May 27, 2017

President Proposes $1.3 Billion FY 2018 Budget for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Press Release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

Budget Makes Commitments to Public Lands, Energy and Public Access

May 23, 2017

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump today proposed a $1.3 billion Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Service’s budget also includes $1.5 billion in permanent funding, which is mostly administered to states through various grants and other initiatives for their wildlife and sportfish conservation programs. The bureau budget helps put the federal government on track to a balanced budget by 2027.

“President Trump promised the American people he would cut wasteful spending and make the government work for the taxpayer again, and that’s exactly what this budget does,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Working carefully with the President, we identified areas where we could reduce spending and also areas for investment, such as addressing the maintenance backlog in our National Parks and increasing domestic energy production on federal lands. The budget also allows the Department to return to the traditional principles of multiple-use management to include both responsible natural resource development and conservation of special places. Being from the West, I’ve seen how years of bloated bureaucracy and D.C.-centric policies hurt our rural communities. The President’s budget saves taxpayers by focusing program spending, shrinking bureaucracy, and empowering the front lines.”

The President’s budget focuses funding on the nation’s highest priority conservation needs, access to public lands for all Americans, and the agency’s role in streamlining energy development, while containing costs through management efficiencies and other savings to address federal fiscal realities.

“Improving access to national wildlife refuges supports the great American traditions of hunting and fishing that together generate billions of dollars for conservation and billions more for our nation’s economy,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Virginia Johnson. “Accordingly, this budget request prioritizes deferred maintenance funding for national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries, active habitat management across millions of acres of public lands, and core wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities.”

“Timely environmental review of energy development and other infrastructure needs will create jobs and help the U.S. achieve energy independence,” said Johnson. “This budget also supports our law enforcement officers who support cooperative efforts to secure our borders.”

The FY18 budget includes the President’s continued focus on the following priorities:

America’s Public Lands:

Through the National Wildlife Refuge System, the Service continues the American tradition, started by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903, of protecting fish and wildlife and their habitats and providing opportunities for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation to all Americans. The proposed FY18 funding level for the Refuge System is $470.1 million. The proposed budget maintains a commitment to providing outdoor recreational opportunities in rural, urban or suburban landscapes, including through the Service’s Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships program, as well as supporting the vital role of volunteers on our refuges.

American Infrastructure:

Included in the request for National Wildlife Refuges is $136.2 million for improving the Service’s maintenance backlog and to take care of the American public’s investments in facilities and infrastructure managed by the Service. Of this, $41.0 million is to address the backlog in deferred maintenance. This would sustain the Service’s current commitment to eliminate its maintenance backlog in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

In addition, $19.4 million is requested for maintenance of national fish hatcheries, which stock sport and subsistence fish for states and tribes and also propagate and release endangered aquatic species to aid in their recovery. . A further $51.9 million in funding is proposed for national fish hatchery operations.

Invasive species cost our economy billions of dollars each year. To continue its commitment to address this important issue, the Administration proposes level funding for programs that focus on preventing the spread of Asian carp, quagga and zebra mussels, and sea lamprey.

A total of $225.2 million is proposed to implement the Endangered Species Act and related programs, of which $79.6 million is dedicated for species recovery efforts. Recovery funding includes an increase of $1.8 million for working on five-year species reviews and delistings and downlistings.

Birds are important to Americans in many ways. Birdwatching generates $43 billion in economic activity yearly; hunting of migratory waterfowl is a traditional recreational pastime that generates billions more. A total of $44.0 million is requested for the Service’s Migratory Bird program, which provides waterfowl hunting opportunities and encourages conservation of birds and their habitats.

The budget eliminates funding for Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and the Service’s science program, as well as funding for youth programs and the Cooperative Recovery Initiative.

American Safety and Security:

Refuge law enforcement efforts are funded at $37.9 million to enhance visitor and employee safety on our public lands and honor the President’s commitment to improving border security.

Additionally, the Office of Law Enforcement is funded at $73.0 million. The recent escalation in poaching of protected species and the illegal trade in wildlife poses an urgent threat to conservation and global security. Wildlife trafficking generates billions of dollars in illicit revenues each year, contributing to the illegal economy, fueling instability in range nations, and undermining regional security in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Poaching operations themselves have expanded beyond small-scale, opportunistic actions to become a coordinated, large-scale activity often commissioned by armed and organized criminal syndicates that also traffic drugs, arms and people, and that see wildlife trafficking as a low-risk, high-reward alternative. Our continued investment in combatting wildlife trafficking is important to addressing organized crime and saving hundreds of iconic species such as the African elephant and rhino from extinction.  The Service’s International Affairs program is funded at $14.2 million, nearly level with FY17 Continuing Resolution Baseline. The program provides grants and technical assistance for the international conservation of endangered and threatened species.

America First Energy:

The budget includes $98.8 million to facilitate planning and consultation that will support energy development, economic recovery and job creation in the United States. Timely evaluations of proposed infrastructure, energy and other development projects contribute to job creation and economic growth. Funding will allow the Service to expedite project reviews and work with developers on appropriate mitigation and avoidance measures.

The President’s budget also contains proposals to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling; to enable the National Wildlife Refuge System to recover damages from persons who injure or destroy federal resources; and to permanently authorize the Recreation Fee Program.

The President’s FY18 budget proposal for the Department of the Interior supports his commitment to create jobs, provide outdoor recreation through hunting and fishing, facilitate energy development, and support law enforcement needs. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Congressional Justification can be found online: www.fws.gov/budget/2018/FY2018-FWS-Greenbook.pdf.

The Department of the Interior oversees one-fifth of the nation’s land and the entire Outer-Continental Shelf. The Department is charged with overseeing energy development on federal lands and waters, grazing allotments and timber sales, water conservation and delivery, upholding tribal trust responsibilities, conservation of wildlife and habitat, and maintaining access for recreation throughout public lands, among other priorities.

~~~~~~~

Ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, made the following comment about Trump’s budget proposal:

“Once again, the Trump Administration has turned its back on Teddy Roosevelt-style conservatism and is instead trying to allow special interests to pillage our natural resources so a wealthy few can make themselves even wealthier. We won’t let him.”

Share

Red Wolf Criminal Enterprise Appears to Remain Unchanged

Man-government is a nonsustaining, useless and corrupt entity that destroys whatever it lays its hands to. Government epitomizes insanity – rinse and repeat. Our insanity comes from thinking we can change it.

But, perhaps it’s partly the blame of a dysfunctional Trump Administration that seems to screw up whatever it lays its hands to, along with the fact that within its dysfunction, Trump’s appointment of Ryan Zinke as head of the Interior Department, can’t seem to get off his lazy backside and announce his pick to head up the Fish and Wildlife Service. After all, it’s been over 4 months and counting. Is it at all possible a real leader at the USFWS wouldn’t even be making such ridiculous proposals at an absurd time like this? Don’t hold your breath.

One thing has become clear to those willing to take off their fake blinders and examine truth, is that Trump cannot and will not keep any of his campaign promises (lies) – but he is no different in that regard than any crooked politician who came before him – that the ALL are crooked. It is a requirement of the position. It has not yet become obvious to his supporters that his works to this point in time are all blather. He talks a big talk and achieves nothing. People don’t even read his Executive Orders and if they do, they can’t understand them. If he’s so mighty, what has changed? I’m thinking nothing has changed and nothing will change, although there was some hope, which is now rapidly waning, soon to be replaced by business as usual and how do we get through 4 or 8 years of thugs and gangsters? Rinse and repeat.

Evidently it is business as usual at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) where babysitters are sucking on their pacifiers and carrying out the corrupt work that preceded them. Talk the talk but then blow it off. An example of such is what to do about the fake Red Wolves?

The USFWS is proposing making some changes to the “10j” rule of the Endangered Species Act in order to do something to change the management strategy of trying to grow a fake red wolf and perpetuate it.

The proposal – or more accurately a request for comments in order to draw up a draft proposal – can be found at this link. Below I have included the portion of the request that contains the USFWS’s options and what they are leaning toward implementing.

In their background information, of course it is fraught with lies. As an example it reads that the USFWS made sure that any “red wolves” that drifted off government land was removed. We know that never happened and as a matter of fact there’s pretty good evidence the criminals at the USFWS knowingly released and/or relocated “red wolves” on private land, which was an illegal act. However, anyone should understand by now that the U.S. Government places themselves above the laws we citizen slaves are expected to follow.

In the proposal it appears the USFWS wants to grow more fake mongrel “red wolves” in “zoos and private” wolf sanctuaries to keep beefing up the population and creating “genetic diversity” among existing fake red wolves. The liars at the USFWS say their management plans will protect further “hybridization” of red wolves and coyotes. They can never do this with the plans they are formulating, and it doesn’t much matter because what they are perpetuating is nothing but semi wild mongrel dogs. Is it that government is that stupid or do they think all of us are stupid enough to think we will never know the difference? I put my money on the latter.

But what’s difficult to understand, but not from a criminal’s mindset, is how the USFWS can, with a straight face, even be considering any proposal for a change of management of red wolves when the U.S. Attorney General’s Office has documentation that proves that the USFWS knew the “red wolves” they were growing and fostering weren’t even red wolves at all? Last I knew, the Attorney General’s office was demanding some answers. (I can’t help but laugh.) This sounds like a corrupt attempt at enhancing the corrupt red wolf program as much as possible before any decisions are made, or that the USFWS, like all government agencies, don’t give a rats ass about laws, rule of law or what, if anything, the U.S. Attorney General’s office will or won’t do. It’s one big fraternity that’s part of the giant rigged system. It will NEVER change.

In addition to all of this, new studies and science – difficult to know if any of it is real – suggest that there never existed any such “subspecies” of red wolf in the first place.

BUT DON’T GO LOOK!

For more information on the evidence to suggest the USFWS knew their red wolves were fake and the non existence of red wolves, use this link and this link. For lots of links to information about the history of red wolves in North Carolina, follow this link.

Proposed Action and Possible Alternatives

In 2013, acknowledging growing concerns from private landowners regarding management of the NEP, the Service and North Carolina Resources Commission entered into a broad canid management agreement, recognizing steps were needed to improve management of the population. Subsequently, the Service contracted an independent evaluation of the NEP project in 2014 and of the entire red wolf recovery program in 2015. From these evaluations, it became clear that the current direction and management of the NEP project is unacceptable to the Service and all stakeholders.

As a result of the findings from the evaluations, the Service is considering a potential revision of the 1995 NEP final rule. Risks of continued hybridization, human-related mortality, continued loss of habitat due to sea level rise, and continued population decline are high and have led to poor prospects for the NEP. Further, the most recent PVA indicates that the viability of the captive population is below and declining from the original recovery plan diversity threshold of 90 percent and could be enhanced by breeding captive wolves with wolves from the NEP project area. Therefore, the Service is considering whether the NEP should be managed with the captive population as one meta-population, whereby individuals could be moved not only from captivity into the wild but also from the wild into captivity. Incorporating the NEP into a meta-population with the captive population will increase the size of the population and introduce the natural selection occurring in the NEP back into the captive population. Therefore, the Service is proposing to change the goal of the current NEP project from solely that of establishing a self- sustaining wild population to a goal of also supporting viability of the captive wolves of the red wolf breeding program (proposed action). Maintaining a wild population fully integrated with the captive wolves also will: (1) Allow for animals removed from the wild to support the necessary expansion of current and future wild reintroduced populations and to improve the genetic health of the captive-breeding program; (2) preserve red wolf natural instincts and behavior in the captive population gene pool; and (3) provide a population for continued research on wild behavior and management.

The proposed revision would recognize that the size, scope, and management of the NEP will be focused on maintaining a wild population on Federal lands within Dare County, North Carolina and on protecting the species by increasing the number and genetic diversity of wolves in captivity. These revisions will allow removal of isolated packs of animals from non-Federal lands at the landowners’ request, incorporation of these animals into the wild/captive metapopulation, and better management of the remaining wild animals in accessible areas to minimize risks of hybridization. Management of wolves occupying Federal lands in Dare County will include population monitoring, animal husbandry, and control of coyotes and hybrids.

The proposed revision would authorize the movement of animals between the captive and wild populations in order to increase the number of wolves in the captive-breeding program and maintain genetic diversity for both captive and wild wolves. This means the captive wolves and the NEP will be managed as one single meta-population.

The draft environmental review under NEPA will consider consequences of a range of reasonable alternatives to the proposed action. We have identified several management alternatives for the NEP:

(1) Maintain the NEP project in its current state. In other words, we would make no revisions to the current 10(j) rule.

(2) Publish a rule eliminating the NEP project. Under this alternative, the red wolves found in the wild would retain their status as a federally listed “endangered” species under the Act.

(3) Revise the existing NEP. We may consider revisions to the current 10(j) rule that vary from the proposed action.

Share

Trump’s Dysfunction Carrying Into USFWS

As has been shown since Donald Trump became President of the United States, much of what he attempts to do proves either a lot of blather or useless drivel, and about all of it embroiled in controversy and corruption. Blame the Media if you choose, but Trump ain’t the first president to have to deal with a Media, of which he or any other president has the authority to control. In other words, Trump’s Administration is no different than many that have come before him.

In another way the President and his administration are showing their ineptitude, is the carrying out of such elementary, and yes, probably mundane, task of getting the newly appointed Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, to name a director of the Fish and Wildlife Service. What’s the big hold up? Excuses are like – you know what – and they all stink.

I was told that a director had already been picked but that the department was waiting for the “right” time to make the announcement. WTF? What kind of Nazi approach is this? What’s the right time? Is it that Zinke is that dysfunctional himself that he can’t name a director? Or, is the holdup in order that certain political and criminal activities can be undertaken while nobody is looking?

Regardless of the reasons the Department of Interior hasn’t appointed a director, the fact that it has been nearly 4 months since there has been new Trump Administration leadership at the Fish and Wildlife Service, like much of what Trump has done so far, it’s just another reflection of how he and his administration are not up to the task.

I remember when George W. Bush told the public about his job: “It’s hard!” And now he is followed by another, whom everyone thought walked on water, who seems to now think his new job as President of the United States is “hard.”

Well no shit Sherlock!

Share

Off to a bumbling start at Interior

*Editor’s Comment* – Or maybe he didn’t do anything about it because he was told to not do anything about it. Things are never as we may think they are. BUT DON’T GO LOOK!

“Was it because there were too few senior Trump Administration officials in place to catch and stop it? Or because Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was new on the job, and had so much on his plate, that this decision just slipped right past him?

Maybe it was because the new Administration faces so many battles with environmental activists already that it didn’t want another one?  Or perhaps Interior was intimidated by environmentalist lawsuits challenging President Trump’s 60-day delay of newly issued Obama Administration regulations?”<<<Read More>>>

Share

Bishop Statement on Zinke Appointment of Kate MacGregor to Interior Post

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 6, 2017

Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the appointment of Katharine MacGregor, former senior professional staff on the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the Department of the Interior. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement:

Secretary Zinke made a fantastic decision with this appointment. Kate has been a force on these issues and an invaluable resource to our Committee and Capitol Hill for many years. She brings a wealth of knowledge and energy to this important leadership post and will be a tremendous asset to the Department at a critical time. I wish her the very best and congratulate her on this appointment.”

During her time with the Natural Resources Committee, MacGregor’s portfolio included offshore leasing as well as oil and gas issues. In her new role at the Department, she will advise the Secretary and Assistant Secretary on energy development and public land use.

Share

Why Does the USFWS Not Have a Director Yet?

What is all the dithering about? The inept and corrupt Congress took forever to approve Ryan Zinke to head up the Department of the Interior. It has now been since January 20, 2017 that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been without a director. Some of us would like to know why it is taking so long to make that decision and get the USFWS back to work.

Dragging this out is unacceptable. Time to start making some noise about this.

Mailing Address:
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Phone: (202) 208-3100
Web: Feedback form

Share

Bishop Statement on Confirmation of Ryan Zinke as Interior Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 1, 2017

Today, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Department of the Interior:

“Secretary Zinke is prepared to lead the Department of the Interior in a new and better direction, and I congratulate him on his confirmation. In collaboration with our state, tribal and local partners, I look forward to working with Secretary Zinke in the months ahead.”

USFWS Press Release:

Ryan Zinke Sworn In as 52nd Secretary of the Interior

WASHINGTON – Today, Ryan Zinke (pronounced Zink-EE) was confirmed and sworn in as the 52nd Secretary of the Interior. The Senate voted 68-31 to confirm Zinke the morning of March 1, 2017, and he was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence at a ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building later that evening. Zinke is the first Montanan to serve as a cabinet secretary and also the first U.S. Navy SEAL in the cabinet.

“I am honored and humbled to serve Montana and America as Secretary of the Interior,” Zinke said. “I shall faithfully uphold Teddy Roosevelt’s belief that our treasured public lands are ‘for the benefit and enjoyment of the people’ and will work tirelessly to ensure our public lands are managed and preserved in a way that benefits all Americans for generations to come. This means responsible natural resource development, increased access for recreation and sportsmen, and conservation that makes the land more valuable for our children’s children. Importantly, our sovereign Indian Nations and territories must have the respect and freedom they deserve.”

In nominating Congressman Zinke, President Donald Trump said, “Ryan has built one of the strongest track records on championing regulatory relief, forest management, responsible energy development and public land issues in Congress. As a former Navy SEAL, he has incredible leadership skills and an attitude of doing whatever it takes to win. America is the most beautiful country in the world and he is going to help keep it that way with smart management of our federal lands. At the same time, my administration’s goal is to repeal bad regulations and use our natural resources to create jobs and wealth for the American people, and Ryan will explore every possibility for how we can safely and responsibly do that.”

“Our public lands can once again be economic engines for our nation by creating jobs in energy, recreation, and conservation,” continued Zinke. “By working with President Trump and Congress to reevaluate and fix flawed regulations that are barriers to job creation, we will unleash the economic opportunity within our borders. Creating jobs on public lands can and will be done in an environmentally responsible way during my tenure.”

About Ryan Zinke

As a fifth-generation Montanan who grew up in a logging and rail town near Glacier National Park, Zinke has had a lifelong appreciation for conserving America’s natural beauty while upholding Teddy Roosevelt’s vision of multiple-use on our public lands. He has consistently led the efforts to renew the Land and Water Conservation Fund in Congress, and has also been a firm advocate for our nation’s sportsmen and women to gain access to our public lands.  Zinke also co-authored the 2015 Resilient Federal Forest Act, which initiated new reforms for revitalizing America’s timber areas and preventing wildfires by emphasizing local collaboration on responsible timber harvest projects.

As Secretary of the Interior, Zinke leads an agency with more than 70,000 employees who serve as steward for 20 percent of the nation’s lands, including national parks, monuments and wildlife refuges, as well as other public lands. The department oversees the responsible development of conventional and renewable energy supplies on public lands and waters; is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 Western states; and upholds trust responsibilities to the 567 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.

Ryan Zinke represented the state of Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2014, building an impressive portfolio on Interior issues ranging from federal mineral leases to tribal affairs to public lands conservation.  Zinke is widely praised for his voting record that supports the Teddy Roosevelt philosophy of managing public lands, which calls for multiple-use to include economic, recreation and conservation aspects.

Before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Zinke served in the Montana State Senate from 2009 to 2011, but the bulk of Zinke’s public service was his 23 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL officer.

Zinke enlisted in the Navy in 1985 and was soon selected to join the elite force where he would build an honorable career until his retirement in 2008.He retired with the rank of Commander after leading SEAL operations around the globe, including as the Deputy and Acting Commander of Joint Special Forces in Iraq and two tours at SEAL Team Six.  Zinke was the first Navy SEAL elected to the U.S. House and is the first SEAL to serve as a cabinet secretary

Zinke holds a Geology degree from the University of Oregon, where he was an All-PAC 10 football player; a Master’s degree in Business Finance from National University; and a Master’s degree in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego.  Ryan and his wife Lolita (Lola) have three children and two granddaughters. Zinke is proud to be an adopted member of the Assiniboine Sioux Tribe at the Fort Peck Reservation in Northeast Montana.

Share

Secretary Jewell Lays Out Strategy to Address Impacts of Drought and Climate Change in California

*Editor’s Note* – Will the new Interior Secretary continue this nonsense?

Secretarial Order calls for actions by Interior and its bureaus to secure water supplies while providing environmental protection

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today issued a Secretarial Order directing the Department of the Interior and its bureaus to take timely actions to help address the effects of drought and climate change on California’s water supply and imperiled wildlife.

“Long-term drought, fueled by climate change, has adversely affected the state’s water supplies, exacerbated effects of water operations on imperiled species, impacted water quality, and added to the stressors affecting the health of California’s unique ecosystems, particularly the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Bay-Delta),” the order states.

“This Secretarial Order is a practical and broad-based strategy to help protect California’s water lifeline for present and future generations,” said Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor. “This order will ensure the integration of the Department’s actions with those of the State of California to provide a reliable drinking water supply for the public, sustain California’s agriculture, and continue to protect the Bay Delta ecosystem and enhance the conservation of species.”

“Today’s action tracks closely with the state’s multi-pronged Water Action Plan and commits the federal government to a timely review of the California WaterFix project,” said California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. “This state-federal partnership is what’s needed to improve water reliability for residents and farmers and protect vulnerable ecosystems.”

Developed in consultation with the state agencies and other federal agencies, the order specifies steps by Interior and its agencies to achieve “the State’s co-equal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the environmental quality of the Bay-Delta.”

The Secretarial Order issued today provides direction for the Department, and particularly Reclamation and FWS, with scientific support and technical advice from the USGS, to complete the technical, scientific, and analytical work necessary to make permitting, regulatory, and other decisions associated with various water initiatives. It calls for six actions:

1. California WaterFix Environmental Review. The order directs Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to allocate available resources, as necessary, to complete in a timely manner the Biological Opinions under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and a Record of Decision on the environmental documents for California WaterFix. California released a final environmental impact statement and a final environmental impact review on December 30, clearing the way for a final decision on WaterFix, which is the State’s plan to upgrade infrastructure in the estuary where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers meet before flowing to San Francisco Bay. This will secure water supplies for 25 million people. Interior’s Reclamation was the lead federal agency on the environmental impact statement issued under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Today’s Secretarial Order directs FWS to take all necessary actions to issue an initial Draft Biological Opinion in January 2017 and a final Draft Biological Opinion by March 2017 after incorporating the results of independent scientific peer reviews. A final Biological Opinion is to be issued by April 2017. It specifies that the Department, working with the State and others, will promptly review and consider any information received after publication of the Final EIR/EIS and issuance of the Biological Opinions, and will then be prepared to sign a Record of Decision. This decision will be made by the next Secretary.

2. Collaborative Delta Science Engagement Process. The order directs Reclamation, FWS, and USGS to work collaboratively with the state and other federal agencies to use the Adaptive Management Framework developed as part of California WaterFix to help guide scientific studies and monitoring, assist with Central Valley Project and State Water Project operations, and achieve the co-equal goals for the Bay Delta. New science proposals will be subject to review under various existing science review processes. Implementation of the framework will include an annual review process that develops innovative approaches to the refinement of monitoring and restoration activities that measure species’ populations. Annual review results will be made available to the public.

3. Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy. This strategy addresses both the risk to the critically endangered Delta smelt—formerly one of the most abundant fish in the Delta— and the risk to water supplies. The order directs Reclamation and FWS to closely coordinate with state and federal agencies and others in implementing all facets of the Strategy. During the next several years, Reclamation will acquire or otherwise make available up to 250,000 acre-feet/year of outflow above current state water quality permit requirements. This additional outflow may include using water transfers, changes in exports from the Bay-Delta, releases from upstream storage, or other measures. Each year FWS must provide to Reclamation and the state a detailed description of specific physical and biological objectives and species needs for Delta Smelt during the spring and summer based on the best available science.

4. Re-initiation of Consultation under the Endangered Species Act on Coordinated Long-Term Operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. The Secretarial order directs Reclamation and FWS to work with other state and federal agencies to carry out the work necessary to complete the recently re-initiated consultation on long term operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project.

5. Active Engagement in Development of Voluntary Agreements for Flow Requirements and Coordination on Flows with ESA Requirements. Reclamation and FWS will work with other agencies to provide information to the State Water Resources Control Board as part of its Bay-Delta Plan initiative. This will include coordination with the California Natural Resources Agency in at least the following areas: 1) engagement with key stakeholders to develop voluntary agreements to increase flows and integrate flow and non-flow measures; 2) providing information necessary to establish water quality standards to meet fish, wildlife, and ecosystem goals; and 3) ensuring that requirements developed through the Bay-Delta Plan process are considered in assessing requirements and compliance under the Biological Opinions related to the Central Valley Project and State Water Project.

6. Winter-run Chinook “Species in the Spotlight” Action Plan. The order underscores that implementation of the “Species in the Spotlight” Action Plan is an essential element of reducing both near-term and long-term risks to Winter-run Chinook salmon. This plan was developed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in 2016 as a high priority action plan that would guide allocation of NMFS resources, as well as attract funding from partner agencies and stakeholders. Reclamation and FWS will work with NMFS to incorporate spotlight actions into priorities developed under the Adaptive Management Framework.

Share

The Flam-Flam of Designating Critical Habitat?

If the Department of Interior(DOI)/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service(USFWS) is given complete discretion over designating critical habitat for Threatened or Endangered Species, who will this act benefit?

We see below the summary of what has been published in the Federal Register, by the USFWS, where they change their mind about designating critical habitat for the northern long-eared bat. The species is of no importance to this discussion. The timing can only leave suspecting and distrusting people, like myself, to wonder if the timing of this, is critical. It comes at a time when Congress is considering giving free rein to the USFWS to designate habitat as they will. Isn’t this “change of heart” nothing more than a dog and pony show aimed at angering the environmentalists so they will lobby Congress to not give the freedom to the USFWS? Maybe not.

We know there is lots of money to be made, by Environmentalism and Government working together, conducting business as usual right now. Does the USFWS, who I’ve always said are puppets of the environmentalists, not want that responsibility and instead continue on as they are now?

Or, perhaps, the USFWS is practicing up; that they and Environmentalism, have determined that a vote in Congress to grant that habitat designation power to the DOI, stands to make even more money AND gives more power and control over the people. After all, with fascist rule to grant critical habitat designation by magically creating the “science” to do so, think of the control that will be foisted onto an unsuspecting population to rob them of property rights. And think of the useful idiots who will end up victims of their own ignorance.

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have reconsidered whether designating critical habitat for the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) is prudent. We have determined that such a designation is not prudent. We listed the northern long- eared bat as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), on April 2, 2015. At the time the species was listed, we determined that designation of critical habitat was prudent, but not determinable. Since that time, information has come available that demonstrates that designating the wintering habitat as critical habitat for the bat would likely increase the threat from vandalism and disturbance, and could, potentially, increase the spread of white-nose syndrome. In addition, designating the summer habitat as critical habitat would not be beneficial to the species, because there are no areas within the summer habitat that meet the definition of critical habitat. Thus, we have determined that the designation of critical habitat is not prudent for the northern long-eared bat.<<<Read More>>>

Share

Bald and Golden Eagles Victorious: Court Invalidates 30-Year “Eagle Take” Rule 

(Washington, D.C., August 12, 2015) The U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, in San Jose has ruled that the Department of the Interior violated federal laws when it created a final regulation allowing wind energy and other companies to obtain 30-year permits to kill protected Bald and Golden Eagles without prosecution by the federal government. … Read More>>

Source: Bald and Golden Eagles Victorious: Court Invalidates 30-Year “Eagle Take” Rule | American Bird Conservancy

WindmillBlood

Share