Week of October 27, 2008

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National

Billions of fish, fish eggs die in power plants

BUCHANAN, N.Y.(AP)– For a newly hatched striped bass in the Hudson River, a clutch of trout eggs in Lake Michigan or a baby salmon in San Francisco Bay, drifting a little too close to a power plant can mean a quick and turbulent death.

 

Sucked in with enormous volumes of water, battered against the sides of pipes and heated by steam, the small fry of the aquatic world are being sacrificed in large numbers each year to the cooling systems of power plants around the country.  Environmentalists say the nation's power plants are needlessly killing fish and fish eggs with their cooling systems, but energy-industry officials say opponents of nuclear power are exaggerating the losses.

 

The issue is affecting the debate over the future of a nuclear plant in the suburbs north of New York City, and the facilities and sportsmen are closely watching the outcome here to see how to proceed in other cities around the country. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this term in a lawsuit related to the matter.

 

The issue's scope is tremendous. More than 1,000 power plants and factories around the country use water from rivers, lakes, oceans and creeks as a coolant. At Indian Point plant in New York, the two reactors can pull in 1.7 million gallons of water per minute. Nineteen plants on or near the California coast use 16.3 billion gallons of sea water every day.

 

Most of the casualties are just fish eggs, and for many species, it takes thousands of eggs to result in one adult fish. The U.S. EPA, which counts only species that are valuable for commerce or recreation, uses various formulas and says the number of eggs and larvae killed each year at the nation's large power plants would have grown into 1.5 billion year-old fish.

 

Sportsmen note that even fish that die before maturity contribute to the ecosystem as food for larger fish and birds, and as predators themselves on smaller organisms. But once they've gone through the power plant, they become decomposing detritus on the river bottom and have moved from the top to the bottom of the food chain, said Reed Super, an environmental lawyer specializing in the federal Clean Water Act.

 

"This is a really significant ongoing harm to our marine ecosystem," says Angela Haren, program director for the California Coastkeeper Alliance in San Francisco.  Technology has long existed that might reduce the fish kill by 90 percent or more. Cooling towers allow a power plant to recycle the water rather than continuously pump it in. New power plants are required to use cooling towers, but most existing plants resist any push to convert, citing the huge cost and claiming that most fish eggs and larvae are doomed anyway.

 

"We're not killing grown fish," says Jerry Nappi, spokesman for Entergy Nuclear Northeast, owner of Indian Point. "If we were killing billions of grown fish you'd be able to walk across the Hudson on their backs."

 

And Nappi says the fish population in the Hudson is stable, despite a recent study commissioned by Indian Point opponents that said 10 of 13 species were declining.  He also says an insistence on cooling towers could lead to Indian 

Point's closing and a sudden power deficit in the New York metropolitan area.  "What you're really talking about is a $1.5 billion hit on the company, and then it becomes an economic decision whether they want to stay here," he says. He believes talk of cooling towers is "a backdoor attempt by some to shut down Indian Point."

 

A recent ruling dealt at least a small blow to Entergy's efforts. The state Department of Environmental Protection, which is pushing for cooling towers, said the simple fact that so many fish eggs are destroyed each year at Indian Point is proof of an environmental impact, and Entergy can no longer maintain that it's not adversely affecting the river.  There are still months of argument ahead, but the ruling could be influential.

 

"We'll be very interested to see how that comes out," says Katie Nekola, an attorney for Clean Wisconsin, which failed to force cooling towers at the Oak Creek plant on Lake Michigan but won a $105 million settlement.

 

State agencies in California also are working on new regulations that should limit the numbers of fish killed, in the Pacific Ocean and other bodies of water.

 

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, nuclear plants drink from other familiar bodies of water as the Mississippi River, Chesapeake Bay, Lake Michigan, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Oceans. Water used for cooling does not become radioactive. Most plants without cooling towers use a system in which water is continuously pumped in, used for cooling, and returned.

 

Various types of barriers are used to keep adult fish out of the system; Indian Point uses screens with holes measuring a quarter-inch by a half-inch. However, fish that are blocked by the screen can become caught on the screen by the force of the water intake. To rescue them, the screens rotate, and as they come out of the water a spray of water knocks the impinged fish into a trough, which is directed back to the river.

 

A California state report says 9 million fish are caught on nets there every year. Even turtles, seals and sea lions are occasionally caught. Environmentalists believe many fish and other creatures are killed in this process, or are injured and die later.  "When you hit a deer in your car, just because it gets up and runs away doesn't mean it's not going to die," Haren said.

 

But Ed Keating, environmental manager at the nuclear subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., said that probably only 1 % of the fish caught get killed on the screens. Dara Gray, environmental supervisor at Indian Point, says there's no reason to believe that any fish are injured or killed by being caught on the screen.

 

In the process known as closed-cycle cooling, used mostly in newer plants, the number of fish and eggs sucked in or impinged is sharply reduced because cooling towers use so much less water. Even if a power plant draws its cooling water from a river, it uses that water over and over again and rarely needs to replenish.

 

Some plants with cooling towers don't have to worry about fish at all. PSEG Fossil has plants in New Jersey that now take treated wastewater from sewage plants.


Feds confirm Red Drum and Striped Bass Gamefish Status

Announcement affirms 2007 Executive Order signed by President Bush

Alexandria, VA – October 17, 2008 – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service  (NFMS) announced in the October 17, 2008, Federal Register that the requirements set by Executive Order 13449 which established striped bass  and red drum as gamefish have been fulfilled. NMFS determined that the current rules banning the sale of striped bass and red drum caught in  federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico achieve the intent of Executive Order 13449, signed by President George W. Bush  on October 20, 2007.

 

Executive Order 13449 established gamefish status for striped bass and red drum in federal waters. Gamefish status

means that the two species  are provided regulations and management measures to promote their well-being as a fish sought for recreational fishing and not for sale if  caught in federal waters.

 

This announcement insures the recreational, economic and environmental benefits of two of the most popular gamefish in the United States.  The order protects the fisheries in federal waters from commercial harvest, which include three miles to 200 miles offshore. The Order does not  cover state waters, which go from the coastline to three miles offshore. Many states have conferred gamefish status for these species and the  executive order encourages those that have not conferred gamefish status to do so. The announcement on October 17, 2008 signifies that the  regulatory requirements of the executive order were fulfilled.


The Real Obama—From Someone Who Knows

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Issues Open Letter to Sportsmen Regarding Obama's TRUE History in the Illinois Senate 

Many groups have repeatedly warned sportsmen not to believe Barack Obama when he claims to support our Second Amendment rights.  Sportsmen have been told the truth—that Barack Obama is the most anti-gun presidential candidate in American history!  Hands down. No question. Barack Obama opposes the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding, freedom-loving, American firearm owners. 

 

This editor, as a life-long resident of the state of Illinois and actively involved in its political arena and as a journalist, can vouch for the fact that Obama is not a friend of the nation’s sportsmen nor does he advocate strong family values. His voting record in the Ill State Senate is more than adequate proof of that.

 

We have been given the facts, and provided the documentation.  But if you know someone who's still not convinced, you'll want to share with them a recent, open letter to our nation's gun owners, hunters, and sportsmen, written by Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) Executive Director Richard Pearson.  Pearson's credentials include deep involvement in the firearm rights movement for more than 40 years.  He's been the chief lobbyist for the ISRA for the past 15 years.  And, most importantly, because of his personal experience, he knows Barack Obama's true stance on the Second Amendment. 

In his letter, Mr. Pearson says, "I lobbied Barack Obama extensively while he was an Illinois State Senator.  As a result of that experience, I know Obama's attitudes toward guns and gun owners better than anyone.  The truth be told, in all my years in the Capitol I have never met a legislator who harbors more contempt for the law-abiding firearm owner than does Barack Obama." 

 

Pearson goes on to describe just some of Obama's anti-gun voting record, saying, "While a state senator, Obama voted for a bill that would ban nearly every hunting rifle, shotgun and target rifle owned by Illinois citizens.  That same bill would authorize the state police to raid homes of gun owners to forcibly confiscate banned guns."  Obama also voted FOUR TIMES against legislation that would protect a homeowner who uses a firearm in defense of home and family! 

 

It doesn't get much plainer than that, folks.  This letter is a must-read for every pro-freedom, pro-self-defense, pro-Second Amendment American. 

 

To read the entire letter, click hereThen be sure to forward the link to every Second Amendment supporter you know.  The truth about Obama's stance on firearms and the Second Amendment needs to be told—again!

To see Obama’s whole record for yourself, visit www.GunBanObama.com.

 

 


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Oct. 24, 2008

Weather Conditions: 

Sub-freezing temperatures arrived in parts of the Great Lakes region this week, with a few locations having overnight lows in the teens Tuesday.  With another week of light rainfall, the Great Lakes basin as a whole has received below average precipitation to date in October.  A potent storm system is forecasted to bring rain and even a few snow showers to the region Friday and through the weekend.

Lake Level Conditions: 

Currently, all the Great Lakes are 2 to 9 inches above their levels of a year ago.  All of the Great Lakes are in their period of seasonal decline and are forecasted to fall 2 to 4 inches in the next 30 days.   Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Ontario are forecasted to remain above their levels of a year ago during the next several months, while Lake Erie is projected to remain near last year's level. 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions: 

In September, the outflows through the St. Mary's, St. Clair, Detroit, and Niagara Rivers were below average while the outflow from the St. Lawrence River was above average.

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 Oct 24

 

601.4

 

577.7

 

573.7

 

570.8

 

244.6

Datum, in ft

 

601.1

 

577.5

 

572.3

 

569.2

 

243.3

Diff in inches

 

 +3

 

+2

 

+16

 

+20

 

+16

Diff last month

 

-2

 

 -4

 

-6

 

 -5

 

 -7

Diff from last yr

 

+2

 

+9

 

+6

 

 +2

 

+6


General

Cabela’s Cutlery Catalog to be in homes in November

SIDNEY, Neb. – Cabela’s first catalog devoted solely to cutlery, featuring more than 500 products on 60 pages, will be start arriving in knife  enthusiasts’ homes in early November. 

 

This is the most comprehensive assortment of cutlery ever assembled by Cabela’s, said John O’Rourke, Cabela’s product manager. The catalog will feature hunting, filet, tactical, kitchen, collectible and everyday knives, O’Rourke said, as well as multi-tools, axes, saws, sharpeners and complementary gift products.

 

Interlaced throughout the catalog will be instructional information to help knife buyers make the right choices. Topics covered include knife anatomy, blade steels, handle materials and tips on knife buying.

 

The catalog will include products from top manufacturers of knives, multi-tools and related products, as well as more than 50 products available only from Cabela’s. One such knife

exclusive to Cabela’s is the Buck First Shop Limited Edition Bowie. The knife, which is featured on the catalog’s cover, features a handle carved from floorboards from the blacksmith shop where Hoyt Buck made his first knife in 1902. Only 250 of the knives will be made, making them extremely desirable to collectors.

 

Another knife prominently featured will be Cabela’s Bell and Carlson Gator Knife, a marriage of Gerber’s wildly popular and functional Gator Knife and a comfortable, durable handle made by famed rifle stockmaker Bell and Carlson. The knife, the idea of Cabela’s designers, was named the “Best Value” among Field and Stream’s 2008 Best of the Best Award winners.

 

Also featured are numerous value-priced Cabela’s-branded products, including the new Cabela’s Bamboo Hunters, which feature no-two-look-alike bamboo grips.  To request a Cabela’s Cutlery Catalog, call 800-237-4444.


Hunter Saved by GPS Feature on His Phone

Imagine hunting, far from civilization, when the unthinkable happens - a heart attack.  That frightening scenario was one Idaho Falls man’s reality. But his quick thinking and the use of a cell phone helped save his life. Ty Brennan has his harrowing story.

 

We carry them around every day, and most of us take them for granted - our cell phones. But in a real emergency, they can be lifesavers.

 

Mathew Scheer, saved by phone: "I just got started hunting, saw a pretty good deer running, and that's when my heart decided to go collapse on me." In pain, miles from his truck and even farther from a hospital, Mathew Scheer knew he needed to get out of there - and quickly.

 

Mathew Scheer: "I thought I could make it back to the pickup, and when I knew I couldn't, I knew I needed help and I needed help fast." Mathew did the only thing he could - call for help on his cell phone.

 

"Forty-three-year-old male in the Tex Creek area having a heart  attack." ...That's the call Air Idaho Dispatcher Bill Childes

received, but the next  bit of information surprised him...

 

Bill Childes, Air Idaho dispatcher: "At that time, I got a phone call from Idaho Falls Dispatch, who says, 'Yeah, we want you to go, and he's  given you the coordinates he wants you to fly to."  Mathew, in severe pain, enabled a feature on his phone that allows emergency dispatchers  to see exactly where the phone is calling from, using GPS coordinates.  Mathew Scheer: "It was a lot of pain, but you still gotta figure out how  to get out."

 

Once Air Idaho lifted off, it took only minutes to reach Mathew. The pilots were even able to call Mathew and have him guide the chopper in.  Mathew credits his phone and the GPS feature for saving his life.

 

Mathew Scheer: "That phone - very important to take with you."  Bill Childes, Air Idaho dispatcher: "He saved his own life because he knew  how to use his technology."  Since his operation, Mathew has made a remarkable recovery and is now just waiting for the doctors to give him the all clear to get back up on  the mountains.

 


Illinois

Anglers under attack at new Chicago launch ramp

This true story, which occurred on October 19, 2008 is outrageous, there is no other way to describe it.

 

A young family couple from Indianapolis came to Chicago on October 19 to fish out of the new Chicago River launch ramp at 35th  St and old Western Ave. The following incident is in their own words.

 

"My Wife and I went up there yesterday, arrived around 3:30 PM.  The parking lot was empty.   Launched the boat, parked the rig up in the parking lot and took off up the river.  Came back around 6:30.  Jenni, my Wife came running back to  the ramp crying.  We have a 2000 GMC Yukon with a 2000 Ranger 518.  All 5 tires(four and the spare) was flat, the rear cargo door and the driver's  side door had rip rap rocks thrown through the windows. 

 

Even thought they accessed the cab, there was nothing to steal inside.  The truck  was keyed down both sides with some kind of gang graffiti.  By the good graces of good Samaritans, an older couple came into the parking lot.  He was showing his Wife his fishing  hole by the bridge.  They took two tires to a 24 hr tire fix-it shop.  Came back in approx. 40 minutes.  Put 2 tires on the trailer, got the boat out of  the water and then they left with the other 3 and had them fixed.  In the meantime, Officer Godinez stayed with us at the ramp until they came  back with the other 3 tires. Around 10:30, we left the ramp on our way back to Indianapolis.  Arrived back here around 3:30 AM.  Probably one of  the most traumatic situations we have ever been through.  Not knowing if we was going to live through the night. 

 

The officer stated  that they have had lots of vandalism at this ramp but have not been able to catch anybody.  Last report was 3 weeks ago, 3 families launched  their boats there.  All 3 vehicles had more of the same damage.  More contents stolen.  Our guess is neighbor kids.  Nice river ride but will 

never go back.  Officer Godinez gave us a number t o complain to a guy in the community dept.  312-747-8227.  Tony Mejia, Caps Office  9th  district.  Very, very, scary situation.  Thanks for all the info you passed along for our trip.  One good thing is it's a really nice ramp project there.   Nice ramp, nice concrete, landscaping.  Really nice for the city to do something like that for us fisherman. 

 

Bad for the dead beat kids, or whoever it  may be that has buzz-killed the whole idea of just trying to get away and spend one last fall afternoon on the water.  Thanks CT." (Name deleted. Ed.)

 

Why did this not surprise us? The Mayor Daley Fish Advisory Committee (the GLSFC is a member) had discussed security there at great lengths, including vandalism and theft problems the contractor was having during construction,  long before the ramp was opened and on several occasions since. Chairman Gray had indicated again at last week's meeting, the mayor did not even want to have a dedication there until a security "blue light" is in place.

 

During the last committee meeting a Police Officer representing the Chicago Police Dept, advised us they had received 28 incident reports at the ramp site, and the ramp had only been open three months. One member commented “the area sounds like a war zone, or is this par for the course in the Park District?”

 

This is a glaring example of what kind of bad things can happen, a good reason not to use a public facility in Chicago for an out-of-town visitor just trying to "enjoy" what we have to offer and have invited them to use. However, whatever keeps or discourages this kind of thing from happening at the other launch sites maintained or operated by the Chicago Park District in the system (harbor ramps) needs to be implemented here or this whole thing was a waste of our time and Park District money.   


The Real Obama—From Someone Who Knows

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Issues Open Letter to Sportsmen Regarding Obama's TRUE History in the Illinois Senate 

Many groups have repeatedly warned sportsmen not to believe Barack Obama when he claims to support our Second Amendment rights.  Sportsmen have been told the truth—that Barack Obama is the most anti-gun presidential candidate in American history!  Hands down. No question. Barack Obama opposes the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding, freedom-loving, American firearm owners. 

 

This editor, as a life-long resident of the state of Illinois and actively involved in its political arena and as a journalist, can vouch for the fact that Obama is not a friend of the nation’s sportsmen nor does he advocate strong family values. His voting record in the Ill State Senate is more than adequate proof of that.

 

We have been given the facts, and provided the documentation.  But if you know someone who's still not convinced, you'll want to share with them a recent, open letter to our nation's gun owners, hunters, and sportsmen, written by Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) Executive Director Richard Pearson.  Pearson's credentials include deep involvement in the firearm rights movement for more than 40 years.  He's been the chief lobbyist for the ISRA for the past 15 years.  And, most importantly, because of his personal experience, he knows Barack Obama's true stance on the Second Amendment. 

In his letter, Mr. Pearson says, "I lobbied Barack Obama extensively while he was an Illinois State Senator.  As a result of that experience, I know Obama's attitudes toward guns and gun owners better than anyone.  The truth be told, in all my years in the Capitol I have never met a legislator who harbors more contempt for the law-abiding firearm owner than does Barack Obama." 

 

Pearson goes on to describe just some of Obama's anti-gun voting record, saying, "While a state senator, Obama voted for a bill that would ban nearly every hunting rifle, shotgun and target rifle owned by Illinois citizens.  That same bill would authorize the state police to raid homes of gun owners to forcibly confiscate banned guns."  Obama also voted FOUR TIMES against legislation that would protect a homeowner who uses a firearm in defense of home and family! 

 

It doesn't get much plainer than that, folks.  This letter is a must-read for every pro-freedom, pro-self-defense, pro-Second Amendment American. 

 

To read the entire letter, click hereThen be sure to forward the link to every Second Amendment supporter you know.  The truth about Obama's stance on firearms and the Second Amendment needs to be told—again!

To see Obama’s whole record for yourself, visit www.GunBanObama.com.

 

 


Deer Hunters Encouraged to donate to the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger Program

More than 1.8 million meals provided to needy families thanks to hunters

SPRINGFIELD, IL – With deer hunting season underway across the state, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is encouraging hunters to donate whole deer to the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program, which coordinates the donation and processing of venison provided to food banks, food pantries, and charitable organizations throughout the state.

 

Begun in 1989, the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger (ISAH) program has coordinated the donation of more than 467,000 pounds of venison,  providing more than 1.8 million meals for families and individuals in need.

 

“Every year, thousands of deer hunters in Illinois help provide venison to food banks, food pantries, and the needy families those facilities serve by donating deer to the program,” said IDNR Acting Director Sam Flood.  “Everyone wins with the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program.  Hunters help us manage the state’s deer population, while providing food for people who can use it.”

 

The IDNR and the Illinois Conservation Foundation encourage hunters to make a tax-deductible $50 contribution through the ICF to help cover the cost of processing the deer into ground venison.  Hunters may donate deer to the program without making a monetary contribution.

 

“The $50 donation that we receive from many hunters helps

cover some of the costs of processing the venison,” said Greg

Legan, executive director of the Illinois Conservation Foundation.  “Thanks to the support of hunters, donors, and participating meat processors throughout the state, thousands of Illinois families benefit from the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program.”

 

Monetary donations to Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger can be made to the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271. The funds help cover the costs of processing venison by nearly 50 participating meat processors throughout the state.

 

The IDNR also encourages hunters and landowners to obtain additional antlerless deer permits to assist in deer management and to support the ISAH program.  The IDNR earmarks $100,000 from the state Wildlife and Fish Fund to assist in covering the costs of processing venison for the ISAH program from deer taken by hunters in areas of the state with growing deer populations. The additional funding is provided through non-resident archery deer permit fees.

 

The deer hunting seasons for 2008-09 in Illinois include the Archery Deer Season (Oct. 1-Jan. 15), the Firearm Deer Season (Nov. 21-23 and  Dec. 4-7), the Muzzleloader-only Deer Season (Dec. 12-14), and the Late Winter Antlerless-only Deer Season (Jan. 16-18, 2009).

 

For a list of meat processors handling venison for the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger Program, or for more information about the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program, check the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/legislation/isah/.


Indiana

Canada goose reductions at Summit Lake, Potato Creek SPs

Having attempted various non-lethal methods of managing the Canada goose populations at Summit Lake and Potato Creek state parks, the DNR will conduct two controlled goose reductions in December.

           

This year's dates coincide with hunting seasons to optimize effectiveness and take into consideration state and federal laws, local flight patterns and goose behavior. The first reductions will take place Dec. 6 and 7. The second round will be Dec. 13 and 14. During the reductions, the two parks will be closed to the general public. Applications will be available online starting on Oct. 27, at 12:01 a.m.

           

Large amounts of goose waste at both parks' beaches, picnic areas and bank-fishing locations have adversely affected visitor enjoyment and resulted in increased operating costs.

           

As the population of locally breeding Canada geese has grown at the two parks, park managers have tried using special noisemakers; shooting  blanks; and using regular, high-decibel distress calls to move the geese out of these areas with little success. They also have used a special federal permit to apply oil to eggs during nesting season to keep them from hatching. Other methods tried have included spraying grass with a commercial non-palatable chemical, and using physical barriers to attempt to keep the birds out of these areas.

 

Hunter participation will be determined by a drawing that will be run under rules similar to those for other DNR waterfowl draws, with some adjustments.  Successful applicant groups

of up to four individuals will be assigned to specific reduction areas. Shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. A standby drawing, based on a list of unsuccessful applicants, will be made each morning to fill spots not taken by successful applicants.  

 

Hunters who want to participate must complete and submit an online application before midnight, Nov. 9. Applications will then be entered in the drawing. No paper applications will be accepted. One individual will be able to apply as a primary applicant and include up to three of his or her friends (buddies) as additional applicants for either set of dates, but no name can appear more than once in the draw, regardless of primary or buddy status. Buddies must be included on applications to be able to participate in the reductions.

 

Applicants must be Indiana residents who will be 18 years of age by Dec. 6, and should have their hunting license number and Harvest Information Program (HIP) number ready to enter in the application, along with all buddy information, where applicable. Preference is given to hunters who have completed an Indiana hunter education course. A state waterfowl stamp and federal duck stamp must be presented on site on the day of the reduction, but is not required to apply. 

 

To apply, visit www.IndianaOutdoor.IN.gov.  

 

Successful applications will be posted online after the drawing. Participants will be issued a check-in card at time of arrival to the property selected to return upon departure. This will allow gate attendants to determine the number of geese harvested. Conservation officers will be present to monitor compliance of this and all other regulations.


Minnesota

DNR dock removals underway

All across Minnesota, lakeshore owners have been busily removing docks in anticipation of freezing temperatures. The

Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is doing the same at public water accesses.  Are we in for a cold winter?


New York

2008-09 Trapping Season under way

First Season for New Trapper Mentoring Law

The "land trapping" season in most of New York State opens this Saturday, Oct. 25, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis announced today. Trappers will be afield for the taking of raccoon, red fox, gray fox, bobcat, fisher and coyote. Additionally, most of northern New York will be open for the trapping of mink and muskrat.

 

Trappers work in a variety of habitat types including wooded areas, farmland, marshes and swamps. "Water trapping" seasons for other aquatic furbearers, including beaver and otter, open on various dates depending on species and location. Dates and maps are available on page 54 of the 2008-09 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide on the DEC website.

 

"New York State is an important venue for trapping, and

trapping is an important part of our heritage," Commissioner Grannis said. "New York has about 12,000 trappers, and trapping seasons for 14 different furbearing animals. Trappers must have a license and have completed an approved trapper-education course taught by volunteer instructors trained by DEC. These courses stress safe and ethical trapping methods, including best practices for trapping using the latest technology and innovations in trap design and use."

 

The full 2008-09 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide can be viewed on the DEC website and includes all open dates for each furbearing animal, along with other regulations about the setting of traps. Copies of the Guide also are available at all DEC offices and sporting license sales outlets.  Trappers are reminded to check the Guide before going afield as season opening and closing dates vary based on area of the state and species sought.


Ohio

Upland Game Hunting Season Begins November 7

COLUMBUS, OH - The season for three of Ohio's most popular game species, ring-necked pheasant, cottontail rabbit, and bobwhite quail  begins Friday, November 7, according to the Ohio DNR.

 

"The state's rabbit population is at its highest level since 2003, so opportunities to take cottontails should be plentiful," said Nathan Stricker,  project leader with the division's Olentangy Wildlife Research Station. 

 

Two years in a row of February snow storms, cool wet springs and dry summers has had a less positive impact on Ohio's upland game birds,  noted Stricker.  "Generally that combination of weather conditions is not good for upland game birds. Quail and pheasant populations have declined in some  areas, but there are still locations that will produce wild birds consistently."

 

Cottontail rabbit hunting continues through February 28, 2009.  Ring-necked pheasant hunting is open through January 11, 2009. Both seasons  are closed during the statewide 2008 deer-gun hunting season, December 1 through December 7, as well as the extra weekend of deer-gun  hunting December 20-21.

 

Rabbits, pheasants and quail may be hunted from sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit for all three species remains unchanged from last year  at four rabbits, two pheasants (roosters/males only) and four quail.

 

Hunters are reminded that snowshoe hares are not legal game in Ohio and may not be taken. Recently reintroduced to northeastern Ohio after  nearly a century of absence, snowshoe hares are brown early in the season, resembling cottontail rabbits. To avoid confusion between  cottontail

rabbits and snowshoe hares, portions of Geauga and Ashtabula counties will be closed to all rabbit hunting from November 7  through December 7. The coats of most hares will have turned white by early December, allowing for proper distinction.

 

There are two restricted zones that cover portions of Geauga and Ashtabula counties.

 

The first restricted area encompasses parts of Geauga and Ashtabula counties and is bordered by U.S. Route 6 to the north, U.S. Route 322 to  the south, Kile Road to the west, and State Route 534 to the east.  The second restricted area is in Ashtabula County bounded on the north by  Cork-Cold Springs Road, on the west by Windsor-Mechanicsville Road, on the south by New Hudson Road and on the east by U.S. Route 45.   A map of these two areas can be viewed in the 2008-2009 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations and on the Internet at wildohio.com.

 

The Division of Wildlife releases pheasants on selected public hunting areas throughout the state prior to opening day of the pheasant  season, the second Saturday of the season, and Thanksgiving Day.  Hunters may call 1-800-WILDLIFE for locations of specific release sites.

 

Bobwhite quail hunting is limited to 16 counties in southern Ohio: Adams, Athens, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Highland, Jackson, Meigs,  Montgomery, Pike, Preble, Ross, Scioto, Vinton and Warren. The season continues through November 30.

 

Additional hunting information is contained in the 2008-2009 Ohio Hunting Regulations brochure, which is available where hunting licenses are  sold, on the Internet at wildohio.com or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.


Wisconsin

Utilities agree to $105M settlement of Oak Creek power plant case

Settlement to fund Lake Michigan Protection Projects for 25 Years and Address Global Warming

The three owners of the Elm Road Generating Station in Oak Creek will pay $105 million over a 25-year period for Lake Michigan protection projects to end a three- year legal battle over the water intake structure at the power plant, Clean Wisconsin and the Sierra Club said Wednesday.

 

Clean Wisconsin and the Sierra Club filed suit after the Wisconsin DNR issued a permit allowing the use of a once-through cooling system at the coal-fired power plant. The organizations claimed that once-through cooling did not represent the best available technology for cooling the plant and thus should not be permitted.

 

“This settlement provides the long-term commitment of resources necessary to help find solutions to many of the issues Lake Michigan faces today,” said Mark Redsten, executive director at Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental advocacy organization. Under the settlement, the three utilities that own the generating station -- We Energies of Milwaukee, Madison Gas & Electric of Madison 

and Wisconsin Public Power Inc. of Sun Prairie -- agreed to the following:

►Funding $4 million/year from 2010 through 2035 for projects to address water quality issues in Lake Michigan such as invasive species, polluted runoff, toxic loadings, and habitat destruction;

►Purchase or construct 15 megawatts of solar generation by Jan. 1, 2015; and

►Support legislative efforts to establish a renewable energy portfolio standard of 10% by 2013 and 25% by 2025

 

We Energies will also retire two coal-fired units in Presque Isle, MI and ask the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for approval to construct 50 megawatts of 100 % biomass-fueled power in Wisconsin.  The Presque Isle plant in the U.P. of Michigan will retire an additional 116 megawatts of coal capacity from two generating units by no later than the end of 2012, We Energies said in a separate press release.

 

"Coupled with other initiatives we have under way, our three utilities are taking a leadership role in providing cost effective energy, maintaining fuel diversity and protecting the environment," said Gale Klappa, chairman, president and chief executive officer of We Energies.


 

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