[chapter-communicator] Newswire; Tuesday, December 23

  • From: "Lynn Tennefoss" <ltennefoss@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ltennefoss@xxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 00:23:35 -0500

Audubon Newswire
Volume 1, Number 10
December 23, 2003

In this issue:
-- Administration Reverses Position on Removing Protection for
'Isolated Wetlands'
-- Pennsylvania Audubon Co-sponsors Conference on Deer Overabundance
-- San Francisco Chronicle Runs Audubon Piece Celebrating ESA's 30th
Annivesary
-- Madison Audubon Acquires 1,500-acre Parcel for Bird Habitat and
Restoration
-- New York State DEC Proposes Two New Bird Conservation Areas
-- Winter 2003 Chapter Networker Now Available
-- Aullwood's Charity Kreuger Receives Top Honors from ASNC
-- Audubon Receives $2 Million to Fund Study on Impacts of Agriculture
on Birdlife
-- Trumpeter Swans Shot in Texas
-- Audubon Gifts for the Holidays
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Message from Public Policy Team; Administration Reverses Decision to
Withold Protection from 'Isolated' Wetlands is Victory for Audubon
Chapters and Activists

Washington DC, Thursday, December 23, 2003 - The Environmental
Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on
December 16, 2003, that they are dropping plans to issue a rule that
would have removed federal protection for many streams, wetlands,
ponds and other waters that have been protected by the Clean Water Act
for over 30 years.   The rulemaking questioned whether there was any
basis for protecting so-called "isolated" wetlands, and by EPA's own
estimates, it would have removed protection for over 20% of the
nation's waters.

This is a tremendous victory for our advocates, but our work is not
yet done on this issue.  On the same day that the Clean Water Act
Jurisdiction Rulemaking was announced (January 15, 2003), the Bush
Administration issued a policy guidance instructing EPA and Corps
employees to stop asserting federal jurisdiction over isolated
wetlands. The policy guidance was effective immediately, so those
waters and wetlands are still threatened by unregulated pollution,
filling, and destruction.

The rulemaking and policy guidance were in response to the Supreme
Court's January, 2001 5-4 decision in the Solid Waste Agency of
Northern Cook County (SWANCC) case, where the court held that wetlands
they termed as "isolated" were no longer protected under the Clean
Water Act based SOLELY on their use by migratory birds. Both the Bush
Administration's rulemaking and policy guidance went far beyond the
Supreme Court decision by determining that these "isolated" wetlands
and non-navigable intrastate waters were no longer protected under the
CWA, even though the Supreme Court did not make that determination.

Audubon and our partners in the environmental community worked on
group comments opposing the rulemaking, which were submitted to EPA
last spring along with more than 137,000 individual comments. Audubon
was also involved in recent weeks in helping to get 218 House Members
and 25 Senators to sign letters to President Bush opposing the
rulemaking and policy guidance.

Audubon will continue to work with our partners to pressure the Bush
Administration to rescind the policy guidance and protect ALL our
waters under the Clean Water Act.
To read the release, visit <http://www.audubon.org/> and to find out
how you can get involved, go to
<http://www.audubon.org/campaign/Latest_News.html> .
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--------------------------------------
Pennsylvania Takes Up The Challenge Of Deer Overabundance: Coalition
Of Seventy Stakeholeders Hosts Conference January 6; Seeks Solutions &
Partners

Harrisburg, PA, Thursday, December 23, 2003 - More than seventy
Pennsylvania conservation groups, forestry groups, wildlife agencies,
businesses, land trusts, farming associations, water management
agencies, hunting groups and others will join together to conduct a
conference seeking possible solutions to the problem of deer
overpopulation. "The Challenge of Overabundant Deer in Pennsylvania: A
Call for Partnerships" will be held Tuesday, January 6, in Harrisburg,
PA, it was announced by Audubon Pennsylvania, a co-sponsor of the
event. Organizers hope to bring all interested stakeholders to the
open forum.

Threats posed by overabundant deer to Pennsylvania's forests,
wildlife, economy, safety, health, and quality of life are by now well
documented. The situation will only worsen: Pennsylvania's deer
population has skyrocketed 20 percent in only the last five years,
yet, the Commonwealth continues to have no significant urban or
suburban deer management program. Therefore, this coalition with
participants ranging from the Pennsylvania Game Commission to the
Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, invites all those interested
to be part of the solution. The conference will take place at the
Harrisburg/Hershey Marriott on January 6, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more
information, visit
<http://proto.audubon.org/news/press_releases/PA_Deer.html#TopOfPage>
.
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--------------------------------------
San Francisco Chronicle Runs Audubon Op-ed Celebrating ESA's 30th
Annivesary

San Francisco, California, Tuesday December 23, 2003 - Today, the San
Francisco Chronicle printed an opinion piece in support of the
Endangered Species Act in advance of the Act's 30th Anniversary. The
op-ed, penned by Chief Operating Officer Bob Perciasepe, praises the
act and makes the case for its benefits to both the ecology and
economy of the U.S. and the state of California.

Visit the Chronicle to view the piece at
<http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/200
3/12/23/EDGJ33S6TO1.DTL>
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--------------------------------------
Madison Audubon Society Acquires Nearly 1,500-Acres;
Muck Farms to Become Sanctuary and Restoration Project

Madison, Wisconsin, Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - On Thursday, December
18 the people of Wisconsin got an early Christmas Gift.  The Chapter's
Gene Woehler and Mark Martin attended the closing of the sale of the
Muck Farms, Inc. to Madison Audubon. On Wednesday Joanne Herfel, MAS
President, signed the documents for MAS, whose lawyer David Billing,
and his associate Cindy Drager from Solheim, Billing and Grimmer, did
a great job.

MAS acquired title to 1,496 acres for about $738/acre using DNR
stewardship funds.  Earlier, a 30-year Wetland Reserve Easement was
placed on the property and the landowner received $1,330/acre. The
land will be farmed in 2004 and all of the wetlands will be restored
in 2005.  Dennis Zeloski is paying the taxes through 2004 on 1,461
acres. The 1,461 acres will be transferred to DNR. Filling in ditches
and breaking drain tiles will restore wetlands on about 1,300 acres,
and prairie will be restored on about 100 acres of uplands. There are
also 40 acres of existing wetlands, and MAS will retain the remaining
35 acres, part of Hope Lake Bog.

There are many positive benefits to this acquisition including an end
to the use of pesticides at the site, flood control will be enhanced
for the entire area through wetland restoration; and there will be a
great increase in habitat for migrating and breeding birds. DNR
Administrator Steve Miller is excited about the possiblity of whooping
cranes using the area once it is restored.

Many people spent countless hours working on this important project.
Madison Audubon Society can take pride once again for stepping up and
buying the land.  We are grateful to the Wisconsin Department of
Natural Resources for their support through the Stewardship Fund.  For
more information, contact Mark Martin and Sue Foote-Martin at
goosep@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:%20goosep@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> or Madison
Audubon at masoffice@xxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:masoffice@xxxxxxxxxxx> .
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--------------------------------------
New York's DEC Proposes Two New Bird Conservation Areas
Sites Will Protect Critical Bird Habitats, Expand Research, And
Promote Education

Albany, NY, Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Erin M. Crotty today
announced the proposed designation of two new Bird Conservation Areas
(BCAs) that will enhance management activities for critical bird
habitats and expand opportunities for bird watching and outdoor
enjoyment.  The Bird Conservation Areas proposed for designation today
include the Helderberg BCA in Albany County and the South Shore Tidal
Wetlands BCA located in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

"New York State offers bird enthusiasts a variety of opportunities to
explore and appreciate birds in their native habitats, as demonstrated
by these two proposed BCAs," Commissioner Crotty said.  "Governor
Pataki recognizes that Bird Conservation Areas help to maintain the
health of important ecosystems, like the Helderbergs and the South
Shore Tidal Wetlands, that support abundant and diverse wildlife
populations.

"Today, as we officially begin winter in New York, I encourage all
individuals to participate in fun and educational activities such as
the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, to foster an appreciation of the
abundant natural resources surrounding us," Crotty said.

Designation of these BCAs is also intended to promote awareness of
National Audubon Society's annual Christmas Bird Count, which, this
year is being held from December 14, 2003 to January 5, 2004.  David
J. Miller, Executive Director of Audubon New York said, "Winter is a
fabulous time to celebrate birds. The announcement of two new Bird
Conservation Areas (BCAs), the South Shore Tidal Wetlands and the
Helderberg Area, combined with the start of the 104th annual Audubon
Christmas Bird Count this past Saturday, is a great kick off to the
season. The continued growth of the State's BCA program reflects
Governor Pataki's genuine commitment to the environment."

New York State's BCA Program, modeled after Audubon's Important Bird
Area program, was signed into law by Governor Pataki in 1997. The BCA
Program is designed to safeguard and enhance bird populations and
their habitats on selected State-owned lands and waters. The law
authorizes the designation of State-owned lands and waters that are of
particular importance to the conservation of birds.

To date, 25 BCAs have been designated across New York State. The
proposed BCAs are subject to a 30-day public comment period which ends
on January 23, 2004. Comments or questions should be addressed to
Bryan L. Swift, Nongame and Habitat Unit, DEC, 625 Broadway, Albany,
NY 12233-4754, phone 518/402-8896; fax: 518/402-8925; e-mail:
blswift@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:blswift@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>.
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--------------------------------------
Winter 2003 Chapter Networker Now Available

Missoula, Montana, Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - The Winter 2003
Chapter Networker is now available online at
<http://www.audubon.org/local/cn/> .  This issue includes a special
feature on Chapter Educational Products, a call for nominations for
the biennial Callison Award and the Chapter Newsletter Contest, and a
number of new licensed products (including Shade Grown Coffee)
available to Chapters at a discount for resale or promotional use.
Please contact the Chapter Services Office with any questions or for
more details at 800/542-2748 or chapter_services@xxxxxxxxxxx
<mailto:chapter_services@xxxxxxxxxxx>.

Networker Contents:
- Ohio Chapter Sponsors Earth Clubs
- 7th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count
- Request for stories for AUDUBON Magazine
- Announcing Audubon Coffee
- Chapter Offer for Wild Bird Seed
- Chapter Educational Publications and Products
- Audubon Chapter Newsletter Context
- Callison Award Nominations
- New Audubon Label Pin
- Turning Down the Heat Pull-out
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Association Of Nature Center Administrators Awards
Aullwood Executive Director Charity Krueger its Highest Honor

Columbus, OH, December 22, 2003 - The Association of Nature Center
Administrators (ANCA) announced the presentation of its highest award,
the ANCA Professional Leadership Award, to Charity Krueger, executive
director of Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm in Dayton, Ohio.

The ANCA Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have made a major
contribution to the success of a nature center or centers and who have
made important contributions to the profession through professional
organizations and through support and mentoring of other nature center
leaders.

"I have long admired the contributions of Charity Krueger and have
learned much from her because of her willingness to share materials
and program ideas with me and many others throughout the country,"
said Michael Riska, Executive Director of the Delaware Nature Society.
"She is an educator and leader extraordinaire and has contributed much
to the nature center profession on the local and national level."  For
the full story, visit
<http://www.audubon.org/news/press_releases/Krueger_ANCA.html#TopOfPag
e> .
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Audubon Receives $2 Million for Wildlife Study: Funding
Will Go to Research Impacts of Agriculture on Waterbirds

New York, NY December 17, 2003 - National Audubon Society today
announced that more than $2 million was pledged by the Monsanto Fund,
Monsanto Company's philanthropic arm, to support waterbird research on
agricultural lands. The three-year grant is being awarded to identify
and research farming practices that will improve environmental health
and wildlife habitat, by focusing on waterbirds, water quality, and
the health of aquatic ecosystems.

"Birds - especially waterbirds - are environmental barometers," said
National Audubon Vice President and Chief Scientist Frank Gill. "The
Monsanto Fund's generous award will help us to learn how to measure
agricultural impacts on these birds. This important project will show
us how agriculture can produce food and fiber for our society while
improving the quality of our water, wetlands, and wildlife habitats."
For the full story, visit www.audubon.org <http://www.audubon.org>.
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Trumpeter Swans Shot in Texas

Lubbock, Texas, Friday, December 19, 2003 - Last week, a family group
of six rare and protected Trumpeter Swans ended their winter migration
at a playa near Lockney, TX. While resting at the playa, the birds
were shot by someone wielding a shotgun from a nearby road. The family
of large (25-30 lbs each), white birds must have seemed like an easy
target for the vandals. After the shooting, two of the young birds
were dead, two other juveniles were injured, and the adult male was
also injured.

For now, the injured birds are under the care of the South Plains
Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and their prognoses are that they will
never fly in the wild again.  "We have to make this situation as good
as we possibly can for these magnificent birds. What a terrible
'welcome' to Texas" said Carol Lee, the Center's executive director.

The Llano Estacado Audubon Society wishes for people of the South
Plains to know that this area is a prime spot for wintering waterfowl
and to appreciate the birds that chose to call our area home for the
winter. "Every year the South Plains is host to thousands of waterfowl
and, with the Swan Reintroduction Program becoming more successful, we
can only hope to see these impressive birds on a more frequent basis,"
said Anthony Floyd, president of the local Audubon Chapter.

A criminal investigation is ongoing and being directed by Texas Parks
and Wildlife game warden Mark Collins. A hot line, with possible cash
reward upon arrest and conviction of the people responsible for this
crime, has been set up through Texas Parks and Wildlife's "Operation
Game Thief" program. Callers can remain anonymous. The Hotline is:
1-800-792-GAME. For more information, contact Carol Lee at the South
Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, 806/745-8120, spwrc@xxxxxxx
<mailto:spwrc@xxxxxxx>, <http://www.spwrc.org/> or Anthony Floyd at
the Llano Estacado Audubon Society, 806/743-2509, terrverts@xxxxxxxxx
<mailto:terrverts@xxxxxxxxx>, www.leas.bizland.com
<http://www.leas.bizland.com>.
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Bring Audubon Home For The Holidays!
Audubon Offers Great Holiday Gift Ideas

New York, NY, Thursday, December 11, 2003 -- The National Audubon
Society proudly offers several great Audubon-licensed products to suit
everyone on your gift list. All these products can be viewed and
purchased (via links to the manufacturers) on the Audubon website
"Marketplace" page at http://www.audubon.org/market/licensed/.

Audubon binoculars and monoculars, Audubon plush birds by Wild
Republic, Audubon shade-grown organic coffee, John James Audubon's
Historic Birds of America Baby Elephant Folio, and Audubon bird
feeders and birdhouses are just some of the items available.  The sale
of all these licensed products generates important royalties that
support Audubon's mission of protecting birds, wildlife, and habitat.
To view the full story, please visit www.audubon.org
<http://www.audubon.org>.

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