My Interests By: Sarah merkling

There is a Cute Animals Twitter contest in which multiple zoos are participating in. When Smithsonian's National Zoo released a picture of a newborn gray seal pup, a Twitter user named Sarah Hill from Virginia challenged the Virginia Aquarium to show their own cute animals. Multiple pictures have been tweeted and people are casting their votes.

The current winner of the tweet-off
Two Bulls raises her fist during a peaceful protest against the pipeline on the State Capital lawn in Bismark, North Dakota in September.

Within days of his inauguration, President Donald Trump signed executive actions to advance approval of the Dakota Access pipeline as well as the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. This made the protesters very angry and yet they are still peaceful.

The owners of Arizona's Navajo Generating Station northeast of the Grand Canyon announced in early January that low natural gas prices and the rising costs of generating electricity using coal make it too expensive to operate the plant. Coal-fired power plants, once the workhorse of the nation's electricity grid, are the biggest individual climate polluters in the country, and they're falling victim to coal's biggest competitor — plentiful, cheap natural gas flooding the country because of fracking.

A mother bear abandons finding dinner in order to rescue two of her cubs and once she rescues them, she saves the third. She never hesitated to jump in and save her cubs.

In Trump’s America, where national parks are forbidden from communicating through Twitter, this constitutes an act of radical subversion. This is not the America I was living in a week ago.What Americans have learned is that our system of checks and balances is so weak that even parks employees can become enemies of the state. They are learning their rights as they lose them, grieving for what they once took for granted. Fear is matched by incredulity that hundreds of years of imperfect democracy could cede into autocracy with such ease.

The U.S. Forest Service has officially begun a process that could lead to a 20-year ban on new copper-nickel mines in the watershed of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.The action by the Forest Service opens up a 90-day comment period on the proposed "withdrawal of federal minerals" that would ban new mineral development over about 230,000 acres in the Rainy River watershed, which flows into the Boundary Waters, Voyageurs National Park and Quetico Provincial Park.

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