April 28, 2003

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National

Nat'l- Court Rejects Endangered Species Notice
   April 18 -- In a victory for private property rights, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has rejected a petition from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider the court's Nov. 5, 2002, ruling that said the government must disclose the location of endangered species on private land. The ruling, which was hailed as a victory for private property rights, was handed down in a case in which the FWS had refused to tell the National Association of Home Builders where endangered cactus

ferruginous pygmy owls could be found on private lands in Arizona.

 

   The government filed its petition for reconsideration on Dec. 20, 2002. The court issued its decision rejecting the petition on March 5, 2003. On April 2, a FWS spokesperson told REALTOR Magazine that the government won't appeal the court's decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, and that the information requested by NAHB is "in the mail."

 


Nat'l- The Spotted Owl Fiasco

   The spotted owl fiasco is just that – a fiasco, a farce.

In February 2003, after completing a 12-month review as required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the USFWS announced that the California spotted owl, a native bird found in forests of the Sierra Nevada, the central coast range, and major mountain ranges of southern California, doesn't warrant ANY protection under the ESA.

 

   The Service concluded, based on the best scientific and commercial information available, that the overall magnitude of current threats to the California spotted owl does not rise to a level requiring Federal protection. The California spotted owl still occurs throughout all or most of its historical range, with approximately 2,200 sites or territories in the Sierra Nevada and southern California where spotted owls have been recently observed.

   Due to overregulation which virtually stopped logging in Pacific forests, regulations which the Service now claim were never needed to "save" the spotted owl, forest fires are soaring . What isn't logged by humans is now burned by Mother Nature. Amazingly, all these fires appear to have not bothered the birds one bit. They simply flew away when threatened, begging the question: If all this fire didn't burn the birds out, why was logging considered such a dire threat?

 

   Timber harvest levels slashed by over half over the last ten years are now resulting in 70 % of California's wood fiber now being imported. Timber mills operating in the West plummeted and thousands of families lost their source of income.

 


Nat'l- USFS chief: Forest debate looking at wrong issues

   SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Debate over the future of the nation's forests is focusing on the wrong issues, Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth said Tuesday. Logging and road building are "yesterday's issues," he said, while fire and invasive species pose a much greater threat.

 

   "The current debate about the administration and management of America's national forests ... I think it's about the wrong issues," Bosworth said.

 

   Four issues that he labeled "diversions" were logging, road building, livestock grazing on public land, and the "poster children" of endangered species such as the spotted owl. On the issue that he called "the bogus debate over logging," Bosworth said there is a misperception that the Forest Service is focused on making money from timber. He said the amount of timber cut has dropped from 12 billion board ft a year two decades ago to 2 billion board ft a year now in the United States. It takes about 10,000 board ft to build an average house.

   He said the Forest Service cuts trees now mainly for conservation purposes, such as improving wildlife habitat. Some forests are overgrown and must be thinned to prevent fires, he added. "Americans are going to have to decide: We can remove some of the trees and lower the risk of catastrophic fire, or we can do nothing and we can watch them burn," he said. Environmentalists were cool to Bosworth's message, which expanded on remarks the Forest Service chief made earlier this year.

 

   "This is the administration attempting to use Earth Day in a political way to draw attention away from their plans to increase logging and oil and gas development in our national forests, and I think it is shameless," said Dan Smuts of the Wilderness Society. But Bosworth said that as a 37-year veteran of the Forest Service, he's not playing partisan politics.

 

   "What I am focusing on is what I think are the problems that are out there in the national forests and the problems I believe that the American people are going to be faced with for the next 20 years," he said.


Nat'l- Civil Disobedience Considered To Battle Federal Grizzly Policy

   Flathead County, MT - In a matter that has been brewing for sometime, residents of Montana's Glacier Park area say they are being economically terrorized by federal grizzly policies. The talk has gone beyond just protesting about it. Reports are coming in that Montanans may follow the example of Klamath Falls, and take matters into their own hands.

 

   Flathead country residents are talking about taking direct action to removing many of the barricades in Montana. "What other choice to we have?" said one resident. "We've pleaded. We've lobbied. We are in the same position as the people in Klamath Falls - threatened with economic extinction." .

 

   The outrage in northwest Montana is over the Forestry Service's road closures that have been placed in affect to protect the grizzly bear, wolves and other endangered species. There are 2,104 roads in what the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) describes as a forest system. At present, according to the state of Montana, 1,910 of those 2,104 roads (91%) have been gated or rendered impassable by permanent Kelly humps made by bulldozers under federal

contract.

 

   In 1997, the Forest Service adopted the Road Management Plan which identified forestry roads in the state and scheduled them for either maintenance or obliteration. Although a large portion of Glacier National Park lies within the boundaries of Flathead county, Montana claims this is a state-wide issue.

 

   The state's statute 2-1-202 shows that: "The state and its inhabitants and citizens reserve the right to fish and hunt and the right of access, ingress, and egress to and through the ceded territory to all persons owning or controlling livestock for the purpose of watering the livestock."

 

   It goes on to say that Jurisdiction does not vest until the United States, through the proper officers, files an accurate map or plat and description by metes and bounds of the lands in the office of the county clerk and recorder of the county in which the lands are situated. As the increased closing of roads clearly has an impact on the local economies, the effect on one of the primary industries - logging, is in dispute.

 


Canada

Canada- Threat of West Nile looms again this year

   Canadian experts are predicting an early mosquito season this year – bringing with it the deadly West Nile virus. In the Toronto area, the discovery of the first infected crow over the weekend has highlighted the need to protect against the disease, experts say. The dead crow was found in Newmarket, Ont., just north of Toronto.

 

   "We have already had several suspected cases of birds infected with West Nile virus this year," Barry Tyler, an Ontario entomologist and an adviser the Ontario government’s working committee on the virus, said in a news release on April 28.

 

   Melted snow has left many pools of standing water, providing ideal mosquito-breeding conditions. The West Nile virus is also expected to arrive earlier this year, in part because mosquitoes that hibernated through the winter likely still have the disease in their systems.

   Adding to the bleak news is recent research indicating the disease is passed on from female mosquitoes to their eggs. The mosquito population has already started appearing and the insects start to feed once the temperature reaches 21-degrees Celsius, experts say.  Health Canada also warned earlier this month that the West Nile virus will be spread by crows to new areas of the country this summer and will inevitably be passed to more people through mosquito bites.

 

   “Canadians need to have a personal protection plan in place before mosquitoes start to feed and breed in earnest,” Ontario’s Dr. Tyler said.

 

   Experts urge Canadians to remove all sources of standing water on their properties, avoid the outdoors during peak mosquito feeding times (dawn and dusk) and to use insect repellent when outside.

 

 


Regional

Sea Grant offers Exotic Species ID Cards

Aquatic Invasive Species Identification Made Simple

   Before you make your first cast of the year or launch your boat, grab some of Sea Grant's newest aquatic invasive species identification cards!  Free cards detailing characteristics of nine pests of the Great Lakes and other waters, their wrongdoings, and what people can do to prevent their spread are being distributed through bait shops, marinas, environmental education organizations, and resource management offices throughout the region. 

 

   "We've created these cards to help people recognize some of the area's most invasive aquatic organisms and to let them know what they can do to stop them from getting into other waters," said Doug Jensen, Aquatic Invasive Species Information Center coordinator with the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program.  "When these invasive species become established, it's virtually impossible to get rid of them so it is important to know how to prevent their spread."

 

   Precautions everyone can take to prevent the infestation of new lakes and rivers include inspecting and removing aquatic plants and animals from watercraft, trailers, and equipment before leaving a water access, disposing of unwanted bait in the trash, and drying boats and gear between use.  The unauthorized introduction of fish, crayfish, or plants into public waters is illegal; this includes aquarium creatures and ornamental plants often cultivated in water gardens.

 

ID cards are available for:

Eurasian ruffe

Round goby

Rusty crayfish

Spiny and fishhook waterfleas

Purple loosestrife

Eurasian watermilfoil

European frogbit

Zebra mussel

 

   The water-resistant ID cards are small enough to fit in a tackle box, wallet, or pocket.  They were designed to raise awareness and encourage boaters, anglers, waterfowl hunters, ornamental and water gardeners, as well as commercial fisherman and fishery professionals, to help combat aquatic invasive species.  Each card provides information on the simple things that people can do to these species from spreading.

 

   "In a way, we've mimicked the characteristics that permit aquatic invasive species to overtake new habitats ‹ abundant reproduction and rapid dispersal," said Jensen, who coordinated the production of over 3.2 million ID cards for distribution throughout the Great Lakes during the year.  "The Watch ID cards are excellent examples of collaboration among 31 entities throughout the Great Lakes.  They are about leveraging effort and resources, avoiding duplication of effort, and effective public outreach."

 

   Minnesota Sea Grant produced Watch ID cards in cooperation with the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and state natural resource agencies. Cards were customized for states and provinces bordering the Great Lakes, Lake Champlain, Washington, and for the USFWS.

 

   Single cards are free. Individuals or organizations wishing to obtain cards should contact their state Sea Grant office in the Great Lakes, or their state or provincial natural resource management agency.  To order Watch ID cards in Minnesota, contact Minnesota Sea Grant at (218) 726-6191, or by e-mail at seagr@d.umn.edu .


NMMA Donates $25K to Great Lakes Endowment

   CHICAGO, April 24 - - National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has contributed $25,000 to the Great Lakes Endowment to support the research, policy development and advocacy efforts of the Great Lakes Commission.

 

   NMMA president Thom Dammrich presented the check to the Commission on behalf of the association’s more than 1,400 member companies during the Great Lakes Commission’s semi-annual meeting last week in Indianapolis, IN. The Great Lakes Commission is a bi-national public agency that promotes development, use and conservation of the water and related natural resources of the Great Lakes basin and St. Lawrence River. 

 

   The eight states that make up the Great Lakes region (Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio) represent 4.3 million, or one-third of all registered boats in the U.S., and account

 

for 21 percent ($2.8 billion) of national new boat sales annually.

 

   "The Commission has done a good job considering recreational boating in [their] efforts and programs [and] are best positioned to make a positive difference for the people and communities of this region and for the large constituency of recreational boaters in the Great Lakes region," said Dammrich during the presentation.  "I am delighted to present the Great Lakes Endowment a $25,000 check to show our appreciation of your work, our desire to be your partner, and our respect for your organization and mission."

           

For more info, contact NMMA ass't director of Communications Dan Green at 312-946-6269; dgreen@nmma.org .

 

For more information on NMMA visit www.nmma.org , and for more information on the Great Lakes Commission visit www.glc.org .


  

Illinois

IL- The Future of the Chicago Area Waterway System

   The Chicago area is home to a large and diverse series of waterways. The Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) is used for commercial and recreational purposes by people across Cook and neighboring counties, the state of Illinois and the Midwest.

 

   In order to determine how the Chicago area waterways can best be used commercially and recreationally, the Illinois EPA, along with other federal, state and local agencies, has recently embarked on a multi-year evaluation called a Use Attainability Analysis (UAA). The evaluation will determine the most suitable uses (i.e., commercial usage, swimming, fishing, water skiing, boating, etc.) for part or all of the CAWS for the future.

 

   To date, there has not been such an evaluation conducted on the Chicago area waterways since the early 1970s. Since then, and, with the advent of new laws and technological advancements, the quality of the Chicago area waterways has changed significantly. The evaluation is important in order to understand how the Chicago area waterways have changed over the years and to determine the most suitable uses for the waterways in the future.

 

   While the evaluation is being conducted, informational public meetings will be held throughout the Chicago area to explain the impact and the process of the evaluation.

What You Can Do:

  • Be informed. Attend a public meeting to learn more about the CAWS and the evaluation being conducted on it.

  • Forward to a Friend. Please forward this e-mail message to anyone you think would be interested.

 

Other Info: www.ChicagoAreaWaterways.org or the IEPA at www.epa.state.il.us or call 847-294-4000.

Who Should Attend:

Individuals doing business or recreating in the Chicago Area W waterway System

Meeting Times & Locations:

May 5, 7 PM, Evanston

May 6, 7 PM, Palos Heights

May 8, 7 PM, Chicago

Contact: Rob Sulski, Bureau of Water, IEPA, 9511 W. Harrison St, Des Plaines, Il  60018  847-294-4000

 

North Suburbs

Evanston City Council Chambers of the Civic Center

2100 Ridge Avenue, 2nd Flr.

Evanston, IL 60201

May 5, 2003 • 7:00 P.M.

Driving: From Chicago, Take I-90/94 W to the Edens Expressway N. Take the E Dempster exit to Ridge and go north. Take the "L": The Purple Line runs through Evanston. From Chicago, you can take the Red Line to the Howard Stop and transfer to the Purple Line. From Skokie, you can take the Skokie Swift to the Howard Stop to the Purple Line.

 

South Suburbs

Lake Katherine Nature Preserve

7402 Lake Katherine Drive

Palos Heights, IL 60463

May 6, 2003 • 7:00 P.M.

Driving: North on 75th Avenue from Rt. 83 - 75th Avenue joins Rt. 83 three blocks west of Harlem Avenue, Palos Heights, Illinois.

 

Chicago

Stefani's at Harborside International Golf Course 11001 South Doty Avenue East (Frontage Road) Chicago, IL 60628

May 8, 2003 • 7:00 P.M.

Driving: From downtown Chicago - Take Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94) E to Bishop Ford Expressway south, exit at 111th and go east. Entrance is on frontage road.


Indiana

IN- Explore wetlands at DNR programs this weekend

   Indiana DNR parks and reservoirs explore wetland habitats in special programs this weekend, May 3-4.  Wetlands  activities are featured at Indiana Dunes, Mounds, Fort Harrison, McCormick's Creek, and Lincoln state parks, and Patoka Reservoir.

 

   Indiana Dunes State Park features a "March to the Marsh" on Sunday, May 4 at 2 p.m. This walk to the Dunes Nature Preserve marsh introduces participants to wetlands plants and wildlife.

 

   Mounds State Park hosts a "Celebrate Wetlands Day" on Sunday, May 4. Programs include a 10 a.m. talk featuring wetlands animals, a 12:30 p.m. wildflower walk to see spring wildflowers along the White River, and 2:30 p.m. visit to a unique wetland called a fen. All programs begin at the new Mounds State Park Visitor Center.

 

   Fort Harrison State Park presents a one-hour program at 1 p.m. beginning at the nature/history center. This program features a walk to a newly-restored wetland and storm water control area behind historic Camp Glenn.

 

   McCormick's Creek State Park hosts an entire weekend

of events. The weekend includes "Creature Features" with wetlands animals such as the banded water snake, a walk along McCormick's Creek to look at wetland insects and how they indicate water quality, a hike to the White River and a hike to the old Statehouse Quarry, which now serves as a home to wetlands wildlife. Program locations vary. For details, contact the park interpretive center at (812) 829-4344.

 

   Lincoln State Park features a 10 a.m. hike to Weber Lake on Sunday, May 4. Weber Lake was created as a result of surface mining prior to its acquisition by the park, and is being restored using a unique created wetland.

 

   Patoka Reservoir plans a 1 p.m. talk called "Ecology of a Wetland" on Sunday, May 4. This program, held at the Patoka Visitor Center, features wetland animals and family activities.

 

For more info visit: http://www.IN.gov/dnr/parklake/interpretiveservices  Or contact Chief Interpreter Ginger Murphy at 317-232-4124. For more info about Indiana's wetlands, visit: http://www.IN.gov/wetlands

 

 


IN- Tolerance of Big Hog Farm snaps - sewage spill kills fish, riles Indiana

   CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. -- In the Midwest it is an ugly and dangerous fact of life that liquid manure spills from large livestock operations and sometimes fouls rivers and streams. But when the largest such megafarm in Indiana dumped 50,000 gallons of hog manure into Little Sugar Creek last month, killing about 5,000 fish, public tolerance snapped.

   In an unprecedented action, Indiana environmental officials this month announced their intention to shut down the 35,000-hog confinement near Crawfordsville. The manure spill, the ninth at Pohlmann Farms since 1979, symbolizes the growing public frustration with large feedlot operators who want to expand operations or create new ones in many states. The Pohlmann spills have been blamed for killing about 75,000 fish in the formerly popular Little Sugar Creek.

   No one knew about the most recent spill until a farmer reported the damage. That sentiment toward large feedlots is echoed in many Midwestern states, where citizens and environmental groups complain that these operations have damaged air and water quality.

   Voters in two South Dakota counties last week overwhelmingly rejected proposals to build hog confinements in their counties

 

   Residents in DeKalb County west of Chicago last month

obtained a temporary restraining order to block construction of an 8,000-head hog confinement near Hinckley. That lawsuit was brought by lawyers representing retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice John Nickels, who plans to build a home near the proposed hog farm.

   In Saukville, Wis., the planning commission recently endorsed a six-month moratorium on establishing factory-type farms in that small community north of Milwaukee. And in Canada, the Canadian Medical Association has urged a nationwide moratorium on adding livestock feedlots.

   What all of this public resistance produces is anyone's guess, because regulating these sites, which started to proliferate in the 1990s, has proved to be difficult and complicated. The public voice of opposition often clashes with those of legislatures. Indiana, which has about 550 large feedlot operations, is one of several states under a federal court order to improve oversight of facilities.

   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued rules designed to prevent billions of pounds of manure and other pollutants from contaminating streams and groundwater systems. The EPA rules, however, do not address air quality. Critics of environmental regulators point out that many large feedlots should, by virtue of their emissions, be classified and treated the same as industrial factories.

 

 


Michigan

MI- Potential Mineral Mine Threatens Menominee River / Lake Michigan Fishery

   Mining exploration is already happening in mid Menominee County, Michigan.  Through a loop hole in Michigan Public ACT 154 (1997) a mining company has secured more than 53,000 acres of mineral rights to private and public land in Menominee County (additional mineral rights have been secured in Marinette County, WI).  The mining company secured these rights for the grand total of $49…that's 9/10ths of 1 cent per acre!  The State of Michigan has already leased more than 2000 acres of state owned land for mining exploration with an additional 17,500 under consideration.   

 

   If the exploration underway reveals mineral deposits in quantities sufficient for economical mining, the very real possibility exists that a mine could be developed very near the Menominee River.  In fact, exploration sites have been photographed within 50’ of the Menominee River (although the drilling company denies they have drilled “near” the river)

 

   Michigan laws are “mining friendly” and the DNR and Department of Environmental Quality  (DEQ) have done little to effectively monitor the drilling or define how they would control the environmental impact of a mine.  The DNR has been quoted as saying “It is our mission to provide an opportunity for mining” (in Menominee County).  Additionally, a State of Michigan Geologist, Milt Gere, works for the DEQ and also co-authored a paper about mineral mining.  He co-authored the paper with, and is a

 

close acquaintance with, the President of one of the mining company's active in Menominee County.  There is good reason to be concerned about what is happening.

 

   A fundamental and unsolved problem with mining is acid mine drainage.  This results when the waste (tailings) from a mine are exposed to rain and air.  Sulfides in the tailings leach out sulfuric acid that ultimately ends up in our ground water and rivers.  Do a quick Internet search for Acid Mine Drainage – you will be shocked with what you see.  Acid Mine Drainage is responsible for literally killing the waters of more than 12,000 miles of streams in the Western US alone. 

 

   A group of concerned citizens has formed the Front 40 Environmental Fight to oppose the potential mine in Menominee County.  More than 300 people have turned out for some of the meetings and the Front 40 has been in contact with dozens of elected officials in Michigan and Wisconsin.  The drilling company has named their exploratory operation  the “Back 40 Venture” so the citizens thought “Front 40” was very fitting.

 

   Please, become educated about this issue and become active in opposing this potential mining operation.  Write, call, or email elected officials in your area / state.

 

For more information, please visit www.menomineeriver.com

(Courtesy – Bill Wenzel)

 


MI- Turkey decoy to aid DNR Law Enforcement

   State conservation officials have announced the addition of a robotic turkey to Michigan's enforcement arsenal.

 

   The decoy, scheduled for field duty in Cheboygan and Presque Isle counties throughout the spring turkey hunting season, helps DNR law enforcement officers nab poachers. The life-like unit was donated by the Black Mountain Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, whose goals include protecting and enhancing wild turkey populations throughout the country.

 

   The decoy is a full mount of an eastern wild turkey, complete with remote-control robotics which allow officers to direct its movements from a distance.

   "The decoy will be set up in such a manner as to apprehend deliberate offenders," said Sgt. Greg Drowgowski, DNR Law Enforcement Division. Drogowski recently attended the NWTF Black Mountain Chapter's annual banquet, where he accepted the decoy on behalf of the DNR and offered a brief presentation on the use of wildlife decoys for enforcement purposes.

 

   "It is encouraging to see sporting groups working to assist the DNR in protecting our resources and helping to maintain a strong partnership in the enforcement of wildlife laws," Drowgowski said. "We are grateful for this new law enforcement tool, and will put it to good use this spring."

 

For more information, contact Drowgowski or Lt. Dave Davis at 989-732-3541


MI- Frog survey enters 8th year

   Michigan DNR officials have announced the 8th annual statewide Frog and Toad Survey, coordinated by the Natural Heritage Unit of the DNR Wildlife Division.

 

   Frog surveys were initiated in 1988 to increase knowledge of frog and toad abundance and distribution in Michigan at a time when frogs, toads, and other amphibians were declining worldwide. In 1996, a statewide system of permanent survey routes was developed. Each route consists of ten wetland sites, which are visited three times during spring and summer by volunteer observers. At each site, the observer identifies the species present based on calls and makes an estimate of their abundance. 

 

   To date, there are more than 400 routes statewide, running through every Michigan county. More than 110 of

the routes have existed throughout all seven previous years of the survey.

 

   "It may take a few more years to establish population trends based on these surveys," said Program Coordinator Lori Sargent.  "We are on the verge of having a large, very valuable data set on Michigan's frog populations.  Every year, we have additional routes, so the continued success of the program is dependent on strong volunteer support."

 

   This project is supported with funding from the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund and Federal State Wildlife Grant funds. You can support important work on endangered, threatened, and nongame species by looking for the loon at your Secretary of State office and purchasing a Wildlife Habitat License Plate.

 


Michigan unveils DNR license kiosks

   Lansing, April 24 -- State officials at a gathering in Lansing welcomed the introduction of the DNR's newest technology-driven customer service tool. Customer service kiosks, touch-screen units that allow hunters and anglers to purchase licenses 24-hours a day without assistance, are now installed in five locations throughout Michigan as part of a pilot program.

 

   Lt. Governor John Cherry, Jr., demonstrated the system at a Lansing-area Meijer store, noting as he purchased his 2003-04 fishing license that this weekend marks the opening of inland trout season statewide, as well as pike, musky and walleye season in the Lower Peninsula. 

 

   "These kiosks are an example of using technology to make state government more accessible. Anyone with a driver's license and a credit card can use this system with ease," said Cherry, who is an avid outdoorsman. "The touch-screen allows sportspeople to select any hunting or fishing license Michigan sells. I'm confident the kiosk is going to popular with hunters and anglers throughout Michigan."

 

   The kiosks are the final piece of the DNR's three-pronged approach to making license purchases easier for outdoor enthusiasts. The program began 10 years ago with implementation of the point-of-sale licensing terminals, which has grown to include more than 1,700 license agents statewide. In 2000, E-license allowed customers to purchase licenses via the Internet.

 

    "The kiosks are designed to serve customers who don't

have Internet service, by providing direct access to the E-license system at remote locations," said DNR Director K.L. Cool. "Sportspeople can select and purchase their licenses on the spot, and this system saves time and money for employees wherever the kiosk is installed." 

 

   Pilot locations include Meijer stores in Okemos and Jackson, Dunham's in Waterford, and DNR Operation Service Centers in Gaylord and Marquette. If the kiosks prove to be popular, the DNR plans to implement up to 100 units throughout the state this fall.

 

* The kiosk offers those without computer equipment access the e-license system, and the ability to purchase a license without assistance.

 

* The kiosk cost per unit is approximately $13,493. To ensure customer security, it employs 128-bit SSL encryption and does not allow calls into the unit. Kiosks also have two locked service areas in the unit housing to ensure structural security.

 

* Information gathered during this pilot phase will help the DNR determine:

            * Whether the system works

            * How well it is accepted by the public

            * Improvements that must be made before a full-scale roll out

            * Potential to save state money

 

* If the pilot is successful, roll-out of up to 100 kiosks statewide is anticipated this fall.

 


MI- Use caution with outdoor fires

   Michigan firefighters are reminding campers and other outdoorsmen that the sporadic warm weather throughout much of the state has created high fire danger in many parts of Michigan, and they urge everyone to exercise caution when camping or burning debris. 

 

   DNR folks and US Forest Service firefighters already have responded to 195 wildfires that burned 3,171 acres this spring. More than 13 structures have been destroyed by wildfires, and several more were damaged.

 

   "We strongly caution everyone to be careful with debris fires and campfires this week," said Mindy Koch, Forest, Mineral, and Fire Management Chief. "Be sure to obtain a burn permit before doing any outdoor burning."

 

   The DNR recommends using extreme safety precautions for any outdoor burning, including: Always be sure your debris fire and/or campfire is completely extinguished before leaving it unattended. Be sure to 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 douse them with more water. Do not simply bury your fire with soil. In most cases, this will not extinguish the fire. Have a garden hose nearby in case your fire begins to escape.  If your fire escapes your control, call for help immediately.

 

   Improperly extinguished fires are one of the leading

reasons campfires and debris fires escape control. Even small fires can be destructive. A fire in Allegan County that destroyed two garages, a boat and trailer last week was less than one acre in size.

 

   A burn permit is required before doing any outdoor burning, and is issued only for burning leaves, brush or stumps.  Burning of other materials is prohibited.  Burn permits can be obtained from the DNR or USDA Forest Service in the Upper and Northern Lower Peninsulas.  Local units of government and fire departments issue burn permits in Southern Michigan.  During periods of high fire danger, permits may be restricted, or not issued at all.  "Calling for a burn permit is also the best way to get up-to-date fire danger information," said Koch.   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

 

   Also, for those who enjoy sitting around a campfire, there is a new concern this year. The Emerald Ash Borer is a new exotic pest found in Southeast Michigan that quickly kills ash trees.  Firewood infested with this, and other exotic insects and diseases, can spread the pest across the state.  Campers and visitors to Michigan's state parks and forests are reminded to avoid transporting firewood, as this may transport insects and diseases that threaten Michigan's trees and forests.  Use local sources of firewood instead.  For more information, visit the state's Emerald Ash Borer Website at www.michigan.gov/mda


MI- No Seaplane Service at Isle Royale

Pulled last summer after 37 years

   Isle Royale seaplane service likely won't be in service this season.

 

   Isle Royale Boater Association spokesman Fred Bieti tells us the service - which averaged about 40 passengers a week - was pulled last summer after 37 years of trips to the island. Isle Royale National Park spokesman Smitty Parratt said a Houghton based Isle Royale seaplane service likely won't be in service this season, but assures

 

it will be next summer.

 

   Despite what could be a treacherous trip, the Grand Portage, Minn.-based Voyageur II is scheduled to begin service May 3, dropping campers off at several key wilderness entry points, including Windigo. Copper Harbor’s Isle Royale Queen III plans to dock at Rock Harbor May 13, while the Ranger should ship out May 30.

 

   A daily ferry service on the Wenonah - from Grand Portage to Windigo - is expected to start June 8.


Minnesota

MN- Pawlenty Defends Concealed Carry bill

   Gov. Tim Pawlenty on April 25 reassured Minnesotans that they wouldn't be in greater danger if, as expected, he signs into law a bill that would allow more people to carry loaded, concealed handguns in their purses or pockets. In response to a call from a listener during his weekly WCCO-AM radio show, Pawlenty said other states have not experienced more gunplay after making concealed

weapons permits easier to get.

   "The 38 other states that have a concealed carry law, on a per capita or pro rata basis, are not experiencing any worse incidences of violent crime or gun violence than Minnesota," he said.


Ohio

OH- Twin Creek Clean-up and Outing - An MVOSA EVENT in May ?

Warren County Park Board response
(
The following is a report from Joe Cornwall, spokesman for the new Miami Valley Chapter of the Ohio Smallmouth Alliance, and response from Warren County Park Board president Bill Schroeder. Ed)
   I was privileged to participate in a Twin Creek clean-up event with the Miami Conservancy and a few members of the Buckeye Fly Fishers on Friday, April 25.  The Warren County Park District has acquired nearly 400 acres along Twin Creek in Warren County, Franklin Township and there are plans to develop a Park and Nature Preserve complex, with a watercraft launch and takeout.  The property is quite beautiful, the river extremely clean and clear.  Of course, between bouts of pulling old lawn chairs out of the river, there was an opportunity to fish.  I am quite excited to say that, having never explored Twin Creek before, it is a fair bet that I will be a regular visitor from now on!!!

   Twin Creek, I am told, has the second best water quality in the state of Ohio.  It runs crystal clear and is quite reminiscent of the Mad River in many ways with the exception of smallmouth bass instead of trout.  Quick, clear and cool the river was running at 56 degrees under cloudy skies and more than a few large bronzebacks were sighted - though it would take more skill than I posses to bring them to net...

   This new area is an ideal candidate for a May MVOSA outing.  I suggest a fishing outing for Saturday, May 17 (the weekend between Mother's Day and Memorial Day).  A rain date of Sunday, May 18 should be entertained.  I would love to see a gathering of the MVOSA members for a cordial "howdy", final election of chapter officers, a lunch-grill out of burgers, brats and metts, and an afternoon of fishing for our favorite gamefish.

   Bill Schroeder has offered to open the newly acquired property to the MVOSA group for the event.  We will endeavor to have Port-o-let's in place.  The creek is prime to drift with either a kayak or canoe and is easily wadeable.  There are several spots along the twelve mile or so length of fishable water to access and/or launch and there is more than enough "elbow room" in the park area for a couple dozen fishers to find peace, quiet and aggressive bass.

   Let's have some discussion of this idea on the MVOSA yahoo discussion group.  We will need some folks to volunteer to bring charcoal grills, soft drinks, appropriate boats for those who want to float, etc... 

For more info contact Joe Cornwall at 513-891-1003, Fax (513) 891-8624, or cornmuse@fuse.net

Some feedback please.

Joe Cornwall
 

   Hi Folks:  We do not quite have our new park approved for this event, but I have said I will look into it and try and get this approved.  The park is approved for the BUFF DAY TRIP June 14th.  I am trying to get the MVOSA event approved too.  You see, the problem is that that park is  a brand new project, and not yet open to the public. Therefore, the "event" use for a park not yet open, is a little special and needs Board approval.    We have a meeting of the Warren County Park Board Thursday evening (May 1, 2003  and should have a decision at that time.  I do want to have a porta-let placed on site before we approve an event.  However, they are a little pricey.  I will supplement this message after the meeting. 

 

Bill Schroeder, Warren County Park Board, Pres.

 


Ontario

ON- Industry Launches Discover Boating TV Campaign

   Toronto  - The fun and excitement of boating will be brought into millions of Canadian homes this spring thanks to a new the five-week Discover Boating TV ad campaign launched April 28. The Discover Boating ads will air nearly 1,300 times on popular Canadian networks, including The Sports Network (TSN), Discovery, HGTV, Weather Network, Outdoor Life Network (OLN), Reseau des Sports (RDS) and Reseau d’Information (RDI). 

 

   "We expect to reach more than 23 million people," says CMMA executive director Sandy Currie.  "And, these networks give us the best opportunity to succeed in reaching our target audience with Discover Boating featured during coverage of NHL Playoff Hockey, the Indy 500, NASCAR and other popular Canadian programming" Currie says the target group for the campaign is married adults aged 25-49 who have a post-secondary education, with kids between the ages of 5 and 13, and with a better than average income. 

 

   Discover Boating will reach more people on the Internet as well, with links to the Canadian Discover Boating site (www.DiscoverBoating.ca ) included on Discovery, HGTV, Outdoor Life, TSN, Weather Network and Metromedia’s web sites.

   The campaign is paid for out of a collection of

contributions that fund the Discover Boating program.  CMMA, NMMA Canada, the Atlantic Marine Trades Association, Association Maritime du Quebec, the Ontario Marine Operators Association, the Ontario Sailing Association and the British Columbia Marine Trades Association all contribute to this fund.

 

   The campaign advertising was derived from existing Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) Water Works Wonders commercials.  The new versions of the commercials place a greater emphasis on boating and conclude with a call to action asking viewers to "Explore a whole new world on the water."

 

   "Canadian boat manufacturers and dealer groups have made the Discover Boating ad campaign a reality. We have observed the power of advertising—measured by double-digit increases in RV participation and RV stakeholders’ momentum—in the successful 'GoRving' campaign. The U.S. boating industry will be eager to see the results of this landmark Canadian effort.  We’re hoping our partners to the north serve as inspiration," says NMMA vice president of Marketing and Communications Meryl Papanek.

 

For more information on Canada’s Discover Boating program, contact Currie at (905) 845-4999; scurrie@cmma.ca , or visit www.DiscoverBoating.ca .

 


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