Mother Nature Network Redesigns “The Daily Briefing” Newsletter

Mother Nature Network's The Daily Briefing (new)
Mother Nature Network's The Daily Briefing (new)

One of my favorite daily newsletters is Mother Nature Network (MNN)‘s The Daily Briefing because it gives a brief, yet succinct summary of the day’s most important environmental news.

MNN introduced a new design for the newsletter (see above) over the weekend:

Welcome to MNN’s daily newsletter for Saturday, August 20. And welcome to a new robust direction for the daily briefing — we’ll be sending you a selection of the best environmental and sustainability news from across the globe. For breaking news throughout the day, visit us online at the Mother Nature Network.

The old design can be seen below.

Mother Nature Network's The Daily Briefing (old)
Mother Nature Network's The Daily Briefing (old)

The new design offers three main sections (all self-explanatory): This Just In, Editor’s Picks, and This Day in History. The old design offered only Editor’s Picks (typically three stories), but MNN opted to include much more descriptive text within the email about those Editor’s Picks and a link to the rest of the day’s stories at MNN.

Currently, the newsletter includes a larger number of stories and descriptive snapshots of those stories. I am someone who likes to keep the minimum number of window screens I have open, so I would rather have more information within the email window and not need to click a new browser link to continue reading.

That said, it is nice that the newsletter includes more headlines, and the “This Day in History” is a welcome addition to keep certain events in historical perspective. Let’s see if the redesigned newsletter grows on me.

[images via PJ]

Closing 70 California State Parks = Losing Access To 200,000 Acres

Samuel P. Taylor State Park

California will still close 70 of its 278 state parks, despite state legislators finally approving a quasi-balanced budget.

The soon-to-be-closed 70 state parks represent almost 8 percent of (today’s) total park attendance, 6 percent of existing revenues, and almost 200,000 acres. The latter figure is approximately 15 percent of the total park system land[1. California State Park System, “Statistical Report 2009/2010.”].

Hopefully, local governments can take temporary control of nearby state parks in order to keep them open and restore some potential lost tourism revenues. While the estimated $22 million in savings might be peanuts relative to the nearly $85 billion state budget (PDF), it looks enormous to the many municipalities that are already struggling with budget deficits.

California State Park Closure Map[2. California State Parks, 2011.]

California State Park 2011 Closures

California State Park Closure List

Anderson Marsh SHP
Annadel SP
Antelope Valley Indian Museum
Austin Creek SRA
Bale Grist Mill SHP
Benbow Lake SRA
Benicia Capitol SHP
Benicia SRA
Bidwell Mansion SHP
Bothe-Napa Valley SP
Brannan Island SRA
California Mining & Mineral Museum
Candlestick Point SRA
Castle Crags SP
Castle Rock SP
China Camp SP
Colusa-Sacramento River SRA
Del Norte Coast Redwoods SP
Fort Humboldt SHP
Fort Tejon SHP
Garrapata SP
George J. Hatfield SRA
Governor’s Mansion SHP
Gray Whale Cove SB
Greenwood SB
Grizzly Creek Redwoods SP
Hendy Woods SP
Henry W. Coe SP
Jack London SHP
Jug Handle SNR
Leland Stanford Mansion SHP
Limekiln SP
Los Encinos SHP
Malakoff Diggins SHP
Manchester SP
McConnell SRA
McGrath SB
Mono Lake Tufa SNR
Morro Strand SB
Moss Landing SB
Olompali SHP
Palomar Mountain SP
Petaluma Adobe SHP
Picacho SRA
Pio Pico SHP
Plumas-Eureka SP
Point Cabrillo Light Station
Portola Redwoods SP
Providence Mountains SRA
Railtown 1897 SHP
Russian Gulch SP
Saddleback Butte SP
Salton Sea SRA
Samuel P. Taylor SP
San Pasqual Battlefield SHP
Santa Cruz Mission SHP
Santa Susana Pass SHP
Shasta SHP
South Yuba River SP
Standish-Hickey SRA
Sugarloaf Ridge SP
Tomales Bay SP
Tule Elk SNR
Turlock Lake SRA
Twin Lakes SB
Weaverville Joss House SHP
Westport-Union Landing SB
William B. Ide Adobe SHP
Woodson Bridge SRA
Zmudowski SB

[photo via David Baselt/Redwood Hikes | image via PJ]