Fish, Farms, Dams, Wolves, Moose, and SEJ's Annual Conference

Lots of new Nooze coming to you on this bright, shiny, Thursday morning. (I say bright and shiny, because for the first time in weeks - literally, weeks! - the sun is out here in western MT.) So, without further ado:

This story was written by Eric Wagner, who is not an alumnus (yet). But it was edited by one (Sarah Gilman), and inspired directly by our 2011 Puget Sound Institute. From High Country News:

Balancing fish and farms on a Washington estuary

In late summer last year, a small but enthusiastic crowd gathered in northwest Washington to witness the rebirth of a waterway -- the result of years of negotiation, compromise and patience. Those present heard about the project's importance, not only for Pacific salmon, but also for the local community's livelihood.

It sounds a lot like the breaching of the century-old Elwha Dam on the Olympic Peninsula last fall. But this little group was about 100 miles away, near the town of Mount Vernon, at a place called Fisher Slough in the Skagit River Delta. What they were celebrating was less dramatic in appearance than the Elwha, but it was also biologically significant, and just as thorny politically... Read more.

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Another story that grew directly out of an IJNR trip, this one is brought to you by Susan Bence of WUWM-Milwaukee, inspired by the Wisconsin Watersheds Institute.

Estabrook Dam: Should it stay or should it go?

It’s safe to say Estabrook Dam – that spans the Milwaukee River where Glendale and Shorewood meet – is crumbling. It’s also safe to say the dam is a source of controversy. Milwaukee County is responsible for the structure and plans to repair it – while environmentalists continue to press that it be permanently dismantled.

Today at 2 PM, a Milwaukee County Circuit judge is due to take up a motion filed by Milwaukee Riverkeeper. It wants the court to declare Estabrook a public nuisance and to order the dam’s removal... Listen to the story here.

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A fantastic series from Michigan Public Radio, as two alumni, Rebecca Williams and Mark Brush, spend a week with the wildlife - and the people who study them - on Isle Royale:

Lessons from Isle Royale's wolves and moose

To find the northernmost point in Michigan, you have to take a boat or seaplane to Isle Royale.

The island is the largest in Lake Superior and it's also home to Michigan's only National Park.

The remoteness of the island, and the fact that the island is largely untouched by humans has made for a perfect place to watch nature take its course.

Michigan Radio's Rebecca Williams and Mark Brush traveled to Isle Royale to meet the researchers who have been watching how wolves and moose interact for 54 years. The research project is the longest continuous study of any predator-prey system in the world.

What researchers have learned on this natural island laboratory has informed ecological science around the world... Read, hear and see more.

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And finally, a reminder to sign up for SEJ's annual conference, to be held this year in Lubbock, Texas. Registration is now open, and the advertising rhetoric they're using this year makes me think this is a conference that you don't want to miss:

Big Land. Big Sky. Big Issues.

Welcome To The Southern High Plains Of North America.

Welcome To Lubbock.

SEJ’S 2012 CONFERENCE WILL BE AN EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER… We promise we’ll really get you "out there." You’ll see and feel, and even taste, the true grit that made this land, and you’ll learn about new ideas to change the world.