•   
  •   
  •   

US Feral cattle terrorize hikers and devour native plants in a California national monument

22:55  02 march  2018
22:55  02 march  2018 Source:   latimes.com

Earth's First Land Plants May Have Sprouted 80 Million Years Earlier Than Previously Thought

  Earth's First Land Plants May Have Sprouted 80 Million Years Earlier Than Previously Thought For hundreds of millions of years, life on Earth was a purely aquatic phenomenon. The jump from the oceans to the continents was a monumental event, one that would irrevocably change the face of our plant. A new study suggests the first plants to make this evolutionary leap appeared much earlier than we thought. Our planet’s first terrestrial plants appeared 500 million years ago, according to new research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That’s a surprising figure, considering the oldest known plant fossils date back approximately 420 million years.

 In the meantime, an estimated 150 feral cattle — roughly one-third of them bulls weighing as much as 2,000 pounds — are reshaping scenic canyons and slopes with their Part of the estimated 150 unbranded feral bulls and cows in the new Sand to Snow National Monument near Palm Springs.

the [Sand to Snow National ] monument ’s 101,000 acres as wilderness, said they plan in March to dispatch a team of federal land managers, biologists and representatives of the nearby Morongo Band of Mission Indians reservation to come up with a strategy and funds to eliminate the unbranded cattle .

SAND TO SNOW NATIONAL MONUMENT - Sand to Snow National Monument is a quiet place - its mountainous high desert and cascading streams a draw for those seeking panoramic views, tranquility and solitude.

World's last remaining wild horses aren't really wild after all

  World's last remaining wild horses aren't really wild after all It may come as a disappointment to equine enthusiasts, but a new genetic study has found that no truly wild horses still exist and that a population inhabiting Mongolian grasslands actually is a feral descendant of the earliest-known domesticated horses.It may come as a disappointment to equine enthusiasts, but a new genetic study has found that no truly wild horses still exist and that a population inhabiting Mongolian grasslands actually is a feral descendant of the earliest-known domesticated horses.

Feral cattle in one of California 's newest national monuments have become a nuisance to hikers and local vegetation. A herd of at least 150 feral bulls are ripping through Sand California Fish and Wildlife authorities were unsuccessful in an attempt this year to lure the dogs into traps baited with food.

SAN DIEGO — Feral cattle in one of California ’s newest national monuments have become a nuisance to hikers and local vegetation. A herd of at least 150 feral bulls are ripping through Sand to Snow National Monument , devouring native plants and scaring people

But on a recent morning, the serenity was ruined by a menacing bellowing, making it clear passing hikers weren't alone.

On a ridgeline near a popular stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail, five feral bulls, each the size of a small car, were snorting, stomping and pawing the ground - postures indicating they were ready to charge.

The bulls gazed down on human observers; some lowered their footlong horns. Then they lumbered on, trampling the trail and devouring native vegetation in one of California's newest national monuments.

Peering through binoculars, Terry Anderson, a board member of the Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep, saw a species he doesn't consider worthy of conservation in the wild lands near Palm Springs.

Nearly 10 years after massacre, Norway to ban semi-automatic weapons, lawmaker says

  Nearly 10 years after massacre, Norway to ban semi-automatic weapons, lawmaker says Norway will ban semi-automatic firearms as of 2021, nearly a decade after a right-wing extremist killed 69 people in a mass shooting, a lawmaker said.The minority right-wing government had presented a proposal on the ban last year.

Feral cattle in one of California 's newest national monuments have become a nuisance to hikers and local vegetation. A herd of at least 150 feral bulls are ripping through Sand to Snow National Monument , devouring native plants and scaring people, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Feral cattle in one of California ’s newest national monuments have become a nuisance to 150 feral bulls are ripping through Sand to Snow National Monument , devouring native plants and But the process could take months. California Fish and Wildlife authorities were unsuccessful in an

"They are part of a herd of at least 150 that's ripping up this monument and scaring the heck out of folks who cross paths with them," he said. "They also can transmit disease to native bighorn sheep. So, they need to be removed - and I'm all for lethal removal. They don't belong here."

Signs posted at trailheads warn of an additional danger. A pack of pit bulls has been killing and eating wild cattle in this nature sanctuary framed by mountains and watered year-round by a river roiling through overlapping biological zones including sandy desert, boulder fields, grasslands and forests.

Jack Thompson, desert regional director of the adjacent Whitewater Preserve, roughly 10 miles northwest of Palm Springs, was only half-kidding when he said, "It's Jurassic Park just a two-hour drive east of downtown Los Angeles."

The conflicts have become a local crisis not just because of the wild cattle and dogs, but also because the number of visitors and hikers in the Mojave Preserve and Sand to Snow National Monument has increased dramatically since it received federal designation in 2016, up from 90,000 to 148,000 last year.

Papers: Access to resources fueled monument reviews

  Papers: Access to resources fueled monument reviews Access to fossil fuels and other natural resources played an early role in a Trump administration review that resulted in size reductions at two Utah national monuments, according to internal documents released following a public records lawsuit.Interior Department officials focused on how much oil and gas, coal, grazing lands and timber had been placed off-limits when the monuments were created, the documents show.President Donald Trump in December ordered drastic reductions to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments following a months-long review.He said they were part of a "massive federalInterior Department officials focused on how much oil and gas, coal, grazing lands and timber had been placed off-limits when the mon

Feral cattle terrorize hikers and devour native plants in a California national monument . Around 150 wild cows and bulls are trampling the Sand to Snow National Monument near Palm Springs. They’re charging at hikers and threatening the habitats of some endangered

Feral cattle terrorize hikers and devour native plants in a California national monument (www.latimes.com).

There are cattle, including some that are wild, spread across California's millions of acres of open lands. But the size of this feral herd and its proximity to one of the most popular wilderness trails in the state make it a vexing problem for federal land managers. Because of a lack of cellphone service in portions of these canyon lands, it wouldn't be easy to summon help in the event of a stampede or goring.

Conservation groups including the Pacific Crest Trail Assn. are urgently calling on federal land managers to take action.

The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, which co-manage the monument's 101,000 acres as wilderness, said they plan in March to dispatch a team of federal land managers, biologists and representatives of the nearby Morongo Band of Mission Indians reservation to come up with a strategy and funds to eliminate the unbranded cattle and collarless dogs.

That process, however, could grind on for months because the animals are crossing jurisdictional boundaries of agencies and governments including the Forest Service's San Bernardino National Forest, the Wildlands Conservancy's Whitewater Preserve and the Morongo reservation. In addition, any effort to remove the animals must comply with myriad state and federal wildlife regulations.

Genetic Hack Makes Plants Use 25 Percent Less Water

  Genetic Hack Makes Plants Use 25 Percent Less Water The planet will face a 40 percent water deficit if global warming continues at its current pace, according to the United Nations, highlighting the importance of efficient agricultural practices. Researchers unveiled March 6 a genetic modification that enables plants to use a quarter less water with scant reduction in yield.By altering a single gene, scientists coaxed tobacco plants — a model crop often used in experiments — to grow to near normal size with only 75 percent of the water they usually require.

California Fish and Wildlife authorities were unsuccessful in an attempt this year to lure the dogs into traps baited with food.

"At this time, we are in the fact-finding stage, so we have little details on the history of these animals and their exact whereabouts," said Sarah K. Webster, a spokeswoman for the BLM state office in Sacramento.

"The BLM is working with its partners to come up with a solution," she said. "If someone should see or come in contact with any of these animals, please do not approach them."

In the meantime, an estimated 150 feral cattle - roughly one-third of them bulls weighing as much as 2,000 pounds - are reshaping scenic canyons and slopes with their appetites and hooves. They are carving new trails and wiping out grasses that anchor soil against erosion. They have knocked over willows that are home to birds, including federally endangered least Bell's vireos, and contaminated the watershed with their droppings.

They have also charged at human visitors who venture too close.

The experience stays with you.

Don Line, 63, a volunteer for the Pacific Crest Trail Association and tour guide in the monument, was nearly gored by a bull last month.

It is possible here to see in a single day bears, mountain lions and coyotes - all against the stirring backdrop of some of the steepest slopes in the state. But turning a corner along a trail to find yourself face to face with a raging bull is not for the casual nature lover.

San Francisco to remove 'racist and disrespectful' statue

  San Francisco to remove 'racist and disrespectful' statue The controversial statue that critics have deemed as "San Francisco's monument to white supremacy" is coming off its pedestal. The bronze statue that shows a partially clothed Native American man at the feet of two men -- a cowboy and a Catholic missionary -- will be plucked from its prominent location in San Franciscoina process that begins in coming weeks.

The beast exploded into life just 30 feet away from Line, who was conducting trail maintenance. It charged at him with its horns around the height of his belt buckle. Line said he grabbed a fence post he had been carrying and swung it like a baseball bat, hitting the bull in the side of the head.

The bull fell, then got up and continued down the trail at a slow trot.

"It was all over in a few seconds," he said. "I'm lucky that the horns didn't get me."

The feral cattle are believed to be descendants of herds that grazed ranchlands throughout the region a century ago. Until recently, small numbers of them were believed to roam the rugged terrain high in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains.

About four years ago, however, dozens settled in lower elevations. Prolonged drought, conservationists say, forced the herd to take an even bigger bite out of the lowland's sagebrush and grass.

"It's not uncommon for these unbranded cows to wander out of the mountains onto the Morongo reservation," said Michael Fisher, a spokesman for the tribe headquartered about seven miles west, "where they cause damage."

Cattle grazing remains common across California's public lands, and branding and tagging have generally made it easy to identify their owners when animals wind up where they shouldn't.

But with no one claiming ownership of this herd, it will take time to remove them from a diverse terrain that's home to imperiled wildlife, such as the California desert tortoise, arroyo toads and Nelson's bighorn sheep, which thrive on the monument's cliffs and rocky outcroppings.

"The destruction to natural habitat is widespread and heartbreaking," Thompson said. "An eradication plan can't come soon enough."

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Parkland survivor: Trump 'owned' by NRA just like other politicians .
Parkland, Fla., shooting survivor David Hogg criticized President Trump after the White House unveiled new gun proposals on Sunday, saying that Trump walking back his calls for certain gun measures shows that "he's owned" by the National Rifle Association (NRA) just like other politicians."Because of the NRA lobbying on Trump, I'm glad to see that he did take action, and he did seem to take steps in the right direction," Hogg said Sunda"Because of the NRA lobbying on Trump, I'm glad to see that he did take action, and he did seem to take steps in the right direction," Hogg said Sunday on CNN.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 1
This is interesting!