December 8, 2019

Protecting Aquatic Life From Effects of Hydrologic Alteration

Are you smart enough to understand what this really means?

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Geological Survey are releasing a draft technical report: Protecting Aquatic Life from Effects of Hydrologic Alteration, for a 60-day public comment period. This report was developed because hydrologic alteration can be a contributor of impairment for water bodies that are designated to support aquatic life. Stresses on aquatic life associated with hydrologic alteration may be further exacerbated through climate change. Recent climate trends have included the change in frequency and duration of extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, which can have an impact on flow and affect aquatic life. The report is a nonprescriptive framework with information to help states, tribes, territories, water resource managers, and other stakeholders responsible for the maintenance of hydrologic flow regime to quantify flow targets for the preservation of aquatic life and habitat. This report also provides information on the relationship between hydrologic condition and water quality and gives examples of what some states and authorized tribes have done to address flow concerns using the Clean Water Act. The framework can also be used to translate narrative criteria and develop flow targets to protect aquatic life and habitat.<<<Read More>>>

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North Woods national park debate centers on distrust of government, jobs

*Editor’s Note* – Those that are familiar with my writings know that I support private land ownership and promote that a landowner should be able to do what they wish with their land. I’ve also said that if Ms. Quimby believes a park, on her land in northern Maine, would be such a grand idea, perhaps she should employ some of her own capitalism genius and open her own private park on her own private land. But, because she proposes a national park, which would involve taxpayer money, along with more co-existence with a fascist government, she leaves her proposal open to public debate and scrutiny.

According to the 2013 Operating Report of Baxter State Park, 117,481 visitors came to the park that year – or about 322 people per day. The headline above, taken from the article linked to below, may be what some are focusing the debate about, but it may be just a distraction. The reality is the talk of jobs and a bolster to the region’s economy is a moot point if nobody is going to come.

According to the National Park Service, 2,563,129 people visited Acadia Park in 2014. Some seriously believe a National Park in the middle of nowhere, that doesn’t come close to comparing with Acardia, with nothing more to see and do than Baxter State Park, will at least share some of those visitors to Acadia, or even come close to the same number of visitors.

Unless Ms. Quimby intends on building a modern theme park, which is nothing the National Park Service has really ventured into, I fail to see why more people would be expected to visit a piece of land adjacent to Baxter State Park when there is Baxter State Park, which is not, by park attraction standards, overrun with visitors.

The article, linked to below, describes for readers what the author thinks the proposed park would look like: a rough road, a “stunning” view of Mt. Katahdin, hiking trails, nearby camping and boat launches. He just described Anywhere, Maine, except the “Anywhere” is in the middle of nowhere.

The author can do no better that to offer up a couple of pictures of the region – a picture of water flowing over rocks (found in a million places in Maine) and a second picture showing the destruction by beavers on the forest.

If you build it, they won’t come. They don’t come to Katahdin and I’ve seen no proposed plans that would make this new park anymore attractive than Baxter.

And there is another aspect few discuss. As was told to me by a friend, a guide he knows from Northern Maine reminded him that, once folks find out that we have black flies, mosquitoes and deer flies they find better uses for their time and money.

The National Park Service cannot properly take care of the nearly 400 parks included in the system. Of the 280,000,000 million visitors to national parks annually, the average becomes around 700,000 visitors per year. I have serious doubts that any new park proposal adjacent to Baxter State Park will come close to that number, thus rendering any national park just another burden on Park System and ultimately the taxpayer.

With all of this in mind, has anybody considered that with all the talk we hear from lawmakers in Washington each year about selling off federal lands, are there ever any guarantees that the Federal Government, i.e. the National Park Service, along with its active participation with the United Nations in finding land globally to lock up and keep people out of, won’t sell this land to the Chinese or do with it something worse, should they discover this park a huge liability?

The ten least visited national parks, ranging in visitors from under 12,000 annually to 175,000 annually, have far more to offer than a view of a mountain, water tumbling over some rocks and trees that beaver have destroyed.

The bottom line is there is NOTHING within this park proposal that even remotely rises to the level of national park consideration.

Let it go. One would think that with the persistence in the effort, there must be some politics behind it and not just some generosity of a philanthropist.

I don’t even think the area would make a good location to raise bees.

A rough loop road includes a stunning view of Mount Katahdin, the state’s highest peak, and hiking trails lead to several nearby summits. Existing camping areas were used this summer by artists, Boy Scouts, summer camps, educational programs and Colby College. Several boat launches provide access to the East Branch of the Penobscot River, which Thoreau rode on a flat-bottomed bateau on his final visit here in 1857.

Soaring eagles, lumbering moose and bounding snowshoe hares are common sights. Other wildlife includes bears, fisher cats and federally protected Canada lynx.

Source: North Woods national park debate centers on distrust of government, jobs | Sun Journal

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Stand By for “Citizen Science” and “Crowdsourcing”

upsidebackwards2

Uh huh! You got that right! So here we have it. The EPA is asking that it be given the authority to take anything, from anybody, and deem it usable science for purposes of administering their fascist agenda. I’m not sure if this proposal is a:

DognPonyShowor maybe it’s just:

SmokenMirrors EPA claims they post ALL comments from concerned citizens, etc. and include them in impact statements etc. They do not. EPA wants you to think they use “science” in making their determinations. They do not. EPA now wants you to think that somehow they are going to read and evaluate your input for quantity and quality and utilize it to further enhance the “scientific process” – also known as the Dog and Pony Show. The smoke and mirrors come later, during the actual processes.

All government agencies only use what fits their narrative. After all, they are fascists working under the fascist government, which is controlled by secret members of the Council on Foreign Relations.

If you think this proposal is actually going to change anything, you are quite wrong. If you think this proposal is now going to have the EPA using opinions and paradigm-shifting, post-normal, faux “science” in rendering decisions, they already do. This proposal is for YOU, the non thinker, who actually believes that the government is looking out for you and you now can become a fascist player and be a part of the group. The proposal says so!

Read this. It’s not long. It’s a big joke AND it’s a waste of taxpayer money to even draw up the proposal. But, then again, we have come to see this all as normal and accept it. We must really like it.

How’s that new app for your “eye” phone working out?

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA–HQ–ORD–2015–0659; FRL—9935–10– ORD]

Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing Projects (New)

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR), ‘‘Generic Clearance for Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing Projects (New)’’ (EPA ICR No. 2521.01, OMB Control No. 2080–NEW) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a request for approval of a new collection. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before November 30, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– ORD–2015–0659 referencing the Docket ID numbers provided for each item in the text, online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

EPA’s policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Generic Clearance for Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing Projects (New), IOAA–ORD, (Mail Code 8101R), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number 202–564– 3262; fax number: 202–565–2494; email address: benforado.jay@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202–566–1744. For additional information about EPA’s public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/ dockets.

Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA is soliciting comments and information to enable it to: (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) evaluate the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (iii) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (iv) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval. At that time, EPA will issue another Federal Register notice to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB.

Abstract: EPA relies on scientific information. Citizen science and crowdsourcing techniques will allow the Agency to collect qualitative and quantitative data that might help inform scientific research, assessments, or environmental screening; validate environmental models or tools; or enhance the quantity and quality of data collected across the country’s diverse communities and ecosystems to support the Agency’s mission. Information gathered under this generic clearance will be used by the Agency to support the activities listed above and might provide unprecedented avenues for conducting breakthrough research. Collections under this generic ICR will be from participants who actively seek to participate on their own initiative through an open and transparent process (the Agency does not select participants or require participation); the collections will be low-burden for participants; collections will be low-cost for both the participants and the Federal Government; and data will be available to support the scientific research (including assessments, environmental screening, tools, models, etc.) of the Agency, states, tribal or local entities where data collection occurs. EPA may, by virtue of collaborating with nonfederal entities, sponsor the collection of this type of information in connection with citizen science projects. When applicable, all such collections will accord with Agency policies and regulations related to human subjects research and will follow the established approval paths through EPA’s Human Subjects Research Review Official. Finally, personally identifiable information (PII) will only be collected when necessary and in accordance with applicable federal procedures and policies. If a new collection is not within the parameters of this generic ICR, the Agency will submit a separate information collection request to OMB for approval.

Form Numbers: None. Respondents/affected entities: Participants/respondents will be individuals, not specific entities. Respondent’s obligation to respond: Voluntary. Estimated number of respondents: 17,500 (total). Frequency of response: The frequency of responses will range from once to on occasion. Total estimated burden: 295,250 to 313,250 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b). Total estimated cost: $9,910,997 to $10,483,217 (per year), includes $525,000 annualized capital for operation & maintenance costs. Changes in Estimates: This is a new information collection. The Agency will make adjustments to the burden numbers as needed. Dated: September 21, 2015. Jay Benforado, Deputy Chief Innovation Officer, Office of Research and Development. [FR Doc. 2015–25025 Filed 9–30–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P

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Typical Governmental Bureaucracy on Endangered Species Act

One of the problems with any government is bureaucracy and red tape. Here’s a clear example of it.

The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, in which the entire document is 47 pages, contains the phrase, “Significant Portion of Its Range”. This in reference to consideration of whether to include a species for protection or remove a species from Federal protection.

When you examine the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended, you will discover that the word “range” is used a total of 6 times (pg. 5, pg. 6, pg. 7, pg. 11 and pg. 40). The use of the entire term of “significant portion of its range” is used twice (pg. 5, pg. 6).

President Obama has offered a proposal to amend the ESA or perhaps better described as offering a clarification or definition of the use of the term “significant portion of its range”. The president uses 84 pages to accomplish that feat. This approaches nearly twice the length of the entire ESA.

Now I just received a copy of this proposal so I haven’t had the chance to read it but I will. It was just that my first reaction was that it would take only a government agency to define a 5-word phrase used twice in the ESA, 84 pages to do so.

One would also suppose that being that the House Natural Resource Committee began hearings this week to examine the ups and downs of the ESA, that Obama’s Administration would want to get into the act. Some see this as a good thing and others as being very bad.

Dr. Charles Kay, Ph.D. Wildlife Ecology at Utah State University and one who never minces words, had this to say in an email on the subject of Obama’s proposal:

To all—-What do you not understand that they, CBD [Center for Biological Diversity] and others, want wolves, grizzlies ,etc. EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!——Even if this policy is adopted by the OA [Obama Administration], all they will have done is invited CBD to the courthouse to have it overturned—–This, on the part of the OA, is simply a ploy, in a long list of similar ploys, to reduce the growing political movement to repeal the ESA, as presently written BY THE COURTS————-Charles

If I find worthwhile information and/or commentary to pass on after struggling through 84 pages of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo, you’ll find it posted here.

Tom Remington

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