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Articles written by Ad Crable

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  • Study Dishes Up Surprises In Deer Behavior, Forest Impacts

    AD CRABLE, Bay Journal News Service|Aug 3, 2023

    Who knew that deer salivate about 2 gallons a day or that a fawn has 272–342 spots on its coat? Or that a doe may choose to give birth to fawns near a road so that fewer bears, coyotes and bobcats are around? Or that a deer may consume more than 100 different plant species a year? After a decade of following and studying 1,200 live-trapped deer, fitting them with ear tags and GPS radio collars to track their movements, Pennsylvania researchers are getting an unprecedented look into the b...

  • Oaks Are Dying At Record Rates Across Chesapeake Region

    Ad Crable, Bay Journal News Service|Jan 5, 2023

    It’s not your imagination. Those beautiful mature oaks are dying, along the road, in forests, perhaps even in your yard — at an accelerating rate. Reports of mature, seemingly healthy trees suddenly becoming leafless and dropping dead branches are flooding into the offices of local officials and state forestry agencies in Chesapeake Bay drainage states. Forest inventories show the oaks are declining in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland. In Anne Arundel County, MD, county officials received so many phone calls about dying oaks that they hav...

  • Pa. Being Left Behind As Community Solar Shines

    AD CRABLE, Bay Journal News Service|Nov 10, 2022

    Even as solar energy is gearing up for record growth in Pennsylvania, state legislators have steadfastly refused so far to allow a form known as community solar — which would allow anyone to help pay for small, localized solar arrays and get credits on their electric bills. Nearby states such as Maryland, New York, Virginia, West Virginia and Delaware, as well as Washington, D.C., all have some form of community solar. All have mechanisms built in to help low- and-moderate income ratepayers share in the savings. But for four years now, l...

  • A Star Is Born: Pa Park is One of Best in World for Night Skies

    AD CRABLE, Bay Journal News Service|Jan 13, 2022

    No sooner had the sun set than a mass of white, like exploding clouds, rose over the evergreen trees. They weren’t clouds, of course, but stars, gas and space dust that collectively appear as translucent white to our eyes. Think 400 billion stars or so. Even though temperatures had fallen into the 20s, about 100 people, many of them families, made their way into the Night Sky Public Viewing Area, fashioned from the old unpaved runway. They sat in portable chairs cocooned in blankets or lay flat on the ground wrapped in sleeping bags. All had th...

  • Congress passes Great American Outdoors Act

    Ad Crable, Bay Journal News Service|Sep 10, 2020

    The U.S. House on July 22 followed the Senate’s lead and overwhelmingly passed historic public lands legislation to guarantee federal funds for local, state and national parks, trails and recreation facilities. The bipartisan vote was 310 to 107. The Great American Outdoors Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump, guarantees annual funding of $900 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund for parks and open spaces. One of the priorities in what is considered the most ambitious public lands legislation in 50 years is to create a 5...

  • Report: Nearly A Third Of Pa.'s Waterways 'Quality Impaired'

    Ad Crable, Bay Journal News Service|Aug 13, 2020

    Nearly one of every three miles of streams and rivers in Pennsylvania has impaired water quality, according to a draft report detailing the state’s latest assessment. The number of impaired stream miles has grown by 5,568 miles since the last assessment two years ago. Of the 85,146 miles of stream and rivers that have been tested, 25,468 miles failed to meet standards in at least one of four categories – water supplies, recreation, aquatic life or fish consumption. That’s 30 percent of all stream miles in the state. One in every eight miles of...

  • COVID Lockdown Unleashes Swarms Of Visitors at Bay Region's Parks, Trails

    Ad Crable, Bay Journal News Service|Jul 16, 2020

    Lynne Napoli of Boiling Springs, PA, lives near the Appalachian Trail, which is normally her refuge for quiet mental sustenance. But, this spring and summer, things are different. “It has been so packed I don’t go,” she explained. “When I do, it is trashed. Other sites have been ridiculously spray-painted. I’m glad people got out, especially children. Unfortunately, not many seemed to respect nature. This makes me so sad.” Parks, trails and natural areas in Chesapeake Bay states have been slammed this spring and early summer as the masses head...

  • Pa Sets Lofty Goals For Climate Action, But Can It Achieve Them?

    Ad Crable, Bay Journal News Service|Jan 30, 2020

    Pennsylvania, which ranks fourth in the nation in its emissions of climate-altering carbon dioxide, took a much bolder stance in addressing climate change in 2019, at least in words. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled four separate actions aimed at curbing climate change, each bolder than the one before. Wolf started off in January 2019 by issuing an executive order that set the first statewide goal for greenhouse gas reductions. The target is a 26 percent reduction by 2025 and an 80 percent decrease by 2050 from 2005 levels. The primary means...

  • Manure Injection Passes 'Smell Test' as Best Management Practice

    Ad Crable, Bay Journal News Service|Aug 15, 2019

    For centuries across the Chesapeake Bay region, farmers have spread manure on their fields to boost crop growth and dispose of animal waste. But stormwater runoff can send those manure-based nutrients into local streams and eventually the bay. Reducing runoff from farmland is one of the biggest challenges remaining in cleaning up the bay. (Editor's Note: Both Blair and Bedford counties are in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.) Now, after decades of experimentation and false starts, injecting liquid...