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National Wildlife Federation

Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

“The Green Room” series on pipelines continues.  In the previous three segments we discovered the web of underground infrastructure is more complex and extensive than most realize.  And, while pipelines are safer than other forms of energy transport, threats to water are high on the list of concerns.  Where are the pipeline policy decisions being made?  In this segment, we look for “the deciders.”


Straits of Mackinac
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A controversial pipeline that carries crude oil and natural gas liquids under the Straits of Mackinac is on its way toward being decommissioned.  Sort of.


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

As the recent disaster in Massachusetts shows, pipeline problems can cause fatal explosions.  But in Michigan, it’s the impact pipelines might have to our increasingly threatened water supplies that is drawing most of the attention.  This is the third of our “Green Room” series on pipelines.


Washtenaw Wilderness
Courtesy Photo / Washtenaw Wilderness Facebook

Washtenaw County has always taken its environment seriously.  Now, it is the first county in Michigan to be certified as a community wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair chats with Mary Lapp, team leader of the Washtenaw Wilderness Community Wildlife Habitat, about what it takes for a community to receive such an honor.


Monarch Butterfly
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The monarch butterfly is one of the most iconic images in nature.  Yet, the species is not as strong in number as many believe.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Nicole Muench, habitat and education coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation, about efforts to save the monarch butterfly from extinction.


Mackinac Pipeline Line 5
Greg Varnum/Wikimedia Commons

The National Wildlife Federation says it’s making plans to sue the federal government. The environmental group says the US Department of Transportation is not enforcing a law that requires “worst-case” disaster plans for underwater pipelines to be on file.

Michigan League of Conservation Voters / www.michiganlcv.org

Lisa Wozniak explores issues facing the Great Lakes in the near and long term. Her guest on 89.1 WEMU's 1st Friday Focus on the Environment is Mike Shriberg, the newly appointed Director of the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Regional Center. 


Commission's goal is to get more properties in the area certified.

nwf.org

Environmentalists are calling for additional safety measures to protect the Great Lakes from a 61 year-old oil pipeline located under the Straits of Mackinac.

A new model created by the National Wildlife Federation and the University of Michigan Water Center predicts Lakes Huron and Michigan would suffer significant damage if the Enbridge-owned pipeline were to rupture.

National Wildlife Federation Regional Executive Director Andy Buchsbaum says a spill there would be a deathblow both ecological and economical to the Great Lakes region.

National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Regional Center

Water is one of the most important natural resources in Michigan. As a Great Lakes state, perhaps it's the most important. We are also spoiled with an amazing network of inland lakes, rivers and streams that enhance our quality of life in a myriad of ways. So, protecting this resource is something we think about often.  

Invasive species, pollution and water levels are some of the frequent conversations we engage in. What we discuss less frequently is vast number of oil pipelines that run through the state of Michigan near, and sometimes under our precious waterways. That's the topic in the March edition of WEMU's 1st Friday Focus on the Environment.  

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Courtesty Victor Shendel / National Wildlife Federation

A new report from the National Wildlife Federation outlines the effects of climate change for Michigan's big game animals and their habitat. 

The report says deer, moose, and elk experience dire repercussions from human-induced climate change. 

Christopher Hoving is the Wildlife Adaptation Specialist at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He says that a decrease of snowfall will affect the deer population locally and regionally.

Hoving also says that the disease Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD, found in white tailed deer, is more common thanks to longer summers and warmer winters. 

From the report:

Nowhere to Run takes a comprehensive look at the best available science on climate change’s impacts on big game, covering moose, mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and black bears. The most significant effects include:

  • Heat: Moose can become heat-stressed in warm weather, especially in summer if temperatures climb above 60 to70 degrees when moose coats are thinner. Heat stress leads to lower weights, declining pregnancy rates and increased vulnerability to predators and disease. Because of warmer fall and winter temperatures, black bears are already more active than usual during times when they normally conserve energy through hibernation, pushing fat stores to the limit.
  • Drought: More droughts have reduced aspen forests in the west, a favorite elk habitat, and many elk are not migrating as much as they traditionally have. Increasing periods of drought, more invasive plants and wildfires will alter sagebrush and grassland ecosystems, favored pronghorn habitats.
  • Parasites and disease: With less snowpack to kill ticks, moose in New Hampshire are literally being eaten alive, losing so much blood to ticks that they die of anemia. White-tailed deer are susceptible to hemorrhagic disease caused by viruses transmitted by biting midges

Nowhere to Run outlines the key steps needed to stem climate change and save big game:

  1. Address the underlying cause and cut carbon pollution 50 percent by 2030.
  2. Transition to cleaner, more secure sources of energy like offshore wind, solar power and next-generation biofuels and avoid polluting energy like coal and tar sands oil.
  3. Safeguard wildlife and their habitats by promoting climate-smart approaches to conservation.
  4. Factor a changing climate in big game plans and management.

Read the report at NWF.org/Sportsmen. Nowhere to Run is the latest in the National Wildlife Federation’s 2013 Wildlife in a Warming World series:


The Obama administration wants to continue funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at its current level of $300 million, but is it enough?  This month's First Friday Focus on the Environment from WEMU examines how the initiative has helped the Great Lakes.  Our guest is the Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Regional Center, Andy Buchsbaum.