Week of July 6, 2009

National

Regional

General
Lake Michigan

Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
New York
Ohio

 

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National

CEI Files EPA’s Own Suppressed Report, Demands EPA Global Warming Proceeding Be Reopened

Public Should Have Right to Review, Comment on Gov’t Report
Washington, D.C.,—The Competitive Enterprise Institute on June 30, 2009 demanded that the Environmental Protection Agency allow public comment on an internal global warming report that the agency itself suppressed. 

CEI is submitting the report to the EPA and formally requesting that EPA re-open the comment period on its so-called “endangerment proceeding,” so the public can comment on both the report and on EPA’s conduct.  EPA’s official comment period ended June 23.

Today’s actions follow CEI’s release of internal EPA emails a week ago that demonstrated the agency cover-up, followed by a draft version of the report released last Thursday.   A day later, the author of the report was given permission by the agency to release the final report but only on his own website.

“EPA sits on this report for over three months, and then only

allows it to be made public on the author’s personal website,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman.  “The fact that we have to formally re-file it with the agency indicates how unreal this situation is.”

The report criticizes the agency’s proposal to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.  It concludes that EPA is relying on outdated research and is ignoring major new developments. Those developments include a continued decline in global temperatures, a new consensus that future hurricanes will not be more frequent or intense, and new findings that water vapor will moderate, rather than exacerbate, temperature.  It finds that ocean cycles are probably the most important single factor in explaining temperature fluctuations.

 


USFWS backpedals on status of Gray Wolves in the Western Great Lakes

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reached a settlement agreement with plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the Service’s 2009 rule removing Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes. Under the terms of the agreement, which must still be approved by the court, the Service will provide an additional opportunity for public comment on the rule to ensure compliance with the Administrative Procedures Act.

 

Gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes area have exceeded recovery goals and continue to thrive under state management. However, the Service agrees with plaintiffs that additional public review and comment was required under federal law prior to making that final decision.

Upon acceptance of this agreement by the court, and while the Service gathers additional public comment, gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes area will again be protected under the Endangered Species Act. All restrictions and requirements in place under the Act prior to the delisting will be reinstated. In Minnesota, gray wolves will be considered threatened; elsewhere in the region, gray wolves will be designated as endangered. The Service will continue to work with states and tribes to address wolf management issues while Western Great Lakes gray wolves remain under the protection of the Act.

 

This settlement agreement does not affect the status of gray wolves in other parts of the United States.

 


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for July 3, 2009

Weather Conditions

Cloudy, cool and rainy conditions were experienced across much of the Great Lakes basin this week.  Temperatures barely reached 60 degrees in some locations on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Light rain and a few heavier showers were also reported throughout the week.  The upcoming holiday weekend looks very nice, with more seasonable temperatures and increasing sunshine.

Lake Level Conditions

Lake Superior is 1 inch below the level it was a year ago while Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 10, 5, and 4 inches, respectively, higher than their levels of a year ago.  Lake Ontario is at the same level it was a year ago.  Lake Superior is expected to rise 2 inches over the next month, while Lake Michigan-Huron is predicted to remain steady.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are predicted to decline 3 to 5 inches over the next 30 days. Over the next several months, Lake Superior is predicted to be near its level of a year ago. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are forecasted to remain at or above last year's levels.  Lake Ontario is forecasted to be at or below its levels of a year ago over the next six months.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

In June, the outflow from Lake Superior through the St. Mary's

River was near average, while the outflow from Lake Michigan-Huron through the St. Clair River was below average.  The Detroit and Niagara Rivers carried near average flows during June.  The outflow from Lake Ontario through the St. Lawrence River was above average. 

Alerts

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. 

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for July 3

 

601.54

 

578.97

 

 

575.03

 

572.41

 

246.56

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

 

 +5

 

   +18

 

+33

 

+39

 

+39

Diff last month

 

+3

 

 +4

 

+2

 

 +1

 

-2

Diff from last yr

 

-1

 

+10

 

+5

 

+4

 

0


General

Clean Lakes Start With Clean Boats

State officials and conservationists don’t want zebra or quagga mussels in their lakes. They don’t want Eurasian Watermilfoil either - actually they don't want any invasives in

their waterways. The best way we can help - don't spread them.  Keep your boats clean, follow state laws and your favorite waters have a better chance of staying clean too


Lake Michigan

Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan transfers command

MILWAUKEE – U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan transferred command Wednesday June 30

Responsible for protecting 1,640 miles of coastline and hundreds of miles of inland rivers, Sector Lake Michigan is responsible for 22 field units in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.  In 2008, Sector Lake Michigan crews saved approximately 80 lives on more than 1,250 search and rescue missions. 

 

Employing 750 active duty and reserve military members and civilian employees along with 1,200 auxiliary volunteers, Sector Lake Michigan is responsible for multiple Coast Guard missions, including port safety and security, search and rescue, law enforcement, aids to navigation, waterways management, marine environmental protection and commercial vessel safety.   

 

Capt. Luann Barndt will assume the responsibilities of Sector Lake Michigan Command from Capt. Bruce Jones, who took

command in June 2005.

 

Jones’ next assignment is as Chief, Office of Strategic Analysis, at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Barndt comes to Milwaukee from the National Defense University in Washington D.C. Barndt will become the first woman to command Sector Lake Michigan.

 

The Coast Guard is a military, multi-mission, maritime service and is part of the Department of Homeland Security.  It is unique among federal agencies in that it is an armed service, and a humanitarian, regulatory, law enforcement, environmental, and emergency management agency. 

 

The Burr Ridge (Chicago region) office also saw a change with CDR Bob Bailey replacing CDR Paul Mehler III who took a new assignment as representative to the U.S. Congress

 

For further information, contact the Sector Lake Michigan Public Affairs Officer at (414) 349-5109.


Illinois

Rock River Fish Kill

Fish kill event one of the largest in Illinois history

SPRINGFIELD – The Rock River fish kill is believed to have started on Father’s Day weekend two miles north of Grand Detour and ended nearly 50 miles down stream near Prophetstown.   

 

IDNR fisheries biologists spent several days on the river counting, measuring and sorting affected fish into species.  The investigation yielded a preliminary estimate of over 72,000 fish killed with an associated value of over $272,000.   Biologists estimate nearly 37,000 game fish were killed, including catfish, smallmouth bass and walleye. It is estimated that over 34,000 commercial fish including buffalo and carp also were killed.

The IDNR considers these estimates to be very conservative.  Extremely high temperatures contributed to the rapid decomposition of the fish, and flooding conditions along parts of the Rock River made it difficult to get a more accurate count.

 

The IDNR has already begun the process of speeding the recovery of the Rock River by stocking more than 50,000 young smallmouth bass.  More stocking and relocating of fish is planned in the future to replenish commercial and recreational fishing opportunities.

 

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is working with the Illinois Attorney General’s office to pursue enforcement action.


Rising Water Leads to Restricted Boating on Rock River

No recreational watercraft allowed until further notice

SPRINGFIELD – Due to rising water, swift currents and floating debris, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

is restricting boating on the Rock River in Lee, Ogle and

Whiteside Counties. This restricted area is off limits to all recreational watercraft until further notice. IDNR has authorization to designate restricted boating areas when navigation is deemed significantly hazardous.


Indiana

License changes benefit outdoor enthusiasts

Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of several new hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, effective July 1. 

 

The changes include: (1) creation of non-resident youth hunting and trapping licenses, (2) a change so that youth under age 18 no longer need a fishing license to fish in Indiana public waters, (3) the resident youth consolidated hunting license now includes trapping, and (4) seniors who

are not required to purchase a fishing license may now purchase a voluntary senior annual fishing license, if they want to do so as a contribution to the benefit of fish and wildlife.

 

These licenses will be available on the DNR's automated sport licensing system and at license retailers. To purchase online or for more information, see www.IndianaOutdoor.IN.gov


Michigan

$10 million awarded to Great Lakes Commission for Muskegon Lake restoration project

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Federal stimulus dollars totaling $10 million have been awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) for a major wetland and wildlife habitat restoration project on Muskegon Lake, Michigan, along the east shoreline of Lake Michigan.

 

Partnering with the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC), the GLC will coordinate the restoration of some 10,000 feet of shoreline “hardened” over several decades by broken concrete, foundry slag, sheet metal and other materials. The project will also remove more than 180,000 tons of degraded lake bottom sediment to improve aquatic habitat for fish and other species.

 

As with all programs receiving stimulus funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the project

also includes a job creation commitment: it is projected to generate almost 40,000 labor hours to support 125 jobs, largely in engineering and construction. More than $20 million will be contributed by local sources through in-kind services, donations of land, and conservation easements.

 

Muskegon Lake is part of the Great Lakes coastal wetlands ecosystem and provides more food and habitat for wildlife than just about any other Great Lakes ecosystem. Due to filling, development and pollution, Great Lakes wetlands are one of two ecosystems listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest Region as “Imperiled Ecosystems.” The restoration project, to be supported by ARRA funds, builds on more than a decade of research, assessments, planning and design work, as well as large-scale remediation and pollution control efforts on Muskegon Lake. The lake is identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as one of 43 Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes for its legacy of toxic contaminants.


Change in Gray Wolf status reverses Michigan Lethal Control Laws

A recent decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to return the Great Lakes population of gray wolves to the federal endangered species list will result in several significant changes to the management of wolves in Michigan, the Department of Natural Resources said today.

 

When wolves were removed from the endangered species list in early May, the DNR gained the authority to manage wolves under the state’s wolf management plan, which allows for lethal control in cases where nonlethal methods, such as noisemaking devices and barrier fencing, are not successful or viable. Additionally, two state laws, allowing livestock and

pet owners to take lethal control against wolves in the act of preying upon domestic animals, went into effect.

 

endangered species list means the new lethal control laws and the state’s wolf management plan are no longer valid, said Department of Natural Resources wolf program coordinator Brian Roell.

 

“With wolves back on the endangered species list, DNR staff can no longer authorize the use of lethal control against problem wolves, and livestock and pet owners cannot kill a wolf to stop it from preying upon their animals,” Roell said. “Wolf management and monitoring will now revert to the parameters set out by the federal government.”


State may reunite two environmental agencies 

Lansing — More than a dozen years after lawmakers pulled apart the departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Re­sources, legislation is proceeding to put the two back together.

 

The move, which supporters said could save the state up to $2 million, is getting mixed reviews from those most affected.

Environmentalists, who opposed the separation in 1995

under then-Gov. John Engler, say reuniting the two could

potentially streng­then conservation and environmental protec­tion provided its funding isn’t slashed — but they also are wary the change would be noth­ing more than a budget cut. Business owners say the process to get state permits for every­thing from seawalls to factory discharges to development projects is faster since creation of the DEQ, and they worry delays could re­turn if a separation conceived as a way to cut the processing time is undone.


DNR to Sponsor Seminars on the Future of Hunting and Shooting Sports Participation

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites the public to attend one of three seminars conducted by renowned researcher, speaker, and writer Mark Damian Duda. The seminars are being hosted by the DNR to discuss the future of hunting and shooting sports participation in the United States.

 

Duda will address hunting and shooting participation in the United States, trends in participation, the American hunter, the hunting culture, reasons for hunting cessation, hunter satisfaction and ex-hunter dissatisfaction, public opinions on hunting and programs that can be utilized to increase hunting participation.

 

Each seminar will be conducted from 7 to 9 p.m. July 8-10 at various locations throughout Michigan.

 

The locations are:

►July 8, Lansing Center, 333 East Michigan Ave, Lansing

►July 9, McMullan Conference Ctr, 104 Conservation Dr,

Roscommon

July 10, Citizens Forum at Lakeview Arena, 401 East Fair Ave, Marquette

 

There is no charge to attend the seminars, which are being made possible in part by Safari Club International.  Duda is the executive director of Responsive Management, an internationally recognized public opinion and attitude survey research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues located in Harrisonburg, VA

 

Duda has been conducting research on hunting and shooting participation for more than 20 years. He was a columnist for North American Hunter magazines for seven years and has authored three books including The Future of Hunting and the Shooting Sports in 2008. Mark holds a master’s degree from Yale University with a concentration in natural resource policy and planning.

 

For more information, contact Kevin Frailey at 517-373-7306 or fraileyk@michigan.gov


 

New York

Brook Trout Record Shattered

It was just a matter of time before New York produced another "new" state record brook trout, and this time the lucky angler was well-known Utica wildlife artist Tom Yacovella.  The monster female brookie tipped the scales at 5 lbs, 4 ½ oz on four different state-certified scales. While the 21" length is impressive, it is dwarfed by the fishes' amazing girth of 15".

 

Yacovella was fishing on Raquette Lake. He was using an interesting three-way swivel with a pencil lead sinker. His lure of choice was a 3½-inch floating Rapala with a shad finish.

 

In recent months there have been rumors of other potential record brook trout coming out of the Adirondacks which have turned out to be splake. Yacovella's fish was examined by NY

DEC biologists who confirmed it was indeed a brookie.  One way to differentiate between brookies and splake is to count the pyloric caeca (the finger-like projections in the small intestines). Brookies have 23 to 55 pyloric caeca, and splake have 65 to 85. Yacovella's fish had 37, thus confirming its status.

 

This is considered a new record in New York as all the old records dating back to the 1800s, including a rumored 14-pounder by well known politician and dictionary founder Daniel Webster caught in the Carmans River on Long Island in 1827, were retired within the past decade. The previous modern record was 4 lbs, 15 oz taken by Jesse Yousey on a Lake Clear Wabbler somewhere in the Five Ponds Wilderness in 2006.


Ohio

Crews Surveying Ohio Areas to Find Sea Lampreys

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assessment crew will conduct work offshore of Conneaut Creek in Ashtabula County, the

Grand River in Lake County and in the Huron River in Erie County, Ohio during July 7-16 to detect the presence of sea lampreys.


Ohio 2008-09 Deer Season Summary Available Online

Ohio's summary for their 2009-09 deer season is now

available online. The ODNR will not distribute hard copies this year.

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

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