Gates of the Arctic National ParkDec. 1, 1923:  Poor construction is blamed for the collapse of the Gleno Dam in the Italian Alps. A wall of water buries three towns and claims over 400 lives.

Dec. 1, 1978:  The Gates of the Arctic National Park (at right) is created in Alaska. Wolves, grizzlies, moose and caribou are among the wildlife found there. In 1980, the monument was elevated to National Park status. It’s the northernmost and second largest park in the U.S. National Park System.

Dec. 1, 2003:  The Pew Charitable Trusts, World Wildlife Fund-Canada, Ducks Unlimited and other conservation groups strike a deal with native groups and industries to protect 1.3 million acres of boreal forest in Canada. Seven years later, another deal is reached to protect a much larger stretch of forest.

Dec. 1, 2010:  The Obama Administration reversed a decision to allow oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic coast and off the Gulf coast of Florida.  Saying “oil rigs today don’t generally cause spills”, President Obama had given the green light to offshore exploration in early April.  Three weeks later, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig caused a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This feature is compiled by Peter Dykstra, an MNN contributor and publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.