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Spooky Season is upon us! Hope everyone is ready to officially celebrate the Halloween Holiday this upcoming week. Join Winter Park this Saturday for both a Trick or Treat event on Park Avenue, followed by a Halloween Bash later in the night. Or head over to Thornton Park for a Halloween Candlelight Concert!
Near our Seattle, WA Branch, the Museum of Flight has been transformed to a high-flying haunted museum filled with Halloween-themed tricks and treats. Or you could pop over to one of our favorite locations, the Seattle Aquarium, to experience a frighteningly fun time for the whole family.
This Friday's edition of the Economic Perspective features articles on water pricing strategies for western states, a new conservation status for the Everglades, and good news on the Florida citrus front.
Have a great weekend and a happy Halloween!
FWS Proposes the Establishment of Everglades to Gulf Conservation Area
A new proposal by the FWS identifies a 4-million-acre conservation area that abuts the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge & Conservation Area and spans 12 counties west of Lake Okeechobee from Lakeland to Naples. Under the proposal, the FWS could seek to purchase less-than-fee-title conservation easements and fee-title land acquisition from willing landowners, but those willing to participate would control activities on their lands. The proposal aims to protect habitat for fish and wildlife, conserve land and water, and promote public-private partnerships. The agency is receiving comment on the draft until November 1st. FWS
Utah State University Report Outlines Continued Water Issues and Public Concern
The 2023 Report to the Governor and Legislature on Utah’s Land, Water, and Air was released this week that provides a snapshot of key issues and concerns with Utah’s shared resources. Among the information provided are survey results outlining Utahns’ perceptions of environmental issues in Utah. The highest on the list was drought/lack of water, with 55% of respondents indicating a high level of concern. This was followed closely by poor air quality (54%) and the drying up of Great Salt Lake (54%). For all three of these categories, only 15-18% of respondents felt that politicians were doing enough. In fact, only a small percentage were not concerned at all about environmental topics, clearly indicating the preference for additional policies to address these issues. Read the full report here.
Demand for Traditional Fuel Sources to Peak by 2030
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global demand for oil, gas, and coal is expected to peak by 2030 as investments in clean energy alternatives continue. As described in IEA’s annual World Energy Outlook report, global oil use could level off at 102 million barrels a day in 2030 before declining to 97 million barrels a day in 2050. IEA believes there could be 10 times as many electric cars on the roads by 2030 compared to today as the proportion of electric cars sold to traditional fossil fuel vehicles has risen from 1 in 25 to 1 in 5 over the past three years alone. Forbes.
Positive News on Florida Citrus Forecast
The first forecast for the Florida citrus season was welcome news to an industry that’s been battered with diseases and hurricanes for the past 2 decades. Florida orange production is projected to be up 30% compared to last season, and grapefruit and tangerines are also supposed to be up by about 5% compared to last season. Last year was uniquely bad for Florida citrus, which has been on a long decline largely due to citrus greening disease, but last year’s double hurricanes (Ian and Nicole) made production especially low. The annual forecast is updated each month from October of this year to July of next year at USDA Citrus forecast.
A New Strategy for Western States to Adapt to Long-Term Drought: Customized Water Pricing
Western states are still facing an ongoing drought risk that is likely to get worse due to climate change. The risk posed to low-income households has kept most solutions focused on reducing water demand rather than raising prices. However, a customized approach to water pricing may allow for wealthier households to opt in for higher water prices. A pilot study could be done where each invitee would be paid an annual fee for enrolling in the study, but in return their water per gallon prices would triple. Over the course of three years, data scientists could track if water usage declined with the higher cost, and if this program could be applicable on a broader scale. Read More.
Data Visualization of the Week
Boreal Forests Show Surprising Recovery Forest Fire Recovery Trend
A groundbreaking study led by Northern Arizona University utilizing satellite imagery over three decades reveals that wildfires are reshaping North American boreal forests in unanticipated ways. While fires historically led to the lost coniferous trees being replaced by faster-growing deciduous ones, this study found that forests initially transition to deciduous but eventually revert back to coniferous trees after several decades. The loss of coniferous forests due to wildfires is balanced by their gradual recovery in unburned areas, resulting in no overall shift in deciduous tree cover. While there have been no significant recent shifts in forest composition now, researchers warn that climate warming and increased wildfires may lead to more significant changes in the near future. Read more here and find the full study here.