[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

NFC: Fw: RiverCurrents: November 16, 2001



RiverCurrents: November 16, 2001 
  
Brought to you by www.americanrivers.org: 
The online community for river activists and river friends 
AOL KEYWORD: American Rivers 
RiverCurrents is a weekly summary of river news and information as
reported 
by media outlets across the country. The inclusion of a story or point of
view 
in RiverCurrents does not necessarily indicate endorsement by American
Rivers. 
If you have clarifications or corrections about a story in RiverCurrents,
please 
send them to asouers at amrivers_org. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
In RiverCurrents this week... 
* Michigan's wild and scenic rivers 
* Army Corps wetlands policy 
* Assabet River gets help from EPA 
* Salmon: wild vs. hatchery 
* Groups protest Animas-La Plata water project 
* Mid-Atlantic states: upcoming watershed roundtable 
* On this day in history: the Lewis and Clark journals 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Quote of the week 
''If you don't know about something, it's hard to protect it. And while
it's 
hard to care about a nutrient, people want to protect rivers and
streams.'' 
Julia Blatt, director, Organization for the Assabet River, quoted in the 
Boston Globe (see story below) 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Perception Seeks River Conservationist Nominations 
Perception Kayaks is looking for its next River Conservationist of the
Year. 
Since 1981, Perception has given the annual award to an individual or
group 
who has made a significant contribution to river preservation. The
deadline for 
nominations is Dec. 28. This award supports the efforts and
accomplishments 
of individuals and their organizations in protecting rivers and
preserving people's 
right to enjoy rivers. 
To qualify, preservation work must have been done in the United States or
Canada, 
preferably this year. Perception will announce the winner in January. For
a nomination 
application, send an e-mail to mktg at kayaker_com 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
This week's river news 
1) Forest Service failing to protect Michigan's wild and scenic rivers 
Conservation groups around the Great Lakes filed suit yesterday against
the U.S. 
Forest Service in an attempt to force the agency to comply with a
nine-year-old 
order from Congress to protect six rivers in Ottawa National Forest. 
The lawsuit, filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Northwoods
Wilderness 
Recovery, and the Superior Wilderness Action Network, involves The Black,

Ontonagon, Paint, Presque Isle, Sturgeon, and Yellow Dog rivers. These
rivers 
are all federally designated Wild and Scenic Rivers. 
According to the press release from the Center for Biological Diversity,
"The rivers 
received federal designation for their outstanding and remarkable
recreational, 
ecological, and wildlife values, but instead of creating comprehensive
management 
plans to protect and enhance these values as required by law, the Forest
Service 
has managed these areas to maximize the monetary value of timber.
Hundreds of 
acres have been cut since the rivers were designated, while not a single 
comprehensive management plan has been drafted." 
"The Wild & Scenic Rivers of the Ottawa are national treasures facing
death from 
a thousand clearcuts," said Brent Plater, attorney with the Center for
Biological 
Diversity. "The Ottawa has been running roughshod over the management
guidance 
provided by the people of this state and country, and it's time we all
stood up and 
told the Forest Service that the Wild and Scenic Rivers in Michigan must
receive 
the level of care they are entitled to by law." 
The Center for Biological Diversity says that since the inception of the
Ottawa's 
management plan in 1986, hardwood forests have been over-cut by at least
60%. 
Logging and road building in and near the Wild and Scenic Rivers have
major 
impacts on imperiled species such as Canada lynx, American bittern,
American 
bald eagle, Northern goshawk, red-shouldered hawk, and Eastern timber
wolf. 
More about wild and scenic rivers: 
www.amrivers.org/wildscenic/default.htm 


---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Book of the week -- don't miss this great read 
"Red: passion and patience in the desert" by Terry Tempest Williams 
www.powells.com/cgi-bin/partner?partner_id=23831&cgi=search/search&search
type=isbn&searchfor=0375420770 
"It is a simple equation," writes Terry Tempest Williams, "place + people
= politics." 
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the American West, where millions
of acres 
of wilderness are at stake in the redrock desert of southern Utah. "How
are we to 
find our way toward conversation?" she asks. One story at a time. Red
traces 
Williams's lifelong love of and commitment to the desert, as she explores
what 
draws us to a place and keeps us there. -- Publisher comments 
When you use the link above to buy the book, 10% of your purchase goes to

river conservation efforts. If you're having trouble with that link,
click here and type 
"Terry Tempest Williams" into the search box: 
www.amrivers.org/riverbooks/default.htm 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 


2) Army Corps ignores "no net loss" wetlands policy 
Five of the country's foremost conservation groups expressed outrage over
an Army 
Corps of Engineers Regulatory Guidance Letter on wetlands mitigation
released late 
last week. 
Without any public notice or coordination with other federal agencies who
share responsibility 
for wetlands policy, the Corps has unilaterally ignored the national goal
of achieving "no net loss" 
of wetlands, a goal established during the first Bush administration
which has been the guiding 
principle of the national wetlands regulatory program since. 
The Regulatory Guidance Letter, dated October 31, sets out new Corps'
policy regarding 
compensation for destroyed wetlands. Mitigation involves construction of
new wetlands to 
replace those destroyed by development activities. The Corps is supposed
to place highest 
priority on avoiding harm to wetlands, rather than mitigating damage
after it has occurred. 
Unfortunately, the Corps often overlooks avoidance and allows destruction
of wetlands, 
based on speculative promises of mitigation. 
According to Robin Mann, Chair of the Sierra Club Wetlands Committee, the
Corps' new 
policy sets up an "anything goes approach" to wetland replacement. The
policy allows for 
wetland mitigation to consist of preservation or enhancement of existing
wetlands, small 
buffer strips along streams, upland areas, ponds and other waters, or
simply deepening an 
existing wetlands for swimming or fishing. "None of these types of
'mitigation' can 
compensate for the loss of natural wetlands and will contribute to a
continued net loss of our 
nation's valuable wetlands," said Mann. 
According to Melissa Samet, Senior Director of Water Resources with
American Rivers, 
the Corps' guidance letter "violates the spirit of interagency
cooperation in administering 
the 404 program, and goes against the specific agreement that has guided
wetlands 
compensatory mitigation in recent years." 
She points out that the Corps has a 1990 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)
with the 
U.S. EPA on mitigation. This MOA can be modified or revoked only by
agreement of 
both agencies or else by one agency with six months advance notice. "Yet
it appears 
that the Corps has decided to informally revoke this agreement by
replacing it with 
weaker standards," says Samet. 
Click here to read the full press release from American Rivers and other
groups: 
www.amrivers.org/pressrelease/corps11.6.01.htm 



3) EPA helps Assabet River 
The US Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $350,000 research
grant 
to Assabet River communities to study water quality in the river's
tributaries and 
search for ways to restore aquatic life in waters that are roughly 80
percent wastewater. 
As reports the Boston Globe, the two-year project will focus on
monitoring the river's 
habitat and establishing minimum flow and quality standards needed to
sustain native 
fish populations. The study will examine 10 tributaries that connect to
the Assabet, 
now choked with plant life thriving on high levels of phosphorus, a
nutrient. 
The Organization for the Assabet River ("OAR") will administer the EPA
grant in 
conjunction with the Massachusetts Audubon Society, US Geological Survey,

and US Department of Fish and Wildlife. 
''To clean up a river, a group like ours can't do that by ourselves,''
said OAR Director 
Julia Blatt. ''We need to work in tandem with municipalities and
government agencies.'' 
''If you don't know about something, it's hard to protect it,'' Blatt
said. ''And while it's 
hard to care about a nutrient, people want to protect rivers and
streams.'' 
(Boston Globe, 11/15/01) 
Weekly updates on the river's health will be posted on websites and
signs. Conservationists 
hope that raising public awareness will lead to better stewardship. They
also hope that by 
cataloging the species in the river, they will better understand what
conditions fish and other 
aquatic life need to thrive. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Cast your vote for rivers! 
Working Assets customers! It's that time again when Working Assets begins

deciding how donated funds will be allocated. Please click here to vote
online 
for American Rivers and other organizations you would most like to
support. 
The deadline is December 31, 2001. 
Click here to vote: 
http://www.workingassets.com/voting 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
4) The wilder, the better? 
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported this week on the hatchery salmon
debate: 
do they help or harm wild fish? Journalist Robert McClure reports that
"For years, 
scientists have compiled evidence suggesting that the presence of
hatchery-bred 
fish can be harmful to wild fish and that hatchery-bred fish are less
able to survive 
in the long run than wild ones." 
But some say hatcheries can be "tweaked" to help struggling wild runs,
rather than hurt them. 
"We're spending millions of dollars to produce hatchery fish, and when
they come back, 
we're killing half to three-quarters of them," said Andre Talbot, a fish
scientist with the 
Columbia River Inter Tribal Fish Commission. "It's stupid. These are
valuable animals." 
But Bill Bakke of the Native Fish Society says, "Where we've closed down
hatcheries in 
the past, at least in some cases, the fish population has actually
increased. It's this 
mythology that the hatchery is the source of our fish that is the
problem." 
As reports the Times, U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan ruled Sept. 10
that salmon 
raised in an Oregon hatchery deserve the same legal protection as wild
salmon. The 
judge said federal officials improperly refused to protect hatchery-bred
fish under the 
Endangered Species Act. Last week, National Marine Fisheries Service
officials 
announced that the government would not appeal Judge Hogan's ruling.
Instead, NMFS 
will spend one year re-examining hatchery fish. 
"If hatchery fish can have the (act's) protection, it's as if we'd settle
for lions in zoos 
and say it's the same as lions in the Serengeti," said Patti Goldman, a
Seattle lawyer 
trying to appeal Hogan's ruling on behalf of environmentalists. 
Don Sampson, director of the tribal fish commission, says, "We ought to
figure out 
as a scientific community in the Northwest how best to make these fish as
natural as 
possible and integrate them with the wild populations," Sampson said.
"Hatcheries ought 
to be used for a period of time. If that is 25 to 50 years so that wild
populations can 
sustain themselves and survive, then we ought to plan to use hatcheries
to get us through 
this bottleneck of mortality." (Seattle Post Intelligencer, 11/12/01) 


5) Groups protest Animas-La Plata water project 
Several Utah environmental groups are attempting to derail construction
of a controversial 
dam near Durango, Colorado. 
According to David Orr with the organization Living Rivers, the Animas-La
Plata project is 
one of the most contentious water development schemes in U.S. history.
"Our campaign 
is designed to point out the deficiencies in the planning process for the
project and to 
organize opposition against it," Orr said in a Salt Lake Tribune article.

According to the Tribune (11/9/01), the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation wants
to divert 
265,000 acre feet of water from Southwest Colorado's Animas River. The
water would 
be pumped more than 500 feet uphill to a reservoir formed by the damming
of Ridges 
Basin, a state wildlife area and elk refuge. The Animas-La Plata project
was first 
proposed in the 1930s and was authorized by Congress in 1968. 
Thomas Morris Jr., president of the Diné Medicine Men's Association, said
his group 
opposes the project. Morris said that the San Juan River's Navajo Dam and
the Colorado 
River's Glen Canyon Dam have inundated many prehistoric and historic
American Indian 
sites. "We must protect the resting places of our ancestors," said
Morris.

Read more about the Animas River and the water project: 
http://www.amrivers.org/mostendangered/animas2001.htm 



6) Watershed representatives to gather for Mid-Atlantic Regional
Watershed Roundtable 
Regional watershed roundtables are convening across the nation. And in
early December, 
The Heritage Conservancy will convene the Mid-Atlantic Regional Watershed
Roundtable 
in Doylestown, Pa. 
The event is co-sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection
Agency, 
the Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service, and
the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The environmental protection and
natural 
resource agencies of all Mid-Atlantic Region states are also co-sponsors.

Watershed roundtables bring together a wide variety of stakeholders
(grassroots river/watershed 
leaders, representatives of state and federal agencies, municipal
government officials, tribal 
governments, planners, and representatives of the business community)
with the goal of 
collaborating on community-based watershed protection and restoration
efforts. 
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Roundtable includes the states of New York, New
Jersey, 
Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and the
District of Colombia. 
Speakers and activities will focus on: 
* best practices and lessons learned for watershed associations and local
planning efforts 
* improving the links between and across agency, governmental, and
watershed boundaries 
* reports about the health of the region and watersheds within each state

For registration information, contact Russ Johnson, Director of the
Delaware River 
Watershed Initiative, Heritage Conservancy, at 215-345-7020 x 107, 
rjohnson at heritageconservancy_org 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
River events calendar 
November 30: Building Your Membership for Fundraisng & Support (Columbia,
SC) 
December 5: Tax Strategies in Land Conservation Transactions (Salisbury,
NC) 
Both of these events are sponsored by The Land Trust Alliance Southeast
Program. 
For more information contact Emily Farwig, 202-638-4725, efarwig at lta_org.

For these events and more, visit the River Events Calendar: 
www.amrivers.org/calendar/default.htm 
This calendar is a joint project of American Rivers and River Network. 
Email asouers at amrivers_org to get your river event posted. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
The rivers of Lewis and Clark 
What was it like for Lewis and Clark as they journeyed across the west 
nearly 200 years ago? These two journal entries by William Clark describe

the wet weather as the expedition descended the Columbia River and neared

the ocean in November 1805. 
(Thanks to Pat Ford, executive director of the Save Our Wild Salmon
Coalition 
for providing these journal quotes.) 
November 15th, 1805 
"Rained all the last night at intervales of Sometimes of 2 hours, This
morning it 
became Calm & fair, I prepared to Set out at which time the wind sprung
up from 
the S.E. and blew down the River & in a few minits raised Such Swells and
waves 
brakeing on the Rocks at the point as to render it unsafe to proceed.  I
went to the 
point in any empty canoe and found it would be dangerous to proceed even
in an 
empty Canoe    The Sun Shown untill 1 oClock p.m. which gave an
opportunity for 
us to dry Some of our bedding, & examine our baggage, the greater Part of
which 
I found wet    Some of our Pounded fish Spoiled   I had all the arms put
in order and 
ammunition examined. 
The rainey weather Continued without a longer intermition than 2 hours at
a time from 
the 5th in the morng. untill the 16th is eleven days rain, and the most
disagreeable time 
I have experienced    Confined on a tempiest Coast wet, where I can
neither get out to hunt, 
return to a better Situation, or proceed on:   in this Situation have we
been for Six days past." 
November 16th Saturday 1805 
"Cool the latter part of the last night this morning Clear and
butifull...  I Sent out Several 
hunters and fowlers in pursute Elk, Deer, or fowls of any kind. wind hard
from the SW   
The Waves high and look dismal indeed breaking with great fury on our
beech     
an Indian canoe pass down to day loaded with Wap-pa-toe roots...The
evening proved 
Cloudy and I could take any Luner observations---   One man Sick with a
violent cold, 
Caught by laying in his wet leather Clothes for maney nights past." 
**Learn more about the rivers of Lewis and Clark** 
Missouri River: www.savethemissouri.org 
Columbia River: www.amrivers.org/columbiariver/default.htm 
Snake River: www.amrivers.org/snakeriver/default.htm 
Yellowstone River: www.amrivers.org/yellowstoneriver/brochure.htm 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
California's Metropolitan Water District 
In last week's issue of RiverCurrents, we reported on the California 
Metropolitan Water District's program to remove dams from Northern 
California creeks and rivers. 
(Read the story here: www.amrivers.org/feature/mwd.htm) 
Some RiverCurrents readers requested contact information for the 
Water District so they could express their appreciation and encourage 
the District to invest even more in restoration and conservation. 
You can find the contact information here: 
www.mwdh2o.com/mwdh2o/pages/contact/contact01.html 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
About RiverCurrents 
RiverCurrents is a weekly summary of river news and information as
reported 
by media outlets across the country. The inclusion of a story or point of
view 
in RiverCurrents does not necessarily indicate endorsement by American
Rivers. 
If you have clarifications or corrections about a story in RiverCurrents,
please 
send them to asouers at amrivers_org. 
To unsubscribe to RiverCurrents, please email asouers at amrivers_org 
with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line. 


About American Rivers 
Headquartered in Washington, DC with field offices around the country,
American Rivers 
is a national non-profit conservation organization dedicated to
protecting and restoring 
rivers and to fostering a river stewardship ethic. 
If you'd like to support our conservation efforts, please consider
becoming 
a member of American Rivers. 
Visit www.americanrivers.org/joindonate/default.htm or call
1-800-296-6900 x3009 
to find out how. An American Rivers membership also makes a nice gift. 
Additional information is available at our website,
www.americanrivers.org. 

--- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
multipart/alternative
  text/html
---