Conservation


The Conservation Chair for Macomb Audubon is currently vacant. This page on the web site has not been updated with any additional information for a couple of years. Anyone interested in volunteering for the post of Conservation Chair should contact our president for information.

Topics

Ballot Proposals 1&2 November 4th, 2014
Warning: Be Careful When Signing Petitions
Michiganís wolves need your help
When You Find an Injured Bird
Important Bird Areas
Drilling in the ANWR
The Dove Bill
West Nile Virus
Proposed New Rules on Managing National Forests
The Clean Water Act
The Endangered Species Act
Canadian Trash
Preserving the Saugatuck Dunes
Trillium Fund
The Greenhouse Effect


Ballot Proposals 1&2 November 4th, 2014

Two ballot proposal appear regarding the hunting of species in Michigan. The first proposal is putting Public Act 520 of 2012, to authorize an annual wolf hunt, to a public vote. Voice your opinion this November and stand with many organizations by voting NO on this proposal.


The second proposal is to put to a public vote, Public Act 21 of 2013, allowing the State Natural Resources Commission to designate certain animals as game for hunting purposes without further legislative action, among other items. Voice your opinion this November and stand with many organizations by voting NO on this proposal. Read more about the proposals at http://keepwolvesprotected.com to join our campaign and sign up to gather signatures. Thank you for helping to protect wolves and other current non-game species in our state from future hunting!


Warning: Be Careful When Signing Petitions

Many Oakland Audubon Society members have signed a petition aimed at getting a proposal on the November 2014 ballot to let the voters decide whether Public Act 21 should stand or be rejected. P.A. 21 gives the 7 appointed (not elected) members of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) the right to name nearly any species of wild animal in Michigan as a game animal and authorize hunting seasons on them. The first species named by the NRC was the wolf, resulting in the wolf hunt this past fall.

P.A. 21 was an attempt by the State Legislature to make a very successful previous petition campaign meaningless. The Michigan Constitution allows citizens to challenge a newly enacted state law that they disagree with, and that first petition campaign challenged a state law that named the wolf as a game animal and authorized a wolf hunt.

There will be a proposal on the November 2014 ballot that will ask voters if the state law authorizing a wolf hunt should stand or be rejected. However, because of P.A. 21, that vote will have no meaning. It may be unprecedented in Michigan that the legislature would override a successful petition campaign before we even have a chance to vote.

While Michigan citizens have the right to challenge state laws, they do not have the right to challenge decisions made by appointees like the Michigan NRC, so there was no possibility of challenging the recent wolf hunt. This means that the constitutional right to challenge the naming of game animals has been taken away from Michigan voters.

However, we do have the right to challenge P.A. 21, the state law that gives the unelected Michigan NRC this tremendous power over our wildlife. That is the goal of the second petition campaign. At the time this article was prepared, it was not yet known if this second petition campaign was successful.

What we do know, however, is that the hunting lobby is engaged in a competing petition campaign with the goal of solidifying the Michigan NRC's right to name game animals in perpetuity. The group behind this petition campaign is Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management, backed by hunting and trapping lobby groups, gun clubs, hunting and sporting-goods supply businesses, and national trophy-hunting organizations like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Safari Club International.

Some people collecting signatures for this campaign have been using some deceptive information, claiming that their petition is to protect the wolves - something that could not be further from the truth.

A smokescreen of sorts has also been included in this petition, to divert attention from the real purpose. One provision would provide free hunting licenses to Michigan military personnel. This sounds like a fine idea, until you realize that our military personnel now only have to pay $1 for any hunting license.

In addition, there is a $1 million appropriation in the petition for fighting invasive species like the Asian carp. Sounds good; however, the Army Corps of Engineers has been reported to have a plan to keep the carp out of Michigan's waters, which is estimated to cost over $15 billion. So $1 million is just a drop in the bucket.

Bottom line: If you agree that the unelected members of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission should not have the power to name game animals without the possibility of voter input, DO NOT SIGN THE PETITION BEING CIRCULATED BY CITIZENS FOR PROFESSIONAL WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT.

Be sure you know what you are signing!

Doris Applebaum


Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is seeking to collect more than 225,000 signatures of Michigan voters by March 27, 2013 to place a referendum on the ballot. If we are successful, a proposal will appear on the Michigan statewide ballot in 2014 that would allow voters to choose whether or not to enact the legislatureís wolf hunting law. Please visit the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected website at http://keepwolvesprotected.com to join our campaign and sign up to gather signatures. Thank you for helping to protect wolves in our state!

Doris Applebaum


Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is seeking to collect more than 225,000 signatures of Michigan voters by March 27, 2013 to place a referendum on the ballot. If we are successful, a proposal will appear on the Michigan statewide ballot in 2014 that would allow voters to choose whether or not to enact the legislatureís wolf hunting law. Please visit the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected website at http://keepwolvesprotected.com to join our campaign and sign up to gather signatures. Thank you for helping to protect wolves in our state!

Jill Fritz, Michigan State Director, Humane Society

Adult_wolf_in_snow.jpg (7600 bytes)


A bird hit my window!

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Initiation of the IBA Program in Michigan

We've received a press release from Michigan Audubon announcing the beginning of the Important Bird Areas program in Michigan. Co-sponsors of this effort are the National Audubon Society, the Michigan Audubon Society, the Detroit Audubon Society and the Kalamazoo Nature Center.

Karen


Oil Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Since the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling had been stricken from the energy bill, refuge drilling provisions were added to the Department of Defense appropriations bill. On December 21, 2005, in a 56-44 vote, the Senate blocked drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. So far, the Refuge continues to be safe from any drilling.

Karen


Dove Hunting Voted Down

The ballot proposal to allow the hunting of mourning doves was voted down by the people of Michigan on election day, November 7, 2006.

The Committee to Restore the Dove Shooting Ban coordinated the campaign to gather signatures to place the issue of dove hunting on the November 2006 ballot, and was an important player in the electoral process. Now that the election is over the final "Stop Shooting Doves" newsletter has been removed from this web site.

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West Nile Virus

We have all heard stories about the spread of West Nile Virus over the last couple of summers. While the majority of the news stories concentrate on the impact of the disease on the human population, wildlife is being affected at an alarming rate too. The first indications of West Nile were dead crows and jays; now we find that the virus affects a wide range of animal life. Below are some resources and articles on West Nile Virus, concentrating on the animal aspect of the problem. Most will take you outside the Macomb Audubon Society web site.

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Proposed New Rules on Managing National Forests

As of January 5, 2005, the Bush administration has instituted new rules for managing national forests.

The administration is accepting comments on only one portion of the new rules, which comment deadline is March 7, 2005. The administration proposes to exempt forest management plans from environmental review and public input under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposed rule would no longer require an analysis of the environmental impacts of a forest plan, revisions or amendments, including any analysis of alternatives that may be less impactful or public review of the proposed plans. Go to http://www.americanlands.org/documents/1105739275_NFMA_FINALREGS.pdf. for a detailed analysis of rule changes.

This will make it easier for timber, oil, gas, mining, grazing and motorized recreation corporations to profit from the use of public forests while eliminating the need for forest managers to assess potentially harmful impacts on water, wildlife, recreational use, old growth and roadless areas. It will also worsen the assault on wildlife. Without environmental analysis of a forest plan or changes to a plan, the impacts to wildlife will not be understood.

Please send your comments to:

USDA Content Analysis Team
Attention: Planning CE
P. O. Box 22777
Salt Lake City, UT 84122
Fax No.: 801-517-1015

Thank you.
Karen McNeill
Environmental and Conservation Chairperson

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The Clean Water Act

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), instead of cleaning up the water, has proposed allowing sewage treatment plants to dump inadequately treated sewage into our waters during rain storms. The policy, which is referred to as "blending", would permit sewage treatment plants to mix partially treated sewage with fully treated waste and dump that mixture into the waters, including drinking water sources and fish habitat.

For almost 30 years, the Clean Water Act, has mandated the biological treatment of sewage. This policy not only poses a serious threat to public health and the environment, but also violates the Clean Water Act. The public has reacted strongly against allowing untreated and partially treated sewage in our waters. Despite this opposition, the EPA is preparing to finalize the sewage dumping policy. In the U.S., 300,000 miles of rivers, shorelines and 5 million acres of lakes, do not meet minimum water quality standards.

Please log on to: http://pirg.org/alerts/route.asp?id=2&id4=ES, for more information regarding the EPA proposed policy and for contacting the EPA.

Thanks for supporting your water.
Karen McNeill

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Endangered Species Act Sabotaged

A new report reveals that the Bush administration is "engaged in a systematic attempt to weaken the ESA, by engaging in a pattern of illegal acts, rigged science and flagrant disregard of court orders to undermine the law" says Defenders of Wildlife 12/3. The analysis of more than 120 ESA cases "reveals a deliberate pattern of judicial abuse, including false legal arguments, costly delaying tactics, and the outright ignoring of court orders." The administration actions are leaving a "string of infuriated judges" who simply want the law to be obeyed. "Yet, our report reveals an administration all too willing to set aside the law for its corporate supporters" said Defenders. The report is online at http://www.defenders.org.


Canadian Trash Petition

U. S. Senator Debbie Stabenow has an online petition to sign to stop the transporation of Toronto trash and raw sewage to Michigan for disposal. If you would like to sign this petition please click on this link: http://stabenow.senate.gov/stoptrash.

Karen McNeill
Conservation Chair
Macomb Audubon Society

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Saugatuck Dunes State Park

Concerned Citizens for Saugatuck Dunes has asked us to help publicize their opposition to construction of water intake and treatment facilities in the park. Click here for information on their cause. The group's web site is located at http://www.saugatuckdunes.org.

Last updated 12/27/2002.


Fundraising for the Trillium Fund

Blue Water Audubon and the Michigan Nature Association are raising money to preserve a site where the rare Painted Trillium grows. For further information please click here. Last updated 3/22/2003.

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The Greenhouse Effect, an article by Karen McNeill

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