Prescott, Arizona History: Prescott Used to Have Countless Prairie Dogs

GR: People have eradicated inconvenient social groups and wildlife many times; it’s what we do. We haven’t prevented the growth of our own population, but we have a firm grip on the Earth’s wildlife. About half of all animals are gone, replaced by  people.

The Prairie Dog was present around Prescott, AZ for thousands of years before the city appeared. Apparently, nature got along just fine with Prairie Dogs and without us. Today, the Prairie Dogs are over most of Arizona, but they still survive in spots in the region. A few people work to help them continue surviving.

Eradicating the Prairie Dog

“For a rodent, they are undeniably cute. But to farmers and ranchers they’re a horrible pest. Where there are prairie dogs, agricultural output decreases 25-85%. (*1)

Humane Society Prairie Dog Coalition

“Yavapai County once had 1.5 million acres “infested” with prairie dogs. (2) When Prescott’s airport was first being laid-out, workers “went up and down both runways with shovels leveling the mounds and filling up the holes made by the hundreds of prairie dogs that infested the field.”(3)

“So, what happened to them?

“Mass rodenticide!

“It must be remembered,” the newspaper wrote, “that these rodents destroy a vast amount of forage, which, if saved, could be used for the production of beef and mutton. In many cases, the prairie dogs permanently injure the range by eating the roots of plants which bind the soil and prevent erosion. In many localities, the destruction of plant life has been caused by extensive washing away of the soil after the summer rains.” (*4) –Drew Desmond (Prescott, Arizona History: Prescott Used to Have Countless Prairie Dogs).

The extinction crisis is far worse than you think

GR:  This CNN Photo/Video/Data essay has high-quality images and interviews.  Recommended.

“Frogs, coral, elephants — all are on the brink. Three quarters of species could disappear. Why is this happening? CNN explores an unprecedented global crisis.” –CNN (Continue:  The extinction crisis is far worse than you think)

Wildlife Service kills

GR:  This interactive map shows counts of bears, bobcats, mountain lions, and wolves killed by the U. S. government’s Wildlife Service.  The legend is on the “Layers” drop-down menu.  Since more than a third of all U. S. mammals have disappeared over the past 50 years, and since more than half of the 400 mammal species in the U.S. are at risk of eventual extinction, it would seem that our wildlife management agency should choose nonlethal techniques.  They can’t however, because a mostly uninformed public does not want to pay the extra cost.  This same ignorance keeps us driving our polluting automobiles and powering our homes with coal and oil; it keeps Monsanto’s poisonous pesticides falling on our food and the food of our wildlife, and it keeps American-made bombs falling in other parts of the world.  Of course, the ignorance would quickly fade were it not for the greed-motivated deceptions of our “leaders.”

Source: Wildlife Service kills

Requirements for the USDA Organic Seal of Approval

organics--us mapGR.–Take action for butterflies:  According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic farms in the U. S. sales reached $5.5 billion in 2014, up 72 percent since 2008.  Save the pollinators and the animals that depend on them; go organic!  It’s the simplest way to boycott Monsanto and all the users of glyphosate and other pesticides.  Here’s what “organic” means:

usda_organic1-200x200From OnlyOrganic.org.–“The USDA certified organic seal is the only guarantee that your food has been grown without toxic pesticides, most synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, artificial hormones or genetically engineered seeds. It also indicates that food that has been produced in compliance with federal standards.

“To meet these standards, farmers must:

  • rotate crops to maintain soil health
  • reduce soil erosion to improve water quality
  • use buffers to prevent contamination from non-organic fields
  • prohibit the use of toxic pesticides, most synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, growth hormones, and genetically engineered seeds
  • provide animals with year-round access to fresh air, clean water, direct sunlight, and room to move

“Before a farmer can market their crops as organics, they must meet USDA organic standards.Becoming certified organic is a multi-step process. The US Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) oversees organic agriculture and certification in our country, but accredited certifying agents are the ones who actually grant or deny the organic certification of goods. The certifying agents must first go through a rigorous review process to get accredited by NOP. Then, the accredited certifying agents put each company through an inspection and review process to become certified organic.”  Continue reading:  The Organic Seal of Approval | Only Organic

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