0608 Air Cascadia
Today’s guest is William Binney. Binney is an NSA whistleblower. He said today: "While this is a step in the right direction, it doesn't go nearly far enough in ending bulk acquisition of data. It doesn't stop activity under [executive order] 12333, that does acquisition right off the fibers -- it's an automatic flow to the NSA. It's both content and meta data." Edward Snowden has said: "Without Bill Binney, there would be no Edward Snowden," See: "The executive order that led to mass spying, as told by NSA alumni."
0609 Air Cascadia
Today’s guest, Dahlia Wasfi is an Iraqi-American justice activist who has written and spoken extensively on U.S. policy in the region. She recently wrote the piece "Battling ISIS: Iran-Iraq war redux" and said today: "President Obama continues to hear criticism for his failure to swiftly defeat ISIS. But while crushing ISIS may be the official stated goal, the actual agenda may be a long, drawn-out war to weaken regional powers. We have seen this policy before -- with many of the same players -- in the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s."In February 1979, the Iranian Revolution overthrew Shah Reza Pahlavi, the ruler of Iran since 1953, when a CIA-orchestrated coup brought him to power. Once the Shah’s U.S.-friendly regime in Iran was deposed, American administrators sought a new ally in the region and began to warm relations with Iraq. As tensions escalated between Iraq’s secular government and the new theocracy in Iran, both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia assured Saddam Hussein that he had their backing in any armed conflict with Iran. In September 1980, with U.S. encouragement, Saddam Hussein launched the Iran-Iraq War. "U.S. President Ronald Reagan officially allied with Iraq during the conflict. In secret, however, government officials sold arms to Iran. The eight-year war, sustained by the U.S. backing both sides, yielded over a million casualties. The extended conflict also left two of the strongest nations in the region bleeding and weakened, which benefited U.S. and Israeli hegemony. "Today, comparably, the U.S. is arming both sides of the 'war on ISIS,' which was born out of the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq. After the fall of Baghdad, U.S. administrators imposed a repressive theocratic Shia regime on Iraq. The brutality of its rule inevitably spawned a counter movement: a sectarian Sunni opposition faction which in the last several years has morphed into ISIS. Western powers supported its creation (via funding and arms to extremist 'rebel groups' in Syria) to serve as a check on Shia power in the region -- power that expanded as a result of U.S. policy in Iraq in the first place. ...
"Just as with Iran and Iraq in the 1980s, the people in the battlefields of Syria and Iraq pay the highest price. And just as was the case in the 1980s, the devastation of these countries serves U.S. and Israeli hegemony."
0609 Air Cascadia
Today’s guest is Dr. Margaret Flowers, An activist with PopularResistance.org and FlushtheTPP.org, Flowers, who has written and spoken extensively about the Trans–Pacific Partnership and "Fast Track," is with other activists outside the Capitol engaging members of Congress. She noted a recent New York Timespoll that found that 30 percent of the public says they know "not much" about the TPP -- and 48 percent say they know "nothing at all." Flowers said: "What we see in this agreement is that it’s not really about trade; it’s about creating a backdoor for corporations to get some of the changes that they want. So deregulation of the financial industry, longer patent protections for the pharmaceutical industries, Internet privacy restrictions, these are the things that these corporations have wanted to get but they haven’t been able to so far, and this is a vehicle for doing that."
- Length: 14:37 minutes (10.04 MB)
- Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 96Kbps (CBR)
Curated News Notes:
1, According to the DAT North American Freight Index, Portland has been caught in a spring surge in freight volume. Between February and March 2015, total truck freight moving in and out of Portland grew 34 percent over last year's volume. While increased freight usually means a healthy economy for major exporters such as Portland, the recent virtual closure of the city's port container terminal has brought a new set of challenges to local businesses.
The Port of Portland has been trapped in troubled waters due to a lengthy dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, a coalition of West Coast port operating companies.
2, Ex-boyfriend accused of attacking new boyfriend's Chihuahua in Applebee's parking lot
A Portland man is accused of repeatedly punching a Chihuahua that belonged to the new boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend during a trip to Applebee's.
3, Black Mesa, The Dine Nation and Mining Mammoths...Due to this fall’s livestock impoundments and in light of the $88 million budget from the Department of Interior to “finish” the relocation, there are many requests from families on Black Mesa for human rights observers and sheep herders. If you can come and support families in resistance to relocation from the US government and Peabody Coal Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We are trying to hang on to the livestock and ways to culturally survive, as well as hold jobs and schooling and take care of our elders. Having a supporters come help for a bit can really help make a difference in holding it all together” –Marie Gladue, Big Mountain resident 2015
4, Jason Stanford, (202) 637-5037, email@example.com
Ten Key Questions for President Obama About Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
President Obama is scheduled to talk with select local and state media outlets to discuss fast track authority for the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact. Below are ten key questions:
How do you respond to economists you have cited who say TPP will create no net jobs?
5, N.S.A. Secretly Widens Cross-Border Internet Spying to Find Hackers
Without public notice or debate, the Obama administration has expanded the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance of Americans’ international Internet traffic to search for evidence of malicious computer hacking, according to classified N.S.A. documents.
In mid-2012, Justice Department lawyers wrote two secret memos permitting the spy agency to begin hunting on Internet cables, without a warrant and on American soil, for data linked to computer intrusions originating abroad — including traffic that flows to suspicious Internet addresses or contains malware, the documents show.
6, For protestors and activists unhappy with a particular company or industry, driving up the cost of doing business is a tried and true way to apply pressure. Think about the grape boycott in the late ’60s for farmworkers rights. Or more recently, protests over worker wages at fast food restaurants.
But now some corporations are fighting back by putting financial pressure on activists.
Duncan Tarr is a 20-year-old junior at Michigan State University. He is also an activist.
One of the things he cares deeply about is a pipeline, called line 6B. It moves tar sands oil from Canada through Michigan and has an imperfect safety record.
Last summer, while the pipeline was being replaced, Tarr was part of a group determined to get some attention.
Firefighters came and cut the locks. Both the protest and the detaching took about 90 minutes. Tarr and one other young man were arrested and charged with trespass — they expected that.
What they didn’t expect was that the company, Precision Pipeline, would use Michigan’s crime victim restitution laws to assess charges to make up for the value of equipment and workers idled during their protest. Tarr now owes more than $39,000. That’s twice as much in restitution as he owes in student loans.
7, Once again the Left is walking a razor's edge on the issue of crime. Two men meet on a tighrope...Derek Cohen of Right on Crime says the issue of criminal justice reform is too big to ignore. Mr. Cohen is available to discuss how issues such as juvenile justice, and over-criminalization have resonated in the states and with the people.
“Before President Barack Obama and a bipartisan group of senators met in February at the White House to take serious steps on the matter, governors were dealing with the rising costs of state prisons filled to capacity, often because of drug crimes. Former Republican governors and likely presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Rick Perry both signed onto the statement of principles for Right on Crime, a conservative group in Texas advocating for focusing more on drug rehabilitation than on mandatory minimum sentencing. Among the group’s principles are holding the criminal justice system accountable for results, getting a better deal for taxpayers and not growing the size of government.
8, The North Carolina Senate and House both voted Wednesday to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of a bill that backers say would give North Carolina employers recourse against people who deliberately get hired to try to take company secrets or dig up dirt. The North Carolina House voted 79-36 and the Senate voted soon after that. The bill is officially the Property Protection Act.
The bill, which has been dubbed the “ag gag bill” by some, would let an employer sue and get monetary damages from someone who gains access to non-public areas of a company without authority and commits theft or sets up a camera or audio recorder.
McCrory, a Republican, said the bill’s intent is laudable but its content falls short of ensuring protections for “honest employees who uncover criminal activity.”
- Genre: Blues
- Length: 15:27 minutes (10.61 MB)
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Conservatorship conjures up images of the aged being cared for with gentle kindness in a flowery bower, warm and safe...
Take that image and flip it: The victim of Conservatorship Gone Wrong, aged, stripped of all assetss - and I mean bank accounts, home, belongings, even food and medicine - by a triad comprised of corrupt conservator, corrupt attorney and a corrupt judge. The triad rounds up a bunch of people and pays them to sign a affadavit stting that the victim is not competant to run a life. And that's it. End of story.
The book is closed.
The victim of the scam is as good as death for all the self-determination that remains.
And forget the courts and the legal system; those doors are closed.
And this "Human Ownership" is not just a threat to the elderly...Oh Ho Ho No: It can happen to anybody for any reason or no reason. It can be used to silence activists of all ages.
Here is investigative reposter - and exile - Janet Phelan.
Listen to the audio. It will indeed shock you
- Length: 24:58 minutes (22.85 MB)
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And a few quotes, excerpts and random thoughts...
1, Obama will be at The Sentinel Hotel, 614 SW 11th Ave, for a fundraising event on Thursday, May 7th at the Sentinel Hotel that starts at 5pm. Let's take this opportunity to remind him that we are waiting for him to do the right thing on KXL and finally reject it. But perhaps more importantly, here we have the chance to urge the President to stop the TPP madness now and instead promote fair and equitable trade that favors the people over corporate greed.
2, 350PDX is launching its summer outreach campaign to engage members of our community in the fight for a stable climate! Join us this weekend at this Saturday's St. John's Day Parade and a very special Mother's Day Sunday Parkways. And check out the other volunteer opportunities this month to engage members of the community in your neighborhood: http://goo.gl/forms/jhvKBUpvSn
3, 0506 OR Subject: Field-checking timber sales helps protect forests!Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project will field-check thousands of acres in eight timber sales across Eastern Oregon this summer. Putting people in the forest gives us the information we need to:
stop ecologically destructive projects;
protect habitat for species such as Bull trout, salmon, fishers, Oregon spotted frogs, and Gray wolves;
and train a new generation of forest defenders!
4, from EcoWatch: The Texas state legislature voted yesterday to ban fracking bans. Ever since the people of Denton, Texas voted to ban fracking last November, state lawmakers in cahoots with the oil and gas industry and the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, have attempted to strip municipalities like Denton of home rule authority to override the city’s ban. In response, citizens banded together to form Frack Free Denton to fight for home rule. The group has put together a powerful film, which premieres on Friday, documenting their fight to ban fracking within city limits in the heart of oil and gas country. The vote comes despite recent findings by a team of researchers from Southern Methodist University that linked the earthquakes in one area of Texas, which did not have earthquakes prior to the fracking boom.
5, In California’s Central Valley its pumpjacks and chemo-crops as far as the eye can see…so why not? Use treated oil field wastewater to irrigate crops. Oil giant Chevron recycles 21 million gallons of that water each day and sells it to farmers who use it on about 45,000 acres of crops, about 10% of Kern County’s farmland.State and local officials praise the 2-decade-old program as a national model for coping with the region’s water shortages. As California’s four-year drought lingers and authorities scramble to conserve every drop, agricultural officials have said that more companies are seeking permits to begin similar programs. The heightened interest in recycling oil field wastewater has raised concern over the adequacy of safety measures in place to prevent contamination from toxic oil production chemicals. Until now, government authorities have only required limited testing of recycled irrigation water. They haven’t screened for the range of chemicals used in modern oil production. No one knows whether nuts, citrus or other crops grown with the recycled oil field water have been contaminated.
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Excerpts, Rewrites and Roadkill at the Media Mall…Here is the link to BARK Out: http://www.bark-out.org
The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians doesn’t expect the casino to become a destination attraction, unlike other major Indian casinos in Oregon.
The tribal group already operates one of nine Indian casinos in Oregon, the Three Rivers Casino and Hotel in Florence.
Its new casino will be named Three Rivers Casino Coos Bay and be labeled a Class II casino under the federal regulations on Indian casinos. That means it’s more limited in the kinds of gambling it can offer than other Indian casinos, which are labeled Class III and can have table games.
Steve Horn's latest up on DeSmogBlog right now, digs into lobbying disclosure forms, White House meeting logs, Clinton Foundation funding, and other things to tell the story of how the Qatar Petroleum-ExxonMobil owned Golden Pass LNG export terminal has gone about peddling influence in Washington, DC and indeed, making policy progress. Anthony “Tony” Podesta began lobbying in late 2013 on behalf of a company co-owned by ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum aiming to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the global market. Tony is the brother of John Podesta, former top climate change adviser to President Barack Obama and current top campaign aide for Hillary Clinton's 2016 bid for president.
From the May Day Action in Oakland California, this: All around the world May Day has been a day for direct action, reclaiming the streets, speaking out against injustice. Systematic racism, police violence, environmental catastrophes, and economic inequality are some of the many oppressions that are destroying our lives and the planet we live on. May Day should always be the day to take it to the next level and #shutitdown. We cannot continue to live this way and May Day we say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
On behalf of the Industrial Workers of the World, the Environmental Unionist Caucus endorses and will support the May Day Port Shut-Down called by the ILWU Local 10, the #LaborAgainstPoliceTerror March and Rally, and direct actions taken by Bay Area IWW members, as well as the May Day General Strike in Montreal.
In preparation for May Day protests, a determined unionist dropped a banner early this morning reading “May Day #SHUTITDOWN!” at 17th and Broadway. This Banner was intentionally dropped near Latham Square, the site of the 1946 Oakland General Strike, in hopes to revive the tactic. We think it is the most effective tool for working class people to achieve their demands for a living wage, against police violence, and against austerity and gentrification. We hope to shut down the city this May Day to show the world that the workers are the ones that run the system and it is time to stop it’s exploitation and stop the destruction of the working class, poor, and the planet we inhabit.
Another Bad Idea : Since the inception of the “Zoo Master Plan” proposal to establish the “California Native” conservation exhibit there has been grassroots push-back at every stage of the extended regulatory process. Several months ago, a referendum campaign by the community-neighborhood group, “Friends of Knowland Park”, which was aimed at overturning a city ordinance approving the private land grab, failed when only 8,000 of the required 21,000 signatures was collected within the deadline of one month. For the past nineteen years, Friends of Knowland Park has demanded for the EBZS to produce an Environmental Impact Report, required by the California Environmental Quality Act, and has analyzed fiscal records behind the $61 million “California Trail” expansion project. This has exposed the public-private partnership between the EBZS and the City of Oakland through the taxes extracted from Oakland residents.
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- Length: 27:44 minutes (19.04 MB)
- Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 96Kbps (CBR)
DATE \@ "MMMM d, y 'AM/PMt' h:mm AM/PM" April 7, 2015 at 9:57 AM Mark Teply Cramer Fish Sciences Project Manager 4405 7th Ave SE, Suite 306 Lacey, WA 98503 firstname.lastname@example.org Re: Comments on North Fork Mill Creek A to Z Project Dear Mark, Thank you for providing me the opportunity to comment on the North Fork Mill Creek A to Z Project (NFMC). I also want to thank you for your prompt reply to my request for the Specialist’s Reports. The pre-decisional Environmental Assessment (EA) findings of No Significant Effects for the NFMC Proposed Action, Alternative (Alt) B and Alternative C are not supported by the documentation in the EA and the Specialist’s Reports. The EA finds that several issues are “outside the project scope,” or are dealt with in other documents that should be part of the environmental analysis and fully documented in the EA. GRAZING The EA does not provide any site specific information regarding the grazing impacts to the affected streams in the Project Area (PA). It states that the effect of current grazing allotments on water quality and riparian habitat are addressed in a separate grazing allotment plan. The name of the plan is not mentioned. Page PAGE 9 of NUMPAGES 9 What is the name and date of the plan, and what grazing allotments does it cover? In a seemingly contrary move, the EA finds it necessary to discuss protections from potential adverse effects to the grazing allotment from the proposed timber sale and offers enhancements such as creating up to 200 acres of openings and proposes planting them with native grass to provide more grazing area for the existing range permit. Are these new openings factored in the environmental effects analysis? Does this move the area closer to the Historic Range of Variability as expressed in the purpose and need? Have the cattle had any adverse effect on water quality and riparian habitat in the Project Area? When was the latest monitoring of site specific effects of cattle on the water and riparian resources in the PA? I could not find this information in the EA or the Specialist’s Reports. Alt B proposes to construct an additional 30.8 miles of new temporary road in addition to the already 65 miles of Forest Service (FS) and unauthorized roads in the PA. The project also proposes to increase the amount of openings by conducting shelterwood and commercial thinning in the PA. These actions can make it easier for cattle to access riparian habitat and streams which can result in additional adverse impacts to water quality and the fishery in the PA. The grazing issue is significant and should be fully examined in the EA. What stream segment(s) in the Project Area have a TMDL due to excess coliform bacteria? Are the grazing allotment cattle contributing to the 303(d) status? This information should be provided in the EA. CLIMATE CHANGE Deforestation is linked to climate change. The EA states the impact on climate change from the NFMC Project is insignificant. The idea of cumulative effects is to consider those things that might seen insignificant but when added to other similar actions can have a significant effect. What would the CNF consider a significant amount of logging activities that would contribute to climate change? Given the EA’s way of dealing with this issue, it could excuse all particular logging activities wherever and whenever from being considered as a contributor to climate change. The effects of deforestation on climate change should be fully considered in this EA. A to Z EXPERIMENT The EA avoids discussing the “elephant in the room.” In a precedent setting move, the Forest Service has granted Vaagen Brothers Lumber Company (Vaggen), a for profit timber company, broad and sweeping powers that includes designing the A to Z Projects, doing the environmental analysis, writing the EA, deciding where, how, and how much to log, where Page PAGE 9 of NUMPAGES 9 and how many roads need to be constructed and just about everything else associated with a Forest Service timber sale except make the final decision. The A to Z Projects include the upcoming Middle and South Fork Mill Creek, Onion and Little Twin Projects. While Vaagen Brothers Lumber Company itself does not have the expertise to do everything associated with NFMC Project, they have hired specialists to do what is necessary to implement the Project. It appears that Vaggen’s role is similar to a general contractor who is responsible for the work of the subcontractors. The respective missions of the FS and the for profit Vaagen Lumber Company are different and could influence the outcome of the financial and environmental impacts of the sale. It is doubtful that the FS is going choose the No Action alternative, or significantly alter the Project since Vaagen, a member of the local community and the Northeast Washington Forest Coalition, bid one million dollars to participate in this experiment. By having Vaggen responsible for most of the work associated with timber sale planning and management, it provides the opportunity for the Colville National Forest (CNF) to reach its timber target. The CNF claims it cannot currently do so because of budget and staff reductions. This is a significant action and needs to be disclosed and fully discussed in the EA.The fact that the Proposed Action calls for a very large timber sale with an inordinately large amount of road construction could be consistent with the needs of a for-profit timber corporation. Vaagen needs to have a sale that offers a sufficient volume of timber to cover its bid price, the costs associated with the project, and make a profit. The public can expect large timber sales if this experiment is continued to other timber sales. This is a national forest issue and the public throughout the country needs to know of this experiment and how it can affect the environmental outcome. The financial aspect of this experiment also needs to be fully disclosed. Does the FS expect this to be below cost or profitable project for the agency? WATER QUALITY & FISHERY Critical information, which can be found only in the Specialists Reports, are not and should be presented in the EA. This is one example of many National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) violations that can found throughout the EA. The hydrology and fish sections of the EA omit information necessary for the public to make an informed decision. What follows are just a couple of examples. One would have to go to the Fishery Specialist’s Report to find out that in 6.5 miles of streams surveyed that are currently classified as fish bearing, only 19 fish were sampled and only one westslope cutthroat trout was found (Fishery Specialist’s Report p.6). The gravity of this situation needs to be presented in the EA. There was no mention of bull Page PAGE 9 of NUMPAGES 9 trout. Is there bull trout habitat in the Project Area? The EA also omits information regarding the fact that the WEPP and WEPP FuME models are within +/- 50% of predicted values. According to the NFMC A to Z Project Hydrology Specialist Report, the WEPP road model and WEPP FuME are used to estimate sediment production. According to the Hydrology Specialist Report, p.17, “The documentation for the WEPP:Road model indicates that sediment delivery estimates are within +/- 50% of predicted values (Elliott et al. 1999). As a result, and like for the WEPP:FuME estimates, model-predicted sediment delivery values are best used to compare relative differences between alternatives and modeling scenarios. Error estimates for the average annual sediment load are not provided by the WFPB watershed analysis manual (WFPB 2011).” These models and their limitations should be, but are not referred to, in the EA. These models are used to predict sediment levels throughout the EA. It is unreasonable to put so much weight on these models given the wide range of confidence levels. The EA places a lot of emphasis on these figures without letting the public know that the figures are within +/- 50% of predicted values. How accurate are the predictions of a increase in sediment of 63% for duration of logging activities, a decrease of 1 percent in the short term, and a 65% decrease in the long term as predicted for Alt. B? The CNF should realize that logging and road construction are not surgical strikes. Do these figures include the sediment increases during Rain on Snow (ROS) events, lack of road maintenance and other site specific sediment producing activities on Forest Service and non-Forest Service managed ground in the project area? The EA at p. 64 states that there is continued erosion from existing roads. When were these roads constructed? The EA relies heavily on models in its effects analysis due to a paucity of on the ground, scientifically credible, site specific quantitative monitoring information. The CNF has not demonstrated that it has an adequate site specific monitoring program and consequently is out of compliance with the Colville National Forest Plan. Failure to follow the monitoring requirements makes it impossible for the CNF to determine the accuracy of its predictions of the environmental impacts of other timber sales. That information can be applied to proposed timber sales. Much is predicated on continued maintenance of new and existing roads after the project is over. Is that realistic given the reduced CNF budget and considering the poor condition of many existing roads and many impaired culverts? What percent of existing roads on CNF receive significant yearly maintenance? How many miles of CNF road received maintenance in FY 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. Page PAGE 9 of NUMPAGES 9 The EA lacks sufficient site specific watershed analysis for each of the affected stream drainages for the public to adequately evaluate the environmental impacts. Is there significant bedload deposition, point and mid-channel bars, and adverse effects from cattle in the affected stream segments? It does mention that the streams fall short of INFISH Riparian Management Objectives (RMO) for width depth ratio, fine sediment, stream bank angle and large woody debris. The EA does not adequately discuss the causes and the significance of not meeting the RMO. How long will the affected streams remain impaired and how will these problems effect the fishery in the short and long term? What are the existing impacts to the fishery in each of the affected streams? The EA states that current sediment levels in project area streams are 23%. What methodology was used to make that assessment? The EA does not describe the composition of the sediment—what type of materials are eroding and accumulating in the streams? The EA does not adequately address the short and long term significance of this amount of sediment deposition. What are the site specific recorded levels of sediment, fine and bedload, for each of the affected streams? What is the significance of these levels? What is the significance of the predicted increases in sediment production in each of the affected streams in the project area? How are the affected streams dealing with accumulated sediment? How long will it take for these streams to recover and meet the RMO’s given the increase in water yield and additional sediment that will be generated by the 30.8 miles of proposed new temporary road construction, logging and cattle intrusion? Road construction results in sediment; decommissioning the temporary roads adds another pulse of sediment. The EA does not describe the elements proposed road decommissioning. Are these applicable to all decommissioned roads? What is involved in decommissioning roads? RAIN ON SNOW (ROS) Much of the logging activity takes place in areas susceptible to ROS. The EA does not use the best available science to determine the frequency, water yield, impacts, duration and other characteristics associated with ROS. Nor does the EA adequately disclose this information. The timber sale proposes to build an additional 30.8 miles of road in addition to the existing 65 miles of road in the project area. The EA proposes 1,741 acres of shelterwood logging (avg. 75% of trees >7 inches dbh will be cut along with many trees under 7 inches) and 2,277 acres of commercial thinning (removing an avg. of 50% of the trees). The proposed logging will change large areas from mature forest canopy to intermediate forest canopy category. The EA fails to reveal what coefficients will be used for site specific areas to evaluate the susceptibility and intensity of a ROS event. Page PAGE 9 of NUMPAGES 9 The EA does not adequately disclose the effects of ROS events on site specific drainages that have varying amounts and types of logging, road density, spacial and other characteristics that influence a ROS event. What is the existing road density and the road density post logging/road construction in the PA? How does the CNF Forest Plan deal with road density? The EA does not compute Equivalent Clearcut Area (ECA). Proposed roads and logging create a large additional amount of openings in the Project Area which could significantly effect water quality, quantity and fish habitat. How many ECAs will be created by the proposed timber sale? What is the total amount of ECAs in the North Fork Mill Creek PA? The Hydrology Specialist’s report, Figure 19, represents the mean daily peak flows for the North Fork Mill Creek. What date is being represented by that graph? One point in time is not an adequate means of evaluation. The use of “mean daily peak flows” is not a fair representation of flow levels. The models used to evaluate the amount of ROS flows and its impacts are no substitute for daily recording of stream flows from instream gauges on the North Fork Mill Creek. There is no longer an instream gauge on the North Fork Mill Creek. The inadequate monitoring of ROS events undercuts the conclusions regarding effects of ROS events. INSECTS AND DISEASE One of the justifications for the A to Z project is to reduce susceptibility to insects and disease in the PA. Are the current levels of insects and disease beyond those found in a normally functioning forest? Are they trending beyond normal levels? Is there data from site specific surveys conducted in the PA to determine the current levels of insects and disease and it trends? What best available science was used to determine that the proposed logging will “improve” the current situation. FIRE A Purpose and Need for the Proposed Action is to “reduce the threat of severe wildfire.” What is the basis for the assumption in the EA that the PA is ripe for a severe wildfire? The EA assumes in Alt A that without this project the chances for a severe wildfire will occur with extreme effects is increased. There are many examples of wildfires that burn in a mosaic fashion leaving a naturally functioning forest without having a significant effect on soils, water quality or wildlife. Fire is an important aspect of a naturally functioning forest. The proposed logging will significantly open up the area and reduce the amount of existing mature forest. These logged areas will more likely be drier, warmer, susceptible to increases in wind and will generate more ground fuels than currently exist. All these characteristics have the potential to increase the risk and severity of a wildfire. The EA Page PAGE 9 of NUMPAGES 9 does not adequately discuss these increased risks. The EA also states that it will leave a lot of fine material on the ground to increase the nutrient level. What will keep the fines from burning up, especially in the areas that will be broadcast burned? The slash generated by the logging, pre commercial thinning and road construction also increases the risk and intensity of wildfire. The proposed action alternatives do not make the PA fireproof. The issue of wildfire is controversial. There are reports by credible scientists who dispute that logging significantly reduces the risk and intensity of wildfire. None of these opposing views are presented in the EA. The EA fails in its obligation to use the best available science in its analysis. The EA needs to factor the possibility of wildfire and its effects in all the action alternatives. CUMULATIVE EFFECTS The EA needs to consider the cumulative effects on Mill Creek since another large timber sale, Middle and South Forks Mill Creek A to Z Project is to be implemented in the foreseeable future. These creeks along with the North Fork Mill Creek drain into Mill Creek and could have significant direct, indirect and cumulative effects on Mill Creek. The EA lacks a sufficient and credible cumulative effects analysis because it does not adequately consider the past, present and site specific future activities on non Forest Service managed land in the project area. These activities need to be more carefully considered in all the cumulative effects analysis discussed in the EA. The EA relies on unreliable models to predict the effects of the proposed project because the CNF has not had a sufficient, scientifically credible quantitative monitoring program to determine the reliability of the EA’s predictions on past timber sales as required in the CNF Forest Plan. Is there an implementation and effects monitoring regime proposed for this project? If so, what are the specific elements of the monitoring plan? It is hard to believe that 30.8 miles of road and 2.2 miles of road realignment plus all the ground skidding, slash piling, etc from previous activities on FS and non-FS land, combined with this proposed timber sale would not exceed soil standards considering, "Much of the surveyed area was logged and roaded, primarily 30 to 50 years ago. Substantial detrimental soil conditions (DSC) was caused by these activities.” (EA p.72) According to the Soil Specialists Report road construction results in a 30 foot width of soil disturbance. Damaged soil takes very long time to recover so existing cumulative effects of soil impacts from previous timber sales and other activities in the PA are minimized in the EA. The leaving of large organic debris (LOD) on ground does not replicate natural conditions. Leaving LOD post logging in the logging units will not replicate the constant feed of various size trees as occurs in natural forest. Page PAGE 9 of NUMPAGES 9 Many of the logging units appear to be located in high and moderate mass wasting areas according to the map in Soil Specialist’s Report (figure 5). This map should be displayed in the EA with unit designations. Since there are no unit designations delineated on the map it is impossible to determine unit and road location in relation to moderate and high mass wasting hazard. EA fails to disclose the possibility and effects of and potential for mass wasting in areas with “moderate” rating. The Forest Service must quantify how much soil has been permanently impaired within the project area and forest wide, to determine if the principle of “sustained yield” is being applied, and to demonstrate consistency with NFMA’s prohibitions on causing permanent impairment of soil productivity. NOXIOUS WEEDS The EA fails to to adequately address the spread of noxious weeds, which have the potential effect of reducing site productivity by replacing natural vegetation and competing with same for soil nutrients, moisture, etc. It fails to adequately discuss the extent of noxious weed infestation in the PA. Who is responsible for the management of the weeds after the contract is over? How many acres have been treated in FYs 2013, 2014? How many races of the Project Area are infested with noxious weeds? The primary method for treating noxious weeds is with herbicides. What effect does herbicide application have on the flora and fauna of the forest? HISTORIC RANGE OF VARIABILITY (HRV) The EA takes an extremely narrow tree centric view of HRV. Trying to move towards the state of the forest as it was at one point in time is contrary to the nature of natural forest which is always changing. The large timber sale and road construction aspect of the Project with its regeneration logging, new “temporary” roads and additional culverts, and creating habitat or noxious weeds will move the PA farther from a natural functioning forest. The streams are laden with sediment, the roads are still contributing sediment, it is below the amended Forest Plan old growth levels, yet it is converting large contiguous areas of mature forest that has the potential to become old growth. It cares little for the elements that degrade the forest. The EA fails to examine the HRV of culverts, roads, noxious weeds and significant soil disturbance. The planting of 564 acres of proposed shelterwood logging will result in the reduction of the genetic diversity of the forest. The genetic structure of each of the tree species differ depending on its location on the landscape. Planting trees with nursery stock does not replicate the diversity that exists within each tree species as does natural regeneration. Page PAGE 9 of NUMPAGES 9 WILDLIFE The EA is in violation of the CNF Forest Plan that requires monitoring of management indicator species populations and their habitat units to ensure the needs and of mature and old growth dependent species are being met. National Forest Management Act (NFMA) requires surveys to insure the viability of management indicator species. With the Eastside Screens Forest Plan Amendment and the specific MIS habitat provisions of the Forest Plan, the CNF has relied exclusively upon project-level habitat designations as its only viability strategy. This is contrary to the Forest Service’s own best available science. The Committee of Scientists (1999) report also stress the importance of monitoring as a necessary step for the Forest Service’s overarching mission of sustainability: “Monitoring is the means to continue to update the baseline information and to determine the degree of success in achieving ecological sustainability.” Yet the CNF has not consistently published a Forest Plan Monitoring and Evaluation Report despite the forest plan requirement that it be issued annually. The EA also does not adhere to Forest Plan wildlife standard 4 which requires: “Give special consideration to management or protection of unique habitat components, not covered by other management indicator species, during evaluation of activities that may effect such habitats and the species that are dependent on them. Evaluate the species status, dependency on the component, and the extent or limitation of the component as factors influencing the viability of populations within the Forest or the range of the species.” The logging and road construction will result in fragmentation. The EA does not adequately discuss the impacts on MIS and other species as a result of the loss of interior forest habitat. What impacts will fragmentation have on the wildlife in the PA? Are there lynx in the Project Area? How has the CNF determined whether or not there are lynx in the Project Area? Are there grizzly bear in the area? How has the CNF made that determination? Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Sincerely yours, Barry Rosenberg cc: Kootenai Environmental Alliance Page PAGE 9 of NUMPAGES 9 Selkirk Conservation Alliance
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Barry Rosenberg , The e-mail address for comments for the North Fork Mill Creek A to Z Project is:
The A to Z Plan - Read this; Pay Attention or there won't be any more trees left to Sit is...
The draft EA for the North Fork A to Z Project on the Colville NF in
eastern WA is out. I realize that you are all busy and that you don't have
time to comment on the timber sale , BUT perhaps you will find time to
oppose the Forest Service's experiment-handing over virtually all management and implementation of the timber sale to a profit driven timber corporation, in this case, Vaagen Brothers Lumber Company. The Forest Service is left only with the making of the decision.
Since the Forest Service has been paid a million dollars for the
contract in which Vaagen will do all the work associated with the sale,
perhaps the FS will actually make a profit. This aspect needs to be further
investigated. If that is the case, what a motivator for the agency!
We need to get ahead of the curve on this issue, if not I am pretty
sure that it will spread to other Forests and other timber sales. You know
what to do, write your legislators, the Chief of the Forest Service, letters
to the editor, op ed pieces, news releases, a letter to the Colville
National Forest, etc. It also might be a good idea to encourage your friends
in the FS to contact FSEEE and ask them to get involved. I have talked with
Andy Stahl about this sale-but he's on the fence. Let's make the public aware
that profit driven timber corporations will gain an inordinate amount of
control of their forests.
You realize that we are among the few in the country who are aware
that this is happening! It also a great poster child for what's wrong with
collaboration process-just turn the management of the timber sale program
over to profit driven timber corporations.
Like Dr. John the Night Tripper said in his song "Right Time, Wrong
Place," "It's actually happening." Some of the groups involved in this
collaborative, the Northeast Washington Forest Coalition, are The Lands
Council, Kettle Range Conservation Group and Conservation Northwest, along
with Vaagen Brothers Lumber Co..
It just so happens it is a nightmare of a timber sale. Not only is
Vaggen Brothers going to log and road the project area into submission, but
the sale calls for creating more grazing habitat for those with range
permits. I've attached a summary of the Proposed Alt., Alt B. In response to
public comments, the agency created Alt C which supposedly has no road
construction and less then half the proposed volume of Alt B.
Vaagen paid a million bucks for the contract not only to log the
North Fork, but the next sale will be the Middle and South Fork Mill Creek,
a major sale, is also part of the deal. It's outrageous! Of course there
will be not cumulative effects.
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But only if you call in your opposition.
Sen. Ron Wyden 202-224-5244
The TPP is way more than a trade deal: It will gives global corporations an international tribunal of private attorneys, outside any nation's legal system, who can order compensation for any "unjust expropriation" of foreign assets.
Even better for global companies, the tribunal can order compensation for any lost profits found to result from a nation's regulations. Philip Morris is using a similar provision against Uruguay (the provision appears in a bilateral trade treaty between Uruguay and Switzerland), claiming that Uruguay's strong anti-smoking regulations unfairly diminish the company's profits.
Anyone believing the TPP is good for Americans take note: The foreign subsidiaries of U.S.-based corporations could just as easily challenge any U.S. government regulation they claim unfairly diminishes their profits -- say, a regulation protecting American consumers from unsafe products or unhealthy foods, investors from fraudulent securities or predatory lending, workers from unsafe working conditions, taxpayers from another bailout of Wall Street, or the environment from toxic emissions.
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A small tornado that touched down Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of a community college campus briefly lifted two people in a Jeep Cherokee into the air, then slammed the vehicle back down on its tires, witnesses said. Student Josh Hollowell was between classes at Lane Community College's main campus when he saw the twister touch down, hitting four vehicles in the parking lot. The man in the Jeep told Hollowell he and his female companion were unhurt. A short time later they drove off.
No one was hurt, college spokeswoman Joan Aschim said. "No injuries at all. We were very lucky," she said. Both Hollowell and a campus safety officer, Sgt. Lisa Rupp, estimated the Jeep was lifted about 8 feet off the ground. Hollowell, said he asked the man if he was OK. "He said he and his girl were sitting in the car when it started hailing," the witness recalled. "They got out to look at the hail, got back in, shut the door and that's when the car lifted off the ground." Eight feet off the ground.
2, Inside Climate News has revealed that a key leader of oil and gas industry front groups that oppose new fracking regulations may have been playing both sides of the issue.
In an investigation into the funding of the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) work on oil and gas regulation, Inside Climate News discovered that a key EDF funder had hired FTI Consulting’s David Blackmon to promote fracking regulations. Unbeknownst to his employer, Blackmon is a longtime oil industry consultant who is paid to oppose regulation of the fracking industry.
The funder in question is the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, established by the late George Mitchell, known as the “father of fracking.” George Mitchell owned and operated Mitchell Energy, the first company to combine horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the Barnett shale, which sparked the “shale revolution.” Mitchell created the foundation with part of the $3.5 billion sale of Mitchell Energy to Devon Energy. The Mitchell Foundation describes itself as “a grantmaking foundation that seeks innovative, sustainable solutions for human and environmental problems.”
While it’s goals seem noble, the fortunes of the Foundation and the people who run it continue to be inexorably linked to the success of the oil and gas industry.
3, “If somebody not from your country commits a crime against somebody not from your country in another country, should the courts in your country have any jurisdiction over the issue?”
With remarkable prescience, this question was posed by Shell’s own Legal Director back in 2012. Remarkable because it’s pretty much what that very same company is now attempting to try and stifle the voices of millions of people who’ve spoken out and taken action against Arctic drilling.
Shell is asking the courts in Alaska to issue a draconian injunction against Greenpeace USA to force #TheCrossing to stop by getting our activists off the rig. The company is so worried about the global media storm that erupted when Zoe, Miriam, Andreas et al scaled the Polar Pioneer rig to expose Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic this summer, it’s taken the time-honoured step of getting a legal sledge hammer to smash dissent.
4, From the Dept. of Terrible Timing: Occupancy rates are exceeding pre-recession highs, and are expected to reach record levels in 2016. Profits per room are up over 11 percent this April compared to April 2014 and the average daily rate for a room is almost 13 percent higher than it was a year ago. Executive salaries have skyrocketed.
But the little-known trade association representing this robust $163 billion dollar industry is a major force fighting behind the scenes on Capitol Hill and in statehouses and courtrooms across the country to keep workers wages low.
On Wednesday, April 15, the same day that hundreds of thousands of working people in over 200 cities are expected to participate in the largest-ever mobilization of underpaid workers, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) which represents the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry will join forces with the National Restaurant Association to ask Congress to block a federal minimum wage increase, shrink the number of workers eligible for employer-provided health care insurance, and challenge the National Labor Relations Board ruling protecting the rights of franchise workers.
5, In Greece yesterday Anarchists attacked police with molotov cocktails and stones after a protest rally against maximum security prisons in downtown Athens, Greece, late on Tuesday.
About 400 black-clad people marched from the University of Athens administration building to the Greek parliament around 7:15 pm to demonstrate against maximum security prisons and demand the release of imprisoned terrorists. They wrote anti-establishment slogans such as “War on democracy” and “Burn all prisons” on the parliament’s courtyard wall and then returned to the university’s administration building.
6, A small tornado that touched down Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of a community college campus briefly lifted two people in a Jeep Cherokee into the air, then slammed the vehicle back down on its tires, witnesses said. Student Josh Hollowell was between classes at Lane Community College's main campus when he saw the twister touch down, hitting four vehicles in the parking lot. The man in the Jeep told Hollowell he and his female companion were unhurt. A short time later they drove off.
No one was hurt, college spokeswoman Joan Aschim said. "No injuries at all. We were very lucky," she said. Both Hollowell and a campus safety officer, Sgt. Lisa Rupp, estimated the Jeep was lifted about 8 feet off the ground. Hollowell, said he asked the
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