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NFC: Fw: River Policy Update, Week of September 24, 2001


Robert Rice
NFC president

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: American Rivers <action at action_amrivers.org>
To: robertrice at juno_com
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 11:05:06 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: River Policy Update, Week of September 24, 2001
Message-ID: <5896993.1001441106453.JavaMail.IWAM_D1NL8B01@bob>

To read the River Policy Update online, visit American Rivers' Online 
Newsroom at http://www.americanrivers.org/policyupdates/update.htm

American Rivers' Policy Update
Week of September 24, 2001


* Open letter from American Rivers' President Rebecca Wodder on Sept. 
11 tragedy
* Energy policy
* Forest fire policy
* Historic preservation
* National Forest recreation fees
* Water quality
* Bush administration environmental nominees
* Congressional calendar
* Take action
* River Budget
* Most Endangered Rivers nominations
* River photo contest
* Jobs


An open letter from American Rivers President Rebecca Wodder to 
members, colleagues, and friends of American Rivers
September 2001

I write this letter with deepest sympathy for those of you who lost 
someone dear to you in the recent terrorist attacks.  

I heard the news on September 11 while on a weeklong canoe and hiking 
trip with a group of passionate river supporters, retracing part of 
Lewis & Clark's expedition on the Missouri River in Montana. As the 
days went by, the trip reminded us of a river's power to lift heavy 

The serene landscapes we floated through helped me deal with the 
horror I saw on television and regain a sense of purpose. As I 
settled into the rhythm of the paddler, a camp song I learned as a 
Girl Scout ran through my head: 

From the hills I gather courage, visions of the days to be
Strength to lead and faith to follow, all are given unto me
Peace I ask of thee, O River -- Peace, peace, peace.

In the aftermath of the attacks, American Rivers surely recognizes 
that matters of national security must assume the utmost urgency 
today. While we will continue to be strong advocates for a better 
future for our nation's rivers, we'll do so in an appropriate manner 
that allows our leaders to focus their attention on crucial decisions 
they must make in the days and weeks ahead.

Our late board member Charles Kuralt wrote, "America is a great 
story, and there is a river on every page of it."  The attack on the 
symbols of our democracy should only strengthen our resolve to 
cherish the Hudson, the Potomac, and the civil society nurtured along 
their banks. By remaining committed to the legacy of a healthy 
environment for our children, by exercising our freedoms of speech 
and assembly, and by keeping faith in the rule of law to protect the 
common good, you and I will preserve what we hold dear about our 
lives and this country. 

American Rivers and our fellow conservation advocates stand for 
timeless American values -- reverence for life, good stewardship of 
our land and waters, and thanksgiving for the bounty they provide to 
us. By promoting such lasting principles, we can restore a sense of 
purpose to our lives. By reconnecting with each other in the movement 
to restore rivers, we can sustain our sense of community. And by 
keeping up our work in the public interest, we can help defend our 
nation's integrity. 

Thank you for holding these values in your heart, and for everything 
you do to protect and restore rivers. This is how we can help honor 
the victims and make our country whole again - by never compromising 
on the values which define our great nation.

Rebecca Wodder
President, American Rivers


Update on energy legislation

In the wake of the September 11 attacks, "energy security" has taken 
on a more literal meaning.  Rather than focusing immediately on 
comprehensive electricity restructuring, Congress now seems more 
likely to pass legislation to help reduce the vulnerability of the 
nation's energy infrastructure, including nuclear facilities.  On 
Wednesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will 
hold a closed hearing on energy security.

A Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee markup on 
comprehensive electricity restructuring originally scheduled for 
September 13 was postponed after the September 11 attacks and has not 
been rescheduled.  It has been reported that Energy Committee Chair 
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) still hopes to get a comprehensive bill out of 
committee before Congress adjourns for the year.

Closed hearing: 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 26, at a location to be 

Update on Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

With the prospects for the near-term passage of a comprehensive 
energy bill dimming, supporters of oil and gas drilling in the Arctic 
National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) may look for other vehicles to 
achieve their goal.  Wanting to avoid the appearance of taking 
political advantage of the terrorist attacks, Sen. Frank Murkowski (D-
AK) made a statement on the Senate floor last week that he would not 
seek to add such language to unrelated bills.  However, Sen. James 
Inhofe (R-OK) has proposed amendments to the FY '02 National Defense 
Authorization Act (S 1416) that would open ANWR up to drilling, as 
well as offering substantial financial benefits to the oil and gas 
industry.   Both Republican and Democratic Senate leadership have 
opposed such controversial add-ons, but Sen. Inhofe has indicated 
that he will only withdraw his amendments if he receives a commitment 
that energy legislation will be considered on the Senate floor before 
the end of the year.  
The threats posed by the development of ANWR prompted American Rivers 
to list the wildlife refuge's Canning River as the nation's second 
most endangered river in its America's Most Endangered Rivers of 2001 


This Tuesday the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee's 
Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests will hold another in a 
series of hearings on the National Fire Plan.  The plan is intended 
to reduce the risk of fire in National Forests, but it has been 
criticized by some in the conservation community for encouraging 
logging in the name of forest fuels reduction.  The subcommittee will 
also discuss a "Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Wildland Fire 
Risks to Communities and the Environment," which was recently agreed 
to by the Western Governors' Association and the Departments of 
Interior and Agriculture.

Hearing: 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 25 in 366 Dirksen. 


On Tuesday the House Resources Committee's Subcommittee on National 
Parks, Recreation, and Public Land is expected to markup a bill (HR 
890) that would create Moccasin Bend Historic Site in Chattanooga, 
TN.  The proposed site is a 920 acre peninsula surrounded on three 
sides by the Tennessee River.  The subcommittee is also expected to 
discuss HR 1776, which would direct the National Park Service to 
study designating Buffalo Bayou, on Texas' San Jacinto River, as a 
National Heritage Area.

Hearing:  10:00 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 20, in 2167 Rayburn


This Tuesday the House Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Forests 
and Forest Health will examine whether the recreation demonstration 
fee program started in 1996 should become a permanent policy in 
National Forests.  The program allows various federal land management 
agencies to test fee increases and new fees at various sites around 
the country.  Revenue fees go directly to the park, forest, or refuge 
that collects them.  The program is controversial, but arguments do 
not break along party lines.  Some environmental groups have 
criticized the fee program, arguing that they make recreation too 
expensive for low income families and that maintenance of these 
federal lands should be spread among all federal taxpayers.    

Hearing: 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25 in 1334 Longworth. 


The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is expected to mark 
up a bill on Tuesday that would ban the use of methyl tertiary butyl 
ether (MTBE), an oxygen additive that is used to make gasoline burn 
cleaner.  MTBE was added to gasoline to help meet the requirements of 
the Clean Air Act, but its air quality benefits have been outweighed 
by the threat it poses to public health when it leaks from 
underground storage tanks into groundwater.  The bill, S 950, is 
expected to be controversial because it would not require that MTBE 
be replaced by ethanol, another oxygen additive.  Instead, it would 
permit state governors to waive the Clean Air Act's oxygenate 
requirement for gasoline sold in their states, while leaving the 
other requirements intact, including pollution standards. 

Markup: 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25 in 406 Dirksen


When it meets to mark up the MTBE bill Tuesday, the Senate 
Environment and Public Works Committee is also expected to vote on 
Bush administration nominees for high posts in the Environmental 
Protection Agency and the Interior Department.  Nominees include 
Harold Manson for assistant Interior secretary for fish, wildlife, 
and parks; Marianne Lamond Horinko for assistant EPA administrator of 
solid waste; and Nils Diaz for a further five-year term on the 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission.


Congress has a short legislative calendar this week because of the 
Yom Kippur holiday.  No legislative business is scheduled to take 
place after Wednesday.  


Markup on MTBE legislation
Environment and Public Works Committee
9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25 in 406 Dirksen

Hearing on forest fire policy
Energy and Natural Resources Committee
2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25 in 366 Dirksen

Hearing on energy security
Energy and Natural Resources Committee
9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 26 in location TBA


Markup of public lands bills
Resources Committee
10:00 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25 in 1334 Longworth

Hearing on plant use for fuels, etc.
Science Committee
2:00 p.m., Tuesday, Sept 25 in 2318 Rayburn


Follow the latest American Rivers' Action Alerts and Press Releases!  
Take action to help save America's Rivers.  Visit 


Each year American Rivers and hundreds of local, regional, and 
national conservation groups and community leaders from all 50 states 
present the River Budget.  This annual report recommends to Congress 
how best to invest federal dollars to benefit rivers, wildlife, and 

To learn more about the River Budget (and sign-on your local, 
regional, or national group!), click here:


American Rivers is accepting nominations through the end of September 
for its Most Endangered Rivers Report, to be released in April, 
2002.  There's only one week left to submit nominations! 

Please send nominations to: 

American Rivers 
Most Endangered Rivers Nominations
1025 Vermont Ave. NW
Suite 720
Washington, D.C.  20005

Any questions or requests for deadline extensions can be sent to 
Rebecca Sherman at outreach at amrivers_org, or just phone her up at 
(202) 347-7550, ext. 3052.

Why should you nominate your river?

It's the best way to turn a national spotlight onto why your river 
counts.  Our grassroots partners tell us that the Most Endangered 
Rivers Report strengthened their message and cultivated new networks 
of media and support.  And it makes a difference.

Nominate your river for the Most Endangered Rivers Report!  Find the 
nomination form online at www.americanrivers.org, or email us at 
outreach at amrivers_org to have a copy mailed to you.


National River Photo Contest! Enter your river photos and win prizes.

American Rivers and GORP.com, the leading outdoor recreation and 
adventure travel website, are sponsoring a national photo contest to 
celebrate America's rivers.  From July 25 until October 1, 
photographers are invited to submit photos of their favorite rivers. 

In a unique twist, visitors to GORP.com will be able to "vote off" 
submitted photos until a winning photo is determined. The grand prize 
is a complete kayak package, including an inflatable Tahiti Classic 
Kayak by Sevylor, complete with paddle and helmet.  The twenty 
finalists will win a case of Poland Springs water and a pair of Slot 
Canyon White Water shoes from Mountain Athletics by Timberland.  

Voting will take place during the first two weeks in September, when 
members of the GORP.com and American Rivers communities will cast 
their vote for their favorite photo.  The grand prize winner will be 
chosen from a pool of twenty finalists.  

Full details of the contest are available at 


American Rivers currently has a number of job openings.  See our 
employment webpage at http://www.amrivers.org/jobs/default.htm for 
the following opportunities:

* Director of Outreach
* Director of Development, Northwest Regional Office
* Development Assistant


Contact Michael Garrity, Conservation Associate, at 202-347-7550. 

Legislative information is obtained from sources including: 
Environment and Energy Daily, Greenwire, Congressional Green Sheets, 
and members of the American Rivers conservation staff. 

Thank you robertrice at juno_com for helping to protect and 
restore America's rivers.

To contact American Rivers, send an email to Rebecca 
Sherman at outreach at amrivers_org or call 202-347-7550.

To update your information, please visit: 

Encourge friends to become an online river activist, by visiting 
www.americanrivers.org/takeaction.  To become a member of American 
Rivers, visit www.americanrivers.org/joindonate 

Join the nation's online river community at www.americanrivers.org 
for free online resources, toolkits, and ways to unite with other 
activists on your important issues.  AOL Keyword: American Rivers

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