Archive for the 'Us vs. Them' Category
I love Kevin Durant but I can hardly stand to watch the NBA finals without boiling over because his employer is the Chesapeake Energy Corporation, practitioner of hydraulic fracturing. Chesapeake has hired scientists and soulless PR firms to promote the idea that the science is not in and the debate is still open, in hopes they can abscond with huge profits by the time it’s all sorted out. They even created some bullshit public support front called Friends of Natural Gas New York.
Meanwhile, the area to be fracked is a “too big to fail” watershed that, among other things, hosts the birthplace of American fly fishing.
Ban Hydraulic Fracturing in New York, please.
After a few hiccups, fits, and false starts, the EPA has finally released the Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Report.
No surprise, but as it turns out, digging a huge fucking hole in the headwaters plain of several anadromous streams isn’t really a good idea when viewed against the background of the world’s largest sockeye fishery.
Some key findings:
The rivers of Bristol Bay support the world’s largest sockeye salmon runs (46% of the “global abundance” of sockeye) and its Chinook runs are near the world’s largest every year.
All five species of North American Pacific salmon are found in Bristol Bay. The Bristol Bay watershed supports the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world.
The Kvichak River produces more sockeye salmon than any other river in the world.
The Nushagak River is the fourth largest producer of Chinook salmon in North America.
Bristol Bay’s wild salmon fishery and other ecological resources provide at least 14,000 full and part-time jobs and is valued at about $480 million annually.
The average annual run of sockeye salmon is about 37.5 million fish.
Bristol Bay provides habitat for numerous animal species, including 35 fish species, more than 190 bird species and 40 animal species.
Aaaaaand a key excerpt:
“Based on this mine scenario, we conclude that, at a minimum, mining at this scale would cause the loss of spawning and rearing habitat for multiple species of anadromous and resident fish. A mine footprint of this scale would likely result in the direct loss of 87.5 to 141.4 km of streams and 10.2 to 17.3 km2 of wetlands. Additionally, water withdrawals for mine operations would significantly diminish habitat quality in an additional 2 to 10 km of streams. Assuming no significant accidents or failures, the development and routine operation of one large-scale mine would result in significant impacts on fish populations in streams surrounding the mine site. Accidents, process failures, and infrastructure failures could increase the spatial scale and severity of mining impacts on fish populations. Potential accidents include
(1) the release of acid, metal, and other contaminants from the mine site, waste rock piles, and tailings storage facilities (TSFs)
(2) the failure of roads, culverts, and pipelines in the transportation corridor, including spills of copper concentrate
(3) the catastrophic failure of a tailings dam.
Although precise estimates of the probabilities of failure occurrence cannot be made, evidence from the long-term operation of similar large mines suggests that, over the life span of a large mine, at least one or more accidents or failures could occur, potentially resulting in immediate, severe impacts on salmon and detrimental, long-term impacts on salmon habitat and production.”
While the EPA makes no pronouncements or decisions through this document, one fact becomes very clear in reading through the document:
Bristol Bay is the wrong place to allow industrial scale mining.
The job of convincing the Obama Administration to take action before January 20, 2013, now begins in earnest. Please take 5 minutes and fill out This Online Action Letter and ask the President to initiate the Clean Water Act process that will enable EPA to limit industrial scale mining in Bristol Bay. Ask your friends and family to do the same.
Shout outs to Trout Unlimited’s Tim Bristol and Shoren Brown for kicking more ass in a few years than most men in a lifetime. Respect to all the folks watching out for Bristol Bay, and thanks for your continued efforts.
They won’t go unnoticed, fisha.
“…the spilled condensate was discovered last Thursday by a township employee inspecting a gas pipeline facility nearby. The spill had run into Bigger Run Creek, a tributary of Raccoon Creek. He had no information about whether fish or aquatic life were killed, but cleanup crews placed absorbent material in the creek on Friday.”
Lots of sites going dark today, WordPress included, but we figured since it was already a bit dim (and musty) around here anyway, we’d just post this.
(btw, image totally ganked from somebody on the intarwbz without permission)
And this just for clicks.
“Venezuela president Hugo Chavez’s policy of nationalising strategic private businesses has taken a new twist with his announcement that his government will expropriate hotels and holiday homes at an upmarket Caribbean resort. The president plans to turn Los Roques, an idyllic archipelago of deserted beaches of perfect white sand with swaying palms and dazzling coral reefs, into a state-run getaway for his country’s urban poor.”
The worldwide fly-fishing community responds with a collective statement:
“This type of aggression will not stand, man…”
Threat to thousands of sustainable fishing jobs prompts fisherman, Alaska Natives to take their story to the Lower 48 beginning Oct. 17;
Tour will highlight proposed Pebble mine’s threat to fishing jobs, Native way of life
Seattle – Alaska Natives, commercial fishermen, sportsmen and seafood processors are heading south on the Save Bristol Bay Road Show to raise awareness and build support for protecting Bristol Bay Alaska, which is threatened by the proposed Pebble gold and copper mine.
The mine, potentially three times as large as the largest current mine in North America, would threaten the headwaters of Bristol Bay, putting thousands of fishing jobs at risk, along with a Native way of life that has existed for centuries. The real gold in Bristol Bay is the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery, a sustainable resource that returns year after year.
In six cities, commercial fishermen, Alaska Natives, sportsmen and seafood processors will highlight the economic risks posed by the mine. The Road Show will also feature a screening of the award-winning documentary, “Red Gold,” delicious Bristol Bay sockeye prepared by local chefs, and locally produced beers.
Melanie Brown, an Alaska Native and commercial fisherwoman, and Ben Blakey, of family-run seafood company, Snopac Products, will travel to all of the cities as featured speakers, sharing the importance of the region as an economic engine, source of jobs, and resource for food. In each city, the program will also feature sportsmen, fishing guides or commercial fishermen, whose livelihoods depend on the clean waters and sustainable fish runs of Bristol Bay. More than 12,000 jobs depend on the commercial salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, along with more than 1,000 jobs related to sport fishing and countless other businesses.
The Save Bristol Bay Road Show visits the following six cities:
Seattle: Monday, October 17, Leif Erikson Lodge, 7 p.m.
Portland: Wednesday, October 19, Bagdad Theater, 7 p.m.
Corvallis: Friday, October 21, The Arts Center, 7 p.m.
San Francisco: Monday, October 24, Temple Nightclub, 7 p.m.
Santa Fe: Tuesday, October 25, Center For Contemporary Arts Cinematheque, 7 p.m.
Denver: Thursday, October 27, Oriental Theater, 7 p.m.
For information, please visit: www.savebristolbay.org/roadshow
The Save Bristol Bay Road Show is coordinated by the Save Bristol Bay campaign, part of a broad, bipartisan, national coalition that supports protecting Bristol Bay and its natural resources from the severe risks of massive-scale development, including the Pebble Mine.
The Road Show is sponsored by the generous support of companies including Tiffany & Co., ExOfficio, Icicle Seafoods, Orvis, Sage, and Chef’s Collaborative.
Speakers are available for interviews and briefings. Speaker photos and bios available upon request.
“On the lower end, two fair-sized streams drained the interior. One rose from a series of springs that poured forth from hillocks around today’s 20th Street and Fifth Avenue. The Saponickan band living there called it Ishpetenga. It flowed southwest into the Hudson near the mouth of another trout stream. This one had its origins in a deep, fair-sized pond where Worth and Centre streets now cross. It flowed northwesterly, almost in a straight line, and became the course for today’s Canal Street. The pond was known as The Collect. The Dutch name for this trout pond was derived from one of its beaches, which they which they called Kalk Hoek – Chalk Point or Chalk Hook. It was given the name because the early Dutch settlers came here to collect the shells of freshwater mussels, which were ground and added to the mortar used to build their homes. When the English took over management of Manhattan in 1664 they assumed many of the Dutch words already in use for geographic features. Their inelegant pronunciation of Dutch turned the monosyllabic word “Kalk” (or “Chalk”) into the dissylable “Kal-leck”- hence, “Collect.” The pond’s name had nothing to do with collecting water in the area, as some writers have suggested, although it did have two small feeder streams. For decades, in the 1600s and 1700s, it was the source of drinking water for all of lower Manhattan’s residents. The Collect and its associated streams contained brook trout as late as 1740.”
- from Brook Trout by Nick Karas
Fly-Fishing Industry Threatened by Congress, says AFFTA chair Jim Klug. They’re shocked, I tell you, SHOCKED!
If you’re in the Seattle area on 6/9, there is no good reason not to be at this. Let’s push Pebble over a cliff, once and for all. See ya there.
He was a balding glob with a patchwork sunburn and his accent suggested Tuscaloosa or Biloxi or maybe Shreveport.
The fish were prowling up and down the beach in front of his house. I assumed it was his house because he was standing on the balcony in his grippers and leaning on the rail and scratching his balls while pointing out what we already knew.
“They’re chasin MINNERS. Can’t y’all see them clouds a bait?”
We’d flubbed the first couple of shots but the tide was still cranking and the fish were still moving in and out of the bait swarm.
“Try a little ole silver spoon, or sumpthin. They won’t eat that damn HAIR.”
There was a bust at our twelve o’clock and a big shower of anchovies.
“Here comes a nuthern…BIG BASTARD…see that big white hole in the middle of that bait…he’s smack-dab in it!”
The fly landed and the fish elevated and nosed it and turned away. The fat man laughed and swigged his beer.
We stopped to change flies and he watched us from the balcony for a bit and then he hitched up his drawers and waddled inside.
When he came back out he was gashing on a sandwich the size of a coon and we were hair-tight to one of his goddamn tarpon.
I’m late to the party on this one, but maybe you are too. Heads up. Been wearing out The Holy Coming of the Storm by Cahalen Morrison & Eli West. It’s been getting heavy, heavy rotation all winter long down here in East L.A. To the NW folks: these are your neighbors (Seattle is where they reside), so go see ‘em. Sounds like they were born in a gotdam holler in West Virginny. Shit fire! They are good.
Three new scalawags have joined the ranks, you might spot them before we get around to introducing them. This is because we’re lazy and forgetful, and fishing season is warming up and we’re sorta distracted. Enjoy.
Haven’t heard of it? House Resolution 1 is the current bill before the House of Representatives, the attempt to address our massive federal deficit. I think most of us would agree that fiscally, we need dramatic changes in the way this country has been doing business. Borrowing 40¢ on every dollar the government spends is insanity, not to mention completely unsustainable.
The unavoidable bottom line, regardless of political partisanry, is that we are simply spending way too much money, and we can’t continue to do that. I get it. But as an angler and hunter, HR1 truly scares the living shit out of me, and I’m trying my damndest to no be alarmist here. It is obviously a huge bill, but here are just a few of the details that you might want to be aware of, and learn more about, if you care about the future of angling, hunting and conservation in this country:
- Amendment #215 (Rep. Bishop – UT) would strip the entire budget of the National Landscape Conservation System. Among other things, the NLCS manages 2,000 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers. This Amendment would also de-fund management of important sportsman destinations such as the Missouri River Breaks in Montana, which supports some of the healthiest elk and Bighorn sheep populations in the state. Cutting this funding would also have significant effects on many rural communities that rely on sportsman dollars.
- Amendment #216 (Rep. Mckinley – WV) would greatly undermine strip the EPA’s ability to uphold the Clean Water Act by stripping it of the authority to veto permits to the Army Corps for disposal of dredge and fill material in our nation’s waters that it deems would create unacceptable adverse impact, and to designate certain areas as off-limits for such disposal. In short, sludge – even toxic sludge, could pretty much be dumped anywhere they wanted to.
- Amendment #177 (Rep. Herger – CA) restricts funds from being used to implement and enforce the Off-road Vehicle Travel Management Plans (known as Subpart B of the Travel Management Rule), which the Forest Service has spent the last six years working with the public to develop. Unmanaged OHV use can destroy wetlands, severely impact wildlife habitats, cause soil erosion, damage important cultural resources and spread noxious weeds. To get a handle on its management of OHVs, the Forest Service initiated a Travel Management Planning process with extensive public involvement to identify a manageable trail system on national forests. This process is nearly complete. If this amendment were accepted, the investment of time and resources in developing Travel Management Plans for units of the National Forest System would be for naught, and the ecological impacts and recreational user conflicts associated with unmanaged OHV use would grow.
- HR1 would also cut $393 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund - a program that pays for itself through offshore oil and gas receipts. Using the Land and Water Conservation Fund to enhance habitat protections and recreational access helps to sustain hunting and fishing traditions and the outdoor economy.
Why HR1 would, for example, feel the need to cut a program that pays for itself, like the LWCF, hints at some of the possible motivations hidden in HR1. We absolutely need to tighten our fiscal belts. But when you take a close look at the cuts that HR1 focuses on (and perhaps more significantly, the many areas that it doesn’t), it’s very hard not to see a political agenda going on here. We can’t let hard economic times be used as the excuse for a bill that caters to corporate interest to the lasting detriment of our public lands, and our hunting and fishing heritage. And to do this under the premise that it’s about ‘fiscal responsibility’ when the cuts hint at a very specific agenda, is nothing short of manipulative artifice.
I would also recommend reading Hal Herring’s excellent piece posted today on Field & Stream’s blog:
And the negative impacts of HR1 described above are only a small part of it. You can find out more about the many harmful riders attached to HR1 by going here.
Just in from AP:
KENNEWICK, Wash. — Washington Rep. Doc Hastings says he’ll use his position as chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee to block any bills related to breaching lower Snake River dams.
Hastings says salmon runs are recovering under current management practices and dam breaching is the last resort.
The Tri-City Herald reports the Republican congressman was in the Tri-Cities Wednesday and spoke to the Pasco-Kennewick Rotary Club.
Hastings says he’s concerned that tearing down any Snake River dam puts every other dam at risk. Environmentalists favor removing dams to restore Snake River salmon runs.
Republican Lawmakers are to Fucksticks as Sky is to
Just lobbed across the wire -
EPA plans scientific assessment of Bristol Bay watershed
Release date: 02/07/2011
Contact Information: Contact: Marianne Holsman, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-1237, email@example.com
Assessment responds to concerns of tribes, businesses, and others about development proposals
(Anchorage, Alaska—Feb. 7, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will conduct a scientific assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed to better understand how future large-scale development projects may affect water quality and Bristol Bay’s salmon fishery, an extraordinary salmon resource for the United States. EPA initiated this assessment in response to concerns from federally-recognized tribes and others who petitioned the agency in 2010 to assess any potential risks to the watershed.
“The Bristol Bay watershed is essential to the health, environment and economy of Alaska,” said EPA Regional Administrator Dennis McLerran. “Gathering data and getting public input now, before development occurs, just makes sense. Doing this we can be assured that our future decisions are grounded in the best science and information and in touch with the needs of these communities. We look forward to working with Alaskans to protect and preserve this valuable resource.”
In 2010, nine federally-recognized Bristol Bay tribes petitioned EPA to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to protect Bristol Bay. Their concerns focused on the potential Pebble Mine project. Two other tribes asked EPA to wait for mining projects to submit permit applications before taking action.
This action today does not represent any regulatory decision by the agency; instead it represents EPA’s proactive steps to better understand the watershed and gather important scientific information. This information gathered will inform any future guidelines or actions about how to protect the waters and promote sustainable development.
Bristol Bay is an important source of wild Pacific salmon for commercial, recreational, and subsistence users. It produces hundreds of millions of dollars in annual fisheries revenues. The area may be the last major watershed in North America that produces historic numbers of wild salmon. Most of the Bristol Bay watershed is wildlife refuge or park where large development is restricted. EPA’s efforts will focus on those areas that are not protected.
EPA’s assessment is not limited to examining the effects of hard-rock mining projects, but will consider the effects of large-scale development in general.
The assessment, which will focus primarily on the Nushagak and Kvichak watersheds, will be informed by scientific peer review, tribal consultation, federal and state agency participation, as well as public and industry input.
EPA will accept and consider public input during development of the watershed assessment and will continue to work closely with tribal governments, state and federal agencies as we undertake this analysis.
AK governor Sean Parnell (R) had sent a letter of complaint to the EPA last year, voicing his opposition to any such scientific assessment, while Rep. Don Young (R-AK) has filed legislation that seeks to remove the EPA’s “Veto Authority” under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act – with 75% + of Bristol Bay’s residents opposing the proposed Pebble Mine, I am not particularly sure these guys have their constituency’s best interests in mind.
If clean water and healthy, sustainable runs of wild salmon are important to you, I urge you to let your voice be heard. Click on THIS LINK to sign on to the Save Bristol Bay petition going to the EPA, asking EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to initiate the 404(c) process for the headwaters of the Nushugak and Kvichak rivers in Bristol Bay.
It is entirely possible that I could have missed some memo on popular culture while off gallivanting in the woods or something, but…when did it become fashionable for TVLand to glorify resource extraction and the apparent dearth of “real men”? I seem to remember a time when the so-called “science channels” actually offered programming that was intellectually stimulating and informative. Now we are swamped with “work reality” shows that are the programming equivalent of “Jersey Shore” – narcissistic, vapid, and intellectually devoid.
“Ice Road Truckers”
“Oil, Sweat & Rigs”
“Swords: Life on the Line”
“Gold Rush: Alaska”
“Lobstermen: Jeopardy at Sea”
A fella could probably write this off as backlash against “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars”, or as a blanket reaction to the general Pussification of the age 18-34 demographic in America. The real question is, how did the networks end up on the “Drill, Cut & Kill” theme? Are we as a society really that far removed from the actual ACT of resource extraction that even its mere depiction in some of its crudest forms is enough to capture our attention?
There is a slight possibility that this genre should be viewed as a lame attempt to inculcate a sense of blue-collar ethic into a workforce that is rapidly separating physical labor from work. While I applaud the attempt, the focus seems a bit misguided – why not show responsible development and extraction? Why glorify some practices that we should have left long ago (see also: Clearcutting, Riparian Mining, Ocean Surface Longlining)?
Given the ongoing battle to protect the planet from the many by the few, is it fair to judge this programming as cultural propaganda, designed to desensitize us to the roar of the bulldozer or the snarl of the chainsaw?
In full disclosure, I have watched at least one episode of all of these shows. I do this because I hold out hope, hope that there will be a smidgen of precious tv time donated to the acts and arts of conservation, responsible and sustainable extraction practice, and active mitigation when things inevitably go wrong. I watch as a form of anger management, because nobody gets arrested if I rough up my tv. I watch to see the reflection of our society’s values, searching for the ripple of discontent and finding only apathy, and getting a weird sort of gluckschmerz out of all this…
So far, I haven’t been disappointed.