Week of November 29 , 2004

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Regional

Lake Michigan

Illinois

Michigan

Pennsylvania

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National

More autos, animals colliding

Study: Fatal crashes at an all-time high
WASHINGTON (AP)-- Cars and motorcycles crash into deer more than 4,000 times a day, and that's taking an increasingly deadly toll on people.  Last year a record 210 motorists were killed in collisions with animals, mostly deer. That was 40 more than the previous year and more than twice the number in 1993, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Accidents are most likely to happen in November, the institute said, because hunters are out and deer are in their mating season, both of which cause the animals to be on the move. Crashes are most likely to occur during the evening or at night, often on rural roads with speed limits of 55 MPH or higher.

"The deer population is growing and there are more vehicles on the road every year," Allan Williams, the institute's chief scientist, said Wednesday. "There's just a lot more chance for interaction with animals on the roads."

Deer are involved in about 75 % of fatal animal-involved accidents. In all, there were 1.5 million deer crashes last year, injuring 13,713 people and causing $1.1 billion in vehicle damage, the institute said.

The study found most animal crashes involved one vehicle, and deaths usually were caused when the vehicle left the road or a motorcyclist fell off the bike. In a few cases, people were

killed when the animal crashed through the windshield. Other
animals that cause crashes include horses, moose, dogs, bears, cats and opossums, though none is responsible for a significant number. Cattle also cause a small percentage of crashes.

 

Such animal-involved fatal crashes have been rising since the mid-1990s, according to federal data analyzed by the institute. Between 1993 and 1997, an average of 119 fatal crashes occurred each year. Between 1998 and 2002, the figure rose to 155.

 

The institute said special signs during migratory periods, the thinning of herds and signs that activate when deer are near roadways have shown promise in reducing crashes. Drivers also should be alert and slow down in the evenings, Williams said. But even with precautions some crashes are unavoidable.  "Sometimes animals just appear in the roadway and there's not much chance to react," Williams said.

Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable, especially when the rider doesn't wear a helmet.  In the institute's analysis of fatal crashes in nine states, 65 % of the 60 motorcyclists and all-terrain vehicle riders killed weren't wearing helmets. "If an animal hits a motorcycle, the motorcyclist can go off the bike pretty easily," Williams said.

The same study found 60 % of the 93 vehicle occupants killed in animal crashes weren't wearing seat belts.


Two Largest Animal Rights Groups to Merge

First major project is to eliminate all bow hunting
The Humane Society of the United States plans to merge with the Fund for Animals, forming a new advocacy organization and lobbying arm that they hope will have greater clout for animal rights issues. The newly formed group will be based in Washington but maintain a large office in Gaithersburg. It will have roughly 350 workers and a budget of $95 million next year. It will also include a lobbying section that both groups expect will have more freedom to push the group's agenda in Washington and state capitals, officials said.

 

The new organization will focus on four major issues - fur,

sport hunting, factory farming, and animal cruelty issues such as cock fighting and dog fighting. However, its first major project is to eliminate all bow hunting.  In announcing the merger, the unified anti-hunting group revealed its intention to target bowhunters for extinction.  “The merger announcement serves as a wake up call to bowhunting groups to reunite to defeat what promises to be a powerful attack on our heritage from this monstrous anti-hunting group,” said Rick Story, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance senior vice president.  “To win, we will need to energize the vast grassroots network of sportsmen across this country.” 

 


Migratory Bird Treaty Act Amendment Passes in Congress

Allows state fish and wildlife agencies to manage non-native and invasive bird species
Legislation to clarify Congress' intent that introduced, non-native birds should not be protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) was included as part of the massive omnibus spending bill that passed the Congress over the weekend. The provision allows state fish and wildlife agencies to manage non-native and invasive bird species such as mute swans that detrimentally impact important habitat.

Sponsored by Representative Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) and Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), this legislation was necessary to close a loophole created by a court decision that stated that the MBTA applied to the generic families of swans, ducks and geese; and therefore, would include exotic, non-native species.

 

After time had run out to pass the stand-alone bills in this Congress, conservation groups worked closely with Caucus members in the Congress to ensure that this much needed fix was included in the omnibus bill.


Regional

Asian Carp Prevention - The effort continues

Our Asian Carp fund drive continues, and with many clubs beginning to hold their monthly meetings again, our drive picks up momentum.  But we need your help.  We still need $600,000 to keep this program alive, and we are the ones that will feel the impact of any invasion of Asian carp.  It’s our resource – and recreation, that will be affected.

 

We need everyone to help.

 

 Asian Carp and other invasive species are approaching the Great Lakes via the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. You may have seen video clips of these jumping fish on TV. These large plankton-eating fish have the potential to wreak havoc on the Great Lakes ecology and our recreational fisheries. Although it is unlikely they would be come abundant in the middle of the lake, they almost certainly would do well in near shore areas, river mouths and shallow productive bays. Not only would this add an undesirable component to the ecosystem but these fish add an element of personal risk to boaters and others using recreational watercraft. We must do whatever we can to keep these fish out of the Great Lakes.

           

The electric fish barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal stops the passage of large fish. The U.S. Army Corps ofEngineers built this as a temporary project with only a three-year life span.   The three electrodes in this barrier are expected to wear out in about April 2005. One is already gone, the second will probably break down by the end of the year.

           

Asian carp have been captured only 22 miles downstream of the barrier. Involved agencies have a monitoring plan in place to determine the leading edge of the Asian carp population as they move closer to the barrier site and are working on a rapid response plan to kill the fish if they begin to accumulate in number below the barrier.

 

The Second Barrier        

A second larger, more powerful barrier has been designed and after a year of false starts construction is now scheduled to begin next week and completed by April 2005. However, the cost of the barrier design to stop Asian carp from entering the lake still exceeds the available funds by $600,000. We need more funding to help support construction of the barrier and to help pay for the rapid response plan if it has to be used.

                     

We are applying to other sources for the needed funds, but every contribution from any non-federal source will help.

 

Asian Carp Rapid Response

A Rapid response Committee has developed a Rapid Response Plan to address the presence of Asian carp in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal if they begin to congregate below the existing barrier before the second barrier is completed.

The Asian Carp Rapid Response Plan would involve eliminating Asian carp from 5.5 miles of the Sanitary and Ship Canal. Current estimates for implementation of the plan place the cost at about $450,000. There are 18 agencies involved in the response planning effort but none of them has the funds to enact the plan if it is needed. Funding for the plan is not covered in any Congressional Act or other agency mission. The response plan is a vital action which must be used if the carp appear in the Canal before Barrier II is in place.

           

We need your financial support to help keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The most immediate need is to gather enough money to make the rapid response happen if it is needed. The large-scale response if needed would most likely occur this fall. Once Barrier II is online the response would be scaled back to treat the 1000 ft distance between the barriers if fish were found between the barriers.

           

The second use for the funds would be to maintain and improve Barrier I. Barrier I will still be needed after Barrier II is built. We need your help to ask Congress to extend that authorization indefinitely and to provide the Corps with the directive to construct improvements to Barrier I. These improvements would increase the effectiveness of Barrier I and the service life of the project. Right now, the Corps of Engineers does not have the authority to operate Barrier I after September 2005.

 

Use of Contributed Funds

The collected funds will be held by the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council and will be distributed based on the direction of a board of non-agency trustees including the president of the GLSFC. All contributions are tax deductible and 100 %  of the contributions will be used towards Asian carp prevention. Contributions will be used to:

1)         Implement the Asian Carp Rapid Response Plan

2)         Construct Barrier II

3)         Improve or operate Barrier I

The funds will not be used for agency labor or overhead and will not be used for research. Collected donations will be used to pay for barrier construction, carp control chemicals or if absolutely necessary, for operating expenses of the barrier.

 

 

 

Send your donations to:

GLSFC – carp fund

P.O. Box 297

Elmhurst, IL  60126

 

Or use our PayPal for credit card donations.  Go to www.great-lakes.org/carp


Help protect the Great Lakes

Help keep the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes

 

A second larger, longer-life barrier is now under construction, but the cost of the design exceeds available funds by $1.8 million.

 

Illinois has contributed $2 million to the project, but the other Great Lakes Governors say they are not able to contribute the balance – $1.8 million. Their states do not have the money. The need for the additional $1.8 million is critical.

 

Contributions from any non-federal source will help. That’s where clubs, individuals and corporate America can help

 

Use of Contributed Funds

Funds will be held by the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council

and distributed based on the direction of a board of non-agency trustees including the president of the GLSFC.

 

All contributions are tax deductible and will only be used to:

 

1)      Implement the Asian Carp Rapid Response Plan

2)      Improve or operate Barrier I

3)      Construct and operate Barrier II

 

Send your donations to:

GLSFC – carp fund

P.O. Box 297

Elmhurst, IL  60126

 

Or use our PayPal for credit card donations.  Go to www.great-lakes.org/carp


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for November 26, 2004

Current Lake Levels: 

All of the Great Lakes except Lake Ontario are 6 to 8 inches above last year’s levels.  Lake Ontario is 9 inches below its level of a year ago.  Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron and St. Clair remain below their long-term averages by 2, 13 and 4 inches, respectively. Lake Erie is 1 inch above its long-term average and Lake Ontario has dropped below its long-term average by 4 inches.


Current Outflows/Channel Conditions: 

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is expected to be above average during the month of November.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are expected to be below average in November. The Niagara and St. Lawrence River flows are projected to be near average for the month of November.

 

Temperature/Precipitation Outlook: 

Chilly temperatures and flurries are expected through the weekend in the Great Lakes basin.  There is a chance for some heavier snow amounts in areas prone to lake effect snows, especially in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  

 

Forecasted Water Levels: 

Lake Superior and Michigan-Huron are in their seasonal declines and the levels are expected to fall 4 and 2 inches, respectively, over the next month.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are continuing their seasonal decline and expected to drop by 1, 1, and 2 inches, respectively.

 

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.

 


Lake Michigan

Flame Retardant PBDE Found in Lake Michigan, Adding to Concerns
WASHINGTON − Concentrations of a flame retardant banned by many European countries have been found in Lake Michigan and are increasing, adding to concerns over previous findings that the chemicals were showing up in supermarket foods and women's breast milk.

In the latest study, sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, University of Wisconsin scientists found PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, in sediment hundreds of feet down in Lake Michigan. Fish and other animals absorb chemicals and pollutants through the environment, storing them in fat that people then eat. Studies in rats and mice suggest high levels can cause liver and thyroid damage, NOAA said.

"They're really showing up all over the world," Bill Sonzogni, a University of Wisconsin professor, said Wednesday. "And the Great Lakes -- because of the food chain for bioconcentrating contaminants -- has sometimes served as a sentinel for other parts of the world."

The three-year study found PBDEs of up to one part per billion in the lake sediment -- the equivalent of one drop of water in a 10,000 gallon swimming pool. By dating the samples of PBDEs, Sonzogni and scientist Jon Manchester also found that the concentrations were increasing, and that they mirror levels of PBDEs and other flame retardants used since the 1970s.

How the PBDEs and other chemicals get into Lake Michigan is still not entirely clear, but the air appears the mostly likely way.

"We use a large number of synthetic chemicals and we do not have a good understanding of where these chemicals move to," Manchester said.

PBDEs are added to plastics used in computers, televisions, furniture and carpets. Some computer makers stopped using PBDEs in 2002, but a flame retardant related to PBDEs is still used in some circuit boards. No direct correlation has been shown between PBDEs and specific diseases or developmental impairment, and the government has not set

any level of use that is considered safe in food.

 

Starting in 2008, California will become the first state to ban two forms of the PBDEs because they accumulate in the blood of mothers and nursing babies. The ban was approved last year but delayed to give manufacturers time to find alternatives.

California researchers found that San Francisco Bay area women have three to 10 times greater amounts in their breast tissue than either European or Japanese women, while Indiana University researchers found levels in Indiana and California women and infants 20 times higher than in Sweden and Norway.

 

The European Union moved to restrict the chemicals' use in February 2003. In the United States, the Bush administration has expressed concern that traces of the chemicals, part of a broader class known as brominated flame retardants, have been showing up in people and wildlife. The administration is still gathering information while working with industry on alternatives.

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency won an agreement from an Indiana company to voluntarily stop producing two widely used forms. The action came after a study by the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy group, found the chemicals in the breast milk of each of 20 women it tested nationally.  The flame retardant chemicals, like PCBs that were banned decades ago in the United States, persist in the environment for years.

In 2001, scientists Sonzogni and Manchester also found that Lake Michigan's top predator fish -- Coho and Chinook salmon -- had PBDEs at concentrations exceeding 100 ppb, among the highest measured in open water fish anywhere in the world.  Now, they say that the concentrations of PBDEs, if unabated, might eventually eclipse PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, as the lake's main contaminant.

"They're small but they're still important," Sonzogni said. "Because what happens is they tend to concentrate at higher levels in the food chain in the fish, and then we eat the fish."
Source: Associated Press


Illinois

Arlington Park Hosts Northwest Chicago Sports Show

New show added to the Chicago metro market

Arlington Heights, IL – The Exposition Center at the Arlington Park Racecourse will be the site of the Northwest Chicago Sports Show, January 6th through January 9th, 2005.

 

CIA Marketing, Inc. will produce a show geared to the serious outdoorsman and outdoors- woman who wishes to compare and purchase the best fishing tackle, outdoor and marine equipment, boats, wildlife art, resort accommodations, charters and outfitter trips. Many of the products and services offered are represented by the manufacturers or owners themselves thus insuring accurate information and the best buys.

 

Also at the Northwest Chicago Sports Show will be the 

Midwest Outdoors Fishing Seminar Area featuring the strongest lineup of fishing pros to visit the area, a kids’ outdoor education and casting area and a new product demonstration stage.  Major sponsors are Chevrolet and Yamaha who will have feature exhibits at the show.

 

The Northwest Chicago Sports Show will be open to the public on Thursday, January  6th from 3 PM to 8 PM; Friday, January 7th from Noon to 8 PM; Saturday, January 8th from 10 AM to 8 PM; and Sunday, January 9th from 10 AM to 5 PM.  Admission is $7.00 for adults; $3.00 for children 6 – 12; children under 6 are free.  Parking at Arlington Park, located at Euclid and Wilke Roads in Arlington Heights, IL, is $6.00.

 

For more info:  414-963-0377

www.nwchicagosportsshow.com admin@bestmarketinginc.com


DNR layoffs include park chiefs

About a dozen top managers at state parks, recreation and wildlife areas are among those to be issued layoff notices by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. One of those superintendents said he fears the layoffs will pave the way for political appointees to eventually fill the jobs.

 

Illinois DNR oversees about 135 state parks, recreation areas, state fish and wildlife areas and hunting areas. They are managed by 108 site superintendents, some of whom have responsibility for more than one site. Gary Leach, executive director of Local 4408 of the Illinois Federation of Public Employees, a union representing site managers, said

11 management layoffs have been identified so far, with two more expected.

 

DNR started issuing layoff notices to 87 employees last week - the second round of layoffs since the start of the fiscal year July 1. The first 37 layoffs took effect Oct. 15.

 

“Most of the DNR site superintendent jobs have been filled lately with political appointees with little or no conservation experience,” said one park superintendent.

 

It was assumed the state sent everyone the same letter, saying the state is out of money.


Michigan

 DNR Business Calendar – November 29, 2004

The Michigan Dept of Natural Resources has established the following dates for December public meetings, open houses, events, etc.

 

DECEMBER 1

3 p.m. CST

CRYSTAL FALLS MANAGEMENT UNIT OPEN HOUSE, Crystal Falls Field Office, 1420 US-2 West, Crystal Falls. Contact: Steve Milford, 906-875-6622, milfords@michigan.gov  

 

DECEMBER 2

9:30 a.m.

SNOWMOBILE ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING, Best Western, M-28 East, Wetmore. Contact: Kim Korbecki, 517-373-2891, korbeckk@michigan.gov  .

 

3 p.m.

ROSCOMMON FOREST MANAGEMENT UNIT OPEN HOUSE, Roscommon Operations Service Center, 8717 North Roscommon Road, Roscommon. Contact: Don Torchia, 989-275-4622 ext 2740, torchiad@michigan.gov  .

 

4 p.m.

SHINGLETON FOREST MANAGEMENT UNIT OPEN HOUSE, 480 N. Intake Park Road, Manistique. Contact: Jeff Stampfly, 906-452-6227, stampflj@michigan.gov  .

 

DECEMBER 6

4 p.m.

NEWBERRY FOREST MANAGEMENT UNIT OPEN HOUSE, McMillan Township Hall, Newberry. Contact:  Les Homan, 906-293-3293, homanl@michigan.gov  .

 

DECEMBER 7

9 a.m.

SAULT STE MARIE FOREST MANAGEMENT UNIT COMPARTMENT REVIEW, Quality Inn, 913 Boulevard Drive, St. Ignace. Contact: Pat Hallfrisch, 906-635-5281, hallfrip@michigan.gov .

 

DECEMBER 8

9 a.m.

GWINN FOREST MANAGEMENT UNIT COMPARTMENT REVIEW, Northern Michigan University, University Center, Charcoal Room, Marquette. Contact: Bill Brondyke, 906-346-9201, brondykw@michigan.gov  .

9 a.m.

MICHIGAN NATURAL RESOURCES TRUST FUND BOARD MEETING, Best Western Midway Hotel, 7711 W. Saginaw, Lansing.  Public appearances may be scheduled by calling Linda Harlow, Administrative Assistant to the MNRTF, 517-373-9125, harlowl@michigan.gov  . Written comments may be submitted to: Linda Harlow, Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, P.O. Box 30425, Lansing, MI 48909.

 

DECEMBER 9

3 p.m.

NATURAL RESOURCES COMMISSION MEETING, Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad, 6140 Bray Rd, Flint. The meeting begins with the Committee of the Whole at 3 p.m. and continues with Public Appearances beginning at 4:30 p.m. Public appearances may be scheduled by calling Teresa Gloden, Assistant to the NRC, 517-373-2352, glodent@michigan.gov  . Following Public Appearances, the NRC will conduct its Regular Meeting. Written comments may be submitted to: Teresa Gloden, Natural Resources Commission, P.O. Box 30028, Lansing, MI 48909.

 

DECEMBER 16

8 a.m.

ROSCOMMON FOREST MANAGEMENT UNIT COMPARTMENT REVIEW, Roscommon Operations Service Center, 8717 North Roscommon Road, Roscommon. Contact: Don Torchia, 989-275-4622 ext 2740, torchiad@michigan.gov  .

 

DECEMBER 17

9:30 am

SHINGLETON FOREST MANAGEMENT UNIT COMPARTMENT REVIEW, 617 E. Lakeshore Drive, Manistique. Contact: Jeff Stampfly, 906-452-6227, stampflj@michigan.gov  .

 

DECEMBER 20

9 a.m.

NEWBERRY FOREST MANAGEMENT UNIT COMPARTMENT REVIEW, Newberry Correctional Facility Training Center, Newberry. Contact: Les Homan, 906-293-3293, homanl@michigan.gov  .

 

The DNR Calendar is also available on the Internet at www.michigan.gov/dnr  .

 


MUCC files an amicus on the Ice Mountain Case

MUCC joined Michigan Trout Unlimited and National Wildlife Federation in filing an amicus brief on the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation v. Nestle Waters North America which is now before the Michigan Court of Appeals.  The Michigan United Conservation Clubs entered into the suit because they believe the outcome of the case will define Michigan’s

groundwater policy.

 

Their position in the amicus is that groundwater withdrawals when shown to have a direct connection to surface waters should have the same rights, responsibilities and limits as direct surface water withdrawals.


Pennsylvania

Bald Eagle Access to be Temporarily Closed

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has temporarily closed its Bald Eagle Access Area in Clinton County to replace the existing launch ramp with a new cast-in-place concrete ramp.

      

Additionally, crews will be re-grading and placing stone in the

parking lot. This work will be completed early in December.  

The Bald Eagle Access provides public fishing and boating access to the Bald Eagle Creek.  It is located one Route 150, one mile west of Mill Hall.  Boaters and anglers looking for alternative launch sites can visit the “County Guides” section of the PFBC’s web site at www.fish.state.pa.us


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