Tribes Take Climate Change to Washington

Some Native American tribes are starting to raise more concerns about climate change. Chuck Quirmbach reports:

Transcript

Some Native American tribes are starting to raise more concerns about climate change. Chuck Quirmbach reports:

About fifty tribes recently met with the National Wildlife Federation, for a conference on global climate change.


Paul Christel is fisheries biologist for the Lac Courtes Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. He says the tribes are getting a better handle on how global warming is affecting tribal lands and waters. In colder climates, Christel says ice is arriving later and melting earlier, which can affect fishing seasons.


“You know, customs that have been carried on for thousands of years are all of a sudden shaken up. And it’s not a theoretical issue anymore. It’s hitting people in a very real, very physical way.”


Christel says he hopes Congress and the Bush Administation will take note of the greater tribal interest in slowing down climate change.


For the Environment Report, I’m Chuck Quirmbach.

Related Links

Coalition Comes to Bottled Water Agreement

A conservation group and an industry coalition have come
to an agreement on one of the stickiest issues hanging up a regional water use agreement. The question is whether bottled water exports are considered a diversion of Great Lakes water. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports:

Transcript

A conservation group and an industry coalition have come to an agreement on one of the stickiest issues hanging up a regional water use agreement. The question is whether bottled water exports are considered a diversion of Great Lakes water. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports:


Officials from the Great Lakes states and provinces are trying to hammer out a regional water use agreement known as Annex 2001. They’ve been trying to come to a deal for the last four years. So the National Wildlife Federation and the Council of Great Lakes Industries agreed on some of the most contentious issues.


One of those is bottled water. The groups recommended that bottled water exports be allowed in the agreement, but that states be allowed to enact their own limits or bans. But some environmental groups are unhappy about the proposal. David Holtz is Michigan director of Clean Water Action.


“We don’t care how water leaves the basin. What’s the difference if it leaves in twelve-ounce bottles or a pipe? I mean, it’s still gone.”


The Council of Great Lakes Governors has a December deadline to agree on a plan.


For the GLRC, I’m Sarah Hulett.

Related Links

More Warming Warnings for Wildlife

A new report on global warming forecasts more uncertainty
for North American wildlife. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:

Transcript

A new report on global warming forecasts more uncertainty for North American wildlife. The
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:


The Wildlife Society is a group of biologists, habitat managers and educators. The society has
looked over hundreds of peer-reviewed studies from the last few years on global warming and
wildlife. The report says the one degree Fahrenheit increase in average global temperatures over
the past century is already having some effect on species like songbirds.


The Wildlife Society also says a predicted larger increase in global warming will generally push
wildlife and habitats northward. Douglas Inkley of the National Wildlife Federation says this
northward push means migration corridors will need to be expanded.


“Generally on a North-South axis, would be the best direction to put those in, so that the wildlife
are able to move as the climate changes.”


The report also urges more measures to reduce emissions of pollutants that contribute to global
warming. The Wildlife Society will take up formal policy recommendations at its meeting in
March.


For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Chuck Quirmbach.

Related Links

Hunters and Anglers Disagree With Bush Policies

A group that generally considers itself to be conservative disagrees with many of the Bush administration’s policies on the environment. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports on a survey of hunters and anglers:

Transcript

A group that generally considers itself to be conservative disagrees with many of the Bush
Administration’s policies on the environment. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham
reports on a survey of hunters and anglers:


The National Wildlife Federation commissioned a nationwide survey of people who hold hunting or
fishing licenses. It revealed that hunters and anglers generally liked some of the Bush
conservation programs, but disagreed with the Bush approach to controlling mercury pollution,
drilling for gas on public lands, and changing how wetlands are protected. Brian Preston is with the
National Wildlife Federation. He says the survey shows hunters and anglers want to protect the
environment; not just their hunting and fishing rights.


“They’re not the ‘Bubba’ that just cares about filling a bag limit. They do care about their natural
resources, and based on those values, they’re not happy with some of the current policies put forth
by the White House.


More than two-thirds of the hunters and anglers voted for Bush in the last election, but an even
greater number disagree with some of the Bush policies on the environment.

Comments Sought on Navigation Study

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Canadian Department of Transportation are studying the navigational system in the Great Lakes and along the Saint Lawrence River. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Celeste Headlee reports, the groups are holding public hearings on the issue this summer:

Transcript

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Canadian Department of
Transportation are studying the navigational system in the Great Lakes and along the
Saint Lawrence River. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Celeste Headlee reports,
the groups are holding public hearings on the issue this summer:


The study will evaluate current conditions in the Great Lakes and determine what is
required to maintain the navigational routes at the existing size and capacity.


Tim Eder is the director of Water Resources for National Wildlife
Federation. He says any plans for Great Lakes navigation must address current problems
of invasive species and habitat destruction, not make them worse. Eder says only a
handful of ships come in from foreign ports on a daily basis…


“But each ship brings with it the risk of another invasive species and right now, our
fishery in the Great Lakes region is teetering on the brink of collapse because of zebra
mussels, because of sea lampreys, because of Asian carp that are knocking on the door
trying to get into the Great Lakes… most of which, not all, but most of which come in the
ballast tanks of ships from foreign ports.”


The public hearings are being held at various locations through July 14th.


For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Celeste Headlee.

Related Links

Enviros Call on Fcc to Enforce Tower Regs

Communication towers throughout the country, such as cell phone and radio towers, are to blame for millions of migratory bird deaths each year. Now, an environmental group has filed a complaint against the Federal Communications Commission in an attempt to cut down on bird deaths. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Ashley McGovern reports:

Transcript

Communication towers throughout the country, such as cell phone and radio
towers, are to blame for millions of migratory bird deaths each year. Now,
an environmental group has filed a complaint against the Federal
Communications Commission in an attempt to cut down on bird deaths. The
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Ashley McGovern reports:


The Federal Communications Commission requires lights on communication
towers two-hundred feet and taller.


Environmental groups say these towers pose a threat to migratory birds.


They say in bad weather birds mistake lights on towers for stars they use to
navigate when flying.


The FCC requires an environmental impact study to be conducted whenever
towers like these are built.


But environmental groups say the FCC rarely follows this regulation.


The National Wildlife Federation filed a complaint against the FCC after the
Michigan State Police built a one-hundred-eighty-one-tower communication
system.


Michelle Halley is an attorney for the NWF.


“The Michigan State Police applied to register their towers and to build their towers, and they were
allowed by the FCC to do that, without conducting the proper environmental review.”


Halley says these reviews can help position towers outside of migratory bird
flyways.


She also says lowering some towers would eliminate the required lighting.


For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Ashley McGovern.

Related Links

Great Lakes Story – Today’s Youth

This Spring, environmentalist Alden Lind received the SpecialAchievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation for a lifetimeof work protecting the Great Lakes. Born in Duluth and raised alongLake Superior’s North Shore, 63-year-old Alden Lind has spent over fortyyears as an active steward to Lake Superior. Now he faces a personalbattle with congenitive heart failure. As part of the Great Lakes RadioConsortium’s continuing series "Great Lakes Stories", Lind says thattoday’s youth need to get more involved in politics: