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[Fwd: Pending aquaculture legislation will decimate frog populations]



Gary Casper wrote:
> 
> Hi Folks,
> 
>    Some depressing news on the amphibian conservation front.
> Aquaculture is big business in the Upper Midwest and aquaculture
> associations enjoy -- through their campaign contributions --
> considerable political clout. Recently, the Wisconsin Aquaculture
> Association wrote and the Wisconsin Legislature approved a bill (Ch.
> 29.521, Stats.) that would permit fish farming in "freeze-out" (i.e.,
> seasonal and semipermanent) wetlands. No aquatic ecologists were
> consulted in writing this bill. The bill was sneaked through without
> opportunity for public comment. Over the past couple of weeks there has
> been a limited opportunity for public comment; I drove to Madison last
> Wednesday and testified.
> 
>    It is clear that neither the aquaculturists nor the legislators have any
> notion of wetland ecology. As a result they are oblivious to the
> environmental destruction they are about to wreak. Freeze-out wetlands
> are, of course, used for breeding by most species of Upper Midwestern
> amphibians and the detrimental impacts of fish introductions on
> amphibians (and waterfowl for that matter) are well known.
> 
>    Most amphibian conservation issues are ultimately political issues. This
> legislation was a gift by Wisconsin politicians to the aquaculturists,
> presumably for their political support. The final decision on the
> implementation of this legislation will be made by a "Natural Resources
> Advisory Board" which is politically appointed by governor Tommy
> Thompson, and has a track record of acceding to the governor's wishes,
> who of course wishes to please his campaign donors. Considerable
> negative publicity could reverse this trend, and could force the governor
> to rethink this issue from a national perspective.
> 
>    So, I ask that you all do what you can.
> Comments are due by May 22nd to Sue Marcquenski, FH/4, DNR, PO Box
> 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921. E-mail: marcqs@dnr.state.wi.us
> 
> Please do not send comments to me.
> 
> For more details on aquaculture's role in amphibian declines, see
> http://www.mpm.edu/collect/vertzo/herp/Daptf/lannoo.html
> 
> All the best,
> Mike Lannoo
> US Coordinator, Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force
> 
> -----------------------------------------------------
> Gary S. Casper
>     http://www.mpm.edu/collect/garyc.html
> Wisconsin Herpetology Homepage
>     http://www.mpm.edu/collect/vertzo/herp/atlas/welcome.html
> -----------------------------------------------------
> please direct correspondance for Gary S. Casper to:
> Vertebrate Zoology Section, Milwaukee Public Museum
> 800 W. Wells St., Milwaukee, WI 53233
> voice (414)278-2766   fax (414)278-6100   E-mail gsc@uwm.edu