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Re: Re: E-M:/ WLFA News Release

Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com


I would also add that on state lands there are no substantial threatened and 
endangered species studies done to reflect "sound" analysis in EIS's, 
environmental assessments or biological evaluations-even when done.  
Biologists on state land are often not allowed to do endangered species 
survey work because their incomes and wages are largely paid through funds 
from the Deer Range Improvement Program.  This program embraces a policy of 
clearcutting forests for deer food, so-called "habitat improvement projects". 
 The artificially inflated deer herd numbers result in cycles of starvation 
and severe overgrazing of forests.  For instance, In Menominee County (and on 
thousands of acres across the state) deer herds have been so high that 
hardwoods do not grow back due to heavy deer grazing.  White cedar, hemlock, 
and Canadian yew are components of old growth forests that simply do not grow 
back where deer overgraze, or where cuts have occurred under "wildlife 
improvement projects."  MUCC, DNR and the FS presume to think that all of 
Michigan's residents are content with tree farms of aspen, grouse and 
white-tailed deer.    

When MUCC, foresters and public officials from the DNR and FS talk about 
science, it is the science of agricultural tree-farming-which happens to 
favor grouse, whitetails, and other edge species.  

Tree species such as hemlock, white cedar, eastern white pine and yellow 
birch are tragically missing because industrial "forest science" has been 
unable to successfully regenerate those species.  These species take at least 
100-150 years to begin maturing into forests that provide habitat for many 
forest species dependent on old growth.  This is too long for our Industrial 
tree farmers. 

On federal lands, "boiler-plate" environmental assesments and biological 
evaluations are used in place of site specific assesments.   FS and DNR also 
regularly ignore peer reviewed data on T& E species which has been conducted 
outside the agency. 

Murray Dailey

Dave Zaber wrote:

MUCC's knee-jerk and ill-conceived reaction to the Sierra Club suit over 
wildlife management on public lands in Michigan reflects the organization's 
view that maintaining ecosystems in early successional stages to maximize 
herbivore abundance for game purposes is sound management.  

If MUCC were truly interested in sound management and accurate environmental 
assessment, then they would be leading the charge for a full Environmental 
Impact Statement on use of the PR funds.  That way, the merits of their 
arguments, and the arguments of groups such as the Ruffed Grouse Society will 
be evaluated for all to see.  That's all that Sierra Club is asking for in 
the lawsuit, after all.

For far too long, federal tax dollars have gone to support management 
practices with a growing record of adverse impacts.  Finally, we have the 
opportunity to verify the assertions of MUCC and other groups regarding the 
suitability and success of land management practices in Michigan.  
Unfortunately, rather then support sound analysis opponents have turned to 
patently false statements and exageration.  Opponents of this suit should 
reexamine their opposition in light of the need for sound environmental 
analysis of a program with such large impacts and such great possibilities.  


Dave Zaber

  ----- Original Message ----- 

  From: Kenneth Vermeulen 

  To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net ; timf@mac.com 

  Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2001 7:58 AM

  Subject: Re: E-M:/ WLFA News Release

  Tim, without taking sides as to the merits of either sides case, I think 
you better be careful criticizing the "honesty" of the MUCC, et al, if you 
are going to suggest in the same breath that an Environmental Impact 
Statement would take "a couple of weeks."  

  >>> Tim Flynn <timf@mac.com> 02/27/01 07:07PM >>>


  Thanks for posting this press release.  As a party to this suit, I'd like 
to clear up a few things, the comments below are my personal response to this 
clearly misleading statement.

  Tim Flynn

  >From the press release by MUCC, Ruffed Grouse Society, etal.

  > The action is in response to a suit filed in early October against the 

  > and USFWS by the Sierra Club.  If successful, the suit could halt wildlife

  > habitat management practices on state lands in Michigan.

  This statement is completely disingenuous, or in the alternative maybe 
these "outstanding" conservation orgs haven't read our brief and they're just 
ignorant of the case.  

  We have worked for more than 5 years to get the State and the Feds to 
comply with Federal law, we did so for the specific reason that we did not 
want to stop the funding of wildlife projects, even though we object strongly 
to some of them.  

  We have been asking for more than 5 years, that they review, as required by 
federal law, the environmental consequences of their program.  This includes 
a public disclosure of what they intend to do with OUR money, a look at 
alternative ways of protecting and restoring wildlife habitat, a consultation 
on the effects of the program on endangered species, and a disclosure the 
cumulative environmental effects of their actions.

  > The suit further contends the

  > Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Fish and Wildlife Service 

  > violated federal law by using monies collected from sportsmen through 

  > taxes on firearms and ammunition to fund these habitat management 

  First, I personally help pay the tax on firearms, and ammunition, as I am a 
deer hunter.  Many Sierra Club members also hunt or fish, so many of our 
members also pay into this fund.  We do have a stake in this funding, along 
with our rights to see that Michigan's habitat is in fact protected and 
restored.  This is in fact the purpose of the P-R Act in question.  

  Second, we contend they are violating Federal law, not by using the monies 
for habitat management projects, but instead the violation comes from not 
specifying what they intend to do with the money, and by not assessing the 
environmental effects of they actions.  This press release by these 
"conservationists" is clearly intended to mislead the press and public about 
this suit, honesty does not seem to be part of their conservation ethic!


  > MUCC Executive Director James Goodheart explains, "The Sierra Club's 

  > is a deliberate attempt to stall the pace of wildlife management.  

  > within our forestlands have been successfully managed for decades first by

  > the Department of Conservation and then by the DNR.  We do not need to

  > federalize management of our natural resources."

  Here James, seems to be reading our minds, nice trick.  What we are doing, 
deliberately, is to get the State and the FWS to evaluate the effects of 
their management on the habitat they claim to be improving.  James claims 
that their management has been successful, well then just show that to the 
public in an environmental assessment.  For over five years we've been asking 
the State and the Fed's to do just that, had they done so there would be not 
a lawsuit, and no delay in funding.

  Any funding delays must clearly be laid at the feet of the Governor, his 
DNR Director Mr. Cool, and the lack of a true conservation ethic in the Fish 
and Wildlife Service's Federal Aid Division.  All they had to do was follow 
the clear mandates of NEPA and the ESA.  If the program is so above board, 
what are they afraid of?

  > "We are concerned that this lawsuit may impede the development of 

  > important wildlife habitats on state lands in Michigan," stated Adam Bump,

  > Regional Wildlife Biologist for the Ruffed Grouse Society in Michigan.  

  > proactively managing our state forests, we can ensure the proper balance

  > between young and old forests, and provide habitats for all forest

  > wildlife."

  If the agencies had proactively follow Federal law, there would be no 
problem.  Had these "conservation" organizations pressured the agencies, over 
the last five plus years, to follow the law as they implemented of this 
program they wouldn't have to worry today.  

  We are asking them, simply, to evaluate the "proper balance", to assess 
what are the most scientifically justified, critically important, wildlife 
habitat projects.  Are 40,000 acres of industrial clearcuts, or the planting 
of non-native plants the most critically needed habitat projects.  I 
personally doubt it, but all we've asked is that they prove it in an 
assessment of the environmental consequences, as require by Federal law.


  > The WCFA echoed these sentiments.


  > "The idea that wildlife management would suffer by denying the use of

  > sportsmen's dollars is unconscionable," said Rick Story, WCFA vice

  > president. 

  Here we agree.  That is why we waited more than five years, that is why we 
seek to have this money spent wisely, not just willy nilly.  It is also 
unconscionable to have these funds spent on less than critically important 
habitat projects.

  NEPA (the National Environmental Policy Act) is designed to make sure 
federal moneys are spent wisely with regards to the environment.  This 
program is supposed to help the environment by having Federal Agencies look 
before they leap.  Why not spend a couple of weeks, upfront, assessing 
whether the proposed actions will be the best use of our money?  

  Maybe some of these "conservationists" can explain this fear of looking at 
the consequences to us!  Or are they really just interested in protecting 
they own interests without regard to the actual effects of this program on 
Michigan's environment?


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