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Kentucky has gotten approval from the federal government to allow the hunting of sandhill cranes

That means the state can go forward with its plan to hold the first authorized hunt of the birds in about 100 years.Sandhill Crane  
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Services officials told The Courier-Journal that the approval this week from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency means officials could open the hunt as early as Dec. 17.

Sandhill cranes haven't been hunted in Kentucky and most of the Midwest and the Eastern Seaboard since the early 1900s. Their numbers had dwindled because of overhunting, but they have rebounded since then thanks to conservation efforts.

State officials say the regulations still need to go through a General Assembly review process, but that could be done in the fall.

Thousands of the big birds — which stand 5 feet tall and have a 6-foot wingspan — gather each winter in the Barren River Lake Wildlife Management Area.

Hunters have argued for the right to harvest the birds, while others have questioned projections for the cranes' population trends and expressed worries that endangered whooping cranes could be shot by mistake.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Alicia King said federal authorities added some safeguards in an effort to prevent the latter. Hunters will be required to pass an online bird identification course, and the state must hold its sandhill crane season before most whooping cranes arrive, King said.

The hunt would run for 30 days and allow no more than 400 of the birds to be killed.

Opponents, however, say they will continue to fight the move.

More than a dozen conservation groups, including the Coalition for Sandhill Cranes, have asked Gov. Steve Beshear to stop the hunt. So far, he has declined.

Kentucky Resources Council Director Tom FitzGerald said the groups are considering their options, including the possibility of a lawsuit.

"It's certainly not the end of the road," he said.

Information from: The Courier-Journal,

SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

America’s Greenest Companies in the Global 100

global100.jpgEight U.S. companies are among the most sustainable in the world according to Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based media company. The eighth annual Global 100 list was announced last week during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Although the eight firms include some of America’s leading high-tech companies, they also consist of diverse industry areas. 

After making significant strides in sustainability in 2011, Apple, America’s most valuable company (according to market capitalization), is noticeably absent from the U.S. ranks. Samsung is the only global consumer electronics company that qualified among the Top and ranked #73 with a score of 29.41%.
The United States has much to learn from two other countries that led the way in the Global 100. The United Kingdom was the sustainability champion with 16 companies in the Global 100 list. Japan was second with 11 firms that were recognized for sustainability. The United States tied for third place with France which also had eight Global 100 companies.
The Global 100 is an annual project conducted by Corporate Knights, the company for clean capitalism, and is the most extensive data-driven sustainability assessment in the world. The key criteria used to qualify sustainable companies include carbon/energy/waste/safety productivity, leadership diversity, CEO-average worker pay ratio, employee turnover and innovation capacity. The firm seeks to identify the environmental and social impacts of business decisions in the marketplace. It also seeks to recognize the best firms that can lead to the next era of green economic growth.

A complete list of the Global 100 is available here.


References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:
Audubon Lifestyles 
The International Sustainability Council 

The Cornell Lab

Small Business Trends              

Sanford Golf Design

Scotland Yards Golf Club


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A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

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