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  • Land-rights crusader Elouise Cobell dies

    Elouise Cobell sued the federal government for losing Indian land royalties -- and won $3.4 billion.

  • The hazards of using toxic coal ash for land development

    Following the disastrous spill of a billion gallons of coal ash waste from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston plant in December 2008, poorly regulated coal ash impoundments like the one that failed have landed in the public spotlight. But other methods of disposing of coal ash waste have gotten less attention — even though they […]

  • Websites that connect would-be farmers to land are blooming

    A new website called the Midwest Farm Connection aims to connect new farmers with established farmland owners, and to the resources they need to get a sustainable operation up and running — from small-business advice to lists of possible funding sources. Farmers can also post classifieds with equipment for sale and internship opportunities. A project […]

  • Money’s coming to cool the planet: What’s the winning spending plan?

    With their natural resources pilfered, have Native American gambling casinos been payback, a further pillage (described as Tonto’s revenge during the Abramoff scandal) or perhaps both? It’s a relevant debate for today’s global warming talks. During these next weeks of climate change deliberations in Copenhagen, environmental service payment programs will be hammered out. What’s the […]

  • The risky plan to dump coal ash in an old Tennessee mine

    Since a dam burst at its Kingston coal-fired power plant last December and dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic coal ash sludge into a nearby community and river, the federal Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has decided to change the way it stores its coal waste, transitioning from wet landfills like the one that […]

  • A review of Wangari Maathai’s autobiography Unbowed

    October 2004 was an exciting time to be a tree-hugger in Wangari Maathai‘s home country of Kenya. When she was announced as winner of that year’s Nobel Peace Prize, many of my environmentally inclined friends and colleagues were eager to help her figure out what to do with the giant megaphone she had just been […]

  • The Roadless Rule Is Dead! Long Live the Roadless Rule!

    Judge puts Clinton’s roadless policy back in action In a Three Stooges-esque poke to the eyes of the Bush administration (nyuk nyuk!), U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Laporte yesterday reinstated a Clinton-era ban on road construction, logging, mining, and other development in roadless national forest areas. In May 2005, the Bushies replaced Clinton’s “roadless rule” — […]

  • Have You Hugged Your Tree Today?

    On Arbor Day, appreciate the trees Urban forest cover in many U.S. cities has declined about 30 percent over the past 10 to 15 years, according to the green group American Forests, and that’s just not cool. Literally: loss of trees means loss of shade, more AC, and higher energy costs. On Arbor Day (you […]

  • Two new books on nature reveal three writers’ ways of seeing

    “It was on Cape Cod during fall a few years back, after the century fell but before the towers did, that I began paying a series of visits to the writer John Hay.” With this opening line in The Prophet of Dry Hill, David Gessner sets the tone for a quest that is both personal […]