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ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. Summary of Environmental Issues Along with the country in general, Alabama’s physical environment improved after 1970, due to urban.

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Presentation on theme: "ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. Summary of Environmental Issues Along with the country in general, Alabama’s physical environment improved after 1970, due to urban."— Presentation transcript:


2 Summary of Environmental Issues Along with the country in general, Alabama’s physical environment improved after 1970, due to urban migration, less chemicals on the farm and forest, better technology, and the Clean Air and Water Acts. Alabama actually has a pretty good physical environment, largely because it is still largely rural (if not agricultural). Alabama has some problems left over from the past. Alabama has some problems in its urban areas. Alabama has many concerned groups monitoring the environment and helping maintain quality.

3 Summary of Environmental Issues, cont. Aside from state actions, land in Alabama is conserved in these ways: Private foundations and trusts Farmers finding alternatives uses including agro-tourism and rural expensive, extensive housing Sports, particularly large hunting tracts The perception that Alabama has a poor environment partly comes from the notion that the general quality of life in the South is poor, and thus the misconception that the physical environment must be poor too. This material may be found on the website.

4 Indicators of Good Physical Environment This space is reserved for a summary of environmental indicators, if useful. I think this summary would create a diversion, and not be useful. Also, I would have to collect the data. However, that is not a hard task and I’d be happy to work on it.

5 Environmental Problems from the Past Old mining and manufacturing scars in the north, especially around Montgomery. Chemicals and radioactive agents from the defense industry. Lakes, ponds, and streams that had been polluted or that had undergone eutrophication, and have not recovered. Poorly planned water supplies and sewage systems for urban areas of all sizes. Alabama’s physical environmental is fragile due to the climate and soil. Some (national) forested areas had been logged off or overused, and have never properly recovered.

6 Present Environmental Issues Alabama gets cheap electricity but it generates this electricity primarily through coal-fired plants. Some of the plants choose the cleanest coal and have installed clean modern technology, but hardly all. These plants contribute significantly to air quality problems in urban areas. Urban areas have paved over or covered up old mining and manufacturing scars. Birmingham in particular has air problems caused both by cars and by generating plants. Birmingham has sewage problems, and intends to solve those problems with a “super sewer”.

7 Present Environmental Issues, continued. Near urban areas, Alabama rivers are overused. Too much water is taken out, and the water that is put back in is not always best treated. See the Birmingham “super sewer”. Medium sized towns have expanded without planning. Where they have expanded into unincorporated areas (or into another county) there is no clear supervising authority. Dense rural residences (trailer parks) have expanded without planning and without any clear supervising authority. See the “urban-rural” interface from previous slides.

8 CAFO Pollution “CAFO” = “concentrated animal feedlot operation. This is a large scale chicken or hog farming operation. These produce about three times as much manure and other by- product as can be absorbed by the local environment or the state market for manure fertilizer. The state has enacted regulations calling for the limitation but it is not clear that CAFOs can comply. Most CAFOs are run well, but some are not. The state keeps a list of all CAFOS, and of their record of operation. Neighbors often complain of smell from CAFOs even when they are run well

9 Environmental Groups A comprehensive list of dozens of groups concerned with the environment and land can be found at the following website: Alabama Grassroots Clearinghouse

10 Various Conservation Programs The following two sets of slides illustrate some conservation initiatives by the federal government and by one private agency in Madison country.

11 Protecting Working Lands: Through USDA Conservation Programs Denise Coleman National Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program Manager USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service

12 2002 Farm Bill: Changing the Focus

13 Conservation Programs  Easement Programs  Cost-Share Programs  Stewardship Program

14 A Greenprint for Growth A Master Land Preservation Plan for Madison County, AL


16 Who we are and how far we have come. MISSION STATEMENT The Land Trust of Huntsville & North Alabama is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving lands for public use to enhance recreation, education, conservation and prosperity in the North Alabama region. As of 2002: 1800 members 3,240+ acres across Madison County & one in Limestone County Partner & support from the City of Huntsville, the Madison County Commission and the City of Madison.

17 The Land Trust of Huntsville & North Alabama Percentages for 2002 Income Fundraising30% City Appropriation29% Membership24% Contributions17%

18 Historical and Projected Land Use Change, Madison County 1984 1990 2000 2020


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