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Weekly Environmental Updates
Oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is tied to the GOP's tax proposal which, if passed, would allow the party to claim victory toward a goal they've had for decades. Republicans have unsuccessfully attempted to get drilling in ANWR approved for the past 40 years. The Alaskan senator who authored the bill states that the legislation limits drilling to a relatively small area and vows to simultaneously protect the environment if it passes.
The President has postponed a decision to allow the import of elephant hunting trophies from two African countries, reversing a decision he made last week. The President's two sons are avid big game hunters and Donald Jr. is reportedly eager to change U.S. Fish and Wildlife regulations. The president took to Twitter after making the announcement, tweeting that the decision would remain on hold while he reviews "all conservation facts".
Respiratory health can be improved by the expansion of tree cover in polluted neighborhoods, according to a new study conducted in the UK. The presence of trees had a particularly strong association with fewer emergency asthma cases as measured by hospitalizations. The findings have implications for planning and public health policy.
City trees grow faster than rural trees, a phenomenon that goes back to the 1960's, says a study comparing the two. The increased growth of the urban trees is thought to be due to higher temperatures in the urban environment. While the city trees grow faster, they also age faster, which may mean they need to be replaced more often by city administrations.
The use of holiday glitter used to make Christmas cards and other crafts has been banned by a chain of 19 child care centers in southern England due to concerns that it harms the environment. While glitter does not comprise a large portion of microplastics that wind up in the sea, some conservation experts are praising the move as "proactive".
Coyotes are poised to become the top predator on the East Coast, possibly due to the fact that genetically, they are eight to 25 percent wolf. Coupled with their larger size and the abundance of deer in the Northeast, they reportedly have a better chance of survival than their ancestors. Their presence in highly populated areas over the last 10 years has caused some concern, but experts say they are not much of a threat to humans, although they do pose a risk to small pets and livestock.
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