Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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December 17, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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December 17, 2014
 

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12B Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Greenery, sparkle can freshen holiday decor ideas Greenery combined with decorative LED lights brightens up holiday centerpieces and mantle displays. Photo courtesy Gardener's Supply Co. Melinda Myers melindamyers.com Liven up your holiday d6cor with lights, a bit of glitz and some colorful blossoms this season. Start by gathering greenery from your landscape. Use needled evergreens like pines and firs, broadleaf evergreens like boxwood, holly and evergreen magnolia as well as junipers and arborvitaes to create wreaths, swags, centerpieces and garlands. And don't forget to include cones, holly berries, crabapples and the bluish-colored fruit of junipers. Be selective as you prune your trees and shrubs when collecting these materials. Use sharp bypass pruners that have two sharp blades and will make a clean cut that closes more quickly. Make your cuts above a healthy bud, where the branches join another branch, or back to the main trunk. Take only a few branches from each tree or shrub to maintain the plants' beauty. Place freshly cut greens in a cool location away from heaters, fireplaces and open flames. Set them on colorful fabric or paper to catch the sap and avoid damaging your woodwork and furnishings. Check your greenery for freshness every few days. The needles, leaves and stems should bend, but not break. Replace dried greens with fresh materials. Then brighten up the display with some cool-burning LED lights. Create a mantle display or centerpiece with the help of LED pillar lights. Or add a string of LEDs to your garland. Look for something unusual like pinecone string lights (gardeners.corn) to add sparkle and charm to your display. If you have artificial greens that could use a facelift, add fresh berries, cones and seedpods for a more natural look. Increase the glitz with the help of silver and gold metallic paint or glitter. Paint milkweed, lotus and other pods and then tuck them into the greens. Painting Allium seedheads white will add the appearance of flowery snowflakes in your indoor arrangements and outdoor container gardens. We' re asking each of you to spend at least $100 of your holidayshopping budget right here in Plumas County. Why? If each of our readers* spent $100 in Plumas County it would put $1,853,000 back into our local economy. We would be keeping our money here...right here in our own community. We can do this even with simple things like getting our cars serviced or our hair done before we travel. *Based on an average of two readers per newspaper, Help your community prosper by shopping locally. If you do, we will all be helping each other. Isn't that what the holidays are all about? FEATHER PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC. Feather River Bulletin Portola Reporter Indian Valley Record Chester Progressive And don't forget theffresh flowers and flowering plants. Poinsettias are a longtime favorite, but you may want to change things up with amaryllis, spring flowering bulbs and lily of the valley. Look for unusual varieties or combinations to increase your enjoyment. Combine large flowered amaryllis with small flowering bulbs like star of Bethlehem. Or go for a unique size shape or flower color like that of the honeybee amaryllis with its beautiful yellow flowers that are sure to brighten your days. Add a few flowers to your greenery and houseplants for some instant color. Stick your greenery and flowers in dam )ened floral foam to create a long-lasting holiday centerpiece. Or place cut flowers in floral picks and set them in dish gardens and houseplants to brighten things up. Then swap out the flowers as they fade. And consider rhaking a few extra planters or centerpieces to give as holiday and hostess gifts this year. Now is the time to put on your gardening shoes, grab the pruners and get started decorating for the holiday season ahead. Gardening expert, TV/radio host, a uthor and oolumnist Melinda Myers has a master's degree in horticulture and has written over 20 gardening books. Visit melindamyers.com to learn more. A recent petition aims to protect monarch butterflies from continued serious population decline. Photo courtesy Tiago J.G. Fernandes/Wikimedia Commons Broad coalition supports petition to protect butterfly In the face of staggering declines in national monarch butterfly populations, more than 40 leading monarch scientists and ecologists and 200 organizations and businesses recently urged Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to protect the butterflies under the Endangered Species Act. The letters come in support of a formal petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking federal protection for monarchs. The petition was fried in August by the Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower. The North American monarch butterfly population has declined by 90 percent in the past 20 years, dropping from a high of approximately 1 billion in the mid-1990s to fewer than 35 million butterflies last winter-- the lowest number ever recorded. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the dramatic decline is being driven by the loss of milkweed plants -- the monarch caterpillar's only food-- caused by increased pesticide use resulting from the widespread planting of genetically engineered crops in the Midwest, where most monarchs are born. "The extensive use of the herbicide glyphosate on genetically engineered crops has all but wiped out milkweed in crucial monarch breeding areas. If we have any hope of saving monarchs, our agricultural practices must be at the forefront of the conversation;" said Larissa Walker, pollinator program director at Center for Food Safety. "The monarch butterfly is North America's most well-known and cherished insect," said Sarina Jepsen, endangered species program director at the Xerces Society. "Without immediate action to protect this species and restore critical milkweed habitat, the spectacular migration of the monarch butterfly may no longer be an experience for future generations to enjoy." "The Endangered Species Act is the most effective tool available for spurring the large-scale effort that's needed to protect the amazing monarch butterfly from extinction," said Tierra Curry, senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. Signatories of the sign-on letters include author Barbara Kingsoiver, as well as leading monarch scientists and advocates Karen Oberhauser, John Pleasants, Ina Warren, Robert Michael Pyle, Gary Nabhan and Lincoln Brower, among others. GroUpg sttppiii'ting the petition through the sign-on letters include environmental organizations, religious groups and businesses. Among the signatories are Amy's Kitchen, Catholic Rural Life, Center for Media and Democracy, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Clif Bar, Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Ecological Farming Association, Endangered Species Chocolate, the Endangered Species Coalition, Environment America, Equal Exchange, Family Farm Defenders, Green America, Greenpeace USA, Humane Society of the United States, National Audubon Society, Slow Food USA, Sierra Club, Wild Farm Alliance and numerous Riverkeeper chapters from across the country. About the Center for Food Safety The Center for Food Safety is a nonprofit public interest organization with over half a million members nationwide. CFS and its members are dedicated to protecting public health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and instead promoting sustainable alternatives. About The Xerces Society The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs. About the Center for Biological Diversity The Center for Biological Diversity is a national nonprofit conservation organization with more than 800,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.