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Game and Fish to step up efforts to enforce OHV Decal compliance

 

Low participation is hurting program goals and benefits to recreationists

(Dec 30, 2009) - Citing statistics showing that less than one-quarter of off-highway vehicles in Arizona have the required OHV Decal, Arizona Game and Fish Department Director Larry Voyles announced that the agency’s officers would be stepping up compliance enforcement efforts in the field.

“Our officers will be issuing citations to off-highway vehicle users who don’t have the required decal on their OHV,” said Voyles. “The program has been in effect and public education efforts have been ongoing for over a year now. The compliance rate is very disappointing, given the benefits the program would provide to recreationists.”

Voyles likened the “user play, user pay” program to wildlife conservation, where hunters and anglers pay for wildlife conservation through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses. “Rates for hunting license compliance exceed 95 percent,” said Voyles, “Hunters and anglers have demonstrated their commitment to wildlife conservation for decades.”

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Protecting Our Natural Landscapes

(Nov 9, 2009) - Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), joined by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) as an original co-sponsor, today introduced legislation (S. 2747) to fully fund the program which protects lands with significant natural, recreational and scenic attributes. The program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LCWF), has been authorized at $900 million a year since 1977.  Over the years, the program has protected more than 5 million acres of land and water across the country, including such special places as Arizona’s Grand Canyon, California’s Redwood Forest, Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front and Alaska’s Denali National Park.

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Measure Passes to Help Fund Wildfire Fighting

(Nov 2, 2009) - This has been a great week for national forests: the FY2010 Interior Appropriations bill is on its way to the President’s desk.  It includes a provision aimed at ensuring adequate Federal funding to fight large, complex wildland fires.  This will help the Forest Service avoid raiding other accounts to pay for fighting such expensive fires, thus preventing shortfalls in other necessary forest management programs.

“Our wildfire funding practices have been broken for a decade, and that has negatively impacted not only the Forest Service, but also the communities, businesses, and natural resources it serves,” said Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “The success of this legislation ultimately depends on the support of the Administration and Congress, but we have charted a new and clear course to that success, and that is a significantly accomplishment.”

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Power Transmission Construction Permits Rules Eased

Nine Federal Agencies Agree to Expedite Permitting of Power Transmission Construction on Federal Lands

WASHINGTON (Oct 28, 2009) – Obama Administration officials today released a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by nine Federal Departments and Agencies to make it faster and simpler to build transmission lines on Federal lands. The goal of the agreement is to speed approval of new transmission lines, reduce expense and uncertainty in the process, generate cost savings, increase accessibility to renewable energy and jumpstart job creation.

As President Obama announced in his speech yesterday, the agreement “will help break down the bureaucratic barriers that currently make it slow and costly to build new transmission lines on federal lands.”

The MOU has been signed by the Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

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FWS Approves Shot Alloys for Waterfowl Hunting

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR - Fish and Wildlife Service

Migratory Bird Hunting; Approval of Tungsten-Iron-Fluoropolymer Shot Alloys as Nontoxic for Hunting Waterfowl and Coots; Availability of Final Environmental Assessment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule; availability of final environmental assessment.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, approve tungsten-iron-fluoropolymer shot alloys for hunting waterfowl and coots. Having completed our review of the application materials, we have concluded that these alloys are very unlikely to adversely affect fish, wildlife, or their habitats. We therefore add this shot type to the list of those approved for hunting waterfowl and coots.

DATES: This rule is effective on October 20, 2009.

Click here to read the complete Federal Register Notice

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New BLM Office to Speed Renewable Energy Projects

Secretary Salazar, Director Abbey Open Renewable Energy Coordination Office in California to Speed Project Processing

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (Oct 9, 2009) – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey today officially opened a California Renewable Energy Coordination Office, one of several Interior initiatives to expedite the leasing and production of renewable energy resources on public lands in the West.

“These offices in California, Nevada, Arizona and Wyoming, along with our renewable permitting teams in six other western states, will help to swiftly complete application reviews on the most ready-to-go and environmentally appropriate solar, wind, and geothermal projects on U.S. public lands,” Salazar said. “In California the coordinating office will enable us to balance vital renewable energy development with the needed protection of sensitive resources in the California Desert Conservation Area.”

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