MLK National Park to Re-Open Despite Shutdown, Thanks to Delta
Hats off to Delta Air Lines. The company's charitable arm awarded the National Park Service an $83,500 grant to help reopen the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta from Jan. 19 through Feb. 3 in honor of Dr. King's legacy.
The Atlanta-based airline was inspired to act after learning that some of the park's sites, including Dr. King's birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Fire Station No. 6 and the visitor center, were closed due to the partial government shutdown, now on its 28th day, according to LinkedIn post from Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian.
"These historic landmarks represent the strength of our community and should always be made available for the public to enjoy," Bastian wrote in the post.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is always observed on the third Monday of January each year. This year's occasion is particularly special as the civil rights icon would have turned 90 on Jan. 15.
The Delta Air Lines Foundation is honored to give the @natlparkservice a grant to reopen the Martin Luther King, Jr… https://t.co/bKV0MeMYNX— Delta (@Delta)1547771418.0
Bastian also said he wants the landmarks to be open for travelers who will be in town for the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.
"For everyone visiting Atlanta for the big game, I highly recommend touring these inspiring sites," he wrote.
The grant from the Delta Air Lines Foundation will go towards clean up, administration, maintenance and operating costs of employees not covered under recreation fee funds, according to a National Park Service press release.
"It is not possible to overstate our appreciation to The Delta Air Lines Foundation for ensuring the Martin Luther King, Jr. sites are accessible to the American people as we honor Dr. King on the 90th anniversary of his birth," said David L. Bernhardt, acting secretary of the Department of Interior, in the press release. "This is yet another example of private organizations stepping up to ensure that our visitors from across the nation and around the world are able to have a meaningful experience at national parks."
The National Park Service has contributed funds from fees paid by park visitors for entrance, camping, parking and other services. The Interior "has determined that these funds can and should be used to provide immediate maintenance assistance and services to parks during the lapse of appropriations," the press release said.
The environment is a civil rights issue. We can't talk about fighting for clean air, water and land without mentioning how people of color, low-income populations and other marginalized communities are disproportionately exposed to pollution and the harmful impacts of climate change.
Multiple NAACP studies and reports chronicle the disparities in exposure to pollution from fossil fuel based energy production in low income and communities of color. Communities of color and low income communities, as well as population groups such as women, consume the least energy, but are most disproportionately impacted, suffering poor health outcomes, compromised education, loss of livelihoods and loss of life as a result of exposure to toxins and the ravages of climate change.
The ongoing government shutdown has caused disruption in air travel and could expose passengers to potential security vulnerabilities from air traffic controllers and TSA workers going without pay and calling in sick.
Bastian, Delta's CEO, said this week that the shutdown will cost the company $25 million in revenue in January alone because fewer government contractors and employees are traveling.
"We are seeing some pressure on our business," he said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We strongly encourage our elected officials to do their very best to resolve their differences and get the government fully open as soon as possible."
Here is the Delta boss' full statement about re-opening MLK national park on
"The time is always right to do what is right."
These powerful words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. resonate stronger than ever as we celebrate his life and legacy this weekend. While his work in bringing people together can be felt worldwide, his influence is a constant presence in Delta's hometown of Atlanta. Upon learning that the #governmentshutdown meant Dr. King's birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Fire Station No. 6 and the visitor center would be closed during the national holiday, we knew we had to take action. These historic landmarks represent the strength of our community and should always be made available for the public to enjoy. I'm honored and humbled that Delta Air Lines will continue supporting Dr. King's legacy by funding the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, allowing these sites to be open January 19 through February 3. For everyone visiting Atlanta for the big game, I highly recommend touring these inspiring sites.
'Clean energy is a fundamental civil right': Major campaign to expand access to solar https://t.co/YWeCnee6es via… https://t.co/biCsLqCpSL— Climate Nexus (@Climate Nexus)1515808562.0
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
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