Today: The $104,000 bluefin tuna and other endangered species
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SPECIES ACT ON LIFE SUPPORT: The federal Endangered Species Act is in jeopardy, reports National Geographic. It has not received multiyear funding since the late 1980s, getting by instead on annual appropriations. The Bush administration has cut funds and placed a comparatively few 64 species on the endangered list in eight years, a fraction of the 235 added during his father’s four years in office.
CALIFORNIA’S CCC THREATENED IN BUDGET CRISIS: The California Conservation Corps faces dismantling under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget proposed last week to help close a projected $41-billion shortfall. The agency puts at-risk youth to work planting trees, clearing trails and fighting fires. The administration would provide some funding for local conservation corps.
FOOD CRISIS IN OUR FUTURE?: Global warming holds a particularly bleak future for agriculture, according to a new report from scientists at Stanford and the University of Washington. ‘I’m not worried about Greenland sliding into the sea. I’m not worried about sea levels going up,’ said Washington atmospheric sciences professor David Battisti. ‘This is probably the most compelling reason why we need to deal with global warming.’
ROCKET FUEL IN DRINKING WATER: The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed not establishing a limit to the amount of perchlorate allowed in drinking water. It put off a final decision on the matter Thursday; in the meantime, it has recommended a limit of 15 parts per billion of the toxic rocket fuel ingredient. California allows six parts per billion.
BAD AIR AT SCHOOLS: Lots of kids are breaking in all kinds of toxic chemicals, USA Today states in a special report complete with a searchable database. Three of the worst schools in California are in, of all places, Berkeley, according to the report.
POLITICALLY INCORRECT FISH AUCTION OF THE YEAR: A premium bluefin tuna, highly endangered, sold for $104,000 at a Tokyo fish market. It will be split among Tokyo and Hong Kong restaurants.
UTAH PARKS, BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!: Although search efforts often make headlines at Grand Canyon, Yosemite and parks in Alaska, Utah’s five national parks (including Zion, pictured) and five national monuments tend to have more rescues, first aid calls and other instances of visitors needing help, according to a new study. The most common culprit: bad judgment or lack of good information.
-- Steve Clow
Photo: Zion National Park. Credit: Associated Press