Week of January 10, 2011

Beyond the Great Lakes
National

Michigan
Minnesota
New York
Pennsylvania
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

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Beyond the Great Lakes

Army Intelligence officer shot dead at Fort Bragg

Investigators say it could have been hunting accident

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — An Army intelligence officer from Montana who was shot to death at Fort Bragg may have been accidentally killed by a hunter.  Army Criminal Investigation command spokesman Christopher Grey says the death of Capt. Jeremiah Sipes of Belgrade, Mont. is being treated as a

homicide.  Grey says investigators are exploring the possibility that Sipes was shot by a hunter. Hunters are allowed on parts of the base, and a hunter called police after finding the 33-year-old officer's body. Sipes was the squadron intelligence officer for 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.


National

Sportsmen Comments Needed to Oppose Potential Gun Hunting Ban

The U.S. Forest Service is now accepting comments on a proposed gun hunting ban for areas of the Huron-Manistee National Forest in Michigan. 

 

In September, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Forest Service’s regulations required that it consider banning hunting with firearms on lands designated as “semi-primitive” within the Huron-Manistee National Forest.  The Court feels that the noise associated with gun hunting could harm the quality of the recreational experience of hikers, backpackers, and cross country skiers.  Additionally, the Court ruled that the Forest Service had to consider closing these areas if other public hunting land was available for gun hunting nearby.

 

As a result of the court ruling, the Forest Service began a formal review to determine if it should move forward with a gun hunting ban on these areas. 

 

Currently, the Service is considering two options: 

1. a “No-Action” alternative which would allow hunting to

continue without change; and

2. a “Modified Closure” alternative that would implement either a complete or partial ban on hunting with guns in the semi-primitive areas.

 

Take Action!  Sportsmen should submit comments to the Forest Service supporting the “No-Action” alternative that would continue to allow hunting with firearms on areas designated as semi-primitive. 

 

 Sportsmen can mail comments to:

Lee Evison, Forest Planner, Huron-Manistee National Forests
1755 S. Mitchell Street
Cadillac, MI 49601

 

Sportsmen can also fax comments to Lee Evison at (231) 775-5551 or email comments to comments-eastern-huronmanistee@fs.fed.us

Please include your name and address with your comments.  Emailed comments must include “Forest Plan SEIS” as the subject line of the email.  All comments must be received by February 11, 2011


Michigan

DNRE to revert back to DNR

Governor Rick Snyder, on January 4th issued Executive Order 2011-1, which abolishes the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and creates the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Quality.

 

The EO gives an effective date of March 13 for the split of the DNRE to occur. 

Some of the highlights of the EO include:

 

Appointment authority for the DNR director remains with the Governor.   The Natural Resources Commission will continue in an advisory role to the director and retains its authority to regulate the take of fish and game in our state.

 

The Office of the Great Lakes returns to the DEQ, and the director of that office shall continue to serve on the Governor’s Cabinet.

 

The Mackinac Island State Park Commission returns to the

 

DNR.

 

Most programs and authorities return to the DEQ or DNR, based on where they came from before the DNRE was formed.

 

Snyder added; "While we work out the details of the transfers and the way the new departments will look, I want all staff to know that I appreciate the work you do every day on behalf of the people of Michigan. I am aware that there has been a lot of upheaval and uncertainty for some of you in recent months, and I am committed to making this transition as smooth as possible. I look forward to working with you as we enter this new era of managing and protecting Michigan’s environment and natural resources."

 

Here is the direct link to the Executive Order: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/snyder/EO-01-2011_342039_7.pdf

 


Sportsmen Comments Needed to Oppose Potential Gun Hunting Ban

The U.S. Forest Service is now accepting comments on a proposed gun hunting ban for areas of the Huron-Manistee National Forest in Michigan. 

 

In September, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Forest Service’s regulations required that it consider banning hunting with firearms on lands designated as “semi-primitive” within the Huron-Manistee National Forest.  The Court feels that the noise associated with gun hunting could harm the quality of the recreational experience of hikers, backpackers, and cross country skiers.  Additionally, the Court ruled that the Forest Service had to consider closing these areas if other public hunting land was available for gun hunting nearby.

 

As a result of the court ruling, the Forest Service began a formal review to determine if it should move forward with a gun hunting ban on these areas. 

 

Currently, the Service is considering two options: 

1. a “No-Action” alternative which would allow hunting to

 

continue without change; and

2. a “Modified Closure” alternative that would implement either a complete or partial ban on hunting with guns in the semi-primitive areas.

 

Take Action!  Sportsmen should submit comments to the Forest Service supporting the “No-Action” alternative that would continue to allow hunting with firearms on areas designated as semi-primitive. 

 

 Sportsmen can mail comments to:

Lee Evison, Forest Planner, Huron-Manistee National Forests
1755 S. Mitchell Street
Cadillac, MI 49601

 

Sportsmen can also fax comments to Lee Evison at (231) 775-5551 or email comments to comments-eastern-huronmanistee@fs.fed.us

Please include your name and address with your comments.  Emailed comments must include “Forest Plan SEIS” as the subject line of the email.  All comments must be received by February 11, 2011


Michigan fisheries biologist Towns retires

Gary Towns, the supervisor for the Lake Erie Management Unit since 1995, retired at the end of 2010.  In addition to managing fisheries on

inland waters, Gary’s management area also included the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, Detroit River, and Lake Erie.

 

He was involved with management issues and habitat projects on all these waters. His experience in southeat Michigan, especially with DNR and DEQ staff, has been a highlight of his career. As he put it, “It’s been a great ride, and while the job has been both interesting and

challenging, it has been the people I’ve worked with who made it such a special career.”

 

We wish him well in retirement! 

Towns with a Lake Hudson musky


Minnesota

Tom Landwehr to head MN DNR

Gov picks avid sportsman and dedicated conservationist to lead the State’s DNR.

Governor Mark Dayton, on January 6, appointed Tom Landwehr as Commissioner of the DNR. Landwehr brings both an insider’s knowledge and an outsider’s perspective to the agency. He has served as a City Council Member and as an Instructor at the U of Minn School of Natural Resources.

 

He also served for seventeen years at DNR both as a scientist and as a Wildlife Manager. With a Master’s Degree in Business, Landwehr understands that conservation and resource management must be properly balanced to promote economic prosperity and support jobs.  Landwehr is widely respected by people in the conservation, recreation and business communities. He brings to the agency a reputation as someone with creative and innovative solutions to many of Minnesota’s top natural resource issues.

Landwehr began his career at DNR in the early 1980’s as a research biologist, and quickly moved on to greater responsibility as Wildlife Manager for over 5 years and as the Wetland Wildlife Program Leader for nearly ten. After leaving DNR in 1999 he was State Conservation Director for Ducks Unlimited in Minnesota and Iowa until 2003 and most recently has served as Assistant State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

 

He has also served on the Shoreview City Council where he served from 1995 to 2002.  He has been an active member of his community for many years, serving on multiple boards and commissions. He has an MS in Wildlife Management from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management. Landwehr lives in Shoreview with his wife Patty and 2 children, He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hunting, fishing, canoeing, camping and boating.


 

New York

Martens nominated to head NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Joseph Martens, president of a New York-based conservation group, was named January 4 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to lead the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

 

 As a key environmental adviser to Gov. Mario Cuomo, Martens played a significant role in smoothing the way for Cuomo's signature on the vitally important Long Island Pine Barrens Protection Act of 1993. And he was present at the birth of the Environmental Protection Fund, designed to pay for acquiring pine barrens land and to aid other environmental causes. Like DEC, the fund has suffered in this fiscal crisis. We hope he'll be able to help.

 

Martens inherits an agency in transition with a significantly 

reduced work force, with about 150 workers laid off at the end of former Gov. David Paterson's administration. The DEC, like most state agencies, has seen significant budget cuts in recent years.

 

The new commissioner will also lead the review of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, a document that will guide the permitting process for drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation.

 

If confirmed, Martens would take over for Acting Commissioner Peter Iwanowicz, who was appointed by Paterson in late October and offered his resignation when Cuomo took office.

 


Pennsylvania

3 Rod Proposal on the table

A 3-line rule proposal is on the table of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. 

 

Recently, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. It pertains to amending the (2) lines per angler law to 3 lines per angler.  This does not pertain to ice fishing, and will become effective January 1, 2012 if approved. The comment period expires February 11, 2011, so you need to act now if you agree. You can be from out of State or own an out of State fishing related business to comment if your business is effected by this. 

 

 Take a moment to write a letter or email the PFBC now.

 

Recreational anglers have indicated that they favor this proposed amendment. Currently, Michigan and New Jersey have a (3) rod rule and New York State has a pending written proposal for such. There proposal is endorsed by the community and was introduced by Senator Libous.

 

The State of NY justification for change is as follows:

“The new 3-rod rule is designed to favorably impact a fisherman’s experience by increasing his probability of catching a fish. Catching a fish enhances angler satisfaction more than any other factor and is the prime determinant in deciding whether or not to make return visits to the fisheries of New York.

 

Return visits to the fishery are a boon to the local economies. Return trips mean more spent locally for food, fuel, lodging, launches, parking, and rentals. The 3-rod rule will not guarantee that people will catch more fish; rather it will give them the potential to locate the fish a little easier. The small crewed boats, the ‘weekend warrior’, the recreationalist, the vacationer, the retired couple who saved up for a boat and now have the time and health to use it will all benefit from this.

 

It does not mean they must use 3 rods, it will mean they can use 3 rods per person, whether they are operated from land or from a boat, if they so choose. New Jersey and Michigan both

have a 3-rod rule, to which they have continued to see a favorable impact to their recreational fisherman.

 

In addition, the 3-rod rule will not exploit the fishery since exploitation is constrained by creel limits that would still be in effect.”

 

Some differing or similar reasons for supporting the proposed change from 2-rods to 3:

1. Assist fishermen in finding a presentation pattern that is successful in taking the desired fish. It is a daunting task for fishermen who don’t go out every week to try and put a sufficient number of trolled baits at varying depths, with action, sizes and colors in an area of the Lake containing fish.

2. Assist fishermen who find themselves in a low bite per hour fishing situation.

3. Assist bank fishermen targeting underutilized resources such as carp and catfish.

4. Adoption of 3-line proposal is projected to make PA a more desirable and competitive fishing destination which will impact jobs and the economy in a favorable fashion.

5. Science based limits are already set by the PFBC and there is no evidence to suggest adverse impact on the fishery.

6. We may see a positive difference in recruiting young people as well as adults to begin to fish by helping their success rate.

7. The sales of fishing licenses should increase with more success and just the “possibility” of an increased catch rate.

8.  Increased license sales are healthy for the economy and benefit all

9. Michigan and New Jersey have not returned to their original 2-rod law which implies the “change” was both successful and beneficial.

 

Submit written comments, to:  Executive Director, Fish and Boat Commission, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000.  Comments also may be submitted electronically by completing the form at www.fishandboat.com/regcomments .  Comments submitted by fax will not be accepted.  To read the PFBC Notice of Proposed rulemaking: http://fishandboat.com/rulemakings/224nprp.pdf


Wisconsin

Cathy Stepp appointed Secretary of the Wisconsin DNR

Former Republican State Senator Cathy Stepp has been appointed the new Wisconsin DNR Secretary.  Stepp served as Racine’s state senator from 2002 to 2006, and co-chaired the Senate's natural resources committee, but most of her experience has been in the private sector.

 

She has a deep business background. Stepp and her husband have run a construction company and they currently operate a trucking equipment firm.  Stepp said the agency needs a "culture shift" and promised to streamline the DNR's permitting process and improve the agency's customer service. But she said she'll listen to environmentalists, too.  "They'll grow to be comfortable working with me," she said in a telephone interview Thursday. "They'll be welcomed and listened to."

 Ed Harvey is president of the Conservation Congress, a group of sportsmen who advise the DNR. He said the group had hoped for someone with more deer hunting experience, but Stepp knows the DNR well and worked well with the organization when she was a DNR board member.

 

 Stepp has hired state Rep. Scott Gunderson, R-Waterford, a former chair of the Assembly's natural resources committee, to serve as her executive assistant. He will focus primarily on deer and wildlife issues, she said. Plus, Walker has promised to appoint a so-called deer czar to oversee herd management.

 

 She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, Paul, and two children, Hannah and Mitchell.

 

 


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Early warning tool finds asian carp
Scientists at The Nature Conservancy and the University of Notre Dame have gotten a gold seal of approval by the scientific journal Conservation Letters. The journal recently published their study confirming the validity of a new tool to detect aquatic invasive species, including Asian carp.

 

www.Landwehr to head the Minn DNR

Tom Landwehr, 55, of Shoreview, was named by Gov. Mark Dayton to head the DNR. The announcement followed weeks of lobbying, not only by sporting interests — most of whom favored Landwehr for the post — but by timber and mining interests and representatives in the Legislature. Landwehr agreed, providing, he could select the people he wants to serve with him.

 

Baileys Harbor: Conservation grant awarded for Ridges Sanctuary property
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius recently announced an award of $250,000 to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to conserve coastal wetlands along the northern Door Peninsula.

Cathy Stepp, outspoken critic of WI DNR, picked to head agency
Cathy Stepp, a former Republican state senator and outspoken critic of the state Department of Natural Resources, was named Thursday to head the agency by Gov.-elect Scott Walker.

 

DNA water test for asian carp endorsed
On Wednesday, the pioneers behind isolating DNA from water samples to confirm the presence of Asian carp in the Chicago canal system published their article in the peer-reviewed journal Conservation Letters.

 

EDITORIAL: Science takes a backseat in the Asian carp debate
It has become abundantly clear that until some kid with a fishing pole can stand on a breakwater in Frankfort and haul in a 100-pound Asian carp (or maybe get hauled in himself) the federal government will continue to deny the big fish have gotten into Lake Michigan.

 

Article validates use of DNA to track Asian carp
The controversial use of "environmental" DNA to sniff out traces of Asian carp in the Chicago canal system might have just become a lot less controversial.

 

 

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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