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Good News! 7 Positive Environmental Stories from June 2021

by Kaylee Brzezinski June 29, 2021 3 min read

Man in blue shorts leaping belly first into a lake surrounded by green trees
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7 Good Environmental News Stories from the Past Month that will Make You Smile

Summer is officially here! Many are already trying to beat the heat but we've got some awesome stories that will help you keep your cool. And if the stories don't do the trick consider planting a tree to help future generations stay cool! Anyway, this month was full of cities stepping it up for nature, wildlife back on the prowl on their old stomping grounds, and even new plant discoveries! 

Ready to kick off the summer with some positivi-TREE? Let's go!

First Wolf Litter in 80 Years Born in Colorado

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) announced this month that it had spotted at least three gray wolf pups in the wild, the first time gray wolves have been born in the state in more than 80 years! While local environmentalists are eager to observe and collect data on the pups, they are keeping their distance and providing space to ensure their survival. This is also a good time for the pups to be welcomed to the forest as Colorado recently voted in favor to reintroduce wolves to the western part of the state by 2023. 

Las Vegas Bans Decorative Grass to Combat Drought

It's no secret, drought has been affecting a lot of areas lately and Nevada is no exception. Oh yeah, this is GOOD news. Nevada legislators took a huge step in June when it comes to water conservation by banning non-functional turf within the city of Las Vegas.  It is estimated that the new law will lead to the removal of about 5,000 acres of decorative grass and conserve more than 10% of the state’s Colorado River water allocation. Nice job working with nature Nevada!

Reforestation Projects: The June 2021 Update

As summer ramps up in many places around the world, so too are several of our awesome projects — and we're so excited to share what we've been up to. From the Philippines and Australia to Sri Lanka and Costa Rica, tune in for some fresh-from-the-field updates courtesy of our awesome forest ambassadors Kyleigh and Nicole!

Scientists Discover a New Plant Organ

“It’s the fruit fly of the plant world,” says Tim Gookin, a molecular biologist who formerly worked at the Pennsylvania State University. The thale cress is a weed that has been scrutinized by researchers for many years however it continues to amaze and surprise. A newly discovered part on the plant called a “cantil",  juts out from the stem and connects to the flower-bearing arm of the plant, which is known as the pedicel. So if this plant has been around for a long time, why haven't scientists noticed this part before? The thale cress delays its flowering, usually during spring when daylight is limited. With this delay and light practices that scientists normally use, it could have been easy to miss all along!

Half the Trees in Two English Woodlands Planted by Jays

lowland England is thanking Jays for planting nearly half the trees in two new woodlands. The study conducted really supports the idea of natural regeneration as these birds have avoided the added costs of tree guards, labor costs, and time that goes into the large-scale projects. So how do they do it? “Passive rewilding” is where thrushes spread seeds of bramble, blackthorn and hawthorn, and this scrub then provided natural thorny tree “guards” for oaks that grew from acorns buried in the ground by jays. It took 24 years for the young woodland to boast its new 132 live trees per hectare. Well done Jays! 

124K Trees Planted in Sumatra to restore rainforests

As the global demand for commodities like coffee grows in both established consumer markets and developing economies, forests are on the front lines of change. In tropical regions like Sumatra, small scale farmers face the difficult choice between clearing land to increase crop yield and profit and conserving forests while limiting their own livelihoods. However, this is often a false choice.

In Sumatra, this process has been playing out for decades with disastrous results, pushing both people and wildlife to the brink. However, some farmers are embracing tree planting as a new way forward by integrating shade-grown coffee with agroforestry. By spacing trees throughout their plantations, farmers can improve soil fertility and crop yield while sustainably harvesting fruit and non-timber forest products. In the process, pressure on surrounding protected areas is reduced — and local biodiversity is enhanced within farms.

The California Condor Rising Again

The California Condor is a very rare sight to see as the population is near to no longer existing. Which makes sense why researchers were on edge when the Dolan Fire, which consumed 125,000 acres along the Big Sur Coast displaced many of the birds. With many restoration efforts in place though, conservationists are feeling very hopeful that we will see a rise in the condors' population! We're very proud to also be a part of the restoration efforts in California that will help too! 

All this good news is a great way to kick off the summer! And be sure too keep an eye out for our Reforestation Updates which occur on our YouTube channel the first Tuesday of every month! If you're really feeling those summer vibes, check out more good news from recent months to really ramp up the positivity! 

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