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NFC: Fw: RiverCurrents: November 30, 2001

RiverCurrents: November 30, 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
by media outlets across the country. The inclusion of a story or point of
in RiverCurrents does not necessarily indicate endorsement by American
If you have clarifications or corrections about a story in RiverCurrents,
send them to asouers at amrivers_org. 
In RiverCurrents this week... 
* Update: Most Endangered Rivers 
* Hudson River: ads encourage dredging; biodiversity primer available 
* Salmon: funding for recovery falls short 
* Tennessee: protecting a cave's unique stream 
* Trees clean up toxic pollution in Maryland 
* Study: Southern forests are overlogged 
* Study: Hawaii waters polluted 
* Dam removal: Baraboo River runs free 
Do your holiday shopping this season...and help rivers! 
When you buy your gifts here this holiday season, a percentage of each 
purchase will be donated to river conservation efforts. 
American Rivers has created this web page to make it easy for you to get:

* Fleece and outdoor gear 
* Books on rivers, conservation, travel, and natural history 
* Maps of rivers, mountains, and your favorite landmarks 
* Gear for rafting, kayaking, and canoeing 
* Plus, plenty of gift ideas for kids! 
Get the gifts you want, and support the cause you believe in. 
Gift ideas are updated daily-- check it out today! 
In river news this week: 
1) Most Endangered Rivers: 6 month update 
Six months after releasing its annual list of the nation's Most
Endangered Rivers, 
American Rivers finds that there has been major progress to address the
that placed two of the rivers on the list, and at least some progress on
six others. 
"While American Rivers is certainly pleased with the progress made on
rivers like 
the Missouri, the Hudson, and the Catawba, much work still remains in the
fight to 
protect our nation's most endangered rivers," said American Rivers
Rebecca R. Wodder. 
"We're particularly concerned about opportunistic efforts to use the
September 11 tragedy 
to advance an agenda of damming, drilling and burning now that
California's energy 
crunch has passed." 
The list of rivers is below. For the full update, visit 
1.      Missouri (MT, ND, SD, NE, IA, KS, MO): Some progress 
2.      Canning (AK): Worse off 
3.      Eel (CA): No progress 
4.      Hudson (NY): Some progress 
5.      Powder (WY, MT): Little progress 
6.      Mississippi (MN, WI, IL, IA, KY, TN, AR, MS, LA): No progress 
7.      Big Sandy (KY, WV): Little progress 
8.      Snoqualmie (WA): No progress 
9.      Animas (CA): Worse off 
10.     Lewis River-East Fork (WA): Little progress 
11.     Paine Run (VA): High potential for progress 
12.     Hackensack (NJ, NY): Major progress 
13.       Catawba (NC, SC): Major progress 

2) Ads push Hudson dredging 
Environmental groups launched an advertising blitz this week urging the
government to stick to its initial plans to dredge PCBs from New York's
River. The ads, airing in Washington, New York City, Albany and Trenton,
come as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to issue its final
on the project. 
As reports the Albany Times Union (11-30-01), the ads note that EPA
Christie Whitman has met with General Electric officials to discuss the
$460 million 
dredging project. GE, which legally released 1.3 million pounds of toxic
biphenyls into the river between 1947 and 1977, opposes the project. 
If the dredging plan is approved, the company would have to help finance
the removal 
of PCBs from the river. Environmental advocates fear that the EPA's final
on the dredging plan might include "performance standards.'' With
standards in place, GE 
could get the government to halt dredging midway through the project. 
An excerpt from the ad: "Since Sept. 11, General Electric has held
closed-door meetings 
in Washington with the EPA to discuss Hudson River dredging. Sounds like
GE's been doing 
a lot of schmoozing. Sounds like Christie Whitman has been listening.'' A
voice adds: "And 
now it sounds like General Electric is about to get its way.'' 
The Sierra Club and the Garrison, N.Y.-based Riverkeeper are paying for
the ads. 

3) Biodiversity primer on Hudson offered 
Researchers have compiled a habitat-conscious guide for development along
the Hudson River. 
Hudsonia, Ltd., the research and education organization based at Bard
College has released 
a 500-page Biodiversity Assessment Manual for the Hudson River Estuary
The manual is a sort of "Dummy's Guide'' on how to determine the type of
habitat and what 
animals and plants would live in it for those who make decisions on
(Albany Times Union, 11-20-01). 
The manual, which took seven years to prepare with $130,000 in grants,
covers the 
10 counties along the Hudson River estuary and describes, in detail,
roughly 40 different 
ecologically valuable habitats that should be preserved within those
Plants, animals and ecosystems -- what scientists refer to as biological
resources -- "have 
generally been a great big gap (in terms of development concerns),'' said
Erik Kiviat, executive 
director of Hudsonia Ltd. "We are trying to put biological resources on
par with other concerns 
of planners.'' 
The Times Union reports, "The problem is that many local planning boards
don't have a scientific 
specialist to discern what habitats could be affected by changes in
zoning or by development 
projects, and their regulations often don't cover natural resources." 
"For most local governments, which do not have an ecologist on staff,
this type of manual 
would be very useful,'' said Mark Fitzsimmons, director of the Albany
County Department 
of Natural Resources. 
For more on ecologically sensitive riverfront development, click here: 

4) Funding for salmon recovery falls short 
Representatives of American Rivers and Trout Unlimited this week called
the funding in the 
fiscal year 2002 federal budget for recovering wild Columbia and Snake
river salmon "grossly 
The groups warned that it keeps wild salmon and steelhead on the path to
extinction and 
called for the Administration and Congress to mend broken promises by
doing far better in 
fiscal 2003, for which the president's proposal is due in February. 
Read more: 
Quote of the week: 
"We need lots of years of improved conditions, and we cannot expect
mother nature to 
improve conditions with these dams in place." 
-- Dave Cannamela, former Idaho state fisheries biologist, on the need to
partially remove 
the four lower Snake River dams in order to recover endangered salmon. 
(Idaho Statesman, 11-28-01) 
5) A river flows under it 
As spelunkers know, some rivers flow underground. And in Tennessee,
are criticizing plans for a wastewater treatment plant for the town of
Spencer, saying the 
plant threatens one of the nation's largest and most biologically diverse
cave systems. 
Dry Fork Creek, which runs through the Rumbling Falls Cave, is a small
Environmentalists say the wastewater discharge would essentially
constitute the entire 
flow of the creek during the dry months (Knoxville News-Sentinel,
Mike Hood, president of the National Speleological Society, says the cave
has only 
recently been discovered and only is partially explored. 
"We're really excited about this cave," Hood said. "The NSS is not
against the treatment 
facility. We agree that Spencer needs a sewage plant. What we don't want
to see is 
discharge into the cave system." 
As reports the News-Sentinel, biologist Jerry Lewis said preliminary
explorations have 
found 24 subspecies of cave-dwelling animals, including types of fish,
crawfish and beetles. 
"That puts it among the most biologically diverse in the United States,
and among the top 
20 on the entire planet," Lewis said. "This is an extraordinary cave
system. It's an incredibly 
rich community. It should be protected instead of making it into an
outlet for sewage." 
The Division of Water Pollution Control maintains that water from the
plant will be clean 
enough, and the cave will not be harmed. 
Lewis said he couldn't disagree more. "This would poison it just as
surely as if you put arsenic 
in it," he said. "It would have a devastating impact." 
Here's a simple way to quench your thirst and help rivers... and have a
shot at winning a kayak 
Drink Blue Sky beverages and save the tabs! 
Blue Sky will donate 10 cents to American Rivers for every Blue Sky soda
blue can 
tab received by October 2002. 
Click here to see how you can be a winner: 

6) Trees help clean up pollution 
The government is enlisting pines, poplars, willows and oaks to do battle
with contaminated 
groundwater in Maryland. 
From the 1940s to the 1970s, equipment used in chemical warfare
experiments came to its 
final resting place at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. Here, the equipment
was burned in pits, 
leaving a legacy of toxic contamination. 
Over 400 trees are helping to stem the spread of contaminated
The trees "drink up" the groundwater and break down the pollutants
As reports the Baltimore Sun (11-26-01), after trying-- and failing--
with more conventional 
methods in the 1990s, the EPA and the Army began to consider more
innovative tactics. 
Relying on trees means cleanup might not be complete for 100 years, but
it is far less 
expensive than other cleanup techniques. 
Did you know? 
Researchers say that during the growing season, from about April to
trees drink about 20 gallons a day. (source: Baltimore Sun) 

7) Study says Southern forests are overlogged 
Southern forests are overlogged, according to a study released by the
Dogwood Alliance 
this week. The report says the South is now the leading paper producing
region in the 
country, producing 77 percent of the nation's pulp wood, despite the fact
it contains only 
40 percent of the country's forests. 
"Based on official U.S. Forest Service data, the report documents
accelerated paper 
production, unsustainable logging rates, weak environmental standards and
poor forest 
management practices," said the group. 
As reports Greenwire, the study is specifically critical of timber
industry actions. "According 
to the report, 85 percent of the paper market is controlled by companies
who claim to be 
practicing sustainable forestry under the 'Sustainable Forestry
Initiative' -- a timber industry 
certification program," the Alliance said. 
"Yet removals of pines currently exceed growth throughout the South and
experts predict 
a similar fate for hardwoods within the decade due to their expanded use
in the manufacture 
of paper." 
The Dogwood Alliance is lobbying the Staples company to demand more
recycled paper 
from International Paper, its biggest supplier, similar to a campaign by
the group last year 
that convinced Lowe's to stop buying old-growth timber (Greenwire
Action Alert: Protect Wetlands! 
Don't let the government scrap an important policy that helps protect our
wetlands-- critical havens and nurseries for fish, birds, and wildlife. 
Speak up for wetlands protection! 
8) 111 Hawaii waterways polluted, EPA study finds 
A review of Hawaii's waters shows 111 polluted coastal waters and
streams-- a huge increase 
from a 1998 tally, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report
released this week. 
The new list includes 58 waterways on O'ahu, 15 on Maui, 20 on the Big
Island, two on Moloka'i 
and 16 on Kaua'i, with pollution in streams in urban and agricultural
areas, coastal bays and 
estuaries, and harbors. The polluted waters show evidence of sediments,
nutrients, bacteria 
and trash (Hololulu Advertiser, 11-20-01). 
"I look at this as an exercise in raising public awareness of water
pollution problems," said 
June Harrigan, manager of the environmental planning office for the
Department of Health. 
"We'll be working with people from different areas to reduce pollution
"Hawaii's water pollution problems are usually along shorelines and in
middle-to-lower reaches 
of streams where silt and excess nutrients damage the environment," said
Gary Gill, state 
deputy health director for the environment. "Reduced stream water flow,
alien plants and 
animal species, and concrete channels also harm many of our streams." 
If you live in the west, don't miss this new resource: 
Water in the West: an extensive collection of resources 
on western water basins -- a project of Cascadia Times 

9) Baraboo River officially running free 
[NOTE: the following is an excerpt from a web posting by the
International Rivers Network] 
In October 2001, history was made in Baraboo, Wisconsin. With the clank
of backhoe 
against concrete, the Linen Mill Dam, the final dam on the Baraboo River,
was dismantled, 
restoring the entire Baraboo River, all 115 miles of it, to free-flowing
The Baraboo River is now officially the longest mainstem of a river
returned to a free-flowing 
condition through dam removal in American history. 
The Baraboo River Restoration was a six-year campaign involving a vast
stakeholders including the City of Baraboo, the Wisconsin Department of
Resources, River Alliance of Wisconsin, the US Fish and Wildlife Service,
County Foundation and other agencies and groups who worked tirelessly to
and remove the final four dams on the river. 
"The free-flowing Baraboo River is rapidly healing itself proving what we
have often said 
--if you remove the dams, the fish will come. Selective dam removal is
one of the best 
tools we have for restoring the health of rivers throughout Wisconsin,"
said River Alliance 
of Wisconsin Executive Director Todd Ambs. 
Click here for more information on dam removal: 
E-mail the River Alliance at wisrivers at wisconsinrivers_org 
River Jobs 
Job openings at American Rivers: 
* Director of Outreach 
* Director of Strategic Technology 
Click here for these jobs and more: 

About RiverCurrents 
RiverCurrents is a weekly summary of river news and information as
by media outlets across the country. The inclusion of a story or point of
in RiverCurrents does not necessarily indicate endorsement by American
If you have clarifications or corrections about a story in RiverCurrents,
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
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,

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