A new report from the federal government says many of us are spending a lot of money at or near national wildlife refuges. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
A new report from the federal government says many of us are
spending a lot of money at or near national wildlife refuges. The
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
The Interior Department says 37 million people visited National
Wildlife Refuges last year, triggering 1.4 billion dollars
in economic activity. The Department says the spending created almost
25,000 private sector jobs. Larry Wargowsky manages one of the
refuges. He says it’s mainly tourist dollars, not local spending,
that’s fueling the growth.
“That’s very critical… local money doesn’t cycle as much as new money
coming in from visitors into the local economy. It multiplies and
helps everything from the retailers to the motels.”
Wargowsky says unlike some of the national parks, the wildlife refuges
are by and large not in danger of being loved to death. Travel industry
officials say the new report shows eco-tourism is big business.
The Sierra Club says the study provides more reasons not to drill for
oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Go into any store these days and chances are you’ll find a bargain: buy two shirts and get one free… or buy a burger and get another one half-price. Retailers market their products with attractive deals because they know it works. Great Lakes Radio Consortium commentator Julia King thinks it’s time to use that marketing magic to get more of us to “buy into” public transportation:
Go into any store these days and chances are you’ll find a bargain: buy two shirts and get
one free… or buy a burger and get another one half-price. Retailers market their products
with attractive deals because they know it works. Great Lakes Radio Consortium
commentator, Julia King, thinks it’s time to use that marketing magic to get more of us to
“buy into” public transportation:
A couple years back, my smallish Northern Indiana town got an honest-to-goodness
PUBLIC BUS. Progressive types started walkin’ a little taller, a little prouder – because,
well, when you have a BUS it means you live in a place where somebody cares.
Our bus is such a good thing, in fact, that people hate to talk about the one little problem:
(whisper) nobody ever rides it. Okay, that’s not exactly true. Last Tuesday, my
neighbor’s friend thought she saw someone in the very last row on the right hand side.
I’m just BARELY exaggerating. There are really only two kinds of people who ever get
on our bus: hardcore greenie tree-huggers… and those who have no other form of
So, now, with tight government budgets and higher gas prices, some cost-conscious
citizens are rightly taking a closer look at our not-so-public public transportation.
In a letter to a local paper, one man put it this way: “I would prefer not having taxpayers’
dollars go literally up in fumes.” He suggested we have two choices: put the bus out of
its misery, or get more people to RIDE it.
According to the American Public Transportation Association, we could reduce our oil
dependence by about 40% – almost the amount we import from Saudi Arabia in a year –
if Americans would use public transportation for just 10% of our daily travel.
You know, radio stations hand out cash and concert tickets to attract listeners; television
stations lure viewers with home makeovers; cola companies entice customers with
everything from free soda to a chance at a BILLION dollars.
What do bus riders get for their trouble? Hmmm? Oh yeah – more trouble. If it’s hot, or
cold, or raining, and there’s a comfortable car ten feet away in the garage, taking a bus is
In large cities, where drivers compete for rare and costly parking spaces, public
transportation offers tangible rewards in the way of convenience and affordability. But in
communities with plenty of space and manageable traffic – if you have a car – the only
reasons to ride a bus are long-term, big picture, goody-goody reasons like ozone
reduction, energy conservation and curbing global warming.
Here’s where the public sector can use a little private-sector know-how. Catchy jingles,
cash prizes, gift certificates at shops along the bus routes, maybe chocolate…
riders need something in the here and now. Like anything else Americans buy, public
transportation is a product. It’s time to start selling it.
Host Tag: Julia King can be found riding the bus… alone… in Goshen, Indiana. She
comes to us by way of the Great Lakes Radio Consortium.
The Bush Administration has been under a lot of pressure from environmentalists, hunting groups, and state agencies to do something about wetlands protection. On Earth Day, President Bush responded by announcing a new initiative that he says will take wetlands protection to a higher level. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mark Brush takes a closer look at the President’s latest proposal:
The Bush Administration has been under a lot of pressure from
environmentalists, hunting groups, and state agencies to do something about
wetlands protection. On Earth Day, President Bush responded by announcing a
new initiative that he says will take wetlands protection to a higher level.
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mark Brush takes a closer look at the
President’s latest proposal:
In the last thirty years, urban sprawl and farming have destroyed millions of
acres of wetlands. Because of that, the past two Presidents called for a
policy of “no net loss of wetlands.” The current Bush administration says it also
supports that goal. And says it wants to go a step further.
On Earth Day, the President unveiled his latest plan to protect and restore
“The old policy of wetlands was to limit the loss of wetlands. Today, I’m going to
announce a new policy and a new goal for our country: instead of just
limiting our losses, we will expand the wetlands of America.”
(Applause – fade under)
The Bush administration says its policy will restore, improve, and protect a
total of three million acres of wetlands in the next five years. In his speech, the
President gave a general outline of the plan, saying he’s going to increase support for a
number of programs already in place.
Ben Grumbles is an Assistant Administrator at the Environmental Protection
Agency. He heads up the water and wetlands programs for the EPA. He says
the President has called on many agencies to implement the new plan:
“The heart of the President’s new goal and commitment is to use
collaborative conservation-based programs to gain three million acres of
wetlands and to do so through USDA, Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, conservation programs and
partnerships with the private sector.”
While environmentalists approve parts of President Bush’s new plan, many of
them say it’s the wrong first step to take. Julie Sibbing is a wetlands
policy specialist with the National Wildlife Federation.
“Although it’s a great thing that they’re going to get a million acres of
wetlands restored, and a million acres enhanced, and a million acres
protected, it’s only a drop in the bucket compared to what’s currently at
risk due to their policies on protecting wetlands under the Clean Water
And that’s the main criticism – environmentalists and some hunters say the
Administration is not doing its job in enforcing current federal laws. Laws that protect
rivers, lakes, and wetlands – and worse – they say the administration has
actively weakened laws that protect millions of acres of smaller, isolated
wetlands. These critics see this latest announcement by the Bush Administration
as an attempt to shore up its dismal record on the environment in general…
and on wetlands in particular.
The National Wildlife Federation’s Julie Sibbing says the Administration
would make better use of taxpayers’ money by reviewing some of its policies
and protecting wetlands that already exist:
“It’s just too hard to build new wetlands for us to ignore protecting what’s
there right now. We love the programs that restore former wetlands, but the
most important thing is to try to protect those wetlands that we still
Officials in the Bush Administration say they are serious about enforcing
the law. And they say they are protecting wetlands. They say they’re just
taking a different approach.
In his speech, President Bush said good conservation will
happen when people don’t just rely on the government to be the solution to
the problem, saying more people should look to private sector land trusts
and voluntary efforts by landowners to get the job done.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Mark Brush.
Lynn Scarlett is the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Interior's Office of Policy, Management and Budget.
Carl Pope is the Executive Director of the Sierra Club. (Photo courtesy of the Sierra Club)
As the campaigns for President advance, President George W. Bush’s environmental policies are being examined. The Bush administration has been criticized by many of the large environmental groups. But Bush supporters say the White House approach to environmental protection is working well. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham talked with one of the architects of the Bush environmental policy, Lynn Scarlett. She is Assistant Secretary of the Department of Interior’s Office of Policy Management and Budget. Scarlett says the Bush approach to the environment goes beyond just punishing polluters, but encourages everyone to do more:
As the campaigns for President advance, President George W.
Bush’s environmental policies are being examined. The Bush
administration has been criticized by many of the large environmental
groups. But Bush supporters say the White House approach to
environmental protection is working well. In the second of two
interviews, the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham
talks with the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Interior’s
Office of Policy, Management and Budget, Lynn Scarlett. She’s one
of the architects of the Bush environmental policy. Scarlett says the
Administration’s approach to the environment goes beyond just
punishing polluters, but encourages everyone to do more:
SCARLETT: “You know, our vision is one of cooperative conservation. Some years ago the
great conservationist Aldo Leopold talked about a nation of citizen-stewards, that we can’t get the
conservation job done and the environmental job done unless each person in their own backyards
and working together engage in conservation and environmental entrepreneurship, if you will.
So, for us, we’re trying to seek those partnerships, partnered problem-solving, we’re trying to
emphasize innovation and what I like to call environmental entrepreneurship, the imagination of
many minds creatively figuring out how to reduce our environmental footprint and then working
in cooperation across a mosaic of landscapes, public lands, with private landowners and across
LG: “It would seem that an approach like that would require a lot of volunteerism in the private
sector and many times that volunteer effort has been lacking. It seems that we need some kind of
regulation from the federal government or from the state governments to make sure that the
environment is protected.”
SCARLETT: “You know, the vision is a multi-faceted one. Of course, we have, since Earth Day
1970, a whole suite of environmental laws that were unfurled, our banner environmental statutes,
and we are very committed to ensuring compliance with those statutes. So, the question is really
a matter of emphasis. As we go forward in the 21st century, I think the question we all have to
ask is: ‘How do we get to that next step of environmental progress?’ We build upon the
regulatory achievements, but we have to begin to ask ourselves ‘How can we work together to get
that next increment of progress. And when you look at what’s actually going on in the nation,
you see tremendous cause, I think, for optimism.”
LG: “There are no doubt some innovative ideas popping up out of the private sector to deal with
environmental concerns, but the Big Greens, the environmental organizations, are issuing scathing
reports about the record of the Bush administration. And they would disagree with your
characterization that we’re making progress. They would indicate that we’ve lost ground in
SCARLETT: “You know, I think that we have to look at the actual results on the ground.
There’s always politics at play, of course, in conversations about environment, but the real test of
success is on the ground and also the kinds of commitments that we’re tangibly making. I like to
say environmental progress is a journey not a destination. There’s always more to be done. But,
this administration has the highest dollars ever expended by any administration going towards
environmental protection whether it’s on the pollution side and pollution clean-up or on the land-
management and conservation side. We have a number of new programs. The President initiated
a landowner incentive program. It’s one patterned after what he had done in Texas to try to
stimulate and engage people to participate in species protection, particularly ‘at risk’ and
‘threatened’ and ‘endangered’ species. He inaugurated a private stewardship grant program with a
similar focus. So there’s an awful lot that is occurring that is getting results on the ground.”
LG: “Well, let’s try to get to the nut of the philosophical difference between the Bush
administration and many of these environmental groups who find great fault with the Bush
administration’s approach to environmental protection. What do you think the key differences are
between the White House perspective on the environment and these environmentalists?”
SCARLETT: “I think the fundamental difference, the major reorientation of philosophy is to say
‘You know what? Real success doesn’t reside necessarily in numbers of enforcement actions
taken, but rather results on the ground.’ And that there are a whole array of tools to achieve that,
many of which are outside Washington. All Americans want clean air. They want clean water.
And real success resides in inspiring them and working with them and partnering with them. And
I think the record will tell a very good tale.”
HOST TAG: Lynn Scarlett is Assistant Secretary of the Department
of Interior’s Office of Policy, Management and Budget.