Fish and Wildlife Service to Cut Staff

More job cuts might be on the way at National Wildlife
Refuges, but the new Congress will apparently be taking a
closer look at reductions announced by the US Fish and
Wildlife Service. Chuck Quirmbach reports:

Transcript

More job cuts might be on the way at National Wildlife
Refuges, but the new Congress will apparently be taking a
closer look at reductions announced by the US Fish and
Wildlife Service. Chuck Quirmbach reports:


The fish and wildlife agency already has announced plans to
cut more than 250 jobs over the next three years. Further
cuts are expected soon.


The agency blames a flat budget and rising operational and
personnel costs, but Jeff Ruch of Public Employees for
Environmental Responsibility says visitors to the affected
refuges will find a less enjoyable experience at no real
savings in tax dollars:


“All the cutbacks in the refuge system are less than what
we’re spending in Iraq in a day. I mean to put it in some
perspective, we’re talking about literally millions of
dollars versus billions of dollars that are being
hemorrhaged out of other government operations.”


Democratic Congressman Ron Kind co-chairs a caucus on
wildlife refuges. He says he’ll try to address the job cuts
in the next federal budget.


For the Environment Report, I’m Chuck Quirmbach

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States to Crack Down on Ship Ballast Tanks?

  • Michigan Senator Patty Birkholz and state Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema proposing a "multi-state compact" to combat invasive species. (Photo courtesy of Senate Photowire)

A Michigan lawmaker is urging other states in the region to enter into a multi-state compact aimed at limiting the influx of invasive species into the Lakes. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports:

Transcript

A Michigan lawmaker is urging other states in the region to enter into a
multi-state compact aimed at limiting the influx of invasive species into
the Lakes. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports:


Federal regulations require ocean-going ships to exchange their ballast
water in the open ocean before they enter the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The
idea is to flush out any plants or animals that might have hitched a ride
from foreign ports. But Michigan state Senator Patty Birkholz says that
system isn’t working, because organisms can remain in the sludge at the
bottom of ships’ ballast tanks.


Birkholz is the co-chair of the Great Lakes legislative caucus. She wants
the eight states that surround the lakes to use their water pollution laws
to crack down on ships that release ballast water into the lakes.


“So it would require, first of all, them to get a permit to prove that
they’ve treated their ballast water, and then to treat their ballast water
in order to enter the Great Lakes basin.”


Birkholz hopes to have a multi-state compact in place by 2007.


For the GLRC, I’m Sarah Hulett.

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