What Does Restoration Look Like? Saving Hemlocks on the Grandfather Ranger District

first_imgIn the last decade there has been a drastic change in the forest communities of the southern Appalachians. Hemlock woolly adelgid, a small aphid-like insect from East-Asia, has decimated hemlocks in eastern North America. First introduced in a private garden near Richmond, Virginia, the adelgid has spread both north and south – from Georgia to New England.The adelgid attaches to the base of the hemlock needles, where it feeds on the sugars that are being transported from the needles to the tree. Infested trees can be identified by the white woolly mass on the underside of the branch. Over time the adelgid starves out the hemlock, leading to defoliation and eventually death.Scientists have yet to find resistant hemlocks in the east, leaving active treatment as the only option to save these iconic trees. Maintaining hemlock forests is one of the main goals of the Grandfather Restoration Project, an 8-year collaborative project to restore 40,000 acres of forest on the Grandfather Ranger District as part of the national Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. Two species of hemlocks grow on the Grandfather District. The more common eastern hemlock grows in streamside forests. The rare Carolina hemlock grows on rocky outcrops. Both species are susceptible to the hemlock woolly adelgid.The most common way to treat hemlocks for the adelgid is using an insecticide treatment. The Forest Service’s primary chemical of choice is called Imidacloprid. Imidacloprid is mixed with water and injected into the soil around the root system of a hemlock. The chemical moves into the foliage, killing the adelgids as they feed but leaving the foliage unharmed. This both maintains old hemlocks and supports regeneration of new hemlocks near the treated trees.The other way to treat the adelgid is using a natural predator. Laracobius negrinus, a small beetle from the Pacific Northwest, is a natural predator of the hemlock woolly adelgid. Scientists at the Southern Research Station are studying how these beetles respond to the colder winters in our area, and how we can best use them.Through the Grandfather Restoration Project, the Forest Service has treated thousands of hemlocks and partnered with leading researchers to release beetles at about a dozen locations on the Grandfather Ranger District. Although we cannot save every hemlocks, we can help preserve the species to ensure this iconic tree remains a component of the forest into the future.last_img read more

Lessons from Startup School from the Founders of Facebook, Groupon, GitHub and More

first_imgStartup School is an annual event co-sponsored by Y Combinator and BASES, Stanford University’s Business Association for Entrepreneurial Students. Today’s Startup School, now in its sixth year, was a day full of speakers, imparting their knowledge to a packed auditorium of entrepreneurs.The topics at Startup School ranged from the history of Silicon Valley innovation and the history (and future) of startup funding, to testing your hypothesis, pivoting, and optimizing for happiness. The speaker – 11 all told – gave presentations, followed by a short Q&A with audience members.Although you can watch the video archives on Justin.tv (and Paul Graham says he’ll be posting the essay version of his remarks online soon), here are some of the highlights from my lecture notes: Andy Bechtolsheim: Founder, Arista Networks, Sun MicrosystemsLecture topic: Innovation“Take ownership of your innovation.”Paul Graham: Co-founder, Y CombinatorLecture topic: Startup Funding – Super Angels versus VCsAs an investor, “if you are looking for the next Google, you don’t care if you invest at a $20 million valuation because the company is going to be worth billions. But if you are looking at a company that’s going to be acquired for $30 million… you might as well buy Apple stock.”“The next couple of years are going to be a great time for raising money. And as a result there will be a lot more startups. It’s going to be like the Internet bubble, just hopefully without the bursting.”Andrew Mason: Founder, GrouponLecture topic: Lessons Learned from the Failure of the point (or “Polishing Your Turds and Getting Super Rich”)You’re building a tool, not a piece of art. Don’t be blinded by visionRecognize and embrace your constraintsHave a growth planThe best tools aren’t always that coolYou’ll probably failQuit nowTom Preston-Werner: Founder, GitHubLecture topic: Luck, Bootstrapping, and Optimizing Your Happiness“Bootstrapping is a way to do something about the problems you have without letting someone else give you permission to do them.”At GitHub, “we took everything that is detrimental for optimizing our happiness and we threw them away.”“Do things that allow you to win and that allow someone else to win. It is not a zero-sum game.”Greg McAdoo: Partner, Sequoia CapitalLecture topic: What VCs Look for in Startups“Great companies don’t throw money at problems, they throw ideas at problems.”Reid Hoffman: Partner, Greylock, LinkedInLecture topic: Hypotheses on the Path to Adoption“If the competition is even mediocre, it can slow you down. It gets harder to get above the noise. But if you have to have competition, make sure your competition sucks.”“Be persistent, and hang on to your vision. And at the same time, be flexible.”Ron Conway: SV AngelLecture topic: Anecdotes from Napster, Google, and Facebook’s Early Days“You don’t need a business plan. You don’t need to have an MBA. All you need is a great idea. Anything is possible and you can accomplish it.”Adam D’Angelo: Founder, QuoraLecture topic: How to Leverage Your Advantages“if you’re not ready to start a company, think about the advantages you have or are accumulating. And if what you’re doing isn’t helping you build these advantages, think about how you might be able to get in a better position.”Dalton Caldwell: Founder, Picplz, ImeemLecture topic: Why a Music Startup is a Terrible IdeaRiffing on Chris Dixon’s statement that “every time an engineer joins Google, a startup dies,” Caldwall contends that “every time a founder does a music startup, a likely-more-successful-startup dies.”Mark Zuckerberg: Founder, FacebookInterviewed by Jessica Livingston“If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.”“We have not bought a company for the company. We buy companies for the people.”Brian Chesky: Founder, AirbnbLecture topic: The First 1000 Days of Airbnb (or Be Tenacious)“It started with an airbed in our living room to solve our own problem.”“Go to your users.”Photo credits: Robert Scoble Tags:#events#start Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting audrey watters Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts last_img read more

How Bit.ly Now Predicts the Future

first_imgLink shortening and social web analytics provider Bit.ly announced today the first Enterprise product built on top of its new search platform, a reputation tracking alert system. Unlike other social media monitoring services, Bit.ly says it will predict which brand-new pages online will receive a lot of traffic in the future. Thus what Bit.ly’s customers should pay attention to.How does it do that? How well does it perform? Some information and initial impressions are below.Andrew Cohen, General Manager at Bit.ly, told me today that the company watches the huge number of links passed through its service and drills down to index their text content. Using the Apache Lucene-based technology developed at LinkedIn called Zoie, Bit.ly determines what the most relevant parts of every page are, excluding footers, spammy comments and other cruft. The company then checks those parts of the page for customer-entered keywords and determines the relevance of the article shared. That’s non-trivial work and in at least one case I found a URL deemed relevant to a keyword when that keyword didn’t show up in the text – it was in the HTML keywords for the page only. I thought that was a stretch, myself.Once a page is deemed relevant to a customer keyword then its likeliness to go big is assesed. Below: Reputation monitoring for Michele Bachmann, click to view full size. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting marshall kirkpatrick 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Data Services#web Cohen told me about 3 factors taken into consideration in making that evaluation of likeliness for content to spread far and fast. The first is the pace of sharing. If a link is being shared faster and faster as time proceeds, that’s significant.The second factor is whether it is being shared outside of groups of people who already share things online together on a regular basis. Cohen said that if a link was passed around the Bit.ly office, that would register as different from something that was shared by the same number of people but in different places and on different social networks.The third factor is whether the link is being shared by key influencers online.It’s pretty remarkable to think that when you share a Bit.ly link online, the company knows who you are, where you are and what your relationship with other people sharing it has been. It’s nothing to fear – it’s interesting – but it is notable.Hot links of the future don’t really come up very often. Cohen says it’s like a smoke alarm – it’s rare that it goes off but you don’t want to miss it when it does.Indeed, the links shown in one reputation tracking results page for one huge brand I looked at (Barack Obama – which was linked to on Twitter by John Borthwick of Betaworks) had only 2 out of 10 links listed that were published within the last 48 hours. I would be curious to see how often the service predicts spikes in attention for smaller brands.The reputation monitor also tries to perform some sentiment analysis, using third party technology from Lexalytics. Sentiment analysis is very hard to do though and at least one example I looked at was clearly wrong. Many people believe that sentiment analysis is most valuable when performed on aggregate content, over time. That’s not how the Bit.ly interface uses sentiment, though. The arrows up and down that appear to signify the sentiment of a particular article remind me of the semantic keyword extraction that Bit.ly used, also via a 3rd party technology, when the link shortener launched. That feature proved ineffective and inefficient and has since been dropped from the public interface. The company has been interested from the start in building a platform for software on top of traffic data plus content analysis.Bit.ly’s new reputation tracking service is being rolled out to Enterprise customers starting now. It is the first of a number of products the company will build on top of its indexing and tracking of content shared around the social web. Related Posts last_img read more

a month agoChelsea youngster Mount: Stamford Bridge must become a fortress

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Chelsea youngster Mount: Stamford Bridge must become a fortressby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveMason Mount says Chelsea must turn Stamford Bridge into a fortress.The Blues are yet to win a game at home this season.”Of course [we need to win more at home], if you look at the games we have had we can take positives from every game we have had,” Mount said with Chelsea facing home games against Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup and Brighton in the Premier League this week. “We need to win games at home, that’s a big focus.”We are doing well away and now the focus is building that fortress at home and, when teams come here, they know it will be a tough game. We showed that in the second half. “They are one of the best teams in the league and, in the second half, I felt like we dominated it.” last_img read more

2 days ago​Depay praises Man Utd midfielder Pereira for Liverpool performance

first_img​Depay praises Man Utd midfielder Pereira for Liverpool performanceby Freddie Taylor2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Manchester United winger Memphis Depay has praised the club’s attacking midfielder Andreas Pereira.The latter has endured some criticism from United fans for his indifferent displays this season.But Pereira was impressive in the no.10 role as United battled for a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday.And he earned praise from Depay for that performance.When Pereira posted about the game on his Instagram account, Depay replied by saying “You was [fire emoji].” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img

Elephant conservationists call on Canada to step up to protect iconic beasts

first_imgOTTAWA – In the last decade, Canadians have legally imported more than 2,600 trophy animals that are on an international list of endangered species.The imports also include thousands of animal skins, skulls, feet, ears, tusks, horns and tails of everything from antelope to zebras from all corners of the earth.Earlier this month, the United States made waves when the Fish and Wildlife Service suddenly reversed a 2014 ban on elephant imports from Zimbabwe and Zambia.U.S. President Donald Trump stepped in to halt that reversal, tweeting earlier this month that he considers elephant hunting a “horror show” and that it was unlikely anyone could convince him hunting the animals was good for conservation.Canada, on the other hand, never banned the imports in the first place.The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, tracks animals on three lists based on the level of protection needed and requires permits to be issued before these animals or any parts of them can be traded across international borders.That database shows that between 2007 and 2016, Canada allowed the legal importation of 2,647 mammals as hunting trophies, including 83 elephants, 256 lions, 134 zebras, 76 hippos and 19 rhinoceroses.Another 280 mammals were imported intact after having been stuffed, including antelope, oryx, monkeys and lions. Canadians also imported 434 skulls and 260 feet from elephants, zebras, hippos and rhinos; 87 elephant ears; 1,156 elephant tusks; and 17 rhinoceros horns.Those do not include animals brought back as trophies that are not considered endangered, which do not require any kind of special permit.Elephants are among the most endangered species in the world, with a 2016 census finding populations down 30 per cent between 2007 and 2014. Elephants are on the most-endangered list of CITES in all countries except four: Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.Populations in Zambia and South Africa are stable, but elephant populations in Botswana and Zimbabwe have dropped 15 and six per cent, respectively, since 2010.Sixty-one of the elephant trophies imported into Canada between 2007 and 2014 came from those four countries. Fifteen elephants came from the most endangered list.When it comes to allowing the importation of trophies, any decisions that are made have to be based on sound science, not on feelings, said Jason St. Michael, operations manager for Safari Club International in Canada.“I think people need to really take the time to educate themselves about the values of big game hunting,” he said.In some countries, elephant hunting should be banned, but in places like South Africa — where elephant populations are being well managed — it is both an economic driver and a conservation program to allow regulated hunting.“The government should be using science and not emotions to make these decisions,” said St. Michael. “President Trump is probably not using science and listening to emotions.”Elephanatics, a Vancouver-based elephant conservation group, is petitioning the Canadian government to support moving all elephants onto the so-called Appendix I list, including those from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa.Canada was one of a number of countries that voted against such a move last year.Environment Canada would not make an official available for an interview, but said in an emailed statement that Canada voted against moving all elephants to Appendix I because the four countries affected “did not meet the CITES criteria for listing on Appendix I.”“Canada adheres to a strict set of principles in the CITES fora and believes decisions regarding trade controls should be founded on best available science, support sustainable use of well-managed populations, and the conservation needs of species,” it reads.Fran Duthie, president of Elephanatics, said Canada also needs to ban the domestic trade in ivory. Canada is one of just four countries that refuses to do so, joining Japan, Namibia and South Africa. In Canada, the ivory trade includes Inuit hunters who trade in ivory from narwhals and walruses.Elephanatics, however, says as long as any trading of ivory is allowed, illegally obtained ivory from poachers who slaughter elephants — even in highly endangered populations — can slip into the system without much trouble.— Follow @mrabson on Twitterlast_img read more

Kaepernicks ExTeammate Eric Reid Files Collusion Grievance Against NFL

Free agent safety Eric Reid watches Stanford NFL Pro Day in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL players’ union says former San Francisco 49ers Eric Reid filed a grievance against the league, alleging that he remains unsigned as a result of collusion by owners.Reid had joined former teammate Colin Kaepernick two seasons ago in kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.Kaepernick wasn’t signed for the 2017 season following his release in San Francisco. Reid continued the quarterback’s protests. The 26-year-old safety became a free agent this offseason when his rookie contract with the 49ers expired.Our union is aware that Eric Reid and his legal representatives filed a collusion claim, which will be heard through the arbitration process as spelled out in our collective bargaining agreement,” the NFL Players Association said in a statement Wednesday. “Our union supports Eric and we are considering other legal options to pursue.”Kaepernick previously filed a collusion grievance. read more

Strings attached Terrelle Pryor cleared for draft assessed punishment by NFL

Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was declared eligible for the NFL supplemental draft, now scheduled for Monday, in a Thursday announcement by the NFL.Pryor has also been assessed a punishment by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and, if drafted, will be suspended from games and practices through Week 5 of the NFL season, according to an NFL press release.After begin drafted and signed to a contract, Pryor would be allowed to fully participate in the remainder of preseason, though.David Cornwell, Pryor’s attorney, did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for a comment.After initially agreeing to a suspension for the first five games of OSU’s upcoming season, Pryor departed the university on June 7 to pursue a professional football career. His departure came just days after former head coach Jim Tressel was forced to resign from his position. Pryor was then declared ineligible for intercollegiate athletics in a July 26 letter from OSU athletic director Gene Smith.The NFL press release, which confirmed that all 32 NFL clubs have been informed of Pryor’s draft eligibility, said:“NFL clubs were informed that Pryor made decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft.  Those actions included failing to cooperate with the NCAA and hiring an agent in violation of NCAA rules.  This resulted in Ohio State declaring him ineligible to continue playing college football. Pryor then applied to enter the NFL after regular draft.  Pryor had accepted at the end of the 2010 college football season a suspension for the first five games of the 2011 season for violating NCAA rules.“In his decision allowing Pryor to enter the Supplemental Draft, (Goodell) determined that Pryor will be ineligible to practice prior to or play in the first five games of the NFL regular season after he signs.  Pryor may be selected in the Supplemental Draft, negotiate and sign a contract with an NFL club, and fully participate in the remainder of the preseason.”From his Twitter account, @TerrellePryor, Pryor tweeted at approximately 9:30 a.m.: “God bless and thanks for support! Time to have a little fun!!”Pryor joins five other players in Monday’s draft, which is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. read more