George W. Palin

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Postby Pacific Fisher » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:19 pm

The link is that the reublican party has abandoned it once strong platform of fish and wildlife habitat protection and supporting the agencies whose job it is to protect the same.
There will be no change under McBush Palin

JANUARY 16, 2003
Environmental personnel scratched from USAID policy bureau
JANUARY 17, 2003
Interior Department proposes oil exploration on up to 9 million acres of Alaska's North Slope
JANUARY 19, 2003
Pentagon continues lobbying for exemptions from environmental laws
JANUARY 21, 2003
EPA refuses to ban weed-killer atrazine, a possible carcinogen
JANUARY 22, 2003
EPA retains unsafe limits for toxic perchlorates
JANUARY 24, 2003
Manatees get federal protection, thanks to lawsuit settlement
JANUARY 27, 2003
Bush administration proposes privatizing thousands of National Park Service jobs
JANUARY 27, 2003
California's giant sequoia threatened by Forest Service proposal to resume logging nearby
JANUARY 29, 2003
Bush administration wins court ruling that legalizes mountaintop-removal mining permits
JANUARY 30, 2003
Bureau of Land Management proposes rollback of Clinton-era restrictions on grazing
JANUARY 30, 2003
Exemptions to phaseout of ozone-destroying methyl bromide planned by Bush administration
FEBRUARY 11, 2003
EPA drafts new rules to relax toxic-air-pollution standards
FEBRUARY 20, 2003
National Park Service finalizes rules allowing snowmobiles in national parks
FEBRUARY 25, 2003
National Academy of Sciences panel strongly criticizes Bush's global-warming plan
FEBRUARY 27, 2003
Bush's "Clear Skies" plan allows much more pollution than if Clean Air Act were enforced, critics charge
FEBRUARY 27, 2003
Transportation Department speeds up environmentally harmful road projects
FEBRUARY 28, 2003
Oil drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge his "greatest wish," says high-ranking Interior official
FEBRUARY 28, 2003
Wilderness protection for millions of acres in Alaska's Tongass forest rejected by Forest Service
MARCH 4, 2003
National Park Service slaughters 231 Yellowstone bison
MARCH 7, 2003
Paul Wolfowitz tells military leaders to find reasons to exempt military from environmental rules
MARCH 10, 2003
EPA exempts oil and gas industry from President Clinton's tighter water-pollution rules
MARCH 13, 2003
EPA withdraws another Clinton-era water-pollution cleanup rule
MARCH 13, 2003
EPA official testifies in Congress in favor of exempting military from environmental laws
MARCH 18, 2003
EPA allows sludge dumping in Potomac River to continue for seven more years
MARCH 18, 2003
Fish and Wildlife proposes removing protections from endangered wolves
MARCH 18, 2003
Federal judge orders Interior Department to continue protecting manatees
MARCH 18, 2003
GAO again criticizes Bush administration for failing to reduce security risks at chemical plants
MARCH 25, 2003
Park Service adopts plan for Yellowstone/Teton allowing1,100 snowmobiles a day
APRIL 1, 2003
Bush administration drops court battle to allow California offshore drilling
APRIL 1, 2003
Bush administration barely raises SUV gas mileage requirements, to 1.5 mpg more by 2007
APRIL 3, 2003
Bureau of Reclamation again diverts water from Klamath River, where salmonid kill occurred
APRIL 4, 2003
New U.S.—Mexico pollution treaty signed, but lacks funding
APRIL 7, 2003
Bush administration asks UN to remove Yellowstone from endangered world heritage status
APRIL 8, 2003
Protection plan for 76-mile stretch of California coast abandoned by National Park Service
APRIL 9, 2003
Interior Department paves way for new roads on federal lands in Utah
APRIL 10, 2003
U.S. Fish and Wildlife signs off on plan to reopen Imperial Sand Dunes to off-road vehicles
APRIL 20, 2003
Toxic cleanups still lagging: 41 percent fewer Superfund sites cleaned up by EPA, report says
APRIL 21, 2003
Sharp criticism of Bush administration air-pollution policies by independent panel
APRIL 24, 2003
White House unveils pro-industry chemical security bill
APRIL 28, 2003
White House bans EPA from discussing perchlorate pollution
MAY 2, 2003
Vehicle fuel economy drops to 22-year low of 20.8 mpg, says EPA report
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Postby SpinnerMan » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:23 pm

I heard these were being copied from a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender site. That explains a lot. No wonder he won't provide a link and just keeps copying and pasting.
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Postby seastreet » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:28 pm

SpinnerMan wrote:Just provide us the link and quit wasting space on this site. It's not helping your cause.


And you expect PF to debate an issue? I've known him 6+ years and he NEVER debates an issue. He just lectures, cut-n-pastes, and plagiarizes articles to fit his agenda, and conveniently ignores blatant hypocrisy. Just like when the war wasn't going well and the congress's poll numbers were around 30%, he demanded that we change course immediately (liberal code word for surrender), but when his "most ethical, open & transparent" congress ever were put into in power and received a 9% approval rating (1/3 of what the president or the GOP congress had), he completely ignored it. He also copy-n-paste the same crap over and over and over, and you have to muddle through 10 pages of his drivel to get to any real substance. On TOS, they had to make new rules to keep him and the substance of the threads in check, to prevent it from becoming his personal "hate Bush" blog.

Never expect him to answer questions. He just lectures what he wants you to hear. Most on here don't know him. Give it time. Everyone will learn to loath him soon enough.
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Postby DuckinFool » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:35 pm

Enviromentalists doing their thang:

http://www.break.com/index/hippies-wail ... trees.html

That you in the big hat PF? :lol:
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Postby seastreet » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:41 pm

DuckinFool wrote:Enviromentalists doing their thang:

http://www.break.com/index/hippies-wail ... trees.html

That you in the big hat PF? :lol:


No... they are far too conservative for PF. :rofl:
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Postby Pacific Fisher » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:59 pm

Theere is a very large body of evidence confirming how the Bush Team has severely damaged the once strong conservation and habitat protection platfrom of the republican party.
There will not be change under the McBush/Palin Team.
C.B.

MAY 7, 2003
EPA drops "senior death discount" calculation (see DECEMBER 18, 2002)
MAY 13, 2003
Fish and Wildlife Service signs off on mining in Montana's Cabinet Mountains Wilderness
MAY 14, 2003
White House's $247 billion transportation plan slashes environmental protection
MAY 14, 2003
EPA proposes easing, delaying smog-control rules
MAY 21, 2003
Christine Todd Whitman, embattled EPA chief, resigns
MAY 30, 2003
Park Service opens Maryland and Virginia's Assateague Island National Seashore to Jet Skis
MAY 30, 2003
Forest-fire plan eliminates environmental review of logging projects under 1,000 acres
JUNE 2, 2003
Energy Department announces$2 billion to $4 billion plan to build new "mini" nukes
JUNE 3, 2003
Energy Department funds study on how to ease effects of global warming for Alaska oil drillers
JUNE 5, 2003
Forest Service plan would triple logging limits in California's Sierra Nevada
JUNE 9, 2003
USDA reverses Clinton ban on most logging and roadbuilding on 58.5 million acres
JUNE 20, 2003
Defense Department reneges on plan to test for perchlorate pollution at U.S. bases
JUNE 23, 2003
Bush administration again deletes references to dangers of global warming from EPA report
JUNE 27, 2003
Federal judge halts timber sale in Montana's Kootenai National Forest
JULY 1, 2003
Autopsies link Navy sonar to porpoise deaths, environmentalists charge
JULY 8, 2003
Federal court rejects Cheney's argument for keeping energy-task-force records secret
JULY 12, 2003
EPA refuses to regulate perchlorate and other drinking-water contaminants
JULY 17, 2003
Energy Department lobbies Congress for law to get around court ruling on nuke waste
JULY 17, 2003
Federal judge rules administration must redo water plan for Oregon/California Klamath River
JULY 22, 2003
Army Corps of Engineers ruled in contempt for defying order to change Missouri River flows
JULY 24, 2003
Bush administration softens demand for outsourcing of federal jobs, including at national parks
AUGUST 8, 2003
Bush administration settlement of timber suit could double logging in Northwest
AUGUST 11, 2003
Bush taps anti-environmental Utah governor Mike Leavitt to head EPA
AUGUST 26, 2003
New EPA rules ignore mercury pollution from chlorine plant
AUGUST 27, 2003
EPA excludes 17,000 facilities from upgrading pollution controls when installing new equipment
AUGUST 29, 2003
U.S. court rules against EPA's loopholes in mountaintop-removal-mining regulations
SEPTEMBER 2, 2003
EPA weakens ban on selling polluted sites by reinterpreting law
SEPTEMBER 2, 2003
EPA refuses to regulate ballast-water discharges from ships
SEPTEMBER 4, 2003
EPA finds 274 violations of laws for dumping mountaintop-mining debris
SEPTEMBER 22, 2003
White House's own study concludes benefits of environmental regulations far outweigh costs
SEPTEMBER 23, 2003
Forest Service estimates $2 million lost in timber sale from Alaska's Tongass
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Postby Pacific Fisher » Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:46 pm

More of what you can expect from the McBush/Palin the same against fish and wildlife habitat.
C.B

SEPTEMBER 24, 2003
White House recommendations would undermine public participation in environmental planning
SEPTEMBER 25, 2003
EPA proposes deal that would let polluting factory farms avoid prosecution
OCTOBER 1, 2003
Bush fails to renew energy-conservation program that saved government $300 million a year
OCTOBER 6, 2003
EPA rules that farmers can't sue pesticide makers if chemicals fail to meet stated claims
OCTOBER 10, 2003
Interior Department overturns limits on acreage where gold mines can dump waste
OCTOBER 10, 2003
Judge orders Interior Department to stop stalling on owl habitat protection
OCTOBER 10, 2003
EPA proposal to allow warmer waters behind Oregon dams threatens salmonids
OCTOBER 10, 2003
EPA inspector general criticizes agency for lax enforcement
OCTOBER 13, 2003
Bush administration proposes lifting ban on importing endangered species
OCTOBER 13, 2003
$18.6 million Forest Service study says outsourcing its jobs would rarely be cost-effective
OCTOBER 17, 2003
EPA announces it will not regulate dioxins in sewage sludge dumped on land
OCTOBER 31, 2003
EPA declines to restrict use of pesticide atrazine
NOVEMBER 4, 2003
Superfund cleanups lag for third straight year
NOVEMBER 4, 2003
Environmentalists criticize revised everglades-recovery plan for failing to ensure natural water flow
NOVEMBER 13, 2003
Park Service workers charge that Bush policies will "destroy the grand legacy of our national parks"
NOVEMBER 14, 2003
Bush administration loses bid to increase ozone-depleting methyl bromide
NOVEMBER 18, 2003
Administration admits blame for kill of 34,000 salmonids in Klamath River (see SEPTEMBER 21, 2002)
NOVEMBER 18, 2003
EPA proposes looser regulations on dumping low-level radioactive waste in landfills
DECEMBER 3, 2003
Bush signs "Healthy Forests" bill: more logging, less species protection on millions of acres
DECEMBER 4, 2003
EPA seeks to reclassify mercury as "nontoxic"
DECEMBER 5, 2003
Bureau of Land Management proposes weakening rules for grazing livestock on federal land
DECEMBER 9, 2003
Federal violation notices to polluters down almost 60 percent; almost 30 percent fewer fines
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Postby seastreet » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:04 pm

DECEMBER 4, 2003
EPA seeks to reclassify mercury as "nontoxic"


I call bovine excrement. No links, no verfiable sources. Just your cut-n-paste (probably plagiarized as usual) crap.

But after a search, I found out why PF wouldn't put up the link...

http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/200409/bush_record_print.asp


Nothing more than left wing propaganda by a orginization that is a wolf in sheep's clothing. The Sierra Club is nothing but an anti-hunting, anti-gun organization that puts up a front of being friendly towards hunting, but their actions speak much loader then their rhetoric.

Busted again AJ!!! :thumbsup:
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Postby SpinnerMan » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:13 pm

I really don't like to be rip on people, but are you a complete moron?

For example,
DECEMBER 3, 2003
Bush signs "Healthy Forests" bill: more logging, less species protection on millions of acres

This was a bipartisan bill that passed the senate by a vote of 80 to 14 and the house by 256 to 170. These were veto proof majorities.

Damn that Bush for signing a bipartisan bill passed by veto proof majorities.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=108&session=1&vote=00428
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Postby Pacific Fisher » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:38 am

I am providing the following list of actions and concern for actions by the Bush Administration that could have serious affects on the environment and habitat that: waterfowl, fish, wildlife and our future generations depend.

Taken individually these actions could be debated and some minimized. When taken collectively, they represent a clear pattern and practice of damaging actions by an administration that seems to have forgotten that environmental protection was once a strong platform in the Republican Party.

I urge all to use examples to lobby your elected officials to voice support for maintaining and enforcing habitat and water quality protections that waterfowl, fish, wildlife, and our future generations.

I am providing this because I see a clear danger of a McCain/Palin Presidency continuing the weakening of fish, wildlife and water quality protections, and the agencies whose job it is to protect the same.
There seem to be little interest in the Republican Party of restoring its once strong conservation and habitat protection platform.
C.B.


Note: A review of the information I have provided (articles, press releases, quotes, etc..) concerning Bush's efforts to undermine habitat protection, shows that it was drawn from a wide variety of sources (as cited) including: press releases, newspaper articles, op-ed pieces and letters from scientists, hunters, fisherman, fishing organizations, hunting organizations, conservation groups, and political parties.

Some specific sources include:

New York Times
Reuters News
Associated Press
Oregonian Newspaper
Environmental Protection Agency
Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Union of Concerned Scientists
Washington Post
National Wildlife Federation
Field and Stream Magazine
The Bush Budget.
As well as from my own 20 years experience as watershed planner and habitat restorationist working primarily on commercial timberlands.



EPA EXEMPT FROM CONSULTATION WITH WILDLIFE AGENCIES: The Bush administration announced yesterday that it had finalized a rule allowing the Environmental Protection Agency NOT to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries, contrary to the mandate of the Endangered Species Act, when it decides whether or not pesticides harm endangered fish, plants and wildlife, reports the Washington Post, 7/30. Environmentalists said the change will harm vulnerable plants and animals. The administration proposed the regulations in January: It received about 125,000 comments, which ran 2 to 1 against the proposal. Grant Cope, an associate attorney for the environmental group Earthjustice, said the new rule "is a drastic weakening of protections for all endangered species across the country. If you take the experts out of the room because you don't like what they're saying, that's one way to streamline the registration of dangerous pesticides."


EPA FAILED TO USE BEST AVAILABLE SCIENCE: "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency failed to use the best available science when it determined that 28 widely used pesticides are unlikely to harm threatened and endangered salmon, say federal fisheries authorities," reports the Oregonian, 7/27. The revelation contained in a letter, produced through a Freedom of Information Act request, led conservation organizations to begin legal proceedings over the regulation of pesticides on key threatened and endangered salmon streams. "Besides potentially banning more pesticides from use near salmon streams, the latest legal action indirectly challenges a Bush administration proposal to let the EPA decide largely on its own whether a pesticide could harm federally protected wildlife. Such decisions now require agreement from federal fish and wildlife agencies." In the draft letter, dated April 2004, fisheries service officials said the EPA's analysis of pesticides did not include hundreds of relevant scientific articles, raising concern that the result "may be biased toward concluding that a pesticide does not pose an ecological risk to listed resources, when in fact, it does."

AMERICANS WANT ENVIRONMENT PROTECTED: A nationwide poll by Yale's School of Forestry & Environmental Studies has found that "Americans are seriously concerned about the country's environmental health and want more political action on the environment at the national and international levels" says ENS 5/27. Some 84% of those polled said that "environment will be a factor in their vote in November" and 35% said it would be a "major factor."

SCIENTISTS SAY BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS PUTTING POLITICS ABOVE SCIENCE: A new Union of Concerned Scientists' report asserts that "the Bush administration is still packing scientific advisory panels with ideologues and is imposing strict controls on researchers who want to share ideas with colleagues in other countries," according to Reuters, 7/9. More than 4,000 scientists, including 48 Nobel laureates, have joined the call for "restoration of scientific integrity in federal policymaking." Scientists have asserted that the administration interfered on drug approvals, strip mining and the protection of endangered species. Robert Paine, an ecologist at the University of Washington who chaired an advisory panel on endangered salmon and trout, said that the panel "was warned by the government to remove facts that undermined policy."

BUSH ADMINISTRATION WEAKENING ENDANGERED SPECIES PROTECTION: "The Bush administration has succeeded in reshaping the Endangered Species Act in ways that have sharply limited the impact of the 30-year-old law aimed at protecting the nation's most vulnerable plants and animals," according to the Washington Post, 7/4. The changes, such as limiting the number of species protected by the ESA, using economic analysis to exempt land from critical habitat protection, and relying on voluntary actions to protect wildlife, "reflect a policy shift that Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton calls the 'New Environmentalism.'" Academics, conservationists and some career federal officials "question recent proposals that would let the U.S. Forest Service decide whether fire prevention projects pose a threat to key species and allow the Environmental Protection Agency to make that call on pesticides." In addition, members of Congress "are reviving plans to seek changes in the act to make it harder to list endangered species and declare habitat off-limits."

BUSH ADMINISTRATION CONSISTENTLY CUTS CRITICAL HABITAT DESIGNATIONS: A study done by the National Wildlife Federation(NWF) shows that the Bush administration is only approving one out of every two acres recommended by biologists to be designated as critical habitat for endangered and threatened species, reports the Associated Press, 6/24. The administration also more often cited economic reasons to justify decisions to reduce acreage. In 2001, that rationale was used to trim about 1 percent of the acreage; by 2003, that had risen to 69 percent. NWF said not enough consideration is given to the benefits of protecting species, which include their uses in recreation, science, water and soil quality, and climate.

NORTON SAYS SAGE GROUSE WOULD HURT ENERGY PRODUCTION: "Interior Secretary Gale Norton says listing the sage grouse as an endangered species could significantly affect energy production and grazing," according to the Associated Press, 6/23. Norton, speaking at the Western Governors Associations annual meeting, said "coal mining, natural gas production, electric transmission corridors and cattle grazing are all in the middle of the bird's habitat" and suggested adopting site-specific best management practices to reduce the impact to the habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering a petition from conservation organizations to list the species under the Endangered Species Act. A coalition of ranchers, miners, oil and gas and other commercial industries has a launched a campaign to keep the bird of the list.

Ok guys I can not go into detail as it may cost me my job. But I can say this. A twenty five year regulator was just removed by the shrub admin. why do you ask. because he was enforcing the cwa. No fault was found. He and the people he supervised did nothing wrong. he was removed because one somall poltical connected city put pressure on a regulatory agency. Shrub will continue to wage war on the environment. he is better for our country as a whole than Mr. flipper. but the environment will suffer. and trust me it ain;t junk science I see it every day on the job.- Packman

Water, Water, Everywhere (Except in the Bush Budget!)
The President’s budget has its largest cut in water quality infrastructure funding for reducing sources of pollution. This category includes a broad range of activities, including sewage plants, water purification facilities, and targeted pollution-prevention investments. The total investments drop from $2.6 billion to $1.8 billion, an $822 million dollar cut that represents more than 30 percent of the total for water infrastructure investments. When compared with the $450 BILLION in needs identified by EPA in the Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Gap Analysis of 2002, these cuts are difficult to justify.

The largest single reduction is in the Clean Water Act State Revolving Fund (CWASRF), which loans money to states to pay for sewage treatment plants. President Bush's budget for CWASRF would decline by $492 million, from $1.34 billion in FY 2004 to only $850 million in FY 2005. The Safe Drinking Water Act State Revolving Fund, which supports construction of drinking water purification facilities, receives a slight increase, from $845 million to $850 million -- still far below annual needs.

The President’s budget takes no responsibility for the growing national needs of communities to protect and restore their watersheds. On top of the cut to the CWASRF the budget also reduces the funding available to states and municipalities for improving stormwater systems and reducing pollution in the rivers and streams. The budget cuts nearly $30 million from the non-point source pollution control program (Sec 319 funding), which deals with pollution running off of farms, feedlots, parking areas, and other diffuse sources. This administration is ignoring its own research and denying federal responsibility for the hundreds of billions of dollars that are needed to update aging infrastructure in order to keep our streams and rivers clean and disease-free.

Research Takes a Hit
Although the Bush Administration frequently talks about basing policy on “sound science,” it is requesting significant cuts to EPA’s Science and Technology accounts. The cuts, totaling $93 million, represent close to a 12 percent cut from FY 2004. According to the Administration, the cuts will include reductions in air, water, and toxics research. Specific programs targets include research into the effects of chemicals known as endocrine disruptors, (down almost $5 million) “pesticides and toxics,” (down $7.7 million from the 2004 budget) and “human health and ecosystems,” (down $13 million from the 2004 budget).


CONCORD, New Hampshire (AP) -- The head of the Environmental Protection Agency for two Republican presidents criticized President Bush's record on Monday, calling it a "polluter protection" policy.

Russell E. Train, who headed the EPA from September 1973 to January 1977 -- part of the Nixon and Ford administrations -- said Bush's record on the environment was so dismal that he would cast his vote for Democrat John Kerry.

"It's almost as if the motto of the administration in power today in Washington is not environmental protection, but polluter protection," Train said. "I find this deeply disturbing."

In 1988, Train was co-chairman of Conservationists for Bush, an organization that backed the candidacy of George W. Bush's father.

Train spoke at an event organized by Environment2004, which opposes Bush's environmental record.

He accused Bush of weakening the Clean Air Act and said the president's record falls short of those set by former Republican presidents, from Theodore Roosevelt, who advocated creating national parks and forests, to George H.W. Bush, who supported revised standards for clean air.




November 2002: The Bush administration took aim at sustainable management rules for federal forestlands. They initiated plans to let local forest managers approve forest management plans without environmental assessments, with little public input, and with minimal protections for fish and wildlife.


June 2003: The Bush administration adopted regulations allowing it to grant exemptions from the environmental review requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act for timber salvage and commercial logging projects of up to 1,000 acres.


June 2003: The Bush administration diminished opportunities for Americans to comment on how their public forests are managed and to appeal controversial agency decisions. Political appointees can now exempt any project from comment and administrative appeal.


November 2003: The Bush administration removed a significant part of the Northwest Forest Plan by making water quality requirements "optional." Their amendment dismantles a scientifically based framework that ensured protection of watersheds for salmon and other aquatic species.


December 2003: The Department of Agriculture finalized its exemption of the Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, allowing logging and roadbuilding in previously protected "roadless" forests. The Forest Service is currently planning approximately 50 industrial timber sales in Tongass roadless areas, endangering the Tongass' nine million roadless acres.


January 2004: The Bush administration finalized plans to allow commercial logging of 100-year-old sequoias in the Sequoia National Monument, going against restrictions in the Monument's founding proclamation.
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Postby seastreet » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:55 am

Why won't you provide links? Spare us your 50 page post with endless drivel and provide credible links. No one wants to wade through your endless bovine excrement AJ. You were permanently tossed off the TOS for this crap.
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Postby Pacific Fisher » Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:10 am

More on what to expect from the McSame team on weakening fish, wildlife, and habitat protections.
C.B.

January 2004: The Bush administration finalized changes to the Sierra Nevada Framework that would triple levels of logging in the region and allow cutting of large, old-growth trees.


2004: The Bush administration finalized rules to stop requiring forest managers to consider effects of logging plans on endangered species, putting endangered species at risk of extinction and opening thousands of acres of old growth forests to logging.


March 2004: The Bush administration stated that it will eliminate rules that require federal agencies to look for and protect about 300 rare plants and animals in Northwest national forests where logging is planned.

Bush administration is taking resources away from enforcement, making it easier for its corporate allies to pollute our air, water and land and compromise our health.


New civil pollution enforcement cases referred by the EPA for federal prosecution are down by more than 25 percent since the start of the Bush administration, and new criminal referrals are down by more than 40 percent. Civil penalties assessed in fiscal years 2001 and 2002 declined by $35 million (14 percent), compared with the last two years of the previous administration, and criminal penalties dropped by $27 million (15 percent).


President Bush proposed to cut $25 million and 270 EPA enforcement jobs in his first budget. Congress blocked those cuts, but Bush has succeeded in reducing staff by 210 positions.


Not surprisingly, enforcement activities are down as well. In fiscal year 2002, the EPA conducted 2,700 (13 percent) fewer inspections to detect violations of environmental laws, compared with those that occurred in 2000. If Bush's 2004 budget is enacted, it will result in nearly 5,000 (24 percent) fewer inspections than in 2000.


Criminal enforcement continues to be shortchanged by this Administration. In his 2005 budget request, Bush proposes a funding level for criminal enforcement activities that is lower than the amount Congress appropriated for 2003.


The true impact of these declines is best explained by how much pollution actually gets cleaned up, which in 2002 was 22 percent lower than the last year of the previous administration.

Mismanaging limited enforcement resources. The administration is mismanaging its shrinking enforcement staff, failing to provide them with the direction and the resources needed to do their job.


The EPA funding shortage has been so severe that an EPA manager ordered agents to surrender either their cell phones or satellite text pagers, despite acknowledging in the order that field investigators "need both to do their job effectively and, most importantly, safely." One supervisor commented, "I am struggling with dwindling resources in an attempt to keep...the investigation of environmental crimes alive within my area of responsibility."


EPA's inspector general attempted to evaluate the EPA enforcement program but found that the information and tracking systems in place were not adequate to determine how well the Agency was achieving environmental goals. Nevertheless, the inspector general found that the enforcement staff itself believes that management and funding deficiencies are preventing them from effectively investigating environmental crimes.


After September 11, 2001, EPA criminal agents were diverted from investigating environmental crimes to provide security and run errands for former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman. Senior agents complained about being ordered to perform personal tasks, including returning a rental car for Whitman's husband and holding a table until she arrived for a restaurant reservation. The EPA agents who staffed Whitman's personal detail were kept from their real jobs of fighting pollution and investigating corporate environmental crimes.


Eric Schaeffer, former director of the EPA's Office of Regulatory Enforcement, stated in his resignation letter in 2001: "Our negotiating position [in enforcement cases] is weakened further by the administration's budget proposal to cut the civil enforcement program by more than 200 staff positions below the 2001 level. Already, we are unable to fill key staff positions, not only in air enforcement, but in other critical programs, and the proposed budget cuts would leave us desperately short of the resources needed to deal with the large, sophisticated corporate defendants we face. And it is completely unrealistic to expect underfunded state environmental programs, facing their own budget cuts, to take up the slack."


Bush plans to starve sport, commercial fisherman, waterfowl refuges, and downstream communities out of business. Native American rights for water and salmon mean nothing to the Bush administration. C.B


July 30, 2004 Press release:

Klamath Fish Kill Report Implicates Low Flows

Final CA Department Fish and Game analysis concludes low water flows were at the heart of 2002 tragedy; kill size possibly double original estimate

Portland-Commercial fishermen and conservationists today applauded the release of the California Department of Fish and Game's final report on the causes of the tragic 2002 fish kill on the Klamath River. The exhaustive, peer-reviewed report's primary conclusion-that low water flows resulting from upstream irrigation diversions were at the heart of the kill-is consistent with previous analysis conducted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Yurok Tribe.

"It's not rocket science that fish need water," said Glen Spain, Northwest Regional Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, which represents West Coast commercial fishermen. "This report shows what a disaster the Bush Administration's water policies have been for salmon in the Klamath Basin, and for the commercial fishing families that depend on them. The lower basin has been plunged into permanent drought that is costing fishing dependent communities thousands of jobs and threatens closures of ports all the way to San Francisco."

Projections for next year's Klamath fish runs (the progeny from 2002's few survivors) are for record lows. The west coast salmon fishery is thus facing massive economic losses in 2005 and 2006 from port closures likely resulting from both juvenile and adult Klamath fish kills during 2002, and on July 16th PCFFA asked the President for economic disaster relief for Klamath-driven losses than may ultimately total hundreds of millions of dollars.
Among the report's key findings are:
* "The total fish-kill estimate of 34,056 fish, was conservative and DFG analysis indicate actual losses may have been more than double that number." - p. III.
* "Flow is the only controllable factor and tool available in the Klamath Basin to manage risks against future epizootics and major adult fish-kills." - p. III.
* "Increased flows...(on the Klamath River) should be implemented to improve water temperatures, increase water volume, increase water velocities, improve fish passage, provide migration cues and decrease fish densities." - p. 131.
--more--
* "USGS has revised the average September 2002 flows down to 1,987 cfs (cubic feet per second), which if accurate, represents the second lowest flow ever recorded." - p. 125.
* "The numbers of naturally produced Chinook salmon that perished in the fish-kill were estimated to be 25,473 fish or 78.3% of the total fish kill." - p. 146.
The revised estimate on how many salmon died in the tragedy is among the report's most shocking findings. The Department of Fish and Game's conclusion that as many as 68,000 salmon died in the fish kill would mean that roughly half of the entire 2002 Klamath River salmon run perished in a single, man-made catastrophe. An earlier, more conservative estimate had created the likelihood of severe restrictions or closures of commercial salmon harvests in 2005, as a means of safeguarding the offspring of the fish that survived. On July 16th, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations sought federal disaster assistance for commercial fishing communities facing fishing closures from Fort Bragg, CA to Coos Bay, OR.

Fishermen and conservationists expressed alarm over the Bush administration's plan to send even less water to flow down the Klamath River this summer than was sent in 2002, despite spending millions of taxpayer dollars on a "water bank" touted as a buffer for fish. Under this year's water management plan, the Bush administration will provide more water to Klamath Project irrigators than they have ever received under a similar "dry" year classification, while reducing flows for salmon in August and September to levels below those of 2002. The Klamath Basin's critically important National Wildlife Refuges also suffer under the plan, and are slated to receive roughly half the water they need to sustain marshes and wetlands. (See attached chart for details on 2004 Klamath water plan)

The Department of Fish and Game's finding that low flows were at the heart of the 2002 fish kill, and call for higher flows as a way of avoiding future kills, highlights the pressing need to reduce the runaway demand for water in the Klamath Basin. Over the course of the last century federal and state officials have promised too much water to too many different interests in this arid region. Today, even in wet years there is not enough of this scarce resource to honor all of the legitimate claims.

"They only fair and effective solution to the Klamath water crisis is to bring the demand for water in the basin back into balance with supply," said Bob Hunter, WaterWatch's Southern Oregon staff person. "We need President Bush to get behind a voluntary program that works with Klamath landowners to buy back water rights and retire them."

The report comes just weeks after Representatives Greg Walden and Wally Herger held a one-sided hearing in Klamath Falls to attack the Endangered Species Act and criticize efforts to protect salmon and other threatened fish and wildlife in the Klamath Basin. During the hearing Walden blamed fish recovery efforts, rather than the devastating drought, for the water crisis of 2001. Walden recently introduced "sound science" legislation that would hamstring federal biologists charged with enforcing the Endangered Species Act to protect salmon and other threatened plants, animals, and fish.

"Two weeks ago Congressman Walden was part of a one-sided hearing to bash the Endangered Species Act and build support for his 'sound science' legislation," said Steve Pedery, Endangered Species Advocate with the Oregon Natural Resources Council. "But in 2002, the kind of 'sound science' Walden called for killed more than 60,000 salmon in the Klamath River."


Steve Pedery
Conservation Program Manager
Oregon Natural Resources Council
Phone: (503) 283-6343 ext. 212
Fax: (503) 283-0756


Bush plans to starve sport, commercial fisherman, waterfowl refuges, and downstream communities out of business. Native American rights for water and salmon mean nothing to the Bush administration. C.B

Below an article supporting the Bush administration. C.B.

Surprise: Air and Water Are Cleaner
Under Bush Administration
Executive Summary
• Both air and water quality have improved in recent years, contradicting the charges by
administration critics alleging President Bush is a poor steward of our air and water.
• During President Bush’s tenure, air pollutants monitored by the Environmental
Protection Agency – nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter,
carbon monoxide, and lead – all have fallen. Water quality violations in the nation’s
rivers and streams also have fallen. These and other trends are the continuation of
decades of improvements in the environment.
• Specifically: for the years 2000 to 2002 (the last year for which data are available),
concentrations of the following air pollutants fell: carbon monoxide (by 15.5 percent),
lead (by 31.5 percent), nitrogen dioxide (by 5 percent), sulfur dioxide (by 11 percent),
and each of the two types of regulated particulate matter (by 4 percent and 6.5
percent). With the exception of the year 2000, the year 2003 had the lowest ozone
levels since measuring began in 1980. The number of water quality violations in U.S.
rivers and streams for the following pollutants also fell: fecal coliform bacteria (by
23 percent), dissolved oxygen (by 12 percent), total phosphorus (by 28 percent), and
cadmium (by 35 percent).
• President Bush’s environmental record is not what his critics claim it to be. Despite
some disingenuous charges that his administration has “rolled back” environmental
protections, the President has worked to reform regulations that are environmentally
counterproductive, and has implemented some new first-ever environmental
regulations.
• President Bush’s most important environmental accomplishment to date has been the
enactment of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003. Other environmental
efforts include: New Source Review reforms; new standards for snowmobile
emissions; and proposed reductions for mercury emissions.



Bush Administration Contributes to Endangered Species Act Improvement Effort

Source: House Committee on Resources


Washington, DC -- The efforts of Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) and the House Committee on Resources to improve the Endangered Species Act (ESA) were boosted this week by Bush Administration's announcements that will help focus the broken law on species recovery.

Specifically, the administration announced new regulations for endangered species conservation agreements that will enhance cooperative recovery efforts on private lands. In addition, it has decided to put more emphasis on science and innovation under the ESA by including hatchey-bred fish in population assessments.

"Proactive efforts to focus the Endangered Species Act on results for recovery are really starting to get off the ground," Chairman Pombo said. "As my committee begins to consider ways to modernize the Act legislatively, the Bush Administration is taking steps to stimulate private conservation and enhance species populations though innovation. These decisions will help focus the full force of the law on species recovery, which is where the law intended it be."

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, only twelve of the Act's roughly 1300 protected species have recovered in its thirty-year history. Unintended consequences and a misguided focus on "listing" species have rendered the ESA an unsustainable, broken law that checks species, but never checks them out.

"If we are going to put this law on track to improve results for recovery, it is going to take conservation, cooperation, and innovation," Pombo said. "That is exactly what the Resources Committee is focused on, and this week's decisions from the Bush Administration are right on target too. Species recovery must be our number-one priority."

Yesterday, the Resources Committee heard testimony from more than a dozen expert witnesses on H.R. 2933, the Critical Habitat Reform Act, authored by Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA). H.R. 2933 merges the critical habitat component of the ESA with the larger effort of recovery planning to increase the regulatory focus on species recovery.

This year the Committee will also consider, H.R. 1662, Sound Science for Endangered Species Act Planning Act, introduced by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).

For more information, visit http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/ for the report



--------------------------------------------------------------------------

My comments,

Pombo is well known in California for monkeywrenching any environmental law he can get his hands on. Considered to be one of the most anti environment lawmakers in California's history. If we are hitching our habitat protection horse to Pombo we are in trouble. Pombo is an industry and anti environment bagman on that committee. This is not a grey area, do check out his history on environmental protection.
What happened to Pombo? :rofl:

Under Bush air and water quality violations have fallen?
I guess when you choose weaken enforcement staff and not to prosecute you will see violations drop. Not very reassuring to fish and wildlife. If there have been any improvements in air and water quality it is from the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and the EPA all of which Bush is trying to weaken. See my earlier posts.

There is no group of concerned scientists coming out and saying Bush is better or good for the environment. They would be laughed out of their professions by their colleagues. See my earlier posts on scientists and Bush.

Healthy Forest Initiative, the title of that bill sounds good doesn't it. The double speak that is involved in naming bills is unbelievable these days. The bill is essentially a complete gift to the timber industry under the guise of: these forests are flammable and need to be cut down, a real danger to themselves and us.
The most destructive thing Bush recently did was to open up vast roadless areas of National Forest to roadbuilding. Another special interest gift to the timber companies.
Guess who will get stuck (besides the fish and wildlife) with the bill to repair the damage caused from sediment polluting the pristine rivers.

I am not sure what Bush is good at but he has been the worst on the environment that those watching recent presidents can remember in at least the last thirty years.

Protection is cheaper than restoration. C.B.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Postby Pacific Fisher » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:35 am

More of what you can expect from the MCain/Palin Team in weakening the nation's fish, wildlife and water quality protections.

COURT ORDERS FEDERAL AGENCIES TO KEEP SPILLING FOR SALMON
Judge Enforces Requirement to Let Water Flow Past Dams to Help Migrating Salmon

Portland, OR - Today, a federal court stopped the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) from eliminating a federal requirement to spill water over dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers during August. The spill requirement allows young salmon to bypass the deadly dam turbines on their way to the ocean. Spill is the safest way to move young salmon downriver, and has been one of the few successful requirements in the federal Salmon Plan to aid overall survival of imperiled salmon and steelhead. The federal agencies had planned to nearly eliminate this important measure in order to generate additional hydropower during August.

"Today we celebrate a great victory for salmon," said Charles Hudson, public information manager, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. "Spill is a fundamental aspect of Northwest salmon recovery that will thankfully be retained. We can all rest a little easier knowing the court was able to see through the smoke and mirrors of the agencies' proposal."

As a result of today's ruling, the Corps will continue to let some water spill past dams throughout August rather than re-routing it through the dam turbines for extra energy production.

"The Court's decision is a significant step for the future of wild salmon," said Todd True, staff attorney, Earthjustice, the firm that represents the fishing and conservation groups in the case. "For the first time a federal court has held the federal agencies that operate Columbia River dams accountable to the promises they made to restore salmon to these rivers. We have a long way to go but this could be a turning point for the few wild salmon we have left."

Scientists from the Tribes, the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (joint fisheries agencies) unanimously concluded that spill is the best way to help young salmon survive federal dams, and that the government's proposed "offsets" for the damage were "speculative" and would not have compensated for cutting spill. The Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA) own analysis states that cutting spill would have killed more than 29,000 adult salmon. With severe regulations already in place for these fisheries, the government's decision would have truncated fishing seasons and tightened fishing restrictions, putting salmon dependent jobs at risk.

"With this decision we rest assured our industry will be 'open for business' when millions of visitors come to see the river of Lewis & Clark in the next few years," says Liz Hamilton, executive director, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association. "We have not solved all the problems of the Northwest salmon economy, but this court prevented a long term problem by ruling that spill must continue. It's clear that spill is the most important safeguard under the current configuration of the hydrosystem."

In addition to harming fishing economies, cutting spill would have provided only minimal benefit to electricity ratepayers. Though BPA touted large savings for electricity customers, the plan would have saved Portland residents about seven cents per month and Seattle residents only ten cents per month.

"Today Judge Redden looked through the rhetoric and saw that pennies saved on a monthly electric bill were not worth risking the collapse of the salmon-dependent communities and economies of the Northwest," said Sara Patton, executive director, NW Energy Coalition. "Though we disagreed with many electric utilities on this issue, they have real concerns that we take seriously. Rising electric rates since 2001 have hurt people and businesses. Now it's time to listen to each other, and look for common ground. Northwest people want clean, affordable electricity AND wild salmon - and they're right. We can have both."

This decision is the culmination of a process that has been going on since BPA proposed in early 2004 to eliminate all summer spill. Because of its great impacts on fishing-based economies, the argument to continue spilling received much attention as well as the support from the Governor and the State of Oregon. Spill is a requirement of the federal Salmon Plan; however, because the plan relied on a variety of state and private actions that were not sufficiently certain to occur, a federal court ruled the plan illegal in May of 2003. The plan remains in force by court order until a new plan is completed in late November. The federal government's court ordered revision is due in draft form on August 30.

"This administration continues to demonstrate that it is out of step with the Pacific Northwest when it comes to protecting wild salmon and the communities that rely on them," said Jan Hasselman, counsel for National Wildlife Federation in Seattle. "The spill rollback plan was based on phony science and phantom trade-offs. It is becoming clear that this administration simply cannot be trusted when it comes to protecting our regional icon."


Press release: August 3, 2004

Bush Administration Punts on Cutting Toxic Mercury Emissions

Contamination of ocean fish such as tuna, with toxic mercury from coal-fired power plants, has received wide publicity in recent months. But now a new report by the U.S. Public Research Group Education Fund (PIRG) shows that fish in America's lakes, rivers, and streams are also contaminated with mercury, putting at risk sport and subsistence fishermen and their families.

Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin that can cause learning disabilities, developmental delays, and problems with fine motor coordination. Mercury can also affect multiple organ systems, including the heart, immune system, and the nervous system over a lifetime.

PIRG analyzed data collected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which between 1999 and 2001 tested fish for toxic mercury in a representative sample of 260 lakes and reservoirs in the U.S. EPA's testing revealed that every fish sample taken was contaminated with mercury, and most of the samples were contained at levels that could pose a risk to public health. [1]

Fifty-five percent of the fish samples were contaminated at levels exceeding EPA's "safe" limit for women of average weight who eat fish twice a week. Seventy-six percent of the samples exceeded the safe limit for children under three who eat fish twice a week.

Most heavily contaminated were predator fish like bass, walleye, lake trout, and Northern pike, with 80 percent of predator fish samples exceeding EPA's safe limit for women. In 18 states, 100 percent of the predator samples exceeded this limit. [2]

President Bush's plan to reduce toxic mercury emissions from power plants would utterly fail to protect public health for the next 20 years. Unveiled in January, the President's proposal would put off even modest reductions until 2025, even though the Clean Air Act calls for maximum possible reductions by 2008. [3]

In the 2004 Presidential election, the nation's electric utilities raised $447,000 in PAC and individual campaign contributions for George W. Bush, compared to $65,000 for Democratic candidate Al Gore. In fact, President Bush raised more money from electric utilities in two years than any other candidate for federal office raised cumulatively over the past 10 years. [4] ###

SOURCES:
[1] "Reel Danger: Power Plant Mercury Pollution and the Fish We Eat," U.S. PIRG Education Fund.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Center for Responsive Politics press release.


August 5, 2004

Dissenting Scientist Fired by Administration's Fish and Wildlife Service

Last May BushGreenwatch reported that a 17-year veteran of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had filed a legal complaint against the agency, charging that agency officials deliberately used flawed scientific data in setting policy for protecting the Florida panther, an endangered species with only 60-80 animals remaining in the wild. [1]

Now Fish and Wildlife officials have notified the agency employee, biologist Andrew Eller, that they intend to fire him for "unacceptable" performance. Eller has spent the last 10 years working in the Florida panther recovery program.

The move follows the firing on July 9 of Theresa Chambers, chief of the U.S. Park Police, after she publicly stated that the government response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks had stretched her staff's capacities to the limits, and that she needed more resources. Eller's dismissal reinforces the growing perception that the Bush Administration is utterly intolerant of internal dissent.

Eller's legal challenge, which was filed jointly with the advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), alleges that studies used by FWS inaccurately inflate the panthers' population in South Florida, thereby minimizing the amount of habitat the animals need to survive.

Specifically, the agency assumes in its population estimates that all known panthers are breeding adults, and that the population includes no juveniles or aged animals. The agency further minimized habitat needs by considering only daytime habitat, when the panthers are at rest, and not nighttime habitat needs, when they are active. [2]

On July 7, the Fish and Wildlife Service replied to the Eller's challenge and admitted using flawed data, stating:

"We acknowledge that despite being published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, some of the information you are challenging has, over time, been determined to have limitations..."

Nevertheless, FWS asserted that it would continue using the inaccurate data until 2006, by which time several huge developments in Southwest Florida, within shrinking panther habitat, may be approved. According to PEER, Fish and Wildlife is under enormous political pressure to approve the developments. [3]

Commenting on Eller's firing, PEER executive director Jeff Ruch told BushGreenwatch, "When it comes to intimidating its own scientists, the Fish and Wildlife Service is about as subtle as a Mack truck. The Fish and Wildlife Service is signaling that under the Bush administration scientists who won’t play ball will be blackballed." [4]

Under government rules, Eller has 30 days to respond to his proposed dismissal. If FWS proceeds with its plans to remove him, he can challenge the action before the Merit Systems Protection Board, the court of the federal civil service.


TAKE ACTION
Sign a petition and support the integrity of science through PEER's website. ###

SOURCES:
[1] National Wildlife Federation Florida website.
[2] PEER press release, Jul. 29, 2004.
[3] Ibid.


FEDS APPEAL SALMON SPILL RULING: "The Bush administration has appealed a federal judge's ruling in an effort to boost power production this month by curtailing the amount of water spilled to help ocean-bound salmon pass Columbia River basin dams," said The Columbian, 8/5. The National Marine Fisheries Service and the Army Corps of Engineers filed the appeal to last week's ruling that granted conservation organization's request to order the corps to continue spilling water over the dams through the end of August. The federal judge "called the spill program a 'core requirement' of a fish-protection plan laid out by salmon managers in 2000." Biologists "generally consider spilling water to be safer for endangered Snake River fall chinook than shooting them through turbines, where they might clang off the huge blades or suffer an effect similar to the bends in deep-sea divers."


TOP ENDANGERED SPECIES ACR OFFICIAL REASSIGNED: Gary Frazer, the senior career official overseeing the Endangered Species Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was reassigned to a newly created liaison position between US FWS and the U.S. Geological Service, reports the New York Times, 8/7. "The reassignment, which was made official in late July, was seen by environmental groups as a loss for the biologists and other scientists whose reviews of the status of endangered species and their habitat needs had been supported by Mr. Frazer, sometimes in the face of industry criticism."


Administration to Sacrifice Western Wilderness to Oil and Gas

In a familiar refrain favoring development over conservation, the Bush Administration is ramping up to sacrifice some of America's finest Western wilderness to oil and gas development.

On July 15 the Bureau of Land Management proposed leasing the South Shale Ridge near DeBeque, Colorado, for oil and gas drilling. South Shale Ridge, a proposed wilderness area, provides critical habitat for Colorado wildlife, including more than a dozen endangered, threatened, or sensitive species.

According to the Colorado Environmental Coalition, South Shale Ridge contains "miles of washes, arroyos, and canyons that hide a seemingly endless array of hoodoos, geologic curiosities, and ancient stands of junipers and pinion pines." [1] BLM's decision was made without meaningful public involvement, despite years of commitments that public input would be considered before leasing.

Also slated by BLM for oil and gas development is the pristine Jack Morrow Hills area of southwest Wyoming. Under BLM's proposal, this 622,000-acre area, which contains seven wilderness study areas, the largest migratory game herd in the lower 48 states (50,000 pronghorn antelope) [2], Mormon pioneer trails, and numerous American Indian holy sites [3], would be laced with 205 oil and gas wells and 50 exploratory coalbed methane wells. And, under some studies cited by BLM, up to 1,077 natural gas wells, and 543 coalbed methane wells may be drilled in the area.

But even if all of the technically recoverable oil and gas in the Jack Morrow Hills were extracted, it would only provide the U.S. with 9 weeks of natural gas and 39 minutes of oil. [4]

TAKE ACTION
Public comments on South Shale Ridge must be received by BLM no later than August 12. Send comments through the Colorado Environmental Coalition.
Public comments on the proposal to develop the Jack Morrow Hills area are due by August 16. Send comments to BLM Director Bob Bennett and Interior Secretary Gale Norton.

SOURCES:
[1] Colorado Environmental Coalition.
[2] The Wilderness Society web site.
[3] Ibid.



A voracious energy policy afflicts our public lands.
by Ted Kerasote – Field and Stream Magazine


Rod and gun in hand, and backing the Second Amendment right to own firearms, President George W. Bush and Vice President **** Cheney have won the hearts of America’s sportsmen. Yet the two men have failed to protect outdoor sports on the nation’s public lands. With deep ties to the oil and gas industry, Bush and Cheney have unleashed a national energy plan that has begun to destroy hunting and fishing on millions of federal acres throughout the West, setting back effective wildlife management for decades to come.
The Invasion Begins
In his second week in office, President Bush convened a National Energy Policy Development Group, chaired by Vice President Cheney. Meeting with representatives of the energy industry behind closed doors, it eventually released a National Energy Policy, the goal of which was to “expedite permits and coordinate federal, state, and local actions necessary for energy-related project approvals on a national basis.”

Put into practice through a series of executive orders, the policy has prioritized drilling over other uses on federal lands, while relegating long-standing conservation mandates from the 1960s and ’70s to the back burner. For example, in Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, the Bureau of Land Management has approved over 75 percent of the energy industry’s applications for exemptions to work in critical winter range, heretofore closed to protect wildlife—sage grouse, mule deer, and pronghorns, in particular (the Federal Land Policy Management Act of 1976 gave agencies the means to close critical habitat). The BLM has also continued to issue drilling leases while in the process of writing new resource management plans that still await public comment. In addition, the Bush administration is working hard to eliminate Wilderness Study areas—set aside for their scenic value as well as their importance to wildlife. Most disturbingly, Congress is now debating a national energy bill that would codify the policy, making it the law of the land rather than an executive order. Subsequent administrations—be they Republican or Democratic—would be unable to institute a more balanced management plan for our western lands without resorting to new congressional legislation.

The results of these actions—billed as promoting national energy security—have begun to turn vast tracts of the western United States into industrial landscapes. The winners are the energy companies, which have been able to acquire their leases for as little as $2 per acre. The casualties are big game, upland birds, cold- and warmwater fisheries, the traditional interests of hunters and anglers, and the economic welfare of communities whose livelihoods are based on outdoor recreation and ranching. The High Cost of Natural Gas
The Powder River Basin in northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana—approximately 13 million acres of prairie, escarpments, and mountains—provides the starkest example of how the Bush administration’s unbridled energy policy is running roughshod over our public lands. The BLM’s final environmental impact statement for the area calls for about 66,000 new coalbed methane (CBM) wells (about 14,000 have already been drilled in Wyoming; several hundred in Montana), 26,000 miles of new roads, and 52,000 miles of new pipelines.

Peter Dube, an outfitter from Buffalo, Wyoming, has already felt these impacts firsthand. “My ranch is out in the sticks,” he says, “60 miles from Buffalo, 45 miles from Gillette, and I’ve had to wait to pull onto my county road because the truck traffic is so bad—with smog like L.A.” Pronghorn and mule deer habitat has become fragmented, and his hunters have lost what Dube calls “the aesthetic experience” of being in a remote and quiet landscape.

Roads and pipelines aren’t the only way energy development is making wildlife more vulnerable. Wherever there are coal seams, CBM is trapped on the surface of the coal by water pressure. Pumping out the groundwater releases the methane, which rises to the surface, where it’s collected. However, each well discharges about 16,000 gallons of salinized water per day—43 million gallons per month for the Powder River Basin alone. Not only are underground aquifers being rapidly depleted, but the discharged water must be put someplace. It’s been spread over the landscape; it’s emptied into rivers; it’s collected in infiltration pits. The salinized water kills forage for wildlife and livestock, and it pollutes waterways. Art Hayes Jr., whose family has ranched on the Tongue River since 1884, told me that the salinity level in the Tongue has gone up fivefold seasonally since a CBM company, Fidelity Exploration, began dumping water directly into the river. Both a tailwater fishery for rainbow and brown trout and a warmwater fishery for smallmouth bass and walleyes have been jeopardized. As president of the Tongue River Water Users Association, Hayes says that he’s spent countless days trying to get CBM development done “halfway sanely”—to no avail.

Energy, Over All Else
Western Colorado’s Roan Plateau is also potentially facing the same sort of development that’s taking place to the north: 20- to 40-acre spacing of well heads, in a land that supports deer, elk, mountain lions, black bears, turkeys, and a genetically pure strain of native Colorado cutthroat trout. Such tight spacing puts in a lot of roads, which fragments animal habitat and displaces varieties of game, making them more vulnerable to stress and poaching. Keith Goddard, who lives in Rifle and whose outfitting business caters to about 100 hunters and anglers each year from across the United States, says, “If the energy companies put in wells at this spacing, I’m out of business because of the stress it causes on game. I’d like to see one pad per 640 acres.”

The know-how to secure energy in environmentally sound ways exists, but the will to do so does not. Cheney’s National Energy Policy Development Group, in its report on the energy policy, says, “Enormous advances in technology have made oil and natural gas exploration and production both more efficient and more environmentally sound. Better technology means fewer rigs, more accurate drilling, greater resource recovery and environmentally friendly exploration.” Why, then, aren’t advances in technology like directional drilling being used? Answer: It’s more expensive. The casualties of the energy companies’ penny-pinching are fish and wildlife.

A New Kind of “Wise Use”
Rampant gas development has also come to my own backyard, Wyoming’s Upper Green River Valley, a region that’s home to the longest mule deer and pronghorn migrations in the Lower 48. The BLM has permitted 4,176 gas wells with 5,000 to 7,000 more on the way, and I’ve witnessed pronghorn herds fleeing from seizmic thumper trucks only to be turned around by hovering helicopters.

Despite our dismay at seeing western landscapes transformed in this way, none of us—hunter, angler, wildlife watcher—can discount the need for energy. We use it in our vehicles; we use it to heat our homes and cook our meals. Clearly, something must be done to secure supplies. But only 3 percent of the world’s oil and natural gas lies under domestic soils, while we used 25 percent of the global total in 2002. In other words, our energy security can never result from more drilling in our public wildernesses. Of course, the worldwide quest for fuel damages the environment wherever it is unleashed. As Doug Grann, the president and CEO of Wildlife Forever, the conservation arm of the North American Hunting and Fishing Club, points out, we cannot sacrifice the wildlife and wild country of this planet while doing nothing to develop alternative fuels and improving the fuel efficiency of our cars, factories, and homes.

Legal efforts mounted by conservation organizations over the inadequacies of the BLM’s environmental impact statements, and input by hunters and anglers to their senators—who are now debating a national energy bill—can affect how much hunting and fishing will be left on these federal lands.



Bush Rejection of Roadless Forest Policy a Bonanza for Timber Industry

The Bush administration's announcement this week that it plans to open nearly 60 million acres of pristine, roadless National Forests to logging, mining, oil and gas drilling and road building may be one of the largest environmental rollbacks of the modern era. It also dramatizes the urgent need for genuine campaign finance reform.

Industries that opposed protections for roadless areas on National Forests have given nearly $25 million in campaign donations to President Bush and the Republican Party, according to the Heritage Forests Campaign. [1] These same industries have contributed close to $5 million to Democrats. President Bush alone has received nearly $5 million in campaign contributions from industries that oppose environmental preservation.

Shortly after President Bush took office, the selection of Mark Rey as under secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture -- which oversees the U.S. Forest Service -- signaled that conservation policies were in jeopardy.

Mr. Rey came to the White House after a long career as a leading timber industry lobbyist, including stints as vice president of Forest Resources for the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA), the leading national voice for more logging in national forests; executive director of the American Forest Resource Alliance, a coalition of 350 timber corporations formed by the National Forest Products Association; and vice president of Public Forestry Programs for the National Forest Products Association.

While the decision this week to open huge swaths of roadless forests to more clear-cutting and old-growth logging will have dire consequences for clean water, wildlife habitat, fisheries and forest ecology, America's taxpayers will also have to pony up.

Under the Forest Service's antiquated road building policies -- which the Bush ruling put back into play with its rejection of the Clinton-era roadless rule -- taxpayers pay the entire cost of building new roads into forests in order to provide logging trucks and drilling rigs access to the public's resources.

Currently, the USFS has a $10 billion maintenance backlog for the already existing network of roads in National Forests, many of which primarily benefit private industry. The public will pay the tab.

The Bush proposal is open to public comment for the next 60 days. During two public comment periods, one under President Clinton and one under President Bush, nearly 95% of the 2.5 million comments supported the roadless policy.


Protection is cheaper than restoration. - C.B.
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Postby seastreet » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:39 am

Pacific Fisher wrote:Protection is cheaper than restoration. - C.B.



Maybe we should ask the salmon population of California about the hundreds of millions of dollars that were fleaced for protection and restoration. Oops... sorry... can't find any. The stock collapsed. What happened to all of that money AJ? Fleaced from the taxpayers with nothing to show for it. Shame on you.
Glimmerjim wrote: I may be slow but I'm dumb!
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Postby Pacific Fisher » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:50 am

A few more examples of how the McSame/Palin Team will "streamline" fish and wildlife habitat protections.
C.B.

Bush Expects Taxpayers, Not Polluters, To Pay for Superfund

The Superfund account that pays for the cleanup of the nation’s most contaminated sites is due to run out of money sometime this year. But President Bush has yet to ask Congress to reinstate the tax on polluters to fund the account.

Bush is the only president since the Superfund was created in 1980 not to ask Congress to reauthorize the tax on polluting industries.

Once the Superfund trust fund runs out, taxpayers will have to cover the cost of cleaning up toxic sites created by industry. Past administrations have held that Superfund cleanups should be paid for by the polluters.

“I strongly believe that the funds used to pay for the program should be generated entirely through (taxes on industry), not the general Treasury,” President Ronald Reagan said in requesting an extension of Superfund fees and taxes on industry in 1985.

The Superfund program was designed to have polluters pick up the tab for cleaning up highly contaminated hazardous waste sites. If the source couldn’t be determined or had gone out of business, the cleanup was to be paid for from a trust fund – financed by an excise tax on the oil and chemical industries and a small environmental income tax on other corporations. But those taxes expired in 1995, when the Republican-led Congress refused to renew them. Hence, the trust fund is now almost out of money, according to Congress’s investigative arm, the General Accounting Office. When it runs out, likely later this year, taxpayers will be left with the bill.

According to the EPA, one of every four Americans lives within four miles of a Superfund site.

“These sites represent the legacy of decades of neglect,” Ronald Reagan said in 1985. “We, as a society, must address these serious health threats".


Western Anglers, Hunters Criticize Bush-Cheney Energy Bill

A group of conservative sportsmen and anglers yesterday criticized the Bush-Cheney energy bill for trying to open up Western public lands to more oil and gas exploration.

They expressed concern that the Bush Administration's energy policies and the energy bill pending in Congress threaten prime fish and wildlife habitat on public lands in the Rocky Mountain West. The group, which held a press conference in Washington, included representatives from Trout Unlimited, Friends of the Rocky Mountain Front and several Western businesspeople.

Trout Unlimited also released a report showing the likely harm to fish and wildlife and on fishing and hunting opportunities that could result from energy development in the region; 64 percent of the group's members are Republicans.

"I have long believed that there should be a new 'conservative wing' that embraces most of the Republican platform but that also places a strong value on wilderness, unspoiled land and wildlife," said Ryan Busse, vice president of Montana firearms manufacturer Kimber Manufacturing Inc. "I know these people exist, because I work with them every day: presidents of companies and high-level executives who love to hunt, fish, hike and have wilderness experiences and yet all are ardent conservatives."

The group also visited congressional leaders to request that the most harmful provisions of the energy bill, which would eliminate or weaken protections for wildlife and fish on millions of Western acres, are fixed or removed.

Many anglers and hunters throughout the Western U.S. are deeply concerned that efforts to speed energy development on public lands are coming at the expense of protections for fish, wildlife and scarce water resources, speakers said.

"I consider myself conservative, but am worried about and opposed to the Bush Administration's invasion of our last remaining roadless lands," said Stoney Burk, an attorney, businessman, avid hunter and angler from Choteau, Mont. "We need an energy policy with more emphasis on clean, non-extractive, renewable energy."

Figures detailed in the Trout Unlimited gas and oil report show that 9 million people spend more than $5 billion each year to hunt, fish or otherwise enjoy the abundant wildlife and fish within the five Rocky Mountain states of Montana, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico.


New Report Finds Unprecedented Special Interest Access Under Bush

Special interests are enjoying unprecedented access to government under the Bush Administration, as documented in a report released today by Citizens for Sensible Safeguards, a government watchdog group. President Bush opened the door when he stacked his transition teams with industry representatives in 2001.

A nonprofit organization formed in 1995 in response to Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America, Citizens for Sensible Safeguards has compiled a 148-page examination of President Bush’s close relationship with special interest groups dating back to their $200 million investment in his election. The report shows that executives from a wide spectrum of industries and trade associations now hold powerful, policy-setting positions throughout the Bush administration – positions they have quickly turned to the benefit of the industries and corporations they previously represented.

The result? Rollbacks on protections for public health and the environment; relaxed corporate oversight; relaxed enforcement of regulations; greatly increased government secrecy, including a clamp-down on granting public and Congressional requests for information; a growing lack of federal accountability, including awarding no-bid, secret government contracts; and the suppression and distortion of scientific information whenever it appears at odds with the administration’s political goals.

"Special interests have taken over our government from top to bottom, turning back years of progress on health, safety and the environment," concludes Special Interest Takeover: The Bush Administration and the Dismantling of Public Safeguards. "That this puts the public and our natural resources at significant risk seems to be of little concern to the Bush administration. Rather, the administration appears to view government as an instrument to enrich its political allies."

For example, the report cites Bush's stacking of the Department of Energy's transition team with large-scale donors to his campaign, the so-called "Pioneers" who gave more than $100,000 in individual contributions to help get him elected. Pioneers Ken Lay, former CEO of Enron, Thomas Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, and Anthony Alexander, president of FirstEnergy, each held seats on the agenda-setting team.

The transition teams, in turn, helped to secure key agency positions for Jeffrey Holmstead, a lawyer for electric utilities (who became EPA's air administrator); Steven Griles, a lobbyist for the fossil fuel industry (deputy secretary of the Interior); Mark Rey, a timber industry lobbyist (head of the Forest Service); and David Lauriski, a mine industry executive (head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration).

"Once in place, these special-interest allies literally opened the doors of government for business," the report concludes. Rey scrapped forest protections to make way for clear-cutting; Lauriski weakened black lung and respiratory protections for miners; Griles gave former clients a boon by pushing to open more public land to drilling. And Holmstead outdid them all when the EPA directly adopted language written by lawyers at his former employer, Latham & Watkins, for use in rolling back clean air standards.

The long-term consequences of such unprecedented blurring of the lines between industry and government may be even greater due to the removal of corporate oversight. With nobody holding corporate or industrial America accountable, the report concludes, "the Bush administration is inviting irresponsible behavior that could lead to catastrophic consequences."


WHITE HOUSE INTERCEDES ON NM ENERGY PROJECT: "Overriding the opposition of the U.S. Forest Service and New Mexico state officials, a White House energy task force has interceded on behalf of Houston-based El Paso Corp. in its two-year effort to explore for natural gas in a remote part of a national forest next door to America's largest Boy Scout camp," said the Los Angeles Times, 8/9. Forest Service officials have cited concerns about impacts of a large-scale energy project on water pollution, wildlife and recreation. The area, named "Valley of Life" by Latino pioneers, is "home to 200 species of birds and 60 types of mammals, including one of the state's largest elk herds."


NINTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS LOWER COURT INJUNCTION
TO PROTECT SALMON
Appeal Denied - Agencies Must Continue to Allow Water
to Flow Over Dams to Aid Migrating Juvenile Salmon

Portland, OR - Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused the
government's emergency request to stay an order from U.S. District Court
Judge James Redden that requires the Army Corps of Engineers to continue
releasing water at dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers during August for
the benefit of migrating salmon. As scientists across the region have said
repeatedly, these water releases are the safest way to help young salmon get
downstream past the dams to the ocean. While these water releases have
occurred during the summer months for years, this year the Bonneville Power
Administration sought to curtail them. BPA touted large savings for
electricity customers as its main reason; however, those large savings would
have been only seven to ten cents per month for residential customers in
Portland and Seattle.

The summer water release program is one of the few firm and consistently
successful requirements in the Federal Salmon Plan for endangered salmon in
the Columbia and Snake rivers. That plan, while ruled illegal in May 2003,
remains in force until a new plan now being written takes effect. But the
Bush administration and its agencies decided not to implement the plan's
spill requirements, and instead put forth "offsets" allegedly designed to
compensate for the dramatic harm that curtailing water releases would cause
to salmon.Â

Scientists from the tribes, the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho and
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service all described these so-called offsets as
"speculative" and unable to mitigate for the salmon killed by cutting water
releases. Federal District Court Judge James Redden agreed with these
scientists last month when he enjoined the government plan to curtail water
releases.Â

In his opinion, Judge Redden highlighted the failure of the administration
to implement the current Federal Salmon Plan and to meet juvenile salmon
performance standards for the last three years as major reasons not to do
less for salmon now. He stated that he was acting "to preserve the status
quo" in light of the current "deficit situation" faced by salmon.
Specifically, he stated that '[g]iven that we are working from a deficit
situation, we should not be cutting back on an effective mitigation tool."

"By upholding Judge Redden's decision, the Ninth Circuit is affirming what
we've known all along - gambling the future of wild salmon to save a few
cents a month on our electric bills is not a tradeoff people in the
Northwest want to make," said Todd True, staff attorney, Earthjustice. "We
all look for ways to save money, but being penny wise and pound foolish
hurts everyone. It's time for the administration to obey the law."
In addition to not living up to the promise of large ratepayer savings, the
proposal to cut spill would have put salmon-dependent jobs at risk. NOAA
Fisheries' own analysis states that holding back on the water releases could
kill up to 742,000 young salmon.
"Thanks to the Ninth Circuit and Judge Redden, we have a positive vision for
the future of the Northwest," said Liz Hamilton, executive director,
Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association. "Our vision includes a healthy
vibrant economy where salmon-dependent communities are whole and prospering
- not bearing the burden of BPA's fiscal errors. And we are grateful that
Oregon Governor Kulongoski defended our economy by opposing this curtailment
of spill."

"The electric utilities have real concerns regarding the price of
electricity - concerns that we take seriously and must come together to
discuss," said Sara Patton, executive director, NW Energy Coalition.
"Hurting salmon to save pennies, however is not a good plan, while aiding
salmon and hurting people and businesses is not wise either. People in the
Northwest want and deserve clean, affordable electricity AND wild salmon and
through listening to each other and looking for common ground we can get
there."

The plan to reduce summer spill was repeatedly criticized by the region's
fisheries agencies. Unfortunately, the government's willingness to ignore
sound science and instead make politically expedient decisions may be a
harbinger for future salmon decisions. The federal government's court
ordered revision of the Federal Salmon Plan is due in draft form at the end
of this month and could reveal further disregard for science.

"Today is a day to celebrate; however we must not grow complacent," said Jan
Hasselman, staff attorney, National Wildlife Federation. "If the recent
attempts by this administration to thwart salmon recovery efforts are any
indication, the draft plan due out later this month will be even worse than
the one that the federal court threw out last year."



July 30, 2004 Press release:

Klamath Fish Kill Report Implicates Low Flows

Final CA Department Fish and Game analysis concludes low water flows were at the heart of 2002 tragedy; kill size possibly double original estimate

Portland-Commercial fishermen and conservationists today applauded the release of the California Department of Fish and Game's final report on the causes of the tragic 2002 fish kill on the Klamath River. The exhaustive, peer-reviewed report's primary conclusion-that low water flows resulting from upstream irrigation diversions were at the heart of the kill-is consistent with previous analyses conducted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Yurok Tribe.

"It's not rocket science that fish need water," said Glen Spain, Northwest Regional Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, which represents West Coast commercial fishermen. "This report shows what a disaster the Bush Administration's water policies have been for salmon in the Klamath Basin, and for the commercial fishing families that depend on them. The lower basin has been plunged into permanent drought that is costing fishing dependent communities thousands of jobs and threatens closures of ports all the way to San Francisco."

Projections for next year's Klamath fish runs (the progeny from 2002's few survivors) are for record lows. The west coast salmon fishery is thus facing massive economic losses in 2005 and 2006 from port closures likely resulting from both juvenile and adult Klamath fish kills during 2002, and on July 16th PCFFA asked the President for economic disaster relief for Klamath-driven losses than may ultimately total hundreds of millions of dollars.
Among the report's key findings are:
* "The total fish-kill estimate of 34,056 fish, was conservative and DFG analyses indicate actual losses may have been more than double that number." - p. III.
* "Flow is the only controllable factor and tool available in the Klamath Basin to manage risks against future epizootics and major adult fish-kills." - p. III.
* "Increased flows...(on the Klamath River) should be implemented to improve water temperatures, increase water volume, increase water velocities, improve fish passage, provide migration cues and decrease fish densities." - p. 131.
--more--
* "USGS has revised the average September 2002 flows down to 1,987 cfs (cubic feet per second), which if accurate, represents the second lowest flow ever recorded." - p. 125.
* "The numbers of naturally produced Chinook salmon that perished in the fish-kill were estimated to be 25,473 fish or 78.3% of the total fish kill." - p. 146.
The revised estimate on how many salmon died in the tragedy is among the report's most shocking findings. The Department of Fish and Game's conclusion that as many as 68,000 salmon died in the fish kill would mean that roughly half of the entire 2002 Klamath River salmon run perished in a single, man-made catastrophe. An earlier, more conservative estimate had created the likelihood of severe restrictions or closures of commercial salmon harvests in 2005, as a means of safeguarding the offspring of the fish that survived. On July 16th, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations sought federal disaster assistance for commercial fishing communities facing fishing closures from Fort Bragg, CA to Coos Bay, OR.

Fishermen and conservationists expressed alarm over the Bush administration's plan to send even less water to flow down the Klamath River this summer than was sent in 2002, despite spending millions of taxpayer dollars on a "water bank" touted as a buffer for fish. Under this year's water management plan, the Bush administration will provide more water to Klamath Project irrigators than they have ever received under a similar "dry" year classification, while reducing flows for salmon in August and September to levels below those of 2002. The Klamath Basin's critically important National Wildlife Refuges also suffer under the plan, and are slated to receive roughly half the water they need to sustain marshes and wetlands. (See attached chart for details on 2004 Klamath water plan)

The Department of Fish and Game's finding that low flows were at the heart of the 2002 fish kill, and call for higher flows as a way of avoiding future kills, highlights the pressing need to reduce the runaway demand for water in the Klamath Basin. Over the course of the last century federal and state officials have promised too much water to too many different interests in this arid region. Today, even in wet years there is not enough of this scarce resource to honor all of the legitimate claims.

"They only fair and effective solution to the Klamath water crisis is to bring the demand for water in the basin back into balance with supply," said Bob Hunter, WaterWatch's Southern Oregon staff person. "We need President Bush to get behind a voluntary program that works with Klamath landowners to buy back water rights and retire them."

The report comes just weeks after Representatives Greg Walden and Wally Herger held a one-sided hearing in Klamath Falls to attack the Endangered Species Act and criticize efforts to protect salmon and other threatened fish and wildlife in the Klamath Basin. During the hearing Walden blamed fish recovery efforts, rather than the devastating drought, for the water crisis of 2001. Walden recently introduced "sound science" legislation that would hamstring federal biologists charged with enforcing the Endangered Species Act to protect salmon and other threatened plants, animals, and fish.

"Two weeks ago Congressman Walden was part of a one-sided hearing to bash the Endangered Species Act and build support for his 'sound science' legislation," said Steve Pedery, Endangered Species Advocate with the Oregon Natural Resources Council. "But in 2002, the kind of 'sound science' Walden called for killed more than 60,000 salmon in the Klamath River."
Pacific Fisher
hunter
 
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:36 am
Location: Gualala, CA

Postby Pacific Fisher » Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:46 pm

More of the type of "streamlining" of habitat by eliminating public input and science in decision making processes you can expect from the McCain/Palin/More Bush Team.
C.B.

Bush Flip-Flop on Roadless Forest Rule Triggers Storm of Protest

Soon after the Bush administration took office, it promised to uphold the Clinton administration's Roadless Area Conservation Rule, enacted in 2001 to protect some 58.5 million acres of America's last unspoiled National Forests from logging, mining and drilling.

But this summer President Bush flip-flopped. The administration's U.S. Forest Service announced it is repealing the rule, which was designed to protect vital sources of clean water and wildlife habitat. Since the year 2000, the timber industry alone has given $25 million to the Bush administration and its Congressional allies.

The Bush reversal has set off a torrent of protests by the conservation community, which is calling on Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth to extend the public comment period beyond the current expiration date set for next Tuesday, September 14th. The environmental community is calling for a 45-day extension.

Conservationists feel especially betrayed not only by the Bush flip-flop, but also because the rule was enacted by the Clinton administration only after three full years of open public dialogue and extensive scientific analysis. Over 600 public hearings were held nationwide. A record 1.5 million comments were submitted, with over 95% supporting the Roadless Rule. Yet the Bush administration is now portraying the rule as a last-minute process.

According to a recent study by the Campaign to Protect America's Lands (CPAL), the Bush repeal not only endangers the nation's few remaining unspoiled forests, but also threatens 23 nearby national parks and monuments in 16 states. [1] Among them are Yosemite, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain and Olympic National Parks. The 23 sites are visited by some 40 million Americans every year.

As CPAL Director Peter Altman told BushGreenwatch, "The parks will suffer from the collateral damage of timber clearcuts, destroyed wildlife habitats and migratory corridors, streams destroyed by sediment, and the noise and stench of industrial development."

Coalition of Concerned National Park Service Retirees spokesperson Bill Wade called on Interior Secretary Gale Norton to oppose the action by the Forest Service, which is part of the Department of Agriculture. "No Interior Secretary worth his or her salt would stand by and allow this indirect attack on our national parks to go unchallenged," said Wade.

TAKE ACTION
Send your comments before the public comment period ends on September 14. ##

SOURCES:
[1] CPAL report, Jul. 28, 2004.
Pacific Fisher
hunter
 
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:36 am
Location: Gualala, CA

Postby Pacific Fisher » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:42 pm

More of the McCain/Palin/Bush approach to fish and wildlife habitat protection.
C.B.

FISHERMEN’S RALLY FOR COLUMBIA SALMON RECOVERY SET FOR PORTLAND ON 8 SEPTEMBER: With a new Columbia River Salmon Plan due 31 August, commercial, recreational and Tribal fishermen from all over the Pacific Northwest will be rallying on Wednesday, 8 September, in Portland, Oregon, demanding a better salmon recovery plan from the Administration of U.S. President George W. Bush. Under the Bush Administration the federal government has done next to nothing to protect Columbia River salmon runs, most of which are now listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The new salmon plan is expected to be a major step backwards, holding that the Columbia and Snake River dams “do not pose a jeopardy” to the species, in spite of the fact that these dams kill millions of fish, in some cases more than 80 percent of the whole run (see Sublegals, 10:03/04; 10:01/01).

The new plan is also expected to allow for curtailing “spill” and to rely more heavily on a trap-and-haul trucking-and-barging program that is a proven failure. Instead of addressing impacts of the dams, the plan will instead call for additional restrictions on commercial and sport fishing, in spite of the fact that all Tribal, recreational and commercial fishing on Columbia stocks combined accounts for only about 5 percent of all human-induced mortality. Since the last plan came out in 2000, the Northwest has seen repeated failures by the Bush Administration to adequately fund its own plan, repeated efforts to jettison required and effective measures such as “spill” around the dams, and efforts to undercut salmon protections in various other ways. For examples of the Administration’s failures to protect west coast fishing interests see, “Speaking Truth to Power: A Look at the Administration’s Abysmal Fisheries Record,” in the June 2004 issue of Fishermen’s News, available on the web at: http://www.pcffa.org/fn-jun04.htm. “We don’t need terrorists to destroy our fisheries when we’ve got George W. Bush,“ said PCFFA Northwest Director Glen Spain, referring to the inadequacies of the new plan.


The fishermen’s gathering follows a political rally held by the President three weeks before in an exclusive gated community in Portland. The Fishermen’s rally on Wednesday, the 8th, begins at 1000 HRS at Holladay Park, 11th and Holladay Street, Northeast Portland (next to the Lloyd Center). Parking opens at 0845 HRS at the Lloyd Center outdoor cinema parking lot (13th and Multnomah). For more information contact: Erin Barnes, Save Our Wild Salmon, at (503) 230-0421,or Aaron Bouchane, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, (503) 631-8859. For more on the Salmon Plan and the Administration’s history of failing Columbia River salmon, see: http://www.wildsalmon.org.



Whistleblowing Florida Biologist Could Still Lose His Job Despite Favorable Court Ruling

Biologist Andrew Eller is still facing dismissal from his job at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, even though a federal judge has upheld his scientific findings on protecting the endangered Florida panther. [1]

Late last month U.S. District Judge James Robertson threw out a permit for a rock mining operation near Fort Myers, Florida, ruling in favor of a coalition comprised of the National Wildlife Federation, Florida Wildlife Federation and Florida Panther Society, which filed the case against the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Judge Robertson found that the Service had erred in its finding that the mine was no risk to the Florida panther, saying the agency should have considered the cumulative impact of varied developments in panther habitat, rather than the mine as an isolated project.

"The environmental groups who challenged this permit had to show that the agency action was 'arbitrary and capricious' -- one of the heaviest burdens in jurisprudence," said Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which has been assisting Eller legally.

When Eller, a 17-year veteran of the Service, and fellow biologists were ordered to give the mine a pass -- along with several other projects sited in vital panther habitat -- Eller publicly charged the Fish and Wildlife Service with knowingly using bad science on panther demographics, habits and habitat needs to support policy decisions.

Eller filed formal charges in May. In July, he received a letter from his supervisor notifying him that his employment with the Service might be terminated for unacceptable performance. [3]

While Eller continues to work, and has filed a 53-page response to the termination notice, "we anticipate that he'll be fired," Jeff Ruch. "We think the decisions [to fire Eller] are being made by political appointees in Interior, not the Fish and Wildlife Service."

Ruch says that other Fish and Wildlife Service biologists, after being forced to sign off on development projects harmful to the Florida panther, have largely transferred out of the agency. "Some of the saddest people I've met are employees of the Fish and Wildlife Service. They feel like they're Sisyphus, pushing the boulder up the mountain."

"There are only 78 Florida panthers left in existence, 19 of them females of breeding age," Ruch tells BushGreenwatch, "and they're sitting foursquare in the middle of Florida's development boom.

"The Bush administration has indicated it doesn't want to do anything to get in the way of development in southwest Florida," adds Ruch, "and the endangered Florida panther is not likely to survive it." ###

TAKE ACTION
Go to PEER's website for action alerts and campaigns on the integrity of science and the Florida panther.

SOURCES:
[1] PEER press release, Aug. 24, 2004.
[2] "Judge refuses mining permit near Fort Myers; ruling seeks to protect wildlife habitat," Florida Sentinel, Aug. 21, 2004.



Bush Administration Plans to Relax Toxic Controls -- Again

The Bush administration, which has unswervingly favored the chemical and power industries on environmental and health protections, plans to once again relax government regulation of toxic substances in favor of weaker standards being promoted by industry.

At issue are national standards regulating the amount of selenium that can be discharged into waterways by power companies, farmers and mining operations. The current standards for selenium were established after the toxic metal caused mass deformities of waterfowl in California's Central Valley during the 1980s.

Now the administration has drafted a plan, supported by industry scientists, that would weaken current standards in two ways, according to an August 31 story in the Sacramento Bee. [1]

According to the Bee, EPA plans to switch from a water-based to a fish-based standard, meaning the government would stop measuring how much selenium was getting into the water and start looking at how much had been absorbed by local fish. The draft calls for a concentration of 7.91 parts per million in fish, whereas current standards allow no more than 5 parts per million in water.

Scientists in other federal agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, oppose the plan to weaken the standards. They say the higher levels of selenium will cause birds to lose more than 50 percent of their offspring, the Bee reports. They also say the proposed standard is based on a flawed analysis of a study that vastly overstated survival rates for contaminated fish.

Selenium comes from a variety of sources around the country, including phosphate mines in Idaho, copper mines in Utah, mountaintop coal mines in West Virginia, coal-burning power plants and farms. It is the latest in a series of toxic substances for which the administration has sought to weaken regulations.

Earlier the Bush administration weakened the U.S. position on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), substantially reduced efforts to clean up mercury pollution, and sought to replace the Clean Air Act with its far less effective, "Clear Skies" program, which experts say would actually increase the number of deaths from air pollution each year.

NOTE: Thanks to an outpouring of citizen protests (BushGreenwatch, Sept. 8), the U.S. Forest Service announced on Wednesday that it will extend the public comment period to November 15 on its plan to rescind the Roadless Forest Conservation Rule. The rule calls for 58.5 million acres of America's National Forests to be protected from logging, mining and drilling. The Service had earlier set a deadline of September 14 for public comments. Comments may be sent to: http://ga1.org/campaign/roadless?source=hp.

SOURCES:
[1] "Battle Over Toxic Metal: EPA Appears Set to Relax Standards for Selenium, Which Led to Deformities in Waterfowl in 1980s," Sacramento Bee, Aug. 31, 2004.

For America's sportsmen, there is nothing more conservative than protecting habitat and nothing more radical than destroying it. C. B.


For Immediate Release
Thursday, Sept. 9, 2004

Contact:
Andrew Fahlund, Eric Eckl, American Rivers, (202) 347-7550 Steve Moyer, Trout Unlimited, (703) 284-9406

News: Proposed Hydro rules enshrines energy industry access

(Washington, DC) The Interior Department is poised to hand the energy industry another favor at the expense of fish restoration, outdoor recreation, and public lands protection, conservation and recreation advocates warned today. A new departmental rule, released for public comment today, provides electric utilities exclusive rights to appeal environmental and recreational requirements at hydropower dams. This policy provides hydroelectric dam owners with direct access to upper echelons of the Interior Department - but not other interested parties such as states, tribes, conservationists, anglers, boaters, local governments, and irrigators.

The groups called on the Interior Department to either drop, or substantially modify, the proposal, warning that in its current form it will intimidate fish biologists and field experts and politicize resource decisions affecting thousands of miles of rivers over the next ten years.

"This is plainly a double standard, and it is another step towards enshrining energy industry dominance along public lands and waters," said Andrew Fahlund, vice president for protection and restoration at American Rivers. "This policy will obligate future administrations to provide the same degree of access to corporate lobbyists that the current White House does."

"This policy will ensure that decisions are made on the basis of politics rather than science," said Steve Moyer, Vice President of Government Affairs and Volunteer Operations for Trout Unlimited. "Any fish biologist that sticks up for the resource can expect an invitation to Washington to chat with a political appointee."

Electric utilities must consult with Department of the Interior through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs when seeking new operating licenses, or renewing existing licenses, for their hydroelectric dams. During these negotiations, agency field staff assess the environmental, recreational, and cultural consequences of the hydro project and identify steps to ensure that other public needs from the river continue to be met. Under current law, river conservation and recreational stakeholders have equal access to all major decision-making processes. Establishing a one-sided administrative appeals process is a stark departure from all prior federal law and policy through which fish and river resources are conserved.

Conservationists fear that this policy will intimidate agency field staff that might otherwise call for such measures as:

* Installation of fish ladders and other devices to allow fish to safely move up and downstream

* Dam operations that ensure river flows and reservoir levels conducive to recreational use and environmental health

* Construction of boat ramps, camp grounds, and other facilities that provide public access to a public resource

* Restoration of wildlife habitat that has been degraded by the existence of the power project

There are several "hot spots" around the nation where the consequences of this policy will most frequently manifest themselves. Utility-owned hydroelectric dams affect the abundance of salmon runs and other migratory fish along the East and West Coasts and the Great Lakes. In California's Sierra Nevada, hydroelectric dams determine the productivity and accessibility of dozens of rivers and hundreds of trout streams. Along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, striped bass and shad fisheries will never fully recover unless utilities take steps to ensure these fish can move safely between coastal and inland waters.

"Several recent and successful hydropower licensing agreements show that such a harmful, one-sided appeal mechanism is not needed, said Moyer. Working cooperatively with agencies of the Department and some conservation-minded electric utilities, American Rivers and Trout Unlimited have developed some fantastic new accords to restore fisheries and improve river flows in places such as Hat Creek, California, the Penobscot River in Maine, and the Deschutes River in Oregon."

"The consequences of this policy will be measured in fish that are never caught, boats that are never launched, family trips that are never taken, and fond memories that are never shared," Fahlund said.



Bush Administration Directs Agencies to Ignore Clean Water Act

Using a back-door route to deregulation, the Bush administration has removed clean water protections for 20 million acres of American wetlands and tens of thousands of miles of streams, lakes and ponds, according to documents obtained through the federal Freedom of Information Act. [1]

The documents, used to produce the report "Reckless Abandon: How the Bush Administration is Exposing America's Waters to Harm," outline the consequences of a 2003 federal policy directive that encourages regulators to routinely avoid enforcing Clean Water Act protections for American rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands unless otherwise directed.

The report was produced by nonprofit environmental groups Earthjustice, the National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Sierra Club. It can be found online at www.cwn.org.

"For the first time in over 30 years of cleaning up our waters, we're going backwards," said Paul Schwartz, national policy coordinator for Clean Water Action. Schwartz noted that after the Clean Water Act took effect in 1972, the percentage of the nation's waters deemed clean enough for fishing and swimming nearly doubled. But recent state reports now show those numbers declining, he said.

"The water is getting dirtier, and the Bush administration is leading one of the most fundamental attacks on a law that has arguably done more to protect the environment and public health than any other environmental law," Schwartz told BushGreenwatch.

On January 15, 2003, the Bush administration published guidelines in the Federal Register directing field staff at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop issuing protections for millions of acres of wetlands, streams and other waters unless they first obtained permission from national headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The directive further stated that no permission was required to ignore Clean Water Act protections for these waters and that no records would be kept of decisions not to invoke the Clean Water Act.


The directive severely narrowed the types of waterways considered protected under the Clean Water Act to those that were navigable year-round by commercial vessels, a major departure from every previous administration's policies since 1972. [2]

At the same time, the administration announced it would take steps to codify these guidelines through federal rulemaking procedures. It later backed off the rulemaking process in response to a massive public outcry. But the guidelines were left in place and have had the same impact, Schwartz said.

In response, 219 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 33 senators have signed on to letters to President Bush asking him to rescind the policy directive and restore protections to American waters. A bill has also been introduced in both the House and Senate that would make clear that all waters of the U.S. should fall under the protections of the Clean Water Act. [3]

"The Bush administration's policy is based on the fantasy that if you let polluters dump sewage, oil and other toxic waste into small wetlands and streams, it won't ultimately wind up in our lakes, rivers and coastal waters," said Daniel Rosenberg, an NRDC senior attorney in the group's August 12 press release.

SOURCES:
[1] "Reckless Abandon: How the Bush Administration is Exposing America's Waters to Harm," CWN, Aug. 12, 2004.
[2] Federal Register, Jan. 15, 2003; EarthJustice, NRDC, NWF, Sierra Club press release, Aug. 12, 2004.
[3] Clean Water Authority Restoration Act HR 962 and S 473



Bush Administration Cuts Clean Water Spending; Hurts Jobs, Health, Environment

This week the Senate is scheduled to take up a bill that calls for reducing spending on clean water programs by almost $500 million – a rollback that could lead to nearly 50,000 lost jobs as well as a rise in sewer overflows, polluted water, and disease outbreaks, according to a new report. [1]

"All Dried Up: Clean Water is Threatened by Budget Cuts," was released this morning by a broad coalition of state and local governments, construction, labor, environmental and public health groups.

The report provides a state-by-state breakdown of lost federal dollars, the number of jobs the lost money would have created, the number of projects at risk of being held up if the cuts go through, and the percentage of waters in each state that are already polluted. It can be found at www.nrdc.org.

The House has already passed a spending bill that includes the $500 million in clean water cuts called for in President Bush’s budget. The cuts come out of the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund, which gives money to communities to rehabilitate aging sewer plants and reduce raw sewage overflows and storm water runoff.

The Senate may take up the bill as early as today.

"That Congress would even consider slashing federal funding for communities to help ensure clean water for all Americans is mind-boggling," said Nancy Stoner, clean water director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which is leading the coalition. "This White House repeatedly has pushed for massive cuts in clean water spending, but this is the first time Congress appears willing to go along," she said in a press release.

Cutting federal funding for sewer systems can have serious health implications. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that between 23,000 and 75,000 sewage overflows occur across the country each year, releasing 3 billion to 10 billion gallons of untreated wastewater.

Raw sewage can carry e.coli, salmonella, dysentery, hepatitis and other diseases. Every year, millions of Americans get sick from swimming in or drinking water contaminated by these bacteria, viruses and parasites.

There are also financial implications. Clean water programs provide jobs for engineers, contractors, manufacturers, administrators and construction workers. Communities need clean water to attract tourists and maintain recreational uses of their rivers, lakes and beaches.

The report also finds that many communities already have a backlog of projects, such as aging pipes that need replacing, and the need to improve control of wet weather sewage overflows. It cites EPA figures estimating at least $388 billion is needed in communities across the country for new and repaired equipment to meet current clean water infrastructure needs. [2]

SOURCES:
[1] NRDC press release, Sep. 14, 2004.
[2] "All Dried Up: Clean Water is Threatened by Budget Cuts," NRDC report.
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