Good News Headlines 6/12/2023
by Dakota Kim, Civil Eats
In 2012, Gail Myers received a somber phone call: An elderly Black farmer she had known for 20 years had passed away. As a longtime advocate for Black farmers who kept in touch with dozens of farming families, it wasn’t uncommon for Myers to receive these calls. At that moment, something clicked in Myers. An esteemed sustainable farming organizer and a cultural anthropologist of agricultural history, she spent time interviewing Black farmers while writing her doctoral anthropology dissertation at Ohio State University. Then in 2004, she co-founded a nonprofit for underserved sustainable farmers called Farms to Grow.
by Nina Totenberg, NPR
The U.S. Supreme Court stepped back from the brink of totally gutting the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. By a 5-to-4 vote, a coalition of conservative and liberal justices reaffirmed the court’s 1986 precedent interpreting how legislative districts must be drawn under the landmark voting rights act. The court said that in Alabama, a state where there are seven congressional seats and one in four voters is black, the Republican-dominated state legislature had denied African American voters a reasonable chance to elect a second representative of their choice. The decision could reverberate across other states.
by Guardian Staff and Agencies, The Guardian
A wolverine was spotted three times last month in the eastern Sierra Nevada, a rare occurrence for an animal that’s only been seen one other time in California over the last 100 years, state wildlife officials said. While wolverines are native to California, they’ve been essentially extinct from the state since the 1920s – likely the result of hunting and fur trapping in the decades following the gold rush, though records from the time don’t indicate what exactly caused the population to decline. One wolverine was spotted in the state from 2008 to 2018, beginning in the Tahoe national forest, officials said.
by David Favre, EcoWatch
Should California be able to require higher welfare standards for farm animals raised in other states if products from those animals are to be sold in California? On May 11, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld California’s position by a 5-4 vote in National Pork Producers Council v. Ross. While the ruling was fractured and reflected complex legal questions, it is a major victory for those working to improve farm animal welfare. A number of states will undoubtedly take advantage of the power that the Supreme Court has recognized.
‘Globally Significant Moment For Ocean Conservation’: Australia To Phase Out Gill Net Fishing In Great Barrier Reef
by Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, EcoWatch
The Australian and Queensland governments introduced a more than $160 million package to phase out the commercial gill net fishing that damages the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world, as well as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Area. “This announcement is shaping up as a globally significant moment for ocean conservation, fisheries management and the Great Barrier Reef — one of the natural wonders of the world,” said Dermot O’Gorman, CEO of WWF-Australia, in a press release from WWF Australia.