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Rural News

Scientists capture images of rare wolverine in Sierra Nevada

Capital Press | Posted on July 28, 2016

Scientists following up on a rare wolverine sighting in the Sierra Nevada set up cameras and captured video of the animal scurrying in the snow, scaling a tree and chewing on bait.  They believe the wolverine is the same one that eight years ago became the first documented in the area since the 1920s.  Chris Stermer, a wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, set up the remote cameras in the Tahoe National Forest after officials at a field station sent him photos in January of unusual tracks in the snow near Truckee. Talk of reintroducing wolverines in California has been put on hold while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers its response to a federal court order in Montana that overturned its decision denying protection of the animal under the Endangered Species Act, Stermer said. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen ordered wildlife officials to act as quickly as possible to protect the species as it becomes vulnerable to a warming planet.

New Zealand vows to kill every weasel, rat and feral cat on its soil

The Washington Post | Posted on July 28, 2016

New Zealand is a nation that takes its birds seriously, and it’s got very special ones. The country’s currency is adorned with images of winged species found nowhere else, including the yellow-eyed penguin and the black-masked kokako. The logo of the national air force is stamped with the famed kiwi — a chicken-sized puff of feathers that cannot fly.  But many of those birds and other native wildlife are under assault from species that showed up with settlers to the island nation 200 years ago. And on Monday, Prime Minister John Key announced that, generations after they came, the invaders would have to go. New Zealand, he said, has adopted the “ambitious goal” of eradicating its soil of rats, possums, stoats and all other invasive mammals by 2050. The name of the plan: Predator Free New Zealand.

Dirty to drinkable: Novel hybrid nanomaterials quickly transform water

Science Daily | Posted on July 28, 2016

A team of engineers has found a way to use graphene oxide sheets to transform dirty water into drinking water, and it could be a global game-changer. Graphene oxide has been hailed as a veritable wonder material; when incorporated into nanocellulose foam, the lab-created substance is light, strong and flexible, conducting heat and electricity quickly and efficiently. The new approach combines bacteria-produced cellulose and graphene oxide to form a bi-layered biofoam.  "The process is extremely simple," Singamaneni said. "The beauty is that the nanoscale cellulose fiber network produced by bacteria has excellent ability move the water from the bulk to the evaporative surface while minimizing the heat coming down, and the entire thing is produced in one shot.

Farm to Fork Bicycle Event Draws 450 Cyclists to Vermont

Granfondo Guide | Posted on July 28, 2016

Over 450 cyclists set out on a farm-to-table bicycle ride through Central Vermont, stopping at nine local farms to refuel with chef-prepared food made with ingredients from the farms. The event, Farm to Fork Fondo – Vermont, is a recreational ride that draws athletes of all abilities.

How 9,000 Acre Land Purchase In Central Idaho Could Help Sage Grouse

Boise State Public Radio | Posted on July 20, 2016

Rancher Jim Cenarrusa says he sold 9,000 acres of his central Idaho ranch to the Nature Conservancy because he knows the conservation group will take care of it. The land is at the base of the Pioneer Mountains, and is home to sage grouse and pronghorn. The family will keep a small parcel for their next generation to farm, but Cenarussa says his kids aren’t interested in carrying on the family ranch.

Rural America's long road to citizenship

Daily Yonder | Posted on July 20, 2016

One hundred eighty-three miles. That’s how far Stephanie Rickels will travel one way from her rural Cascade, Iowa, home to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Des Moines, Iowa, where she is applying for U.S. citizenship. In the course of the three trips required to complete the naturalization process, she will travel more than 1,000 miles. For rural residents eligible for citizenship, Rickels’ situation is far from unusual. There is only one immigration office in Iowa, as there is in many states. If you lived in Sidney, Montana, your nearest application support center would be 300 miles away, in Rapid City, South Dakota, meaning that you might be traveling 1,800 miles for the perks of citizenship.   Rickels is French by birth. She is married to an American and has been eligible for citizenship for decades, but she never thought naturalization was worth the trouble until she felt compelled to vote as an American by the current political climate, including the anti-immigrant rhetoric of Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. In 2014, 6,125—less than 1 percent—of newly-naturalized citizens lived in “micropolitan” or noncore counties. These are the nation’s most rural. The don’t have a city of 10,000 residents or more, and they aren’t part of the commuting zone for a county that does.

PA Breeders Seek to Restore Awards Payments

Blood Horse | Posted on July 19, 2016

The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association Jsaid it continues to work on restoring payments for breeder and stallion awards after corrective language failed to win approval before the state General Assembly adjourned.  At issue is language in an omnibus horseracing reform bill signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf in late February. The awards percentages that have been paid for years remain in place, but a mistake made when the breeding fund provisions were included in the bill led the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which oversees racing regulation, to suspend breeder and stallion awards.

Rural towns banking on more than just farming to survive

Harvest Public Media | Posted on July 19, 2016

Like many rural towns, Brookfield’s top moneymakers in decades past were agriculture, transportation and manufacturing. While those businesses still exist today, each of those industries has taken a hit. The town lost an auto plant. The railroad is less vibrant. And farming just isn’t bringing as much to the town as it used to. “We in rural areas have had to try to reinvent ourselves to stay viable and sustainable,” Cleveland says. Brookfield’s story is a familiar one for thousands of towns across rural America where farmers were once an economic force. It mostly comes down to technology.

Senators form new caucus to support rural broadband

Agri-Pulse | Posted on July 19, 2016

A bipartisan group of five U.S. senators has formed the Senate Broadband Caucus to focus on strengthening broadband infrastructure and deployment across the country.  The senators - Republicans Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and John Boozman of Arkansas, Democrats Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Independent Angus King of Maine - say the caucus will “promote bipartisan discussions about possible solutions to increase connectivity and close the digital divide, especially in rural America, and engage with a broad range of industries and other stakeholders.”

How one Mississippi community copes with influx of Hispanic students

Hechinger report | Posted on July 14, 2016

Like many schools across Mississippi, Morton is scrambling to adjust to an influx of Spanish-speaking students for which it was completely unprepared. In a state that ranks at or near the bottom in education spending nationwide, it can be a challenge just to maintain buildings and stock classrooms with basic supplies. It’s hard to find money to pay for teachers who specialize in helping kids who are learning English, known in academic circles as English Language Learners — ELLs for short.