Environmental Conservation

Darwin, Sinke & van Tongeren

Taxidermists can have a hard time finding a date. Stereotypes and disgust surround the practice, however Asheville film director Erin Derham doesn’t think that judgment is deserved. True, she was repulsed when a colleague initially pitched the idea of a documentary about taxidermy (Derham is vegan), but her reaction soon transformed into a deep respect for the field and its practitioners. Her journey led her down the rabbit hole to animal rescues and safaris where she discovered the significance of taxidermy in conservation efforts.

Black River
Will Michaels / WUNC

A swamp on the Black River near the town of Ivanhoe, North Carolina has been a long-running fascination for researchers.

Decades ago, they identified dozens of bald cypress they believed were part of an ancient forest, but until now, they weren't sure how long these trees had been living in this remote corner of Bladen County. A recently published research paper has revealed the trees to be among the oldest in the world.

An Enviva wood pellet plant in Northampton, N.C.
Courtesy of Enviva

Burning wood pellets as a form of energy has been a growing trend since 2009 when the European Union deemed it carbon neutral and began to subsidize the conversion to this “greener” form of energy.

A map showing orange areas on the outskirts of Asheville, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Durham, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Jaskconville and Wilmington.
Courtesy of Grady McCallie/North Carolina Conservation Network

North Carolina Conservation Network just released its first-ever “State of the Environment” report. It includes data analysis, polling and more than 100 indicators that measure the overall well-being of the environment and the people of North Carolina.

 Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Seismic blasting is a controversial technique used to map offshore oil reserves. In January of 2017, the Obama administration officially denied applications for seismic blasting in the Atlantic, but the Trump administration reversed that decision with an executive order a few months later. The announcement brought many in coastal communities out to protest, stating concerns about the impact of seismic blasting on marine life and tourism.