Wild and Scenic: new designation proposed for the Gila River

U.S. senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján have reintroduced previously overturned legislation that, if passed, would prevent federally-funded construction projects from obstructing free-flowing river segments along the Gila, San Francisco, and east fork of the Mimbres rivers. The legislation comes at an opportune time for water, habitat, and culture conservation — the Gila is the state’s last free-flowing river and feeds into the drying Colorado River basin watershed; the Gila achieved the top spot as the most endangered river in the country in the face of damming and diversion projects; and the new law would protect ancient indigenous sites while ensuring that populations downstream today will continue to have water supply.

Read more in the NM Political Report

 

 

One-Third of the World’s Tree Species Are Endangered

A massive five-year study conducted by the Global Tree Assessment (GTA) has revealed that of our planet’s 58,497 tree species, 17,500 — 30 percent — are at risk of extinction. While this number may seem grim, the study sheds light on where tree conservation has been successful, and where immediate work needs to be directed in order to systematically and efficiently slow loss of critically endangered species (including destruction of habitat from deforestation — see below!).

Read more on the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Plant Press

Explore the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BCGI) GlobalTree Portal

 

Tropical Mountain Forests in Africa Store 150 Tons of Carbon Per Hectare — and we can expect to lose 500,000 hectares to deforestation by 2030

Not only do African montane forests provide valuable habitat for endangered flora and fauna and support healthy watersheds for humans, animals, and soils downstream, a new study reinforces just how important the trees themselves are to the overall health of the planet. The 72,000 trees surveyed reveal that, compared to higher-elevation forests on other continents, the African forests store much more carbon — 169% more — than previously thought. And they’re disappearing at an increasingly rapid rate, meaning that conservation efforts will be all the more vital in the coming decade.

Read more on Plant Press

 

 

Link here for past conservation stories:

Newsy Summer 2021

Newsy Spring 2021

Newsy October 2020