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E-M:/ Call Sen. Abraham to stop a nasty anti-environmental rider!
- Subject: E-M:/ Call Sen. Abraham to stop a nasty anti-environmental rider!
- From: "Liz Godfrey" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2000 16:21:33 -0500
- List-Name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-To: "Liz Godfrey" <email@example.com>
Enviro-Mich message from "Liz Godfrey" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Congress is in full gear again and riders are again raising their nasty
heads. Please help stop a nasty anti-environmental rider that will
seriously undermine the Endangered Species Act. Senator Bond of Missouri
attached a rider to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill that would bar
the Army Corps of Engineers from implementing measures that would help the
interior least tern, piping plover, and pallid sturgeon on the Missouri
River. Thankfully, Senators Daschle(SD) and Baucus(MT) have agreed to
sponsor a "motion to strike" on the Senate floor. We are seeking to get
Senators to support this motion and Senator Abraham is seen as a "swing"
vote. Please give his Environmental Legislative Aide (Kevin Kolevar) a call
on this issue. I've inculded a little more background at the bottom of the
If you have any questions, please feel free to call. Thanks for your help!
GREEN Northland Organizer
the GrassRoots Environmental Effectiveness Network
*powering the Endangered Species Coalition*
*****Senator Abraham's phone number: 202-224-4822*****
September 5, 2000
NO MISSOURI RIVER RIDER
KEY SWING VOTES NOT HEARING FROM GRASSROOTS!
VOTE ON WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 6
In what could perhaps be the most important endangered species vote
this session, Congress is now expected to vote on the Missouri River
rider tomorrow, Wednesday September 6. Our friends up on Capitol Hill
are telling us that a number of key swing vote Senators are not feeling
the heat and need to hear from you grassroots folks. This is a vote
that is going to be very close but one that we can win if we can get
some more calls in encouraging them to do the right thing. You all know
the score, the recovery and possible survival of three listed species
is at stake and its you folks outside of the Beltway that can make the
difference. As always, thanks for taking the time to make some calls!
From the Endangered Species Coalition powered by GREEN,
The GrassRoots Environmental Effectiveness Network.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ( Much of the following information was kindly provide
by American Rivers):
1. Calls are desperately needed to a number of key swing votes. Please
call as many of the following Senators as you can. Their votes are
crucial to defeating this rider. The Senators along with their staff
contact person are below. Call the Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121 to
reach any of the following.
Lincoln (Chuck Burnett);
Roth (Dave Redlin);
Fitzgerald (Joe Watson/Elizabeth Collier);
Harkin (Rich Bender);
Chafee (Christy Plummer);
Snowe (Ginny Werth);
Collins (Dan Demeritt);
Jeffords (Ken Connelly or Andrew);
Voinovich (Rich Worthington/Ellen Stein)
Smith (N.H. Stephanie/David/Tom Gibson)
McCain (Jill Peters)
Lugar (Jeff Burnham)
Domenici (Dave Gwaltney)
Warner (Meredith Mosely)
Gregg (Michelle Pico)
Other Senators who are sitting on the fence and also need encouragement
from the grassroots to do the right thing include Senators: Breaux
(Johnny Brussard);Landrieu (Jason Schendler); Specter (Tom
Dauer);Santorum; Thomas (Jody Worhaye); McConnell (Scott O'Malia);
Frist; Thompson; DeWine (Joy); Helms; Hagel (Mike Brairton); Burns
(Ryan); Cochran (Rebecca Ben/Hunt Shipman); Lott (Beth Spivey); Grams
(Tom Yedinak or John Revere); Abraham (Kevin Colliver); Roberts
(Ashley); Brownback (Sara); Grassley (Sherry Kuntz); Crapo (Arlen
Flanz); Campbell (Kevin Studer).
2. Call your Senators. You can reach your Senators by calling the
Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
You can also get direct phone numbers, fax numbers, and district office
information by visiting:
SITUATION: A rider on a Senate appropriations bill would prevent the
Corps of Engineers from reforming dam operations to meet the needs of
listed species. Missouri Senator Kit Bond (R-MO)attached the rider to
the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill for FY'01.
But Senators Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Max Baucus (D-MT) will introduce an
amendment to strike Section 103, the anti-Missouri River rider. The
Senate is expected to resume consideration of the funding bill today
and vote on the anti-Missouri River rider tomorrow September 6, 2000.
PRIMARY MESSAGE: 1) This rider would prevent the Corps from reforming
Missouri River dam operations to meet the needs of endangered species.
We must restore rising flows in the spring and declining flows in the
summer to avoid jeopardy for two birds and a fish, according to
scientists and the USFWS.
ALSO: 2) The Corps is about to release a DEIS and open a six month
comment period on Missouri River dam operations. This rider would
effectively take one of five alternatives off the table before the
public gets a chance to have its say.
CONTACT AS MANY SENATORS AS YOU CAN NOW and urge them to support the
Daschle/Baucus amendment to strike the anti-Missouri River rider
Below is a sample letter if you would like to fax or email a letter.
You can also use the letter for talking points if you call.
I urge you to support Senator Daschle's amendment to strike Section 103
from the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill for FY 2001, which would
prevent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from meeting the needs of
Missouri River endangered species and recreation.
Section 103 would prevent the Corps of Engineers from reforming dam
operations to meet the needs of the federally endangered and
threatened interior least tern, piping plover and pallid sturgeon. This
anti-environmental rider would also prevent the public from considering
dam reforms that would meet the needs of recreation and river wildlife
by blocking one of five alternatives included in a Corps DEIS. The
Corps DEIS is set to be released in October.
Reforming dam operations to include a modest spring rise and low summer
flow would meet the needs of recreation and river wildlife without
impacting the river's traditional uses. River scientists have uniformly
concluded that increased spring flows are needed to provide a
reproductive cue for sturgeon, and to build the sandbars used by
nesting shorebirds. Fortunately, a modest spring rise could be
implemented without interfering with draining floodplain farms or
increasing flood losses, according to Corps studies.
Suspending barge traffic during the summer - which would aid young fish
and nesting birds -- would preserve Missouri River barge navigation in
the spring and fall, when farmers use the Missouri to ship goods, and
would not impact Lower Mississippi River navigation, according to Corps
By blocking the Corps from reforming Missouri River dam operations,
Congress would be contributing to the extinction of three
federally-protected species. I urge you to support Senator Daschle's
amendment to strike Section 103 from the Energy and Water
Appropriations Bill for FY 2001
[Your name and full mailing address]
FACT SHEET ON SECTION 103 OF THE FY 2001 ENERGY & WATER DEVELOPMENT
The FY 2001 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, which
will be debated on the Senate floor beginning September 5, includes an
anti-endangered species rider (Section 103) that prohibits the Army
Corps of Engineers from changing water management on the Missouri River
in ways needed to prevent the extinction of three endangered and
Specifically, the rider would prevent the Corps from implementing a
"spring rise", or increased water flows in May and June, from Gavins
Point Dam, the last dam on the river.
Please support an amendment expected from Senators Daschle (D-SD) and
Baucus (D-MT) to strike this provision.
* Without the proposed spring rise, Missouri River species will go
extinct. The Fish and Wildlife Service and all river scientists agree
unanimously that extinction of the endangered pallid sturgeon and least
tern and the threatened piping plover can only be avoided by a change
in river management to include at least a modest rise in flows during
the spring and low flows during the mid-summer.
* Section 103 would prevent the Corps from protecting endangered
species. This rider was not supported by hearings or Congressional
fact-finding and would prevent the Corps from meet the needs of
* Section 103 would eliminate the public from the decision-making
process on the Missouri. Section 103 would remove from consideration
one option for changing Missouri River management to prevent species
extinction. After waiting nine years for a legally-acceptable Draft
Environmental Impact Statement, the public would not have the
opportunity to comment on the full range of available options and would
not be able to provide adequate public comment as required by law.
Congress should let affected interests have their say.
* A spring rise will be subjected to extensive public comment before
implementation. The Corps will not implement a new Master Manual
alternative without a period of at least six months of public comment.
The Corps will present a range of alternatives for public review and
will use that public comment to make a final decision about a new dam
management plan for the Missouri River. Section 103 would prevent this
process from happening.
* A spring rise is necessary for Missouri River fish and wildlife.
Higher late spring/early summer dam releases create sandbars that serve
as important nesting habitat for two birds, the endangered interior
least tern and the threatened piping plover. Higher late spring/early
summer dam releases also act as a reproductive trigger for native fish,
including the endangered pallid sturgeon, catfish, and walleye,
according to river scientists.
* A spring rise would not increase the risk of flooding. The Corps
would not release additional water from Gavins Point Dam if the
Missouri River was already flooding, or was threatened by flooding.
Corps analysis shows that a dam management alternative including a
spring rise would preserve 99% of the flood control benefits provided
by the current system.
* A spring rise would allow floodplain farmers to drain their fields.
According to Corps analysis, floodplain farmers would be able to drain
their fields if late spring/early summer dam releases were boosted up
to 50,000 cubic feet per second (cfs).
* A spring rise would not occur every year. The Corps would implement a
spring rise according to adaptive management criteria. As proposed by
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Missouri River flow changes
including a spring rise would not be implemented during the 25 percent
lowest flow years to maintain downstream flows, or the 10 percent
highest flow years to avoid flooding impacts downstream.
* Proposed flow changes would help Mississippi River barges. Corps
analysis shows that a dam management alternative incorporating a spring
rise and lower flows in the summer would lower Mississippi River
navigation costs by $6 million annually during droughts over the
current water control plan.
* A spring rise and low summer flows are the best options for people. A
spring rise, coupled with low flows during the summer, would aid
recreation in the upper Missouri River basin by keeping reservoirs
higher during the summer (which helps marinas and other recreation
dependent businesses in the Dakotas and Montana). In the lower basin,
lower summer flows from Gavins Point Dam would attract anglers,
canoeists, campers, and others to the lower Missouri River by providing
slower, shallower water and exposing sandbars built by the spring rise.
* Flow changes would help riverside communities. As recreation and
tourism increase, new jobs will be created in riverside communities.
This is critically important for the upcoming celebration of the
bicentennial of Lewis and Clark's Voyage of Discovery.
The LCV may include the vote on LCV's scorecard. The League of
Conservation Voters, recognizing the importance of Missouri River
wildlife, issued a statement that it was considering including the vote
on the anti-Missouri River rider in its National Environmental
Scorecard of 2000. The Scorecard grades each Member of the Congress on
the most important environmental votes cast throughout the year.
The Clinton Administration issues a veto threat On July 21, the Clinton
Administration issued a veto threat for the Senate Energy and Water
Appropriations bill if the anti-Missouri River rider and other
anti-environmental provisions remain attached to the legislation.
PLEASE VOTE TO STRIKE THIS ANTI-PUBLIC PROCESS, ANTI-ENDANGERED SPECIES
RIDER FROM THE FY 2001 ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT APPROPRIATIONS
For more information, contact Chad Smith of American Rivers at
402-477-7910 or email@example.com
Or visit American Rivers website http://www.americanrivers.org
and see "Breaking News" for their action alert.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact your GREEN/ESC organizer. Contact
information ("staff") and a copy of this action alert is available on
the GREEN website under "Actions to Take"
ENVIRO-MICH: Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action. Archives at
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