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It Takes All Sorts......

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Great article by Bob Maciulis.


A few topics here for debate.



It takes all sorts to fuel the conservation ethic


February 29, 2008


In considering environmental heroes, it is often best to check their record before beginning to gush about the successes of some of the newcomers.


Dan Thomas is still one of the best.


Having lost interest in competing as an independent construction business owner, Dan dished the business twenty-five years ago so he could champion the Great Lakes fisheries full time.


As President of the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council, Dan has been at the forefront of the environmental movement.


Now, Dan and I are in agreement on most subjects, yet I've always maintained that the large industry bureaucracies and box stores use their size dangerously.


While Dan's reasoning was more, "What's the damage? At least they're fishing."


Among the biggest scoops that Dan's come up with during recent years is that


"...Congressional leaders are attempting to pass the Clean Water Restoration Act of 2007 (HR2421 and S1870) that would amend the 1972 Clean Water Act and replace the words 'navigable waters' with 'waters of the United States'."


The Clean Water Restoration Act of 2007 defines "...waters of the United States with such scope that federal agencies would be required to regulate use of every square inch of the U.S., both public and private.


The proposed definition states: The term 'waters of the United States' means all waters subject to ebb and flow of the tides, the territorial seas, and all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries, including lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, play lakes (a flat dried up area, esp. a desert basin), natural ponds and all impoundment of the foregoing, to the fullest extent that these waters are subject to the legislative power of Congress under the Constitution."


(This is a result of U. S. Supreme Court's recent decision that the words "navigable waters" in the Clean Water Act limited federal agencies to regulation of navigable waters only. Wetlands (HR 2421) Bill also gives Corps control over your property.)


Thomas reports that, "Congress is considering expanding the power of the Clean Water Act of 1972 to include all waters of the United States and not limit it to navigable waters as is currently the law under two Supreme Court Decisions."


Reed Hopper, lead attorney in the latest Supreme Court victory for landowners said, "...this bill pushes the limit of federal power to an extreme not matched by any other law, probably in the history of this country."


Jim Burling, according to Thomas, senior attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, said, 'If our constitutional system of limited federal powers means anything, we have to win on this issue'."


The measure received the support of environmental and citizens groups, according to Thomas.


Sponsored by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI) the co-sponsors read like a Who's-Who of the Democratic Party as of January 28, 2008: Boxer (CA), Brown (OH], Cantwell (WA), Cardin (MD), Carper (DE), Dodd (CT), Durbin (IL), Kerry (MA), Kohl (WI), Lautenberg (NJ), Leahy (VT), Levin (MI), Lieberman (CT), Menéndez (NJ), Reed (RI), Sanders (VT), Schumer (NY), Stabenow (MI), Whitehouse (RI) and Wyden (OR).


Will the next thing the government candidates fare any better than the local conservationists?


We applaud the work of groups like Friends of the Fox and the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance. However, at times, it seems like there are just too few volunteers in your group.


Then? Reach out to the park districts themselves to see if they can provide funding for community-based intervention programs.


It takes all sorts to fuel the conservation ethic. When it comes to the stewardship of the environment, differences are good, diversity is applauded.



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