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News From the US

Bush Can`t See the Wood for the Trees and other news

Audubon Blasts Bush Administration`s Move to Eliminate Roadless Area Conservation Rule: Calls on Americans to Voice Their Concern

Washington, DC, Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - In a move condemned by conservationists, sportsmen`s associations, and outdoor recreation groups, the Bush Administration took steps earlier this week to eliminate the Clinton-era Roadless Area Conservation Rule that limits logging and development in 58.5 million acres of national forest. The implementation of the Roadless Rule had more Americans commenting on it and supporting it than any other federal rule in U.S. history. Yet, the administration has sent a clear message to the American people; Your voice does not matter where a healthy environment is concerned, said Bob Perciasepe, Audubon`s chief operating officer. We ask Americans who care about the fate of our nation`s forests to once again let the government know how you feel during this public comment period. I urge Audubon members and our friends to fight this `shoot-all-the-buffalo` mentality, Perciasepe concluded. We must not allow this opportunistic weakening of our nation`s environmental laws, but should work together to protect our wild places for birds, wildlife, and all Americans. Concerned citizens should send written comments to: Content Analysis Team, Attn: Roadless State Petitions, USDA Forest Service, P.O. Box 221090, Salt Lake City, UT 84122; by facsimile to (801) 517-1014; or by e-mail at: statepetitionroadless@fs.fed.us For more information, please visit: http://www.audubon.org/news/press_releases/Roadless_Proposal.htmlAudubon Calls on Lawmakers to Make Restoration a Priority in Any Mississippi River Improvement Bill

Washington, DC, Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - In comments submitted today to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Audubon and its one million supporters, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are urging lawmakers to support the initiative to include a strong science-based, ecosystem restoration plan in any Mississippi River Improvement Bill. Audubon activists and supporters are calling for a full 50-year, $8.4 billion restoration program to protect and restore as much as one million acres of internationally-significant wildlife habitat that is also home to thousands of people. Since 1998, we have traveled all 1,366 miles of the Upper Mississippi River from the headwaters in northern Minnesota to the confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois. We will be on the River for years to come so we have a very real interest in this resource as both an environmental and economic asset, said Dan McGuiness, Director of Audubon`s Upper Mississippi River Campaign. We can and must improve the ecological health of the River, in conjunction with improving and maintaining navigation to ensure that the Upper Mississippi Region flourishes. McGuiness addressed the Mississippi River Caucus in Washington, DC last week. Visit: http://www.audubon.org/news/press_releases/MRI_Bill.html for more information.House Announces New Bill to Protect the Long Island Sound: The Long Island Sound Stewardship Act of 2004

Washington, DC, Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - Today, the National Audubon Society applauds the bi-state, bi-cameral and bi-partisan efforts of the New York and Connecticut Congressional members for taking the next steps to protect the Long Island Sound, a nationally significant estuary. The Long Island Sound Stewardship Act of 2004 establishes a stewardship initiative, which will identify, protect, and enhance significant open space, and recreational and ecological sites along the Sound. The bill authorizes $40 million annually on a 75% - 25% federal to local share for the acquisition of land and conservation easements, and the improvement of exemplary natural areas. The bill also establishes public access to the Sound as a major goal. The Long Island Sound Stewardship Act recognizes that 10% of the United States population lives within 50 miles of the Sound and that it contributes more than $5 billion annually to the regional economy, said, Bob Perciasepe, Audubon`s Chief Operating Officer. The Sound was one of the first estuaries recognized under the National Estuary program in 1985, and is not only a critical ecosystem for marine life throughout the east coast, but provides essential migratory and breeding bird habitats, and is home to 125 species of birds, including the endangered piping plover. Visit: http://www.audubon.org/news/press_releases/index.html for more information.Roseate Terns Nesting on Maine`s Outer Green Island for First Time in Nearly a Century

Outer Green Island, ME, Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - For the first time in more than 90 years, endangered Roseate Terns are nesting here on Outer Green Island in outer Casco Bay, it was announced by the National Audubon Society. Project Director Steven Kress reports an encouraging 11 nesting pairs of Roseate Terns this year, as well as 695 nesting pairs of Common Terns. He credits the island`s growing population of Common Terns as a likely factor in attracting their rarer cousins. I wouldn`t be surprised if there`s more before the summer`s up, says Kress. This summer`s breeding success has already gone well beyond our expectations. Visit: http://www.audubon.org/bird/puffin/island_news.html to learn more about the Seabird Restoration Program and Roseate Terns. To view terns, puffins and other Maine seabirds on Audubon`s live streaming seabird cam, visit: http://www.projectpuffin.orgWisconsin Man Spends Entire Month of June Birding

West Bend, WI, Thursday, July 15, 2004 -- This June, Wisconsin birder Noel Cutright boldly went where no birder has gone before. Cutright spent the entire 30 days of June birding, attempting to conduct 30 North American Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS) in celebration of his more than 30 years of participating in the BBS - with a goal of personally raising $30,000 to help bird conservation. Cutright succeeded in this endeavour, christened the Quad 30 Campaign, raising more than $36,000 to-date. The Important Bird Areas Program is directed in the U. S. by the National Audubon Society and is coordinated internationally in more than 120 countries by BirdLife International. There are more than 1,600 IBAs identified throughout the U.S. To read about Cutright`s unique experience please visit: http://www.audubon.org/news/press_releases/Noel_Cutright.htmlAudubon Advocates Charge The Hill

Washington, D.C., Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - Thirty Audubon advocates from across the country met with nearly 70 Senators, Representatives, and staff today to discuss why bird conservation programs are vital for biodiversity and our economy. Audubon activists in conjunction with Public Policy staff, advised lawmakers on how they can help restore and protect our nation`s great natural heritage, and highlighted the connection between global population growth and environmental impact. Participants included representatives from Audubon Maryland/DC, Audubon New York, Audubon Oregon, Audubon South Carolina, Tucson Audubon Society of Arizona, Golden Eagle Audubon Society of Idaho, Big Bluestem and Upper Iowa Audubon Societies of Iowa, Jayhawk and Northern Flint Hills Audubon Societies of Kansas, Baton Rouge Audubon Society of Louisiana, Chesapeake Audubon Society of Maryland, New York City Audubon Society, Theodore Roosevelt Audubon Center in New York, Firelands Audubon Society of Ohio, Bucks County Audubon Society of Pennsylvania, Dallas and Houston Audubon Societies of Texas, and California and Florida. For more information on future efforts to personally meet with and inform lawmakers on issues impacting birds and habitat, please contact Audubon`s Grassroots Department at: audubonaction@audubon.orgResourceful St. Petersburg Audubon Chapter Volunteers Protect Roof-dwelling Tern Chicks

Clearwater, FL, Monday, July 19, 2004 - Driven from their preferred nesting grounds on the beach by development and other factors, Least Terns in Florida have made their homes on at least 27 gravel roofs in Pinellas, Florida this year. While these lofty breeding grounds offer refuge from many earthbound dangers, they also pose a new risk - falling. Many young chicks, after tumbling off the roofs, find themselves stuck on the ground below, unable to return to their nest. If they happen to have fallen into a driveway or parking lot, they also risk being run over by vehicles. Fortunately for the fifty or so pairs of Least Terns nesting at Autoway Pontiac GMC in Clearwater, volunteers from St. Petersburg Audubon Society have engineered a rescue solution. Called the chick-a-boom, the ingenious device consists of a cardboard orange juice carton cut to provide a flap, duct tape, a paint stirring stick, and a long piece of metal pipe. The dealership`s employees are put into service, catching the chicks and placing them in the orange juice carton. The flap comes down, the chicks are lifted to the roof, and they are tipped out of the carton, safely home. This is clearly one time when business is for the birds! Read more about the terns and their rescuers at: http://www.stpetetimes.com/2004/07/05/Northpinellas/Dealership_employees_.shtmlFort Worth Audubon Chapter Pioneers Celebrate Nature Center`s Four Decades

Fort Worth, TX, Sunday, July 18, 2004 - The Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge is having its 40th Anniversary as one of the City Parks Department`s most celebrated attractions. However, Forth Worth Audubon Chapter volunteer Margaret Parker says it wasn`t so long ago that this wasn`t the case. She recalls when she and a few other women had to twist political arms to save this spot, creating a refuge within the city. The 94-year-old Parker and other members of the Fort Worth Audubon Society birded here in undeveloped parkland for decades, but in 1963, the City announced plans to cut trees - and bird habitat. That brought an onslaught by a group of women that did not fit the sterotypical `60`s environmentalist mode, and local politicians were taken off guard. We just wanted an area where they wouldn`t be cutting trees and would be leaving it in its natural state, she said. It`s turned out to be more than I ever expected. It has wonderful programs. Go to: http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/9186267.htm for the full story.Audubon New York Releases Position on Wind Power Development

Albany, NY, Friday, July 16, 2004 - Audubon New York this month came out in support of the development of renewable sources of energy, including wind power. Wind power is a clean, renewable source of energy with few negative environmental impacts. However, wind power facilities have the potential to negatively affect birds and other wildlife through direct mortality from collisions and through habitat degradation from turbine construction and maintenance," said Audubon New York. "We support efforts to minimize potential negative impacts of wind power through proper site assessments, avoiding the placement of wind energy developments in high risk areas, and through thorough evaluation of avian mortality at existing and new wind turbine facilities. Audubon New York calls for comprehensive avian surveys at proposed wind turbine sites prior to site development. Assessing avian use of a site prior to wind turbine development is a crucial first step in preventing wind farm placement in high-risk areas. Visit: http://ny.audubon.org/wind_power.htm to view Audubon New York`s full wind power policy.Once-in-a-Lifetime Journey to North Pole Offered

Anchorage, AK, Friday, July 16, 2004 - Audubon has planned a 19-day excursion (August 17 - Sept. 4) to one of the most unexplored regions on earth, the North Pole. Participants will fly from Anchorage, Alaska to Pevek, Siberia, where they will board the 100-passenger icebreaker Yamal. Audubon`s voyagers will plow through ice floes nearly 15 ft. think as they make their way to the North Pole through the East Siberian Sea, and then continue South across the Arctic Ocean near Russia` s North Coast - stopping at various places along the way. Travelers are advised to have their cameras ready as Arctic birds, polar bears, walrus, and marine mammals may be spotted at any time as the Yamal makes it`s way to it`s final destination in Murmansk, Russia. Points of interest include the trip to the geographic North Pole, as well as Russia`s Taymyr Peninsula and Franz Josef Land. Audubon wildlife biologist Roger Harris will lead Bridge to the North Pole. Visit: http://www.audubon.org/market/no/trips/northpole/index.html for more information on information on this rare opportunity, or contact Beth Ryan at 800 967-7425.

4th July 2014