Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Email congress to reform mining laws; council vote to nix tax increase below

Important Vote Wednesday!
Urge Congress to reform mining laws to protect wildlife

Photo: Polluted water seeping from Montana's Mike Horse Mine Impoundment into a tributary of the Blackfoot River.

Congress is hopping right now when it comes to voting on bills that impact wildlife.Today, the House of Representatives is voting on an important bill to reform a 135-year-old mining law which has threatened public lands and wildlife since way back in 1872!
Can you send a quick message to your rep to protect wildlife from toxic mining practices?
The General Mining Law of 1872 has governed hardrock mining since the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, allowing mining companies to buy up America's public lands at dirt cheap prices with little or no cleanup required. This is bad news for the wildlife and all who enjoy recreating on America's public lands.
The House will vote to reform this outdated law on Wednesday, October 31, 2007, so please contact your representative immediately! And please forward this on to as many people as you can before Wednesday's vote.
Thanks so much for speaking up!
Kristin Johnson
Grassroots Mobilization Coordinator
National Wildlife Federation
Should mining companies be allowed to buy up public lands at dirt cheap prices, with little or no cleanup required? An 1872 law has allowed this for more than a century.
Urge your rep to vote for mining reform Wednesday!
Inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.

Millage increase voted down by Fayetteville City Council

Click on photo to enlarge
This native flower was blooming on World Peace Wetland Prairie. It cost nothing. The birds planted it and it was in bloom and attracting pollinators on Oct. 27, 2007, just in time to be seen by volunteers and guests at Wreath-making Day!

The Fayetteville, Arkansas, city council voted on Tuesday Oct. 30, 2007, to amend the millage ordinance to remove the raise and then passed the millage ordinance, which had to be passed in October.

Let's all try to suggest ways to cut the budget without cutting services or losing any valuable employees.

Council to vote on proposed increase in real-estate tax

< October 2007 >
Calendar of Events

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Special City Council Meeting Immediately following Agenda Session
5:30 PM
Room 326
5:30 PM or immediately following Agenda Session

The Fayetteville City Council must decide tonight whether to raise the millage and thus the tax on real property.

A millage increase would raise everyone's real-estate tax, including those property owners who are 65 or older and have locked in their current appraisal rate.

Please be there to share your opinion before the council members vote.

Pre-Halloween softball game ends in 7-7 tie because players were tired and no substitutes were on hand

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween softball game Sunday afternoon at Walker Park ends in 7-7 tie

Please click on PHOTOS to ENLARGE

We provided gloves, bats and balls for the use of all who chose to play between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday at Walker Park in south Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Although mostly men actually played, one young woman was apparently the most valuable player for her team. Several men said they had not played in years but had a great time.
Field 8 is next to the soccer fields on the west portion of Walker Park, south of the skating park.

Hope to see others next Sunday and next year!

Hank Broyles in the Democrat/Gazette

Thanks the NWA Democrat/Gazette for its good reporting.
Wanted: Builder to fix up property
Posted on Friday, October 26, 2007

The former partner of an abandoned townhouse development in south Fayetteville has bought the property and is shopping it among local developers.
Hank Broyles and his son, Alexander Broyles, of Broyles Commercial Funding bought the 28-acre property formerly known as Aspen Ridge from Chambers Bank, Hank Broyles said Thursday.

As soon as I can find a direct link to thw story below, I'll delete most of this and insert the link:
Developer hopes to jump-start work on Aspen Ridge property

BY MARSHA L. MELNICHAK Northwest Arkansas Times
Page A5 Friday, Oct. 26, 2007

    Aspen Ridge, the unfinished development that was supposed to bring 220 townhomes along with a park and water features to the Sixth Street landscape, has a new, transitional owner and a cloudy future.
    Developer Hank Broyles said Wednesday he reacquired the large-scale subdivision that lies southwest of Sixth Street and Hill Avenue in Fayetteville, near the Fayetteville High School.
    “Even though my son and I sold our interest in that over two years ago, we kind of feel an obligation to make sure that thing doesn’t become an eyesore for the city,” Broyles said.
Developer hopes to jump-start work on Aspen Ridge property
    “We brought a whole lot of new ideas into this area south of downtown, and we hope this starts a revitalization effort in the area,” former owner and Broyles’ partner Hal Forsyth declared at a 2005 groundbreaking for the project, which instead of exemplifying urban renewal came to exemplify the problems associated with unfinished development.
    Deeds in lieu of foreclosure for the properties in the project, signed by Forsyth, were recorded in the Washington County Circuit Clerk’s office Oct. 10.
    The original project was supposed to be complete by the spring of 2006. It ground to a halt in July 2006 after ongoing disputes between then-owner Forsyth and May Construction Co. of Little Rock. Although much of the street, water and sewer work for phase one is done, no vertical construction ever began, leaving only a series of winding roads visible.
    Broyles said he bought Aspen Ridge “mainly to get the stormwater control issues taken care of immediately and to ensure that the people that buy it are going to be a good citizen to the city of Fayetteville and they’re going to bring a good project that we’re all going to want to have down there.”
    He said Wednesday work has begun to correct the stormwater issues on the site.
    The muddy streets and downed silt fences that indicate stormwater management gone wrong were among the reasons discussed when the Fayetteville City Council not only denied extending a building permit for this project but also began discussion of ways to have leverage to ensure developers finish projects.
    A performance bond for Woodstock, a Broyles development, was the first by the city to a private developer specified for erosion control, City Engineer Ron Petrie said. The bond was a condition in the City Council’s approval of the project.
    Petrie said Friday that the Engineering Division will meet with the new property owner soon to determine exactly the additional measures needed to move forward with any additional grading.
    Although Broyles is committed to “make sure that thing doesn’t become an eyesore,” he said, how and when that happens is unclear.
    Broyles said he has several different groups that are interested in the property and expects to have a contract in about a week.
    A new owner would have to resubmit a new planned zoning district application for review through the planning process, Jeremy Pate, director of current planning, said Thursday.
    “I will assist the group in getting it through the city if they want me to,” Broyles said. He does not plan to develop the property himself, he said.
    One problem he anticipates facing is the question of density. The approximately 28 acres are currently zoned as a residential planned zoning district. Construction of 220 homes would be a density of just fewer than eight homes per acre.
    Broyles said he thinks it will have to be more — and the sooner the better.
    “The big problem with a big project like this is it languishes for three or five years or six years because the city may have an idea that it was originally zoned at, say, seven units an acre,” he said. “Well somebody’s already pumped a bunch of money into it at seven units an acre, and now there’s got to be more money put into it. Seven units an acre won’t work anymore. You can have group after group after group of different buyers who say, ‘We can make this work at 12 density,’ but they never get awarded 12 density so they never do the project and it just sits there.”
    It’s an ongoing problem, in his opinion.
    “Most of the projects that are dormant in Fayetteville are because they can’t get the density increased to make the project work financially and they (developers) can’t get it financed,” he said.
    As for Aspen Ridge, he said he is hopeful that city leaders and neighbors will realize the need for higher density.
    “There’s no reason for us to wait for five years until the people in the neighborhood say, ‘Please, do anything to get this thing developed.’” he said. “Why don’t we go ahead. Let’s get the density increased; let’s get a good partner, a good developer in there that’s going to put a good project in and be a good citizen for the city of Fayetteville. That’s what’s going to have to happen.”

Friday, October 26, 2007

All ages enjoy wreath-making day at World Peace Wetland Prairie

Please click on photos to enlarge
For more photos, please click wetland link.


National Wildlife Federation supports clean water

Jump Start a Clean Energy Future
Urge Congress to pass a strong
FINAL energy bill for wildlife

Dear Aubrey,

Over the summer, the U.S. House and Senate passed great pieces of energy legislation, both of which were filled with landmark energy and vehicle efficiency provisions designed to reduce global warming pollution.

But right now, passage of the final legislation is at a standstill. Congress has yet to combine the two energy packages.

Urge your senators and your representative to finish off this bill! Send them a message asking them to "Jump start a clean energy future!"

This legislation is very important for wildlife. With global warming threatening species and habitat across America, the decisions made now for how we create and regulate energy are more important than ever.

We MUST pass this energy bill to lay the groundwork for strong, comprehensive global warming legislation.

Don't let the 2007 Energy Bill be another "close-but-no-cigar" piece of legislation. SPEAK UP FOR WILDLIFE TODAY!


Thank you very much!

Kristin Johnson
Grassroots Mobilization Coordinator
National Wildlife Federation

Inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.

Forward this email to a friend or family member. If you were forwarded this message, sign up to receive wildlife news and updates from the National Wildlife Federation.

We look forward to receiving your feedback. For general comments or membership questions, please email info@nwf.org or call us at 1-800-822-9919. Send mail to: National Wildlife Federation, 11100 Wildlife Center Dr., Reston VA, 20190

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fayetteville Ducks Unlimited Committee meeting at 7 p.m. at On the Mark


The mallard hen and her SECOND brood of ducklings of the spring and summer of 2007 were photographed July 4 at the stormwater-detention pond on the southside of Baum Stadium on the University of Arkansas campus. Baum Stadium overlooks the new edition of George Cole Field and was built in a portion of the wetland prairie formerly found all over the Town Branch basin of the West Fork of the White River. Breeding pairs of wild mallards rarely succeed in Arkansas. The majority of the hundreds of thousands that winter in the state migrate from far to the north, where Ducks Unlimited's major prairie-pothole projects first began.
As the late Rollie Remmel said so many times, it is all about Mama Duck. He said it so often that he became known far and wide as Papa Duck.
A person doesn't have to be a hunter or ever plan to hunt to support the work of Ducks Unlimited in its effort to protect the northern nesting areas and southern wintering areas of waterfowl. Thousands of other species benefit when wetland is preserved.

Fayettevilleville's Ducks Unlimited planning committee meets tonight. Anyone who wants to donate an item for the auction or raffle or door prize list needs to attend or e-mail Hunter Deweese as soon as possible. DU's projects are a great deal more than an effort to guarantee the future of waterfowl to hunt.
DU has been the world leader in conservation of wetland for 70 years. And waterfowl breeding grounds, wintering grounds and migration patterns are among the many aspects of our natural environment threatened by climate change and land-use change.

On the Mark is a restaurant and bar off Gregg Avenue just east of the Sunbridge intersection. It appears to be a good place to watch the World Series game while helping to plan the coming DU banquet. The banquet is set for Nov. 2.

Here is the chairman's e-mail.
We are going to have a meeting tonight at 7:00 at On The Mark. We are less than two weeks out from the banquet and we need to have everything set in stone by tonight. Please let me know if I have left anyone off this e-mail or if you might have any questions on what is going on.

Thank you,

Hunter Deweese

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pre-Halloween softball game starts at about 2 p.m. Sunday

Click on photo to enlarge

Top photo Winning team pauses for a photo after a 2004 Sunday afternoon softball game in Walker Park.
Photo below A youngster named Russell await a pitch at a pickup softball game in 2004 at Walker Park's field 8 in south Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Sunday's annual pre-Halloween game celebrates the October-November birthdays of several who have played the game in past years.

Bring a whole team or just your whole family. We bring a lot of gloves, balls and bats but shoes suitable for running are recommended.

No fee, just fun! Enjoy the feeling of being in the World Series without the stress!

This game is the direct successor to the Sunday afternoon softball games at Wilson Park often populated by Dickson Street restaurant workers who never got off on Saturdays and others who just happened to be enjoying the park on a given Sunday. In the 1990s, we had a list of more than 200 people who sometimes played. Ages ranged from 7 to 70!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wreath-weaving planned at World Peace Wetland Prairie


Migrating monarch butterflies enjoy late-blooming asters on unmowed lots in Fayetteville, Arkansas


The code compliance sign probably says the owner of the lot needs to mow or else.

Maybe someday Fayetteville will have an urban-wildlife biologist who will discover such plots and put up signs reading
DO NOT MOW or disturb vegetation on this property.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

Variety of birds feeding on seed of Ambrosia trifida on Oct. 19, 2007

Please click on photos to enlarge

Everyone welcome to wreath-making day at World Peace Wetland Prairie


The seed of the ambrosia plant, also known as giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) is truly the ambrosia of an uncountable number of species of birds during September and October on World Peace Wetland Prairie and many other areas of Arkansas.


Friends of the World Peace Wetland Prairie are planning Make-A-Wreath Day from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 27.

Come at dawn to watch birds, find a private spot out back where the late-blooming flowers remain and see whether the migration of monarch butterfles is still going on. Gather wreath-making material and turn it into a festive harvest centerpiece from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Gather pine cones, cut wild grape vines and honeysuckle for a truly down-home holiday wreath. Tips on assembling a wreath will be given by weaver Sharon Dollar. Tips on how to identify good vines and bad will also be provided. A little string, wire, ribbon, elbow grease and fun and. . .VOILA! A Holiday Centerpiece!

Long Sleeves, gloves, clippers and bag or box to carry your treasures home in will be helpful.

The World Peace Wetland Prairie is at 1121 South Duncan Avenue between 11th Street and 12th Street — just northeast of Pinnacle Foods and southwest of Brenda's Bigger Burger — and is a Fayetteville city nature park that is being preserved by the public as a remnant of a rapidly disappearing ecosystem; an example of a natural raingarden and a sanctuary for all living things.

The park is in the Town Branch Basin of the West Fork of the White River, which flows into Beaver Lake, the region's major water supply.

Work on helping to shape up this public jewel is encouraged at anytime. Regular organized work dates have moved to an autumn/winter schedule of the last Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Please call 479-444-6072 for details, or log onto www.worldpeacewetlandprairie.com and send a message.
Contact: Lauren Hawkins at 479-444-6072 or e-mail Get_Involved@WorldPeaceWetlandPrairie.com

Friends of the World Peace Wetland Prairie include the Town Branch Neighborhood Association, Omni Center for Peace Justice and Ecology, Audubon Arkansas and Tyson Foods Inc.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Climate-awareness group to demonstrate Oct. 18 in Little Rock

Toyota Event Tomorrow!‏
From: ARCAP (info@arclimate.org)

Sent:Wed 10/17/07 4:56 PM
To: aubreyshepherd@hotmail.com
The Arkansas Climate Awareness Project needs your help tomorrow!!!
Toyota is well known for developing hybrid technology for their popular Prius – and they've worked very hard to promote an eco-friendly/green image to consumers. Car owners who choose to buy a Prius or other hybrid car do so for many reasons, but the cars' high fuel efficiency is one of the most important – it's better for the environment and better for consumers. However, even as as you are reading this, national Toyota is fighting furiously to prevent higher fuel efficiency standards - even though its been 30 years since Congress last raised standards! Toyota has the technology to reach high fuel efficiency, it's a mystery whey they would try to defeat this important measure.
National Toyota is fighting legislation that would: Raise average fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by the year 2020. - Save 1.2 million barrels of oil per day—more than twice what we import daily from Iraq. - Save consumers $25 billion per year at the gas pump – $900 for a family of four. - Reduce 206 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere per year. Meanwhile, Conway, Arkansas' Caldwell Toyota Scion is leading the way by building the first LEED/green public retail building! Take Action!
Tell national Toyota to stop blocking better fuel economy standards and join a Toyota owners press event and caravan at the state capitol on Thursday, October 18th, at 10am or at: www.TruthAboutToyota.com. If you are able to join us for this press event, we would ask that you RSVP to April at 501-733-9996 or info@arclimate.org.
April Ambrose
ARCAP Representative
Don Richardson, Director, Arkansas Climate Awareness Project (ARCAP), (501) 592-1391
April Ambrose, Representative, ARCAP, (501) 733-9996

Fayetteville Council passes resolution to protect stream banks


The Fayetteville City Council approved a resolution to support improved protection of land immediately adjacent to streams flowing in the city without a dissenting vote Tuesday night.

The photos above show a portion of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River.

In the upper photo, the stream is flowing east at that point (to the left in the photo) and turns southeast about 30 yards downstream. Its riparian zone would be defined as slightly right of the row of trees at left in the background. Those trees hug the stream bank. In the far background is a street and bridge.

The photo illustrates the need to protect the overflow areas of streams as well as the immediate riparian zone. When heavy rain falls, the stream rises above its banks and all the grassy land in the background is immersed and water flows over the street.

Similar low land upstream has been filled for development, eliminating the possibility of the stream spreading across it and thus compressing and deepening flash floods from the north and resulting in the pictured area overflowing more frequently.

In the lower photo taken while standing in the street in the background of the lower photo, the stream is at right behind the row of riparian-zone trees. When sustained heavy rain occurs, the photographer would have to stand knee deep in a powerful current to make such a photo looking north (upstream).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fayetteville Council to consider water-quality resolution

Not only developers but also private landowners ignore the reported 25-foot stream buffer on the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Given that the city does not have rules that prevent this kind of mistake, at least we can provide educational material in the hope of getting cooperation from knowledgeable residents and homeowners. Such material is abundant and locally available from Audubon Arkansas, the county extension office, the Beaver Water District, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the Arkansas Natural Resources Çommission, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and online. This can't wait for a two-year study or a major grant. The basics are the same worldwide.

The Northwest Arkansas Times' Marsha L. Melnichak in the Sunday Oct. 14, 2007, edition reported on a
on water quality to be considered by the Fayetteville City Council at its Tuesday meeting.

The city's committee on environmental concerns has discussed and redrafted the resolution for a year or two and finally offered it to the council.

It isn't asking for anything but more attention to rules and regulations and best-management practices for stream corridors.

Maybe we need a glossary of terms for such stories, because such phrases as
riparian zone

are not used at everyone's dinner table.

The reporter came up with a clear definition — the interface between land and flowing bodies of water such as rivers.

Kent Landrum has been working on the resolution to build a consensus among members of the environmental committee. Now there could be more revision to build consensus among the council members.

The resolution is worded politely and gently. It would encourage enforcement of rules to "to preserve and restore riparian zones." It recommends monitoring riparian zones on development sites.

State and federal regulations mandated such action years ago. But cities and counties and whatever jurisdictions may exist were given far too much time to comply. Naturally, the political forces felt by all governing bodies caused far too many jurisdictions to delay implementation until the last minute or fail completely to comply.

In contrast, some cities have far-reaching regulations that go beyond the state and federal rules. For decades, some cities have had wetland commissions and watershed commissions that enforce the rules quite well. But not in Arkansas.

Now is the time for Fayetteville, already reaching out to become a center of sustainability, not only to make this statement of sound policy a resolution but also to see that current and future staff members have political and administrative support to see that water-quality issues get proper attention.

And a major push to educate individual property owners, developers and all residents on the reasons to protect the riparian zone should begin now.

We can't go back and remove all the structues built in floodplains or bring life back to the vegetation already removed from riparian zones. But we can find ways to alleviate some of the problems and eliminate the possibility of new such problems being created.

The city's 25-foot protected zone along streams is inadequate in most places. No arbitary number can be set. One hundred feet would not be adequate in some areas. An example is the east side of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River through the Aspen Ridge site. The OVERFLOW area was 200 feet wide and more in the area filled for construction there. That was obvious to people who walked the wooded area before it was cleared. The branch has become shallower and narrower because of erosion caused by upstream construction and now flows over the bridge at Eleventh Street when there is much less rain than in the past. Homes are threatened all way down the Town Branch, the West Fork and the main White River by amounts of rain that wouldn't have been significant a few years ago.

It isn't about only drinking-water quality or the added expense of purifying Beaver Lake water for distribution to the wide area the lake serves. It also is about keeping shade on the water to protect life in the streams and in the lake. It is about fishing and swimming and offering clear-water for migrating waterfowl to feed in during the cool months. Any duck hunter who regularly works the raging White River knows the mallards will be far back out of the muddy current feeding the vegetated backwater woods and fields where the water is clearest. And fishermen know that smallmouth bass, rockbass and some other species no longer reproduce in streams that have been silted in.

Protecting the riparian zone by keeping vegetation in place also means providing roosting and nesting sites for the song birds that city folk assume will always be at their feeders. It means leaving the diverse native species on which butterflies and other pollinators feed and on which caterpillars must feed if there are to be subsequent generations of butterflies. It means offering a travel corridor for wildlife that otherwise wander through yards and down streets and cross busy highways. It means storing CO2 underground to reduce the threat of climate change. It means keeping not only the water cooler in summer but also keeping adjacent yards and buildings cooler in summer. It means providing wind breaks in summer and sound barriers year round and privacy for people and wildlife. The list could be endless.

Many conservation organizations have thorough explanations of the value of protecting riparian zones online and offer printed matter galore. The information just doesn't reach all the right people. It needs to reach everyone.

Do a google search for riparian zone.

The search lists 1,630,000 entries. A person shouldn't need more than a half-dozen to learn the basics. No one with an ax, shovel or bulldozer should be within a mile of a stream without that basic understanding. No one who drinks water should open the tap or remove the lid from a bottle to drink without that basic knowledge.

riparian zone

How wide?

Read just a few of the entries and your opinion will be of value if you stand up at the council meeting tonight.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

UA graduate students, professor work at World Peace Wetland Prairie


More photos from the UA graduate-student workday are available on http://www.flickr.com/photos/7295307@N02/


See the set titled World Peace Wetland Prairie volunteers.

Please identify this tiny fall flower on World Peace Wetland Prairie


Noticed this tiny white flower in bloom this week but couldn't guess what it was. It is likely a native species but of what? The most plentiful blooms on World Peace Wetland Prairie are the various late-blooming purple and white asters. This little flowering plant dominates only a small area.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

2007 Ducks Unlimited committee preparing for banquet to raise money to protect wetland


Hunter Deweese (foreground) is the new chairman of the Fayetteville-Northwest Ducks Unlimited chapter planning committee for 2007.

Phil "Gumbo" Madison (background right) is the longest-standing continuous member of the local Ducks Unlimited chapter's committee, having served in the early 70s, along with the late attorney Marshall Carlisle and the late Dr. Lewis Vann.

Jeff Lawrence (right), who lives many miles to the east in Pangburn, is senior regional director in Arkansas for national Ducks Unlimited, which has its headquarters in Memphis, Tenn.

With a lot of new guys joining the committee this year, the Nov. 2 fund-raiser may be bigger and better than ever!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Aspen Ridge weeds cut on northeast "phase one" just in time to keep migrating monarch butterflies from benefiting from aster pilosus

Top yellow and black fat little bee (left) and wasp (right)
2nd hanging monarch with both wing tips bent
3rd insect awaiting identification
4th wasp on asters
5th common honeybee
6th monarch with tree-protection fence in background
All photos show pollinators nectaring on various species of so-called "heather or heath asters or frost asters." The most common may be aster pilosus.

Someone mowed or used weedeaters last week to cut down the "weeds" growing on nearly half of the Aspen Ridge property, the part visible from Sixth Street and from Hill Avenue. The work was continuing Wednesday. Ironically, nothing has been done to correct the numerous stormwater violations on the property, but the opposite is occurring. Removal of living vegetation will actually increase siltation of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River when it rains. So much for Fayetteville's sustainability effort.

The weed-eating saved the eastern part of the 30-acre construction site from providing any nectaring for migrating monarch butterflies, possibly the only significant role the land could play in its current condition. The southwestern portion, on the west side of the Town Branch of the White River, however, didn't get trimmed yet; therefore, the monarchs and several other species of butterflies, moths, bees, wasps and other pollinators were active all weekend and some remained after the passing of the rain storm early in the week.

While the majority of species of grass and native plants were all removed with the deep, rich topsoil and won't be returning, a great many species that tolerate dry, less fertile soil have appeared.

Among the most valuable to the monarchs are a few species that monarchs were nectaring from on World Peace Wetland Prairie south of Aspen Ridge. Monarchs cannot reproduce without milkweed, of course, but they can feed on a variety of flowers. Their caterpillars cannot grow and eventually go through the process of metamorphosis to become butterflies except by eating the leaves of the various species of milkweed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Red Oak Park water diverted by rocks wrapped in chainlink, eroding red-dirt streambank


Rocks wrapped in chainlink fence material force water into streambank in Red Oak Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas, eroding red dirt and threatening private yard above on Oct. 8, 2007.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Silt-fence basics: A new and better method

The top snowy-day photo of Aspen Ridge's silt fence crushed by dirt was made early afternoon Dec. 5, 2006
The lower photo of an Aspen Ridge storm-drain inlet was more recent. It is only about 200 feet away but out of view in the background of the top photo.
However, except for snow and leafless vegetation, the situation in both spots is the same. The articles below could eliminate such problems if the people doing the work would read them and, if the job was completed and the daily inspections required by law were done.


New ways to install
silt fence
outlined in magazine.

Please select current issue from list on left side of page.

The article on protecting inlets for storm drains seems appropriate for developers in Fayetteville to read also.

New gas wells damaging health, environment of Arkansas

This subject is heavily on my mind with calls and letters coming from companies that drill for natural gas to a lot of people all over the region.
All the more reason to push for use of alternative fuel such as that produced by windmills and solar panels, etc.

Gas drilling threatens our health and environment
Posted on Sunday, October 7, 2007
Arkansans are just now beginning to realize that promises of wealth and prosperity from the production of
natural gas
come with an unspoken cost. The promise of wealth is worth nothing if the cost is one’s health or environment. The Fayetteville Shale is a geologic formation that extends through the central and much of the northern half of the state and ranges from 3, 000 to 6, 000 feet deep. Potential gas well sites are located by dynamiting or thumping the ground with large machines. Next, test sites are drilled. Once a productive site is located, fluids are pumped into the shale bed to fracture it and allow the gas to be pumped out, along with the now contaminated water.

natural gas

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Monarch butterflies likely to remain plentiful through weekend, motorcycles too


Monarch butterflies such as these two on World Peace Wetland Prairie on Friday are usually a bit larger than the viceroys in the previous post. They appear to be nectaring on a late-blooming variety of purple asters, one of several species of asters on World Peace Wetland Prairie.

Viceroy butterfly appears to be an imitation of the monarch

This viceroy was photographed Friday between two sites with many monarchs. You may actually see both monarchs and viceroys on the same plant during the coming few days.
The viceroy (Basilarchia archippus, or Limenitis archippus) is known for its imitation of the monarch butterfly, which is distasteful to predators. Through this resemblance, the edible viceroy, which can be distinguished by its smaller size and by a black transverse band on each hindwing, probably derives protection from predatory attack. Viceroy larvae feed on willow, aspen, poplar, cottonwood, and less often birch, oak, hawthorn, gooseberry, deerberry, apple, cherry, plum and basswood. The adult Viceroy will sip flower nectar, aphid honeydew, and moisture from rotting wood, fungi, dung, mud, and sap.

Birds that have not had the experience of sampling a poisonous Monarch or Queen butterfly readily eat Viceroy butterflies.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Monarch butterflies and motorcycles in Fayetteville, Arkansas

PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE AND COUNT THE BUTTERFLIES on the "mist flowers" of the Eupatorium coelestinum

Monarchs have migrated into Fayetteville, Arkansas, just in time to bring beauty and calm while the roar of Harleys mars the day during the Bikes, Blues and Barbecue gathering. Two out of the four in this photo were competing for the same blooms of the Ageratum or mist flower. The scientific name of the native plant is Eupatorium coelestinum. In Wildflowers of Arkansas, the late Carl Hunter described the plant thus: Misty or fuzzy groups of flower heads and the pinkish-violet color are trademarks of this species. The stems are purplish with opposite, toothed leaves that are light green. There are underground runners. They are found in moist areas near streams, roadside ditches, river banks and lakes statewide. They bloom in August through October.