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The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced on February 7 its decision to maintain the classification of the Light Brown Apple Moth as a quarantine-significant pest. Eradication programs relating to the moth have been of particular concern to those in California, where large residential areas in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties were sprayed aerially with pesticides in 2007.
As sports commentators and news reporters from all over the world endlessly discuss Sochi's not-so-cold weather and Olympian efforts to improve snow conditions, they often fail to mention that balmy winters may become the new normal in many long-established ski destinations, thanks to our changing global climate. The Olympics have repeatedly placed the world's most pressing concerns and crises in front of a world audience. This year, 105 winter Olympians have called for climate action.
On February 14, protesters gathered outside the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco to protest the brutal slaughter of dolphins. Approximately 30 people held signs and handed out literature to people in the financial district to raise awareness of the Japanese practice of slaughtering dolphins. Activists from Sea Shepherd and In Defense of Animals organized World Love for Dolphins Day demonstrations on Valentine's Day at Japanese consulates in major cities across the United States.
On February 3, protest vigils were held across the country following the State Department’s release of the final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL pipeline. The protests included thousands of demonstrators urging the president to keep his word in the fight against climate change and reject the controversial pipeline. In the Bay Area rallies were held in many cities, including Oakland, Palo Alto, and Santa Cruz.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal petition on January 16 with the National Marine Fisheries Service to protect more critical habitat for the endangered Southern Resident population of orcas. If successful the proposal would extend Endangered Species Act protection to the whales’ winter foraging range off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California. After several drastic declines, only 81 killer whales remain in the Southern Resident population.
Robin Moore / Save Upper Campus writes: We're bombarded daily with slogans and images promoting conservation, urging us to be green, and informing us of UC Santa Cruz's leadership in the field of sustainability. Meanwhile, UCSC is proposing to build on 240 acres of the undeveloped Upper Campus, removing redwood forest, mixed evergreen forest, and northern maritime chaparral in order to construct new buildings, roads, and parking lots.
On December 9, which was one of the coldest days of the season, the eviction of the Albany Bulb began. Workers from the City of Albany's Department of Public Works used a backhoe to dismantle homes located at the autonomous wild space where people have lived and created art for decades. Bulb residents' belongings were thrown in dump trucks behind the lines of Albany police.