Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Save the Serengeti. Pine Needles!

"The government of Tanzania has announced a major commercial route across the Serengeti National Park, in the direct path of the greatest land migration on earth.

Such a highway would destroy the integrity of a priceless World Heritage that has been protected by the people of Tanzania since the birth of their country."

"The people of Tanzania have protected the Serengeti for the role it plays in their culture since the birth of their country. Now their government plans to sever it with a 31-mile, two-lane highway.
For those of us who are used to the six-lane highways stretching thousands of miles across the U.S., one little road might not seem like a big deal.

However, this project has been mapped out right across the migration path of over a million wildebeest and other animals.

Wildebeest numbers will plummet if they can't reach the Mara River in Kenya, impacting the food chain from the top down.

Lions and other predators would face a food shortage.

Without wildebeest grazing to maintain the grasslands, leading biologists warn that grass fires could destroy the region and turn it into a source of carbon emissions."
Save the Serengeti : Fund an Alternate Route & Development Programs

Excerpts from Petition Text:
"I urge your organization to help save the Serengeti:
Building a commercial highway through the Serengeti National Park will put this priceless World Heritage in grave danger. The stakes are high – the Serengeti, once gone, will be gone forever.

Help build a coalition of international support to fund an alternate route:
The government of Tanzania has a responsibility to work for development and welfare of its people. But with your support, it does not have to sacrifice its most precious wilderness, its income from tourism, or its heritage of conservation.

Ultimately, this issue is a test case for the 21st Century: Do we have the wisdom and the will to create development programs that benefit people while still protecting our world’s great natural treasures?
If we can't save the Serengeti, what can we save? "

More and petition at: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/find_fund_an_alternative_to_the_serengeti_highway


Apparently there is more at stake according to:  http://www.birdlife.org/community/2010/08/save-the-serengeti-%E2%80%93-road-proposal-must-be-stopped/
"The Serengeti is an Important Bird Area and a World Heritage Site under siege– and the World Heritage Committee is meeting and this proposal is on their agenda. The Serengeti is in the spotlight again."



Well, I doubt if you will find any pine needles in the Serengeti, as most of them are here.

Jay got up on the conjoined roofs of the house, RVport, guest house, and screen porch.   He took the 'bucket on a rope' up the ladder too, so we could send anything he needed 'topside'.
Ray and I knotted sturdy electric cords together, plugged in one end, and sent them up attached to the electric blower.  Jay Nigels-pics-my-place-4 blew the pine needles off all the roofs, and gutters.   Ray and I were steadily raking and hauling pine needles to the lit burn pile.
Ray had never been here when Jay and I done this before, and he had no idea what big a mess comes down off all these roofs.

After I had taken Jay home, Ray and I cleaned up the walkways, my front porch and RVport with the blower.  It still took us a long time to get it all picked up.    But it looks so much better.

It was a beautiful day to be working outside, not hot or humid.   I even did some weeding out front.

All-three-on-porch The windows and doors are open, airing out the house. 
All three cats spent their day on the screen porch.
The patio door to their screen porch from the living room is open so they can come in the house if they wish.

My brother Nigel called last night, they have 'done' most of the east side of Route 66.   Now they are making their way here from a lovely campground they found between Tulsa and OKC, at I think he said Bristow, OK.  He said it is so special that they were going to spend a second night there.

So great not to have to run the AC again, today


JB said...

I am in agreement that there must be another way to get across the Serengeti than the chosen route, however I am skeptical that wildebeest are any more carbon neutral than other ways of disposing of the grasslands.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comment, JB.

This is all I have found out about it, so far:

"The Serengeti wildebeest were historically kept at low numbers by the rinderpest virus, but underwent a population explosion (irruption) after rinderpest was eradicated in the 1960s. We examined nearly a half-century of data to test the hypothesis that this irruption was responsible for a decline in the frequency of fires in this ecosystem (through increased grazing and a reduction in fuel loads), and that this in turn increased the density of trees.

We found strong evidence for this indirect link between rinderpest and tree density, and less support for the role of other factors such as elephants and climate.

We also investigated the consequences of this chain of events for ecosystem carbon, and suggest that the combined effects of increased grazing intensity by wildebeest, reduced fire, and increasing tree density may have shifted the Serengeti from being a net source to a net sink for carbon."
From: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1000210

pidge said...

You must be very healthy with all the work you do every day. Wish I had your energy.

Could they not close this 2 lane road during the migration? Stay safe...

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comment, Pidge:

There was so much outcry that it seems they have come up with an alternate route:
"AWF supports the construction of a tar road linking Wasso in Loliondo Division, Ngorongoro District, with Mto was Mbu. However, as an alternative to dissecting the Serengeti ecosystem with an on-going tar highway, AWF recommends Tanzania link Mugumu, the capital of the Serengeti District, to the national and regional road network westward, towards Musoma and Lake Victoria, rather than linking them eastward toward Loliondo (see map).
This would leave the northern Serengeti in its current pristine state. AWF further recommends that as Tanzania works to link the entire Lake Victoria region to areas further east, it consider building a road that passes to the south of the entire Serengeti/Ngorongoro conservation complex. AWF believes this alternative plan would have a positive impact on more people and minimize risk to the Serengeti ecosystem."
From: http://www.awf.org/content/headline/detail/4397
Happy Trails, Penny, TX