As Soft Sheet Use Grows, Environmentalists Note Toilet Paper Woes

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels.

By Don Corrigan

There’s another issue with tissue. This time it’s not because of grocery shelves being raided of toilet paper in a pandemic panic. At issue this time is the loss of old-growth forests as humans appear to be on a roll consuming bathroom supplies.

Environmental Missouri reports that TP is disappearing before our eyes, in part because major companies are using valued trees to make toilet paper for retailers. The decline in forests across our planet is sharp with a loss of a third of our world’s forests in just a few decades.

According to Environmental Missouri, the culprit behind the deforestation in Canada is soft – retailers like Costco are lining their shelves with extra fluffy toilet paper made from the boreal — one of our last, great North American forests.

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Eagle Days Event Moves to Powder Valley Nature Center for 2022 (new format event date, Jan. 15 )

Photo: MDC

Due to a renovation work on the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, Eagle Days programming is moving to Powder Valley Nature Center in Kirkwood this year. The event will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15.

Few words can describe the thrill of seeing America’s national symbol soaring through the air in the wild, or close enough to touch.  During the winter, the Mississippi River hosts one of North America’s largest concentrations of bald eagles; they are drawn to areas of open water in search of fish, their preferred food.

Due to COVID-19 considerations and to ensure the safety of visitors and staff, Eagle Days will also take on a new format for 2022.  The event is free and open to all ages, but attendance will be by online pre-registration only, with six available timeslots each hour throughout the day.  Attendance numbers for each timeslot will be limited for the safety of visitors and staff.

To register, use the following links for the preferred timeslot:

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American Roadkill Book Event Benefits St. Louis Animal Rights Team, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m.

Many motorists have run over animals on the road and felt bad about it.
The momentary regret can lead to corrective action when motorists come
to realize that roadkill is driving some species to extinction.

Author Don Corrigan, who recently authored American Roadkill: The
Animal Victims of Our Busy Highways, will speak about his book and the million creatures killed daily on highways at an open meeting of the Animal Rights Team on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Brentwood Community Center.

St. Louis Animal Rights Team is a not-for-profit educational and activist
group formed in 1985. Its goals are to promote lifestyles compatible with
animal rights and to reform U.S. institutions to end animal suffering.
Corrigan’s book is published by McFarland, which is the largest publisher of
popular culture titles in America. Corrigan is a member of the Popular
Culture Association and annually presents papers at its conferences.

In 2022, Corrigan will speak to PCA about “Roadkill and Toxic Masculinity.”
University studies show male drivers are more inclined to swerve and
deliberately kill or injure animals on roads than female motorists.

As a result of his association with PCA, Corrigan has studied the TV and
movie phenomenon of animals becoming anthropomorphic characters,
especially for children’s cinematic fare.

Corrigan asks: “What message does it send to children when we are
wantonly running over the animals they love? They love animal characters
from Slappy Squirrel to Rocky Raccoon to Squirtle the Turtle and Armadillo
B. Banjo.”

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St. Louis Environmentalists Offer Hope For The 2022 New Year

Carol Davit of the Missouri Prairie Foundation

By Allison Hagene

Carol Davit of the Missouri Prairie Foundation said she hopes for more cooperation in 2022, because  “all of us –from individuals to communities and corporations – must make the health of the natural world, and the natural resources upon which all life depends, an automatic consideration of actions we take. We can no longer abuse nature and natural resources and defer the damage to the years ahead. Doing so destroys natural abundance and beauty that not only makes life possible, but also makes it worth living”

The Missouri Prairie Foundation had a good year, receiving news that “the Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded national accreditation to the Missouri Prairie Foundation, a designation earned by about 30% of the nation’s 1,360+ land trusts. Over the summer, MPF acquired four more original, unplowed prairies, including a rare sand prairie near the Bootheel; dedicated four other prairies we acquired prior to 2021; and have nearly reached our goal of raising $2.2 million for our Lordi Marker Prairie Missouri Bicentennial project.”

Read more below from The Missouri Prairie Foundation, Magnificent Missouri, Just Moms STL, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, the Sierra Club, the Open Space Council, Allison Hagene and Don Corrigan.

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In Memorium: Thanks, Karen, For A Helping Of Ozark Hospitality

Karen Hood Simpson


By Don Corrigan

Sometimes a new friend crosses your path – the kind of friend who helps you out. You look forward to a lasting friendship. Then something tragic happens, and you realize you did not say “thank you” enough before they exited this life.

Such is the case for me with Karen Hood Simpson. She helped me explore Missouri caves, trails and waterways on a Missouri Outdoor Communicators’ (MOC) trip in June to the Pulaski County area and the Gasconade River watershed.

Karen, who worked with the Pulaski County Tourism Bureau for more than a dozen years, helped this city boy enjoy some Ozark nooks in the forest and on the river – and to breathe in a little fresh mountain air.

The MOC get-together was at Gasconade Hills Resort, located on a magnificent stretch of river showcasing amazing scenery, caverns and local wildlife including eagles, otters and deer.

She helped with arrangements for a canoe float not far from the cold spring waters that flow into the Gasconade and Big Piney rivers. It was a scenic on-the-water trip in the vicinity of Devil’s Elbow, a bluff area full of lore from a time when lumber men floated timber down the river.

In the evenings, there was time to relax at the Piney River Taproom. One eating and imbibing excursion involved time at the newly-opened Heritage Cultural Art Center on Route 66 in Waynesville.

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Reporting from Ireland: A St. Louis Journalist Explores “The Troubles.”

Northern Ireland is in the news again as the implementation of Brexit by the United Kingdom brings worries that the strife of the past could be re-ignited by borders, economic upheaval and sectarian distrust.
Don Corrigan recently spoke on Ireland’s troubles, past and present, at the International Week sponsored by the University of Missouri-St. Louis. His Irish talk coincides with the much-praised movie, Belfast, recently opening in St. Louis.
Corrigan’s presentation focuses on his reporting of the Irish Troubles in Belfast and Derry at the time prior to the Easter Agreement to bring peace to Northern Ireland. He provides background on the surprises for an Irish American in covering the conflict and its emotional overtones.
He also touches on the film portrayals of the Irish Conflict and how those depictions have influenced perceptions in America. And, of course, he had a few things to say about Belfast.

Corrigan is professor emeritus of journalism and communications at Webster University in St. Louis and an editor of the Webster-Kirkwood Times newspaper group in suburban St. Louis.

He has reported from Ireland, Russia, Bosnia and Vietnam. He has taught global journalism at Webster campuses in Geneva and London and has presented papers on the Irish Troubles as portrayed in film at Trinity College in Dublin and in the United States.

American Roadkill In The Media!

Below find an excerpt from the Belleville News-Democrat feature about Don Corrigan’s latest book “American Roadkill: The Animal Victims of Our Busy Highways,” by McFarland Publishing.

Also, tune in to hear Don Corrigan talk about his book on the Charlie Brennan Show on Tuesday, December 14, at 10:35, on KMOX radio (1120 AM).

Below from the Belleville News-Democrat:

From possums, whose favorite defense strategy of playing dead doesn’t work well on highways, to armadillos that often spring straight up when startled, animals have been losing the battle to cross roads at an alarming rate. Corrigan relates some of his favorite stories like the dead animal discovered by a newspaper columnist which had been painted over by a road striping crew. Or musician Loudon Wainwright III explaining there was no cosmic meaning about his song “Dead Skunk,” which relates to a “dead skunk in the middle of the road stinking to high heaven.” It was just about a dead skunk and they do stink, as we all know.

Read more HERE.

Saint Louis Zoo Joins #FramingOurFuture Campaign With Wildlife Conservation Society

The Saint Louis Zoo has joined the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and other zoos and aquariums as inaugural partners of the #FramingOurFuture campaign, which supports nature-based solutions to climate change.

Framing Our Future is a partner-based campaign aimed at zoo and aquarium visitors, as well as digital audiences, about how their actions to protect nature will support our climate.

The goals of the campaign are to educate and empower the public to take action on climate by advancing nature-based solutions in U.S. foreign and domestic climate policy, including protection of intact forests and restoration of coastal ecosystems. In addition, the campaign supports doubling U.S. investments in global biodiversity conservation funding streams that support nature-based solutions to climate change over the next four years.

Full news release from WCS is below and linked here.

Quoted in the release is Sharon Deem, DVM, Ph.D., DACZM, Director of Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine:

“The Saint Louis Zoo is proud to be an inaugural partner in this campaign. Human health and animal health are interdependent and bound to the health of the ecosystems where we all reside. Taking a One Health approach to bring together different disciplines—human medicine, veterinary medicine, ecology, public heath, anthropology, economics, etc.—we can achieve the best health for people, animals and the environment. Together, we can solve global health challenges, which include climate change, emerging infectious diseases like COVID-19, pollinator decline, food safety, water availability, biodiversity loss and other planetary health issues.”

Grow Native! Ambassador Award for 2021 Bestowed to Bill Straatmann

Award Winner Bill Straatmann

Bill Straatmann, owner of Straatmann Toyota in Washington, Missouri, was recognized recently for his promotion of native plants.

During its virtual Grow Native! Professional Member Conference, the Grow Native! program awarded the 2021 Grow Native! Ambassador Award to Bill Straatmann, owner of Straatmann Toyota in Washington, Missouri.

Native plants play an important role in sustainable landscaping by providing a food source and habitat for pollinators and wildlife. Native plants store carbon in their roots, and also prevent erosion and protect streams by slowing and filtering stormwater runoff. Healthy, well maintained native landscapes are vital to the survival of beneficial insects, wildlife, and people, and make our communities vibrant.

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American Roadkill Book Event In St. Louis Benefits Missouri Animal Protection Group On Dec. 11

Novel Neighbor of Webster Groves is hosting a book signing from 7-8 p.m., Dec. 6, at its store.

A book event at Webster Groves Public Library at 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 11, will feature “American Roadkill,” with sales to benefit Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation (MAAL).



For More information:
Contact Author Don Corrigan at  314-968-2699; 314-827-9989

Local motorists have had plenty of road encounters with animals ranging from
tiny squirrels to large deer that can weigh up to 250 pounds. The results are not
pretty for man or beast.

Armadillos are the latest species to take it on the chin in a big way in roadkill
accidents in Missouri. The hard-shelled tourists, originally from Texas, litter rural highways and interstates.

In his new book, “American Roadkill,” author Don Corrigan documents the million animals killed daily on American roadways. Among the casualties are man’s best friends, canines and felines, amounting to 5.4 million of the annual roadkill tally.

Is there anybody looking out for the critters that have taken such a beating in the
automobile age which began a century ago?

Corrigan documents many positive developments, among them: (read more about American Roadkill and the upcoming events below.)

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