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Keyword: wetlands

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  • EPA land grab? Agency claims authority over more streams, wetlands

    03/25/2014 3:37:58 PM PDT · by jazusamo · 57 replies
    Fox News ^ | March 25, 2014
    In what critics are describing as a government land grab, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a change Tuesday to the Clean Water Act that would give it regulatory authority over temporary wetlands and waterways. The proposal immediately sparked concerns that the regulatory power could extend into seasonal ponds, streams and ditches, including those on private property. "The ... rule may be one of the most significant private property grabs in U.S. history," said Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The EPA proposal would apply pollution regulations to the country's so-called "intermittent...
  • Got a wet yard? EPA will take control

    10/23/2013 10:10:23 AM PDT · by WilliamIII · 36 replies
    WND ^ | October 22 2013 | Bob Unruh
    Forget Obamacare, its online health-care records, death panels making decisions on your treatment and other privacy-invading provisions. Forget the Internal Revenue Service agenda. As well as the National Security Agency spy programs. It seems the most egregious infringement on Americans’ rights could come from the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA, according to critics in Congress, “intends to expand federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act to include even the most isolated wetlands, seasonal drainages, and prairie depressions.” The proposed rushed change in regulations would assert “unprecedented control” over private property across the United States, opponents assert. Several members of...
  • EPA's 'unprecedented' power grab for private property

    10/19/2013 9:20:20 AM PDT · by rktman · 16 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 10/19/2013 | Rick Moran
    Two Republican House members have sent a letter to the EPA questioning new rules being formulated that would give the EPA sweeping authority over streams and wetlands on private property. The EPA is justifying the rules by saying it's part of its mandate to enforce the Clean Water Act. But Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Chris Stewart (R-Utah), both ranking members of the Science and Technology Committee, doubt the EPA's science in justifying the regulations and want the agency to slow down and get other opinions.
  • From Ancient Deforestation, a Delta Is Born

    09/17/2012 11:43:59 AM PDT · by Renfield · 8 replies
    Green Blog -- N.Y. Times ^ | 9-14-2012 | RACHEL NUWER
    Humans were tampering with nature long before the Industrial Revolution’s steam and internal combustion engines arrived on the scene. The invention of agriculture around 8,000 years ago, some argue, significantly changed ecosystems as it spread around the globe. Although scientists are only just beginning to understand how these ancient alterations shaped our world today, a new study in Scientific Reports suggests that millennium-old development along the Danube River in Eastern Europe significantly changed the Black Sea ecosystem and helped create the lush Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine. “My team had a big surprise,” said Liviu Giosan, a geologist at...
  • Assembly passes relaxed wetlands regulation

    02/22/2012 5:07:22 AM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 10 replies
    JS Online ^ | 2-22-12 | Jason Stein and Lee Bergquist
    Madison - In another late-night session Tuesday, the Assembly approved major changes to wetlands regulations to ease restrictions over development in Wisconsin. The bill passed on a voice vote and now goes to Gov. Scott Walker, who has said he will sign it. The Assembly also unanimously passed legislation Tuesday adding cellphone text messages to the state's no-call list. The vote Tuesday on the wetlands legislation follows action in the state Senate on Feb. 15, when senators voted, 17-15, to approve the wetlands bill. Realtors, builders and property rights advocates pushed for the legislation, saying current law hamstrings development. The...
  • Mowing error may have led to $950,000 land purchase in Newport News

    02/22/2012 4:29:00 AM PST · by csvset · 53 replies · 1+ views
    Daily Press ^ | February 16, 2012 | Joe Lawlor
    NEWPORT NEWS — It might have been the most expensive mowing job in city history — as Newport News is now paying $950,000 to buy a property it shouldn't have mowed. This weedy tale began in summer 2010, when City Farm inmates on a work detail for the Codes Compliance Department mistakenly mowed property off of Jefferson Avenue. The city was responding to a high weeds complaint, but did not realize that the 37-acre property in Denbigh was protected wetlands, officials said. "After the fact, we found out that it was wetlands and we shouldn't have mowed it," said Harold...
  • The EPA Had a Bad Day at the Supreme Court

    01/10/2012 7:50:42 PM PST · by WilliamIII · 31 replies · 1+ views
    Reason ^ | Jan 10 2012 | Damon Root
    Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue is whether the EPA’s use of “administrative compliance orders,” which are essentially government commands issued to property owners, should be subject to judicial review under the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause. In other words, when the EPA tells a homeowner to stop building because of a possible violation of the Clean Water Act, does that homeowner have the right to promptly challenge the EPA in court? As Robert Barnes observes in The Washington Post, “Justices across the ideological spectrum appeared troubled by...
  • Supreme Court appears sympathetic to Idaho couple in 4-year battle with EPA

    01/10/2012 8:24:22 AM PST · by epithermal · 30 replies
    Washington Post ^ | Jan 10, 2012 | Robert Barnes
    Conservative members of the Supreme Court seemed outraged Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency’s actions in a four-year battle with an Idaho couple who want to build a house on land the EPA says contains sensitive wetlands.
  • Justices criticize EPA’s dealings with Idaho homeowners

    01/09/2012 10:26:29 AM PST · by WilliamIII · 88 replies · 10+ views
    WASHINGTON — Several Supreme Court justices are criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency for heavy-handed enforcement of rules affecting homeowners. The justices were considering whether to let a North Idaho couple challenge an EPA order identifying their land as “protected wetlands.” Mike and Chantell Sackett of Priest Lake wanted to build their house on the land. But the EPA says the Sacketts can’t challenge the order to restore the land to wetlands or face thousands of dollars in fines. Justice Samuel Alito called EPA’s actions “outrageous.” Justice Antonin Scalia noted the “high-handedness of the agency” in dealing with private property. Chief...
  • Idaho Couple's Permit Fight Drags Wetlands Back to Supreme Court

    09/19/2011 5:55:12 PM PDT · by WilliamIII · 30 replies
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho -- Sitting unobtrusively across the road from a pristine lake in the northern Idaho panhandle, the half-acre lot covered with weeds and piles of gravel isn't much to look at. And yet, in a few months' time, the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will decide its fate. For four years the land has sat idle while its owners, Mike and Chantell Sackett, have been locked in a fight with U.S. EPA.
  • GOP conservation cuts rile sportsmen

    07/13/2011 12:46:33 PM PDT · by sinanju · 24 replies
    Politico ^ | 07/13/11 | DARREN SAMUELSOHN
    Back in power, House Republicans may have poisoned the well with their austere spending strategy, including the fiscal 2012 interior and environment spending bill that is on track for approval Tuesday in the Appropriations Committee. Under the legislation, the Interior Department’s overall budget would fall $720 million from fiscal 2011. A popular land and water conservation fund would see a more than 80 percent cut to $62 million, while funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act would get a 47 percent reduction to $20 million. State Wildlife Grants would also be cut 64 percent to $22 million. Wildlife-themed riders...
  • The end of Half Moon Bay?

    08/28/2010 6:57:20 AM PDT · by granite · 30 replies
    San Mateo County Times ^ | Updated: 08/28/2010 03:53:43 AM PDT | By Julia Scott
    HALF MOON BAY -- Between budget losses and lawsuit payments, Half Moon Bay's financials have become so dire that if a local sales tax measure doesn't pass this November, officials say they may have to disincorporate. City leaders have been using the "D" word for a few weeks now as they try to persuade voters to pass Measure K, a one-cent sales tax increase that would help the city balance its budget with an extra infusion of $1.4 million per year for the next seven years. Dissolving Half Moon Bay -- handing the city's budget, operations and services to San...
  • Louisiana's Jindal: Where's Obama?

    05/25/2010 4:42:45 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 34 replies · 1,299+ views
    IBD Editorials ^ | May 25, 2010 | Investors Business Daily staff
    Emergencies: As frustration with the federal response grows, Louisiana's governor lashes out at the feds for doing little except blame BP for the Gulf oil spill. Meanwhile, Congress sees a chance to raise your gas taxes. While the Obama administration continues on its quest to fundamentally transform America, the largely unabated Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico threatens to fundamentally transform the ecosystems and economy of Louisiana and the Gulf region. The federal government's response so far has consisted largely of scapegoating BP and ignoring its own responsibilities and lack of preparation, railing against Big Oil, while Congress...
  • Bird Slide Show, with Music

    03/18/2010 11:19:42 PM PDT · by 51773photo · 1 replies · 200+ views
    Zenfolio Slideshow ^ | March 18 2010 | Jesse Ellis
    Some photos we took of some birds while we were trying to avoid the News.
  • Sing Along: 'This Land Is EPA's Land'

    12/16/2009 5:10:36 PM PST · by Kaslin · 6 replies · 742+ views
    Investors.com ^ | December 16, 2009 | INVESTORS BUSINESS DAILY Staff
    Regulations: The Clean Water Act is being rewritten to give a government bureaucracy the power to regulate every body of water from the Mississippi River to a rain-flooded field. The first casualty may be American coal. With all the concern for the harm that cap-and-trade and regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant might do to the American economy and free markets, the Environmental Protection Agency is doing quite enough damage with an existing law on the books — the Clean Water Act. Congress plans to revise it to make it an even more powerful bludgeon against industry, energy producers and...
  • Underground (peat) fires raging in Spanish wetlands: expert

    10/13/2009 5:11:51 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 11 replies · 664+ views
    AFP on Yahoo ^ | 10/13/09 | AFP
    MADRID (AFP) – Underground fires have been raging for weeks in a wetlands area in southern Spain, sparked by the dry summer and the overuse of water for agriculture, an environmentalist said Tuesday. The Tablas de Daimiel National Park, fed by the Guadiana river, has been drying up since the 1980s, and some lagoons have already disappeared. In late August, hot dry weather caused the peat subsurface to catch fire, and plumes of smoke can be seen rising from the ground, said Jose Manuel Hernandez, head of the environmental organisation that looks after the park. "This is a new phenomenon...
  • ND farmer defies government by draining wetlands

    12/01/2008 8:47:32 AM PST · by SmithL · 32 replies · 1,738+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 12/1/8 | JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press Writer
    Bismarck, N.D. (AP) -- Armed with a tractor or a backhoe, Alvin Peterson moves dirt to drain prairie potholes on his land, saying he's putting the land back to the way God intended. The 78-year-old retired farmer from Lawton, in northeastern North Dakota, has been in hot water with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over wetlands for more than 40 years. The agency had an easement contract with his father for the potholes to house and feed wildlife. Federal authorities, after dealing for decades with Peterson's pothole-emptying antics, began cracking down on him. Last month — and for the...
  • EDITORIAL: Help Half Moon Bay

    05/15/2008 8:12:20 AM PDT · by SmithL · 33 replies · 52+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/15/8 | Editor
    The city of Half Moon Bay found itself in serious financial trouble last year after U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that the city had to pay a local developer $37 million - $41 million with legal fees added. The judgment amounted to close to four times the city's annual budget, or more than $3,000 per resident in this city of fewer than 13,000. Bankruptcy loomed. Walker found that a city drain project inadvertently had created wetlands on developer Charles "Chop" Keenan's property. When Half Moon Bay later cited those same wetlands as grounds to stop Keenan from developing...
  • Louisiana’s Wetlands Are Being Lost At The Rate Of One Football Field Every 38 Minutes

    01/04/2008 1:28:00 PM PST · by blam · 50 replies · 218+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 1-4-2008 | Louisiana State University.
    Louisiana’s Wetlands Are Being Lost At The Rate Of One Football Field Every 38 Minutes ScienceDaily (Jan. 4, 2008) — LSU and Ohio State University will battle for the BCS National College Football Championship in the Superdome early next week, but if the game was held in the Louisiana wetlands instead, the entire field would disappear before halftime. Louisiana’s wetlands are being lost at the rate of approximately one football field every 38 minutes. To fight against this rapid destruction, the two universities joined forces in 2003, forming an ongoing research partnership with the goal of rebuilding the vanishing coastal...
  • Half Moon Bay to fight judgment of nearly $37 million

    12/19/2007 9:00:53 AM PST · by Navy Patriot · 23 replies · 211+ views
    (12-19) 05:46 PST Half Moon Bay, Calif. (AP) -- Officials in Half Moon Bay will fight a court ruling that would have the city pay a judgment of nearly $37 million. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to hire a San Francisco law firm to appeal a ruling by a federal judge ordering the city to pay $36.8 million to Palo Alto-based developer Charles Keenan. The judgment is nearly four times the city's annual budget. City council members said in a joint statement the order threatens the "very existence of our city government." The ruling against Half Moon Bay...
  • DEP fines Teacher $12,000 for planting too close to Wetlands

    08/07/2007 8:14:18 PM PDT · by Coleus · 54 replies · 1,586+ views
    NorthJersey.com ^ | 08.07.07 | BARBARA WILLIAMS
    Jeff White in the vegetable garden on his 7-acre West Milford property. The state claims part of the garden is too close to wetlands. WEST MILFORD -- He hired experts, tested the soil, planted veggies and erected an electrified fence to keep out the bears. But what newbie farmer Jeff White didn't know was that he also had to shield his garden from red tape.  State officials say part of the 4,500-square-foot garden sits too close to wetlands. Specifically, it is on a "deed-restricted transition area" or buffer of wetlands, and the state wants it dismantled. The state also...
  • EPA Makes It Harder to Protect Wetlands

    06/05/2007 3:14:23 PM PDT · by SmithL · 12 replies · 330+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 5/6/7 | H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration made it harder Tuesday for non-permanent streams and nearby wetlands to be protected under the federal Clean Water Act. The new guidance issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers requires that for such waters to be protected there must be a "significant nexus" shown between the intermittent stream or wetland and a traditional waterway. And the guidance says a determination will be made on a case-by-case basis, analyzing flow and other issues. Environmentalist argued that would negate the broader regional importance of many such waterways in the aggregate on...
  • Suit filed over I-69 route

    10/03/2006 11:55:49 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 5 replies · 510+ views
    Evansville Courier and Press ^ | October 3, 2006 | Bryan Corbin
    MARTINSVILLE, Ind. - In a town that is one of the key battlegrounds in the Interstate 69 fight, environmental groups Monday announced a federal lawsuit to block design and planning of the Evansville-to-Indianapolis leg of the highway. The plaintiffs, including the Hoosier Environmental Council and several business owners, allege that the Indiana Department of Transportation ignored harmful environmental impacts of building a direct route between Evansville and Indianapolis. It also claims INDOT was biased against a route that would have upgraded the existing U.S. 41-Interstate 70 corridor into a new highway. It accuses 11 defendants - state and federal agencies...
  • Study Challenges thinking on the wetlands

    09/23/2006 8:36:01 AM PDT · by UpTurn · 2 replies · 379+ views
    The Times-Picayune ^ | September 22, 2006 | Mathew Brown
    Challenging the widely held view that levees and hurricanes are two of the biggest perpetrators in the ongoing demise of Louisiana's coast, researchers from Louisiana State University say the millions of tons of sand and silt swept in by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita prove that major storms actually help wetlands. Their conclusions, reported in today's edition of the journal Science and based on sediment measurements taken after the storms, call into question the entire foundation of Louisiana's sweeping coastal restoration program. That effort has been driven by the assumption that levees along the Mississippi River starved the coast of vital...
  • Time to Move the Mississippi, Experts Say

    09/23/2006 8:22:42 AM PDT · by UpTurn · 26 replies · 1,003+ views
    The New York Times ^ | September 19, 2006 | Cornelia Dean
    Scientists have long said the only way to restore Louisiana’s vanishing wetlands is to undo the elaborate levee system that controls the Mississippi River, not with the small projects that have been tried here and there, but with a massive diversion that would send the muddy river flooding wholesale into the state’s sediment-starved marshes. And most of them have long dismissed the idea as impractical, unaffordable and lethal to the region’s economy. Now, they are reconsidering. In fact, when a group of researchers convened last April to consider the fate of the Louisiana coast, their recommendation was unanimous: divert the...
  • Katrina, Rita Actually Helped Wetlands, Study Says

    09/22/2006 7:03:27 PM PDT · by blam · 11 replies · 597+ views
    National Geographic ^ | 9-21-2006 | Willie Drye
    Katrina, Rita Actually Helped Wetlands, Study Says Willie Drye for National Geographic News September 21, 2006 A new study makes the provocative claim that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita actually helped stabilize coastal wetlands by depositing tons of silt and sediment—even as the storms devastated dozens of square miles of the low-lying areas. The new findings contradict long-held theories that rivers are the primary source of the sediment that forms wetlands, says research leader R. Eugene Turner, an ecologist at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge. The study also counters beliefs that the loss of wetlands—especially on the eastern Louisiana...
  • Time to Move the Mississippi, Experts Say

    09/19/2006 10:55:32 PM PDT · by neverdem · 35 replies · 2,175+ views
    NY Times ^ | September 19, 2006 | CORNELIA DEAN
    Scientists have long said the only way to restore Louisiana’s vanishing wetlands is to undo the elaborate levee system that controls the Mississippi River, not with the small projects that have been tried here and there, but with a massive diversion that would send the muddy river flooding wholesale into the state’s sediment-starved marshes. And most of them have long dismissed the idea as impractical, unaffordable and lethal to the region’s economy. Now, they are reconsidering. In fact, when a group of researchers convened last April to consider the fate of the Louisiana coast, their recommendation was unanimous: divert the...
  • Army partners with Ducks Unlimited to preserve wetlands

    07/13/2006 4:13:29 PM PDT · by SandRat · 4 replies · 160+ views
    ARNEWS ^ | Spc. Nancy Van Der Weide
    WASHINGTON (Army News Service, July 13, 2006) – The Department of the Army advanced on its goal to prevent encroachment by establishing a new partnership between the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program and Ducks Unlimited July 7. The partnership allows Ducks Unlimited – an organization committed to the conservation, restoration and management of wetlands and associated habitats for North American waterfowl – to work with the Army to identify opportunities for wetland creation and management near installations participating in the ACUB program, said Chad Henry, director of training for the Training Lands Office. “It gives the troops more area to...
  • JOHN BATCHELOR LIVE AT 10 PM (until 1 AM)

    06/21/2006 7:26:58 PM PDT · by restornu · 4 replies · 300+ views
    John Batchelor on Eminent domain via enviorment Protection
  • Top court split over wetlands protections

    06/19/2006 10:05:00 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 18 replies · 862+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 6/19/06 | Gina Holland - ap
    WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Monday that regulators may have misinterpreted the federal Clean Water Act when they refused to allow two Michigan property owners to build a shopping mall and condos on wetlands they own. At the same time, justices could not reach a consensus on whether government can extend protections for wetlands miles away from waterways. The decision is the first significant environmental ruling for the high court headed by new Chief Justice John Roberts, and justices were so fractured that the main opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia only had the votes of four justices. Roberts,...
  • Feds working to create wetlands of the future

    05/24/2006 12:52:49 PM PDT · by dnmore · 11 replies · 294+ views
    Orlando Slantinel ^ | May 24, 2006 | Mike Bianchi
    As you prepare for the summer golfing season, a word of warning before trying to retrieve your ball from that water hazard on No. 2 at Stoneybrook West. Chances are, you're encroaching on a federally classified wetland. True story: Gale Norton, the former Secretary of the Interior who just quit a few weeks ago amid the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, called a news conference before her resignation to trumpet a U.S. Fish & Wildlife study claiming the nation had finally put an end to the ongoing depletion of federal wetlands. It was all part of President Bush's promise of "no...
  • Bylaw would put teeth in wetlands protection

    03/13/2006 8:39:11 AM PST · by GreenFreeper · 14 replies · 402+ views
    Boston Globe ^ | March 12, 2006 | Dan Tuohy
    Disturb a frog's vernal pool habitat: Pay $300. Alter a marsh, meadow, bog, bank, or pond of any size: See you in court. The potential fine and enforcement actions are some of the teeth in a proposed wetlands protection bylaw that would give the Belmont Conservation Commission greater authority over what happens in or around wetlands. The proposal, which voters will decide at Town Meeting on April 24, would reinforce a state law that more than half of the communities in Massachusetts have found lacking in some way. Belmont would join at least 180 others with a new wetlands bylaw,...
  • Fighting Overreaching Federal Government in Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Case (property rights)

    02/09/2006 3:53:03 PM PST · by freedomdefender · 5 replies · 772+ views
    USNewswire ^ | Feb 9 06 | USNewswire
    To: National Desk; Supreme Court, Legal and Environment Reporters Contact: Dawn Collier of the Pacific Legal Foundation, 916-419-7111 WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 /U.S. Newswire/ -- When John Rapanos began moving sand on his property in 1988, federal officials showed up, ordered him to stop, and began what has turned into an 18-year battle over the federal government's authority over wetlands. On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Pacific Legal Foundation will argue the case of Rapanos, a 70-year-old grandfather of six, before the United States Supreme Court. The case will decide whether the federal government has authority over virtually all water in the United...
  • Giving Up on New Orelans

    12/06/2005 3:56:27 PM PST · by HoHoeHeaux · 91 replies · 2,311+ views
    Los Angeles Times ^ | December 6, 2005 | Mike Tidwell
    We may as well abandon the Big Easy because the White House is killing a plan to protect the city from the next Katrina. By Mike Tidwell MIKE TIDWELL is the author of "Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast" (Pantheon, 2003). AS WE NEAR the 100-day mark since Hurricane Katrina hit, it's time we ended our national state of denial and abandon New Orleans for good. We should call it quits not because New Orleans can't be made relatively safe from hurricanes. It can be. And not because to do so is more trouble...
  • Brazilian environmentalist dies in protest (Enviro on Fire)

    11/14/2005 1:43:19 PM PST · by proud_yank · 23 replies · 696+ views
    Globe and Mail (Canadia) ^ | Nov 14, 2005 | AP
    Brazilian environmentalist dies in protest Monday, November 14, 2005 Posted at 2:06 PM EST Associated Press Rio de Janeiro — A crusading defender of Brazil's Pantanal wetlands died of his burns after setting himself on fire to protest a proposed sugarcane alcohol plant in the environmentally fragile region, hospital officials said Monday. Francisco Anselmo de Barros, 65, wrapped himself in an alcohol-soaked blanket and set it on fire during a protest Saturday in Campo Grande, 1,200 kilometres northwest of Rio de Janeiro, according to officials at the Santa Casa hospital. Fellow protesters smothered the fire with blankets and sprayed it...
  • Teens' joyride harms wetlands (Oh the Humanity! Alert)

    11/08/2005 6:34:42 AM PST · by add925 · 19 replies · 639+ views
    The Daily Journal ^ | 11/8/05 | PAIGE E. WASSEL
    Six Franklin teenagers were arrested Saturday night after reportedly driving off-road through a Shelby County wetland. The teens were arrested on charges of criminal mischief and criminal trespass. Shelby County sheriff’s deputies released the teens to their parents, chief deputy Mike Bowlby said.... ...Sue Webb said she wanted part of the land to be restored so the public could learn more about wetlands and appreciate nature. The year-old project, named Zachariah Webb Wetlands, is being restored by Joe DeHart, a Johnson County wetland developer and former Johnson County commissioner.
  • Bill aimed at DNR 'land grab' could meet constitutional snag [WI-wetlands are "lake bed"]

    11/03/2005 5:40:40 PM PST · by SJackson · 8 replies · 341+ views
    Vilas Co. News ^ | 11-3-05 | Kurt Krueger
    MADISON — A bill intended to stop the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) from grabbing land by claiming private wetlands are really state-owned lakebeds drew conflicting testimony at a hearing last week. Assembly Bill 71, authored by Rep. Dan Meyer (R-Eagle River), would give counties the final say on the determination of the ordinary high-water mark (OHWM) on public lakes, which often establishes where wetlands end and lakebed begins. Saying the policy implications are huge, the northern representative said as much as 120,000 acres of wetlands in Oneida County could be reclassified as lakebeds and taken off the tax rolls....
  • Puddle Jumpers in the Great Lakes State The EPA's twenty-year war to make everything a wetland

    10/24/2005 7:56:28 PM PDT · by vrwc0915 · 40 replies · 1,699+ views
    You can count on your constitutional due process rights if you are a thief, a rapist, or a murderer. But if you're accused of committing a crime against the environment, you may as well tear up the Constitution and bury it in a landfill—or better yet, send it for recycling. That, at least, is the message of the legal tactics that the government has employed in its two-decade-long crusade against John Rapanos, a Michigan developer. Rapanos' crime? He shifted sand from one part of his property to another without a wetland permit, a felony under the Clean Water Act. Rapanos'...
  • U.S. Supreme Court wades into Michigan dispute over wetlands [property rights]

    10/12/2005 9:28:20 PM PDT · by grundle · 24 replies · 741+ views
    Pittsburgh Post Gazette ^ | October 12, 2005 | Michael McGough
    Accepting the appeal of a Michigan developer who has become a hero to the property-rights movement, the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday said it will decide whether the federal government has the authority to regulate wetlands miles away from a river or other waterway. The justices will decide whether John Rapanos, a grandfather in his 70s, was within his rights when he filled in wetlands on his property without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Mr. Rapanos had hoped to build a shopping center on his land. They must decide whether to sustain $13 million in civil fines...
  • Court to Rule on Federal Regulation of Wetlands

    10/12/2005 9:52:19 AM PDT · by CedarDave · 25 replies · 620+ views
    The Washington Post ^ | October 12, 2005 | Charles Lane
    The Supreme Court announced yesterday that it will decide how extensively government can regulate the nation's wetlands, a key source of contention among environmentalists and property owners. Property owners in two cases the court agreed to hear argue that government regulators have interpreted the 1972 Clean Water Act too broadly and exceeded their power to regulate interstate commerce, because the wetlands in dispute are miles from any waters able to support recreation or shipping. In accepting the cases, the court ruled against the Bush administration, which had said in a brief that "core federal interests" were at stake and urged...
  • High court to hear environmental cases

    10/11/2005 12:57:57 PM PDT · by Pragmatic_View · 26 replies · 605+ views
    CNN ^ | 10/11/2005 | AP
    The Supreme Court, venturing into legal territory that it historically has avoided, said Tuesday it will consider restricting the government's authority to regulate wetlands. Jumping into a subject that is crucial for environmentalists, property owners and developers, the justices will take up claims that federal regulators have gone too far by restricting development of property that is miles away from any river or waterway. The cases give the court an opportunity to put limits on federal government authority, and a key player may be new Chief Justice John Roberts. The appeals were the first the court agreed to hear under...
  • Court Takes Up Wetlands Case in Rare Move

    10/11/2005 10:27:23 AM PDT · by SmithL · 15 replies · 918+ views
    AP ^ | 10/11/5 | GINA HOLLAND
    WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court, venturing into knotty legal territory, said Tuesday it will consider restricting the government's authority to regulate wetlands. Jumping into a subject that is crucial for both environmentalists, property owners and developers, the justices will take up claims that federal regulators have gone too far by restricting development of property that is miles away from any river or waterway. With more than 100 million acres of wetlands in the United States, an area the size of California, the stakes are high, justices were told. Environmental cases have been divisive at the court. In 2002, justices deadlocked...
  • WSJ: The Lawsuit That Sank New Orleans - If environmentalists don't mess things up, the Feds will.

    09/26/2005 5:27:07 AM PDT · by OESY · 65 replies · 2,596+ views
    Wall Street Journal ^ | September 26, 2005 | DAVID SCHOENBROD
    After Hurricane Betsy swamped New Orleans in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson... pledged federal protection. The Army Corps of Engineers designed a Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Barrier to shield the city with flood gates like those that protect the Netherlands from the North Sea. Congress provided funding and construction began. But work stopped in 1977 when a federal judge ruled, in a suit brought by Save Our Wetlands, that the Corps' environmental impact statement was deficient.... Speaking for environmentalists, the Center for Progressive Reform called the charges in the Los Angeles Times "pure fiction" because the judge stopped construction only until the...
  • Suit claims wetlands loss intensified damage (Katrina class action lawsuit)

    09/16/2005 12:10:19 AM PDT · by Uncle Joe Cannon · 20 replies · 856+ views
    Advocate ^ | 9/15/05
    Suit claims wetlands loss intensified damage By RICHARD BURGESS rburgess@theadvocate.com Acadiana bureau LAFAYETTE -- A lawsuit seeks what attorneys say could be billions of dollars from a long list of oil companies for damages to wetlands that would have allegedly softened Hurricane Katrina's blow. The class-action suit, filed in federal court in Lafayette this week, names as plaintiffs "all persons, businesses and entities in the state of Louisiana who have suffered damages as a result of Hurricane Katrina's winds and storm surge." At issue are the oil and gas pipeline canals that crisscross the state's coastal areas -- canals blamed...
  • Drowning New Orleans

    09/08/2005 6:38:03 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 2 replies · 446+ views
    Scientific American ^ | 08 September 2005
    Humankind can't stop the delta's subsidence, and it can't knock down the levees to allow natural river flooding and meandering, because the region is developed. The only realistic solutions, most scientists and engineers agree, are to rebuild the vast marshes so they can absorb high waters and reconnect the barrier islands to cut down surges and protect the renewed marshes from the sea. Len Bahr, head of the governor's Coastal Activities Office in Baton Rouge, tried to bring everyone together. Passionate about southern Louisiana, Bahr has survived three governors, each with different sympathies. "This is the realm in which science...
  • Greens vs. Levees - Destructive river-management philosophy

    09/08/2005 6:01:07 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 19 replies · 2,187+ views
    National Review online ^ | September 8, 2005 | John Berlau
    With all that has happened in the state, it’s understandable that the Louisiana chapter of the Sierra Club may not have updated its website. But when its members get around to it, they may want to change the wording of one item in particular. The site brags that the group is “working to keep the Atchafalaya Basin,” which adjoins the Mississippi River not far from New Orleans, “wet and wild.” These words may seem especially inappropriate after the breaking of the levee that caused the tragic events in New Orleans last week. But “wet and wild” has a larger significance...
  • Gone With The Water (Prophetic article on Louisiana Wetlands)

    09/07/2005 10:00:29 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 6 replies · 592+ views
    The National Geographic ^ | October 2004 | Joel K. Bourne, Jr.
    The Louisiana bayou, hardest working marsh in America, is in big trouble—with dire consequences for residents, the nearby city of New Orleans, and seafood lovers everywhere. _________________________________________________ It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who ventured outside moved as if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage to the man who invented air-conditioning as they watched TV "storm teams" warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes in August are as much a part of life in this town...
  • Katrina and Environmentalists Hypocrisy (Vanity)

    09/07/2005 10:48:26 AM PDT · by Wuli · 4 replies · 436+ views
    Wuli
    A tenet of environmentalism is that humans are always wrong in how they constantly upset the 'natural' environment, simply to suit the design and comfort of their own lifestyle. The same people have argued that human development has diminished the wetlands in the lowlands where the Mississippi meets the Gulf of Mexico. They also will argue that those wetlands help diminish the affect of a storm-surge from hurricanes like Katrina, by taking the brunt of the storm before it reaches the populated areas more inland. Yet, the 'natural' facts are that the greatest damage to such wetlands comes from -...
  • Iraqi Marshlands Rebounding Quickly Since Fall of Saddam, UN Reports

    08/24/2005 1:18:14 AM PDT · by Crackingham · 9 replies · 780+ views
    AP ^ | 8/24/05 | Hans Greimel
    The marshlands of southern Iraq, reputed inspiration for the biblical Garden of Eden, have recovered rapidly since the fall of Saddam Hussein, whose regime turned much of the lush waterscape into arid salt flats, the United Nations said Wednesday. New satellite imagery shows a rapid increase in water and vegetation cover in just the past three years, with the marshes rebounding to about 37 percent of the area they covered in 1970, up from about 10 percent in 2002, the United Nations Environmental Program said. "The evidence of their rapid revival is a positive signal," UNEP executive director Klaus Toepfer...
  • Geology Picture(s) of the Week, August 14-20, 2005: Farewell Spit, New Zealand

    08/18/2005 10:58:21 AM PDT · by cogitator · 8 replies · 502+ views
    The linked source above provides the article and a link to a full-size image. Here's the smaller version: Here's a "where is it?" context map: and here are various images from Farewell Spit (apparently -- not absolutely certain in the case of the first two, but very likely). This appears to be one of the world's ultimate natural beaches. and finally, found on the page that provided the last image above, these "Pancake Rocks" are somewhere in the vicinity: