Week of January 20, 2014

Beyond the Great Lakes
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Regional

2nd Amendment Issues
General

Illinois
Michigan
Minnesota
New York
Pennsylvania
Wisconsin

Ontario
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Beyond the Great Lakes

Gander Mountain Coming To Chattanooga

Gander Mountain is once again expanding with a new location in Chattanooga, set to open in the fall of 2014.  The store will be located in

 

an existing 50,000-square-foot facility in the Oak Park Town Center, just off Tennessee Highway 153 in Hixson. It will be the fourth Gander Mountain location in Tennessee.


 

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

SD Announces Winner of 2013 Million Dollar Pheasant Hunt

Aberdeen, SD – The Aberdeen Area was the place to be for the 2013 pheasant hunting season.  Now that pheasant hunting season has ended, the Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors office announced the results from the Million Dollar Pheasant Hunt!  One hundred pheasants were banded and released this past fall in Brown County; each pheasant was valued at $100-$500 but had the possibility of being worth up to $1,000,000! There were 31 bands turned into the Aberdeen CVB. For a list of winners:  www.MillionDollarBird.com. 

  

The winning "Million Dollar Pheasant Hunt" band number was randomly selected by our insurance carrier before the season began and was stored electronically in a tamper-proof device. All bands turned in were automatically entered to win the $1,000,000 prize. One numbered band was drawn and checked against the number stored in the electronic device.

  

The drawing took place on Friday, January 10th at 6:00 pm at the Ward Plaza Hotel.  The winning band number drawn was #61 turned in by Jeremy Weiseler.  The Million Dollar winning band number (stored electronically) was #26.  Unfortunately the two numbers did not match and Mr. Weiseler did not win the $1,000,000.  However, he did receive Winchester SX3 “Black Shadow”. This gun is the “Official Shotgun of the

2013 Million Dollar Pheasant Hunt”. The donated gun is courtesy of Winchester Firearms and the Aberdeen Hotel Alliance as a consolation prize.

 

The Aberdeen area had a successful hunting season this fall.  We hope that everyone was able to limit out and have fun participating in the Million Dollar Pheasant Hunt.  Aberdeen and the surrounding area pride themselves on having over 208,930 acres of public land and more than 150,000 acres of private hunting land.  Hunting is a tradition in this area and Aberdeen businesses roll out the “orange carpet” and their special Midwest hospitality to welcome our hunters.  From hotels to campgrounds to hunting lodges, Aberdeen has accommodations for everyone.  For a full listing of lodging availability go to www.HuntFishSD.com.  We hope all our hunters come back next fall to experience the rush of pounding wings, bright skies, and the cackle of roosters as they explode into the sky. 

 

For more info, contact the Aberdeen CVB: 605-225-2414, 800-645-3851, caseyw@visitaberdeensd.com.  Or visit us online at www.HuntFishSD.com or www.VisitAberdeenSD.com.  

 

For more info on South Dakota visit: http://www.travelsd.com/ 800-732-5682


 

Regional

Lake Trout Make Comeback in the Great Lakes

The recovery of lake trout in Lake Huron means that very soon, wildlife officials will no longer have to stock the species in the lake. According to michiganradio.com, lake trout are rapidly regaining ground after decades of parasitism by sea lampreys and complications with alewives.

 

“I felt we were so completely stymied by one thing after another after another. The litany of challenges working against the reestablishment of a self-sustaining lake trout population seemed insurmountable,” said Jim Johnson, a researcher with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “But then, with the collapse of alewives, everything changed.”

 

The lake trout is the largest trout native to the Great Lakes and was at one time economically vital to the area’s commercial and sport fishing industries. That era of prosperity for the species was interrupted when sea lampreys devastated the trout population from 1935 to 1965. Lampreys, sometimes referred to as “lamprey eels,” feed by hooking onto fish and consuming their blood. They are considered an invasive species and

became a major problem after waterway construction in the early 20th century allowed them to enter many rivers and streams.

 

Lampreys are known to be detrimental to fish species where they are introduced. According to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC), a single lamprey can kill up to 40 or more pounds of fish in its lifetime. In fact, when the GLFC was formed in 1955, one of its primary goals was to control the lamprey population in the Great Lakes. Thanks to the efforts of multiple agencies, a lengthy reduction program has shrunk lamprey numbers to about 10 percent of what they were in 1955.

 

After the severe reduction of sea lampreys, the lake trout in Lake Huron began to make a slow recovery. However, the fish were having problems reproducing. Biologists identified part of the to be related to alewives, which lake trout fed on. Alewives are a small saltwater fish that colonized the Great Lakes several decades ago when trout numbers were low. Due to the lack of predators, alewives multiplied. Alewives also cause problems for lake trout young and eggs, stymying their population growth.

 

As the number of alewives dwindled due to new predators such as salmon, the lake trout began making a speedier comeback. This is welcome news to anglers who prefer lake trout, which is a popular game fish and often praised for its taste.  “Oh yes. The end of stocking is in sight for the main basin of Lake Huron,” Johnson said.  Researchers are now working on making habitat more suitable for spawning lake trout.


Army Corps releases long awaited report on Great Lakes

The Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study

The GLMRIS Report presents the results of a multi-year study regarding the range of options and technologies available to prevent aquatic nuisance species (ANS) movement between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins through aquatic connections. Through a structured study process, USACE identified thirteen ANS of Concern established in one basin that posed a high or medium risk of adverse impacts by transfer and establishment in the opposite basin. USACE analyzed and evaluated available controls to address these ANS, and formulated alternatives specifically for the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) with the goal of preventing ANS transfer between the two basins.

 

The report contains eight alternatives, each with concept-level design and cost information, and evaluates the potential of these alternatives to control the transfer of a variety of ANS. The options concentrate on the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) and include a wide spectrum of alternatives ranging from the continuation of current activities to the complete separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. The GLMRIS Report also includes an analysis of potential impacts to uses and users of the CAWS, and corresponding mitigation requirements for adverse impacts to functions such as flood-risk management, natural resources, water quality, and navigation.

 

The alternatives presented in the report include:

1.Continuing current efforts (i.e., the electric barriers) with “No New Federal Action — Sustained Activities

2.Nonstructural control technologies (i.e., education, monitoring, herbicides, ballast water management)

3.A technology concept involving a specialized lock, lock channel, electric barriers and ANS treatment plants at two mid-system locations in the CAWS

4.A technology concept (CAWS buffer zone) using the same technologies as number 3, preventing downstream passage from Lake Michigan at five points and preventing upstream passage at a single point at Brandon Road Lock and Dam

5.Lakefront hydrologic separation with physical barriers separating the basins at four locations along the lakefront of Lake Michigan.

6.Mid-system hydrologic separation with physical barriers separating the basins at two mid-system locations

7.A hybrid of technology and physical barriers at four mid-system locations, leaving the Cal-Sag channel open

8.A hybrid of technology and physical barriers at four mid-system locations, leaving the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal open

 

The GLMRIS Report presents evaluation criteria to help readers distinguish among the alternatives. Evaluation criteria include design elements unique to each alternative such as initial or long-term operational costs and duration for implementation, as well as related qualitative features for each alternative, such as the magnitude of impact for existing waterway uses or relative effectiveness of preventing interbasin transfer.

 

Start with the Summary of the GLMRIS Report for an overview of these alternatives  http://glmris.anl.gov/glmris-report/


 

General

Does taking multiple medicines increase your risk of being admitted to hospital? Yes and No.

Patients with a single illness who take many drugs have an increased risk of being admitted to hospital, but for patients with multiple conditions, taking many medicines is now associated with a near-normal risk of admission. This is the key finding of work published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Doctors call the situation where people take many drugs ‘polypharmacy’, a state of affairs that is becoming increasingly common in part because we have more elderly people and also a rising number of people are being diagnosed with multiple health conditions.

 

“The commonly-held assumption that polypharmacy is always hazardous and represents poor care is misleading. Our work shows that we need more sophisticated approaches to assessing the appropriateness of each patient’s set of medicines,” says lead author Dr Rupert Payne who works at the Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research.

 

Working with colleagues in Nottingham and Glasgow, Dr Payne analysed Scottish NHS primary care data for 180,815 adults with long-term clinical conditions. They identified the numbers of regular medications each person was taking and linked this to whether or not the person was

admitted to hospital in the following year. They found that for patients with

only a single medical condition taking 10 or more medications was associated with a more than three-fold increase in the chance of having an unplanned hospitalisation compared to patients who took only one to three medicines. However, patients with six or more medical conditions who used 10 or more medications only increased their chance of admission by 1.5 times compared to the group taking one to three medicines.

 

“This work is highly relevant to the development and assessment of prescribing skills in general practice where the majority of long-term clinical care is undertaken and where doctors often prescribe drugs for long periods of time. It is particularly important at times when doctors are caring for older patients and those with multiple medical conditions in whom multiple medications are often used,” says Dr Payne.

 

Dr Payne says that previous studies have missed the different effect that polypharmacy has in different people because they used overly simplistic approaches when looking at the effect of taking many drugs at once. He points out that their new work demonstrates the need for more sophisticated and nuanced approaches when measuring the impact of polypharmacy in future clinical research.


 

2nd Amendment Issues

A Lesson Learned As Chicago’s Gun Laws Fall

In his ruling last week that struck down one of the last relics of Chicago’s long-standing gun ban, U.S. District Court Judge Edmond E. Chang made a startling observation. Chang noted that while one of the fundamental duties of government is to protect its citizens, “certain fundamental rights” are protected by the Constitution, and thus should be “outside government's reach.” To put it more bluntly, government cannot – and should not -- be trusted with those rights.

 

This was bad news for Hizzoner Rahm Emanuel, who along with President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, have been trying to rewrite America’s gun laws during their tenure in power (in the case of Holder, I have called publicly for his resignation, and for Obama, the “I” word should no longer be off-limits).

 

Yet, Chang’s ruling was just one of many since 2010 that have struck down, blow by blow, key parts of Chicago’s gun ban that made it one of the most unfriendly cities in America for gun rights – and, by no coincidence, among the most dangerous for its citizens.

In 2008, the Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller, established once and for all, that the Second Amendment codified an “individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” Two years later, in a follow-up decision, the high Court ruled in McDonald v. Chicago, that the right guaranteed in the Second Amendment applied to local governments as well as the federal government. These two foundational rulings set the stage for a comprehensive and long-term campaign, waged by pro-Constitution organizations, against the city of Chicago’s gun laws, and those of the state as well.

 

Around this time last year, I wrote about the federal Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit striking down Illinois’ unconstitutional ban on private carry of firearms, in an opinion authored by well-known jurist Richard Posner. Since then, Illinois has been flooded by citizen applications for concealed carry permits -- in numbers that dwarf the inflated enrollment figures for ObamaCare in the state.

It appears citizens know which program will really keep them safe and healthy.

 

However, the lesson here is not entirely about guns. In fact, the real lesson we can learn from Chicago is just how dangerous conditions for liberty can become when we allow government to ignore the Constitution. Years ago Democrats in Illinois decided, for themselves, that the Rule of Law vested in the Constitution was no longer applicable in modern society. They believed, like most of today's Democrats (and some Republicans) in Congress, that unique, modern challenges warranted extra-legal solutions. The result was years of public policy designed specifically to crush individual freedom.

 

And, the scariest part? The people of Illinois were brainwashed into believing that “modern times called for modern answers,” and this was the way “freedom” had to be presented in the “post 9/11 world.” Only now, after pro-Constitution groups have spent millions in legal fees, are we seeing the true cost to undo years of wrong-headed laws; not to mention the rights violated, and the lives lost, because liberty was made illegal by Chicago politicians and their enablers in Springfield.

 

If we are to learn one thing from this week’s ruling in Chicago, it is not that liberals’ attempts at gun control are bad and unconstitutional. Americans already know this from watching countless gun crimes committed in “gun free zones,” or while waiting for the police to arrive as an intruder prowls through their homes. Rather, the lesson is about how constitutional rights are nearly impossible to reclaim fully after being abandoned in favor of society’s understanding of “contemporary” freedom.

 

So, as we debate the future of gun rights in America, as well as key policy decisions involving our other civil liberties, Americans must reject the claim that our Founding Fathers did not and could not envision the NSA, TSA, local police with armed drones, international terrorism, FISA courts, or no-knock warrants when they drafted the Constitution. They did understand, because they truly understood the inherent nature of government and its drive to control the citizenry with whatever tools are available to it, whether those be muskets or drones. We ignore their lessons at our own peril.

 


Congressmen call BATFE sting tactics 'almost unimaginable'

Courtesy Milwaukee Journal- Sentinal

Calling the ATF's tactics appalling, alarming, disturbing and "almost unimaginable," congressional members on Thursday slammed the agency for how it conducted storefront stings across the nation and renewed their demand for answers.  The sharply worded letter is the latest salvo from members of Congress to U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director B. Todd Jones regarding the undercover operations.

 

Members of both parties have been demanding answers from the agency and Jones since last January when a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation exposed a series of foul-ups and failures in an ATF sting in Milwaukee dubbed Operation Fearless.  Thursday's letter — signed by lawmakers who led the congressional probe into the agency's flawed Fast and Furious operation in Arizona — follows an investigation published by the Journal Sentinel in December that detailed how the ATF used rogue tactics in storefront stings across the nation, from Portland, Ore., to Pensacola, Fla.

 

"Much as in operation Fast and Furious and Operation Fearless, it appears that poor management was the norm in these other storefront operations," the letter said.  The letter was signed by U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee; U.S. Rep. Darrell E. Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the chamber's head investigative panel; and U.S. Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), whose name was not on this letter, signed similarly worded letters critical of the ATF in the past.

 

The Journal Sentinel found that the ATF used mentally disabled individuals to promote their operations in at least five cities — including paying one to get a tattoo on his neck advertising their storefront — and later had them charged with gun and drug crimes. The tattoo was of a giant squid smoking a joint.  In Milwaukee, three guns belonging to the case's lead undercover agent, including a machine gun, were stolen. The machine gun remains missing.

 

Across the country, agents put stings near schools and churches, increasing arrest numbers and penalties — and attracting juveniles with free video games and alcohol. They paid so much for guns and other goods that in some cities it encouraged burglaries. In some cases, defendants bought guns at stores such as Gander Mountain and sold them to undercover agents hours later for more than double what they paid.

 

"In all of these cases, ATF apparently wasted taxpayer dollars on purchases," the lawmakers wrote, citing two examples detailed in the Journal Sentinel's reporting, including one where a defendant bought a gun at the store for $700 and sold it to undercover agents hours later for $2,000.

 

"Operations like this raise questions as to whether ATF was manufacturing crime that would not have otherwise occurred, effectively increasing the overall crime rates in the neighborhoods where the storefronts were located," the letter said.  The lawmakers said they were particularly disturbed by the agency's placement of stings near schools.

 

"It is almost unimaginable that any law enforcement agency would recklessly endanger children in this way — particularly an agency that is tasked with responding to school shootings," the letter said.  The congressional members noted the Journal Sentinel investigation showed the ATF failed to follow its own policy on storefronts. That policy states the agency should only participate in such operations if the potential defendants "are active criminals worthy of federal interest."

 

"We are appalled by ATF agents' lack of judgment in recruiting juveniles and developmentally disabled individuals," the lawmakers wrote.  Also

 

receiving copies of Thursday's letter were U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and other members of Congress.

 

ATF spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun did not respond for comment on the letter Thursday. Earlier, she said the agency enacted reforms after the failures of the Milwaukee sting and the national problems identified by the Journal Sentinel happened before those changes were made.  She also said the ATF created a best practices manual on storefronts in response to the Milwaukee operation, telling agents not to pay inflated prices for guns and to come up with plans in case armed felons try to leave the stings — as happened several times, according to the Journal Sentinel investigation.

 

Questions unanswered

The agency has failed to answer many of the questions sent by congressional members starting nearly a year ago.  The letter sent Thursday includes a batch of new questions and demands a response by Jan. 16. Such deadlines have been routinely ignored by Jones and the ATF in the past.

 

In a briefing with congressional staffers last April, ATF officials did not dispute any of the Journal Sentinel's findings regarding the Milwaukee operation, but indicated the problems found in Milwaukee were isolated.  Citing an earlier letter, the congressional members wrote "we pointed out that ATF's failure to be forthcoming with information was a serious source of concern. In addition to creating significant image problems for an agency charged with upholding public trust, it is detrimental to the efforts of the vast majority of ATF agents and managers who are acting ethically and responsibly."

 

In that April meeting, ATF officials also told congressional members that personnel investigations were underway and a "disciplinary action was pending" against Bernard "B.J." Zapor, special agent in charge of the St. Paul Field Division, which oversees Milwaukee, according to the letter sent Thursday.

 

Before the Journal Sentinel investigation was published, Zapor was promoted by Jones, who as the former U.S. attorney for Minnesota worked with Zapor.  Zapor was later transferred back to being in charge of a field division, taking over the Phoenix office, where Operation Fast and Furious was conducted.

 

"The continued lack of accountability at ATF is disturbing," the letter says.  Last month, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) sent a letter to Horowitz critical of the ATF operations and seeking further investigation, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) issued a statement calling for greater congressional oversight of ATF.

 

Horowitz, the inspector general, already is investigating the ATF's Milwaukee storefront sting, as part of a review of reforms promised by the agency in the wake of its disastrous Operation Fast and Furious, where agents watched as criminals obtained thousands of guns, many which ended up at crime scenes in Mexico.

 

The Department of Justice issued a statement saying Horowitz "can and should" widen his probe to include the Journal Sentinel's new findings. The ATF also asked Horowitz to expand his investigation.  Horowitz has not indicated if he will widen his investigation to include storefront stings in cities other than Milwaukee. His spokesman declined to comment Friday.

 

Following the Journal Sentinel investigation in December, The Arc, a national disability rights group, sent a searing letter to Holder questioning how the ATF used mentally disabled people and then charged them.  In a subsequent meeting with Arc officials, ATF leaders defended the operations but agreed to consider new training to avoid it happening in the future.


State universities postpone vote on guns

The governing body of Pennsylvania's 14 state universities has delayed consideration of a policy that would allow guns on open areas of campus, such as sidewalks and parking lots, the system's chancellor said Thursday.

 

Frank T. Brogan, chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, said more study was needed before adopting a policy and no vote would be taken at the board's next meeting on Jan. 23.  "We still have far too much work to do," Brogan said at a special meeting of system officials in Harrisburg where the proposal was discussed.  Brogan offered no timeline on when a policy may be considered. "This is too important to rush," he said.

 

The proposal was put forth by a task force of board members, university presidents, students, faculty and law enforcement, but the driving force for making the change came from the system's lawyers, who feared that current bans could not survive constitutional challenges. Current practice is to allow each school to dictate whether firearms or weapons would be allowed on its campus.

 

Several faculty union leaders spoke against the tabled proposal, and called for campuses to be gun-free zones.  "The best policy . . . is to prohibit weapons on all areas of campus unless carried by police, security officers, or other security personnel," said Steve Hicks, a professor at Lock Haven University and president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.

 

Justin Amman, student government association president at East Stroudsburg University, urged the board to seek more student input and raised questions about the ability to enforce a policy allowing guns in open areas.   If he were allowed to walk on campus sidewalks with a gun strapped to his hip, he said, "who will stop me at the door to the student union building?"  Also, will metal detectors be needed, he asked.

 

The 14 state universities also include Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.

 

Seven of the universities - California, Edinboro, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Millersville, Shippensburg and Slippery Rock - have individually adopted policies that closely mirror the proposal for open-carry in some areas.  Their policies, the first of which was adopted in April 2012, followed recommendations from lawyers for the state system, who said a blanket prohibition was legally unenforceable.

State Supreme Court cases in recent years have struck down blanket bans, though allowing regulation in sensitive places. Brogan noted a Florida appeals court ruling last month that knocked down a gun ban at the University of North Florida.

 

Kutztown last spring began to allow firearms in open areas of its 289-acre campus in Berks County. The university still restricts weapons in buildings and athletic facilities "or while attending a sporting, entertainment, or educational event on university property or sponsored by the university."  Such narrowly tailored policies have withstood constitutional challenge.

 

And in 2011, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that George Mason University's ban on guns in buildings and at events did not violate the Second Amendment. George Mason also is a public university.  Under the Pennsylvania system's proposal, deadly weapons, including firearms, would continue to be banned inside all campus buildings, including dorms, student unions and cafeterias.

 

They also would be banned from sporting and entertainment events, commencement ceremonies, and other indoor and outdoor areas where large numbers gather, as well as outdoor class meetings, field trips and camps. Deadly weapons include knives with blades longer than three inches, swords, clubs, bows and arrows, explosives and ammunition.


 

Illinois

A Lesson Learned As Chicago’s Gun Laws Fall

In his ruling last week that struck down one of the last relics of Chicago’s long-standing gun ban, U.S. District Court Judge Edmond E. Chang made a startling observation. Chang noted that while one of the fundamental duties of government is to protect its citizens, “certain fundamental rights” are protected by the Constitution, and thus should be “outside government's reach.” To put it more bluntly, government cannot – and should not -- be trusted with those rights.

 

This was bad news for Hizzoner Rahm Emanuel, who along with President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, have been trying to rewrite America’s gun laws during their tenure in power (in the case of Holder, I have called publicly for his resignation, and for Obama, the “I” word should no longer be off-limits).

 

Yet, Chang’s ruling was just one of many since 2010 that have struck down, blow by blow, key parts of Chicago’s gun ban that made it one of the most unfriendly cities in America for gun rights – and, by no coincidence, among the most dangerous for its citizens.

In 2008, the Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller, established once and for all, that the Second Amendment codified an “individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” Two years later, in a follow-up decision, the high Court ruled in McDonald v. Chicago, that the right guaranteed in the Second Amendment applied to local governments as well as the federal government. These two foundational rulings set the stage for a comprehensive and long-term campaign, waged by pro-Constitution organizations, against the city of Chicago’s gun laws, and those of the state as well.

 

Around this time last year, I wrote about the federal Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit striking down Illinois’ unconstitutional ban on private carry of firearms, in an opinion authored by well-known jurist Richard Posner. Since then, Illinois has been flooded by citizen applications for concealed carry permits -- in numbers that dwarf the inflated enrollment figures for ObamaCare in the state.

It appears citizens know which program will really keep them safe and healthy.

However, the lesson here is not entirely about guns. In fact, the real lesson we can learn from Chicago is just how dangerous conditions for liberty can become when we allow government to ignore the Constitution. Years ago Democrats in Illinois decided, for themselves, that the Rule of Law vested in the Constitution was no longer applicable in modern society. They believed, like most of today's Democrats (and some Republicans) in Congress, that unique, modern challenges warranted extra-legal solutions.

The result was years of public policy designed specifically to crush individual freedom.

 

And, the scariest part? The people of Illinois were brainwashed into believing that “modern times called for modern answers,” and this was the way “freedom” had to be presented in the “post 9/11 world.” Only now, after pro-Constitution groups have spent millions in legal fees, are we seeing the true cost to undo years of wrong-headed laws; not to mention the rights violated, and the lives lost, because liberty was made illegal by Chicago politicians and their enablers in Springfield.

 

If we are to learn one thing from this week’s ruling in Chicago, it is not that liberals’ attempts at gun control are bad and unconstitutional. Americans already know this from watching countless gun crimes committed in “gun free zones,” or while waiting for the police to arrive as an intruder prowls through their homes. Rather, the lesson is about how constitutional rights are nearly impossible to reclaim fully after being abandoned in favor of society’s understanding of “contemporary” freedom.

 

So, as we debate the future of gun rights in America, as well as key policy decisions involving our other civil liberties, Americans must reject the claim that our Founding Fathers did not and could not envision the NSA, TSA, local police with armed drones, international terrorism, FISA courts, or no-knock warrants when they drafted the Constitution. They did understand, because they truly understood the inherent nature of government and its drive to control the citizenry with whatever tools are available to it, whether those be muskets or drones. We ignore their lessons at our own peril.


 

Michigan

MI lake sturgeon season begins Feb. 1

Black Lake to open 8 AM

The Michigan DNR announced the 2014 lake sturgeon fishing and spearing season on Black Lake (Cheboygan County) will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1. All anglers must register to participate in the lake sturgeon season.

The 2014 total harvest limit for Michigan is five lake sturgeon. To reduce the chance of exceeding the harvest limit, officials will close the season when one of two scenarios occurs:

1) Once the fifth fish has been harvested, or
2) Once four fish have been harvested at the end of any fishing day. 

Fishing hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day of the season. The season will either end at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, or when one of the above scenarios is met, at which point anglers will be notified on the ice by DNR personnel that they must immediately stop fishing for lake sturgeon.

Anglers 17 years of age or older must possess a valid all-species fishing license. In addition, all anglers must possess a lake sturgeon tag, available for free from all license vendors. Anglers must have both of these prior to registering for the Black Lake sturgeon season. 

The 2014 angler registration process will be similar to what was enacted in 2013. Anglers need to only register once for the entire season. An early registration will be held at the DNR Onaway Field Station from 2 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31. This station is located about 5 miles north of Onaway on Route 211. Anglers can pick up their spearing identification flags at this time and learn more about season logistics and sturgeon populations from the DNR.

Anglers unable to participate in the Friday registration may register only
 

at the registration trailer at Zolner Road ending on Black Lake. Morning registration begins at 7 a.m. each day of the season. Anglers are highly encouraged to register on Friday, Jan. 31.
 

Anglers will be issued a disposable flag at registration that must be displayed each day at the entrance of the angler’s shanty.

 

An angler who harvests a lake sturgeon must immediately tag the fish and contact an on-ice DNR employee and register the fish at the Zolner Road trailer registration site on Black Lake. Registration may include an examination of internal organs and removal of a piece of fin tissue for DNA analysis and aging. 

Recent changes in registration logistics were developed to allow greater participation by anglers while protecting the population of lake sturgeon in Black Lake from overharvest. In addition, the DNR and Michigan State University have been determining annual population estimates of adult fish from the spring spawning run, which allows officials to set a safe harvest level. The harvest limit in 2014 is lower than the 2013 limit.

“Our ongoing research efforts on spawning Black River sturgeon have yielded a better population model to annually estimate the adult sturgeon spawning population,” said Ed Baker, DNR research biologist. “A 2013 survey by DNR revealed recent stocking efforts in the lake have been fruitful, and we anticipate some of these fish will enter the spring spawning run in a few years. Once this occurs we anticipate an increase in future safe harvest levels for anglers."

For more info: 989-732-3541 www.michigan.gov/fishing
.

 


Anglers no longer required to keep baitfish receipts
A new viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) regulation went into effect Jan. 9 removing the regulation for anglers who purchase and use minnows as bait by removing the retail sales receipt provision. Anglers will now no longer be required to possess their bait receipts while fishing and retail minnow sellers will no longer be required to provide anglers with detailed receipts for minnows.

VHS is a serious viral disease that has spread into the Great Lakes region and caused large-scale fish kills. VHS was first identified in the Great Lakes in 2005 and has caused mortalities in a number of fish species in the Michigan waters of Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, St. Clair and Detroit rivers, Lake Erie, and inland in Budd Lake near Harrison and Base Line Lake near Pinckney. It has also been found in Lake Michigan waters of Wisconsin. The DNR actively monitors for VHS throughout the year and as other areas are identified positive for VHS, they will be listed online at www.michigan.gov/vhs.

Receipts were previously used for educational and enforcement purposes to direct anglers to places where their bait could be used based on purchase location and whether or not it was certified as disease-free. VHS regulations have been in effect for several years and, after careful review, the DNR determined the retail receipt provision could be removed because anglers are more knowledgeable about the risks associated with baitfish use.
 

There is no known treatment for VHS, so preventing the spread of disease is the best way to protect Michigan’s fish. Anglers can help prevent the spread of VHS by keeping the following tips in mind when using baitfish:

  • Learn to identify the species of baitfish you are using. Species known to be susceptible to VHS and typically used as live bait include emerald shiners, spottail shiners and white suckers. Other species occasionally used as bait that are susceptible to VHS include bluntnose minnows, trout perch, gizzard shad, shorthead redhorse and silver redhorse.

  • Request that your local bait store sell certified disease-free baitfish.

  • Purchase and use only certified disease-free baitfish.

  • Never move live fish between bodies of water.

  • Disinfect your bait bucket, livewells and bilges between uses with a bleach solution (half-cup of bleach to 5 gallons of water) or allow equipment to dry thoroughly before using in a different body of water.

  • Properly dispose of all bait containers including worms and soil, crayfish and minnows in a trash receptacle.

 

Protecting Michigan’s world-class water resources is everyone’s responsibility for now and future generations. All boaters need to drain their livewell(s) and bilge of their boat upon leaving the waterbody because it’s the law.


Derby directors encouraged to schedule events at DNR sites through new Web application  
The Michigan DNR, in collaboration with the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, recently completed development and testing on a Web application designed to allow bass tournament directors to schedule events at DNR access sites, and to report their catch results online.

The Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System (MFTIS) is now available to tournament directors for use in scheduling their 2014 tournaments. This application gives tournament directors the ability to view other bass tournaments scheduled on a selected waterbody, so they can plan appropriately.

In addition to alleviating scheduling concerns, this application will help directors voluntarily share their tournament catch data with the DNR’s

Fisheries Division, which can be valuable information in managing the state’s fisheries.
 

Tournament directors will have to set up a Michigan Single-Sign-On account so they can log in and voluntarily schedule their events at DNR-administered public access sites and to record their catch data. Members of the public can use the MFTIS application to check tournament schedules on a given lake or access site, without creating a log-in. However, the public will not be able to view catch results.

Tournament catch results will be downloaded monthly by Fisheries Division staff. The level of participation and quality of tournament catch records provided by directors will directly determine the use of the data for fisheries assessment and management purposes.

The Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System is available at www.mcgi.state.mi.us/fishingtournaments.


 

Minnesota

Panel explores issues affecting state's hunting, fishing tradition

Minnesota's hunting and fishing tradition is facing unprecedented demographic challenges that will require new approaches to address declines in participation rates.

 

That's the essence of a new report compiled by a panel of hunting and fishing interests convened by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance (MOHA).

 

"Minnesota is in the enviable position of having hunting and angling participation rates double the national average," said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. "Yet challenges are ahead. That's because young Minnesotans aren't hunting and fishing at the levels of previous generations, long-time Baby Boom hunters and anglers are destined to drop out, and future population growth will be driven largely by ethnic cultures that do not have long-held Minnesota-based hunting and fishing traditions."

 

Hunting and fishing are important to the state's economy. Minnesota hunters and anglers spend $3.3 billion within and out of Minnesota, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2011 national survey of hunting, fishing and wildlife recreation. Hunting and fishing support 48,000 Minnesota jobs and the additional benefits of connecting people with nature, promoting conservation, and providing healthy outdoor exercise.

 

About 28 percent of Minnesotans age 16 and older fish; 12 percent hunt. Since 2000, Minnesota has experienced a 12 percent decline in hunting and fishing license rates as the population has grown from 4.9 to 5.3 million. Actual license sales have stayed relatively stable at 1.5 million anglers and 570,000 hunters.

 

A desire to sustain the state's hunting and fishing tradition prompted Landwehr and MOHA to convene the Commissioner's Council on Hunting and Angling Recruitment and Retention. This stakeholder council, comprised of hunting, angling and recreation interests, met several times during 2013 and issued a report of its findings.

 

Among council conclusions were:

  • It's in the best interest of Minnesota to sustain hunters and anglers as they support land, water and species conservation through the

  • purchase of hunting and fishing licenses and are advocates for major environmental initiatives, including the 2008 Legacy Amendment.

  • Government and stakeholders must adapt to an unprecedented generational challenge as Baby Boomers, who have high participation rates, become less active.

  • The hunting and angling community must adapt to an emerging race/ethnicity challenge that may make recruiting hunters and anglers more difficult.

  • The social processes necessary to recruit and retain hunters and anglers needs to be better understood by those who seek to create the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts. Barriers to development of hunters and anglers needs to be better understood and addressed.

  • More rigor needs to be applied to recruitment and retention program evaluation so that outcomes can be measured more accurately.

 

C.B. Bylander, outreach chief for DNR's Fish and Wildlife Division, said the council's work was valuable. "The outdoors community recognizes the need to design and deliver more effective public and private sector recruitment and retention programs," said Bylander. "By reviewing research and collectively applying this knowledge we can improve." Council members included representatives from Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation and other outdoor interests.

 

The council recommended seven actions. Recruitment recommendations included: 1) developing and supporting after school clubs for youth; 2) an "I am a hunter/angler" marketing campaign aimed at young adults; 3) learn to hunt and fish workshops for young adults; and 4) family-oriented hunting and fishing awareness and skill workshop events.

 

Retention recommendations included: 1) creating a web-based clearing house for hunting and fishing information targeted at young adults; 2) a reverse mentoring campaign that encourages younger hunters and anglers to hunt and fish with older hunters and angler who otherwise may drop out; and 3) enacting a new family license that incorporates hunting, fishing, state park and other privileges.

The DNR will develop a recommendation implementation plan in the months ahead in cooperation with an on-going recruitment and retention stakeholder committee.

 

 

 

 


 

New York

NY Adopts plan to improve Hudson River Water Quality

$136 Million in upgrades will significantly reduce sewage discharges

Hudson River water quality will be improved significantly and discharges of stormwater-diluted sewage will be reduced drastically under an agreement between the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and six Capital Region communities, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. Under a consent order with DEC, the Albany Pool communities and the Albany County and Rensselaer County sewer districts will upgrade their systems as well as complete green infrastructure projects.

 

“These local communities understand the need to take decisive action to prevent pollution from entering the Hudson River after storms and have worked closely with the State to develop an effective solution,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “We are committed to creating a cleaner, healthier and more vibrant Hudson River. This plan is an important step in achieving that goal and will improve the river’s water quality while providing additional opportunities for fishing and other recreational activities for local residents and visitors.”

 

As a result of the required water quality improvements from the Long-Term Control Plan (LTCP) announced today, recreational use of the Hudson River is expected to be able to resume within 10 hours after most typical rainstorms in the area (up to 1 inch per 24 hours, which represents 90 percent of rain events in the area). Currently, recreational uses may not resume activities in the river for days after heavy precipitation in the area.

 

The Albany Pool includes the cities of Albany, Troy, Rensselaer, Cohoes and Watervliet and the Village of Green Island.  These six communities, along with the two county sewer districts, will implement the LTCP. The plan, which was approved by the legislatures in each community, will significantly reduce and properly control combined sewer overflows to the Hudson River that occur when the amount of collected rain or snowmelt and sewage in the sewers exceeds the capacity of the county wastewater treatment plants. Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) are direct discharges of stormwater-diluted sewage into a waterway.

 

The projects, which will cost $136 million, will bring the Albany Pool and the Rensselaer and Albany County Sewer Districts into compliance with New York State water quality standards and federal Clean Water Act

requirement. A majority of the improvement projects will be completed

within 10 years and a significant number of the projects to reduce bacteria will be completed in the first five years of the plan.

 

Once the LTCP is fully implemented, Albany Pool communities and the two county sewer districts will be able to capture 85 percent of the CSO volume and treat it for bacteria and sewage-related floatable waste. The plan also will implement a strategy to maximize the use of green infrastructure practices designed to achieve additional CSO reductions over time.

 

Key elements of the LTCP include:

·  Maximizing the flow of combined sewage from the Albany Pool communities to the Albany County and Rensselaer County wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs); pump stations upgrades; sewer system improvements; and, sizing the new bacterial disinfection systems in the county treatment plants to accommodate and treat more stormwater-related volume.

 

·  Building and operating a new satellite treatment facility to disinfect CSO flow and control of sewage-related floatable waste at the largest CSO outfall in the system, located on Broadway by the U-Haul Building in the City of Albany.

 

·  Implementing multiple projects to separate combined sewers (create separate lines for stormwater and sewage) to eliminate some existing CSOs.

 

·  Adding facilities to control the discharge of floatable waste at major CSO outfalls in the city of Cohoes and at the Corning Preserve in Albany.

 

·  Implementing a long-term green infrastructure (GI) strategy to further reduce CSO releases above the 85 percent capture and treatment level. The strategy will maximize the use of GI in the Albany Pool communities which will reduce CSOs over time. GI practices help control stormwater at its source, remove pollutants, and reduce the amount of runoff and waste that ends up in sewer systems and local water bodies.  Examples of GI practices are green roofs, pervious pavement and rain gardens.

 

Additional information about the Long-Term Control Plan: www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/95122.html.


 

Pennsylvania

State universities postpone vote on guns

The governing body of Pennsylvania's 14 state universities has delayed consideration of a policy that would allow guns on open areas of campus, such as sidewalks and parking lots, the system's chancellor said Thursday.

 

Frank T. Brogan, chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, said more study was needed before adopting a policy and no vote would be taken at the board's next meeting on Jan. 23.  "We still have far too much work to do," Brogan said at a special meeting of system officials in Harrisburg where the proposal was discussed.  Brogan offered no timeline on when a policy may be considered. "This is too important to rush," he said.

 

The proposal was put forth by a task force of board members, university presidents, students, faculty and law enforcement, but the driving force for making the change came from the system's lawyers, who feared that current bans could not survive constitutional challenges. Current practice is to allow each school to dictate whether firearms or weapons would be allowed on its campus.

 

Several faculty union leaders spoke against the tabled proposal, and called for campuses to be gun-free zones.  "The best policy . . . is to prohibit weapons on all areas of campus unless carried by police, security officers, or other security personnel," said Steve Hicks, a professor at Lock Haven University and president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.

 

Justin Amman, student government association president at East Stroudsburg University, urged the board to seek more student input and raised questions about the ability to enforce a policy allowing guns in open areas.   If he were allowed to walk on campus sidewalks with a gun strapped to his hip, he said, "who will stop me at the door to the student union building?"  Also, will metal detectors be needed, he asked.

The 14 state universities also include Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.

 

Seven of the universities - California, Edinboro, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Millersville, Shippensburg and Slippery Rock - have individually adopted policies that closely mirror the proposal for open-carry in some areas.  Their policies, the first of which was adopted in April 2012, followed recommendations from lawyers for the state system, who said a blanket prohibition was legally unenforceable.

State Supreme Court cases in recent years have struck down blanket bans, though allowing regulation in sensitive places. Brogan noted a Florida appeals court ruling last month that knocked down a gun ban at the University of North Florida.

 

Kutztown last spring began to allow firearms in open areas of its 289-acre campus in Berks County. The university still restricts weapons in buildings and athletic facilities "or while attending a sporting, entertainment, or educational event on university property or sponsored by the university."  Such narrowly tailored policies have withstood constitutional challenge.

 

And in 2011, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that George Mason University's ban on guns in buildings and at events did not violate the Second Amendment. George Mason also is a public university.  Under the Pennsylvania system's proposal, deadly weapons, including firearms, would continue to be banned inside all campus buildings, including dorms, student unions and cafeterias.

 

They also would be banned from sporting and entertainment events, commencement ceremonies, and other indoor and outdoor areas where large numbers gather, as well as outdoor class meetings, field trips and camps. Deadly weapons include knives with blades longer than three inches, swords, clubs, bows and arrows, explosives and ammunition.


 

Wisconsin

Draft plan for Green Bay wildlife, fisheries and natural areas available for input
PESHTIGO, Wis. – Protection of aquatic resources and habitats – including northern pike and sturgeon spawning areas – and high-quality

 

and rare natural communities are among the objectives of a draft plan for

the management and use of the Green Bay Planning group, a collection of Department of Natural Resources properties scattered along the west shore of Green Bay.  -  Read Full Article


Snowmobilers urged to slow down, gear up & have fun
MADISON – Wisconsin’s Snowmobile chief r Warden Gary Eddy is urging all snowmobilers to mark the upcoming International Snowmobile Safety

 

Week in two ways: ride with a safety mindset and take a friend snowmobiling.  -  Read Full Article


DNR seeks partners to preserve Wisconsin’s hunting heritage
MADISON -- A new grant program, aimed at increasing hunter recruitment

 

and retention in Wisconsin, will provide up to $10,000 in cost-sharing

grants to organizations with creative plans to attract and train new hunters and mentors.  -  Read Full Article


Think spring and plan your Learn to Hunt turkey event for adults & novice hunters
MADISON -- Think of it as Thanksgiving in the spring with a meal-time

 

theme for families and others enjoying the great outdoors and Wisconsin traditions.  -  Read Full Article


Now is the time to take hunter education
MADISON – People who will need a hunter safety certificate to hunt this year should not wait until fall to get enrolled in Hunter Education if they

want to in the woods hunting this fall, according to state hunting safety officials.   -  Read Full Article


 

Online map details shooting ranges open for public use

MADISON – People looking for a shooting range to sharpen their shooting

 

skills now have a new online resource to help them find target ranges Read Full Article


 

 

Ontario

Trucking co. fined $75,000 for Importing Live Asian Carp

An Edmonton, Alberta, trucking company and a Markham, Ontario, truck driver have been fined total of $75,000 for possessing live Asian carp in Ontario. Alltheway Trucking Inc. and Yong-Sheng Zhang were each found guilty under the federal Fisheries Act for possessing live invasive fish. The company was fined $70,000 and the truck driver was fined $5,000. In addition, over 3,000 kilograms of grass carp was forfeited to the Crown.

The court heard that on January 25, 2012, a truck from Alltheway Trucking Inc. entered Canada at the Ambassador Bridge’s Windsor/Detroit border crossing carrying grass and bighead carp from Arkansas. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) contacted the Ministry of Natural Resources to assist with the inspection of the truck. Conservation officers with the Lake Erie Enforcement Unit inspected the truck and found that some of the grass carp were still alive. They subsequently seized all of the fish.

 

On February 28, 2012, the same truck and driver again entered Canada at the Ambassador Bridge’s Windsor/Detroit border crossing carrying bighead carp from the state of Arkansas. After being contacted by the CBSA, conservation officers found 6,350 kilograms of bighead carp, some of which were alive. They seized the truck and fish. Both the truck and the fish were held until such time as officers were able to determine that all of the bighead carp in the truck were dead.

 

Justice of the Peace Maureen Ryan-Brode heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Windsor, from June 3 to June 7, 2013, and rendered her decision on January 16, 2014.

It has been illegal to possess live invasive fish, including bighead, grass, black and silver carp, in Ontario since 2005 because of the significant threat they pose to the province’s lake systems. As part of the ongoing efforts to protect Ontario’s environment from the importation of invasive species, the Ministry of Natural Resources will continue to work with its law enforcement partners to monitor compliance with the legislation.

 


$72,500 in Fines for Illegal Activities at Lodge

Eleven people have pleaded guilty to a total of 68 charges and been fined $72,500 for offences that took place at a hunting and fishing lodge in northwest Ontario.

 

Steve Herbeck, former owner and carrying on business as Andy Myers Lodge, on Eagle Lake, west of Dryden, was fined a total of $7,500 and his business was fined a total of $27,000 for 22 offences. He is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for ten years.

 

Ten others including employees and guests from ON, NY, WI and New Zealand pleaded guilty and the total charge for all 11 were 68 charges under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, Ontario Fishery Regulations and Migratory Birds Convention Act.

 

Their offences included:

·   unlawfully hunting wolf

·   unlawfully using a hunting licence belonging to another person

·   making a false statement in a document

·   making a false statement to a conservation officer

·   having a loaded firearm in a vehicle

·   possessing uncased firearms at night

·   discharging a firearm from a roadway  

 

·   unlawfully selling game wildlife

·   unlawfully selling migratory birds

·   fishing with more than one fishing line

·   failing to comply with the requirements for an Ontario Hunting and Fishing Licence Issuer, and

·   possessing an over-limit of Canada geese.

 

The court heard that Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers conducted a two-year covert investigation in cooperation with the USFWS, the DNRs WI, MI, NY & MN, and the New Zealand Commission of Wildlife. Conservation officers discovered that Steve Herbeck and his staff encouraged clients to hunt wolves without a license. Staff then used their own resident licences to validate the wolf or arranged for guests to buy licences afterward. Steve Herbeck allowed guests to fish without a licence and later sold them backdated fishing licences.

 

As part of their package, guests were fed grouse and mallard duck and advised they were fed American elk, all of which the lodge was not allowed to sell. Steve Herbeck also took guests muskellunge fishing and used more than the allowable amount of fishing rods.

Justices of the Peace Daisy Hoppe and Edith Baas heard the cases between January 15 and December 17, 2013, in the Ontario Court of Justice, Dryden.


 

Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act proposed in Congress

Sen. John Cornyn has introduced the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which is the first pro-gun legislation. He added that the iron is hot since Illinois became the 50th state to allow for concealed carry, after being forced by the federal courts to rewrite

 

Deer Hunting More a Sport than Football

Super Star Ted Nugent says outdoorsmanship is on the rise: especially since it was traditionally associated with a more upper-crust segment of society, he described as flaccid with a certain feebleness. In football and baseball you can strike out or miss a catch, if you miss in deer hunting you buy a chicken for dinner."

 

Walleye anglers on Saginaw waterways reeling in surprise catch: Sturgeon
Recently, the second angler this winter reported catching a live sturgeon on the Saginaw River or Bay, Mich.

 

Great Lakes see sizable gains in water levels over 2013
The Great Lakes have come closer than they have in years to returning to their long-term average water levels, thanks to 2013’s wet weather, according to hydrologists with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

 

Man dead, woman missing, trying to retreive cellphone in Chicago River

A man died and a woman is missing after falling into the Chicago River overnight, and another man is hospitalized in which the three were trying to retrieve a cellphone that fell into the water. The man climbed over a fence to reach for his phone after

 

 

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