Week of October 6, 2008
Historic Action applauded to Protect the Lakes
President George W. Bush on October 3 signed a joint resolution of Congress approving the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. The President’s action marks the final step in the Compact’s approval process thus enabling these historic protections to become law.
In December 2005, following a nearly five-year negotiation, the Governors of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin reached agreement on the Compact. The Compact provides a comprehensive management framework for achieving sustainable water use and resource protection. The eight Great Lakes States reached a similar, good faith, agreement with Ontario and Québec in 2005, which the Provinces are using to amend their existing water programs for greater regional consistency.
During 2007 and 2008, each of the eight Great Lakes State legislatures ratified the Compact. Legislative approval was completed by the U.S. Senate on August 1, 2008, and by the U.S. House of Representatives on September 23, 2008.
Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, Council of Great Lakes Governors Chair, said, “I applaud President Bush for his action. Together, we have taken a major step to protect the Great Lakes. I am hopeful that this historic cooperation will enable us to accelerate our future efforts.”
The Compact includes the following points:
►Economic development will be fostered through sustainable use and responsible management of Basin waters.
►In general, there will be a ban on new diversions of water but limited exceptions could be allowed in communities near
the Basin when rigorous standards are met.
►Communities that apply for an exception to the Compact will have a clear, predictable decision making process; standards to be met; and opportunities to appeal decisions. These processes and standards do not exist under current law.
►The States will use a consistent standard to review proposed uses of Basin water. The States will have flexibility regarding their water management programs and how to apply this standard.
►Regional goals and objectives for water conservation and efficiency will be developed, and they will be reviewed every five years.
►Each State will develop and implement a water conservation and efficiency program that may be voluntary or mandatory.
There is a strong commitment to continued public involvement in the implementation of the Compact.
A broad, bi-partisan consensus has been built in support of the Compact. The Compact was developed in collaboration with regional partners who have also played a key role in its implementation. Members of Congress, Mayors, local government officials and stakeholders have all been instrumental.
The Great Lakes are a national treasure, important to our nation and the world as both an environmental and economic asset. Our national economy depends on the Great Lakes for industrial uses, hydropower, maritime commerce, agricultural irrigation and many other uses. The Great Lakes are also a globally unique and important environmental resource. The Compact will ensure that the Lakes are used sustainably in order to continue to provide benefits to us all.
Additional information is available at www.cglg.org
In a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, researchers have developed an environmentally safe bacterial toxin to control zebra and quagga mussels, two non-native, invasive species that have found their way into the waterways of 25 states over the past two decades, fouling the aquatic environment as they spread.
The new bio-pesticide was derived from a common soil bacterium by researchers at the New York State Museum (NYSM) Field Research Laboratory in Cambridge, N.Y. When ingested in large quantities, the bacterium is lethal to zebra and quagga mussels, but it is harmless to non-target organisms, including native freshwater mollusks.
In experimental treatments of zebra and quagga mussels, the bio-pesticide achieved a 98 percent mortality rate in service water systems at a New York power plant. The addition of the bacterium to the water supply showed no effects on humans.
Since their introduction to U.S. rivers and lakes in the mid-1980s, the dime-sized zebra mussel, and the slightly larger quagga mussel, have cost the North American economy billions of dollars in lost industrial productivity and the expense of control efforts. The two species, which are native to Eastern Europe, have few natural predators in America, and they compete with indigenous mussels, disrupting the native
aquatic food chain.
When the invaders grow in high density, they can block pipes that deliver water to power-plant cooling systems, shutting down electricity generation while the organisms are removed. Large colonies can also threaten water supplies for drinking, fire-fighting, and irrigation.
Existing methods used by power-plant operators to control zebra and quagga mussels include chemical "molluscicides," chlorination, filtration, and pre-oxidation of intake water. Use of the new bacterial toxin is economically competitive with these other methods while having minimal effect on native species. It is expected that application of the bacterial toxin will allow power plant operators to reduce or eliminate the use of chlorination that can harm aquatic ecosystems.
The now-completed project was funded by DOE's Office of Fossil Energy and managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory. Production of commercial quantities of the toxin is now being carried out at Marrone Organic Innovations (MOI), a private laboratory in California. MOI and NYSM will use a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue the work started with NETL and improve the bio-pesticide for even higher mussel kill.
For more info: www.fossil.energy.gov
TRAVERSE CITY, MI (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard is allowing Great Lakes freighters to continue sweeping dry cargo residues overboard. But American authorities say they are tightening rules governing the practice.
Authorities say that for years ships have used high-powered hoses to wash their decks after loading or dropping off cargo in port. It is believed they wash about 450 million kilograms of
coal, iron ore and other material into the lakes every year. The shipping industry says cargo sweeping does no harm, but angling groups and boaters want it stopped.
In a rule published September 29 in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard says it will allow shippers to continue sweeping but encourages them to find ways to discharge less waste material. The rule also sets new reporting and record-keeping requirements and designates sensitive locations where sweeping is off-limits
Legislation designed to strengthen and clarify the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act of 1998 was approved by Congress last week and awaits the President’s signature to become law.
The Senate passed H.R. 6531, the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act Amendments of 2008. The amendments, passed in July by the House of Representatives, will provide boatbuilders with increased protection from intellectual property violations made through hull splashing.
“Certainly it’s better than what we had before,” Scott Deal, president of Maverick Boats, told Soundings Trade Only.
Hull splashing is the process of replicating an original hull by making copies using a mold made from the hull of another builder’s boat. The Vessel Hull Design Protection Act of 1998 was supposed to protect boatbuilders from this. However,
because of the way a hull was defined in the original
legislation and subsequent court opinions, enforcement has been curtailed because of the difficulty in proving infringement.
Deal knows about hull splashing first-hand. Fort Pierce, Fla.-based Maverick filed a lawsuit in March 2002 in U.S. District Court against two boatbuilders for infringement of an original hull design. Deal lost in District Court and the subsequent appeal, the courts ruling there was no infringement because the other builders changed the deck design.
“The judge bought the argument that the hull and deck were one structure,” said Deal. “Changes to the deck constituted changes to the hull.” Deal says the original Vessel Hull Design Protection Act had no affect on his case. However, he says the amendments help clarify the existing law. “More specific language clearly delineates that hulls are hulls and decks are decks, with each individually deserving protection,” he said.
Public comment period open until January 15, 2009
On September 29, 2008 the Coast Guard published an interim rule, amending 33 CFR 151.66 to allow the discharge of dry cargo residues (DCR) in limited areas of the Great Lakes by self-propelled vessels and barges that are part of an integrated tug and barge unit (73 Fed. Reg. 56492). Only non-toxic and non-hazardous dry cargo residues are allowed to be discharged. This rule adopts the Coast Guard’s Ninth District 1997 Interim Enforcement Policy, but adds sensitive and protected areas where discharges are now prohibited.
Federal Register copy: www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg522/cg5224/docs/DCR%20IR%2073FR56492.pdf
This rule requires Great Lakes dry bulk cargo carriers to keep records of the loading, unloading, and discharges of dry cargo residues. The rule also encourages Great Lake dry bulk cargo carriers to use control measures to reduce the amount of dry cargo residue entering the water. The rule allows the discharge of non-toxic and non-hazardous bulk dry cargo residues in certain areas of the Great Lakes.
During loading and unloading, dry cargo residues (from cargo such as limestone, iron ore and coal) may fall onto the deck of the vessel or off conveyor belts in tunnels under the vessel's deck. Historically, it has been the practice to sweep or wash these cargo residues overboard. Since 1993, Great Lakes dry bulk cargo carriers have operated under a Coast Guard "interim enforcement policy" that allows "incidental discharges" of non-toxic and non-hazardous dry cargo residues on the Great Lakes. That interim enforcement policy specified where dry cargo residue discharges could and could not occur. Since 1998, Congressional legislation has extended the interim enforcement policy and the current extension, granted by congress in 2004, expires Sept. 30, 2008. This interim rule replaces the interim enforcement policy.
The Coast Guard remains concerned that the potential risk from the practice of washing dry cargo residue into the Great Lakes, no matter how benign it appears, may increase over time. As stated in the interim rule, the Coast Guard is committed to determining if, in the long term, the optimal balancing of commercial and environmental interests requires the mandatory use of dry cargo residue control measures, the adjustment of the geographical boundaries within which discharges are currently allowed, or other regulatory changes.
The Environmental Impact Statement completed for this regulation was the most extensive scientific study ever completed on the effects of dry cargo residue discharges in the Great Lakes ecosystem. The authors included 19 subject matter experts comprised of professionals from fields including: environmental engineering, fisheries biology, zoology, aquatic ecology, oceanography, civil engineering, and water chemistry.
The Coast Guard intends to complete ongoing research on the economic costs and benefits of various control measures for reducing dry cargo residue discharge. Once this research is completed, the Coast Guard will decide whether additional regulatory action is required. A copy can be obtained by entering this regulations docket number USCG-2004-19621 at www.regulations.gov.
Federal Register copy: www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg522/cg5224/docs/DCR%20IR%2073FR56492.pdf
"The outcome of the final regulatory phase is not predetermined. I strongly encourage the public to submit additional comments so the Coast Guard will have the best available information to complete the final portion of the regulation" said Rear Admiral Peter Neffenger, Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District.
Public comment must be received via one of these methods below not later than January 15, 2009.
To submit comments:
►Submit online at www.regulations.gov Use Coast Guard docket # USCG–2004–19621
►By fax at 202-493-2251, or
►Mail: Docket Mgmt Facility (M-30), U.S. DOT, West Bldg Ground Fl, Rm W1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, D.C., 20590-0001.
To submit your comment:
For more info: CDR Tim Cummins, 216-902-6049 or: [email protected]. Federal Register copy: www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg522/cg5224/docs/DCR%20IR%2073FR56492.pdf
Report reveals Earth-friendly organizations funnel money to Democratic Party
A new investigation reveals charitable and environmental organizations claiming to be nonpartisan may be using donations to funnel money to Democratic Party politicians.
Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK., ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released an updated report from an investigation into financial and political activities of such groups. He referred to several charitable and environmental organizations as "wolves dressed in sheep's clothing."
"Campaigns to 'save the cuddly animals' or 'protect the ancient forests' are really disguised efforts to raise money for Democratic political campaigns," Inhofe said while speaking on the Senate floor Saturday. "Environmental organizations have become experts at duplicitous activity, skirting laws up to the edge of illegality, and burying their political activities under the guise of nonprofit environmental improvement.
Inhofe referenced a League of Conservation Voters, or LCV, advertisement displayed on its website. The ad seeks donations for the nonprofit organization. "LCV takes these donations, given to 'save the environment' and uses them to fund ads for Democratic Candidates such as Ben Lujan from New Mexico," Inhofe revealed. "LCV, similar to other groups I'll highlight later, disguises itself as an environmental group dedicated to saving the environment, yet, as shown by this political ad, it is simply an extension of the Democratic political party."
Inhofe accused the environmental groups of "fleecing the American public's pockets," by using scare tactics to obtain donations for Democrats in an election year.
"We also find exhausting litigation, instigation of false claims, misleading science, and scare tactics to fool Americans into believing disastrous environmental scenarios that are untrue," Inhofe said. "Especially in this election year, the American voter should see these groups and their many affiliate organizations as they are: the newest insidious conspiracy of political action committees and perhaps the newest multi-million dollar manipulation of federal election laws."
The Wall Street Journal reported on the difficulty of tracking political activity of 501(c) organizations, stating the IRS does not require such organizations to list spending records or distributors. The newspaper conducted an investigation of 30
separate 501(c) organizations that donated funds to elections from 2000 to 2006. "The data show that the 30 organizations spent at least $155 million on the 2006 elections, nearly twice what they spent in 2000," the Journal reported.
While tax-exempt 501(c) nonprofit groups are allowed to engage in political issues, they cannot participate in specific political campaigns. Inhofe's report focused on organizations such as Greenpeace, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the League of Conservation Voters, or LCV, and the Sierra Club.
The LCV releases a "Dirty Dozen" list of environmentally unfriendly candidates each election cycle, Inhofe said. Each year, the group lists between 11 and 15 individuals, and every election year since 1996 has included a minimum of 11 Republicans and no more than one or two Democrats. Seventy-four of 83 names placed on the list since it began are Republicans.
"By their bipartisan claims, it would be expected that LCV's support would be split evenly; however, almost 90 % of LCV’s recommendations have been to remove Republican candidates," Inhofe's report stated. Additionally, he said the Sierra Club has a history of endorsing candidates and has pledged its support to Sen. Barack Obama. It also announced support for 13 candidates for U.S. Senate – none are Republicans. According to the report, 98 percent of Sierra Club endorsements are for Democrats.
The investigation revealed Environmental Defense Fund trustee Frank Loy is currently a top environmental adviser for the Obama campaign. Another EDF trustee, Douglas Shorenstein, donated $272,100 to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Al Franken. Trustee Joanne Woodward donated to the Clinton and Obama campaigns.
Inhofe revealed donors who contribute to environmental causes may be unknowingly giving money to partisan activities. He said the funds could have been used to support conservation efforts.
"As an American citizen concerned about our environment and our country, I'm dismayed and saddened by this deception," he said. "If these groups actually used the hundreds of millions of dollars they raise for actual environmental improvement, just think how many whales and forests we could save. These wolves should be seen for what they really are: massive democratic political machines, disguised as environmental causes." Courtesy: WND
Whether it’s taking a walk among the fall colors, spotting a rare bird species, or learning about the cultural resources that are part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s conservation mission, National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 12-18, 2008, celebrates the diversity and resources of America’s 548 national wildlife refuges. And it’s a great opportunity to find a family event in your community.
National wildlife refuges are dedicated to the conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats. They also offer a wide range of wildlife-dependent recreation—from hunting and fishing to wildlife observation, wildlife photography, nature interpretation and environmental education. The Refuge System includes 2,500 miles of land and water trails, and there is at least one national wildlife refuge in every state and one within an hour’s drive of most major cities.
“America’s wildlife refuges offer great places to teach our children the importance of making a lifelong commitment to our nation’s natural resources,” said USFWS Director H. Dale Hall. “Exploring the outdoors and learning how all living things are connected to one another is what National Wildlife Refuge Week is all about.”
This year, the annual Refuge Week celebration also highlights the 75th anniversary of the Federal Duck Stamp and the 50th anniversary of the Small Wetlands Program. These two programs have helped the Refuge System expand to its current size of 97 million acres.
Ninety-eight cents of every dollar generated by the sale of Federal Duck Stamps goes toward the purchase or lease of wetland habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System. To date, Duck Stamp sales have helped purchase or protect more than 5.2 million acres of wildlife habitat. For more information about Duck Stamps, go to www.fws.gov/duckstamps/.
The Small Wetlands Program was created in 1958 to allow proceeds from the sale of Duck Stamps to also be used to acquire waterfowl production areas (WPAs). These WPAs provide habitat for migratory birds, protect native plants, help filter groundwater, control flooding and capture carbon from the atmosphere. Close to one million acres of land acquired through the Small Wetlands Program is open to hunting, wildlife watching and photography and other outdoor recreation.
National Wildlife Refuge Week events:
Many special events are planned for National Wildlife Refuge Week. Here are some samples:
The Big Sit!
Celebrate the birds on a national wildlife refuge on October 12 by participating in The Big Sit! National wildlife refuges from Wheeler, Alabama, and Pelican Island, Florida, to DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri Valley, Iowa, and Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge in Salem, Oregon, are hosting this annual international birding event.
Families and individuals find a great spot for bird watching and sit in a circle, counting all the bird species they see or hear. Not everyone needs to stay in the circle for the whole day. Many people come and go, but only birds seen from the circle can be included in the Big Sit count. Bird Watcher’s
Digest tallies the totals and identifies prize winners in several categories.
For a list of The Big Sit! sites, including many not on national wildlife refuges, go to:
Visitors to Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge (North Dakota) will be building bluebird nest boxes. www.fws.gov/lakeilo/
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (Maryland) celebrates its 13th Refuge Open House with eagle prowls, live animal programs, a puppet show about invasive species and live animal exhibits. http://www.fws.gov/blackwater/
Patuxent Research Refuge (Maryland) joins with Smithsonian Resident Associates to offer a behind-the-scenes tour of captive breeding programs for whooping cranes and conservation-related research on kestrels and diving ducks.www.fws.gov/northeast/patuxent/
Horicon National Wildlife Refuge (Wisconsin) is planning a 5K run/walk along its auto tour route. Three hiking trails are located here, along with a floating boardwalk and bicycling and hiking access to the Wild Goose State Trail. www.fws.gov/midwest/horicon/
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (Georgia) celebrates the cultural resources of the National Wildlife Refuge System with an open house at the Chesser Island Homestead, where visitors can discover how people lived in Southeast Georgia at the time the refuge was established in 1933. www.fws.gov/okefenokee
Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge (Illinois) Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, the refuge gives visitors a chance to see the huge concentrations of waterfowl that arrive each October. The refuge’s riverbanks are also great places to see muskrat, beaver, turtles and frogs. www.fws.gov/midwest/tworivers/
J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge (Florida) celebrates Ding Darling Days with free excursions to the protected Bunche Beach Preserve, a stop on the Great Florida Birding Trail, which teems with shorebirds, wading birds, ospreys, bald eagles and other feathered friends. Join local bird experts for a tram excursion to this natural beach habitat at low tide. www.dingdarlingdays.com/
Calendar of National Wildlife Refuge Week Events For a more comprehensive list of National Wildlife Refuge Week events, go to: www.fws.gov/refuges/SpecialEvents/FWS_SpecialEvents
To find a refuge in your community, go to /www.fws.gov/refuges/refugeLocatorMaps/index.html .
RESTON, VA -- Although Hurricane Ike is long gone, its impact lingers more than a thousand miles from where it made landfall. Runoff from tributaries dumped massive amounts of sediment into Lake Michigan, contaminating the water, compromising near-shore navigation and raising E coli bacteria to levels unsafe for swimming.
According to Richard Whitman, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) expert on beach health, "The local effects that Ike had on Lake Michigan's Indiana shoreline, water depth, and water quality have been profound." While assessing Ike's impact on the lake, Whitman noted that "The velocity and height of a tributary emptying into Lake Michigan at Portage, Indiana went off the chart. We measured a tremendous amount of
sediment accumulation Near Ogden Dunes."
USGS scientists use high tech, state-of-the-art equipment in the lake to measure runoff, the lake's currents, and sediment input during storms. These data are used to forecast whether a beach is unsafe for swimmers. Beaches are subject to high bacteria levels following storms. Heavy rains from Ike significantly impacted northwestern Indiana and Chicago because the ground was already saturated by a stalled cold front.
Heavy rains from Ike significantly impacted northwestern Indiana and Chicago because the ground was already saturated by a stalled cold front.
Videos, pictures, and real-time data show damage from Ike along the Lake Michigan shore near Portage, Ind.
For clean-air violations at its Whiting refinery
CHICAGO (Oct. 2, 2008) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has issued an amended notice and finding of violation to the BP Products North America for alleged Clean Air Act violations at the company's petroleum refinery at 2815 Indianapolis Blvd., Whiting, Ind.
The action amends a notice and finding of violation issued to the BP Whiting refinery in November 2007 alleging BP violated
the Clean Air Act by failing to get a permit when it modified one
of its cracking units in 2005.
EPA now has information suggesting that BP may have begun a project to process Canadian crude oil at the refinery in 2005 without the proper permit. BP received its construction permit for the project from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management on May 1, 2008. These are preliminary findings of violation. BP has 30 days to request a meeting with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.
Seasonably cool temperatures moved into the Great Lakes basin this week accompanied by between one tenth and one half inch of rain. There is a chance of at least one tenth of an inch of rain across the basin this weekend with higher amounts possible over Lakes Erie and Ontario. Cool temperatures and a chance for some light showers are on tap as we head into next week.
Lake Level Conditions
All of the Great Lakes are above their levels of a year ago. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 11 and 9 inches, respectively, higher than they were a year ago. The levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario range from 3 to 8 inches above what they were at this time last year. All of the Great Lakes are in their periods of seasonal decline and are predicted to drop over the next 30 days. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are predicted to drop 1 to 2 inches, while Lakes St. Clair and Erie are predicted to drop 5 inches. Lake Ontario is projected to fall 6 inches over the next 30 days. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Ontario are predicted to remain above their levels of a year ago over the next several months, while Lake Erie is projected to remain around last year's level. See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.
Current Outflows/Channel Conditions
In September, the outflows through the St. Mary's, St. Clair, Detroit, and Niagara Rivers were below average while the outflow from the St. Lawrence River was above average.
Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels. Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Sept. 26, 2008 – Bass Pro Shops today announced a $1 million donation to Victory Junction Gang, a year-round facility that enriches the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun, and empowering, in a safe and medically-sound environment.
Bass Pro Shops has been a strong advocate and supporter of Victory Junction’s mission since 2002 and has pledged more than $150,000, donated equipment to offer special needs children the opportunity to fish for the first time, and donated several boats for the pleasure and use of Victory Junction campers. During each week of summer session, a specialized technician from Bass Pro Shops visits camp to provide fishing tutorials and maintains the fishing equipment on site.
In consideration of Bass Pro Shops’ efforts for the Randleman, N.C.-based camp, Victory Junction named and branded the 7-acre fishing facility the Bass Pro Shops Catch, Kiss and Release Marina. In 2007, more than 845 fish were caught and kissed at the marina due to the generosity of Bass Pro Shops.
On Friday, Sept. 26, Victory Junction also announced its site selection for a second, medical camping facility for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. The
expansion of Victory Junction will be located at 8205 Riverview Road, Kansas City, Kan., and built on 71 acres in Wyandotte County, Kan., pending Unified Government review and approval.
Based on this $1 million pledge from Bass Pro Shops, Victory Junction Gang will designate the marina at the Midwest camp the Bass Pro Shops Catch, Kiss and Release Marina as well.
As a not-for-profit organization, the camp operates solely through the support of generous donors to provide this experience free of charge to children and families.
About Victory Junction Gang
Victory Junction Gang is a year-round camping environment for children, ages 6 to 16, with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son Adam, the camp is located in Randleman, N.C. with a second location opening soon in Kansas City, Kan. Victory Junction offers programs for 24 disease groups and maintains strong relationships with 22 partner hospitals. Victory Junction’s mission is to provide life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, in a safe and medically-sound environment. As a not-for-profit organization, the camp operates solely through the support of generous donors to provide this experience at no charge to children and their families.
For more information, visit www.victoryjunction.org.
There is no risk of lead poisoning if you stab yourself (or someone else) with a pencil because it contains no lead -- just a mixture of clay and graphite. Still, pencil wounds carry a
risk of infection for the stabees, lawsuits for stabbers. Morethan half of all pencils come from China. In 2004, factories there turned out 10 billion pencils, enough to circle the earth more than 40 times.
Shooting USA premiered their new shot "Impossible Shots" on Outdoor Channel last week. The new show airs at 7 PM and expands Shooting USA's programming to a ninety minutes in the Outdoor Channel's "Wednesday Night at the Range" programming
The program includes:
Sighting In with Shooting USA - The Smith & Wesson Ladies Clinic
This time we're Sighting In with the ladies -- no boys allowed -- at the Smith & Wesson Lady's Clinic. It's women only, learning shooting and competition. Kay Clark Miculek hosts the new shooters at her range in Louisiana. Plus, John answers the
question we get all the time - how do you properly clean a rifle?
Shooting USA's Impossible Shots
* Eastern Time -- 7:00 PM -- 10:30 PM
* Central Time -- 6:00 PM -- 9:30 PM
* Mountain Time -- 5:00 PM -- 8:30 PM
* Pacific Time -- 4:00 PM -- 7:30 PM
The Shooting USA Hour
* Eastern Time -- 4:30 PM, 8:30 PM, 12:00 Midnight
* Central Time -- 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM, 11:00 PM
* Mountain Time -- 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM, 10:00 PM
* Pacific Time -- 1:30 PM, 5:30 PM, 9:00 PM
IDNR to stock trout at 37 locations
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The 2008 Illinois fall trout fishing season opens on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 37 ponds and lakes throughout the state, Illinois DNR Acting Director Sam Flood announced. “Our catchable trout program is a popular activity and the fall is a great time of year to go fishing in Illinois,” Flood said. “Whether you are an experienced angler or you’re just interested in getting the kids out of the house to have some fun, we encourage you to go fishing.”
More than 70,000 trout are stocked by the IDNR at the locations listed below just prior to the opening of the fall trout season. Anglers are reminded that no trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from Oct. 1 until the fall trout season opens on Oct. 18 at 5 a.m.
To take trout legally beginning Oct. 18, anglers must have a fishing license and an inland trout stamp, unless they are
under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.
Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location if they plan to go fishing on opening day. While regulations allow trout season to open at 5 a.m. on Oct. 18, not all locations will be open that early.
For more information on fall trout season and other Illinois fishing opportunities, contact the IDNR Division of Fisheries at 217/782-6424, or check the web site at www.ifishillinois.org.
A new location being stocked with fall trout is Derby Lake located at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex near Sparta in Randolph County. For more information about site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout.
Online safety course offers quick refresher on treestand safety
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois IDNR is reminding hunters that spending a few minutes online before heading into the field could be the difference between life and death. Safety education courses are the best way to refresh the minds of even the most seasoned hunters.
This year, the IDNR is offering hunters a new way to reeducate themselves on treestand safety before heading into the field. HunterExam.com and the Treestand Manufactures Association (TMA) are offering a free online safety course which is available through the IDNR website at www.dnr.state.il.us under the “What’s New” section.
Last year there were 28 reported hunting incidents in Illinois, of which 12 involved falls from treestands. Many of those falls resulted from the failure by the hunter to wear a fall restraint harness.
“Treestands have evolved over the years and so has treestand safety education. What used to be considered safe five to ten years ago is not considered safe today,” said IDNR Safety
Education Coordinator Jeff Hopkins. “By reviewing the narrated safety tips a hunter, new or experienced, can learn about the latest Treestand Manufacturers Association safety standards and guidelines.”
The IDNR offers free hunting safety courses to the public. The courses are taught by volunteer safety instructors and include instruction on hunting regulations, hunter ethics and responsibility, archery, firearms, ammunition, first aid, wildlife identification and conservation. A minimum of 10 hours of instruction is involved.
Illinois law requires that anyone born on or after January 1, 1980 must successfully complete a hunter safety course before a regular Illinois hunting license is issued. Those who complete the course and pass the final exam receive a certificate of competency. Last year, nearly 17,000 students completed the course.
For more information on hunter safety education courses and the complete schedule of IDNR safety education programs, call 1-800/832-2599 or check the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/safety/.
HOUGHTON, SEPT. 29, 2008--Michigan Tech U has long been a leader in research related to the Great Lakes. Now that research is going to have a new home, on the campus waterfront.
Lt. Governor John Cherry, acting for Governor Jennifer Granholm, on Sept 29 signed a capital bill authorizing Michigan Tech to spend $25 million to build a Great Lakes research center along the Portage Canal on the University's campus.
The campus overlooks Portage Lake, a long, winding ribbon of water that divides upper Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula in half. Just a few miles from campus, on either end of the Portage, lies Lake Superior, a majestic body of water. The campus and the surrounding communities provide a rich and inviting setting in Michigan's storied northlands.
Michigan Tech is one of six state universities with capital outlay projects funded by the bill. The others are Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University and Western Michigan University.
The project will include construction of a three-story research building and enhancement of Michigan Tech's waterfront, said W. Charles Kerfoot, professor of biological sciences and director of the Lake Superior Ecosystem Research Center. A planning committee guiding the project includes Kerfoot; Professor Alex Mayer, director of the Center for Water and Society; and Joan Chadde, coordinator of educational programs for the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.
The new building will be located on the canal side of the Dow Environmental Sciences and Engineering Building. It will house eight research labs with researchers from four departments: biological sciences, civil and environmental engineering, geological and mining engineering and sciences, and chemistry. Researchers from the Michigan Tech Research Institute will bring their remote sensing expertise to the new facility.
"Freshwater issues are among the most pressing problems facing the world," said Michigan Tech President Glenn D. Mroz. "Michigan Tech is ideally situated to become a leader in aquatic environmental science and technological remediation. The interdisciplinary work that Michigan Tech researchers will do in this new research center on all aspects of Great Lakes water has implications for freshwater management far beyond Michigan. What we learn there will be valuable worldwide."
The new center will focus on a number of pressing issues in upper Great Lakes coastal research, including research into the effects of global climate change, the impact of invasive plant and animal species, over-fishing and the reproductive failure of native fish, loss of coastal wetlands and habitats along tributaries that feed the Great Lakes, historical contamination from mining and the impact of toxic contaminants that persist, and the effects of population and pollution on coastal biodiversity.
A broad variety of research labs will draw faculty and students from disciplines across campus. They include a fisheries restoration lab, a sediment characterization and processing lab, a mass spectrometry lab where large samples can be screened quickly for different compounds, a coastal hydrology lab for controlled testing of sediment behavior under various river and coastal flow conditions; an exotic species lab; a model computation lab, a remote sensing and coastal instrumentation networking lab; and an air quality and meteorology lab.
As a hub for Great Lakes research and education, the waterfront facility will also house classrooms, teaching labs, conference rooms and facilities to expand educational outreach program for elementary and high school students and teachers. The building will include a boathouse and water-level access for the University's research vessels, the Agassiz and Polar. Access to such facilities will help motivate future generations to study and pursue careers in science, engineering and technology.
Houghton, rated the tenth-safest college town in the nation and the safest in Michigan, is part of the Houghton-Hancock twin-city center of approximately 12,000 residents. The University's more than 6,000 students from many states and foreign countries make the area a vibrant, multicultural community. Houghton is home to many exciting cultural activities, from Bridgefest, a summer event commemorating the building of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, to the annual fall Parade of Nations, a celebration of Michigan Tech's diversity.
Future plans for the project envision a waterfront activities center, including boat launching ramps, storage for water craft of all kinds, decks and docks, a shoreline boardwalk, a walking trail, improvements to Prince's Point Beach, and mooring and staging facilities for large ships.
"Michigan Tech has a unique location on a coastal Great Lakes waterway," Kerfoot said. "Now it will have the waterfront presence it has lacked."
Youth only season scheduled for Oct. 11-18
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Game Commission has slated 100,170 ring-necked pheasants for release on public lands throughout the Commonwealth for the upcoming small game hunting seasons, including 17,980 birds for the youth only season (Oct. 11-18).
“Based on agency’s budget cuts first implemented in the 2004-05 fiscal year and carried forward since, we reduced our pheasant propagation program by 50 %” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission exec. director. “Reducing the pheasant propagation program has saved the agency more than one million dollars. Without a hunting license fee increase, we expect to continue producing at the 100,000-bird level.
“Despite the overall reductions, this year our game farm staff had an excellent production season. They have worked hard with limited resources to achieve the goal to have 100,000-birds available for stocking this fall.”
The region staff will begin the stocking season Oct. 9, when the agency will release 15,090 birds (8,640 males and 6,450 females) for the youth pheasant hunt scheduled for Oct 11-18. A listing of stocking locations for the youth hunt can be found on pages 26-28 of the 2008-08 Pennsylvania Digest of
Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to each
license buyer. Another 1,890 pheasants have been allocated for those clubs sponsoring mentored pheasant hunts for youth on Oct. 11.
Opening day of the general pheasant hunting season is Oct. 25, and closes on Nov. 29. Preseason releases will consist of 50 % of the fall allocation, and will be stocked in each region beginning Oct. 22, followed by the first in-season stocking consisting of 25 % beginning Oct. 29. The second in-season stocking will be held the week of Nov. 5, consisting of another 25 %. Only male pheasants are legal game in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 2A, 2B, 2C, 4C, 4E, 5A and 5B. Male and female pheasants are legal game in all other WMUs.
To offer hunters better information about the stocking schedule, the Game Commission has posted on its website charts for each of its six regions outlining the number of birds to be stocked in each county, the public properties slated to be stocked and a two- to three-day window in which stockings will take place within the counties. To view the charts, go to the Game Commission's website www.pgc.state.pa.us, select “Hunting" in the left-hand column, clicking on the photograph of the pheasant and then choose "Pheasant Allocation" and click on the map for the county or region of interest.
MADISON – Tournament organizers can now apply online for the permit they may need to host a fishing tournament in Wisconsin.
“The online permit system allows for quicker review and processing times,” says Andy Fayram, Department of Natural Resources fisheries policy analyst. “Certain restrictions still exist on how far in advance and how late people can apply for tournaments,” says Fayram, “but using the online system makes the application process more efficient, which can result in a quicker turnaround.”
The system offers further assistance by guiding you through a screening process to help you determine if a permit is
required for your event. In addition to the application, a new, searchable calendar, allows organizers, participants, anglers, and all water users to see which waters have scheduled fishing tournaments.
“The calendar is a great tool for the tournament organizers to make sure there are no competing tournaments scheduled for the day they’re looking at and also for anglers or boaters looking to avoid a crowded water body,” says Fayram.
While revisions are under consideration, rules for tournaments have not changed. The online application and a blank, printable form can be found on the fishing tournament pages of the DNR Web site along with other information about fishing tournaments, rules and regulations.
State Attorney General reasons in formal Opinion
Mutual Aid Statute Can Not Be Used To Enlarge Tribal Law Enforcement Jurisdiction
MADISON – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen last week issued a formal opinion concluding that section 66.0313 of the statutes – which governs mutual assistance requests among law enforcement agencies – does not apply to tribal law enforcement agencies operated by any of Wisconsin’s eleven Native American tribes and bands. When applicable, the mutual assistance statute allows a law enforcement agency to request the assistance of another law enforcement agency. If assistance is provided, the responding agency personnel may exercise law enforcement powers within the jurisdiction of the requesting agency consistent with the request and are deemed employees of the requesting agency while acting in response to the request.
Van Hollen found that a tribal law enforcement agency does not fall within the applicable statutory definition of “law enforcement agency” in the mutual assistance statute because it is not an agency of the state or a political subdivision of the state as required by the incorporated statutory definition. Van Hollen’s opinion further noted that the
Legislature could have chosen to incorporate an existing, separate definition of a “tribal law enforcement agency” into the mutual assistance statute, but did not do so.
Van Hollen also said that the power to assist or request assistance under the mutual assistance statute is not included in the powers that are granted to qualified tribal law enforcement officers who exercise state law enforcement powers on their reservations pursuant to section 165.92 of the statutes.
Van Hollen further found that, notwithstanding the inapplicability of section 66.0313, county and tribal law enforcement agencies could contract to provide mutual assistance through an intergovernmental agreement under sections 66.0301 or 165.90 of the statutes. Any such agreement, however, may only apply to circumstances in which the assisting law enforcement officers would have legal authority to act deriving from some source other than the agreement itself. In other words, law enforcement powers may not be enlarged by contract alone.
The opinion was requested by Oneida County Assistant Corporation Counsel Thomas D. Wiensch.
The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff.
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