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SustainAbility Newsletter

Colorado Golf Carbon Project Gains Support

Golf Turf

As the initial stages of the Colorado Golf Carbon Project continue, the number of organizations supporting the initiative is growing. In recent letters of support the National Turfgrass Federation as well as the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and The Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) show their appreciation of the project:

"This project is a logical extension of previous groundbreaking environmental projects completed in Colorado by Colorado State University, the USDA/ARS, and the Allied Golf Associations of Colorado. The National Turfgrass Federation and its allied associations believe that resources from a diverse group of stakeholders make the Colorado Golf Carbon Project an undertaking that will provide valuable environmental information. There is no doubt that the information generated by this project will have a lasting impact on the management of energy, water and other environmental issues encountered by the users of turfgrass and other businesses in Colorado, and throughout the United States," says the National Turfgrass Federation.

"The goals of the Colorado Golf Carbon Project align with the environmental efforts of GCSAA and the EIFG to work collaboratively with the golf course industry to advance the compatibility of the game of golf with the environment. GCSAA and the EIFG have identified three areas of focus for the golf course industry: water conservation; water quality protection; and energy conservation, and these areas of focus all influence the carbon footprint of a golf facility," says Mark J. Woodward, CGCS Chief Executive Officer at GCSAA.

The Colorado Golf Carbon Project is a first of its kind not only in the way that it presents a partnership between a diverse group of representatives within the golf industry and research entities, but also in what it is setting out to accomplish: 

  • To develop a carbon emission and carbon sequestration data collection system for golf courses of Colorado. Results documenting the total carbon effects of sequestration and emissions will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • To document the sequestered carbon at Colorado's golf facilities on an annual basis and create marketable offsets, thus creating a self sustaining funding mechanism for this and future projects aimed at improving conservation and environmental stewardship at golf facilities.

The Colorado Golf Carbon Project is a joint effort between Golfpreserves® and the Allied Golf Associations of Colorado, including the Colorado Golf Association, the Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendent's Association, the Colorado Section of the PGA, the Colorado Women's Golf Association, the Colorado Chapter of the Club Managers of America and the Colorado Chapter of the Golf Course Owners Association and is supported by the USGA Green Section, Audubon International, the International Sustainability Council, Sustainable Golf & Development and Audubon Lifestyles. Research partners participating in the development of the project include Colorado State University and the USDA/ARS.
 
"This project is supported by representatives from every section of golf, as well as the USDA/ARS, Colorado State University, Audubon International, the International Sustainability Council, Audubon Lifestyles and the turf grass industry. To have the National Turfgrass Federation as well as the GCSAA and EIFG joining us in our quest is not only a welcomed addition in support, but also solidifies our strong belief that the project will contribute to make the industry of golf even stronger for the future," says Noble Hendrix of Golfpreserves®.
 
Learn more at: www.golfcourseproject.com


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References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.com
 
The International Sustainability Council
www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org 

General Motors
www.gm.com

Toyota
www.toyota.com

Fisker Automotive
www.fiskerautomotive.com

Golfpreserves
www.golfcourseproject.com 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership
www.cmhp.org

Chesapeake Bay Foundation
www.cbf.org 

University of Alaska Fairbanks
www.uaf.edu 

Taylor Properties Group
www.taylorpropertiesgrp.com  

Urbana University
www.urbana.edu 

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA)
www.gcsaa.org 

American Society of Golf Course Architects
www.asgca.org

The United States Golf Association (USGA)
www.usga.org

SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Critter of the Season - The Ruby Throated Hummingbird and Bird Migration

By: Ron Dodson

HummingbirdThe Ruby-throated Hummingbird is by far the most common species that breeds in the eastern half of North America, although most states have sporadic Rufous Hummingbird sightings.

Ruby-throats are intensely inquisitive and thus easily attracted to feeders, where males in particular typically display aggressive territoriality toward rival hummers, other birds, and even insects such as bees, butterflies, and sphinx moths. They quickly become accustomed to human presence, and will swoop down to investigate red articles of clothing, possibly as potential food sources. Feeders hung at windows attract as many visitors as ones farther from structures, and the bird that claims a feeder as its territory may spend much of the day perched nearby, guarding the food source against intruders. Many hummingbird watchers find "Hummer Wars" endlessly entertaining, although the chases are obviously serious business to the hungry birds. For a short period immediately after fledging, a female will tolerate the presence of her own young at the feeder, but they are soon treated the same as other adult birds - as rivals in pursuit of the food necessary to prepare for the fall migration.

Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds. Bird movements include those made in response to changes in food availability, habitat or weather. These however are usually irregular or in only one direction and are termed variously as nomadism, invasions, dispersal or irruptions. Migration is marked by its annual seasonality. In contrast, birds that are non-migratory are said to be resident or sedentary. Approximately 1800 of world's 10,000 bird species are long-distance migrants.

Many bird populations migrate long distances along a flyway. The most common pattern involves flying north in the spring to breed in the temperate or Arctic summer and returning in the fall to wintering grounds in warmer regions to the south.

The primary advantage of migration is conservation of energy. The longer days of the northern summer provide greater opportunities for breeding birds to feed their young. The extended daylight hours allow diurnal birds to produce larger clutches than those of related non-migratory species that remain in the tropics year round. As the days shorten in autumn, the birds return to warmer regions where the available food supply varies little with the season.

Most migrations begin with the birds starting off in a broad front. In some cases the migration may involve narrow belts of migration that are established as traditional routes termed flyways. These routes typically follow mountain ranges or coastlines, and may take advantage of updrafts and other wind patterns or avoid geographical barriers such as large stretches of open water. The specific routes may be genetically programmed or learned to varying degrees. The routes taken on forward and return migration are often different.

Many of the larger birds fly in flocks. Flying in flocks helps in reducing the energy needed. Many large birds fly in a V-formation, which helps individuals save 12–20 % of the energy they would need to fly alone.

Birds fly at varying altitudes during migration. An expedition to Mt. Everest found skeletons of Pintail and Black-tailed Godwit at 16,400 ft on the Khumbu Glacier. Bar Headed Geese have been seen flying over the highest peaks of the Himalayas above 29000 ft even when low passes of 10000 ft were nearby. Seabirds fly low over water but gain altitude when crossing land and the reverse pattern is seen in land birds. However most bird migration is in the range of 500 ft to 2000 ft. Bird-hit aviation records from the United States show most collisions occur below 2000 ft and almost none above 6000 ft.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds breed throughout eastern to Midwestern North America, from southern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Most winter in Mexico, Central America, and on Caribbean islands, although a few remain in the Gulf States and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Most researchers accept a remarkable non-stop crossing of the Gulf of Mexico, taking 18-20 hours. They arrive at the coast in late February or early March, and follow the development of spring flowers northward. Males migrate earlier than females, in both directions; some adult males start south as early as July. By mid-November the fall migration is essentially completed throughout North America.

Many people only think about providing habitat for birds during the nesting season, but providing safe areas for birds during the fall and spring migration season may be just as important.  Even small areas can provide safe haven for the long distance migrants as they wing their way south in the fall and back north again in the spring. 

Ron Dodson is President of The Dodson Group, LLC and Chairman of the International Sustainability Council, Inc. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.org

The International Sustainability Council
www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org 

Sustainability Campaign
sustainabilitycampaign.blogspot.com

EnergyStar
www.energystar.gov/

The Business Alliance for Living Economies
www.livingeconomies.org

American Society of Golf Course Architects
www.asgca.org

The United States Golf Association (USGA)
www.usga.org

Sustainable Golf & Development 
www.sustainablegolfdevelopment.com

The PGA Golf Club
www.pgavillage.com

Urbana University
www.urbana.edu

   

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