Thursday, July 9, 2015

Noem wants invasive species in waters of the United States, dirtier air

There has been considerable flap over attempts by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to streamline the agency by weaning support for the DC Booth Hatchery. The facility is well-supported by tourists and locals alike.

But, trout are not native to South Dakota yet the state's sitting At-large US Representative is staking her seat on infesting the waters of the United States.
Representative Kristi Noem said, "My amendment was accepted and voice voted into the Appropriations Bill. This will make sure that Fish and Wildlife doesn't use the dollars that they have in the next fiscal year to shut down the fishery, and make sure that it can still be utilized by the public and that those private dollars and volunteers can still participate to make sure that it is still enjoyable in the years to come." [KEVN teevee]
It's hard to imagine the Service continuing to support the release of hybrid and non-native trout by South Dakota's Department of Game, Fish & Parking Lot Construction when native species are being threatened in the Missouri River basin.
The hatcheries were slated to receive 20,000 Atlantic salmon eggs apiece this year from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hatchery in New Hampshire. The first Atlantic salmon would have been reared at the hatchery for nearly a year before being stocked into Lake Oahe in 2016. They would take the place of roughly 40,000 of the Chinook salmon the GFP currently raises. That way there is no net increase of salmon in Lake Oahe, just a new species. [Pierre Capital Journal]
Chinook and Atlantic salmon are not native to the Missouri River, northern pike not indigenous to South Dakota's portion of the waterway.

Walleye was introduced to the Missouri River concurrent with the construction of the main stem dams.
Walleye was first reported in Wyoming in 1961 from Seminoe Reservoir in the upper North Platte River. The fish were swept downstream and are now established in a 450-km stretch of river (McMahon and Bennett 1996). The walleye was stocked illegally in Canyon Ferry Reservoir, Montana, and was found first circa 1991 (White, personal communication). More recently, the species also was illegally stocked in Noxon Reservoir on the Clark Fork of the Columbia River, Montana (McMahon and Bennett 1996). Illegal introductions seem to be a growing problem in western states (McMahon and Bennett 1996). [USGS, nonindigenous aquatic species]
Native fish like pallid sturgeon are in danger of extirpation in the dam-choked Missouri River.

There is no evidence of native trout in the Little Missouri flowing north out of the Wyoming sage steppe, either. As the Black Hills has never been glaciated, the continual use of fire on the Black Hills by human inhabitants for the last ten thousand years may have rendered ancient fisheries unable to sustain salmonids.
Mike Cummings believes anglers should have a wider variety of game fish to go after when fishing in Black Hills reservoirs — and one of the species he is pushing is the highly sought-after walleye. Cummings, owner of The Rooster bait and tackle shop in Rapid City, said a proposed 5-year South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department management plan for Black Hills reservoir fishing puts too much emphasis on management of trout. [Rapid City Journal]
Noem purports to be a small-government conservative and helping the community to find a way to finance rearing for private ponds without tapping federal funds should be her mission.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service should block releases of these fish into any part of the system. How a GOP-owned agency like SDGF&P is enabled instead of being sued by the Service remains a mystery.

The Republican-glutted US House of Representatives is debating an appropriations bill that would reduce the Environment Protection Agency’s budget by 9 percent and block a sweeping Obama administration proposal to reduce carbon emissions.
“We are deeply disappointed in the bill,” [Office of Management and Budget] Director Shaun Donovan said on a call Tuesday. “Representatives are attempting to hijack the appropriations process.” EPA chief Gina McCarthy echoed Donovan’s concerns, rattling off a litany of cuts the agency would experience. Under the appropriation bills, the EPA would be prohibited from finalizing the Clean Power Plan. The bill would also delay implementation of the Waters of the United States rule, which offers protection to two million miles of streams and 20 million acres of wetlands. The bill would cut the funding for the Department of the Interior, the EPA, the Forest Service, the Indian Health Service, and some related agencies by $246 million from last year to $30.17 billion in base funding.
Read it all here.

Just in:
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), who introduced one of the original amendments to remove the Confederate flag from National Parks, suggested Thursday that Republicans' late-night move Wednesday to reverse the effort was a last ditch attempt to save the larger Interior appropriations bill. Republican leadership was struggling to gain support for the Interior bill among the most conservative members of the GOP conference right, McCollum said. [Talking Points Memo]

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