Week of November 21, 2011
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The final conference report on the combined Appropriations bills—known as the “Mini-Bus,” was passed by both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, and has been signed into law.
One of the most important ways
that Congress has protected the Second Amendment is through a number of
general provisions included in various appropriations bills. Many of these
provisions have been included in the bills for many years—some of the
provisions go back almost three decades. This conference report is no
exception, as it contains 12 provisions that strengthen the Second Amendment
and protect the American people.
In addition, the conference report adds two NEW provisions designed to bolster our gun rights and protect the Second Amendment from unelected bureaucrats who would twist the law to facilitate their gun-control agenda.
shotguns to meet a “sporting purposes” test that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has used to prohibit the importation of shotguns with one or more features disliked by the Agency, such as adjustable stocks, extended magazine tubes, etc.
Finally, the conference report RETAINS the following provisions:
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an important self-defense measure that would enable millions of Right-to-Carry permit holders across the country to carry concealed firearms while traveling outside their home states. H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, passed by a majority bipartisan vote of 272 to 154. All amendments aimed to weaken or damage the integrity of this bill were defeated.
Despite the usual anti-gun rhetoric, despite the same old hysterics about
blood in the streets, and despite the outright lies about concealed carry
license holders, real common sense prevailed. The measure simply requires
states to honor Right to Carry licenses from other states, just as driver's
licenses are recognized.
permit to carry a concealed firearm in any state that issues concealed
firearm permits, or that does not prohibit the carrying of concealed
firearms for lawful purposes.
This bill does not affect existing state laws. State laws governing where
concealed firearms may be carried would apply within each state’s borders.
H.R. 822 does not create a federal licensing system or impose federal
standards on state permits; rather, it requires the states to recognize each
others' carry permits, just as they recognize drivers' licenses and carry
permits held by armored car guards.
H.R. 822 now moves to the U.S. Senate where it faces a tougher challenge.
Columbus, Ohio – The House Natural Resources Committee, on November 17, passed H.R. 2834, the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act, that would protect fishing, hunting and recreational shooting on federal lands.
H.R. 2834 passed the Committee with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 29-14. This vital piece of legislation would require fishing, hunting and recreational shooting to
be included in all federal land planning documents and would fix numerous inconsistencies in federal law that are being exploited by litigious environmental groups to reduce hunting opportunities on federal land.
This bill is strongly supported by millions of sportsmen across the country. This bill closes the loopholes that anti-hunters have used time and time again to try to deny access for hunting, fishing and shooting. Now is the time to put a stop to it.
The Department of the Interior has drafted new legislation that would potentially kick firearms enthusiasts off of millions of acres of public lands in order to keep them from “freaking out” urbanites who like to use the land for hiking and dog walking.
According to an article written by Paul Bedard for Washington Whispers, if the Interior Department is successful, large portions of the 245 million acres of public lands controlled by the Bureau of Land Management will likely be off-limits for hunting and target practice. The biggest impact of the laws will be to tracts of land situated in the West.
“It’s not so much a safety issue. It’s a social conflict issue,” said Frank Jenks, a natural resource specialist with the Bureau.
The draft regulations raise concerns about how shooting can cause a “public disturbance,” and also say that shooters can hurt plants and litter public lands.
According to the article, Land Management officers will be
assigned the task of assessing areas where hunting or target practice often take place to determine if the area is being misused or if other users of the land are being annoyed by the presence of firearms. The Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, which represents many organizations that promote hunting and gun sports, is fighting the new rules and has worked to draft a counterproposal to the rules.
Those fighting the rules note that shooters bring fewer accidents and less destruction to public land than other recreationists such as ATV riders.
Since this story first broke, the Interior Department has been under heavy pressure from gun owners to ensure that public lands remain for shooting sports. A Department official said yesterday that the agency supports shooters and has a goal of keeping most of the land available to them, though some areas closer to homes will be made off limits.
Project supported local jobs, center will serve millions
Shirley, N.Y. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today dedicated the new Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex Visitor Center at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley. The 13,000-square-foot center is located within an hour’s drive of New York City, and it will serve as a hub for visitors to the ten national wildlife refuges on Long Island. Service staff will move into the building by early December, and a grand opening event is planned for May 2012.
Design and construction of the “green” building was funded with nearly $9.8 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It will serve the greater NYC metropolitan area and visitors to the area. The center features interactive exhibits, an environmental classroom with a wet lab, and a nature store run by the non-profit Friends of Wertheim. Three miles of new trails originating at the building and two new viewing platforms along the Carmans River will be created before next spring, expanding the refuge’s trail system.
The 18-month project supported 120 jobs, most of which were construction subcontractors from Long Island. "As
part of its vision for the 21st century, the National Wildlife
Refuge System is undertaking a new urban refuge initiative to better serve people who live in metropolitan areas, " said Service Deputy Director Rowan Gould. "Facilities like this new center will be central to this effort."
Gould also referenced the economic benefits that result from recreational uses on national wildlife refuges, citing that refuges generate more than $1.7 billion for local economies and create nearly 27,000 U.S. jobs annually.
"This outstanding new complex is the perfect gateway for residents and tourists seeking to enjoy Long Island's world-class natural treasures," said U.S. Congressman Tim Bishop (N.Y.). "With federal funding through the Recovery Act, this project employed local workers to build a facility that will enhance the experience of new and returning visitors to our community for many years to come."
The national wildlife refuges on Long Island provide nearly 6,500 acres of habitat for migratory birds, threatened and endangered species and other wildlife. From rare grasslands to maritime tidal areas, the habitats are rich and diverse. In addition to Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, other units include Amagansett, Conscience Point, Gardiners Point Island, Lido Beach, Elizabeth A. Morton, Oyster Bay, Sayville, Seatuck, and Target Rock national wildlife refuges.
The Great Lakes basin experienced cooler temperatures throughout the past week with some areas received decent precipitation totals. The Great Lakes basin as a whole has received below average precipitation to date in November. Looking ahead to the weekend, expect a chance for some rain and snow, on Saturday and Sunday, with temperatures near seasonal averages. Sunshine is expected to arrive in the early part of next week, maintaining seasonal average temperatures.
LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS
Currently, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan are 1 and 5 inches, respectively above their levels of a year ago. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 8, 13, and 3 inches, respectively, higher than they were at this time last year. Over the next thirty days, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are projected to drop 3 and 2 inches respectively, from their current levels. The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to decline 2, 2, and 4 inches, respectively, over the next month. All of the lakes are in their period of seasonal decline. See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.
FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS
Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Mary's River and the outflow from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River are projected to be below average for the month of November.
The outflow from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River is
expected to be near average throughout the month of November. Lake Erie's outflow through the Niagara River and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River are both predicted to be above average in November.
Lake Superior's water level is currently below chart datum. 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.
Gift cards are once again set to be a holiday favorite with consumers, and Bass Pro Shops has one of the best.
The Bass Pro Shops gift
card program has received top marks from consumer gift card rating service
ScripSmart®. Both Bass Pro Shops' traditional plastic gift card and virtual
e-gift card have received a Gift Card Score® of 99; the company is the first
to obtain a 99 for both a physical and electronic gift cards. There are no
other retailers of gift cards with a Gift Card Score higher than 99 and over
600 gift cards from leading national merchants have been rated by ScripSmart.
based on a 100 point scale and reflects the
Bass Pro Shops Gift Cards never expire, have no fees, offer free online shipping and can also be redeemed at Big Cedar Lodge, Top of the Rock restaurant, Hemingway's Blue Water Cafe, Islamorada Fish Company restaurants and even towards a boat purchase or service through Tracker Marine.
DNR Director Rodney Stokes has authorized the Department to proceed with purchasing 2,354 acres in Menominee and Dickinson counties in the Upper Peninsula to create the Menominee River State Recreation Area. The DNR will purchase the land for $2,534,400 in funding from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and DNR Land Exchange Facilitation Fund. The land is currently owned by Wisconsin Electric Power Company.
The acreage includes two separate tracts – Piers Gorge and Quiver Falls. Piers Gorge is located one mile south of the community of Norway, and includes 145.35 acres of land and 1.5 miles of access along the Menominee River. The acreage includes whitewater rapids and waterfalls, and contains some of the fastest-moving water in Michigan or Wisconsin. It is not navigable for general canoeing, but has become a popular destination for expert class kayakers seeking challenging Class IV whitewater. The parcel also contains good wildlife viewing opportunities for eagles, osprey and waterfowl, as well as public fishing access.
Quiver Falls is eight miles south of Piers Gorge and contains 2,208.83 acres of land and provides eight miles of access along the Menominee River. It is adjacent to the
existing Menominee River Natural Resource Area, a 4,450-
acre tract along five miles of the Menominee River managed by both the Michigan and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources.
The Quiver Falls parcel contains river frontage on both sides of the Menominee River, scenic rocky gorges with significant drops in the river and waterfalls. The area is popular with hunters and anglers, as well visitors because of the scenic sightseeing opportunities.
“This acquisition will give the Michigan Department of Natural Resources a unique opportunity to co-manage this area with our counterparts in Wisconsin,” said Ron Olson, chief of the Michigan DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division. “This would be our first jointly operated public recreation area and river corridor park, and would protect and make open to the public more than 5,000 acres along the Menominee River. The tourism potential of this project is enormous.”
For more information on the purchase, including a map of the area, go to www.michigan.gov/nrc and click on the Nov. 10 agenda for the Michigan Natural Resources Commission. The purchase is outlined in Item 6 under Land Transactions.
Michigan DNR stresses the importance of safety for everyone during hunting season
Hunting season is well underway in Michigan and now is a good time to remind everyone that it is wise to wear hunter orange clothing when you are out enjoying the state’s trails and forest lands. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources does not close trails or pathways during hunting season, and it is legal to hunt throughout these areas if you adhere to the laws regarding safety zones.
It is required by law that hunters wear “hunter orange.” There is no similar law for recreationalists, but because so much of state land borders private lands and the DNR allows hunting on portions of state-owned land, it is imperative that individuals take precaution and dress themselves and their pets in brightly colored clothing.
“Due to the very popular activity of deer hunting, now is not an advisable time to take a quiet, unassuming walk in the woods,” says Bill O’Neill, field coordinator for the Forest Management Division of the DNR. “Be smart about where you choose to go, wear brightly colored clothing and let hunters know that you are in the area. We must all work together to have a safe and successful hunting season in Michigan.”
It is also important as you go out and enjoy Michigan’s
forest lands, that you understand the rules and regulations for hunting. In Michigan it is legal for hunters with
disabilities to hunt from standing vehicles or off-road vehicles (ORV). This law does not grant any additional privileges for ORV operators with disabilities. It simply allows for hunters with disabilities better access to hunting locations on state-owned land. The DNR strongly encourages those hunters using alternative modes of transportation to mark their vehicles with hunter orange flags.
ORV operation is prohibited in public hunting areas during the regular November firearm deer season from 7 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.; except for these cases:
►Going to or from a residence or hunting camp that is inaccessible by a conventional vehicle (subject to state land regulations)
►On private property, with landowner’s permission
►Passenger vehicles while being operated on roads capable of sustaining automobile traffic
►Persons holding a “Permit to Hunt From a Standing Vehicle” or otherwise meeting disability requirements while engaged in hunting or fishing activity
For more information about ORV rules and regulations in Michigan please visit: www.offroad-ed.com/mi/handbook.
To find ORV trail maps for state-owned lands, visit www.michigan.gov/orvtrails.
The Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that Mi-HUNT is a cutting-edge, web-based application that can optimize a hunter’s experience. No matter where you are in Michigan, you can find public hunting land. The interactive mapping application can be found at www.michigan.gov/mihunt.
Mi-HUNT provides the platform for users to view and navigate through public and private lands open to public hunting and trapping in Michigan. The interactive layers of Mi-HUNT allow the user to view:
This year, the DNR received a grant from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) to improve Mi-HUNT for the user. It is being updated to provide more services to the user while improving the ease-of-use. Improvements will include:
“We are listening to our customers and making these modifications to improve their hunting experience,” said Russ Mason, chief of the DNR Wildlife Division. “Mi-HUNT is an incredible and very useful web-based application and ties in perfectly to DNR Director Rodney Stokes’ recruitment and retention priority. We appreciate the grant funding from NSSF.”
The DNR also wants to remind hunters they have an additional opportunity to receive turkey, bear, elk, deer, and reserved waterfowl licenses by applying for the 2012 Pure Michigan Hunt drawing. Each application is $4 and you may apply as many times as you like. Three lucky winners will receive a hunt package that also includes a rifle and crossbow. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/puremichiganhunt.
The Department of Natural Resources will offer a “Winter Discovery Weekend” – designed to give women an opportunity to try a variety of outdoor skills in a fun, safe and non-competitive environment – Jan 27-29 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon. The event is part of the DNR's Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program, and classes are geared toward beginners, with no skill level required.
Participants choose three classes from among several topics offered, including ice fishing, self-defense basics, wilderness first aid, snowshoeing, hiking, turkey and duck hunting and basic pistol shooting.
Guests should plan to arrive Friday evening between 4 and 9 p.m. On Saturday, guests participate in morning and afternoon classes (three hours each) with breakfast, lunch
and dinner provided as part of the paid package. All sessions are taught by experienced volunteer instructors who enjoy the outdoors and have a true desire to share it with others.
The Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center is located on the north shore of Higgins Lake at 104 Conservation Dr. in Roscommon. The registration fee is $225 and includes two nights of lodging, four meals, all instruction and materials. Registration deadline is Jan. 12.
BOW is a noncompetitive program in which each individual is encouraged to learn at her own pace. The emphasis is on the enjoyment, fun and camaraderie of outdoor activities, and sharing in the success of one another.
Michigan Sea Grant invites you to attend the annual Ludington Regional Fishery Workshop to be held on Saturday, January 7, 2012. Topics presented will cover current research on issues that affect Lake Michigan fisheries. A hot lunch buffet will be included in the conference registration fee of $20 ($30 after December 10).
Advanced registration is requested to assure an accurate count for food service. Please use the registration form and mail it with your check made out to Ottawa County MSU Extension. The mailing address is listed on the registration form. If you should have questions, please call (616) 994-4580.
The conference will be held at the Ramada Inn and
Conference Center located at 4079 West U. S. 10, on the
southeast corner of the US-31/US-10 intersection.
For more information and to register: www.miseagrant.umich.edu/fisheries/fishery-workshop.html
Saturday, January 7, 2012
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Ramada Inn & Convention Center
4079 West U.S. 10
Ludington, MI 49431
Registrations not postmarked on or before December 10 will be charged the late registration rate of $30.00.
Ohioans encouraged to report wildlife violations, illegal activity
COLUMBUS, OH - Individuals seeking information about the upcoming youth gun and white-tailed deer hunting seasons, or to report violations of state wildlife laws, can take advantage of extended call center hours from Nov 19 to Dec 4, according to the Ohio DNR.
The 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) general hunting information hotline will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 PM on Saturday, November 19 and Sunday, November 20, for the ninth annual youth deer-gun season. Staff will also be available to answer calls prior to and during the regular deer-gun season, which begins Monday, November 28, and ends Sunday, December 4. Special call center hours prior to and during the state's popular deer-gun season are as follows:
• 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, November 25
• 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, November 26-27
• 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, November 28- December 2
• 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, December 3-4
• 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, December 17-18
• The hotline will be closed on Thanksgiving Day
The extremely popular deer gun season is a period when many of Ohio's hunters have last-minute questions and the Division of Wildlife will be ready and available to assist them. Hunters are encouraged to contact the division with any question that may arise.
Ohioans also are encouraged to help enforce state wildlife laws by reporting violations to the division's Turn-in-a-Poacher (TIP) hotline at 1-800-POACHER (762-2437). Established in 1982, the TIP program allows individuals to anonymously call toll free from anywhere in the state to report wildlife violations. The 1-800-POACHER hotline is open for calls 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
Tipsters may be eligible to receive a cash award and are urged to leave a message during closed hours with as much information about the suspected violation as can be provided. Tips can also be submitted online at wildohio.com.
Written Entries Also Accepted by Feb. 1, 2012
MADISON -- Amateur and professional photographers have until Feb. 1, 2012, to submit their entries for the state's Great Lakes photo contest, with winning images featured in a calendar handed out at the Wisconsin State Fair.
The Department of Natural Resources' Office of the Great Lakes is holding its fourth annual photo contest and is seeking photos in all seasons and in the following categories: Natural Features and Wildlife; Cultural and Historic Features; People Enjoying Wisconsin’s Great Lakes; and Lake Protection Activities.
Photos of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior as well as their tributaries, wetlands and harbor towns are eligible.
Photos must be taken in Wisconsin.
"Every year we receive beautiful images of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. The contest is a great way to showcase these outstanding natural resources and how much they mean to people,” says Steve Galarneau, who directs the Office of the Great Lakes.
The Office of the Great Lakes is also accepting writings about Lake Superior or Lake Michigan. Statements, short essays, stories, poems and songs can be submitted to the Office of the Great Lakes. Photos and writings may be used in the calendar and other Great Lakes publications as well as on the DNR website and in displays and presentations, according to Jo Temte, DNR water resources management specialist.
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