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Environmental News

Owl Invasion Affords Close-Up Observation

Great Gray Owl invasions, also called "irruptions", happen about once every ten years. But this one is the largest on record. Brian Sullivan is the project leader of the website, ebird.org, at the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology. Birders have posted Great Gray sightings from Minnesota to Montreal. Sullivan says it was only a matter of time until one was spotted in New York. Great Grays are one of the largest owls in North America, and they have a mysterious air about them. They're also known as the "Great Gray Ghost" and the "Phantom of the North". Sullivan told David Sommerstein despite those monikers, they're active during the day as well as night.  Go to full article
The "Phantom of the North", photo by Brian Sullivan

Great Gray Owl Glides Into NNY

The Great Gray Owl usually lives deep in the boreal forests of Canada. It's the official bird of the province of Manitoba. But due to scarce food and severe weather, thousands of the raptors have drifted south this year. They've invaded Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, even southern Ontario and Quebec. But a Great Gray hadn't been spotted in New York State since 1996, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Until last Wednesday, that is, when ornithologist Gerry Smith spotted one in the farm fields between Clayton and Cape Vincent in Jefferson County. It so happened that David Sommerstein was there too and has the story.  Go to full article

Risks of Prenatal Exposure to Air Pollution

A recent study indicates expectant mothers who are exposed to air pollution see damage to the genetic make up of their newborns. That might increase the babies' risk of contracting cancer later in life. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Lester Graham reports  Go to full article

A Cleaner Coal-fired Power Plant

A new kind of cleaner, coal-fired power plant will soon be built somewhere in the Midwest. American Electric Power, the nation's largest producer of electricity, says the...  Go to full article

Chester Town Plan Expands Adirondack Development Options, Worries
Environmental Groups

Earlier this month, the Adirondack Park Agency approved a land-use plan for the town of Chester, in Warren County. APA officials describe the document as a model for local...  Go to full article
Now that the river otter's population is recovering, some worry that they are plundering fish farms. The proposed solution to this problem is stirring up some debate.

River Otters on the Rebound

There have been many wildlife success stories in the region. For instance, the numbers of white-tailed deer and Canada Geese have rebounded so strongly that many consider...  Go to full article

Winter Air Quality An Issue

Earlier this month, Environment Canada issued smog warnings for the Montreal area for six straight days. Higher elevations gave a clear view of the brown smog layer on the...  Go to full article

Increased Funding for Great Lakes Legacy Act?

President Bush is recommending more money for a program designed to clean up contaminated sediment around the Great Lakes. But the program has a track record of not being...  Go to full article

Seaway Opening Remains Controversial

This month, St. Lawrence Seaway officials will announce the opening date for the shipping season. The decision is always a controversial one. As David Sommerstein reports,...  Go to full article

Environment Impacts of "Exurban Development" Like Big Tupper Poorly Understood

The Big Tupper resort development is widely seen as the first big crest of a development wave that's hitting privately owned forestland across the Adirondack Park. Brian Mann...  Go to full article

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