Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bill would waive federal law

"Wilderness in Peril" documents threats from a variety of sources, including legislation sponsored by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) and passed by the House of Representatives, which would waive federal laws within 100 miles of both the Northern Border as well as the border with Mexico.

"We must repeal the dictatorial power of the Secretary of DHS to unilaterally waive federal laws," said Kevin Proescholdt, Wilderness Watch's conservation director.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Plans a Prescribed Burn for the Moquah Barrens

Release Date: May 22, 2013  
Contact(s): Bob MacGregor, Suzanne Flory

CNNF Firefighter using drip torch on a  prescribed burn Rhinelander, WI May 22, 2013 – The Washburn Ranger District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) is planning on conducting a prescribed fire on roughly 2,500 acres to restore Pine Barrens habitat.  The proposed area is on National Forest lands approximately 18 miles west of Ashland, WI and 9 miles northeast of Iron River, WI in T48N, R7W.  The exact timing of the burning is dependent on weather conditions but forecasts call for a window of favorable circumstances occurring between May 24th and May 26th.
Prescribed burning involves the deliberate use of fire within a carefully defined set of weather, terrain and fuel sideboards to accomplish resource objectives.  The prescribed fire planned for this week will use a combination of aerial and ground ignition.  Firefighter and public safety is always the first priority.
The fire will be a cooperative effort with assistance from local State and Federal agencies. Fire managers will be relying on spot weather forecasts personalized to the local area to make decisions. Air quality monitors will be set up in surrounding areas to track movement of the smoke.
Pine Barrens ecosystems are plant communities with low densities of mature pine trees which allow grasses and forbs to become the dominant vegetation.  Historically frequent wildfires would maintain these areas by allowing for tree regeneration.  Due to the extensive application of fire prevention and suppression tactics these, habitats in Wisconsin have decreased in size from a peak of 2.3 million acres at the time of European settlement to less than 1% of that total today.  A host of plant and animal species including, sharp-tailed grouse, upland sandpiper, chryxus arctic and tawny crescent butterflies, eastern bluebird and ternate grapefern, that depend on these open habitats for their survival are experiencing downward trends in population due to the scarcity of this resource.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest manages approximately 15,000 acres of the Barrens habitat type.  The Forest has been a pioneer in working towards restoring Barrens in the Moquah area with a history of successful use of prescribed burning that dates back to the early 1960’s.  Intensive monitoring plots scattered throughout the area have carefully recorded the long-term progress of the burning program.
Follow fire planning and progress at

Monday, March 18, 2013

Asthma, Heart Disease, Cancer and General Illness Found in Kentucky Mountain Top Removal Community

BEREA, Ky., March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A study published in the Journal of Rural Health reveals that people living in communities where mountaintop removal (MTR) mining occurs experience higher levels of illness compared to non-mining areas close by.

Michael Hendryx, Chair of the Department of Health Policy, Management and Leadership in the School of Public Health, Director of West Virginia Rural Health Research Center of WVU, said, "Combined with all of the other human health and environmental studies on MTR, the weight of the evidence clearly indicates that MTR is harmful to human health."

MTR strips mountaintops to access coal seams using explosives. Fine dust, soot, and heavy metals are released into the air and waterways.

Floyd County resident Bev May, a nurse practitioner in eastern Kentucky for 18 years says, "The excess chronic lung disease this study found in Floyd County supports my observations that dust from surface mining is not just an annoyance, but a risk to our health."

The study came from a community participatory health survey of residents in Floyd County, Kentucky where MTR is taking place, compared with Elliott and Rowan counties with no MTR.  Data shows higher reported incidences of asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;  illnesses involving multiple organs; and general illness.  MTR community residents also reported more serious illness and cancer deaths in family members, than residents in the non-MTR communities.

Kentucky Representative John Yarmuth and 26 other House members have introduced the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act (ACHE - H.R. 526) that places a moratorium on permitting for MTR pending health impact studies by the Department of Health and Human Services,

"I want my state Representative Greg Stumbo, and Representative Hal Rogers to know this: It's not possible to destroy our mountains without destroying ourselves. It's not possible to poison our streams without poisoning our children for untold generations to come," states Bev May.

Deborah Payne, MPH of the Kentucky Environmental Foundation said, "We can curb these rising rates of cancer, lung and heart disease, and premature death if we have political will to do so.   Kentucky's kids should be able to grow up healthy, no matter where they live."

SOURCE  Kentucky Environmental Foundation

Kentucky Environmental Foundation

CONTACT: Jerry Hardt, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, +1-502-439-6884, or Deborah Payne, Kentucky Environmental Foundation, +1-859-353-7577

Web Site:

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I thought jobs were the issue!!

MARQUETTE – A new study commissioned by the Upper Peninsula Petroleum Association says a proposed Keweenaw Bay Indian Community gas station in Marquette Township could result in the loss of up to 63 jobs, $1.25 million in annual wages, $10.7 million in annual in-store sales and $1.7 million annually in state taxes in Marquette County. The study, commissioned in September and conducted by a Western Michigan University professor and Ohio-based firm Keip Government Solutions, alleges a total of $39 million would be lost in taxes and wages were the KBIC allowed to operate a station it is proposing to locate on land in Marquette Township.

Bayfield County solar hot water system produces result at jail in Washburn, Wisconsin

Solar Hot Water Project

Solar Hot Water System Producing Results
Third quarter 2011 results from Bayfield County Jail’s solar hot water heater demonstrate continued savings. 
Coolant was pumped from the roof top panels to the hot water transfer tank 1440 hours during the first 9 months of 2011, averaging 5.3 hours per day.   Water hot enough to feed directly into the hot water heaters was pumped from the solar transfer tank to the heaters 1267 hours thus far in 2011 or an average of 4.7 hours per day.
Hot water system savings are currently approximately $350 a month.  The panels were installed in 2008 and have pumped over 4600 hours to date. Estimated payback on the system is nine years.