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E-M:/ Senator Abraham's Neotropical Migratory Bird Bill

Enviro-Mich message from woiwode@vol.com (Tom & Anne Woiwode)

This bill traces its genesis back to attempts by public and private
agencies that share responsibility for the protection of migratory bird
species (think of the Kirtland's warbler) to find ways to develop
collaborative conservation practices.  While it certainly isn't exclusively
designed for the benefit of the Kirtland's warbler, a program event using
the Kirtland's might illustrate how it could benefit agencies with shared

About 18 months ago agency leaders from the Bahamas came to Michigan and
spent several weeks in the company of US Forest Service, DNR and Nature
Conservancy employees, traveling around the Kirtland's management areas and
discussing management issues and challenges.  Following that, last winter
(98), TNC-MIchigan chief scientist Dr. Dave Ewert, an internationally
recognized ornitholigist, went to the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos
Islands for about 3 weeks to work with the local NGOs and government
agencies to develop appropriate land management practices that would
protect the Kirtland's in those island countries.  Dave has been going to
the US Virgin Islands and the Bahamas for 2-4 weeks every year for the past
10+ years, working with the local agencies in the development of
conservation practices and land management plans.

Those visits were entirely underwritten by TNC--both Dave's salary and
travel expenses.

While the initial funding is modest, this bill would provide some seed
funding to enable agencies with shared interest and commitment to expand
those visits, and to hopefully develop a collaborative conservation plan
for those species covered by the bill, to be implemented both north and

Although TNC does not get involved in direct lobbying for specific pieces
of legislation, we were very happy to see this bill develop, especially
with the universal support it engendered.  And while I was with TNC, I was
pleased to acknowledge the potential benefits of such a bill.  Special
acknowledgement should go to the National Audubon Society, which was
actively involved in the development of the language of the bill, and to
Senator Abraham's environmental aide, Kevin Kolevar, who protected the bill
from a variety of attempts to compromise the bill's intent.

I think this bill has some interesting potential, and hope it is only the
initial foray in a much more well-funded and aggressive neotropical
migratory bird protection program.

Tom Woiwode

                                                                Tom, Anne,
Nate and Pete Woiwode
                                                             and their
wonder dogs Tess and Sludge
beautiful Okemos, Michigan

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