-Telegram | Posted on December 12, 2017

A push is underway to have the U.S. government remove barriers to clinical trials of marijuana to see how effective it is in treating ailments in both pets and people, and one university in Colorado is already testing dogs with arthritis and epilepsy.People anxious to relieve suffering in their pets are increasingly turning to oils and powders that contain CBDs, a non-psychoactive component of marijuana. But there’s little data on whether they work, or if they have harmful side effects.That’s because Washington has been standing in the way of clinical trials, veterinarians and researchers say. Now, a push is underway to have barriers removed, so both pets and people can benefit.


Members of ranch family sentenced to probation, fines on gun charges

Capital Press | Posted on December 12, 2017

Ranchers Terry and Mary Hunt and their sons Russell and Derek were sentenced to five years probation and fined after pleading guilty to federal charges related to illegally buying and selling firearms.


New discovery, more bees mark Michigan's first, full bee census

Science Daily | Posted on December 12, 2017

The first complete bee census in Michigan has confirmed a new species and revealed that the actual number of bee species in Michigan exceeded earlier estimates.


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