Measuring Regional Ecological Changes

Highway construction.  Reno, Nevada

Highway construction. Reno, Nevada

The Laboratory for Regional Ecological Activities is an interesting group working out of Stanford that monitors the regional effects of ecological changes.  They can be found on the web here.  To quote their site:

We study how ecosystems and the services they provide to people are changing at regional levels. Our group consists of ecologists, remote sensing specialists, biogeochemists and land-surface modelers, working together scientifically to support conservation, management, and policy development.

There are many links to interesting articles on their site.  One study on selective logging in the Amazon determined that “that nearly one-third of the areas that were logged selectively were completely deforested for grazing and other uses within four years…Sixteen percent of selectively logged forests were cleared within just one year”

Lake Tahoe’s Impervious Surfaces

Off Season.  Homewood Ski Resort.  Lake Tahoe, California.

Off Season. Homewood Ski Resort. Lake Tahoe.

Here’s another highlight of the work going on at the Desert Research Institute.  Mary Cablk studies the connections between wildlife and the landscape.  One of her projects of particular note for Lake Tahoe, developed a method for calculating impervious cover areas using remote sensing.  This work is significant to Tahoe where impervious surfaces are an important contributing factor to the lake’s loss of clarity.  Mary’s work takes her further afield, as well, including studies on pine martens, lizards, tortoises, and coyotes.  In the desert near Joshua Tree National Monument, Mary is utilizing K9’s to locate and survey desert tortoises.

For more information on Mary’s work, visit her website.

Skiing Green

Lake Tahoe hotels and resorts rated on environmental efforts.

Lake Tahoe ski resorts receive environmental ratings.

An interesting article from the Associated Press discusses the Ski Area Citizens Coalition’s ninth annual environmental review.  According to the article, Mt. Rose received a typical rating for a Lake Tahoe ski resort:

With an overall B, Mount Rose’s categorical scoring was consistent with the majority of the resorts. The mountain on the southwest edge of Reno halfway to Lake Tahoe earned an A for habitat protection and B for watersheds, but a D for doing too little to address climate change and an F for environmental practices.

Check out the article here.