The Wilderness Act Celebrates 50 Years!

wilderness_act.pngFifty years ago this week, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law, setting aside 9.1 million acres of wilderness where people could visit and enjoy nature with minimal impact on the environment and wildlife.  Since then, Congress has added more than 100 million acres to America's wilderness preserves.

To view an interactive map of California wildlands that have been saved, please click here.  To learn more about the Wilderness Act, click here.  To read about local events celebrating the Act's 50th anniversary, click here.

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Save the Date: Healthy Earth Conference

temple_of_light.pngOCICE will host the "Healthy Earth" conference on Saturday, October 11 at the Temple of Light in Irvine.

General Admission:  $15 ($25 at the door)

Exhibitors:  ($30 - includes 1 - 6' table and 1 chair)  Please note:  Exhibitors must register in advance due to limited space.

For more details and to register on-line, visit the Event page.

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Irvine Company Donates 2,500 Acres

oc_openspace.jpgThe Irvine Co. will offer 2,500 acres of undeveloped land in Anaheim Hills and near East Orange that was once to hold 5,500 homes to the county today, in hopes of ensuring the massive swath remains open space forever, company officials said.

Documents of the proposal, which have been kept quiet, will be privately handed over to the Board of Supervisors concerning what likely would be the landholder’s last big gift of open space. The panel is not scheduled to discuss the proposal during today’s meeting.

“As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Irvine Co., this is the perfect opportunity to add to our open space and park lands legacy,” Irvine Co. Chairman Donald Bren said in a statement. “With this gift, we complete our open-space vision.”

Read the full article here.

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Bakken Oil Boom Brings Growing Pains to Small Montana Town

81001_990x742-cb1233334.jpgAt the edge of a farmer's wheat field outside the prairie town of Bainville, Montana, Justin and Mandy Tolbert's 36-foot camper sat in a rented lot. For more than 20 months, the Tolberts lived in the camper with their six children, ages 5 to 12, and Justin's adult cousin.

At night, a jumble of pillows and cushions on the floor served as sleeping space. In August, when temperatures approached 100°F, the camper cooked. In January, the temperature dipped to -20°F, freezing the pipes and leaving the family without water for days.

"The hardest part [is] winter, when they cannot get outside to play," Mandy Tolbert said about her children. "It's not like a house where they can run around."

The Tolberts are far from poor. Justin makes more than $200,000 a year as an oil pipeline welder in the Bakken oil field. The family owns a two-story home with an in-ground pool in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They drive a $50,000 four-wheel-drive van.

The Tolberts moved here in 2012 as part of a massive migration of workers chasing their fortunes in the Bakken shale, where a revolution in drilling technology led by fracking has pushed United States oil production to a 24-year high.

Click here to read the full story.

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