Week of July 12, 2010

 

 
Beyond the Great Lakes
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
Regional

Veterans Issues
General
2nd Amendment issues

Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
Ohio
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

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Beyond the Great Lakes

Coast Guard officers charged in fatal accident

The Coast Guard charged four petty officers Thursday with crimes including involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide, showing that it believes the crew committed grave errors that led to its patrol boat hitting a private vessel and killing an 8-year-old boy last December on San Diego Bay.

 

Adm. (Joseph) Castillo came down to San Diego and told everyone that we were going to look into this accident, try to determine what went wrong and hold people accountable. "This is the first step," said Dan Dewell, a spokesman for the Coast Guard’s district headquarters in Alameda, which oversees the San Diego sector.

 

The military version of a preliminary hearing is expected to

take place in several weeks.

 

The parents of the boy, Anthony DeWeese, made no statement because their civil lawsuit against the federal government is pending.

 

The deadly crash happened five days before Christmas, when the DeWeese family was out in a 24-foot Sea Ray as part of a 13-person party for a fireworks show and the parade.  The 33-foot Coast Guard vessel was rushing to help a grounded boater when it smacked into the Sea Ray, hitting it on the stern and running over one side.  Anthony died of blunt-force injuries about an hour later at UCSD Medical Center. Five other people on the DeWeese boat, including two young children, were injured.


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Bushnell adds Two Models to Legend Ultra-HD Line

The Legend Ultra•HD binoculars have quickly become a favorite of serious outdoorsmen since their introduction in 2009. Two new mid-size roof prism models have been introduced for 2010 - the Legend Ultra•HD 8x36mm and 10x36mm.

 

Their anti-reflective Ultra Wide Custom Coating delivers the best available light not only during the peak of the day, but also at dusk and dawn when optics matter most. Premium ED (Extra Low Dispersion) glass delivers optimal color performance and edge-to-edge sharpness.

 

Compared to similarly price optics, Legend Ultra•HD binoculars deliver a wider field of view and are also more comfortable to use. Longer eye relief means less eye strain. The new Legend Ultra•HD binoculars are built on a lightweight, durable magnesium chassis. As a bonus they

come with a deluxe binocular harness with pre-attached neckstrap lugs that distributes the weight of the binoculars more evenly across your back.

 

The new mid-size Legend Ultra•HD binoculars provide all weather performance with their 100 percent waterproof construction and new RainGuard HD high-density permanent coating, which scatters less light by minimizing or eliminating moisture on the lens surface.

 

The 8x36 version comes in RealTree AP camouflage and the 10x36 model in black. Both come complete with a premium carrying case, neck strap and custom binocular harness. They are available at Bushnell dealers nationwide.

 

About $249.99

 

800-423-3537   jmesselt@bushnell.com

 

www.bushnell.com


 

Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for July 9, 2010

Weather Conditions

Temperatures across the Great Lakes region ranged from moderate to below average late last week and at the beginning of last weekend.  However, on Sunday and Monday temperatures rose considerably. During the first part of this week, most of the Great Lakes basin experienced temperatures that were 10-13 degrees above average.  Temperatures in the low 90's were recorded as far north as Traverse City and Alpena, Michigan. In addition, the western and central portion of the basin has seen some rain this past week, but the eastern portion has been dry so far this month.  Temperatures across the Great Lakes will dip on Friday, and will be moderate over the weekend, before dropping again on Monday.  Most areas will likely experience rain showers on Monday.

Lake Level Conditions

All of the Great Lakes are below their levels of a year ago, and have been so since April.  The lakes range from 6 to 8 inches below last year's levels.  Over the next month, the water level of Lake Superior is expected to rise 2 inches, while Lake Michigan-Huron is forecasted to remain at the same level. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are expected to decline 3, 3, and 2 inches, respectively, in the next 30 days.  The upper lakes are expected to remain below their levels of a year ago during the next couple of months.  Lake Ontario is forecasted to reach last year's levels by September. 

Forecasted July Outflows/Channel Conditions

The outflows from Lake Superior into the St. Mary's River, Lake

Huron into the St. Clair River, and Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River are forecasted to be below average during the month.  Near average outflow is expected from Lake Erie into the Niagara River.  The flow in the St. Lawrence River is forecasted to be below average throughout the month of July.

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 9

600.98

578.22

574.34

571.75

245.90

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

+1

+9

+24

+31

+31

Diff last month

+3

+3

-2

-2

+6

Diff from last yr

-6

-7

-8

-7

-7

 


Veterans Issues

Vets face a new tax on prosthetic limbs and other vital medical devices

Senate Democrats tax Prosthetic Limbs and Other Vital Medical Devices, Refuse to Exempt Veterans

The health care overhaul passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama earlier this year contains a new tax on medical devices such as prosthetic limbs, pacemakers, and wheelchairs.  This tax, which its proponents claim will raise $20 billion over the next ten years, contains no exemption for the nation’s 22 million veterans.  In fact, Senate Democrats specifically refused to exempt veterans from the tax.

 

On March 24 2010, Senate Democrats rejected an amendment offered by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to the healthcare bill.  This amendment (SA 3644) would have prevented the medical device tax from hitting veterans covered by the Veterans Healthcare Program or TRICARE for Life.  This

amendment was rejected by a vote of 44-54.   All but five Democrat senators voted in favor of retaining the tax for veterans.

 

The medical device tax was one of over twenty new or higher taxes in President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul.  This permanent new tax is being collected now.

 

The tax in question is actually applied to the manufacturers, not the end user. In discussions with the folks at the nonprofit Americans for Tax Reform say they keep pressing that the tax will be passed along to the end user in terms of higher prices.

 

Said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, “This is one of the many reasons Harry Reid and the Democrats did not want Americans to read the 2,500 page health care bill before it was passed.”


General

Angler Study Has Surprising Results

Alexandria, VA - Results of a recent comprehensive angler access study by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and Responsive Management - 2010 Angler Access in the U.S. Report - reveal some surprising views by anglers, private landowners and professional fish and wildlife managers who make decisions regarding angler access. Interviews were completed with more than 4,000 landowners and more than 4,100 recreational anglers. This is the first study of its kind to include landowners that have water on, adjacent to or running through their property to document their assessment of angler access. The most important finding is that two-thirds of anglers access most of their fishing from public lands with about half of those anglers primarily fishing from private boats, this includes both fresh and saltwater.

 

The five major findings in the study are:

► Public lands are important to anglers as a means to access places to fish.

► Angler access is tied to boating access.

► Fish and wildlife professionals are concerned about angler access.

► While liability is an important issue for landowners, a landowners' privacy is the most important reason why they don't open their land to more people.

► Landowners are generally unaware of the many programs that agencies and organizations have to help them create access on their property.

 

"The most important finding in this study is the predominant role that public lands and access to public lands plays in anglers being able to enjoy their sport," said ASA Vice President Gordon Robertson. "That is crucial information for our state and federal fish and wildlife and land managers and must be taken into account for budgeting and planning purposes."

 

Robertson further said, "Access is consistently identified as the top issue of concern among anglers and the study reveals

 

that if anglers can't access areas to recreationally fish, they may desert the sport."

 

Mark Duda, executive director of Responsive Management, emphasized, "This is a thorough and definitive study of angler access in the United States. Agencies and organizations interested in angler access will find this and invaluable resource."

 

Other highlights of the study include:

• 92 % of landowners approved of recreational fishing and believe it is important for the public to have the opportunity to do so.

• About one-half of landowners fish on their own property and two-thirds allow access to those people they know.

• Approximately one-tenth of landowners allow completely open access to their lands.

• Approximately 1 percent of private landowners charge an access fee to anglers.

• 64 % of recreational anglers access their primary fishing areas from public lands while 16 percent use private lands.

• 54 % of recreational anglers seek areas with boating access.

• 54 % of anglers surveyed cited that as their primary source of information about where to fish is word of mouth.

• The survey found that 89 % of landowners say they have not experienced problems with recreational anglers in the last five years.

 

"Anglers have long been viewed as conservationists and generally as good citizens," said Robertson. "It is encouraging to understand from the survey that almost 90 percent of landowners have not experienced problems with recreational anglers over the past five years."

 

The study was conducted under a multi-state conservation grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and administered by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.


For many ESPN fishing TV shows, its last cast

ESPN's recent announcement that it will dump nearly all of its outdoor shows by the end of the year is disappointing news for boating.

 

There'd been rumblings for a few weeks that things weren't quite right with the ESPN2 outdoor blocks, but news on May 21 that the ESPN network would dump all its outdoor programming at the end of this year was nonetheless a shock to the entire outdoors industry.

 

And with the news comes logical speculation over the future of BASS, which the network owns. It'll be weeks or months until the full ramifications of the news materialize, but clearly, the unstable world of outdoor media was dealt another serious blow today.

 

ESPN's "Outdoor Block" was a long and storied cornerstone of outdoor programming. It grew from the first broadcast of The Fishin' Hole in 1980 to encompass a wide array of fresh- and saltwater fishing, as well as hunting varietals.

 

The Fishin' Hole, although now off the air, is still the second-longest running show ever aired on ESPN networks, bested only by SportsCenter. ESPN offered outdoor programming for 30 years as it grew from genre pioneer to powerhouse. It brought an integrity and worldwide reach to the genre that had never been there before.

 

The network giant even formed a separate ESPN Outdoors division to focus on the market and in 2005, aggressively branched into competitive bass programming with shows like Loudmouth Bass, BassCenter, Bass Tech and same-day coverage of Bassmaster Majors. Although those shows went by the wayside after a short run, ESPN did continue with BASS-centric programming like Day on the Lake.

 

But as the network proceeds with a core mission to focus on live and event-based broadcasting, such programming is out the window. The weekend block will now be filled by other properties, such as English Premier League soccer, NASCAR and SportsCenter, which are all either live or event-based programs.

 

Thus the only show in the current outdoor block that will continue to air on ESPN2 is The Bassmasters, which focuses on Elite Series events, as well as Bassmaster Classic programming.

 

The ESPN-owned Saltwater Series will not air on ESPN2.

 

The news does revive rumors that ESPN is actively engaged in an effort to sell BASS. Earlier this spring, there was significant talk about a potential sale of BASS to the Outdoor Channel. No confirmed news surfaced, but highly placed industry officials firmly believed that talks between the two companies did take place.

 

If ESPN is divesting itself of outdoor programming that would seem to indicate that its interest in BASS lies only within a potential to broadcast BASS events. BASS's membership program, print media, or youth, conservation and grassroots programs would not seem to fit into that equation.

 

And sale chatter did noticeably intensify with many industry sources noting that BASS and the Outdoor Channel are deep in talks, but that BASS's print business is something the Outdoor Channel might not be willing to invest in. A BASS official addressed the rumors of a potential BASS sale by saying: "There's nothing there to announce right now. As with

 

any business, the potential for a sale exists. It's a coveted property. People are looking into it. But again, there's nothing to announce there."

 

ESPN's decision to dump its outdoor programming parallels decisions being made across media as a whole.

 

The trend today is toward niche production and delivery – channels, magazines and digital properties narrowly tailored to fit a specific fan or enthusiast base.

 

Just as cornerstone outdoor periodicals find it more and more difficult to profit through appeal to a wide reader base of different types of hunters and anglers, it appears ESPN struggles to capture and hold a profitable chunk of outdoor-viewer households – even after the network's programming shifted to a heavy focus on saltwater fishing at the expense of freshwater.

 

Cable television now is rife with niche channels dedicated to the outdoors, including Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel, World Fishing Network (WFN) and Pursuit. As well, the Versus Network carries a heavy load of outdoor programming, including carriage of FLW Outdoors programming.

 

Sportsman channel president Willy Burkhardt, formerly of ESPN, today told BassFan: "This announcement isn't much of a surprise as it's been evident for quite some time that outdoor-related programming really doesn't fit comfortably with the strategy and brand position of ESPN. Serving the information and entertainment needs of the American sportsmen is about celebrating a lifestyle and a way of life rather than covering an event or competition."

 

Burkhardt added: "At Sportsman Channel, we believe passionately in the sportsman lifestyle and our programming strategy and brand position reflect this. It makes sense to us that sportsmen have been gravitating to channels and brands that reflect a commitment to the lifestyle rather than a broader sports-entertainment orientation. It's our authenticity and commitment to the genre that has helped us to grow rapidly over the last several years and we hope that this trajectory will continue as we seek better and deeper ways to serve the community."

 

The strength of ESPN's outdoor programming, however, will heavily impact those who produce shows for the other networks, and will further escalate the already desperate struggle for underwriting.

 

Supporting manufacturers regularly buy into shows on various networks to ensure their message reaches the widest audience possible. But as the former ESPN shows find new homes on existing networks, supporting sponsors will surely eliminate duplication.

 

How many shows on a single network will a Mercury, Evinrude or Yamaha sponsor? RealTree, Pure Fishing, Rapala, Skeeter, Triton, Ranger and other corporate giants will no doubt re-examine their show portfolios this fall and many shows already on the edge will be left without category sponsors and hence lose their profitability.

 

It all signals an intensification of the shakeout as cable networks, fishing leagues, pros, magazines and digital properties all battle for their chunk of a shrinking revenue stream. And as that stream shrinks, the do-all-for-everybody media properties struggle the most.


Carbon Monoxide Claims Boating Couple

The Volusia County, Florida Medical Examiner has ruled carbon monoxide poisoning killed a couple who died in their boat on July 4 while anchored in the Intracoastal Waterway in Ponce Inlet.

 

Howard Martin Lupton, 50, and his wife Sandra Lynn Lupton, 48, of Palatka, were discovered by their son in the sleeping cabin of their 29-foot Baja Cruiser about 11 a.m., July 4. When he checked on them that morning they were unresponsive. The Lupton's, their son and his fiancé had spent the night in separate boats anchored near each other off Disappearing Island.

 

The U.S. Coast Guard responded to the emergency call within minutes and attempted to resuscitate the couple on site. When the Volusia County Beach Patrol arrived, they and the Coast Guard transported the Lupton's to nearby Coast Guard Station Ponce de Leon Inlet where they were pronounced dead.

 

For info to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning on boats download this brochure from the U.S. Coast Guard: www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/Publications/co_brochure_0105.pdf 

 

 


 

2nd Amendment issues

New Firearms Lawsuit against Chicago

The Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers (ILAFR), a state affiliate of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) - the trade association for the firearms industry -- has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of several recently adopted anti-gun laws designed to circumvent last week's Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. Chicago. In that landmark decision, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the fundamental right of all law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, while outlawing the power of state and local governments to ban firearms.

 

In a complaint filed on July 6 in federal Court, the ILAFR challenged a series of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's anti-gun laws and regulations affecting the commerce of firearms in Chicago. This includes laws forbidding federally licensed firearms retailers from operating within the city, limiting the number of firearms a law-abiding citizen may purchase in a year and banning modern sporting rifles.

 

"The actions of Mayor Daley demonstrate a clear disregard for the rule of law and our nation's highest court," said ILAFR Executive Director Whitney O'Daniel.

 

In the aftermath of the McDonald decision, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane noted that a new era of civil rights litigation was upon us as "laws and regulations that infringe upon and violate the individual right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, protected by the Second Amendment, are challenged." Today, with the filing of the ILAFR lawsuit, that prediction is being realized.

 

"Instead of being able to promote business in a city that desperately needs revenue, tax dollars will be spent trying to defend these unconstitutional ordinances that stand no chance of reducing crime," said Keane.

 


WI DA rejects enforcement of regulating firearms, weapons

Wisconsin District Attorney, Gerald Fox has concluded that last week's Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. Chicago invalidates a number of state statutes regulating firearms and knives. As a result, Fox has concluded that the state's firearms, anti-switchblade and anti-gravity knife statute will no longer be enforced by his office.

 

Fox issued the following press release:

"Yesterday, in a resounding victory for all freedom-loving Americans, the United States Supreme Court confirmed that the Second Amendment's protection of our right to keep and bear arms applies everywhere in America, and serves as a rampart against state infringement of this fundamental individual liberty. In its ruling, the Court declared that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right, and that self-defense is at the core of the freedoms protected by the amendment.

This Supreme Court ruling is binding on all states and local governments, and immediately renders some of Wisconsin's current laws unconstitutional. Therefore, in keeping with my oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, I hereby declare that this office will no longer accept law enforcement referrals for violations of the following statutes:

 

Section 167.31, prohibiting uncased or loaded firearms in vehicles;

Section 941.23, prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons, including firearms;

Section 941.235, prohibiting the possession of firearms in public buildings;

Section 941.237, prohibiting the possession of firearms in establishments where alcohol may be sold or served; and,

Section 941.24, prohibiting the possession of knives that open with a button, or by gravity, or thrust, or movement."

 


Illinois

New Firearms Lawsuit against Chicago

The Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers (ILAFR), a state affiliate of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) - the trade association for the firearms industry -- has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of several recently adopted anti-gun laws designed to circumvent last week's Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. Chicago. In that landmark decision, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the fundamental right of all law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, while outlawing the power of state and local governments to ban firearms.

 

In a complaint filed on July 6 in federal Court, the ILAFR challenged a series of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's anti-gun laws and regulations affecting the commerce of firearms in Chicago. This includes laws forbidding federally licensed firearms retailers from operating within the city, limiting the number of firearms a law-abiding citizen may purchase in a year and banning modern sporting rifles.

"The actions of Mayor Daley demonstrate a clear disregard for the rule of law and our nation's highest court," said ILAFR Executive Director Whitney O'Daniel.

 

In the aftermath of the McDonald decision, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane noted that a new era of civil rights litigation was upon us as "laws and regulations that infringe upon and violate the individual right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, protected by the Second Amendment, are challenged." Today, with the filing of the ILAFR lawsuit, that prediction is being realized.

 

"Instead of being able to promote business in a city that desperately needs revenue, tax dollars will be spent trying to defend these unconstitutional ordinances that stand no chance of reducing crime," said Keane.

 


Indiana

Small bluegills still dominate Upper Long Lake

ALBION – Small, slow-growing bluegills continue to over-populate Upper Long Lake in southwest Noble County despite the stocking of additional predator fish to reduce their number.

 

Since 1996, the local lake association and the Lake Webster Musky Club have released more than 3,000 muskies in the 86-acre natural lake. The fish were purchased from a private hatchery in Wisconsin and stocked with permission of the DNR’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.

 

Muskies are large, toothy predator fish that can grow more than 4 feet long. They are similar to northern pike, but unlike pike, they are not native to Indiana natural lakes.

 

Part of the reason for stocking muskies in Upper Long Lake, was that local residents, anglers and the DNR hoped they would prey on small bluegills. The reasoning was that once bluegill numbers declined, those that survived would have more food per fish and could grow larger.  That was a good idea in theory but not so in reality.

 

Based on recent sampling by DNR biologists, bluegills are now more abundant than ever before. And they are smaller.  “I’ve never seen so many small bluegills in a lake,” said Matt Horsley, a DFW fisheries intern and recent graduate of Michigan State University.

 

Horsley was part of a three-person crew that captured 700 bluegills in only 30 minutes of electro-fishing along the

 

shoreline. At times, so many bluegills were stunned by the shocker boat that Horsley couldn’t net them all fast enough.

 

Of the 700 bluegills, 97 percent were less than 6 inches long. Only eight were larger than 6 inches and only three were larger than 7 inches.

 

The electro-fishing catch rate of 3- to 5-inch bluegills was 340 per 15 minutes of sampling, the highest ever recorded at an Indiana natural lake during a June survey and second only to a catch rate of 460 per 15 minutes at nearby Loon Lake in July 2004.

 

Ironically, muskies stocked in Loon Lake, as well as in Skinner Lake, east of Albion, have also failed to reduce bluegill numbers and increase bluegill size. Biologists speculate that muskies likely prefer to eat other species, including other predator fish, which may actually reduce predation on bluegills.

 

According to Horsley, the overall catch rate of bluegills at Upper Long Lake averaged 282 per 15 minutes from 1991 through 2010. A typical catch rate at other Indiana natural lakes is 100.  “We don’t know why bluegills are so abundant in Upper Long Lake. That’s something we are still trying to figure out,” Horsley said.

 

Meanwhile, anglers may want to switch to muskie fishing there. Horsley also caught 10 muskies during the survey.


State Fair Fishing Pond, August 6-22 

Volunteers needed to help out

Go FishIN operates the Fishing Pond during the State Fair. The Fishing Pond allows children ages 5-17 the opportunity to fish for free.

 

Would you like to volunteer? We need around 300 people to help during the 17 days of the fair. Volunteers get free

admission to the fair that day, a free fishing pond T-shirt, and

the opportunity to fish with kids for a few hours at the pond. If you don’t like touching worms, getting fishy, or standing in the sun, you could help at the registration, equipment or education table.

 

To volunteer, contact Clint Kowalik at gofishin@dnr.in.gov  or (317) 549-0206.


July is national Park and Recreation Month; enjoy it Hoosier style

Indiana is celebrating national Park and Recreation Month this month by offering great outdoor places to play for people of all ages and capabilities throughout the state.

 

Hoosiers are invited to make their way to any state park to camp, hike, swim, fish, picnic, birdwatch and enjoy the outdoors. For a unique state park experience, take a swing at Fort Harrison’s golf course, mountain bike at Brown County or Versailles, ride horses at one of our saddle barns, climb ladders on the trails at Turkey Run and Shades, or twist and turn down the waterslide at O’Bannon Woods.

 

Several out-of-the-ordinary events take place throughout July in Indiana’s state parks and reservoirs, including “Dog Days” at Brown County  and Raccoon State Recreation Area, a sand-sculpture building contest at Indiana Dunes, tomahawk throwing at Monroe Lake, Gus Grissom  Day at Spring Mill, Winter in July at Potato Creek, The Vietnam Experience re-enactment at Fort Harrison, panning for gold at Salamonie’s  summer day camp, and the annual reunion of Civilian Conservation Corps Company 556 at Pokagon.

 

Get more details of these and many other outdoor activities at www.interpretiveservices.IN.gov . To find out more about healthy ways to enjoy state parks and reservoirs, visit

www.dnr.IN.gov/healthy .

 

Indiana's 24 state parks and nine reservoirs are managed by DNR's Division of State Parks and Reservoirs. The division's mission is to manage and interpret the properties’ unique natural, wildlife, and cultural resources using the principles of multiple use and preservation, while sustaining the integrity of these resources for current and future generations. Learn more about Indiana's state parks and reservoirs at www.stateparks.IN.gov.  

 

There are many city and county parks in Indiana where you can find great ways to spend time outside as well. Check with your local government for more information.

 

Each July since 1985, the United States has celebrated Park and Recreation Month.  This year’s theme is Celebrate, Advocate, Recreate!  Along with reminding local decision makers and the community of the exciting and vital role that parks and recreation play in the lives of Americans.  To see info:"   http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/sp-Parks_and_Recreation_Fact_Sheet_2010.pdf.

 

Park and Recreation Month is a program of the National Recreation and Park Association.  For more information, go to www.nrpa.org/july.


Michigan

DNRE applies for Mass marking gear

Michigan DNRE has applied for 2 mass marking trailers through the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act, as a regional project.  These will actually be owned by the USFWS, and will be available to all Great Lakes agencies for marking of fish.  The state hopes to have them both in state and running for next springs stocking efforts.  Most of the state hatcheries have been upgraded to accept these trailers (electrical upgrades).

 

This equipment could be used to differentiate between wild 

and hatchery stocks for regulation purposes.  Michigan would benefit the most doing this if all the other management agencies also did this.

 

However, Steelhead marking effort has been removed from the budget for several years now intermittently, due to budget shortfalls.  Fisheries managers recognize that steelhead anglers like having the fish clipped to assist in personal harvest preferences (wild vs. hatchery), but without the other state agencies assisting in this effort it is an expensive operation with little biological benefit.


DNRE to Increase Patrols on Au Sable River

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources last week announced there will be increase patrols on the Au Sable River for the remainder of the summer season because of an increase in incidents and complaints to law enforcement officials.

 

Local law enforcement agencies including the DNRE, U.S. Forest Service, Sheriff Departments and Michigan State Police have noticed increased use over the past few years on the Au Sable River, a National Wild and Scenic River.  Along with this use, law enforcement has experienced increased incidents of resource damage, littering, obscene conduct, various alcohol violations, disorderly behavior and illegal drug use. 

 

“Summertime brings increased watercraft activities throughout Michigan.  Public lands and waterways are abundant with visitors seeking recreational opportunities,” said Lt. Creig Grey, DNRE Law Enforcement Division supervisor in Roscommon. “The rivers within the Huron-Manistee National Forest experience an influx of recreationists participating in canoeing, kayaking and boating, and the Au Sable River is no

 

exception.”

 

Grey said that local law enforcement will increase patrols on the Au Sable River for the remainder of the summer season with aggressive enforcement actions planned for those caught violating any state law or federal regulations. There have been several incidents along the Au Sable River in recent weeks that required the attention of area law enforcement agencies.  These combined with public complaints has led to law enforcement’s need to address this inappropriate behavior for the protection of the resource and the people who use it. 

 

Persons are encouraged to remember safety, to follow the rules and to respect the resource.  Irresponsible users will affect future opportunities and experiences for all watercraft enthusiasts.  Citizens who witness illegal, dangerous or disorderly behavior are encouraged to call 911.

 

For more information about recreation on the Au Sable River, contact the DNRE at 989-275-5151 or the USFS Mio Ranger District at 989-826-3252.


Western UP Citizen Advisory Council to Meet July 19

The Western Upper Peninsula Citizen Advisory Council (CAC) for the Department of Natural Resources and Environment will meet Monday, July 19, at the Negaunee Senior Center, located at 410 Jackson St., in Negaunee.   

Agenda items include: Iron Ore Heritage Trail presentation, Wolf petition discussion, Review of DNRE budget report.

 

 


Ohio

ODNR to Breach Failing Dam

Using its emergency authority to protect public safety from a failing dam, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will begin to lower the dam at Ponderosa Park Resort, located 5 miles southeast of Canfield in Mahoning County. ODNR officials had previously informed Ponderosa Park's owners of deficiencies at the 21-foot-high earthen dam.

 

"When problems with dams are brought to our attention, either through periodic inspections or other means, we expect owners to respond to findings and address public safety issues," said David Hanselmann, chief of ODNR's Division of Soil and Water Resources. "Unfortunately, our warnings and orders have been ignored by the owners of Ponderosa Park; we have no choice but to exercise our authority to protect the public by ensuring downstream residents, roads and properties remain safe."

 

A recent inspection at Ponderosa Park revealed that the dam has significant erosion and slippage, in addition to problems with the masonry spillway. State Route 45 is below the dam and a catastrophic failure of the dam could significantly damage the roadway, putting motorists at risk.

 

Adding to the urgency of rendering the dam safe through a

 

controlled, designed lowering of the dam is the potential that a

failure would send a significant amount of polluted sediment, which has accumulated behind the dam, into Meander Creek, harming aquatic life in and along the creek.

 

According to Hanselmann, the actions underway will lower the masonry spillway to the point where little water will normally be impounded, but most of the sediment will remain behind the dam. Current or future owners could restore the dam, but for now the work will result in the creation of a wetland, which will benefit the watershed.

 

The work, performed by the Great Lakes Construction Company, should be complete within a month. Some of the project's cost has been covered by a Surface Water Improvement Fund grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. ODNR will seek restitution of all state funds expended from the owners of Ponderosa Park Resort.

 

Several Mahoning County agencies have assisted ODNR in responding to this emergency situation including the county's Emergency Management Agency, Health Department, and Soil and Water Conservation District.

 


Ohio Governor opens 2010 National Matches

CAMP PERRY, OHIO -- The 2010 National Matches will once again feature traditional National Rifle Association Championships and Civilian Marksmanship Program National Trophy Rifle and Pistol Matches and CMP Games Events plus important training activities and special events like the Pistol and Rifle Small Arms Firing Schools.  

 

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland will open this year’s festivities at the First Shot Ceremony here on 12 July at 6:30 p.m. at the Friends of Camp Perry Memorial Plaza, located at the opposite end of the entrance to Camp Perry on Lawrence Road. 

 

The prestigious First Shot Ceremony is a colorful kickoff featuring the airborne delivery of a ceremonial American Flag by three Ohio National Guard 19th Special Forces

paratroopers via Blackhawk helicopter.  The flag flies for the duration of the Matches which conclude 17 August.   The event hosts more than 6,000 competitors including the top pistol and rifle marksmen in the nation and has been a tradition at Camp Perry since 1907. 

 

About the CMP

The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally-chartered, 501 (c) (3), non-profit corporation dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States.  For more information on the CMP and its programs, contact Christine Elder, (419) 635-2141, ext. 1111 or (419) 552-6498 (cell) or celder@odcmp.com.  

 

For more info go to www.odcmp.com/NationalMatches.htm


Wisconsin

DA rejects enforcement of regulating firearms, weapons

Wisconsin District Attorney, Gerald Fox has concluded that last week's Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. Chicago invalidates a number of state statutes regulating firearms and knives. As a result, Fox has concluded that the state's firearms, anti-switchblade and anti-gravity knife statute will no longer be enforced by his office.

 

Fox issued the following press release:

"Yesterday, in a resounding victory for all freedom-loving Americans, the United States Supreme Court confirmed that the Second Amendment's protection of our right to keep and bear arms applies everywhere in America, and serves as a rampart against state infringement of this fundamental individual liberty. In its ruling, the Court declared that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right, and that self-defense is at the core of the freedoms protected by the amendment.

This Supreme Court ruling is binding on all states and local governments, and immediately renders some of Wisconsin's current laws unconstitutional. Therefore, in keeping with my oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, I hereby declare that this office will no longer accept law enforcement referrals for violations of the following statutes:

 

Section 167.31, prohibiting uncased or loaded firearms in vehicles;

Section 941.23, prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons, including firearms;

Section 941.235, prohibiting the possession of firearms in public buildings;

Section 941.237, prohibiting the possession of firearms in establishments where alcohol may be sold or served; and,

Section 941.24, prohibiting the possession of knives that open with a button, or by gravity, or thrust, or movement."

 


Other Breaking News Items

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Cruises give kids, naturalists underwater views

Each summer, 1,500 people board the 48’ former fishing boat, operated by the Clinton River Cruise Co. of Mt. Clemens. The boat is certified by the USCG to carry 43 passengers per trip, but the cruises are limited to 30 guests to give them more room on the ship to enjoy their time on the

 

Canadian wind project draws ire
Sharp questions and protesters greeted Toronto's Trillium Power Wind Corp. as the company described its proposal to build a 414-megawatt offshore wind farm in Lake Ontario.

 

Ohio officials call for barrier to keep Asian carp out of Great Lakes
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Ohio’s attorney general called for immediate construction of a physical barrier in the Calumet River in Illinois to fight the threat of Asian carp entering the Great Lakes.

 

Sen. Levin urges Ind. officials to take Asian carp seriously
Mich. Sen. Carl Levin is asking Indiana officials to take the Asian carp issue more seriously after officials downplayed the threat of the invasive fish in the Wabash River.

 

Thad Allen Spits On The 1st Amendment 

New rules issued last week by the U.S. Coast Guard prevent the public—and that includes reporters and photographers—from getting within 65 feet of any oil response vessel or booms on the water or beaches. Violators can be fined up to $40,000 and charged with a Class D felony.

 

 

 

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

Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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