Week of June 23 , 2003




2nd Amendment issues






       Weekly News Archives


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National - Bush administration adopts rules to reduce forest fire threats

WASHINGTON - New government rules effective June 4 no longer require environmental studies before trees are logged or burned to prevent forest fires. The rules also limit appeals of such projects.

The goal is to speed the removal of trees and brush from 190 million acres of forests that have become overgrown and prone to major fires as result of a century of aggressive fire suppression.  President Bush proposed the

changes as part of a "Healthy Forests Initiative" that he outlined last year after touring a stretch of charred forest in Oregon that was part of the 7 million acres that burned last summer.


Environmental groups say the rules will make it easier for logging companies to cut down trees in national forests and will limit the public's input in forest management decisions. The previous rules required environmental studies for nearly every logging project.


National - SCI Asks House Subcommittee to Kill Anti-Hunting Bill

TUCSON, Ariz., June 12, 2003  SCI, the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide, today presented strong testimony to the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife & Oceans of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Resources against HR 1472.  Introduced as the “Don’t Feed the Bears Act”, SCI reports the bill represents a dangerous and unnecessary attempt to usurp the authority of state wildlife agencies to effectively manage wildlife.


Congress has specifically recognized the leading role of state wildlife agencies in conserving wildlife on federal public lands.  SCI lobbyist Ron Marlenee reminded the subcommittee of this during his testimony this morning.  He also underscored that bear populations are healthy in the United States; that hunting bears over bait is an ethical and effective management tool to keep rising bear populations in check so bear/human conflicts can be minimized.


Since hunting bears over bait is permitted in nine of the 20 states where bear hunting occurs, several state agencies joined SCI in speaking out against the proposed legislation being championed by animal rights zealots.  “Sound science and professional wildlife officials refute every finding presented in HR 1472,” said Marlenee, a Member of the US Congress between 1976 and 1992.  “The bill is not needed.  Frankly, it will harm bear populations, handcuff professional wildlife management, and increase the probability of contact between humans and nuisance bears.”


Both Michigan and New Hampshire state officials are among those concurring with SCI.  Michigan, which arranged for Dr. Duane Etter, a bear specialist, to also testify today against the proposed legislation, said, “This bill, if enacted, would severely limit the ability of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to manage Michigan’s black bear resource.”


Calling the purported findings statements in the bill grossly misleading, SCI’s Marlenee noted that “the animal cultists encouraging this bill attempt to confuse the public.  Their misinformation tries to equate public encouragement to not hand-feed bears in national parks like Yellowstone with the management tool of baiting.  Hunting bears over bait enhances bear populations by facilitating selective harvests instead of split-second shots at moving targets in heavy brush.”


It’s important for hunters to know their targets so we can protect the females and cubs, added Marlenee.  “Baiting reduces the chance for a wounded bear.  It allows for humane harvests, and in Grizzly country it greatly diminishes the potential for accidental shootings of a threatened species.”


Continuing his slam on anti-hunters, Marlenee noted the fabricated argument portraying baiting stations as an abomination in the environment.  He said the truth is that sportsmen and women hunting bears over bait do not useany more bait than necessary.  After all, hunters must

haul bait to the hunting site, clean up any bait not eaten, and haul it back out of the wilderness.  State and federal laws prohibit hunters from leaving bait in the field and all bait must be biodegradable. 


Marlenee also debunked the argument that bait stations on federal land allow bears to increase food intake, resulting in higher birth rates and increasing bear populations. “Let us be realistic. Let us examine the fat bear myth,” said Marlenee. “Michigan has a total population of 20,000 bears. Minnesota has a bear population of 30,000 bears.  How can one get fat bears when the average bait size used by hunters is five to 20 pounds, and the hunting bears over bait seasons are short?” 


The idea that feeding bears habituates them to being fed and increases bear conflicts with people is absurd, explained Marlenee.  “Sportsmen and women hunting bears over bait are not out there giving food handouts.  The preponderance of evidence from professional wildlife managers is that hunting bear increases bear avoidance of people, and it is the very bears with the potential to become nuisance bears that are most likely to be attracted and eliminated by baiting.  Conversely, those in the wild where food supply is abundant tend to avoid human scented food and are especially difficult to hunt.”


Marlenee made much of the “apples and oranges comparison” anti-hunters advance that compares hand-feeding of bears with leaving a small amount of bait for hunting.  He cited the Director of the Alaska Fish & Game who said, “It should be noted that Juneau, one of the areas with the most chronic and persistent black bear problems, is located in a management unit where baiting is prohibited.  Contrasted with that in Fairbanks, where hunting (including baiting) is allowed in the outskirts of the community and where black bear problems are nil.”


Marlenee has represented the interests of sportsmen and women for 25 years.  He concluded his testimony by underscoring that states were given the responsibility for managing wildlife, and why HR 1472 would set a bad precedent for unneeded federal intervention in wildlife management issues.


“This legislation would supercede what clearly is a states’ rights issue.  Wildlife management is site specific.  It is absolutely inappropriate and unscientific to take a one-size-fits-all approach to the management of bears,” said Marlenee.


He added the states have done an excellent job of expanding populations for all types of wildlife.  “By effectively using the billions of dollars that sportsmen invest to enjoy the outdoors, habitat has been enriched and there is a plethora of wildlife for viewing and hunting.  The states and sportsmen have provided this for the American public because we care about wildlife and the great outdoors. The animal rights groups did not do this. I would suggest the Resources Committee listen closely to wildlife specialists and evaluate sound science not the sensationalism and emotionalism sounds made by the animal cults.”


National - Good News from Congress

Congressmen Sam Graves (MO), Marilyn Musgrave (CO) and longtime Champion Richard Pombo (CA) Resources Committee Chairman, are speaking out in support of private property rights and common sense.


Rep. Graves has introduced a bill, HR 1517, that will change the Land and Water Conservation Fund to prohibit land acquisition, so that all the money in the fund will go to maintenance and construction of recreational facilities, from shooting ranges to tennis courts, campgrounds, bathrooms, trails, roads, headquarters and interpretive centers. It would prohibit use of the funds for land acquisition, because federal and state governments

already own nearly 40% of the land in the United States.  Graves is seeking cosponsors on his bill.


Pombo also had a few things to say about the extreme green crowd regarding the enviros and the Endangered Species Act, which was approved thirty years ago:  "Today the radical environmental community in America attacked the Bush Administration again with the signature scare-tactics they've used for the last three decades," countered Pombo. "Frankly, their rhetoric has become tiresome for all Americans. It's like watching a bad, thirty year-old horror movie: the effects are terrible because the technology is poor, the acting is weak, and the writing is painful."

National - $10 Million for Clean Vessel Act grant program

USFWS Director Steve Williams announced on June 4 $10 million in Clean Vessel Act Pump-out Program grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to 27 states.  Participating states will use these grant funds to construct, develop and maintain sewage pump-out facilities for recreational boaters and for programs that educate boaters about the importance of properly disposing of their sewage.


"This is an important program of the USFWS that is helping America's boaters keep our waterways clean," said Williams. This is the ninth year of awards from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Clean Vessel Act Grant Program. The USFWS has now awarded $90 million to states through this program since Congress authorized the program in 1992.  This is the last year of the program's current authorization. The program will reimburse states for up to 75 % of the project costs.


The USFWS received 38 proposals from 27 States requesting $15.9 million in funding this fiscal year.  All of the proposals were reviewed and ranked by representatives from the USFWS, U.S. Coast Guard, EPA and NOAA. The reviewers recommended funding all of the proposals, although available funds required that eight receive less than the amounts requested.


In the Great Lakes region the Indiana Department of Environmental Management received $179,715. Program

funds will be used to develop pump-out facilities at Lake James, Lake Freeman, and Lake Shafer and one facility on the Ohio River. The state also plans to purchase one pump-out boat for use on the Ohio River.


The Michigan DNR received $60,000.  The state plans to issue grants to local governments and private marina operators for the development of pump-out facilities.  These facilities will be located along the shoreline of the Great Lakes.


The Minnesota DNR got $40,000.  The state plans to construct pump-out facilities on the St. Croix River in Washington County, on the Mississippi River in Winona County, and at Leech Lake.


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation received $340,750. Program funds are planned to be used to develop 12 new pump-out/dump stations.  Inland areas - New York State DEC $110,150. Program funds will be used to develop 4 new pump-out/dump stations.


The OhioDNR, Division of Watercraft received $158,000 to develop pump-out stations at 8 locations along Lake Erie's coastline. For Inland areas the Ohio DNR, Division of Watercraft got $201,000 to develop pump-out stations at 6 locations including Atwood Lake, Seneca Lake, and on the Ohio River.


Nat'l - Top U.S. health official warns West Nile could hit hard

WASHINGTON — Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson warned recently of the potential for another outbreak of the deadly mosquito-borne West Nile virus in the United States this summer because of the wet spring weather.


"Because of the tremendous amount of rain we've had, the kind of moisture that's in the fields; it's going to be great fertile breeding grounds for mosquitoes. We can expect that West Nile virus is going to hit the United States pretty hard this summer," Thompson said.


Thompson said that funds were being provided to state and local agencies to eradicate mosquito breeding grounds, which he said was the best way to prevent the spread of West Nile virus. The health secretary also urged people to

take steps to guard against mosquito bites.


"We're encouraging everybody that when they go outside to make sure that they use insect repellent wherever they go, to use long-sleeve shirts and blouses when they're out in the woods, and to avoid areas where insects, and especially mosquitoes, are," Thompson said.


U.S. health officials reported last week that the West Nile virus had resurfaced in two dozen states, but they stopped short of predicting another record outbreak.


Last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documented 4,156 cases of West Nile in the United States, including 284 deaths. The outbreak was the largest since the virus first appeared in the Western Hemisphere in 1999. No human cases have been reported yet this year.


Schornack confirmation as Chair of U.S. Section of IJC

The confirmation of Dennis Schornack as chair of the U.S. Section of the International Joint Commission is pending on this week's calendar of the U.S. Senate, and we need your help.  Follows is an open letter to the Senate.  Schornack is an avid angler and boater and a firm supporter of the sport fishing community from all over the basin – and a big time adversary of invasive species.  He needs our support and endorsement. 


All you need to do is send your name and home town and state to: [email protected] and he will add your name to the letter below.


Dan Thomas, President
Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council


June 23, 2003


The United States Senate

Capitol Building

Washington, D.C.  20510


Dear Senators:


We urge you to confirm the Honorable Dennis Schornack as Chairman of the United States Section of the International Joint Commission (IJC).  He has most ably served in that position since April of 2002, has achieved much over that same period and is extremely well qualified to continue in this important post.  That’s why we join former Michigan Governor Bill Milliken, former Wisconsin governor Anthony Earl and former Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley in supporting his confirmation.


Under the leadership of Chairman Schornack, the IJC has moved swiftly to raise awareness in the United States and Canada about the growing threat of aquatic invasive species.  For example, he played a key role in the installation of an electrical dispersal barrier in the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal to block the passage of the Asian carp – a huge filter-feeding fish that threatens to devastate the Great Lakes fishery.


In addition, under his thoughtful supervision, the IJC issued the first report in almost a decade on the status of polluted hotspots in the Great Lakes known as Areas of Concern and discussions are underway with both governments to make this report a living document on the Internet for the first time.  Moreover, as one of the original authors of Annex 2001 of the Great Lakes Charter, Chairman Schornack is uniquely suited to lead the IJC in discussions over how best to protect the waters of the Great Lakes from diversion.

We are also honored that Chairman Schornack has succeeded in scheduling the IJC’s Great Lakes Conference and Biennial Meeting in Ann Arbor this September, bringing this event to the heart of the Great Lakes for the first time since 1991. 


For more than a year, Chairman Schornack has patiently waited for the Senate to act and has served our president and our nation with grace and distinction.  Moreover, he has developed excellent relations with his counterparts in Canada, earning the respect and admiration of his fellow commissioners.  Therefore, we urge you to do what’s right for the Great Lakes and for America by confirming the Honorable Dennis Schornack as Chairman of the U.S. Section of the International Joint Commission.



Regional - Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Plan

The following is proposed legislation for the Corps of Engineers to support restoration of the Great Lakes fishery and ecosystem. Section 506, Water Resources Development Act 2000, (Public Law 106-541, 114 STAT. 2645) would be updated to include the provisions outlined below.


Congress has found that the Great Lakes comprise a nationally and internationally significant fishery and ecosystem that should be developed and enhanced in a coordinated manner. As a result they approved legislation that was signed into law known as the Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Program. This legislation provides the Corps of Engineers programmatic authority to support restoration of the Great Lakes fishery and ecosystem.  The purpose of the program is to cooperate with other Federal, State, and local agencies and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to plan, implement, and evaluate projects supporting the restoration of the fishery, ecosystem, and beneficial uses of the Great Lakes. This is a 3-part program consisting of a Support Plan, Projects and an Evaluation Program.

Support Plan

Section 506(c) calls for development of a plan to support the management of Great Lakes fisheries not later than 11 December 2001. This plan is to be developed in cooperation with all interests including the 15 signatories to, "A Joint Strategic Plan for Management of The Great Lakes Fisheries", a binational group of fishery resource agencies and tribal governments who desired a coordinated fishery management program for the Great Lakes. The support plan is to use existing documents to the maximum extent. The legislation specifically mentions Lakewide Area Management Plans and Remedial Action Plans. The fish-community objectives for each of the Great Lakes, published by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission will also be a significant contributor to the support plan. There is a federal limit of $300,000 for this plan and it is cost shared at 35% with a non-federal interest. 



The Corps of Engineers is authorized to plan, design and implement projects that support the restoration of the fishery, ecosystem and beneficial uses of the Great Lakes. These restoration and protection projects will be consistent with the support plan and coordinated with all interests including the appropriate resource agencies. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, Annex 2, 1987 Protocols defined 14 impairments to the beneficial uses of the Great Lakes waters as reasons for listing a site as an Area of Concern. Nine of the impairments are to fishery and ecosystem resources of the Great Lakes waters. As such, the Areas of Concern are targets for restoration. There is an authorized limit of $100,000,000 for projects and subsequent evaluations and also are cost shared 65/35 with a non-federal interest.


Evaluation Program

The Corps of Engineers, in cooperation with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and appropriate Federal, State and local agencies, will develop a program to evaluate the success of the implemented projects in protecting and restoring the fishery, ecosystem and beneficial uses of the Great Lakes. The evaluations are cost shared 65/35 and the authorized federal limit for evaluations and projects is




The people of the Great Lakes Region will benefit greatly from implementation of the Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Program. The Support Plan, in collaboration with local needs, will insure stable and sustainable fish populations. These and associated recreational benefits, will help meet the growing needs of the region.


Examples of the types of projects and resource benefits from this program are noted below.  

  • Removal of unnecessary barriers in Great Lakes tributaries.  This opens up stream habitat for a variety of fish species, helping to increase spawning and to create fishing opportunities.




  • Creation of fish passage facilities.  This facilitates upstream migration of fish in Great Lakes tributaries, helping to increase spawning and to create fishing opportunities.


  • Creation of soft structures (shoreline enhancement).  This increases fish and wildlife habitat along and adjacent to the shoreline, prevents erosion, improves aesthetics and in some cases protects important landward resources.  


  • Riparian habitat stabilization.  Like creation of soft structures, this can protect existing resources, restore natural habitat and provide shade to reduce stream temperatures.  Reduction of stream temperatures protects trout and salmon, which are sensitive to warmer water.


  • Replacement of historical reefs and construction of artificial reefs in support of Fish Community Objectives.  This creates spawning habitat and creates fishing opportunities.


  •  Restoration of estuaries and rapids (particularly in connecting channels such as the St. Clair River and the Detroit River).  This creates spawning and rearing habitat for fish.


  • Restoration and creation of riffle areas in Great Lakes tributaries.  This improves spawning and rearing habitat.


  • Restoration and creation of wetlands.  This provides fish and wildlife habitat, it improves the natural fluctuations in water levels (which are beneficial to fish and wildlife), and it provides a buffer against flooding.


  • Construction of carp barriers in conjunction with restoration of wetlands.  Carp, because of their foraging habits, destroy vegetation in wetlands.  These barriers will prevent carp from entering the wetland, will protect the wetland, and will help increase fish and wildlife habitat.


General - Free Yelas book release story

Fishing Lasts A Lifetime Says Americas Angler Of The Year

KENNESAW, Ga. National Fishing Week has ended, but fishing lasts a lifetime, says Jay Yelas, the reigning BASS Masters Classic Champion, FLW Angler of the Year and just recently named 2003 BASS Angler of The Year.


Yelas should know. All his life, he's enjoyed fishing and it's been one of the important influences in his life. "Fishing has meant so much to me in my life, not only as a career, but because it is such a great family hobby," says the 37-year-old father of



Yelas was hooked early on fishing, having caught his first fish, a bluegill, when he was two years old. He admits that he wanted to be a professional angler all his life, but never thought he'd hold professional angling's top three honors all at the same time. His latest honor, being named the BASS Angler of the Year, makes him the only person to hold all three honors at the same time. Part of the recognition of being named Busch Angler of The Year on the BASS circuit, is a $100,000 cash prize. While many

would tuck that much money away for a rainy day, not Yelas.


"I've decided to use the prize money to buy and give away 20,000 copies of my autobiography "A Champion's Journey of Faith, Family and Fishing," said Yelas.  Yelas' book has exceptional details of how his Christian faith grew over the years and enabled him to handle the stress of the pro fishing tour and to have a positive effect on his life. Many have found it both inspirational and motivational.


You can get a free copy by calling toll free 1-866-JAYLURE. The quantity of free books is limited to 20,000, so Yelas suggests that you call early to ensure getting a free copy, one free copy per person. A Champion's Journey of Faith is also available at amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and many bookstores.


Yelas noted how satisfying the past year has been for him with two of his Yamaha teammates. Takahiro Omori won the BASS Horizon Award for most improved performance by a pro angler and Mark Kile won the BASS Rookie of the Year Award.

General - Leave young wildlife alone

The Department of Natural Resources reminds you to leave young wildlife you may encounter outdoors alone - do not interfere with them or try to move them. Well-intentioned people believe they are helping an animal when they remove it from the wild, especially when they think it has been abandoned by its mother. However, mothers have to leave their offspring occasionally to forage for food and will return.


Many young animals die within a few days of being removed from their environment because people have no idea of their nutritional requirements. Those that survive often are deposited back into the wild without having had the chance to acquire the skills their mothers would have taught them.


Wildlife also should be left in their natural environment because of the diseases they can transmit to humans and domestic animals. For instance, raccoons may be infected with a roundworm that is dangerous to humans. Some wild animals can carry rabies (a viral disease that attacks the central nervous system) and tularemia (a bacterial disease

carried by infected rodents). Wild animals also may be infested with ticks, fleas, lice or other parasites.


Nature protects young animals by camouflaging them with mottled coloring and giving them little or no scent that predators can detect. The white-tailed deer, for example, has a spotted coat for camouflage. A fawn gives off very little scent, and will lay motionless if it notices any movement. Nests of baby rabbits include the mother's underbelly fur to help make them less visible. Baby raccoons wait until a certain age to emerge from their nesting cavities in trees.


Individuals who come across injured wildlife should leave the animal alone and let nature takes its course. However, if an injured animal is a threat to public safety, an animal control officer or a wildlife rehabilitation center should be contacted. These centers specialize in caring for an animal until it can be returned to its natural environment. The name of the nearest wildlife rehabilitator can be obtained by contacting the local office of the Department of Natural Resources.

General - Boaters reminded to help prevent spread of exotic species

With the start of 2003 boating and fishing season upon us, the Minnesota DNR is asking boaters to keep up the good work in minimizing the spread of harmful exotic species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels.  


By taking a few simple steps like removing all aquatic plants from their boat and trailer, emptying water from live wells and bait buckets and other areas containing water, boaters can do their part to help prevent the spread of exotic species like Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels in the state's water bodies.


About 90 % of Minnesota boaters who responded to a survey sponsored by Minnesota Sea Grant and DNR said they took action to prevent the spread of harmful exotic species, up from 70 percent who said they took similar measures in 1994.


"Thanks to boaters and exotic species awareness efforts,

the DNR believes the distribution of harmful exotic species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels is much less than it could be," said Jay Rendall, DNR exotic species program coordinator. "The potential to spread harmful exotic species and several fish diseases is still great and we need Minnesotans to continue with their high level of action."


Using a combination of radio and television ads, signs at public accesses, watercraft inspections, and public service announcements across the state, the DNR hopes boaters and anglers will continue to remove aquatic plants from their trailer, empty live wells and bait buckets and also remember to dispose of unwanted live bait including worms and minnows in the trash rather than dumping them in the lakes and woods.


"Precautions should now be part of the routine for boaters," Rendall said. "These simple precautions help boaters comply with the state laws that prohibit the transport of aquatic plants and zebra mussels."

General - Largemouth bass virus spreads

Largemouth Bass Virus is spreading into more Michigan lakes, the state Department of Natural Resources reported. This virus was first found in Michigan when it killed largemouth bass in Lake George on the Michigan-Indiana border in the fall of 2000. Since then it has caused deaths in other lakes in Michigan.


This virus is just one of more than 100 naturally occurring viruses that affect fish but not warm-blooded animals. Humans cannot get this virus. The DNR researchers and other scientists are not sure how it spreads. Fish-eating birds and anglers are likely causes.


Its origin also is unknown, but scientists have found LMBV to be 98 % identical to a virus found in guppies and "doctor fish," an imported aquarium species from Southeast Asia. So it is possible that it is yet another one of our undesirable imported exotic species such as the zebra mussel and Eurasian milfoil.


The virus has been found in other fish -- smallmouth bass, spotted bass, blue gill, white crappie and black crappie -- but it has manifested as a killing disease only in largemouth bass. LMBV has been found in bass that show no signs of disease, which suggests that bass and other fish can carry the virus, but never die from the disease.

Largemouth bass are the only fish that develop the disease from the virus and die.


Auburn University scientist John Grizzle discovered that LMBV can remain viable in water for at least 3-4 hours. It is critical that anglers empty and dry out their livewells, bilges, and bait buckets before traveling to another lake. Stress seems to be the main common denominator that causes the virus to manifest into the disease for the largemouth bass.


"We will test 15 more lakes in Michigan this year checking for the spread of the virus," said DNR fish production manager Gary Whelan. "We will also re-sample lakes that had past die-offs and are already known to have the disease to see how the pathogen works in a longer time frame. We have retested some of the lakes that had LMBV and it did not show up in the retest."


"Largemouth bass can carry the virus and not become diseased unless stressed. It is very important for fishermen to target other species during the hot summer months," Whelan said. "If your bass club has scheduled a tournament in July or August perhaps you could target lakes that harbor smallmouth, which are not affected by the disease."

General - Dark side of the sun

Unusual skin changes could mean cancer

If you ever spent significant time in the sun, even if it was 50 years ago, you should be concerned about your risk of developing melanoma – a skin cancer strongly associated with solar exposure, the American Legion Magazine reports


Melanoma develops in pigment cells – usually in the skin, but also in the eye and other areas. It can take years, even decades after a sunburn, to develop. The American Cancer Society reports that melanoma accounts for only 5 % of all skin-cancer cases but about 80 % of all skin-cancer deaths.


About 53,000 new melanoma cases are discovered in the United States each year, usually because of detection of minor changes in ordinary moles. Early detection of such changes is the key to survival.


Easy as ABCD. The ABCD checklist is a widely used reminder to help people tell the difference between an ordinary mole and a sign of melanoma. If a mole falls into one or more of these categories, especially if it has changed, have a doctor examine it.

Asymmetry – when one half of the mole is shaped differently from the other.

Border – ragged, notched or blurry edges.

Color – uneven color; shades of black, brown and tan; spots of white, gray, red, pink or blue.

Diameter – a change in size (usually bigger); most melanomas are larger than a pencil eraser.


Treating a suspicious mole is usually limited to cutting out affected tissue along with a small amount of healthy tissue surrounding it, but surgery alone is not always effective. If the melanoma has spread into the bone or throughout the body in its lymphatic fluids, doctors may use radiation or chemotherapy to kill cancer cells that remain after surgery.


Vulnerability to Melanoma. Older white men are particularly vulnerable to melanoma, but the National Cancer Institute says being young, dark-skinned or female is no guarantee of safety. Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults, and although it is

particularly rare among dark-skinned people, it can develop under the fingernails and toenails, and on the palms and soles. Among fair-skinned women, melanoma tends to develop on the lower legs. Among men, it’s more commonly an upper-body condition.


Researcher Donald Miller, VA Medical Center in Bedford, Mass., notes that many veterans are older white males and are particularly susceptible to melanoma. Miller, and Susan Swetter of the Palo Alto VA Health Care System have published studies stressing the importance of screening high-risk populations. Currently, no standardized guidelines exist prioritizing who gets screened or how often.


Miller’s research calls for primary-care physicians to carefully examine all men older than 50 for abnormal moles. Swetter and colleagues screened 374 high-risk veterans through self-assessment surveys and examinations by dermatologists. They examined those with suspicious moles more closely and found 21 participants had skin cancer. Both studies found it important for older male veterans to be examined for signs of melanoma.

Protection is the best medicine

Even if you’ve had severe sunburns during your life, it’s not too late to start taking better care of your skin. Wearing a good sunblock is a good start, but examining yourself and discussing skin cancer with your doctor also are important. Here are some tips that can help you protect your skin.

·         Examine your skin frequently. Knowing your moles will help you recognize minor changes that might be skin cancer.

·         Remember your ABCDs: asymmetry, border, color and diameter.

·         Use a sunscreen (SPF 15-30 or higher), especially on children and anyone with fair skin, freckles or red hair.

·         Watch out for the sun even on cloudy days and especially on water or snow, where you get almost twice as much sun exposure as on dry land.

·         Schedule regular full-body skin examinations with your doctor.

·        If you suspect that you have been misdiagnosed, see a dermatologist for a second opinion.   

General - Marine Safety Alert - wearing of life jackets

June 17, 2003     Washington, DC: U.S. Coast Guard report

On Saturday morning, June 14, 2003 at approximately 0715 local time, the M/V TAKI-TOOO proceeded across the bar at Tillamook Bay, Oregon carrying 17 passengers and two crew members. During the bar crossing, a large wave struck the port side of the TAKI-TOOO, capsizing the vessel. Nine people, including the master, are known dead and two are missing. The preliminary findings indicate that none of the nine dead wore life jackets. Six of the eight survivors wore/or held onto a life jacket.


In 1996, the Coast Guard specifically included amendments to the Small Passenger Vessel regulations that addressed the wearing of life jackets, aimed at incidents such as this, to reduce deaths when people enter the water. The Coast Guard considered previous capsizings similar to the TAKI-TOOO accident when implementing these regulations.


Title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 185, requires that the master of a vessel shall require passengers to don life jackets when possible hazardous conditions exist including but not limited to:

When transiting hazardous bars or inlets;

During severe weather;

In the event of flooding, fire, or other events that may possibly call for evacuation; and

When the vessel is being towed, except a non-self-propelled vessel under normal operating conditions.


Donning life jackets when possibly hazardous conditions exist may make passengers apprehensive, but this precaution can easily be explained as similar to wearing seatbelts during aircraft take-offs and landings and periods of turbulence.


The wearing of life jackets is an added safety measure required for passenger protection. The best time to don a life jacket is before it is needed - before people are in the water. 


The Coast Guard has entrusted small passenger vessel masters to use their judgment to determine when to require the passengers to wear life jackets. Should Masters have questions concerning "hazardous conditions" and when life jackets should be donned, they should contact their local Coast Guard Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection for additional guidance.


 If there is doubt as to whether a hazardous condition exists, passengers and crew should don life jackets.


2nd Amendment issues

2nd Amendment - Debunking the Gun Control Myth

"But isn't there something to be said for the gun banners' chronic plea that any restrictions reducing the numbers of guns Americans own makes society safer?  In a word, no.


"The 200 million-plus privately owned firearms in the US grew by an estimated 37 million during the 1990s. If the simplistic notion that more guns equal more crime and more homicides had any validity, crime rates would have climbed during the

decade. Instead, rates for serious and violent crime fell every year from 1991 through the end of the decade. Despite those 37 million more guns, murder rates in many major American cities fell to the lowest levels in 40 years.


"Thirty-five states have enacted 'right-to-carry' legislation allowing law-abiding citizens a license to carry a concealed weapon. In most if not all of these 35 states, homicide rates declined after ordinary citizens were permitted the means of self-defense."


2nd Amendment - No Permit Needed To Carry Concealed Guns in Alaska

Alaskans will no longer need a permit to carry a concealed handgun under a bill signed into law June 11. In signing the bill, Gov. Frank Murkowski lauded the work of the Legislature and the National Rifle Association in protecting the Second Amendment rights of Alaskans. The bill would adopt the so-called "Vermont Carry" law that allows residents to carry a concealed handgun without a special permit.


House Bill 102 does not eliminate the state's concealed

handgun permit program. The governor's office said Alaskans could still apply for a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon in other states or to be exempt from background checks when purchasing firearms. But the bill, which takes effect in 90 days, would allow Alaskans who can legally carry a firearm to carry it concealed without such a permit.


It does not change prohibitions against carrying firearms into courthouses, school yards, bars and domestic violence shelters.




IN - Volunteer hunters sought - for controlled deer herd reduction in state parks

Volunteer hunters sought for controlled deer herd reduction in state parks Applications now in hunting guide, available by mail and on-line July 14. Applications are now available to participate in a controlled deer herd reduction in 20 Indiana state parks and one nature preserve. The reduction will take place on Monday, Nov. 17; Tuesday, Nov. 18; Monday, Dec. 1; and Tuesday, Dec. 2.


The 20 state parks are Brown County, Chain O'Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, McCormick's Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Shades, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, Versailles and Whitewater Memorial. Twin Swamps Nature Preserve also is included in the herd reduction this year.


"Without population controls, the size of a deer herd in a state park can double in only two years," said DNR Director John Goss. "Too many deer can strip the park of important vegetation, leaving deer and other animals with poor habitat and not enough food."


"At Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis, new housing and business developments have pushed the deer herd into a smaller and smaller space. The primary predators of deer there are Fords and Chevys. That just isn't acceptable, and we need to reduce the number of deer in the park to a level that is more consistent with the park's ecosystem.


"In a memorandum to Goss recommending the reduction for this year, DNR deer management biologist Jim Mitchell wrote: "As we continue long term vegetative monitoring, we may find that although a reduction every other year may balance the ecosystem in some parks, the vegetation in other parks may not be adequately protected

unless reductions are more frequent than every other year."


The Indiana Department of Natural Resources first began to reduce the size of the deer herds occupying Indiana's state parks in 1993 with a one-day reduction at Brown County State Park. An obvious browse line had developed with deer feeding on vegetation from the ground to as high as they could reach.


Deer herd reductions have been conducted as needed at 18 of 22 state parks since 1995. Reductions will take place at Ft. Harrison and Summit Lake state parks for the first time this year.


The DNR asks for qualified volunteer hunters in Indiana to participate in the herd reduction. To be eligible, applicants must be Indiana residents, at least 18 years old on Sept. 30, and hold a valid resident hunting license. DNR staff will choose the participants by a random drawing from the pool of applicants.


All facilities with a hunt will be closed to the public on the days of the reduction. Hunters will be allowed in the park between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., local time.


Applications for the herd reduction are currently available in the hunting and trapping guide that will be available in stores and DNR properties next week. Applications will be available at all state parks, state reservoirs and on the DNR Web site beginning July 14, 2003.


Completed applications must be received in the DNR Indianapolis office of the Division of State Parks and Reservoirs by 4 p.m. (EST), Sept. 30, 2003. Hunters with questions about the application for the herd reduction should call the division at (317) 232-4124.


IN - Hunting season dates

Mark your calendar and plan time off for upcoming Indiana hunting and trapping seasons.


Hunting season dates



North of US 40: Aug. 15, 2003 - Dec. 31, 2003   

South of US 40: Aug. 15, 2003 - Jan. 31, 2004    


Ruffed Grouse

Oct. 1, 2003 - Dec. 31, 2003



Early Archery: Oct. 1, 2003 - Nov. 30, 2003

Firearms: Nov. 15, 2003 - Nov. 30, 2003

Muzzleloader: Dec. 6, 2003 - Dec. 21, 2003

Late Archery: Dec. 6, 2003 - Jan. 4, 2004



Nov. 7, 2003 - Dec. 21, 2003



North of SR 26: Nov. 7, 2003 - Dec. 21, 2003

South of SR 26: Nov. 7, 2003 - Jan. 15, 2004


Wild Turkey

April 21, 2004 - May 9, 2004



Nov. 7, 2003 - Jan. 31, 2004



July 1, 2003 - Aug. 15, 2003

Dec. 13, 2003 - Mar. 1, 2004



June 15, 2003 - April 30, 2004


Red and Gray Fox, Coyote

Oct. 15, 2003 - Feb. 28, 2004


Raccoon and Opossum

Nov. 8, 2003 - Jan. 31, 2004


Trapping season dates



Nov. 15, 2003 - March 15, 2004


Weasel, Mink, Muskrat

Nov. 15, 2003 - Jan. 31, 2004



Oct. 15, 2003 - Jan. 31, 2004


Red and Gray Fox, Coyote

Oct. 15, 2003 - Jan. 31, 2004


Raccoon and Opossum

Nov. 15, 2003 - Jan. 31, 2004


Indiana's early migratory bird hunting seasons will be announced in late July.  Waterfowl seasons will be announced in late August. Purchase hunting licenses online and download Indiana's Hunting & Trapping Guide at: www.great-lakes.org/licenses.html



MI - Alcona Bear Poachers Sentenced

Two Michigan men were sentenced last week in connection with the illegal harvest of what is suspected to be the second-largest black bear ever taken in Michigan.


The 662 lb. bear made headlines last September when it was taken in Alcona County during the opening day of the 2002 hunting season. DNR Law Enforcement officers later discovered through an anonymous tip that the individual credited as the successful hunter was not present during the hunt. 


Michigan bear hunters are issued permits on a lottery basis. Many hunters wait years to be drawn for a permit. In this case, the shooter was unlicensed and eventually tagged the bear with a permit belonging to a friend, who was downstate during the hunt. Michigan law requires that only the holder of a valid bear permit may hunt and kill a black bear. Loaning of the license to another hunter is prohibited.


Following an overt DNR investigation, the Alcona County Prosecutor's Office issued criminal charges against both men. The 81st District Court in Alcona County this week convicted and sentenced both men.  Daniel Joseph Ryan, 23, of Mt. Pleasant, pleaded guilty to illegally killing the bear. He was sentenced to 80 hours of community service, revocation of hunting privileges for three years, one year probation, and more than $5,000 in fines.

Scott Robert Murray, 40, of St. Clair Shores, pleaded guilty to loaning his tag to an unlicensed hunter. He lost his hunting privileges for one year and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service, one year probation, and $960 in fines and court costs.


The hunting group announced to several publications that they intended to enter the bear in the Michigan record books, and expected it to be among the three largest bears ever killed in Michigan. The initial score of the bear’s skull reportedly was 22 8/16-inches. A 60-day drying period is required before a skull can be officially measured for the record book.


Instead, the bear will be mounted – costs paid by the poachers – and will be exhibited as part of the DNR Wall of Shame project. 


"There are so many honest sportsmen and women who would have loved the opportunity to draw a permit to fairly pursue a black bear of this caliber," said Detective Sgt. Wade Hamilton, supervisor of the Special Investigative Unit. "It’s a shame that this magnificent animal was taken illegally, and I’m proud of our officers for their fine detective work on this case."


Those who hear about or witnesses wildlife crimes are urged to contact the DNR Report All Poaching Hotline at 800-292-7800.

MI - Becoming an Outdoors Woman - Weekend set for July 18-20

The Michigan DNR Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) has announced a fun-filled weekend for any enthusiastic woman, 18 or older, who is interested in learning a new outdoor skill, improving existing skills or simply sharing a fun outdoor experience with other women.


A three-day BOW weekend will be held July 18-20 at Safari Club International's camp near Caseville, adjacent to Sleeper State Park. This exciting program includes classes in basic fishing and fly fishing; shotgun, handgun and small bore rifle instruction; archery; horseback riding; camping basics; map and compass; backpacking; wild edibles; amphibians and reptiles; birding; kayaking and more. The workshop cost is $150 and includes all food,

lodging and instruction. An additional fee may be required for the horseback riding session.


"This program is an especially good opportunity for women wishing to learn new outdoor skills and to gain knowledge and confidence in a non-threatening, friendly atmosphere," said Lynn Marla, DNR BOW Coordinator.  Marla said the program, limited to 100 women, is filling up fast. "Women need to act now if they wish to get a chance to join other adventurous women and enthusiastic instructors in a great 'up north' setting."


For more information and the registration form, e-mail Nancy Thurston at [email protected], or visit the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr

MI - Fire danger high in northern Michigan

Michigan firefighters remind residents that fire danger is high throughout northern Michigan and portions of the Upper Peninsula. Northern Michigan has received little rain this month and the warm, dry weather forecast for this weekend could increase fire danger.


The DNR has responded to several wildfires this week. So far this year, state and federal firefighters have already responded to 450 wildfires that burned 6,373 acres this spring, and local fire departments have responded to many more wildfires. More than 13 structures have been destroyed by wildfires, and several more were damaged.


Improperly extinguished fires are among the leading reasons campfires and debris fires escape control. To maximize safety during outdoor burning, remember to: completely extinguish debris fires and/or campfires before

 leaving them unattended; use plenty of water to extinguish your fire and wet everything thoroughly, especially the undersides of unburned pieces; stir the ashes to find any remaining hot spots and extinguish them with more water; do not simply bury your fire with soil as, in most cases, this will not extinguish the fire; and, have a garden hose nearby in case your fire begins to escape. If your fire escapes your control, call for help immediately.


Burn permits are required for any outdoor burning, and are issued only for burning leaves, brush or stumps. Burning of other materials is prohibited. Calling for a burn permit is also the best way to get up-to-date fire danger information. During periods of high fire danger, permits may be restricted or not issued at all. Information on where to obtain a burn permit, the latest fire statistics and wildfire safety can be obtained from the DNR Website at www.michigan.gov/dnr .

MI - Eddy Discovery Center offers summer programs for kids

State recreation officials are reminding parents of fun programs for kids scheduled throughout the summer at the Eddy Discovery Center in the Waterloo Recreation Area near Chelsea.


The free programs, generally one to one-and-a-half hours in length, are offered each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through Aug. 14. They cover a variety of wildlife topics, including birds, turtles, snakes and insects, as well as trees, wetlands, stream ecology and the various habitats around Waterloo.


"Kids like to be outside having fun with other kids and learning about nature," said park interpreter Kathy Kavanagh, "and many parents are looking for some fun and educational activities they can do with their kids during the summer."


In June, all programs will meet at 10 a.m. at the Discovery Center. Beginning July 1, programs will be offered at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., except July 8-10 and 15-17, when only one public program is scheduled. "We're doing only one program on those days, because the center will be hosting

 more than 100 youngsters taking part in the annual Chelsea Summer Day Camp program," Kavanagh said.


Although most of the programs are best suited for ages 6-12, Kavanagh said several of the programs offered in July will appeal to younger children, including making wildlife puppets and ‘pet’ rocks, playing games and doing some flower finger painting – activities appropriate for ages 3-5. For all programs, children must be accompanied by an adult.


To see the full list of programs scheduled for June and July, visit the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr . Click on the Visitor Centers link under Recreation and Camping, and then go to the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center page. To register for any program, call 734-475-3170.


The Eddy Discovery Center is located at 17030 Bush Road between Pierce and McClure Roads in Chelsea. A state park motor vehicle permit is required for entry. Permits are $4 for the day or $20 for an annual, which is valid at any state park. To reach the discovery center, take I-94 to exit 157; go north to Bush Road and follow the signs.



MN - DNR Commissioner Appoints New Head of Enforcement

DNR Commissioner Gene Merriam has selected Lt. Mike Hamm to be the new Chief Conservation Officer in the DNR Division of Enforcement. Hamm is currently the West Metro District Supervisor. He has been a Conservation Officer for 26 years, and has been with the DNR since 1972, when he began as a parks worker at Charles Lindbergh State Park. Hamm also worked in the Division of Fish and Wildlife.


As Chief Conservation Officer, Hamm will direct the DNR Division of Enforcement. In making the appointment, Commissioner Merriam said, “I look forward to having Mike on our team. He understands the importance of maintaining strong connections with the Minnesota outdoor community, and he brings a wealth of experience."

Hamm is the current president of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association and a past president of the Minnesota Conservation Officers Association. He says, “I’m looking forward to working closely with the many folks we serve, to enhance all our efforts to protect and sustain Minnesota’s resources. I feel privileged to be leading such a strong dedicated group of conservation officers."

Hamm is a graduate of Metro State University, where he earned a BA in Criminal Justice and Public Administration. He’s also a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command.  The 2003 legislature approved additional funding for DNR enforcement, to fill Conservation Officer vacancies around the state.

Hamm assumed his new duties on Wednesday, June 18. He succeeds acting DNR Chief of Enforcement Capt. Mark Johanson.



OH- Poor hatch bodies ill for Lake Erie Walleye

Severe creel reductions being considered for next year

Fishing for Lake Erie's walleye and yellow perch should be good this year, if you can get out. However, the weather won't be the determining factor on how great the fishery will be, it's the hatch. The fisheries are going to take a hit in 2004 because of a poor hatch for walleye in 2002.


"The 2002 walleye hatch was the absolute worst in history," said Roger Knight, Lake Erie program manager for the Ohio Division of Wildlife.  Knight said that it will be mid-summer before assessments are complete and a decision is made whether to further reduce the current "four-and-six" daily creel limit for walleye - four in March and April, six the rest of the year. But the lack of a class of two-year-old fish - the 2002 class - is a good indicator of

some rough times ahead for Lake Erie's prize game fish next year.


According to recent science reports given at the recent Great Lakes Fishery Commission annual Lake Erie Lake Committee meeting in Port Huron, MI, Ohio managers said it was too late to make any adjustments for 2003, but severe cuts are being considered for next year.


Fisheries managers expect a dramatic reduction in next year's recommended allowable harvest (RAH). Invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels and the round goby may not be helping matters.  Another growing concern is the lack of a closed season to protect those big spawners that make up the large brood stock population needed to perpetuate this great but seemingly fragile fishery.



WI - Board approves trap nets

Commercials get expanded Whitefish regs

Stevens Point - The Natural Resources Board has approved new regulations that will open several small areas on Lake Michigan to trap nets used by commercial fishermen to catch whitefish. The board approved the rule by a unanimous vote at its May 28 meeting.


Trap nets are set underwater and currently must be removed from Lake Michigan waters south of Kewaunee from June 28 through Labor Day. The purpose of the removal is to minimize interference during the summer with sport fishing boats that troll for trout and salmon. The new proposal, which must pass legislative review, will allow trap netting in the area during the summer period, but only in two designated areas, one near Manitowoc and one near Sheboygan. The maximum number of nets that could be used by any commercial license holder in those areas during the summer would be three.


In addition, the DNR will propose new net marking

requirements for the board to consider next month.  The new rule opens two small areas south of Kewaunee to trap nets, one near Manitowoc and one south of Sheboygan. It extends the areas near Manitowoc and Sheboygan, both of which are bounded by depth contours of 75 and 150 feet, and prohibits trap net pots from water shallower than 75 feet during summer.


Chuck Weier, of Two Rivers, representing the Wisconsin Federation of Great Lakes Sport Fishing Clubs, quoted from a Sea Grant article that said trap nets pose potential risks to boaters. He also quoted figures showing that sport fishing from Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties are responsible for the sale of $395,000 in licenses, compared to $7,200 in commercial licenses.


Mark Hasenberg, of Kenosha, representing the Kenosha Sport Fishing and Conservation Association, told the board that his association opposes trap nets and believes that fishermen are unaware of what danger they can get into in waters with trap nets.

WI - Green Bay PCBs increasing

Bay has 15-30 % more PCBs than before

Anders Andren, WI Sea Grant director and associate researcher Jon Manchester of UW-Madison say there are no new sources of the contaminants, but the Fox River re-circulates the PCBs into the bay and there are more PCBs - between 15 % and 30 % more - in the bay of Green Bay than there were 13 years ago.


Anders and Manchester presented their study findings late last month at the U of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus. The two had done an extensive study of the concentrations and locations of PCBs in the bay between 1987 and 1990. The chemicals were deposited into the Fox River by the area's seven major paper companies between the 1950s and '70s.

Andren and Manchester said they found about 18,000 lbs

of PCB contaminants in 1990, and now they estimate there are between 22,000 and 26,000 lbs.


Although there are no new sources of PCBs, Andren and Manchester said the chemicals are recirculated into the bay by the river as it flows. The highest concentration they found was in the southern part of the bay, north of Longtail Point, where the Fox River flows into it.


Although much of the PCB-contaminated sediment is buried in the river, the water's movement causes some of the buried sediment to rise up and flow out to the bay, he said. It will be difficult to predict what will happen over the next 10 years, said Manchester and Andren.

WI - Release of sewage blamed on employee error

MILWAUKEE - The release of about 2 million gallons of

partially treated sewage into Lake Michigan has been blamed by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District on employee error. The human error occurred on June 1.

WI – Tecumseh will spend $28 million toward PCB cleanup

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - Tecumseh Products Co. plans to spend $28 million cleaning chemical pollutant PCBs from a four-mile stretch of the Sheboygan River, a consent decree filed in federal court shows.


The company plans to undertake the cleanup of the most heavily polluted portion of a nearly 14-mile stretch of the river that was placed on the federal Superfund list of priority environmental cleanup sites in 1986. The consent decree, filed late last month, was signed by the company, the USEPA and the U.S. Justice Department.


Tecumseh, of Tecumseh, Mich., also agreed to pay $2.1 million to reimburse the EPA for costs already linked to the cleanup. Tecumseh notified its union Tuesday that it plans to close its Sheboygan Falls plant by the end of September, affecting about 250 jobs.

As part of its effort to put the Superfund matter behind it, the company entered into a $39.2 million agreement with another firm, Pollution Risk Services LLC, which will assume "substantially all" obligations and liabilities relating to the site, Tecumseh said in a recent filing with securities regulators.


The EPA identified the total cost to clean up the 14-mile stretch of the Sheboygan River and Sheboygan Harbor at $41 million in 2000. The other companies that were named in 2000 by EPA as "potentially responsible parties" for the Superfund site are Kohler Co. and Thomas Industries.


According to documents filed in U.S. District Court, the plan calls for dredging of sediment contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls from the Tecumseh plant to the Waelderhaus Dam.


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