Tuesday

“The work of Michigan Native American tribes and state wildlife agencies is absolutely critical to wildlife conservation in the United States.”

 U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced $196,321 in funding to Michigan Native tribes and more than $1.3 million to Michigan state wildlife agencies through the Tribal Wildlife Grant (TWG) program and the State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program. The funds, which are provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, give support for a diverse array of species and habitats across the country.

Through the TWG program, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe will receive $196,321 to assist in developing an adaptive management process for ruffed grouse in the 1836 Ceded Territory.

“The work of Michigan Native American tribes and state wildlife agencies is absolutely critical to wildlife conservation in the United States,” said Deputy Secretary Bernhardt. “We're thrilled to be able to collaborate with them, their local communities, and other partners to ensure important fish, wildlife, habitat and cultural needs are met. Tribal and state wildlife grants are foundational to protecting our nation’s wildlife legacy, including game and non-game species.”

The $1.3 million in funding through the SWG program, which is part of $48 million being distributed nationwide, will support imperiled species and habitats listed in approved state wildlife action plans. All 50 state and U.S. territorial wildlife agencies have these plans, which proactively protect species in greatest conservation need. Projects funded through SWG involve research, monitoring, wildlife surveys, species and habitat management and other activities.

Through the TWG program, more than $4 million funds were given to tribes in 14 states will support fish and wildlife conservation and key partnerships. The awards will benefit 25 projects that encompass a wide range of wildlife and habitats, including species of Native American cultural or traditional importance and species that are not hunted or fished.


SWG funds are administered by the Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) program and are allocated to states and territories according to a congressionally mandated formula based on population and geographic area. Grant funds must be used to address conservation needs, such as research, wildlife surveys, species and habitat management, and monitoring identified within state wildlife action plans. The funds may also be used to update, revise or modify a state’s plan.

TWG funds are provided exclusively to fund wildlife conservation by federally recognized Native American tribal governments, and are made possible under the Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2002 through the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program. Proposals for the 2018 grant cycle are due Sept. 1, 2017.
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Monday

An explorer who spent three years searching for a glimpse of an extremely rare white moose in Sweden finally saw his luck change for the better when one of the animals stumbled into his path.

Hans Nilsson filmed the moment on his camera when he spotted the four-legged creature on the banks of a stream in the western county of V...., in a video he posted online that went viral.

The footage shows the animal, of which there are just 100 in the country, clumsily wading into a deep stream up to its neck before gently pushing itself across to other side.

Mr Nilsson said: “You see the white moose go down into the water, take some chimps forward, climb on the other side and then bite some leaves and then turn to me and look straight into the camera."

“It was a great feeling when you see such a unique animal that is not at all concerned with people," he added. "It is a stately moose.”

The video, which lasts for just over a minute, went viral in just hours and has been viewed more than one million times while it pulled in some 3,000 comments after it was posted on Facebook.


Mr Nilsson said: “There has been a lot of interest and many who like and share. That's because it's so unusual," according to a report by Sverige Radio. Much of the frenzy is down to how rare the animal is in Sweden, where experts estimate there are just 100 compared to over 400,000 of the more common breed.


Many among the thousands who posted on social media platforms after the video went viral joked that the sight of the creature was so rare that it could spell an apocalypse. Will wrote: “This is the sign of the end times right? It's almost over?”


But Jon Tronc posted: “The ghost moose has come to save us! Or maybe leave presents! It can't be another sign of the apocalypse. We've had so many of those already.”
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Sunday

Huskies are being increasingly purchased, and then abandoned, by owners who are attracted to the breed because of the hit HBO show, “Game of Thrones.”

One tell-tale sign that a husky was purchased because of the series is that they frequently are named after characters from the show, according to a report by San Francisco Gate. A British animal charity had reported a 700 percent rise in abandoned huskies by 2014, while two Bay Area husky rescue facilities — Bay Area Siberian Husky Club and Northern California Sled Dog Rescue — have reported similar a major spike in husky abandonment.

“These people, they watch these shows and think how cool these dogs are,” said Angelique Miller, president of NorSled, to The Gate. “People can’t even tell the difference between a husky and a wolf because they’re always asking us at adoption fairs if these dogs are wolves — and it’s clearly a husky. They’re just following the trend of what they think is cute.”

It’s hard to explain why huskies are getting abandoned more than other dog breeds. Perhaps it’s that many of the buyers aren’t as interested in owning a pet as they are in connecting their lives to “Game of Thrones.” Perhaps it’s the fact that their coats require weekly maintenance, they can only thrive with regular exercise and they can’t be left alone with small animals.

This isn’t the first time that pop culture has had a negative impact on the adorable animals promoted by popular properties. The success of the “Harry Potter” franchise led to a wave of abandoned pet owls; while owls are cute in the movies, they are notoriously difficult to raise as pets. Similarly, after Dalmatians became popular following the success of “101 Dalmatians,” dogs were frequently purchased and then abandoned because their irritable personalities and tendency to dislike children made them a poor fit for many families.

Even the best intentions can lead to disaster. After sales of clown fish took off following the popularity of “Finding Nemo,” reports sprang up of children flushing clown fish down the toilet so they could be freed to the ocean — a plan that, though effective in the movie, does not apply to real life.

The ability of pop culture to impact pet sales has not gone unnoticed by those who could make hefty profits from that trend. The American Kennel Club admits that dog shows like Westminster exist in large part to drive up business for purebred breeders, pet stores and puppy mills throughout the country. The fact that there are serious ethical questions about how these dogs are treated, as well as how it would be more compassionate to adopt from shelters than purchase purebreds, seems to matter little.
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Thursday

Even though it’ll be in full view over the Navajo Nation in Arizona, traditional tribal members won’t look up while it’s happening.

The Navajo word for eclipse is “eating the sun.” In the Navajo tradition it is believed that the "sun dies" during a solar eclipse and that it is an intimate event between the Earth, Sun and Moon.

People are told to stay inside and keep still during the dark period. There’s no eating, drinking, sleeping, weaving or any other activity.

For Angelenos who do want to see it, the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and Caltech in Pasadena will host viewings of the solar eclipse on Sunday afternoon.

“The moon and the sun are sacred the way they were created, and you are not supposed to watch the moon or look at, stare at it for a long time," "It affects your mind and your body. Especially for a woman that’s carrying a baby. Because when there is an eclipse either lunar or solar, this is a sacred time where the sun, the moon and the earth is kind of like in an intimate position when they line up, so it’s such a sacred thing that’s happening, you don’t look at those things that are happening out in the sky.”

If a pregnant woman sees an eclipse of any kind, be it solar or lunar, it might "affect the mind of the woman or also in the future it will affect the health of the baby,” Begay said, and a special ceremony must be conducted to rid them of the influence.

During an eclipse, "every man, woman and child—they have to show reverence, and they don’t eat, they don’t drink water, they just go into the house until it passes," Begay said. “And then they show respect for the moon and the sun.”

Wednesday

As of now, 140,000 living Native Americans are veterans of the U.S. military—more than 16,000 of them female.

Reflecting on the service of Native Americans in the United States military, one is likely to picture the embattled Navajo code talkers of World War II, whose decryption-resistant communications stymied the Japanese and proved instrumental in securing key Allied victories in the fight for the Pacific.

A sterling example of Native American warriors’ composure and commitment under pressure, the code talkers’ story is but a small piece of a much larger narrative. Too often forgotten, the depth of sacrifice of all manner of Native American peoples across American history cannot be overstated.

As of now, 140,000 living Native Americans are veterans of the U.S. military—more than 16,000 of them female. This in addition to the 31,000 American Indian and Alaska Native servicemen and women who are currently fighting on behalf of this country abroad.

“We have so much to celebrate,” says Ben Nighthorse Campbell, an ambassador for the Cheyenne people who has served his country as both a Korean War combatant and Colorado senator. “Like so many others, I was compelled to serve to honor the warrior tradition that is inherent to most Native American societies—the pillars of strength, honor, pride, devotion and wisdom.”

The National Museum of the American Indian has announced that it will be soliciting designs for a Native American Veterans Memorial. The competition opens on November 11. Finalist submissions will be chosen by January 25, and the winning design will earn a prominent place on the National Mall.


Veteran’s Day is an apt jumping-off point for the conceptualization of this tribute, which will honor Native American personnel who have served patriotically in all branches of the U.S. military dating back to the country’s inception.

Congress has declined to apportion federal funds for the memorial, but Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian, is unbowed. Vocal and radically optimistic, Gover does not doubt the resolve of the Native American community to see this project through to completion.


Addressing the museum-going public, Gover exhorted supporters to “participate in this historic moment—for our country, for veterans, and for the Native American communities whose loyalty and passion have helped make America what it is today.”
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