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Augusta still unsure how to replace Eisenhower Tree

By Julian Linden AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Tiger Woods is not the only icon missing from this year's Masters. Augusta National's famed Eisenhower Tree, which stood for years on the 17th fairway, was removed after being damaged by an ice storm in February. The loblolly pine got its name because former U.S. president and club member Dwight Eisenhower hit into the tree so often he campaigned to have it chopped down.

Idaho to kill thousands of ravens to benefit imperiled bird species

By Laura Zuckerman SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Idaho is planning to kill thousands of ravens to protect another bird whose eggs and chicks are among its prey, despite criticism that human development is a greater threat to the imperiled sage-grouse than the black-winged bird. Ravens, carrion birds often popularly depicted as omens of death or misfortune, will be killed by baiting them with poisoned chicken eggs, shooting them and destroying a number of their eggs and nests, Idaho wildlife managers said.

Preservationists fight to save rare albino redwood tree in California

By Laila Kearney SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Northern California preservationists are fighting to keep a rare albino redwood, one of just 10 trees of its kind known to exist, from being chopped down to make way for a new commuter rail system, arborists and city officials said on Wednesday.

Augusta's iconic Eisenhower Tree victim of winter storm

(Reuters) - Augusta National's famed Eisenhower Tree, an iconic image at the Masters tournament, survived an attempt by the former U.S. president to have it chopped down but it could not survive a severe winter storm. The loblolly pine, believed to be at least 100 years old, had to be removed from its position on the 17th fairway after being damaged by an ice storm that swept through the Masters venue in Augusta, Georgia last week.

Ottawa releases protection plan under sage grouse emergency order

EDMONTON - The federal government has revealed details of a last-ditch plan to save an iconic prairie bird from vanishing from the grasslands, but officials acknowledge an emergency order to protect the sage grouse isn't enough on its own. "There's going to have to be a number of measures," David Ingstrup, regional director of the Canadian Wildlife Service, said Wednesday. "The order is one of several things that will have to happen if we're going to ensure recovery of this species."

China may import 4 berries from Mexico

Mexico City, Nov 16 (EFE).- A mission of Chinese technicians will visit Mexico to certify the cultivation, packing and food-safety characteristics of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries with a view to importing those fruit from the Latin American country, Mexican authorities said. The Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food Secretariat confirmed that the inspection would take place but did not provide a precise date.

Oxford Frozen Foods to build new processing plant in New Brunswick

SAINT-ISIDORE, N.B. - Oxford Frozen Foods has announced it will spend $184 million to build a new processing plant and develop wild blueberry fields on the Acadian Peninsula in northern New Brunswick. The company says the plan, which includes construction of a $50-million facility to start in the spring, would generate up to 300 jobs in the region over 10 years. Invest NB, a provincial Crown corporation that aims to attract investment, has agreed to provide Oxford Frozen Foods a $37.5 million interest-bearing, repayable loan toward construction of the plant.

P.E.I. gives financial aid to blueberry operation that plans to double capacity

MORELL, P.E.I. - A blueberry operation on Prince Edward Island is doubling its capacity and workforce with support from the provincial government. Jasper Wyman and Son is expanding its facility to allow it to process more blueberries in Morell. The provincial government say the expansion will see Wyman’s workforce grow from 25 full-time and 70 seasonal jobs to 50 full-time and 140 seasonal jobs. Among other things, the government is giving the business a $16 million loan as well as a grant of $500,000.

In rural Maine, rise of the machines pushes out migrant pickers

By Dave Sherwood DEBLOIS, Maine (Reuters) - From beneath the brim of a tattered straw cap, Oscar Argueta, a 35-year-old coffee farmer from the cloud forests of Intibucá, Honduras, grins as he tops off a plastic crate of wild Maine blueberries. Argueta said he can make as much as $1,000 per week here, with free housing, subsidized food and even health care provided, a deal that has long enticed migrants to Maine's blueberry fields from as far away as Mexico, Honduras and Haiti.

Famous Georgia peach no longer king of the state's fruit hill; displaced by blueberries

ATLANTA - What is the most valuable fruit crop produced in the Peach State? This is not a trick question, but you may want to pause a second before answering. Ready? It's the blueberry. Georgia is famous as a major producer of the peach, the fuzzy succulent orange fruit whose image appears on state license plates, "welcome to Georgia" billboards and on road signs. When driving in the capital city of Atlanta, you can pass the corner of Peachtree Street and Peachtree Center Avenue, just one block from West Peachtree Street.
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