SEPTEMBER 1996 NUMBER 28
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Public Hearing Scheduled
Comments Due Sept. 3
Comments Due Dec. 6
Comments Due Sept. 11
As the 104th Congress draws to a close, only a handful
of bills that could affect fish habitat remain under consideration.
It was thought that the 104th Congress would rewrite numerous
laws governing the management of the Nation's natural resources.
However, besides the salvage rider (See Habitat Hotline Number 24),
it appears that substantial changes to natural resource management
may not occur. The current Congress will resume on September 3
(Senate), and September 4 (House) and is scheduled to adjourn
October 4, 1996. Remaining bills include those affecting grazing
policy on federal lands, fisheries management, private property,
and forest health. There is also a chance that a vote will come
in the Senate to repeal the salvage logging rider through
an amendment to the ongoing FY 1997 appropriations process. H.R.
3662, the "FY97 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations
Act", also contains an amendment which would delay the implementation
of the Tongass Land Management Plan.
Legislation altering the course of the Clinton Administration's
"Rangeland Reform" regulations, which went into affect
August 21, 1995, is still being considered by the House of Representatives.
"The Public Rangelands Management Act", S. 1459,
introduced by Senator Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) passed the
Senate earlier in the year (See Habitat Hotline Number 25).
It appears now that an amended "compromise" grazing bill will be voted on in mid-September. The new S. 1459, released on July 28 1996, has been referred to as the "Gingrich Grazing Bill", because of the Speaker's interest in seeing grazing legislation brought to the floor this year.
This version of the bill allows ranchers and states
to hold grazing permits in inactive status for conservation use
(limited to ten percent of grazing lands), provides for public
participation in environmental hearings, and ensures the federal
government can acquire water rights on rangelands (in accordance
with state law).
It is believed that the cattle industry and many
Western legislators will support this legislation.
In an August 2, 1996 "Dear Environmental Colleague"
letter, Representatives Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.) and
Sherwood Boehlert (R- N.Y.), who helped broker the compromise,
said this about the grazing bill: "We have now reached a
compromise, which we believe addresses both the primary concerns
of environmentalists and the legitimate concerns of ranchers...This
is a reasonable compromise that recognizes the needs of Western
Members and their constituents."
The bill is supported, somewhat surprisingly, by
the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
(IAFWA). In a letter to Representative Boehlert dated August
1, 1996, R. Max Peterson, Executive Vice President of the IAFWA,
This proposal is a significant improvement over the
Senate passed bill and contains changes which we believe will
benefit fish and wildlife resources, livestock grazers, other
public land users, and the American Public.
Despite its changes, opposition to S. 1459
remains. A "Dear Colleague" letter is being circulated
by Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and
Dick Zimmer (R-N.J.). According to that letter: "The
draft grazing legislation released on July 28 suffers from a number
of major fiscal and environmental defects. If it is brought to
the floor, it should be defeated."
Concerns noted in the DeFazio/Zimmer letter include:
Both S. 1459 and the draft bill maintain a heavily
subsidized federal grazing program. Both bills mandate a grazing
fee formula that would keep federal grazing fees artificially
low--lower, in fact, than comparable state and private fees. According
to estimates by the Bureau of Land Management, grazing fees under
the draft bill would be lower between 1996 and 2002 than they
were in 1994.
Both S. 1459 and the draft bill limit public participation
in public land management decisions. Opportunities that the law
now allows for the public--i.e., non-grazing permit holders--to
participate in decisions regarding permit reviews and modifications
Both S. 1459 and the draft bill create new private
rights on public lands. Both bills contain unprecedented provisions
that would allow livestock permittees to obtain title to "range
improvements." As a result, taxpayers could be required to
reimburse permittees for changes in grazing management on federal
lands. Grazing permittees could harm federal fish and wildlife
populations by depriving them of needed water. The draft legislation
does not correct these significant defects [emphasis added].
Both S.1459 and the draft bill thwart federal land
managers' efforts to correct grazing-caused resource damage. Before
land managers could take actions to modify harmful grazing practices,
they would be required to conduct extensive monitoring under as-yet
Trout Unlimited said of
...this latest version [of S. 1459] would still exacerbate
widespread environmental destruction on federal lands caused by
over-grazing, still make second class citizens of the millions
of American sportsmen and women who recreate on public lands,
and still severely weaken the lucrative tourism industry [that]
non-ranching public lands support. A broad range of interests--413
conservation and recreation organizations--have opposed S. 1459
because of its dangerous implications. The latest "compromise"
version does make improvements on the House Resource Committee-approved
version of the bill. But the changes merely turn a terrible bill
into a bad bill.
Now What: Reportedly House
Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) has indicated that he will schedule
a vote on S. 1459 in September. It is uncertain whether
the Senate will accept the new House language.
President Clinton has indicated that he will veto
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Write
Your Congressperson: U.S. House of Representatives, Washington,
D.C. 20515; and U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510; or call
the House of Representatives switchboard at (202) 225-3121; and
the Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
To register your opinion with the President on any
issue call the White House Comment Line at (202) 456-1111.
E-Mail Messages to President Clinton: email@example.com;
Vice President Gore: firstname.lastname@example.org
On July 16, 1996 Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
introduced S. 1954 "The Omnibus Property Rights
Act of 1996." This legislation replaces S. 605, which
was introduced by ex-Senator, now Presidential candidate, Robert
S. 1954 is similar to S. 605. However
it differs in that it would compensate property owners when their
property, or a portion of it, is devalued 50 percent or
more as a result of any government regulation (under S. 605,
the cutoff for compensation was 33 percent). S. 1954
also allows private property owners the opportunity for administrative
appeals of wetlands decisions under the Clean Water Act, and denials
of incidental take permits under the Endangered Species Act.
Groups supporting S. 1954 (including the housing industry) claim that environmental regulations are overly restrictive. In introducing the legislation, Senator Orrin Hatch said:
Americans everywhere are losing their fundamental
right to property. They cannot build homes, farm land, clear ditches
or cut firebreaks in property that clearly belongs to them. Often,
this property has been in their family for years. The Omnibus
Property Rights Act is the proper vehicle to vindicate property
rights and limit arbitrary action by federal bureaucrats.
Opposition to S. 1954 includes environmental
groups which charge that this bill will make it impossible
for federal agencies to protect wetlands and habitat for wildlife
and endangered species. According to the Clean Water Network:
This bill, which is essentially indistinguishable
from the earlier takings bill (S. 605) pushed by Sen. Bob Dole,
would allow any property owner to file a claim for monetary compensation
based on any government action that the landowner claimed had
diminished the market value of his property. So, for example,
if EPA denied a landowner a permit to discharge a pollutant in
certain amounts, the landowner could sue the government to recover
the difference between the value of the property without pollution
restrictions and the value with pollution restrictions. Similarly,
if the Corps of Engineers denied a landowner a wetland permit
to build a huge shopping center, the landowner could sue to recover
the difference in market value between the land with a shopping
center on it and the land with a marsh on it. You don't have to
look very hard to see that this bill, if it became law, would
either make it impossible for public officials to protect human
health and the environment, or it would bankrupt the federal treasury,
NOW WHAT: H.R. 925, the
House of Representatives private property rights
bill, was passed in 1995.
*** As We Go To Press, in
the Senate, reports are that it appears questionable whether
or not S. 1954 will go to the floor for a vote in the l04th
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Write Your Congressperson:
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515; and U.S.
Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510; or call the House of Representatives
switchboard at (202) 225-3121; and the Senate switchboard at (202)
To register your opinion with the President on any
issue call the White House Comment Line at (202) 456-1111.
E-Mail Messages to President Clinton: email@example.com;
Vice President Gore: firstname.lastname@example.org
Before the August recess, the Senate verbally
agreed to compromise language on S. 39, the reauthorization
of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act. For months,
S. 39, originally introduced by Senators Ted Stevens (R-Alaska),
John Kerry (D-Mass.), and Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska),
was held up over an allocation issue disagreement between the
Congressional delegations of Alaska and Washington.
The House passed its version of the reauthorization,
H.R. 39, in 1995.
Language in both the Senate and House versions of
the reauthorization would make minor changes to the role that
the Regional Fishery Management Councils and the National Marine
Fisheries Service play in protecting fish habitat. However,
the Councils would not be given management authority over fish
habitat. S. 39 habitat related language is as follows:
According to Sec. 109 Fishery Management Plans:
(7) describe and identify essential fish habitat
for the fishery based on the guidelines established by the Secretary
under section 305(b)(1)(A), minimize where practicable adverse
effects on such habitat caused by fishing, and identify other
actions which should be considered to encourage the conservation
and enhancement of such habitat.
According to Sec. 305 Other Requirements and Authority:
(1)(A) The Secretary shall, within six months of
the date of enactment of the Sustainable Fisheries Act, establish
guidelines to assist the Councils in the description and identification
of essential fish habitat in fishery management plans (including
adverse impacts on such habitat) and the actions which should
be considered to ensure the conservation and enhancement of such
habitat, and set forth a schedule for the amendment of fishery
management plans to include the identification of essential fish
habitat and review and update such identification based on new
scientific evidence or other relevant information.
(B) The Secretary shall provide each Council with
recommendations and information regarding each fishery under that
Council's authority to assist it in the identification of essential
fish habitat, the adverse impacts on that habitat, and the actions
that should be considered to ensure the conservation and enhancement
of that habitat.
(C) The Secretary shall review programs administered
by the Department of Commerce and ensure that any relevant programs
further the conservation and enhancement of essential fish habitat.
(D) The Secretary shall coordinate with and provide
information to other Federal agencies to further the conservation
and enhancement of essential fish habitat.
(2) Each Federal agency shall consult with the Secretary
with respect to any action undertaken, or proposed to be undertaken
by such agency that may adversely affect any essential fish habitat
identified under this Act.
(3) Each Council--
(A) may comment on and make recommendations to the
Secretary and any Federal or State agency concerning any activity
undertaken, or proposed to be undertaken, by any Federal or State
agency that, in the view of the Council, may affect the habitat,
including essential fish habitat, of a fishery resource under
its authority; and
(B) shall comment on and make recommendations to
the Secretary and any Federal or State agency concerning any such
activity that, in the view of the Council, is likely to substantially
affect the habitat, including essential fish habitat, of an anadromous
fishery resource under its authority.
(4)(A) If the Secretary receives information from
a Council or Federal or State agency or determines from other
sources that an action undertaken, or proposed to be undertaken
by any State or Federal agency would adversely affect any essential
fish habitat identified under this Act, the Secretary shall recommend
to such agency measures that can be taken by such agency to conserve
(B) Within 30 days after receiving a recommendation
under paragraph (4)(A), a Federal agency shall provide a detailed
response, in writing, to the commenting Council and the Secretary
regarding the matter. The response shall include a description
of measures being considered by the agency for avoiding, mitigating,
or offsetting the impact of the activity on such habitat. In the
case of a response that is inconsistent with the recommendations
of the Secretary, the Federal agency shall explain its reasons
for not following the recommendations.
A vote is expected on S. 39 in early September.
There is guarded optimism that the Magnuson Reauthorization will be completed before the 104th Congress comes to a close. By October 4, 1996, the agreed-to Senate compromise needs to go to the Senate floor for a vote, then go to a House-Senate conference committee to iron out differences between the two bills, then sent back to the two bodies for approval, and finally to President Clinton for his signature.
If work on the bill is not finalized by the October
deadline, the 105th Congress will have to begin from scratch on
this important fishery management legislation.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing to
reissue the existing Clean Water Act Section 404 Nationwide Wetland
Permits (NWPs or nationwides) with some modifications, and issue
four new NWPs. The new regulations will go into effect in early
Nationwide Wetland Permits:
The Corps or a state with an approved wetlands program can issue
a "general" permit for specified categories of wetland
altering activities (discharge of dredge and fill material). Activities
conducted under a general permit need not obtain an individual
Section 404 permit as long as the general permit's requirements
and standards are complied with. There are 37 existing nationwide
Proposed Changes to the Nationwide General Permits:
According the Corps, in a June 16, 1996 Federal Register notice:
We are proposing to reissue all the existing NWPs.
We are also proposing to modify several existing NWPs and several
NWP conditions...to clarify activities that are authorized by
NWPs and those that are not. Several of the proposed clarifications
are a result of the modification of the definition of discharge
of dredged material...The definition was revised to clarify that
certain excavation activities are regulated and included the following
language: "(iii) Any addition, including any redeposit, of
dredged material, including excavated material, into waters of
the United States which is incidental to any activity, including
mechanized landclearing, ditching, channelization, or other excavation."
We are also proposing, in accordance with the President's
Wetlands Plan, four new NWPs to authorize those additional regulated
activities with minimal effects that resulted from the excavation
rule. These new NWPs include: A. Moist Soil Management for Wildlife;
B. Food Security Act Minimal Effect Exemptions; C. Minor Mining
Activities; and D. Maintenance of Existing Flood Control Projects.
REACTION: According to the Sierra Club:
The Nationwide Permits are a complex set of exemptions
from individual permit requirements, which enable a wide range
of impacts in wetlands and watersheds to go forward with greatly
reduced review, oversight and monitoring. The Clean Water Act
provides for general permits for activities which are similar
in nature, will cause only minimal adverse environmental effects
when performed separately, and will have only minimal cumulative
adverse effect on the environment. In many instances, the general
permits themselves, and the manner in which they have been administered,
have resulted in impacts which are ANYTHING BUT minimal.
Grady McCallie of the National Wildlife Federation
has written extensive comments about this rulemaking. Excerpted
below are some of those comments (note: for a copy of his entire
review of the proposal, see Mr. McCallie's telephone number listed
under "For Further Information"):
Overview: Clean Water
Act 404(e) authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps)
to issue general permits that provide blanket authorization to
narrow categories of activities that are "similar in nature"
and that have minimal individual and cumulative impacts on wetlands
and other aquatic resources. However, the Corps has ignored this
statutory standard, and has issued numerous nationwide permits
that authorize a wide range of activities or result in significant
individual and cumulative adverse impacts. The Corps argues that
it can always refuse to allow the use of a nationwide for questionable
activities. But Corps discretion is simply not enough of a safeguard
to protect our Nation's wetlands.
General Concerns: The
Corps' reissuance proposal suffers from several overarching flaws
that affect all the nationwides. Most of the flaws strike at the
public's (or the federal resource agencies' or the states') right
to know what wetlands impacts are being authorized. The proposal
to cease publishing the nationwides in the Code of Federal Regulations
would mean most citizens would be unable to tell even what nationwides
exist. These flaws undermine the reissuance proposal; the Corps
cannot legally reissue any of the nationwides until these problems
Information & record-keeping: The
Corps has done an appalling job of keeping records on the use
of the nationwide permits and on the acreage impact under them.
A nationwide that truly met the minimal impact standard of 404(e)
would presumably not need extensive reporting or recordkeeping,
since it would authorize virtually no wetlands impacts. However,
if the Corps intends to persist in issuing illegal nationwides,
it must establish a system to keep meaningful records and accounts
of authorized impacts. The Corps' failure to collect this data
over the last ten years is evident in its inadequate environmental
assessment of its reissuance proposal--a "finding of no significant
impacts" (FONSI) for each of the proposed nationwides, with
no supporting data.
Recommendation: The Corps
should not reissue illegal nationwides. Further, the Corps should
establish reporting requirements and meaningful recordkeeping
procedures for every nationwide that could potentially have more
than minimal impacts.
NWP 26 - Isolated and headwater wetlands: The
most damaging of all the nationwides, NWP 26 authorizes the destruction
of up to 1 acre of isolated or headwater wetlands with no notice
to anyone, and up to 10 acres of isolated or headwater wetlands
with notice to the Corps. In addition to authorizing more than
minimal individual and cumulative impacts, NWP 26 focuses on categories
of waters rather than categories of activities, and thus violates
all the elements of CWA §404(e). The Corps' reissuance proposal
solicits comments on the possibility of keeping the NW 26 thresholds
at 10 and 1 acre, lowering them to 5 and .5 acres, or lowering
them to 3 and .3. However, given the basic illegality of NWP 26
and its history of abuse, the Corps should really eliminate NWP
Recommendation: The Corps
should not reissue NWP 26.
NWP 29 - Single family housing/half acre impacts: Opposed by many Corps field personnel but issued as a political concession to anti-wetlands forces in Congress last year, NWP 29 encourages the destruction of up to .5 acres of wetlands for the construction of a single family dwelling. NWP 29 is hedged with inadequate conditions and is unsupported by the administrative record. To keep the official count of impacts permitted under NWP 26 low, Corps districts have made an effort to authorize projects that fit under NWP 29 under other NWPs instead. Nonetheless, NWP 29 is bad for wetlands and bad for homeowners, and it violates the Clean Water Act.
Recommendation: The Corps
should not reissue NWP 29.
Proposed NWP B - Swampbuster minimal effects exemptions: Proposed NWP B is one of the lowlights of the reissuance proposal, on a par in potential destructiveness with NWP 26. Under the 1996 Farm Bill, the Natural Resources Conservation Service must issue regulations explaining how certain activities can be made exempt from Swampbuster. These regulations will not be issued until late 1996, but there is a fair possibility that NRCS will let state technical committees, dominated by agribusiness interests, set the exemptions. Proposed NWP B would essentially import these exemptions into 404. It makes no sense to even consider a proposal like NWP B until after the Swampbuster regulations have been issued and have the kinks worked out of them. Further, importation of Swampbuster exemptions into the Clean Water Act could devastate protection of small, isolated wetlands.
Recommendation: Proposed NWP B should be rejected.
Proposed NWP C - Recreational mining: Proposed
NWP C is actually two different nationwides packaged together.
One half of NWP C exempts sand and gravel miners who were in production
before fall 1993, when a court case established that the Corps
has to regulate their activities. The other half authorizes recreational
mining, in which individuals drive trucks up to edge of small
streams and vacuum the stream bottoms and sides in a search for
gold or gems. Only a few hundred people pursue this hobby nationwide,
and the Corps doesn't want the trouble of regulating them. However,
this kind of "mining" ruins water quality and destroys
fish habitat in prime fishing streams. Both parts of NWP C violate
the minimal impact standard for nationwide permits.
NWP C should be rejected.
Conclusion: We will urge the Corps to correct the overarching problems with the reissuance proposal and the nationwide program--particularly by instituting genuine monitoring and enforcement of nationwide conditions. We will advise the Corps not to reissue the nationwides that violate the Clean Water Act, and to explicitly proscribe the practice of "stacking" nationwides that allow projects with significant wetlands impacts to escape meaningful environmental review.
Finally, we will note that a major effect of the
nationwides, whether intentional or inadvertent, has been to shut
the public, the federal resource agencies, and the states out
of the wetland protection process. The Clean Water Act assigns
special oversight roles to the public, the federal resource agencies,
and the states, and we will urge the Corps to overhaul the nationwide
permit system to reflect and respect those roles.
Editor's Note: Support of Nationwide Permits:
There is undoubtedly support for the NWP
program in the construction and agriculture industries. However,
we were unable to find statements in support of NWPs before going
WHAT YOU CAN DO: The final
West Coast hearing on this proposal will take place on
September 5, 1996:
Written comments should be mailed to:
For Further Information Contact: Mr.
Tim Zimmerman, Regulatory Branch, Office of the Chief of Engineers
at (202) 761-0199; Grady McCallie, National Wildlife Federation,
(202) 797-6832; David Ortman, Friends of the Earth, (206)
The most controversial piece of environmental legislation passed by the 104th Congress has been the salvage rider, a part of the 1995 Rescissions Bill (H.R. 1158). The salvage rider suspended environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Forest Management Act, and National Environmental Policy Act on numerous timber sales--many of them old growth sales, including healthy trees. It also allowed, in "Section K" of the law, the logging of "318 sales." These old growth sales had been held up for the past five years because of environmental concerns over listed spotted owl and marbled murrelet habitat.
Environmental and fish groups, as well as government
agencies have charged that the sales threaten critical fish habitat
of listed and proposed to be listed fish species under the ESA.
An indication of the rider's legal strength came
on July 31, 1996 when, just two days after the Umpqua cutthroat
trout was listed as "endangered", a federal appeals
court approved logging in the Umpqua National Forest (Pinestrip,
Snog, Roughneck, and Watchdog sales) in watersheds containing
the searun cutthroat trout. Environmental groups, including
Oregon Natural Resources Council, sought to stop the sales
by arguing that the Forest Service, in overriding its own biologist's
conclusion that more logging in the area would harm the cutthroat
trout, had acted arbitrarily, in violation of a law governing
all federal agencies. However, according to the Associated
Press, the court said the claim was "legally irrelevant"
because Congress has barred all court challenges to the agency's
environmental decisions to approve the logging.
Elsewhere, on August 12, a three-member federal appeals
court in Idaho rejected a challenge of a salvage logging operation
(Thunderbolt) in the Salmon River watershed. The Environmental
Protection Agency, National Marine Fisheries Service, and U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service opposed the sale. The Idaho Sporting
Congress (ISC) had challenged the Thunderbolt salvage sale,
saying that it would cause harm to listed chinook salmon.
According to the Associated Press:
[Judge Edward Leavy] rejected the ISC's argument
that the Forest Service had violated a directive signed by President
Clinton. The directive told agencies to implement the salvage
rider in an 'environmentally sound manner' using existing forest
management plans and environmental laws other than those barred
by the rider. Because the salvage rider expressly exempts such
projects from environmental laws, Leavy said, 'we have no authority
to review the presidential directive' as a source of environmental
standards for the Forest Service's decision.
On the other side of the issue,
the timber industry has been attempting to extend the portion
of the law which expires September 30, 1996. On July 30, 1996,
the Northwest Forest Resource Council (NFRC), a timber
industry group, asked US District Judge Michael Hogan in Eugene,
Oregon, to extend the deadline for cutting the rider's "Section
K" 318 old growth sales until the end of 1996.
However, on August 6, 1996, Hogan turned down
*** As We Go To Press,
conservation groups are still seeking to amend the FY 1997 Senate
Interior Appropriations bill to overturn the portions of the rider
(salvage timber sales) prior to its December 31, 1996 expiration
In a July 29, 1996 press release, the Washington
Department of Ecology (WADOE) announced that a proposal to
test burn oil off the Southwest Washington Coast will be postponed.
The decision to delay the spill was in part based on numerous
concerns raised in July public meetings in Westport and Ocean
Shores, Washington. The WADOE had originally planned to conduct
four test burnings of 2,500 gallons of crude oil, 9.5 and 12 miles
off the Southwest Washington Coast. According to WADOE, the controlled
burns would last 30 to 45 minutes and cover a 600-800 square foot
area (See Habitat Hotline Number 27).
At the July 23 Westport public hearing, concerned
citizens (including local fishermen), spoke out against the test
burn. About 50 people attended the hearing. Ernie Summers, President
of the Washington Dungeness Crab Fishermen's Association
said this about the proposed burn:
This burn seems unrealistic, if a real spill occurred
you would not have everything there [booms] to get on the burn,
it would take hours to get everything in place. Most oil spills
I know of, occurred in bad weather when this technique wouldn't
work. It looks like you could find a better place to try this
experiment then on our prime fishing grounds.
There was some support for the test burn at the hearing.
In postponing the burn, Greg Sorely, head of WADOE's
Spill Response Program, said:
We know that, under the right conditions, burning
spilled oil as a response tool would greatly reduce impacts of
sea life and fouling of Washington's beaches. Prevention is the
key, but we will still have to face the grave threat of damaging
NOW WHAT: By postponing
the burn, WADOE says that it will give co-sponsors more time to
prepare the test burn, refine detailed monitoring plans, and most
importantly, allow time to consider developing an environmental
For Further Information
about the proposed burn, contact: Lin Bernhardt at (360) 407-6963
or Curt Hart at (360) 407-6973, of the Washington Department
On August 14, 1996 the California Department of Water
Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) released
their draft environmental impact report/environmental impact statement
(EIR/EIS) for the Interim South Delta Program (ISDP). According
to a DWR press release:
The ISDP predates the creation of CalFed, the coalition
of state and federal agencies now working to develop long-term
solutions to Delta water problems of supply and quality. The ISDP
seeks similar objectives to those of CalFed's Bay-Delta Program
but on a much more limited basis. Both the Bay-Delta Program and
the ISDP seek to improve the Delta environment and fish habitat
while ensuring that the Delta remains a productive source of high
quality water for California's population. Since both programs
address agriculture, fisheries, and water supply needs in the
Delta, the ISDP could complement a long-term Delta solution.
DWR and USBR are coordinating with CalFed to ensure
that ISDP actions do not prejudice the outcome of the CalFed Bay-Delta
Program's solution development process.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Copies
of the Executive Summary or the entire DEIS/EIR are available
by contacting Judy Fong, Department of Water Resources
at (916) 653-3496, fax (9l6) 653-6077.
WORKSHOPS: Two workshops
and two public hearings will be held in late October or early
November in Tracy and Sacramento, California. Places and times
will be announced at a later date.
For Further Information Contact: Stephen
Roberts, Department of Water Resources at (916) 653-2118; or
Al Candlish, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation at (916) 989-7255.
The Guadalupe River flows through the City of San
Jose and into the South San Francisco Bay. The river supports
runs of steelhead and fall chinook salmon. The run of chinook,
which in some years number in the hundreds, spawn in reaches which
are in the middle of downtown San Jose. Some fish have been found
spawning at Hillsdale Avenue as well, which is south of downtown.
The downtown river reach however, has the cooler and deeper water
and has been populated with greater numbers of spawning chinook.
The Guadalupe is currently undergoing some significant
changes in the form of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Santa Clara
Valley Water District flood control project and construction of
a city park. Fishing, and environmental groups as well as the
Guadalupe Coyote Resource Conservation District, have requested
that the ongoing flood control/park project be modified to protect
anadromous salmonids (See Habitat Hotline Number 26).
In the latest action, on July 12, 1996, the Natural
Heritage Institute on behalf of the Guadalupe Coyote
Resource Conservation District filed a complaint against
the Santa Clara Valley Water District with the State Water Resources
Control Board. According to the complaint:
The Guadalupe-Coyote Resource Conservation District
("GCRCD") brings this Complaint against the Santa Clara
Valley Water District ("SCVWD") for unlawful appropriations
of waters from the Guadalupe River, Coyote Creek, and Stevens
Creek, which are tributary to the San Francisco Bay near San Jose.
SCVWD's appropriations cause significant harm to
the public trust values of these streams and their tributaries.
The appropriations have degraded the populations and distributions
of steelhead trout, chinook salmon, red-legged frog and the southwestern
pond turtle, and other fish and wildlife resources.
SCVWD fails to release sufficient water to maintain
fisheries in good condition downstream of its storage and diversion
facilities. These facilities also block fish passage. SCVWD has
further degraded the riparian vegetation, channel forms and substrates,
and water quality of these streams.
To prevent further unlawful harms to the fish and
wildlife resources and other public trust values of the affected
streams, GCRDC requests the Water Board to provide four forms
of relief. First, we ask that the Water Board undertake an investigation
of certain factual issues pertinent to our claims that SCVWD is
appropriating water in violation of the specified laws. Second,
we ask that the Water Board order SCVWD to cease and desist operating
any of its facilities in a manner which does not maintain a continuous
flow downstream to the next storage or diversion facility, or
to the San Francisco Bay, as applicable. Third, we ask that, on
the basis of that investigation, hearing, and other appropriate
proceeding, the Water Board amend SCVWD's licenses to specify
flow schedules which assure adequate protection of fish and wildlife
resources and other public trust values of these streams. Finally,
we ask that the Water Board direct SCVWD to undertake restoration
of degraded channels and riparian corridors, including appropriate
arrangements for fish passage at its various facilities subject
to these licenses.
For Further Information Contact:
The Natural Heritage Institute at (415) 288-0555; Nancy
Bernardi, Guadalupe Coyote Resource Conservation District
at (408) 288-5888.
In Related News, the Environmental
Defense Fund (EDF), The Bay Institute (TBI), and the
Center for Sustainable Resource Development at the University
of California, Berkeley, recently released a report entitled Restoration
of the Bay-Delta-River System: Choosing Indicators of Ecological
Integrity. The authors say that this document is a blueprint
for scientifically testing the health of the San Francisco Bay-Delta
River system--and for figuring out how to improve it. It describes
a series of tests that can be used to give the ecological system
a health check-up. In addition, the measurements can be used to
design a program to restore the ecological integrity of this complex
"Ecological indicators can not only provide
a more objective basis for decision-making, but they also help
to keep all parties at the table by highlighting the way everyone's
actions affect the system, throughout the entire landscape and
out to the sea," said EDF scientist Dr. Rod Fujita.
The indicators report was financed by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency and CalFed--the state/federal consortium charged
with developing a restoration and management plan for the San
Francisco Bay-Delta as a result of the 1994 Bay-Delta Accord (See
Habitat Hotline Number 16), a landmark agreement reached by
environmentalists, water users, and government officials. The
report is advisory to CalFed and will be used in the development
and implementation of CalFed's ecosystem restoration program.
EDF and TBI expect to release information early next year showing
the status of key indicators of the health of the San Francisco
Bay-Delta-River system and how these values compare to historic
Copies of the report can be ordered
for $10.00 from: Center for Sustainable Resource Development,
c/o Emery Roe, University of California at Berkeley, 112 Giannini
Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-3100.
The Oregon Water Resources Department (WRD) is seeking
pubic comment on its proposal to adopt rules establishing "reservations"
of unappropriated water in the Hood, John Day and Umatilla basins.
According to the WRD:
This rulemaking would affect the availability of
water for future allocations of water in the Hood River, John
Day and Umatilla Basins. Adopting the proposed reservation will,
in many subbasins, fully appropriate most of the affected streams.
Currently, most new water uses are dependent on construction of
reservoirs and storage of water because of the lack of available
water during low flow periods. The reservations would focus reservoir
planning on the subbasin in which the water is reserved. The proposed
reservations allocate water for future storage projects, which
is expected to assist project sponsors to acquire the financing
necessary for water supply development. Existing water rights
will not be affected by the proposed reservations.
REACTION: According to the environmental group WaterWatch:
These proposed rules cover only a portion of the
requests filed by the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture and the Oregon
Dept. of Land Conservation and Development to reserve more than
4.3 million acre-feet of unallocated water from rivers and streams,
existing storage reservoirs and "future" storage reservoirs
in the Columbia Basin. The water would be set aside for "future
economic development," with about 75 percent of this water
designated for agricultural use.
The reservation process will dictate how the last
available water will be used in many of Oregon's Columbia Basin
rivers. Unless the public demands that through this process, water
is also protected for fish, water quality and other instream needs,
there won't be water in the future to designate for these uses.
What You Can Do: Comments
on the proposed rule should be sent to:
For Further Information Contact:
Greg Nelson, Oregon Department of Water Resources at (800)
624-3199 (ext. 285); Reed Benson or Karen Russell of WaterWatch
at (503) 295-4039.
The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission will
host its 49th Annual meeting at SunRiver, Oregon (near Bend) September
28-October 1, 1996. (See page 14 for a draft agenda of the meeting.)
For Further Information on How to Register, Contact: PSMFC at (503) 650-5400.
On November 8-9 1996: "Fisheries and Pollution
1996--the Second Annual Conference Population Level Effects of
Marine Contamination" will take place at the Bodega Marine
Laboratory, Bodega Bay, California.
This conference will focus on the following areas
in the context of population-level effects and marine contamination:
Habitat Quality: This
session explores the link between habitat quality and fishery
Biomarkers: This session
evaluates the utility of biomarkers for monitoring fish population
health and for ecological risk assessment.
Policy, Management and Communication:
This session explores the transfer of scientific information to
environmental managers, policymakers and the public.
For Further Information Contact: Daniel
Grosse, Rifkin and Associates, at (410) 962-1401. E-mail:
A national survey released August 6, 1996 by the
National Wildlife Federation shows the environment
to be an important priority for most voters in the upcoming November
elections. The survey, jointly conducted by Peter D. Hart Research
Associates and Research/Strategy/ Management Inc., surveyed
1,000 voters between July 16-18 about how their beliefs about
the environment will influence their vote and about their opinions
on several controversial environmental issues. Some findings of
that survey can be found below:
For Further Information about
this survey Contact: Naomi Paiss, Public Affairs Department, National
Wildlife Federation at (703) 790-4084.
In Related News, on July
25, 1996, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) "a
pro-market, public policy group committed to advancing the principles
of free enterprise and limited government" released a separate
survey relating to environmental issues. The 1,000-voter survey
was conducted from June 29-July 2 by The Polling Company. The
CEI survey found that 65 percent of voters said state or local
governments would do a better job with environmental protection
than the federal government. Also 64 percent of respondents said
government should compensate landowners "when environmental
regulations prevent landowners from using their property."
Fewer than 5 percent of voters identified environmental concerns
as "the single most important problem facing the country."
For Further Information
about the CEI call: (202) 331-1010.
"The Salmon Crisis in the Pacific Northwest
has generated an image of the unthinkable--a Columbia River without
salmon," writes William L. Lang in The Northwest Salmon
Crisis: A Documentary History.
This book, edited by Joseph Cone and Sandy Ridlington,
is billed as the "first documentary history of the salmon
crisis, knowledgeable observers of salmon history have chosen
and commented upon the documents that they feel most clearly reveal
the causes and early warning signs of today's crisis."
The topics covered include natural resource law,
biology, tribal and Northwest history, and anthropology. The eighty
documents collected here address such issues as habitat, hatcheries,
hydropower, fisheries, Indian fishing rights, and watershed management.
Historic photographs and other images complement the text.
Contributing authors include Bill M. Bakke, Michael
C. Blumm, F. Lorraine Bodi, Douglas W. Dompier, Stanley V. Gregory,
Robert Kentta, William L. Lang, James A. Lichatowich, William
G. Robbins, and Courtland L. Smith.
To Order The Northwest Salmon Crisis: A Documentary History, Call: Oregon State University Press at (541) 636-3166. Cost: $29.95 plus $3.50 shipping and handling for the first book and $.75 for each additional copy.
|Saturday, September 28|
|10:00 am||Registration/Open House|
|Sunday, September 29|
|7:30 am||Opening Remarks||Randy Fisher, PSMFC|
|8:00 am||Legislative Updates||Brad Gilman, Attorney at Law|
|10:30 am||Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission||Jack Dunnigan, ASMFC
Paul Sandifer, ASFMC
Larry Simpson, GSMFC
Corky Perret, GSMFC
|11:30 am||Lunch - Internet Demonstration|
|1:00 pm||Marine Mammals||Joe Scordino, National Marine Fisheries Service
Robin Brown, Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
Suzanne Iudicello, Center for Marine Conservation
State Director Panel
|2:30 pm||Mass Marking Update||Ken Johnson, PSMFC|
|3:00 pm||PSMFC Exhibits Open|
|7:00 pm||Dinner - Presentation of PSMFC Award||Robert Jacobson, Newport, Oregon|
|Monday, September 30|
|7:30 am||West Coast Squid Management||TBA|
|8:30 am||National Marine Fisheries Service||Rollie Schmitten, NMFS
Dick Schaefer, NMFS
John Oliver, NMFS
Paul Perra, NMFS
William Price, NMFS
|12:00 pm||Lunch||Admiral David Spade, U.S. Coast Guard|
|1:30 pm||In-State Meetings|
|7:00 pm||Dinner||Speaker TBA|
|Tuesday, October 1|
|7:30 am||PSMFC Business Meeting|
On September 14-15, 1996, in Seattle Washington,
a workshop will be hosted by For the Sake of the Salmon
and The Sustainable Fisheries Foundation entitled "Forum
on Sustainable Fisheries." The event will be held in conjunction
with the Salmon Homecoming Celebration (September 13-15, 1996).
According to the Forum's sponsors:
Fisheries management must change if it is to successfully
cope with the myriad factors that are responsible for the recent
declines in salmon and steelhead populations throughout the Pacific
Northwest. To this end, the Sustainable Fisheries Foundation,
the American Fisheries Society, Save Our Wild Salmon, For the
Sake of the Salmon, British Columbia Wild Salmon Coalition, Coastal
Salmon Restoration Group, and many other organizations are participating
in the development of a Sustainable Fisheries Strategy for Pacific
The Strategy will help us achieve our common goals
for revitalizing salmon-dependent communities, protecting and
restoring salmonid habitat, maintaining and enhancing salmonid
production, balancing conservation and use of salmon and steelhead,
and reforming management structures and institutions. The first
draft of the Strategy has now been completed. The new challenge
will be to develop implementation plans that translate the vision
articulated by conference participants into specific actions that
reverse the decline of salmon and increase their abundance in
the rivers and lakes of the Pacific Northwest.
Forum Program: The program
consists of three main elements which will focus on 1) the principles
for sustainable fisheries, 2) recent initiatives that advance
sustainable fisheries objectives, and 3) successful fisheries
For The Sake of Salmon Press Event Scheduled:
On it first anniversary, besides co-sponsoring the Forum on Sustainable
Fisheries, For The Sake of Salmon will also hold a press
event on Friday, September 13 at 11 a.m. at piers 62/63 north
of the Seattle Aquarium. At the press event, For the Sake
of the Salmon will talk about watersheds and salmon recovery--showing
off their map of "organized" watersheds in California,
Oregon, and Washington. Watershed representatives from each state
will attend the event.
For Further Information about
the Forum and the Press Event Call: For the Sake of the Salmon
at (503) 650-5447.
For Further Information about
the Salmon Homecoming, Contact the Seattle Aquarium
Society at (206) 682-FISH.
According to the Defenders of Wildlife: "The
Tongass rider undermines the entire forest planning process required
under the National Forest Management Act, tosses aside the public
participation that went into developing TLMP, and delays development
of a sustainable blueprint intended to protect the viability of
wildlife species in the forest. Similar provisions on the Tongass
were among the most contentious issues in the FY 1996 budget stalemate."
EDITOR'S NOTE: We welcome
information on habitat news in your area. Information should pertain
to habitat of marine, estuarine, or anadromous fish or shellfish.
Feel free to fax us newspaper articles, copies of letters, public
hearing notices, etc., to (503) 650-5426. Funding for this publication
comes in part from Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration. If you
have any questions regarding the contents of this publication,
or about our habitat education program, please contact: Stephen
Phillips, Editor, Habitat Hotline, 45 SE 82nd Drive,
Suite 100, Gladstone, Oregon 97027-2522. Phone: (503) 650-5400,
Fax: (503) 650-5426. Messages can also be E-mailed at Stephen_Phillips@psmfc.org.
Layout by Liza Bauman (E-mail address: Liza_Bauman@psmfc.org).
Printed on 100% recycled sheet with minimum 50% post consumer
fiber. Date of Issue: 08/26/96.
If you would like to have the Habitat Hotline (formatted
in Microsoft Word only) E-mailed to you, please fax or mail
us the following information:
Your E-Mail address: ___________________________________________________________
Your name: ___________________________________________________________
Your telephone number: ( )
Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
45 S.E. 82nd Drive
Gladstone, Oregon 97027-2522