Congressman Tom McClintock promotes support of his Emergency Logging Act. This support should not be granted as the Act has ill defined consequences and is hidden within a larger bill to convey government lands to local entities. The Public Access and Lands Improvement Act, bill 2954, has been analysed by the Congresional Budget Office. See their report. A quick reads reveals that it is about transfering land ownership. A single act provides for salvage logging with out environmental or judicial revue.
The content of the bill identifies the following acts:
Title I would authorize Escambia County in Florida to convey certain property that it received from the federal government. The specified properties had been part of the Santa Rosa Island National Monument and were transferred to the county in 1947 for public purposes.
Title II would require the Secretary of the Interior to convey the reversionary interest of the United States in three acres of land to the city of Anchorage, Alaska.
Title III would direct the Secretary of the Interior to sell up to 9,400 acres of federal land to the city of Fernley, Nevada.
Title V would require the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina to be managed according to the Interim Protected Species Management Strategy/Environmental Assessment (Interim Strategy) issued by the National Parks Service (NPS) on
June 13, 2007, until the NPS issues a new final rule. Under the bill, that final rule could not include additional restrictions on pedestrian or motorized access to the seashore beyond those in the Interim Strategy unless the restrictions are based on peer-reviewed science and the public has had the opportunity to review and comment on them.
Title VI would prevent the Forest Service from removing a building from the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area in Washington state unless the agency determines that the structure is unsafe for visitors.
Title VII would nullify within three years of enactment existing regulations prohibiting hand-propelled vessels on streams and rivers in the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Title VII also would direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to coordinate the use of hand-propelled vessels on the Gros Ventre River within the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming. Under existing regulations, the National Park Service has prohibited boating on five of the 168 lakes in Yellowstone National Park and a 1,000-foot section of the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park.
Title VIII would increase the term of new grazing permits on federal lands from 10 years to 20 years and allow expired and transferred grazing permits to remain in effect until new permits are issued by BLM or the Forest Service. (Note: The Cattlemans Beef Association applauds this.)
Title IX would direct the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to conduct salvage sales of dead, damaged, or downed timber resulting from the 2013 Rim Fire in California. Sales of salvage timber under title IX would be exempted from certain laws related to the environment and forest management. In addition, sales conducted under title IX would not be subject to administrative or judicial review.
Title X would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop, no later than one year after the bill's enactment, a management plan for the Chesapeake Bay Program and for restoration activities related to the bay. EPA would be required to update the management plan every two years. The legislation would require new financial reports on the Chesapeake Bay Program from the Office of Management and Budget and would require EPA to appoint an independent evaluator, who would review and report to the Congress on the plan.
TU is reviving the offer to sign up women as new members at no cost. In addition, women renew for half price, at a special $17.50 rate, and the recruiting chapter will receive $15 of that $17.50 in the form of a special rebate. We place a special emphasis on the renewals since our goals include both adding more women to our ranks and engaging more women in TU's leadership. In order to bump up our retention of these women, we need to show them the real value of TU, and - of course - much of that value comes from the local level. This is where we need the support of every chapter membership chair out there. Later this month, the NLC workgroup will be distributing out individual lists of these trial members by state and chapter to help you with these efforts to renew at this special half-priced offer. Program effective from March 1 till May 31.
Tim Frahm, Central Coast Steelhead Coordinator for Trout Unlimited, blogs about conditions in the Pescadero Creek Lagoon. Anglers are trying to prevent annual steelhead deaths in the lagoon. Read the TU Blog to learn of the conditions and the frustrations of correction.
The CA Department of Fish & Wildlife has implemented emergency restrictions on fishing for salmon and steelhead in many coastal rivers in response to dangerously low streamflows due to the current drought. Here's a statement from Brian Johnson, TU's California State Director, on the news:
"Today, due to the current extreme drought conditions and unprecedented low streamflows in many rivers and creeks, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife took emergency action to protect salmon and steelhead runs in California coastal streams from the Oregon border south to Morro Bay. The Department imposed temporary closures to fishing on most coastal rivers in the south-central, central, and north coast regions, and requested that the Fish and Game Commission temporarily close others. Most coastal rivers open for winter steelhead fishing in California are now closed to angling, although closures may be lifted if we receive enough rain and snow to boost streamflows and allow safe passage for anadromous fish.
Join fellow anglers and TU volunteer leaderOpportunities abound to develop your governance skills and practices, discover solutions to your leadership challenges, and increase your understanding of the key trends and coldwater conservation issues impacting the West. TU regional meetings are occasions to be inspired by the work of TU staff, lessons from leaders and conservations with newfound friends.s from across the West on March 7-9 in Reno, Nev. The total cost is $150 and includes:Participation in all seminars and workshops on Friday - Sunday, Breakfast and lunch on Friday and Saturday, Barbecue dinner Friday night, Screening of the Fly Fishing Film Tour on Saturday night.
Lodging: Accommodations for the Western Regional Meeting are provided by Atlantis Casino Resort Spa - Reno, 3800 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89502. Rates: $79-$119/night Reservations: 800.723.6500 and ask for the Trout Unlimited Western Regional Meeting Room Block before February 14, 2014.
During the current drought, the public will hear a lot about water management in California. Unfortunately, Californians are being presented with a false dichotomy – that California's water problems are about fish vs. people. It's what large corporate agribusinesses from the Westlands Water District and Kern County Water Agency have been pushing on the public since 2009. While we agree with these opposing groups that we have a water management problem that is harming everyday people, the facts show that the causes and solutions are different than what they claim.
Barbara Barrigan-Parilla presents key issues and suggests less expensive alternatives than the tunnels. Over the past ten years Westlands and Kern hasve taken moe water from the Delta than Los Angeles and Santa Clara Districts combined. Reservoirs in southern Califirnia are near 100% full while those in the north are near empty. Farmworker communities in the valley suffer high unempoyment evn when there is plentiful water in the system. Read her Viewpoint and understand her basis.
Trout Unlimited California and the California School of Fly Fishing have announced their plans for the 2014 Trout Camp. Trout Unlimited's Sierra Youth Fishing Camp for children ages 9-11 . This weekend event will be held June 21 -22, 2014 at the UC Berkeley Sagehen Creek Field Station located on Sagehen Creek, just 10 miles north of Truckee, CA. Sierra Trout Camp is designed to give kids an awareness, appreciation and understanding of the importance of our nation's aquatic resources with an emphasis on conservation, protection and restoration of coldwater ecosystems.
Participants will also learn about stream ecology, cutthroat trout restoration, stream physics
and chemistry, fishing etiquette and aquatic entomology. Trout Unlimited is extremely pleased
to partner with the California School of Fly Fishing, one of the oldest and most respected fly
fishing schools in the world.
Fifteen students will be chosen to attend by the California and Nevada chapters.
Volunteers are needed to support the camp operation. Five are required on Saturday and ten on Sunday.
Drought has become a constant in the news. We haven't seen rain in 45 days. This is the longest period since 1884. Less prominent is the effect the drought is having on governmental decisiona affecting the management of our fisheries. First we hear the governor announcing a drought emergency. Unsaid was the fact that the CEQA protections would be abandoned in favor of water protection. Secondly the Fish and Wildlife Service takes a shortcut to release 750,000 baby salmon into the death zone for survival. This week we see House Speaker John Boehner in Fresno demanding the cessation of the San Jouquin restoration. "People in Ohio think itis just silly that Californians would put fish before people".
Jerry Brown's declaration claims that compliance with CEQA would get in the way of swift reaction to the effects of the drought emergency. Read the full story on this disclosure.
As the Brown administration declared a drought state of emergency in California, the Coleman national fish hatchery plans to release another 73,000 baby salmon next week to almost certain death in the drought-stricken Sacramento River. The planned release follows releases of almost 750,000 baby salmon over the last five weeks ignoring warnings from salmon advocates the fish are unlikely to survive. Federal officials overseeing the controversial releases admit conditions are very bad for salmon but insist on releasing the fish at the hatchery anyway. See the full story.
Boehner's proclomations were widely covered in the news this week augmented by our congressmen Devin Nunes and Kevin Mc Carthy. See the report.
The final Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska, was released January 15 by the EPA. The report concludes that large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed poses risks to salmon, wildlife and Native Alaska cultures. Bristol Bay supports the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world, producing nearly 50 percent of the world's wild sockeye with runs averaging 37.5 million fish each year.
"Over three years, EPA compiled the best, most current science on the Bristol Bay watershed to understand how large-scale mining could impact salmon and water in this unique area of unparalleled natural resources," said Dennis McLerran, Regional Administrator for EPA Region 10. "Our report concludes that large-scale mining poses risks to salmon and the tribal communities that have depended on them for thousands of years. The assessment is a technical resource for governments, tribes and the public as we consider how to address the challenges of large-scale mining and ecological protection in the Bristol Bay watershed."
Please send a hearty Welcome to the newest member of our Trout Unlimited California family. Steinbeck Country is now a chartered Chapter extending from the San Jose area south to the San Luis Obispo area. Two of our California staffers, Tim Frahm and Sam Davidson, helped Steinbeck President Geoff Malloway pull together a huge section of California's coast to form a chapter consisting of almost 1000 members.
Geoff Malloway operates Central Coast Fly Fishing(centralcoastflyfishing.com). The Steinbeck organization has been very busy cleaning their local rivers. See them in action in The Steinbeck January Newsletter.
Trout Unlimited and Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development, a coalition dedicated to balancing energy development with conservation on public lands invites students to tell us what public lands have meant in their lives in the first ever SFRED Youth Essay Contest. Five winners selected by a panel of representatives from the three SFRED partner organizations will receive a trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of each winner's congressional delegation as well as leaders from the administration and national conservation groups.
Our nation's public lands – national forests, parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, sagebrush steppe, backcountry – are a fundamentally important American legacy. Leaders and advocates of the past had the foresight to recognize the great value of the conserving these lands for generations of Americans.
Now, we look to our young hunters, anglers and other outdoors enthusiasts to continue enjoying and conserving this great gift so they pass it along to the next generations.
Students 15 to 19 who fish or hunt on public lands are invited to participate. Read the full story and rules for entry.
The Forest Service has created a video podcast series on Ecological Restoration, called "Restore." Video podcasts highlight people, projects, and the associated inroads and successes they are making in restoration activities across the Region as they seek to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands. These projects will include the use of an "all-lands" approach with individuals who can help get the work done; Forest Service local, state, federal, and tribal partners.
Thirteen podcasts have been produced. The latest, Fire behvior and ecological restoration, is now available. It describes fire variability and the use of fire in restoration. Fire is a tool being used in the El Dorado by District Ranger Duane Nelson. The podcast series are available here.