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The generation of electricity modifies the physical environment of the globe more than any other industrial activity. Indeed, the industry may already create more long-term economic costs than benefits in terms of associated environmental repercussions. This negative economic equation could become even worse unless long-term and programmed investments into energy supply and conservation strategies are made with proper care for all indentifiable environmental effects. The present publiclyowned electricity industry in the UK has an environmental track record that is patchy but generally unsatisfactory, despite some improvements in recent years. The key issue facing the privatized industry is how comprehensive and...
Abstract: Wetlands serve critical functions including natural flood control and providing wildlife habitat, yet despite these values they remain highly threatened systems. Here we present a landscape-scale geospatial assessment of wetlands in Wyoming. Areas containing high densities of wetlands were identified and mapped, and wetland complexes were quantified as a function of their biological diversity, protection status, susceptibility to climate change, and proximity to sources of impairment. Our results indicate there are 280591 wetlands in Wyoming, totaling 371758 surface hectares, and 222 wetland complexes. The majority (67%) of wetlands are classified as temporary. Low elevation wetland complexes are the least...
Concern regarding the effect of energy development on greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is increasing as the search for fossil fuel intensifies. Sage-grouse may be especially sensitive to energy development because they require large, diverse areas of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitat to complete their life cycle. Additionally, the network of pipelines, roads, and wells required by energy development may fragment sagebrush habitat isolating populations and contributing to genetic drift, inbreeding, local extinction, or rapid divergence. Seep Ridge, located in northeastern Utah, is one area where sage-grouse habitat and energy development plans overlap. Approved leases call for the construction of...
Concern is growing across the U.S. among land managers who are seeing increasing numbers of farmers not renewing contracts to keep marginal lands enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Driving this trend in agricultural land use change is a trend in the development of ethanol production techniques and initiatives that would use ethanol as a fuel source to help achieve energy independence. In Pennsylvania many CRP/CREP lands have a subsoil horizon known as a fragipan, which is partly responsible for drainage/rooting problems resulting in poor crop yields. Production of biofuels on such lands poses risks of crop...