Canada’s Powder Highway: 1 stunning circuit, 8 ski resorts

first_imgROSSLAND, British Columbia | For many in the skiing world, the resorts of Canada’s Powder Highway in British Columbia’s Kootenay region are secrets they’d rather not share with the public.The circuit links eight mountain resorts and many times more Nordic, heli- and cat-ski operations across 677 kilometers (420 miles).This undated photo shows skiers on a snowy landscape at Red Mountain in Rossland, British Columbia, Canada. Red Mountain is one of eight ski resorts along a circuit called the Powder Highway in the Kootenay region, located on the western slope of the Rockies and in the Purcell and Selkirk mountain ranges. (AP Photo/Jeremy Hainsworth)“There’s very little out there that can rival the quality and terrain in the Kootenays,” says Ian Johnston, a Vancouver transplant to Rossland where he skis at Red Mountain.“If you want powder, you go to the Kootenays,” he says. “If you go to party, you go to Whistler,” referring to the better-known and massive ski resort that hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, a nine-hour drive from Rossland.Like most locals, Johnston grudgingly agrees that those along the Powder Highway need to share their light, airy powder bonanza with the world.The laid-back resorts offer miles of trails, massive quantities of vertical feet, heli-skiing and communities where skiing is a passion passed from generation to generation by friendly locals.The gems along the highway through the pristine valleys of the western slope of the Rockies and the Purcell and Selkirk mountain ranges are, starting in the East Kootenay, Fernie Alpine Resort near the mining town of Fernie; Kicking Horse Mountain Resort west of the entrance to Yoho National Park; Kimberley Alpine Resort outside the picturesque city of Kimberley; Panorama Mountain Resort outside Invermere; and Revelstoke Mountain Resort west of Kicking Horse.Moving into the West Kootenay region, Red Mountain Resort is minutes from the cities of Rossland and Trail, and Whitewater Ski sits above the trendy lakeside city of Nelson.Fernie averages 37 feet (11 meters) of snow a year and boasts a season from December through April, as do most area mountains. With a vertical rise of 3,550 feet (1,082 meters), it offers 142 runs including five Alpine bowls and tree skiing.At 4,133 feet (1,260 meters), Kicking Horse boasts the fourth-highest vertical drop in North America. It boasts 120 runs, 60 percent of which are rated at advanced or expert. Right at the edge of the Rockies, the resort offers some of the most stunning mountains views in North America.For hardcore powder aficionados looking for rides through hefty powder fields, Kicking Horse — aka “The Champagne Powder Capital of Canada” — and Revelstoke are the destinations of choice. Located outside the charming Alpine-themed former mining town from which it takes its name, Kimberley offers 2,465 vertical feet (751 meters) of skiing served by five lifts.Panorama offers 2,847 acres (1,152 hectares) of terrain covering the spectrum from wide-open fall line cruisers to powder-filled tree lines. The area’s Taynton Bowl, once a heli-skiing operation, is avalanche-controlled and no backcountry gear is needed. Get your ski legs warmed up first, though, as the bowl is all black runs, but a great place to find powder stashes days after a dump.Revelstoke proclaims itself to be the only resort worldwide to offer lift, cat, heli- and backcountry skiing from one village base with a vertical drop of 5,620 feet (1,712 meters). (Cat-skiing uses snowcats or snowmobiles to access off-trail areas.)Powder Magazine calls Whitewater “one of the best powder mountains on the continent” though some would say it’s a toss-up between Whitewater and nearby Red Mountain. Whitewater offers 2,044 vertical feet (623 meters) of riding serviced by four lifts serving 81 Alpine runs and 13 Nordic trails.Nearby Nelson is a year-round tourist destination in itself. Its downtown streets are lined with art and Alpine equipment stores and fantastic little eateries.Red Mountain offers 2,919 feet (890 meters) of vertical drop on 110 runs serviced by seven lifts. For the powder-seekers, look no farther than the aptly named Paradise section of Granite Mountain where locals or the mountain’s Snow Hosts (look for their jackets) can direct skiers to the runs rich with the deep stuff.“No crowds, good snow. Red Mountain has some of the best deep-tree skiing I have ever seen in my life,” Johnston said, who prefers the powder there to southwestern U.S. offerings at Snowbird, Alta and Sun Valley.Also on the Powder Highway: Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, which offers, in addition to winter skiing, natural hot springs that make it a draw year-round.And, for the truly powder-crazy looking to shred the deep, there’s heli-skiing or cat-skiing to be found throughout the province but mainly on the Rockies eastern slope around Revelstoke and Golden. Cat skiing is also run through a number of the mountains along the Powder Highway and is a great way to explore off-piste terrain.If You Go…POWDER HIGHWAY: https://www.kootenayrockies.com/cat/ski-snowboard/ . The Kootenay region is halfway between Calgary, Alberta, and Vancouver, British Columbia. There are numerous ski resorts in both provinces.GETTING THERE: Castlegar airport near Rossland, British Columbia, has flights from Vancouver and Calgary. Trail airport, also near Rossland, has flights from Vancouver. Rossland is a 2 ½-hour drive from the international airport in Spokane, Washington, where you can catch shuttle vans to Rossland.HELI- AND CAT SKIIING: https://www.hellobc.com/british-columbia/things-to-do/winter-activities/heli-skiing-cat-skiing.aspx .last_img read more


Sullivan & Cochrane set the standard

first_imgBack at Bert’s it was soon time for the results and we had two flights today with the winner in the A Flight (0 to 18) being Alan Sullivan with a fine 40 points.  In second was Tom Herrington with 39 points and in third was Max Scott with 38.In the B Flight the winner was Reg Cochrane with an excellent 41 points. Ahead of Dick Warberg in second with 39 and in third was Mick Coghlan with 36.Near pins went to Alan Sullivan (2), Reg Cochrane and Mashi.T.T.F.N. PSC golf from Tropical Bert’sTuesday, July 22, Greenwood C & A – StablefordLooks like the low, low season is over and the number of golfers is returning to normal as we had a good turnout for this trip to Greenwood. We arrived at the course to see the car park was totally empty and the course also was surprisingly quiet, so we were able to have a nice speedy round.  It had rained the night before and the course was quite wet but otherwise in good condition with good and fast greens and lush fairways.Alan Sullivan and Reg Cochrane with one of Bert’s finest.last_img read more


Kovacic wants to be played in his natural position

first_img CEST 07/10/2015 Upd. at 02:14 Kovacic’s request to play in his natural position comes after Sergio Ramos questioned Benitez’s substitutions in the Atletico game, while Karim Benzema has also appeared unhappy at the frequency with which he is withdrawn from matches. He also explained that he did’t really have a relationship with Roberto Mancini at Inter. “I am not sure whether he wanted me or not,” he said of his former coach. “There was no relationship between us and in the end I was glad to leave.” center_img Sport EN The international break is not going well so far for Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez. After the draw at the Vicente Calderon, problems have began to accumulate for the Spanish coach, the latest coming in the form of Mateo Kovacic.  In quotes ran by ‘Sportske Novosti’, the midfielder has made it clear he wants to play in defensive midfield for his new club. “I prefer to play in a deeper midfield position,” he said. “I have played further forward and on the left wing, and it’s not a bad thing because it has helped me grow… but I think Inter made a mistake moving me around and changing my natural position.”last_img read more


Garvey’s Tralee Warriors go top of the Men’s Super League as Swords fall to…

first_imgThe Kerry team now boasts six wins from seven games, having won six in-a-row following an opening round stumble against UCC Demons down at the Mardyke. Garvey’s Tralee Warriors went top of the Basketball Ireland Men’s Super League table on bank holiday Monday, with an 80-71 point win over Éanna at the Complex in Tralee. Griffith College Swords Thunder meanwhile fell at the hands of DCU Saints for the second week in-a-row, losing out 65-69 at the ALSAA.Dee Proby ignited the Saints’ offence as they went down by five against Swords in the fourth, and coupled with strong inside play from Provizors, brought the game back level with just minutes on the clock, and Proby kept a cool head at the free throw line in the dying stages to secure the win.Speaking afterwards, a thrilled head coach, Joey Boylan, was delighted with the result (listen to his full interview here).Elsewhere, Moycullen overcame KUBS in Galway, with a Brandon McGuire inspired home team running out 93-81 point winners in the end, while Lorcan Murphy top-scored with 28 points in Black Amber Templeogue’s defeat of Maree (104-52) at Oblate Hall.You can see a full round up of all the weekend’s games here.View the Men’s Super League table here.Basketball Ireland – Men’s Super League Bank Holiday Monday results (October 30th, 2017)Moycullen 93-81 KUBSTop scorers Moycullen: Brandon McGuire 31, James Loughnane 16, Cian Nihill 15Top scorers KUBS: Brian Andrews 27, Eoin Chubb 16, Shane McCann 8Half time score: Moycullen 45-40 KUBSGriffith College Swords Thunder 65-69 DCU SaintsTop scorers Griffith College Swords Thunder: Isaac Westbrooks 15, Sam Mike 12, Charlie Coombes 12Top scorers DCU Saints: Dee Proby 32, Martins Provizors 14, Emmet Donnelly 7Half time score: Griffith College Swords Thunder 34-39 DCU SaintsBlack Amber Templeogue 104-52 MareeTop scorers Black Amber Templeogue: Lorcan Murphy 28, Neil Randolph 17, Jason Killeen 14Top scorers Maree: Jamal Tolliver 18, Cathal Finn 15, John Burke 7Half time score: Black Amber Templeogue 54-18 MareeGarvey’s Tralee Warriors 80-71 ÉannaTop scorers Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: Trae Pemberton 28, Dusan Bogdanovic 12, Darragh O Hanlon 11Top scorers Éanna: Aidan Dunne 27, Garny Garcia Nivar 26, Tamron Manning 12Half time score: Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 35-30 Éannaprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more


BCC baseball team is top seed in region

first_imgThe Brookdale Community College baseball team will host this weekend’s Region XIX Tournament as the No. 1 seed. Coach Johnny Johnson’s Jersey Blues wrapped up the No. 1 seed for the Region XIX event by winning the Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) and posting the best region record (14-2) en route to a 34-8 overall record. Brookdale is ranked No. 5 in the United States in the most recent National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) baseball poll. As the No. 1 seed, the Blues drew a first round bye and will begin play on May 8 at 11:30 a.m. in Lincroft. As of Monday, the four-team field had yet to be completely filled, but Camden (19-6) and Gloucester (31-9) are two of the other teams in the field by virtue of finishing second and third, respectively, in the GSAC and Region XIX. The double-elimination tournament will use Christian Brothers Academy’s baseball field for first round and loser’s bracket games on May 8. On May 8, the two first round winners will meet in the afternoon on the Brookdale campus at 2:30 p.m. while the losers will meet at CBA to determine which team will be eliminated. At 11 a.m. May 9, the survivor of the May 8 loser’s bracket game will meet the loser of the May 8 afternoon game between the first round winners. The team that wins both of its games on May 8 will play the winner of the May 9 morning game at 2:30 p.m. May 9. If the undefeated team loses the 2:30 p.m. game, a final game will be played at noon on May 10. The Jersey Blues are well-prepared for a tournament like this where pitching depth is a must. Brookdale has a solid starting rotation that includes Ryan Casey (7-1) from Manchester; Jeff Frost (3-1) from Freehold; and Chris Cirlincione (4-0) from Monroe. Johnson has quality pitchers behind that trio who can start or provide long relief. The Blues have the best closer in Cory Hawes (Monmouth Regional), who is 1-0 with 11 saves and a 1.66 ERA. Hawes has allowed only seven hits in 27 innings of work and has 26 strikeouts. Several Jersey Blues had outstanding regular seasons. Catcher Keith Weinkofsky (Ocean Township) slammed 11 home runs while batting .458. He had 19 doubles and a triple as 31 of his 60 hits have gone for extra bases. Weinkofsky has 40 RBI. Joe Talerico (Toms River) is tied for second on the team in RBI (37) and is batting .402. Of his 49 hits, 27 have been for extra bases, including 11 triples. Andy Vega (Queens, N.Y.) is batting .404 with 30 RBI, and Kevin Mager (Middletown North) is second in home runs (9) and is hitting .377 with 37 RBI. Brian Seres (South Amboy) is hitting .377 and Frank Mormino (Howell) is hitting .340. Brookdale’s team batting average is .374.last_img read more


RBC girls looking to keep the pressure on

first_img BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Correspondent Open season at RBR Friday With several key returnees and a deep and talented bench, the Red Bank Catholic High School girls basketball team will be looking to make its mark in the Shore Conference’s Class B North Division this winter. The Caseys posted a 17-8 record a year ago and finished third in the Shore Conference’s Class A Central division behind St. John Vianney and Rumson-Fair Haven. RBC reached the semifinals of the NJSIAA Non-Public South A playoffs before being eliminated. Coach Joe Montano, who enters his 21st season at the RBC helm, is looking to better that mark this time around, but his team will be competing in a division that is home to Neptune, last year’s Tournament of Champions winner and one of the top teams in the state. “We’ll be looking to play an up-tempo game with a lot of pressing,” the veteran coach said. “We’re going to look to score points off the transition and to constantly keep the pressure on our opponents.” The Caseys have just three seniors, but they will all play significant roles and serve as the team’s tri-captains. Samantha Guastella, a 6-1 forward/center, is expected to lead the Caseys’ offense. Last season, Guastella, who has committed to Quinnipiac University, averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds. RBC’s top shooting guard, Kasey Hobbie, also returns. A solid three-point threat, Hobbie averaged 10 points a year ago. She will continue her career next year at Presbyterian College in South Carolina. Also back is point guard Mary Kate Byrne. In addition to running the offense, where she averaged 4.5 assists, the tenacious 5-8 Byrne is RBC’s top defensive player. Rounding out Montano’s starting lineup are 5-8 junior forward Morgan Arnot, who averaged seven points, and Grace Fallon, a 5-11 freshman forward/guard with an accurate shot and good ball-handling skills who is expected to make an immediate impact, the coach said. Sophomores Caroline Corcoran and Mary Kate Caverly, both of whom saw significant varsity minutes last winter, will be first off the bench for the Caseys. Corcoran plays both forward and guard, while Caverly is primarily a guard. Montano expects both players to augment the offense. The coach noted that several other players will see minutes as he looks to keep fresh legs on the floor. This group includes 5-9 junior forward Kayla Dunn, and four sophomores: 5-11 center Tara Daniels, and guards Alex Alfano, Rachel Krauss and Maria Balacco. At 5-9, Krauss may also see time up front. “We’re a good defensive team — that’s really our strength — and we expect to force teams into errors that result in points for us,” Montano said. “When we get into a half-court game, we’re going to need our guards to make shots to bring defenses out and create more opportunities inside.” RBC opens the season Friday at Red Bank Regional and then hosts Holmdel on Saturday. The Caseys will also play Long Branch and Colts Neck prior to the holiday break. During the break, Montano’s team will compete in the Boardwalk Holiday Classic in Wildwood. In the Dec. 26 opener, RBC will play Middle Township. After a few weeks of practice and several scrimmages, Montano said his team is ready to go. “I really like what I’ve seen so far,” he said. “This is a talented and very unselfish team, and I know the girls are only going to get better as the season moves along.”last_img read more


A river restored breathes new life into Kuala Lumpur

first_imgInspired by a global trend of urban river restorations, then-prime minister Najib Razak in 2012 launched a megaproject to clean up the Kuala Lumpur’s rivers and beautify riverfront areas.Ridiculed at first, the River of Life project has made notable strides towards its goals, and officials say it is on track to be completed on time and below budget.The initiative is part of a complex legacy left by Najib, who was swept out of power amid a corruption scandal and is currently awaiting trial for breach of trust and abuse of power.This is the third article in a six-part series about infrastructure projects in Peninsular Malaysia. KUALA LUMPUR — By 2012, when then-prime minister Najib Razak formally launched the River of Life project to improve water quality and restore the aesthetic virtue of the Klang River, France had already demolished obsolete dams in the magnificent headwaters of the Loire River.Oakland, California, was busy jackhammering the concrete culverts that served for decades as straitjackets on streams flowing from its coastal hills. Seoul, South Korea, had spent $384 million to demolish a central city highway and construct wastewater treatment plants that turned the Cheonggyecheon River into a promenade of reedy banks and tranquil pools of clean water.In short, the 21st-century idea of mending rivers dirtied and damaged by the 20th century’s industrial hydraulics and waste was taking hold around the world. In forward-thinking cities, the old principle of harnessing flowing water for the unbridled use and convenience of man was being replaced by a new operating program. Restoring river habitat and ecological processes not only enhanced the quality of the human experience, it also added resilience to local economies.“I believe there will be a drastic change to Kuala Lumpur’s image,” Najib said in a downtown Kuala Lumpur ceremony. “This is what Kuala Lumpur folks have been waiting for. The Klang River has all the elements to become an attractive waterfront bustling with daily activities. I visited the Cheonggyechoen River project in Seoul. The project is the best example of the transformation of a polluted and dirty river into a model river complete with beautiful walkways, bridges and fountains.”Once notoriously smelly, Kuala Lumpur’s urban riverfront has been transformed into an attractive destination for dining and strolling. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.At the time, in his third year as prime minister, Najib was building a reputation in Southeast Asia for developing national economic development strategies that kept environmental goals in mind. It was well before a corruption scandal in the 1MDB national infrastructure development fund cost him re-election in May of 2018. Najib’s overarching Economic Transformation Program, a national strategy published in 2010 to make Malaysia a “top 20 nation” by 2020, included among its foremost priorities a commitment to “meeting present needs without compromising those of future generations.”“In economic terms, growth will have to be achieved without running down Malaysia’s natural resources,” wrote the plan’s authors. “Malaysia will not achieve high-income status simply through the income derived from extracting Malaysia’s natural resources. In environmental terms, the government is committed to the stewardship and preservation of our natural environment and non-renewable resources. The government will ensure that environmental resources are properly priced and that the full costs of development are understood before investment decisions are made.”Projects to expand and build new wastewater treatment plants were included in the transformation program. Big projects to add new lines to electric rail transit in Kuala Lumpur, and intercity fast electric trains, also were part of the plan. Najib promoted these and other nation-building projects as positive steps in clearing the water and air of damaging pollutants.The River of Life project met those objectives. The $1.3 billion redevelopment of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of the Klang River in central Kuala Lumpur, and the cleanup of its waters and shoreline running 100 kilometers upriver, ranks as one of the hardest and most expensive urban river restoration projects ever undertaken.Najib’s stated aim with the River of Life and other mega infrastructure projects was to turn the Kuala Lumpur metropolitan region into a competitor to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore as an efficient, inviting and ecologically sensitive place to live and do business. Najib included the River of Life in national budgets supported by parliament, and recruited pledges from state and local treasuries to also finance the project.Kuala Lumpur is following a formula that works elsewhere – replenishing the ecological functions of the Klang; improving water quality; and creating safe, interesting, and well-lit spaces for strolling. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.By any measure it was a political advance. The two most important steps in successful infrastructure development are sound planning and firm funding. On paper, it sounds pretty straightforward. But in the realpolitik of too many democracies, every aspect of project design, finance, management, contracts and public acceptance can be a dispiriting battle of competing ideas. Conflict often leads to long and costly delays that frequently disable and generally kill big infrastructure projects.The file cabinets and hard drives of government agencies all over the world are filled with infrastructure development plans that cost a fortune to draw up and turned out to be a waste of time. That was not the case with Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Program.Almost a decade after Najib’s initiative was launched, Kuala Lumpur is a different city than it was when he took office in 2009. Fast-rail transit lines cross the metropolitan region. A huge new financial center is under construction in downtown Kuala Lumpur. The metro region’s population, now almost 7.5 million and growing by nearly 195,000 new residents annually, is also getting more prosperous, according to government economic data. Some of the world’s largest and most elegant retail malls are here, packed with shoppers.The River of Life project, moreover, is 90 percent complete, and on time and within budget, say its government managers. Its primary shoreline promenade and parks, striking fountains and misty cobalt-blue nighttime light shows are now among Kuala Lumpur’s most noted and visited destinations.Kuala Lumpur turned the River of Life into a nighttime cobalt blue promenade. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.Successful as it may have been in Kuala Lumpur, the Economic Transformation Program is, arguably, the principal reason that Najib lost his bid for a third term as Malaysia’s prime minister. The plan included vastly expanding Malaysia’s intercity rail transit network, investing in fossil fuel infrastructure and electricity generation, and enormous real-estate developments, among them a big mixed-use office, housing and retail district on Kuala Lumpur’s periphery.The flood of investment, a sizable share coming from China, contributed to more than a doubling of Malaysia’s national debt during Najib’s term to $250 billion, or 80 percent of the country’s gross national product. A corruption scandal erupted in 2015 inside 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the national development fund that Najib started and directed. 1MDB financed a number of the real-estate and energy transformation projects; its debt now stands at an estimated $13 billion.An investigation by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation found that $4.5 billion is missing from 1MDB. Najib is accused of directing $731 million into his personal accounts, a charge he denies. After being arrested in July, Najib is currently on bail awaiting trial on three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power.It is not yet clear if the cost of Najib’s infrastructure program, and the 1MDB scandal, will hurt confidence in Malaysia’s planning infrastructure. It likely will not. Since 1966, nine years after it gained independence from Britain, Malaysia has devoted considerable government time and expense to preparing successive five-year plans aimed at stabilizing its democracy and directing its economy.The River of Life, one of the most expensive river restoration projects every undertaken, has transformed the Klang River shoreline in Kuala Lumpur. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Najib’s one-time mentor, is also a loyal advocate of infrastructure planning and investment as tools for economic development. Economists in and outside the country credit Malaysia’s emergence as a modern contemporary state to infrastructure development during Mahathir’s first administration from 1981 to 2003. During those years he recruited Japanese, South Korean, U.S. and European financiers and institutions to invest in transportation, manufacturing and real-estate projects, many of them identified in five-year plans.Mahathir’s most visible monuments from that era are the iconic 452-meter (1,483-foot) Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the country’s most famous landmark. For five years after Mahathir dedicated them in August 1999, the towers were the tallest buildings in the world.Not all of Mahathir’s ideas were as triumphal. Another of his big infrastructure projects was the Love Our Rivers campaign, launched in 1993 to clean up the Klang and several more of Malaysia’s most polluted rivers. The project is largely viewed as an expensive failure.When it was launched by Najib, the River of Life project also received its share of public criticism over the projected cost and the government’s capacity to restore a river that has been grossly mistreated for over 150 years.Much of the criticism has quieted. The River of Life project, well on its way to being finished in 2020, appears to have skittered past the current political disruption. In the post-election fallout, questions have been raised about waste management and public awareness efforts related to the project, but the riverfront itself is steadily ascending the stairway to prominence as one of Kuala Lumpur’s most attractive and recognizable landmarks.The confluence of the Klang and Gombak River is where the impressive Masid Jamek Mosque was finished in 1907, and includes some of the city’s most historic government buildings and market areas. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.Getting there has been a feat of management, hydrology and engineering.The Klang River flows west to east for 120 kilometers (75 miles) from its headwaters in the highlands outside the city to the Strait of Malacca. The Department of Environment —now a unit of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change — maintains nearly 1,000 water-quality monitoring stations on the country’s 477 rivers. More than half, according to the most recent report, from 2016, are classified as “clean.”  The agency classified the Klang as one of Malaysia’s five most polluted rivers.The Klang drains a 1,288-square-kilometer (497-square-mile) basin that produces all manner of sewage, grease, farm chemicals, and thousands of tons of paper and plastic trash and food garbage, dumped into its fetid brown waters. Decades ago, people, businesses and neighborhoods turned their backs on the filthy river. Parcels of land were vacated only to become new informal neighborhoods for squatter households.“Doing this project involves a hard approach and a soft approach,” said Mohamad Nasir Bin Mohamad Noh, director general of the water ministry’s Department of Irrigation and Drainage, the lead agency charged with stemming pollution and trash in the Klang. “Most rivers in Malaysia have good water quality. A few years after we finish, this river will have good water quality, too.”One of the primary goals of the River of Life project is to turn water quality from class 5, a designation that makes it dangerous to approach, to class 2b, or clean enough to swim in. The idea is to do the same thing Shanghai did with its Huangpu River, a tributary of the Yangtze that flows through the city’s center, and was once one of the smelliest and dirtiest rivers in the world.Shanghai constructed a network of new sewage treatment plants that eliminated the odor, cleaned up the water, and compelled the city to build the Bund, a shoreline promenade to showcase the cascades of light, like shimmering waterfalls, that tumble down the sides of Shanghai’s skyscrapers.Mohamad Nasir Bin Mohamad Noh, the director general of the Malaysia Department of Irrigation and Drainage, the lead agency charged with stemming pollution and trash in the Klang and managing the River of Life project. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.Three-quarters of the budget for the River of Life project is dedicated to improving water quality. Two new wastewater treatment plants are nearing completion. Fifteen smaller plants are being expanded and modernized. A 748-hectare (1,848-acre) area in central Kuala Lumpur was torn up to build or replace miles of sewer lines to serve the plants. Several informal neighborhoods of squatters, some 1,300 households in all, were moved to new public housing.Under the supervision of the Department of Drainage and Irrigation, project contractors also built five small wastewater treatment plants for wet markets, installed 460 traps to capture floating rubbish, and 231 grease traps at restaurants and food courts. A public education campaign to help city residents and business owners understand the value of the river and the usefulness of keeping it free of garbage and grease accompanies the construction.The balance of the project budget, $337 million, was devoted to redeveloping the near-shore neighborhoods where the Klang meets the Gombak River, where Kuala Lumpur was founded in 1857. The confluence of the Klang and Gombak is also where the impressive Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek Mosque was finished in 1909, and includes some of the city’s most historic government buildings and market areas.The confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers gave Kuala Lumpur its name, which literally means “muddy confluence.” The river restoration project has breathed new life into the area. Image by Keith Schneider for Mongabay.In 2011, AECOM, a U.S. engineering and construction firm, was awarded the contract to tie the 10.7-kilometer stretch of central city river to neighborhoods. AECOM remodeled the grounds around the mosque to include new public spaces. It designed an inviting promenade along the river and several shady parks filled with flowers. These parks, with their views of the mosque and close proximity to a transit station on one of the city’s popular metro lines, add immeasurably to the beauty of this city’s birthplace.These and other beautification steps set what AECOM calls a “strategic framework” for attracting more residents, businesses and visitors to the river. The company projects that the restored Klang will generate 35,000 new affordable residences, 1 million square meters (10.8 million square feet) of commercial space, and enough new businesses to employ 27,000 workers.“Cities transform over time,” says Scott Dunn, one of the company’s senior executives, in a promotional video. “There are certain critical times that really spur a lot of transformation. This project will really be the catalyst for the city to change.”In other cities, river restoration has proved to be a seminal feature of urban revitalization. Kuala Lumpur is following a formula that works elsewhere: replenishing the ecological functions of the Klang; improving water quality; and creating safe, interesting and well-lit spaces for strolling. The goal is to produce an urban asset from a long-neglected river that has never served that purpose except to carry away a tide of metropolitan waste.Can the Klang River be contextually integrated into the quality of life and economic prosperity that Kuala Lumpur seeks? Judging from the stream of people strolling along its promenade by day and admiring its blue mist by night, the River of Life displays every indication of getting there.This is the second in a six-article series on infrastructure in Peninsular Malaysia. Read the first article here and the second here.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Cities, Conservation, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Governance, Infrastructure, Pollution, Rivers, Tropical Rivers, Urban Planning, Water Pollution Article published by Isabel Estermancenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more


Satellites and citizen science pinpoint migratory bird refueling stops

first_imgCitationReiter, M. E., Elliott, N. K., Jongsomjit, D., Golet, G. H., & Reynolds, M. D. (2018). Impact of extreme drought and incentive programs on flooded agriculture and wetlands in California’s Central Valley. PeerJ, 6, e5147. Agriculture, Birds, Citizen Science, Freshwater Animals, Migration, Remote Sensing, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Technology, Wildtech Article published by Sue Palminteri Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Researchers used satellite images to assess the effectiveness of financial incentive programs for farmers in creating habitat for waterbirds, including ducks, geese, and shorebirds, in California’s Central Valley, where nearly all natural wetlands have been converted to agriculture.Observations of 25 waterbird species by hundreds of citizen scientists helped to identify the target zones for water management and to verify the birds’ use of managed areas.The satellite data indicated that a severe drought substantially reduced the birds’ open-water habitat and that the incentive programs created more than 60 percent of available habitat on specific days during the migrations.The researchers state that remotely sensed data can be used effectively to track water availability and regularly update water and wetland managers on how much habitat is available and where, so they can coordinate water management activities. The millions of waterbirds that migrate each spring from South America to as far as the Arctic can’t do it in one trip. They stop to rest and refuel several times along the way to survive the grueling journey.But widespread land-use change has shrunk the area of stopover habitat available to ducks, geese, shorebirds, and other migratory species. In central California, concerned citizens, scientists, and conservation groups have joined forces to protect what remains.A flock of dowitchers glide above the water. Image by T Grey.Scientists from Point Blue Conservation Science and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) combined satellite imagery and statistical models with farmer incentive programs and the efforts of hundreds of volunteers contributing data through a citizen science app to pinpoint the areas of central California with the greatest potential for providing migratory bird habitat. They recently published their analysis of the success of these incentive programs in maintaining bird habitat during an extreme drought sustained between 2013 and 2015 across the western United States.“Before this research was completed, we had a sense that these programs were succeeding in offsetting the impacts of the drought on wildlife, but now we know exactly how critical they are in providing bird habitat in the Central Valley,” lead author Matt Reiter, principal scientist and quantitative ecologist at Point Blue, said in a statement.Retaining habitat in a transformed landscapeShorebirds, including sandpipers and stilts, dunlins and dowitchers, feed on aquatic invertebrates that live in mud or wet sand, so they seek wetlands during their stopovers.California’s Central Valley, once home to a vast system of about 16,200 square kilometers (6,250 square miles) of wetlands, is one such key stopover region for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl  along the Pacific migratory flyway.A gathering of marbled godwits, dowitchers, willets, and other shorebirds at Arrowhead Marsh, Oakland, California. Image by Ingrid Taylar, CC 2.0.The valley extends more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) north to south and up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) east to west. Massive agricultural development has eliminated more than 90 percent of the naturally occurring wetlands, leaving the birds dependent on flooded agricultural fields for food during their stopovers.California’s water is highly managed, so anthropogenic factors play a large role in determining when and where the impacts of drought appear on the landscape. A pair of financial assistance programs provided farmers in the birds’ flight paths with incentive payments to flood their fields at key times during the 2013-2015 drought to create habitat for migrating waterbirds.The area’s rice growers flood their fields each fall with 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inches) of water in preparation for the next year’s harvest. The flooding converts the paddies into ideal migratory shorebird habitat, so TNC’s BirdReturns and the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Waterbird Habitat Enhancement Program (WHEP) offer farmers financial incentives to flood their fields for one to two additional months, to coincide with the bird migration.Avid birdwatchers across the Central Valley helped the partners to identify the areas to target for habitat management and confirm these areas’ use by target species. Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird online platform encouraged birdwatchers in the region to submit their bird observations to its database, before and after the incentive programs began.Spotted sandpipers are another shorebird species found in the study region. Image by J. Gehling, CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0.eBird statisticians compiled the observations from hundreds of birders to build models that predicted where 25 species of shorebirds would likely be present across the Central Valley during their spring and fall migrations. The models generated maps that showed when and where the target species were expected to gather. Overlaying maps of bird concentrations with the distribution of surface water indicated mismatches — areas where management action, in the form of flooding, was most needed.Seeing water from spaceTo assess the success of these programs, the researchers used satellite imagery to examine the impact of the drought on the timing and extent of surface water in the Central Valley.“By using satellites to track habitats regularly,” Reiter told Mongabay, “we can look for hotspots of change and use that information to help prioritize conservation actions.”They analyzed Landsat images from 2013 to 2015 to identify areas of open water (more than 30 percent vegetated) across the Central Valley and to measure the distribution of open water habitat in managed wetlands and fields of rice, corn and other crops between July and May.Using data from ground and aerial surveys, they developed predictive models to identify open water, separate from saturated soil underneath thick vegetation. “We will probably not get moist soil without some ponded water with our model,” Reiter said. “That said, because we track water year round, we can identify those places that maintain some open water across months.”A longbilled dowitcher foraging. Standing water is considered critical habitat for these and other shorebirds, as well as waterfowl such as ducks and geese. Image by T. Grey.The models quantified the influence of drought, precipitation, season, region, and protected status on the proportion of open water in each land cover type between July and May of the following year.The scientists then calculated the relative contribution to available habitat during that period of the two farmer incentive programs. They used the image data to estimate the daily proportion of flooded habitat in each type of field (e.g. rice, corn, etc.) that was provided by these programs. They multiplied that proportion by the total amount of the crop planted in each year (2,161 square kilometers, or 834 square miles, in 2013 and, 1,696 square kilometers, or 655 square miles, in 2014) to get the area of open water habitat made available by the programs each day. Footage courtesy of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Joy Ng.“We [then] combined predicted shorebird abundance values with predicted wetland extent to identify times and locations where temporary wetlands could deliver potentially high-value shorebird habitat,” said co-author Mark Reynolds, lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s California Migratory Bird Program.The analysis showed that the drought substantially reduced the availability of open water habitats across the Central Valley’s fields and wetlands, both spatially and temporally. During the drought, the amount of open water habitat decreased by 40 to 80 percent, compared to non-drought years, and the decline varied by land cover type, time of year, and region. For example, corn and wetlands in the San Joaquin Basin dried out more than rice and wetlands in the Sacramento Valley. Protected wetlands retained more water than unprotected, privately owned wetlands.Wetlands in central California’s otherwise dry environment. Image by R. Digaudio.It also revealed that the incentive programs provided a large portion of the open water in rice fields during the fall and spring waterbird migrations in the drought years.“BirdReturns provided 39 percent of the post-harvest flooded rice during the fall, when flooded habitat is at its lowest and waterbirds are in high abundance,” Reiter said in a publication summary. “And WHEP created 64 percent of the habitat during the winter. Overall, incentive programs provided 35 percent of the habitat on the landscape October through March.”Possibly more important for hungry migratory birds during a drought, the BirdReturns program provided up to 61 percent of all available flooded rice habitat on certain fall days and WHEP created up to 100 percent of available habitat on some days during the winter.Do birds use the managed wetlands?The crowd-sourced eBird observations collected after the incentive programs began helped to verify the use by the birds of different types of managed areas. The data showed that crop fields participating in BirdReturns pilot program, for example, hosted far more target migratory waterbirds than control fields (with no additional flooding).“This new approach to rent habitat on demand promises to engage more farmers to provide habitat in a flexible manner that can be tailored to ever-changing weather patterns and farming practices,” Reynolds said.A long-billed curlew moves between fields in central California. Image by TJ Gehling, CC BY NC 2.0.The birdwatchers recorded more than 220,000 birds representing 57 species in the BirdReturns fields, with February-March shorebird densities 20 times higher than on non-participating fields. These totals included more than 20,000 dunlins, representing roughly 20 percent of the entire overwintering dunlin population in the Central Valley.“The study highlights the role incentive programs can play in species conservation,” Reiter said. “Program managers should place a high priority on maintaining incentive programs in the face of more frequent severe droughts in order to sustain waterbirds in the Central Valley and the Pacific Flyway.”The survival of millions of migratory birds in increasingly modified landscapes now depends on human intervention, so assessing the success of specific actions can help managers apply them elsewhere.“Open water and wetlands are critical habitat resources across the world and have seen some of the greatest losses to human development,” Reiter said. “Our models could be used in other landscapes where water and wetlands play a key role in supporting wildlife habitat to prioritize those places and times when we need to make sure to sustain those water dependent ecosystems and habitats on the landscape.”This video offers more detailed information about the project. FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more


Biscuit threatens to cop Italy’s Ireland prep

first_imgItaly’s preparations should be firmly concentrated on getting the victory over Ireland that should prove sufficient to send them into the quarter-finals.However talk of a “biscotto”, or biscuit in English, has got Italian nerves jangling and conspiracy theorists clamouring foul play before even a ball has been kicked.Should Spain and Croatia draw 2-2 in Gdansk then they will both qualify for the quarter-finals at Italy’s expense, regardless of their result against Ireland.It is because in the case of two or more teams finishing level on points, their head-to-head records come into play.It was a similar scenario at Euro 2004 when Italy were ousted by a 2-2 draw in the final game between Nordic neighbours Sweden and Denmark.Those two played a competitive match until the fourth goal went in and then seemed to both settle for the result that guaranteed their passage into the knock-out stages.That has become known as a “biscotto” in Italian as it is the term used for an arrangement between two parties at the expense of a third.Its origin comes either from horses being doped by biscuits or the principle of dividing up a cake equally, according to Italian sources.But whichever is the truth, the fact is the Italians are rattled and rather than focussing purely on Ireland, they’re being eaten up by the possibility of being crunched by a “biscotto”.However, publicly they are not keen to voice their fears.“We believe, we have to believe otherwise there wouldn’t even be any point in playing,” said midfielder Claudio Marchisio.“Croatia are a very good team but I think Spain are the favourites in that match.”Coach Cesare Prandelli said the first thing is to win their match against Ireland and only then will they need to cast an eye on events in Gdansk.“We need to win the game and deserve to progress to the next round,” he said.“We must not think about what happened eight years ago, we must not look for excuses.“Spain have always produced a spectacle and played well, everyone wants to emulate them, why would they think about a biscuit now?”Prandelli has said he will make three or four changes to the team and one of those looks all the more likely to be striker Mario Balotelli, who limped out of training on Saturday with a knee problem.He was due to undergo tests on Sunday to see if he will be fit but was a candidate to be replaced by Antonio Di Natale – who scored their goal in the 1-1 draw against Spain after coming on for Balotelli – in any case.Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has vowed to play to win the game against Croatia but the question remains how they will approach matters if they are drawing with time running out.Any kind of score draw would almost guarantee they win the group — unless it’s 1-1 and Italy beat Ireland by more than four goals.Del Bosque may want to win the game but would he risk losing it when his side are guaranteed to progress with any kind of draw?The bigger issue for Italy will be the potential banana skin that is former coach Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland, who certainly won’t roll over.Trapattoni was the Italy coach in Portugal eight years ago and there would be a sort of poetic injustice perhaps were he to be the architect of Italy’s downfall this time around.Although they are out, Irish captain Robbie Keane says they are determined not to go home without any points.“Just pride, that’s all we’re playing for,” said the LA Galaxy striker.“You don’t want to go home without any points on the board.“It is important we regroup as a team and give the fans something to cheer about. It has been a difficult week for the team, not just me.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000POZNAN, Poland, June 18 – Italy’s preparation for their final European Championship Group C clash against Ireland on Monday is at risk of being derailed by a biscuit.The 2006 world champions sit third in their group after 1-1 draws against Spain and Croatia.They trail both of those by two points with pointless Ireland already eliminated.last_img read more


Special: talkSPORT review of the 2014 World Cup

first_imgtalkSPORT brought you live commentary of every game of the 2014 World Cup and here, in this special programme, we relive the magic of Brazil.Listen as Mark Saggers is joined by the likes of Adrian Durham, Jim Proudfoot, Stan Collymore, Stuart Pearce and Ray Parlour to look back on the tournament.last_img