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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2017, 07:20:59 PM »

from Moldy Chum...

Silence and Division Are No Longer Options
February 1, 2017 moldychum

Whether we like it or not, fishing and politics are inextricably intertwined. That may be an anathema to you. It might boil your blood that our favorite pastime is immersed in politics these days. Fishing is supposed to be an escape from the troubles of our world, not something that sucks us deeper into its turbulent waters. Trust me, I’m just as angry and disappointed as you are.

When I started fly fishing, I was an emotionally burned-out senior political aid working in Congress. Fly fishing was my escape from the frustrations that enveloped me on a daily basis – frustrations that hit me like a ton of bricks the moment I set foot on the marble floors of our nation’s capitol. Every day, I would sit at my desk with an insatiable itch in my feet to rip off my cognac-colored dress shoes, replace them with felt-soled wading boots, and wander with a peaceful heart and carefree mind through the wild waters and woods of Virginia.

Regularly escaping the insanity of our crazy world is something we owe ourselves and is something we desperately need for our wellbeing. We need to find solace on vast public lands. We need to delight in the sheer ecstasy of tarpon jumps and the blistering runs of chrome steelhead. And we need to cleanse our souls with the cold, clean waters of a mountain stream. But these days, it is not enough to just enjoy these resources. It is even more important to fight for them.

I wish it were not the case, but our public lands, waters, and fish are experiencing unprecedented partisan political attacks that threaten the future of these shared and cherished American resources. That is not an alternative fact or my opinion. It’s the God’s honest truth. And if we are going to enjoy these resources in the future, we need to join together today and get political, no matter how distasteful that may be to you.

You may believe that politics and fishing should stay separate, but politics does not stop at the water’s edge. It shapes the very foundation of our sport. It determines if our rivers are clean enough to support the fish we chase. It determines what lands we can fish on and whether we can access them. And it even determines how expensive our gear is.

So to suggest that our industry needs to bury its head in the sand is shortsighted. To threaten to boycott any company, organization, or media outlet that takes a political stance is self-defeating. Even worse, to demand that our industry stops publicly engaging in the political process that shapes the bedrock of fly fishing is to be complicit in our collective demise.

Yes, this is politics, but it does not have to be partisan politics. What we’re talking about is protecting our shared values as sportsmen. These values do not divide along party lines, but rather are fundamental American values we all share. When we put those values first and speak up for them, we can become a powerful force that has a real impact on our political system.

That means that we need to be willing to call out any politician that threatens these values and to support any politician that strengthens them, regardless of party. Equally important, we need to celebrate and support companies, conservation organizations, and media outlets that have the character to speak up on behalf of our collective interests and that have the courage to wade into murky political waters. Last but not least, we need to encourage and empower our fellow anglers to get involved, speak up, and fight tirelessly for these values.

Martin Luther King Jr. famously said that, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Those are profound words that still ring true today. If we stay silent and refuse to speak up, if we stay angry and divided, and if we do not hold our politicians’ feet to the fire and demand they fight to protect our resources, the things that matter most to us will die, and we will be the ones to blame. Silence and division are no longer options. We need to pave a new path forward.


http://www.moldychum.com/silence-and-division-no-longer-options/
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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2017, 07:24:25 PM »

More Congressional shenanigans...

Congress Overreaches to Roll Back Americans’ Say in Public Land Management

Lawmakers pursue obscure legislative process for blocking a rule created to give the public more say in management plans for 245 million acres of BLM public lands

Sportsmen, landowners, and former Bureau of Land Management employees strongly criticized a move by senators and representatives to overturn the BLM’s revised land-use planning rule, known as Planning 2.0. Using the obscure and rarely used Congressional Review Act, federal decision makers took a first step toward repealing the new rule and rolling back opportunities for the public to have more say in land management decisions.


Top and above images courtesy of Bob Wick/BLM
In a statement, Senate co-sponsors of a Congressional Review Act resolution cite bad information as motivation to revoke the rule, namely that the final rule fails to prioritize feedback from all stakeholders, including local governments. However, if lawmakers are successful, the BLM would continue using outdated guidelines for land-use planning established in 1983, which keep the public in the dark until very late in the planning process.

“It has been publicly recognized by county commissioners and conservation districts that the BLM took meaningful steps between the draft and final planning rules to accommodate requests from local governments and the public in reworking land-use planning,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Now, Congress is taking steps to reduce agency transparency and limit the public’s ability to have a say in how their public lands are managed. While a few concerns might remain, Congress is going about this the wrong way.”

The Congressional Review Act is a little-known law that enables Congress to roll back regulations within 60 legislative days of their enactment. The BLM planning rule, while under development since 2014, was finalized in December 2016, so it falls within the window of eligibility for repeal by the CRA. The process has only been successful once.

“The Western Landowners Alliance supports the BLM’s efforts in updating planning to meet today’s needs in the West,” says Lesli Allison, executive director of the Western Landowners Alliance. “There are opportunities for improvement, but not to the detriment of eliminating all the good progress that has been made to date. We believe working  through the Secretary of Interior is the best way to achieve our goals and constructively address any remaining concerns with the rule.”

Most disturbingly, once a rule is overturned through the CRA, no new rule that is “substantially the same” can be developed.

“A Congressional Review Act repeal would eliminate Planning 2.0 and likely eliminate the BLM’s authority to revise their planning regulations ever again in the future,” says Jesse Juen, president of the Public Lands Foundation and a longtime BLM employee. “Instead of stripping the incoming Secretary of the Interior of his authority before he takes office, lawmakers should work with the new administration to make refinements to a planning process that many stakeholders championed.”

Hunters and anglers in Western states can click here to write their lawmakers and urge them to let Planning 2.0 stand.


http://www.trcp.org/2017/02/01/congress-overreaches-roll-back-americans-say-public-land-management-2/?utm_source=rooseveltreportshort&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Roosevelt%20Report%202015
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fishtaco

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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2017, 09:58:55 PM »

I hope you're joking...

troll another thread.
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trico22

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2017, 09:17:19 AM »

Here are some issues that get very little play when "Green Energy" is discussed.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/solar-farms-threaten-birds/

http://www.audubon.org/news/will-wind-turbines-ever-be-safe-birds

http://www.oera.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Researching-Tidal-Energy-FINAL-May-2016.pdf

Speaking as a biologist that works in the energy industry, including siting and permitting wind farms, I agree those are very valid and real concerns.  Bird strikes were a big issue with the older, shorter, smaller blade, and closely spaced turbines.  The industry has moved to taller, longer blade turbines with a shorter rotation speed and greater spacing, to reduce these effects.  There are also areas that are required to limit operations during migratory seasons and bird flyways are now studied in depth prior to construction.  Unfortunately, the larger turbines increase danger for bats.  Much more work is still needed though as the problem is by no means eliminated.

However, all energy comes at a price.  The current scientific understanding is pretty clear though that combustion of fossil fuels influences climate change and that our best bet at curtailing global warming is reducing use of fossil fuels.  Could science be wrong?  Of course.  Science thought it was a good idea to remove all the woody debris from salmon rivers to make it easier for salmon to get upstream.  Perhaps limiting fossil fuel use will not rein in global warming.  But is the answer really to do nothing?  Go full steam ahead, mine all the coal, develop tar sands at the expense of boreal forest carbon sinks, drill in national parks and wildlife refuges, let power plants spew whatever by products they create to make our energy more cheap?  Really?  Seems to me that is a much greater cost.

P.S. IDK K2, if you are going to cite sources like the Wilderness Society and Sierra Club, but dismiss Scientific American and Audubon, I don't think you are going to gain any traction with this thread.
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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2017, 10:16:15 AM »

Trico - there is a big difference between sources that discuss congressional action and those that make scientific claims.  Neither the Audobon nor Scientific American articles are peer reviewed.  The articles don't even describe original research. 

Regarding the wildlife issues that these articles point out, my response is simple.  Technologies will be developed to mitigate many risks.   Moreover, the bird number sounds big until it's put into the proper context:

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/cats-kill-more-one-billion-birds-each-year

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/stop-blaming-cats-as-many-as-988-million-birds-die-annually-in-window-collisions/2014/02/03/9837fe80-8866-11e3-916e-e01534b1e132_story.html?utm_term=.9d0b14245973

Look, fishtaco is trolling.  Don't waste your time responding. 

« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 10:18:28 AM by k2 »
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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2017, 11:23:51 AM »

Surprised a Floridian rep would introduce this: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/861/

For those who don't want to click the link, H.R.861 - To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency.
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trico22

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2017, 11:50:31 AM »

He must own some future water front property up around Gainesville!
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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2017, 10:20:20 PM »

And now they target the Endangered Species Act.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing Wednesday with Republicans focused on curbing the Endangered Species Act, the latest front in the conservative push to rein in regulations they see as harmful to business.

The law is a flashpoint: The agriculture industry says it imposes far-reaching regulatory burdens. James Holte of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation told the committee, "farmers and ranchers consider it their personal responsibility to be stewards of the land. However, the ESA creates many challenges for them to balance agriculture production with wildlife habitat."
Republican lawmakers have also complained the Endangered Species Act has had a negative impact on drilling, logging and mining. They've argued it has hampered economic growth in these industries and expressed frustration that animals that reach recovery status are not de-listed.
And many who want to see the law relaxed believe it tramples on their property rights by imposing restrictions on how they can use their land. They're calling for a higher threshold for supporting data and research that justifies putting an animal on the endangered species list before invoking federal power over an individuals' land.
Environmentalists who support the law say the Endangered Species Act is not broken nor is it in need of "modernization."
Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, a national nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities, also testified before the committee.
"For more than 40 years, the ESA has been successful, bringing the bald eagle, the American alligator, the Stellar sea lion, the peregrine falcon and numerous other species back from the brink of extinction. Based on data from the (Fish and Wildlife Service), the ESA has saved 99% of listed species from extinction," Clark told members of Congress.
"Species de-listings increased significantly under President Barack Obama, a true testament that, with time and attention, many species can and do recover if protected by the ESA. During its eight-year tenure, the Obama administration removed a record-setting 29 species from the endangered species list -- more than all previous administrations combined," she said.
Clark told the committee in her experience, Republican efforts to "modernize" the Endangered Species Act have "almost always been code to push forward an agenda to weaken or gut the nation's premier and most effective wildlife conservation law. That agenda -- backed by special interests -- ignores the public value of wildlife conservation."
A relaxing of the act would be seen as a win on one of President Donald Trump's campaign promises, as he promised to roll back federal regulations he sees as unnecessarily harmful to business.
The ESA was signed into law under a different Republican president: Richard Nixon in 1973.

 
source: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/15/politics/endangered-species-act-republicans-congress/index.html
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trico22

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2017, 08:51:29 AM »

A republican senator from ME said she will not vote for Pruitt.  That's a small step in the right direction.  3 more to go as long as he does not get and dem. votes..
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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2017, 10:33:59 AM »

Yeah, Susan Collins seems to be the one bright light on the right.
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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2017, 11:55:06 PM »

President Trump on Thursday signed legislation ending a key Obama administration coal mining rule.

The bill quashes the Office of Surface Mining's Stream Protection Rule, a regulation to protect waterways from coal mining waste that officials finalized in December.

The legislation is the second Trump has signed into law ending an Obama-era environmental regulation. On Tuesday, he signed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution undoing a financial disclosure requirement for energy companies.

Both the mining and financial disclosure bills are the tip of a GOP push to undo a slate of regulations instituted in the closing days of the Obama administration. The House has passed several CRA resolutions, and the Senate has so far sent three of them to President Trump for his signature.

Regulators finalized the stream protection rule in December, but they spent most of Obama’s tenure writing it.
The rule is among the most controversial environment regulations the former administration put together. The coal mining industry said it would be costly to implement and lead to job losses across the sector, which is already suffering from a market-driven downturn in demand for its product.

At the signing, Trump called the regulation "another terrible job killing rule" and said ending it would save "many thousands American jobs, especially in the mines, which, I have been promising you — the mines are a big deal."

"This is a major threat to your jobs and we’re going to get rid of this threat," he added. "We’re going to fight for you."

Republicans on Congress, especially from Appalachia, supported that argument and sought to block the rule several times before finally passing the CRA resolution this month.

“In my home state of Kentucky and others across the nation, the stream buffer rule will cause major damage to communities and threaten coal jobs,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said before the bill passed. “We should heed their call now and begin bringing relief to coal country.”

Environmentalists supported the administration rule, saying it would protect waterways from pollution and preserve public health. They have criticized the GOP for repealing environmental rules in the name of supporting coal mining jobs, but doing little else to help displaced workers in mining areas.

“If you want to help miners, then come address their health and safety and their pension program,” Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said during floor debate on the measure.

“You can protect the coal industry here with special interests and the amount of lobbying they do, or you can step up in a process and have a regulation that works for the United States of America so the outdoor industry and sportsman and fishermen can continue to thrive.”

The Senate this week sent Trump a CRA resolution blocking a gun sales regulation. Members could soon take up a measure undoing a methane rule for natural gas drilling operations on public land.


Source http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/319938-trump-signs-bill-undoing-obama-coal-mining-rule
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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #42 on: February 18, 2017, 05:14:21 PM »

The report is from a firm that has shorted Northern Dynasty, but let's hope the findings are real.

Kerrisdale Capital Management
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.: The Pebble Deposit Isn't Commercially Viable
Feb. 14, 2017 9:30 AM • NAK
Summary
Northern Dynasty's key asset, the low-grade Pebble deposit, is not commercially viable: mining it would require so much upfront investment that it would actually destroy value.
Kerrisdale believes Northern Dynasty's former partners concluded that the Pebble project had a negative present value – an assessment that Northern Dynasty has spent years trying to conceal from public.
Frenzied investor enthusiasm over the benefits that Trump presidency will bring to the Pebble project overlooks the ineradicable threat of veto from either the Alaskan government or future Democratic White House.


Full article: http://seekingalpha.com/article/4045672-northern-dynasty-minerals-ltd-pebble-deposit-commercially-viable
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k2

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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #43 on: February 27, 2017, 03:11:45 PM »

I've consulted Seafood Watch's list in the past.  It's latest move makes me wonder about some other "best choices" and "good alternatives."

The latest assault on our fisheries? Seafood Watch recommends eating wild OP steelhead.
http://www.ginkandgasoline.com/fly-fishing-news/wild-steelhead-on-the-menu/
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Re: The "threats to Mother Nature" thread
« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2017, 06:01:14 PM »

It begins...

Trump Aims To 'Eliminate' Clean Water Rule

The Trump administration is moving to roll back an environmental rule intended to define which small bodies of water are subject to federal authority under the Clean Water Act.

President Trump signed documents Tuesday directing the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review the Obama administration's "Waters of the United States" rule. In doing so, Trump said he is "paving the way for the elimination" of the rule.

He asked for the reviewers to assess its consistency with "promoting economic growth" and "minimizing regulatory uncertainty," among other factors.

Supporters say the regulation is needed to ensure safe drinking water. But a long list of opponents say it goes too far and poses a burden on them. The rule is currently on hold after a stay by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"It was a massive power grab," Trump said as he prepared to sign the documents, surrounded by a group of farmers, homebuilders and county commissioners. "Regulations and permits started treating our wonderful small farmers and small businesses as if they were a major industrial polluter. They treated them horribly."

But as NPR's Greg Allen has reported, "overturning the rule isn't something that can be done through executive order. The EPA would have to restart the lengthy rule-making process, according to Jon Devine, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council."

Trump's executive order has been sharply criticized by environmental groups. Earthjustice accused the president of "demonstrating that he puts the interests of corporate polluters above the public's health."

When the Clean Water Act passed in 1972, it defined waters that would need protection from pollution as "navigable." For most of us, that means big enough to float a boat. Over the years, though, it became clear that smaller streams and wetlands needed protection as well, especially those that feed into rivers and lakes that provide drinking water. But Congress and successive administrations tried, and failed, to clarify exactly which waters were subject to the act. The Army Corps of Engineers interpreted the act differently in different regions of the U.S., and courts only added to the confusion.

The Obama administration tried once and for all to settle the question with the Waters of the United States rule in 2015. At the time, it was hailed by the Obama administration as protecting the water supply for about 117 million Americans.

But it faced heavy criticism and lobbying against the rule from farmers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, real estate developers and golf course owners, among others.

In today's executive order, Trump said that in any future proposed rule, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should consider Justice Antonin Scalia's opinion in a 2006 Supreme Court ruling, which focused on the scope of the Clean Water Act.

In that case, Scalia stated that the "waters of the United States" are limited to "only relatively permanent, standing or flowing bodies of water." He added: "The phrase does not include channels through which water flows intermittently or ephemerally, or channels that periodically provide drainage for rainfall."

After the 2015 rule, Owen McDonough of the National Association of Homebuilders said a developer who buys a rural piece of land "is all of a sudden faced with jurisdiction waters, and then he has to secure federal permits, and offset his impacts." He said builders must hire expensive environmental consultants to get those permits.

Last August, then-candidate Trump echoed that criticism when he addressed the homebuilders association. It's worth noting that Trump has a stake in the rule's fate. As Greg Allen has reported, the Trump Organization has about a dozen golf courses across the U.S.

And the president's new EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, sued the agency over the water rule when he was Oklahoma's attorney general.

The American Farm Bureau Federation also launched a campaign called "Ditch the Rule." In an ad featuring a farmer's wife running barefoot in a field, it asserted that the Waters of the U.S. rule would force farmers to get a permit for every ditch or puddle on their land. The bureau also says the rule goes overboard by including so-called prairie potholes, which don't have water in them year-round.

"The [Obama] administration really belittled a lot of farmers' concerns," says the Farm Bureau's Don Parrish. He says growers who fail to get a needed permit could face heavy fines or even jail time.

But Ellen Gilinsky, a former EPA administrator who advised on the Waters of the U.S. Rule, says many such fears are overblown. She says the rule actually reduced the number of ditches that would require permits, and that both farmers and ranchers have numerous exemptions.

"I really think there's a lot of blood shed over this rule that didn't need to be," Gilinsky says. "I think there's an opportunity to take another look at it and bring everyone to the table and get a rule everyone can feel good about."

Supporters of the Waters of the United States rule say states simply don't have the resources to ensure healthy streams and clean drinking water on their own. Gilinsky says she hopes the Trump administration can finally get all sides to agree on which waters the federal government should protect.


source http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/28/517016071/trump-aims-to-eliminate-clean-water-rule
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