Thursday, September 30, 2004

ENN Newsletter Announcement

Dear Valued ENN Subscriber:

Your complimentary ENN Daily Newsletter has been reformatted to coincide with our new website. Access to the ENN Newsletter for the next 3 days is available below. Regular distribution will resume on Tuesday October 5, 2004. We sincerely apologize for taking a short break while getting our new website up and running.

Please use the links below to access your Daily ENN Newsletter until we resume regular distribution.

September 29, 2004

September 30, 2004

October 1, 2004

A Biweekly Update from Defenders of Wildlife:
Working to Save Wildlife and Wild Lands

Feds Plan Removal of Yellowstone Grizzlies from Endangered Species List
Researchers Say U.S. Can Eliminate Oil Use in a Few Decades
EPA Wording on Mercury Found Once Again to Mirror Industry's
Time Is Running Out on Early Bird Wildlife Gift Adoptions
Groups Challenge Rule that Weakens Pesticide Reviews
Government Removes Cows for Sonoran Pronghorn
International Conference to Decide the Fate of Endangered Species

1. Feds Plan Removal of Yellowstone Grizzlies from Endangered Species List

Grizzly BearCiting the presence of 400 to 600 grizzlies in Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may soon propose to remove that population of bears from the endangered species list. According to the service, the recovery goals in the Yellowstone ecosystem have been met. Grizzlies in other parts of the country will retain endangered species protections. Defenders will continue to monitor this proposal to ensure the continued protection and survival of grizzlies in the Yellowstone area.

2. Researchers Say U.S. Can Eliminate Oil Use in a Few Decades

A report written by Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute and co-funded by the Pentagon claims that the United States can eliminate all oil use by 2050. According to the institute, at an average cost of $12 per barrel, the U.S. can halve its oil use through efficiency, and then replace the other half with biofuels and natural gas – all without taxation or new federal regulation. The report, "Winning the Oil Endgame," shows that by 2015, the U.S. can save more oil than it gets from the Middle East, by 2025, use less oil than in 1970, by 2040, import no oil, and, by 2050, use no oil at all. There would be a net savings of $70 billon per year, which would "act like a giant tax cut for the nation," according to Lovins.

3. EPA Wording on Mercury Found Once Again to Mirror Industry's

FactoryAccording to the Washington Post, a new set of passages in the Bush administration's plans for regulating mercury emissions from power plants have been found, for the third time, to mirror memos written by the energy industry. The passages in question claim that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not required to regulate other harmful toxins, such as lead and arsenic, along with mercury under the Clean Air Act. Prior to joining the agency, Jeffrey Holmstead, EPA's assistant administrator for air and radiation, and William Wehrum, Holmstead's chief counsel, both worked at the law firm that wrote the memos.

4. Time Is Running Out on Early Bird Wildlife Gift Adoptions

September 30 is the last day to take advantage of Defenders of Wildlife's special early bird adoption promotion that allows you to save 10 percent on your wildlife gift adoptions. So don't delay. Act now to save on your gift shopping and make a truly meaningful gift this holiday season. Visit our adoption center and enter code EBA10 on your adoption form to get this special discount. Holiday gift adoptions are an excellent way to pass on the legacy of stewardship and conservation to family and friends. Plus, you'll enjoy the feeling of knowing you're doing your part to protect the wildlife you love for our children and grandchildren.

Help celebrate Sea Otter Awareness Week by adopting a sea otter or sea otter family for someone special on your holiday gift list.

5. Groups Challenge Rule that Weakens Pesticide Reviews

A coalition of environmental organizations, including Defenders, has sued the Bush administration because of the federal government's plan to cut wildlife experts out of the loop on decisions regarding the effect of pesticides on endangered wildlife. Learn more.

6. Government Removes Cows for Sonoran Pronghorn

Thanks to Defenders' legal wrangling and the more than 5,000 members of our action network who signed our Sonoran pronghorn petition, the federal Bureau of Land Management is permanently removing cattle from important Sonoran pronghorn habitat. Once the fences are removed, this decision will open up nearly 60,000 acres for the critically endangered Sonoran pronghorn, whose numbers plummeted to 20 animals two years ago. Learn more about Sonoran pronghorn.

7. International Conference to Decide the Fate of Endangered Species

African LionThe fate of scores of species will be decided during the next two weeks as governments from around the world meet to set new rules on international trade in lions, parrots, elephants, whales and more than forty other species. The meeting will be held in Bangkok under the auspices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the world's preeminent treaty on wildlife trade. The conference will consider a range of species of critical importance to Defenders of Wildlife, including great white sharks, African lions, bald eagles and ramin – a tropical tree species that provides critical habitat for orangutans, but is severely threatened by rampant illegal logging.



GLIN NEWS: 30 September 2004

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Great Lakes Daily News: 30 September 2004
A collaborative project of the Great Lakes Information Network and the Great
Lakes Radio Consortium.

For links to these stories and more, visit

Rochester area awaits ferry decision
Financial backers are deciding this week and next whether the Lake Ontario
ferry is a viable business and should continue operating between Rochester
and Toronto. Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (9/30)

Meeting looks at Great Lakes water use
The international Great Lakes Water Management Initiative is attempting to
answer such questions as: Who does Great Lakes water belong to? Who has the
authority to grant a permit to take the water? How much water can they take
before it affects water levels? Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette (9/30)

Maritime chief says port can grow
A stronger short-sea shipping system would reduce inland traffic congestion
and pollution, and help rejuvenate Great Lakes ports such as Cleveland,
according to the top maritime official of the U.S. Department of
Transportation. Source: The Plain Dealer (9/30)

Navy to cease operation of controversial transmitters
The Navy plans to shut off its extremely low frequency, or ELF, radio
transmitters in northern Wisconsin and Michigan, which were designed to
enable it to communicate with its submarines but now regarded as Cold War
relics. Source: Chicago Tribune (9/30)

Pollution war will now be fought on the home front
The nation's war on water pollution is going to start hitting at home, as
the focus shifts to the cumulative effect of all the pollutants picked up by
runoff from fields, front yards and other nonpoint sources. Source: The Bay
City Times (9/29)

Feds hear earful on wolf plan
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is getting two divergent viewpoints on
what to do with timber wolves: continue to protect them or allow states,
hunters and farmers to keep them in check. Source: Duluth News Tribune

Data from studies spun to support different agendas
"Sound science" is the buzzword of choice in the dioxin cleanup debate, but
even the soundest science is subject to self-serving, selective
interpretation. Source: Detroit Free Press (9/29)

Dead squirrels found in local waters a mystery
State biologists are mystified by a massive squirrel die-off that has left
more than a hundred dead squirrels washed up on West Michigan beaches.
Source: Muskegon Chronicle (9/29)

Milwaukeeans oppose Lake Michigan water for Waukesha
The tide of public opinion at a Tuesday hearing strongly opposed allowing
access to Lake Michigan water for many Waukesha County, Wis. communities,
with some even tying the issue to urban poverty and racism. Source: Waukesha
Freeman (9/29)

Michigan House approves water diversion constitutional amendment
The Michigan House has signed off on a measure that would allow voters to
decide in 2006 whether to change the state constitution to ban the diversion
of water from the Great Lakes. Source: Detroit Free Press (9/29)

Did you miss a day of Daily News? Remember to use our searchable story
archive at

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[zamoraforcongress] Zamora interview, Air America radio, Oct. 11, 9:30 AM


On Monday, October 11 (note: this date has been changed from Oct. 4 to
Oct. 11), progressive Democratic candidate for Congress (14th district
of Illinois) Ruben K. Zamora will be interviewed on the "Unfiltered"
show on Air America radio. The show airs at 9:30 AM (Central Standard
Time) and you can listen to it at

Organic Food and Consumer News Tidbits with an Edge!

Organic Consumers Association

Organic Bytes #40
Food and Consumer News Tidbits with an Edge!




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Three years ago the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced a new law banning hemp ingredients in natural and organic food products. After a long and costly legal battle, waged by the Hemp Industries Association, and bolstered by public interest plaintiffs including the Organic Consumers Association, the U.S. federal government finally backed down this week, making hemp foods, once again, legal. Hemp seed is most commonly used as a nutritional supplement in a variety of foods. It offers an ideal balance of two essential fatty acids (omega-3/omega-6). Despite Bush Administration propaganda, hemp foods contain insignificant levels of THC (tetrahyrdocannabinol), the chemical in marijuana that results in psychotropic effects. In that sense, eating hemp foods does not interfere with workplace drug tests, and, in fact, the THC levels in hemp foods are below that of opiates found in poppy seeds in muffins and breads. The hemp food industry is expecting a major boom in sales as a result of the removal of the DEA's ban. It is still illegal for U.S. farmers to grow industrial hemp, even as Chinese, Canadian, and European farmers supply a rapidly growing international market for hemp food ingredients, animal feed, clothing, paper, nutritional supplements, and bio-diesel fuel. Learn more...


Despite an avalanche of new body care products routinely mislabeled as "USDA Certified Organic," and a formal legal complaint filed by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) last February, the USDA National Organic Program is still not monitoring or policing organic label claims on body care products. This lack of enforcement undermines organic integrity, penalizes legitimate organic body care companies such as Dr. Bronner's, Dr. Hauschka's and Terressentials, and sows confusion and fraud in the marketplace. To put an end to this, the OCA has joined a new collaborative process, whereby objective and science-based standards for organic body care products will be hammered out by a broad task force composed of the OCA, natural and organic body care companies, scientists, and other consumer representatives. These standards will then be published by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for organic certifiers to use in assessing the legitimacy of organic label claims on body care products. A similar NSF standardization process has been successfully implemented in the past few years on products ranging from bottled water to vitamin supplements. Share your thoughts about the direction of organic body care labeling in OCA's new web forum!


According to the New York Times, the largest corporations in the U.S. have been paying fewer taxes than ever before, since new Bush Administration tax policies were enacted. The 275 wealthiest U.S. companies generated $1.1 trillion in revenue from 2001 to 2003, but only paid taxes on half of that. More...

A Yale student cafeteria has gone organic, and in the process, has become so popular, students are actually counterfeiting IDs to eat there. More...

McDonald's restaurant profits in the UK are plummeting, due to an upswing in consumer demand for healthier foods. In an effort to regain its share of the market, the mammoth fast food chain will begin offering vegetarian options. Ian Tokelove of the UK Food Commission said McDonalds is no longer successfully fooling consumers: "McDonald's have tried to convince us that they are making their food more healthy but their salads have been shown to have more fat than a burger when you take into account the dressing." More...

Given the rise in childhood obesity and related diseases, the Seattle School Board has unanimously voted to ban soda and junk food machines in the city's 100 schools. The board also voted to increase the use of locally grown and organic foods in the school lunches. These policies are among the strongest in the nation to date. More...


Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is spreading among the nation's 21 million deer at an alarming rate. Similar to Mad Cow Disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), CWD involves the spread of mutant prion proteins which cause the infected animal or human's brain to be literally eaten away. A scarcity of research and monitoring has left the scientific community and the nation's 12 million deer hunters in a heated debate over whether or not CWD can be spread to humans. Last year, three hunters in Seattle were diagnosed with Creutzfeld Jacob Disease (the human form of the disease). Even the top scientist on CWD at the Centers for Disease Control warned deer hunters and consumers several years ago not to eat venison unless it had been tested for CWD. However most hunters are unaware of this warning and instead are listening to state game officials (whose salaries are paid by hunting licenses) and game farm operators (who routinely feed slaughterhouse waste and blood to captive deer and elk), whose mantra is "don't worry." Meanwhile in parts of Colorado, 6% of the deer are already testing positive for the fatal disease. One thing scientists do agree on is that the disease can remain dormant in the infected host's body for many years before brain wasting symptoms begin to occur. Venison consumption in Native American and rural communities is, of course, much higher than it is in urban communities, although it is estimated that over 30 million Americans consume venison every year. Learn more...


Monsanto and Scotts corporations ran into a major obstacle last week in their ongoing effort to force genetically engineered grass onto the market. The two companies have patented a creeping bentgrass for golf courses that is resistant to the herbicide Roundup. The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have both raised concerns that the grass's pollen could potentially spread great distances and transfer its herbicide resistant traits to other weeds, creating superweeds. Now a study from the Environmental Protection Agency has documented that pollen from these genetically engineered plants can travel as far as thirteen miles. Based upon this study and the growing clamor of public criticism, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided to require a full Environmental Impact Statement on Monsanto's Frankengrass before determining whether or not it can be commercially released. Learn more...


A network of environmental, consumer and trade organizations, including the OCA, has recently teamed up to "assist" the National Organic Standards Board in strengthening organic standards and closing loopholes in the National Organic Program (NOP). These loopholes are currently allowing a myriad of poorly made products to pollute the organic market and undermine the integrity of the organic label. Some examples:

  • Most consumers aren't aware that the USDA Organic Standards allow "organic" meats and dairy to be raised on factory style farms.
  • Despite organic labeling claims, nonfood products like cosmetics and fertilizers are not even being regulated by the USDA's NOP.
  • The National Organic Program says it's okay to label the dairy from a cow as "USDA Certified Organic," even if the animal has been treated with synthetic hormones and drugs for most of its life.

All of these loopholes currently exist in the standards and are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous businesses. In October the National Organic Standards Board will be meeting to discuss some of these issues. The OCA, along with other members of this new organic standards Alliance, will be presenting preliminary recommendations to the board regarding these issues. Stay tuned to the OCA for further updates.


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ENN News...09/30/2004


Science Struggles Under W.'s Thumb
Governments Need to Act to Avert Water Crisis
Alaska Weighs Ban on Hunters Luring Bears With Food
Kyrgyzstan Seizes Nuclear-Bomb-Grade Plutonium
Sri Lanka Seeks Peace — This Time With Elephants
Intel Tops U.S. Government List of Best Commuter Benefits
After Years of Exporting Organic Products Abroad, Mexico Is Now Spreading Healthy Eating at Home
Australia's Labor Leads, but Greens' Influence Grows
90 Second ENN News radio features edited by ENN Radio host Jerry Kay.
Syndicated nationally by CBS Radio.
Weekly radio interviews and features produced with Icicle Networks and hosted by Jerry Kay.


Highways, Development Imprison Black Bears
Tax Breaks Could Provide Windfall for Alternative-energy Industry
Dean Foods Sees Soy Milk as Good Source of Income
Blizzard of Bill signings in California Pleases Conservation Groups
Pollination fears prompt FDA to launch intensive study of bioengineered grass
>>> How major industries impact our environment.

News, stories and information from environmentally focused companies.

Milliken Earns Cleaner and Greener
— By Leonardo Academy's Cleaner and Greener program
Learners Go On-Line To Study Global Issues
— By Imperial College London Distance Learning Programme
Election Countdown & Lakoff's Framing Wars
— By Chelsea Green Publishing Co.
Eternal Reefs Announces 2004 Memorial Reef Locations
— By Eternal Reefs Inc.
Guayabo National Monument: Historic Costa Rica
— By Adventure Life Journeys
New Information Shows GMOs are Unsafe to Health
— By Chelsea Green Publishing Company
The Growing Impact of "New Consumers" in China, India, and Other Developing and Transition Countries on the World's Resources
— By Island Press
NY/NJ Seminar: Green and Business Success
— By Alliance for Sustainable Built Environments
Discover Old-Growth Forests of the Northeast From Manhattan to the Finger Lakes and Pennsylvania to Maine
— By University of California Press/Sierra Club Books
Grounds for Change Switches to 100% Renewable Power
— By Grounds for Change

News, stories and information from research groups, environmental organizations and educational institutions.

Asia's Small-scale Fishers Vulnerable to Global Fish Crisis, says New WRI Report
— By World Resources Institute
Sunflowers to Protect Peaches
— By University of California, Davis
WRI Report Says Human Activities Threaten Bulk of Caribbean Coral Reefs
— By World Resources Institute
Asian Species at Risk from Global Trade - WWF
— By World Wildlife Fund US
Contaminated Swordfish Found in California Grocery Stores
— By Sea Turtle Restoration Project
Oil Prices: A Warning Of Energy Storms On The Horizon
— By American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
DNA Testing Used for First Time on Elephant Ivory
— By International Fund for Animal Welfare
Fun and Fall Color Highlight Upcoming Weekends at Arbor Day Farm
— By Arbor Day Foundation
Over 200 Nonprofit Organziations publish on ENN.
>>> Learn how to become an ENN Affiliate

Updated directory of thousands of Nonprofit Organizations sorted by topic and geography.

Tell Governor Blagojevich TODAY he should clean up polluting power plants in Illinois!

Sound science shows that pollution from old coal-fired power

plants is literally killing hundreds of Illinois residents and
causing tens of thousands of preventable asthma attacks here
every single year. These plants also emit thousands of pounds of
brain-damaging mercury every year, which ends up in Illinois
waters and in the fish we and our families eat.

When he ran for office Governor Blagojevich promised to set new
long term pollution rules for power plants, and now he is making
his final decision on exactly what action Illinois will take to
clean up old, dirty coal-fired power plants. His final decision
will likely be made this week. We NEED strong pollution rules in
Illinois to clean up the largest single sources of dangerous air
pollution in Illinois, and Governor Blagojevich needs to hear
from you!

Let Governor Blagojevich know air pollution that endangers your
health and the health of your family is unacceptable by faxing
him a letter asking him to propose and enact tight state
pollution rules for coal-fired power plants!!

Governor Blagojevich must direct the Illinois EPA and the
Pollution Control Board to enact state pollution rules that cut
toxic mercury emissions by 90 percent by 2009, and smog and soot
pollution from power plants by two-thirds by 2010. Illinois
rules should require that all pollution from power plants is
reduced by at least 90 percent by 2020.

Action Needed--ACT NOW as the Governor could make his decision
this week! Please use the link below to send a fax to Governor
Blagojevich which asks him to set strong pollution limits for
Illinois¿ coal-fired power plants.

Take action by Thursday, September 30, 2004.

You can take action on this alert via the web at:

Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

We encourage you to take action by October 1, 2004

Act Today! Clean Up Old Coal Plants in Illinois!

If you have access to a web browser, you can take action on this
alert by going to the following URL:

Your letter will be addressed and sent to:
Governor Rod Blagojevich (if you live in IL)

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

Illinois is suffering from dangerous problems that have been
ignored for far too long. State residents must now avoid eating
fish caught anywhere in Illinois' waters because of their high
mercury content, and two-thirds of Illinoisans still breathe air
that fails to meet minimal health standards for deadly soot and
smog. Illinois' fleet of 23 old coal-fired power plants is
largely responsible for both problems. I am writing to ask you
to direct the Illinois EPA and the Illinois Pollution Control
Board to enact strong new power plant pollution limits for
coal-fired power plants in Illinois.

In the last 18 months, the federal government has failed
Illinois. The U.S. EPA rolled back several critical provisions
under the Clean Air Act, actually making it easier for old power
plants to increase pollution and to avoid installing controls
that would lower air pollution in Illinois. Attorney General
Madigan has been forced to take legal action against U.S. EPA in
an attempt to stop these rollbacks. Illinois EPA Director
Cipriano also testified this year that federal air pollution
policies are far short of what is needed to protect Illinois
residents. U.S. EPA's current proposal on power plant pollution
will mean that nearly two-thirds of Illinois residents will
still be breathing unhealthy air in 2015 and beyond.

In 2002, you promised to set new long term pollution standards
for power plants in Illinois. Your leadership in on this issue
is needed now. In our state, 90 percent of the brain-damaging
mercury emitted can and must be eliminated at every coal fired
power plant by 2009. Two-thirds of the power plant pollution
that causes asthma and heart attacks in Illinois can and must
also be cut by 2010. All power plants located within areas that
fail to meet air quality standards must also be required to add
modern pollution controls. 90 percent of both types of pollution
can and should be eliminated by 2020.

Strong rules in Illinois would slash the more than 1350
premature deaths and nearly 34,000 asthma attacks that Illinois
residents now endure every year from power plant pollution
alone. They would also create economic opportunities. Adding
modern pollution controls at Illinois power plants and
increasing clean renewable sources of power in Illinois would
also create good and needed jobs. Strong rules would also help
to stabilize Illinois coal industry by encouraging the use of
much cleaner advanced technologies like integrated gasification
combined cycle power systems.

I look forward to your response.


(Your Name)


If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for
Environmental Law and Policy Center at:

Judge blocks secret searches

A federal judge ruled that a surveillance provision of the Patriot Act violates the First and Fourth amendments.

A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that a portion of the Patriot Act is unconstitutional, the first time one of the antiterrorism law's controversial police surveillance provisions has been struck down.

U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero held that so-called national security letters -- which allow the FBI to demand that certain businesses hand over customer records without a judge's approval and without telling anyone -- violate the First and Fourth amendments.

In a 122-page ruling, Marrero said that personal security is equally as important as national security.

''Sometimes a right, once extinguished, may be gone for good,'' the New York judge wrote.

The American Civil Liberties Union had filed the lawsuit challenging ''national security letters'' on behalf of an Internet firm referred to only as John Doe. The group hailed the decision Wednesday as a ``landmark.''

''It's a stunning victory against the Ashcroft Justice Department,'' ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said. A Justice Department spokesman said Marrero's decision is being reviewed.

National security letters are one of the more

Full story:

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Chaquamegon-Nicolet National Forest


Dear Friend of the North Woods,

I thought you might be interested in this article from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Our Chaquamegon-Nicolet National Forest litigation is focused, in part, at preserving large tracts of protected land in order to protect habitat and species, and deals with the forest fragmentation problem described in the article below.

To learn more, please visit our web site at

You can also support our efforts by making a secure donation on-line at

- Howard Learner, Executive Director
Environmental Law & Policy Center

Original URL:

Forests recovering, but threats loom
Acreage, preservation up, but so are sales, use conflicts, study says

Posted: Sept. 21, 2004

Wisconsin's forests, covering 16 million acres and 46% of the state, are slowly mending from lumberjack days. But a new analysis highlights disturbing trends for one of the state's most important natural resources.

In a report to be presented today to the state Natural Resources Board in Sturgeon Bay, public and private forestry experts said they were heartened by some things:

Forest acreage increased during much of the 1980s and 1990s. Forests are slowly growing older, laying the groundwork for richer, more diverse forests in the future. Also, organizations that buy land for conservation purposes are growing.

But the experts also identified an array of problems affecting both the North Woods and the urban forests of southeastern Wisconsin.

Those problems include the shrinking of big blocks of forests, an influx of new forest owners with smaller parcels, new threats from invasive pests and growing competition over recreational uses of land.

State forester Paul DeLong said the problems are not something Wisconsin can throw government programs at, or solve overnight.

Fifty-seven percent of Wisconsin forests are owned by private, non-industrial landowners. Despite big national and state forests here, only 30% of Wisconsin's forests are owned by the public sector, state figures show.

Taking a long view

Forestry planning takes years because it takes decades to re-grow forests, he said. Before 1880, 90% of the hemlock and hardwood forests were 120 years or older. Today, most of Wisconsin's forests range from 20 to 80 years.

Compared with the devastation of forests in the early 1900s from farming and logging, "we've recovered in great and amazing ways," said DeLong, administrator of the DNR's division of forests. "But we're not out of the woods yet."

The Wisconsin statewide forest plan identifies 52 trends affecting forestland. The plan is the centerpiece for a meeting Nov. 9 and 10 in Madison, the Governor's Conference on Forestry, which aims at coming up with strategies to manage public and private forests for generations to come.

The goal is to find ways to balance competing uses, since forests are integral to the state's ecosystem while the forest products industry is responsible for about 100,000 jobs, according to the DNR.

One bit of a surprise in the report: Forest acreage increased in the 1980s and 1990s.
Even with growing demand for paper and wood products, Wisconsin forestland increased by 640,000 acres between 1983 and 1996 because marginal farmland has reverted to forests. The trend is believed to have leveled off in this decade.

Some of the major issues affecting forests are:

Forests are becoming more fragmented.
State officials say that figures are hard to come by, but that large blocks of forestland increasingly are turning over to urban development, road building and, sometimes, agriculture. The result is long-term habitat loss - a threat to species such as pine martens and pileated woodpeckers that rely on big blocks of forests.

"It's not sustainable in the long term," said Lisa MacKinnon, policy director for 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, a Madison-based environmental organization.

In turn, large blocks of industrial forestland are changing hands rapidly.
Between 1997 and 2002, about 1 million acres of forestland was sold.

Paper giant Stora Enso, which acquired Consolidated Papers Inc., was one of the largest owners of forestland in Wisconsin. In 2002, Stora Enso sold 309,000 acres in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula to Seattle-based Plum Creek Timber Co. and now owns virtually no timberland here.

Some forestland is going from timberland to private developers, according to experts, but another concern is the uncertainty when so much land changes hands.
More people are purchasing forestland.

The seemingly democratization of the forest is shaping up to be a big concern as more people with little expertise are coming to own smaller parcels of land.

In 1953, there were 177,000 people in Wisconsin who owned forestland. The average parcel was 54 acres, DNR figures show. By 1997, the number of people owning forestland blossomed to 262,000. The average parcel size had shriveled to 37 acres.

Demographics are changing, too. Farmers in 1956 owned 6.4 million acres of forest. That fell to 1.5 million acres in 1997, DNR figures show.

"Most of the people want to be a good steward," said John G. DuPlissis, forestry outreach specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. "What you have is an education gap about how they fit into the natural landscape."

After building their dream home in the country, DuPlissis said, many owners start clearing brush, building trails and planting large plots of grass and trees that are not native to their woods.

"All of these things are altering the woodlands," he said. "All of the normal things that are occurring in our forests are slowly going away."

Invasive species are an increasing threat.

The gypsy moth, Asian long-horned beetle, Dutch elm disease, garlic mustard and Japanese honeysuckle are some of the exotic pests that experts say pose a threat to forestland. This can be especially harmful in urban forests, where urban dwellers unwittingly are allowing their interest in exotic plant species to spread to nearby woods.

The next threat: Emerald ash borer. This Asian insect has infested trees in Michigan and northern Indiana and Ohio and has the ability to infest Wisconsin trees, merely by a landowner bringing in firewood carrying the beetle from those states.

There is growing conflict over the recreational uses of forestland.
Paper industry land has long supplied the large blocks of connected forestland that some species require, and because of favorable tax treatment, the land is open for other uses.
But when paper companies sell land, recreational opportunities on those lands diminish. Besides concerns about habitat loss, "there's less land to hunt and fish," said Matt Dallman, the northern Wisconsin director for The Nature Conservancy, who participated in the study.

From the Sept. 22, 2004, editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
UW-Madison News Release--Botox test


CONTACT: Edwin Chapman, (608) 263-1762,; Min Dong, (608) 263-4166,


MADISON - Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a pair of rapid-fire tests for botulinum toxin, a feat that could underpin new technologies to thwart bioterrorism and spur the development of agents to blunt the toxic action of the world's most poisonous substance.

Writing this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the Wisconsin group, led by UW-Madison physiologist Edwin R. Chapman, describes the development of two assays for botulinum toxin - one a real-time test - that vastly improve on current technologies to detect the deadly poison.

"We needed a real-time assay," says Chapman, suggesting that the technology could potentially be deployed to protect the food supply, soldiers on the battlefield or used by emergency responders dealing with an unknown agent. "The old test takes days."

In addition to the real-time assay, which could be deployed in a kit and used in the field, the Wisconsin team also developed a cell-based assay that helps provide a glimpse of the toxin doing its dirty work in living cells. This technology promises a rapid screen for millions of chemicals to see which might inhibit the paralyzing effects of the toxin, according to Min Dong, a UW-Madison postdoctoral fellow and the lead author of the PNAS report.

"The primary application is to conduct cell-based, large-scale screening for toxin inhibitors," Dong says. "A cell-based assay has the potential to reveal molecules that may inhibit various toxin action pathways."

Botulinum toxin is made by a bacterium that causes food poisoning. The poison is the most toxic substance known - 6 million times more potent than rattlesnake venom. It works by binding to nerve endings. The toxin is taken up by the nerves, where it blocks chemical signals from reaching muscles. With enough blocked nerve endings, the toxin can cause paralysis and death.
In recent years, the nerve toxin has been used therapeutically to treat nerve disorders and help calm the muscles of cerebral palsy and stroke patients. It is best known to the public by the trade name Botox, which, in minute doses, is widely used in cosmetic procedures to smooth frown lines and wrinkles.

Last year, Chapman's group identified the mechanism by which the toxin enters cells. Inside the cell, the toxin targets three key proteins, which are essential for mediating the release of chemical signals from neurons and that govern how messages are sent from brain to muscles.
"The toxins are smart," Chapman notes. "They know where to go" inside cells to do the most damage.

The newest work, says Chapman, helps give scientists an inside-the-cell view of the toxin at work. The toxin employs a four-step process - from cell entry to blocking the release of chemical messengers from nerve endings - and interfering with any of the steps in the process can inhibit the poison's toxic action.

"We can screen for [agents] to block any one of those steps," explains Chapman. "We could screen 1 million drugs at a time, and you can do all the screening using live cells." The potential upshot of such a screening technology could be the development of drugs that act like a prophylactic to confer protection from botulinum poisoning.

The new tests, according to Chapman, can be conducted with ordinary lab equipment. They work by introducing into cells bioluminescent proteins whose glow is extinguished in the presence of the toxin. The tests are capable of detecting all seven variants of the poison.

Currently, the most sensitive and common test for toxin activity is exposing mice to an agent. The process takes time, and many animals are used and die in the process.

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation has patented the new botulinum toxin technology. In addition to Chapman and Dong, co-authors of the new PNAS paper include William H. Tepp and Eric A. Johnson, both of the UW-Madison department of food microbiology and toxicology.

### - Terry Devitt (608) 262-8282,

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Read about the David Suzuki Foundation's new vision for Canada:
Sustainability within a generation
Urban Sprawl: A Need For Smarter Growth
From the David Suzuki Foundation

Read full newsletter

How sprawl affects you:
Over 80% of us now live in urban areas. As our cities grow bigger, urban sprawl is beginning to affect our quality of life.

Seven deadly sins of urban sprawl:
So what’s so bad about urban sprawl anyway? Plenty. Urban sprawl is responsible for less greenspace, increased traffic, and much more.

City of the Future:
Cities require large operating budgets, which come out of the taxes you pay. Don’t you want to get your money’s worth?

Bringing sprawl to a crawl:
Okay, so you know sprawl is bad news for your health and for nature, so what can we do about it?

Sprawling in love:
Though suburban living appears to be affordable, there are significant costs to society and nature. But you can make a difference!

Make change with your token:
Just imagine what your city would look like if you had convenient, affordable, and efficient mass transit. You can make it happen by sending an e-mail to the Prime Minister right now.
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GLIN NEWS: 28 September 2004

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Great Lakes Daily News: 28 September 2004 A collaborative project of the Great Lakes Information Network and the Great Lakes Radio Consortium.

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COMMENTARY: We need to keep the ferry afloat
The Spirit of Ontario is now facing unanticipated financial and bureaucratic challenges that must be overcome to ensure the ferry can again take its place as an engine of economic growth for both sides of Lake Ontario.
Source: National Post (9/28)

EPA, Michigan announce cleanup plan for Detroit River's Black Lagoon
One of the Detroit River's most toxic hot spots will be the first contaminated sediment site to be cleaned up under the Great Lakes Legacy Act, the U.S.
Source: The Detroit News (9/27)

EDITORIAL: Deal on the Great Lakes needs changes before approval
A deal to protect the Great Lakes, which is intended to guard Great Lakes water against large-scale diversions, may in fact weaken protections.
Source: The Grand Rapids Press (9/27)

Fund-raising for new park over the top
Efforts to buy 500 acres of dune property in northwest Ottawa County for a county park have so far raised more than $1 million in pledges -- improving chances of obtaining critical state grants.
Source: Muskegon News Chronicle (9/27)

Tests find dangerous dioxin levels across Bay County
Harmful levels of the toxic chemicals have been found in the shoreline soils and sediment of the Saginaw River and bay - well beyond the Dow Chemical Co. plant on the Tittabawassee River.
Source: The Bay City Times (9/26)

COMMENTARY: Walleye slowly making Lake Michigan their home
Incidental reports of walleye certainly increased the last few months, even in Illinois, where a shore angler caught a walleye at Wilmette Harbor in June.
Source: Chicago Sun Times (9/26)

Wolves, deer and wild ginseng
A healthy Eastern wolf population could help the wild ginseng to flourish in Eastern Ontario, but the wolves are scarce, which means deer proliferate and feed on the once-plentiful medicinal plant.
Source: The Toronto Star (9/25)

Residents talk trash about sewage
After the sewerage district unleashed billions of gallons of untreated sewage into Lake Michigan this spring, Milwaukee residents let fly their unfettered views on how to set things straight.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (9/24)

Court deal a win for threatened dragonfly
Local and national environmental groups declared victory Monday in a battle to boost protection of the endangered Hine's emerald dragonfly.
Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette (9/21)

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Monday, September 27, 2004

GLIN NEWS: 27 September 2004

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Great Lakes Daily News: 27 September 2004

A collaborative project of the Great Lakes Information Network and the Great Lakes Radio Consortium.

For links to these stories and more, visit

Canadian groups worried about water withdrawals
Canadian environmental groups are concerned that a new plan to regulate water withdrawals from the Great Lakes basin would allow too much water to be removed.
Source: Great Lakes Radio Consortium (9/27)

Hunt is on for little beetles of big danger to ash trees
A survey of Chicago-area ash trees being conducted by the Morton Arboretum so far has found no trace of the emerald ash borer, though advocates insist that local communities must remain vigilant.
Source: Chicago Tribune (9/27)

Ontario eyes plan to burn tires for fuel
Ontario industries could be burning old tires for fuel and throwing more pollution into the air under a new proposal being considered at the environment ministry, warns the Toronto Environmental Alliance.
Source: The Toronto Star (9/27)

EDITORIAL: Michigan deserves right to regulate imported garbage
A bill that lets Michigan regain control over out-of-state trash took an important first step last week when it was voted out of a subcommittee in the U.S. House.
Source: Detroit Free Press (9/27)

Ore boats feed steel boom
The resurgence of the steel industry has reinvigorated the Great Lakes ore freighter fleet.
Source: Chicago Tribune (9/26)

OPG mercury emissions up
Ontario's publicly owned power generator is bucking a provincewide trend to lower mercury emissions because demand for electricity has increased and nuclear plants are performing poorly, a new report concludes.
Source: National Post (9/26)

St. Joseph, other rivers face threat
Phosphorus from both urban and rural sources is still leaking its way into Michigan waters, including the St. Joseph and the Kalamazoo Rivers.
Source: South Bend Tribune (9/26)

Lake Superior's North Shore: Midwest melange
Just about every list of America's most scenic drives includes Minnesota's North Shore Drive, the 110 miles from Duluth to Grand Marais along the edge of Lake Superior.
Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press (9/26)

EDITORIAL: Troubled waters on Great Lakes
Just 1 per cent of Great Lakes' water is renewed each year. Draw off too much, and there could be dire consequences for the entire Great Lakes ecosystem and every community it now supports.
Source: The Toronto Star (9/25)

History unfolds lock by lock along the Welland Canal
The Welland Canal not only connects Lakes Erie and Ontario, but also ties them to the St. Lawrence Seaway and other bodies of water that provide uninterrupted navigation from Lake Superior to the Atlantic and the world beyond--creating jobs, industries and cities along its route.
Source: The Washington Times (9/24)

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Illinois PIRG : Close the Gaping Hole in Homeland Security

Dear Illinois PIRG supporter,

With the third anniversary of 9/11 upon us, Congress is busy debating ways to make our country safer. Included in the debates are discussions on how to better secure chemical facilities around the country, which remain a gaping hole in our national security policy.

Unfortunately, for the past three years, the Bush administration has done little to make chemical plants safer, endorsing only voluntary measures. The Senate will likely vote this week on this legislation.

Please take a moment to ask your Senator to oppose this inadequate bill and instead support a commonsense solution that requires chemical facilities to not only increase security measures, but also use safer chemicals where possible. Then, ask your friends and family to help by forwarding this email to them.

Click on this link or paste it into your web browser:


Industrial facilities around the nation use large quantities of hazardous chemicals that if released, whether by accident or on purpose, could have catastrophic effects on surrounding communities.

Since September 11th, it has become clear that these facilities are very possible terrorist targets. In fact, the Army Surgeon General ranked an attack on a chemical plant as one of the most dangerous risks to the public, second only to a widespread biological attack. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has warned, "Al-Qaeda operatives may attempt to launch conventional attacks against U.S. nuclear/chemical-industrial infrastructure to cause contamination, disruption and terror. Based on information, nuclear power plants and industrial chemical plants remain viable targets."

Fortunately, safer technologies and raw materials have been developed that can reduce or eliminate the chance of a chemical release, making facilities less attractive as terrorist targets. A few companies have already started to use inherently safer technology, such as using safe chemical alternatives and storing toxic ones in smaller concentrations.

On October 31, 2001, Senator Jon Corzine (NJ) introduced the "Chemical Security Act of 2001", which would require chemical facilities to evaluate security weaknesses and potential dangers to the surrounding community, as well as create a strategy for improving security and safety, including the use of safer available technologies. This bill passed the Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously on July 25, 2002 before being stopped by a bombardment of lobbying by the chemical industry that was vehemently opposed to security regulation.

The current lack of federal safety standards is evident in multiple media and government reports of security gaps at chemical facilities. CBS, 60 Minutes and The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review exposed lax security at over 60 chemical plants around the nation by easily penetrating the minimal security measures of the plants, including broken fences, unguarded corridors, and inattentive guards, reaching potentially catastrophic chemical supplies. These gaps in safety and security at our nation's chemical plants put millions of people at risk of catastrophic accidents and attacks.

Please take a moment to ask your Senator to oppose the inadequate bill introduced by Senator Inhofe and instead support a commonsense solution that requires chemical facilities to use safer chemicals where possible. Then, ask your friends and family to help by forwarding this email to them.

Click on this link or paste it into your web browser:


Rebecca D. Stanfield
Illinois PIRG Environmental Attorney

P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your family and friends.
Star Tribune Politics 2004 09/27/2004

Bench mark: Election winner will have lasting impact

With one or more Supreme Court justices inching toward retirement, the November election could reshape the court and dramatically affect laws covering everything from abortion to civil rights to environmental regulation, legal experts say.

Pawlenty pushes plan to double ethanol in gasoline

Gov. Tim Pawlenty proposed today to double the portion of ethanol sold in every gallon of gasoline in the state, from 10 percent to 20 percent.

Carter says Florida still can't guarantee fair election

Former President Jimmy Carter says that despite changes designed to eliminate voting problems in Florida - where the disputed 2000 presidential election was decided by only a few hundred votes - conditions for a fair election in that state still don't exist.

Horse race gets even harder to call

During a week in which polls about the presidential race poured mercilessly down on voters' heads, the mother of all polls was released.