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Earth Island in the news.

Blaming pinnipeds The National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS) recent report to Congress (Impacts of California Sea Lions and the Pacific Harbor Seals on Salmonids and West Coast Ecosystems, February 1999) recommends killing sea Lions to protect fisheries. According to EII consultant Dr. Toni Frohoff, "no data [show] that pinnipeds are responsible for the decline of fisheries and none indicate that this proposal will achieve the stated goal of enhancing depleted fish populations."

The NMFS report fails to address the destruction of salmon and steelhead habitat through logging, water diversions, damming, and development, or to explore non-lethal alternatives. The International Marine Mammal Project's Pinniped Fisheries Project (PFP), headed by Laura Seligsohn, will work with state and federal agencies and commercial fishers on deterrents and on directly supporting salmonid populations.

New alliance to stop global warming Earth Island's Atmosphere Alliance has joined another Northwest sustainable energy leader, the Energy Outreach Center, to combat global warming with clean energy and transportation solutions. The alliance will demonstrate solutions and build political and popular support to improve public policy. The group will help organize the Northwest for Earth Day 2000: "New Energy for a New Era."

Baikal Watch supports Russia's national parks Russia's protected areas, including the spectacular parks and reserves that surround Lake Baikal, are experiencing severe financial problems as Russia slashes its national budget, making it impossible to effectively protect the wild. Lake Baikal, the world's oldest, deepest, and most biologically diverse take, supports more than 1,500 plant and animal species found nowhere else on Earth. The parks have asked us to help by bringing ecotours to the region and donating proceeds to the parks and Local environmental groups. Baikal Watch is organizing an ecotour this summer. Travelers will join renowned photographer and author Boyd Norton in appreciating Baikal and its native species including the nerpa, the world's only freshwater seal. To find out more, please see the inside front cover.

Japan Environmental Exchange opens US office In February JEEUSA opened a small branch office in the San Francisco Bay area. The new office will allow JEE to expand its support programs for visiting Japanese environmentalists. JEE is seeking volunteers to work in its US office and in Japan. JEE hopes to Link with agencies who will hire JEE volunteers to teach English while they work with JEE.

Aquaculture, food or folly? The Mangrove Action Project (MAP) cosponsored a public forum addressing the problems of coastal marine resources, wildlife and habitat in the Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Georgia Strait regions. Keynote speaker Jean-Michel Cousteau spotlighted industrial aquaculture, which threatens coastal resources and biodiversity, pollutes waters, allows escapes of introduced species, uses and misuses antibiotics and pesticides, infringes on Native Peoples' land rights, and is associated with wild and native fisheries' declines. MAP hopes these forums will educate the public while involving people in land use, water quality, and consumer decisions associated with industrial aquaculture.

C-SAW challenges Logging pollution The Campaign to Safeguard America's Waters (C-SAW) has filed comments with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation challenging a proposed national general permit for Log Transfer Facilities. LTFs are areas where timber companies store logs in large rafts before milling. While in the water the togs shed bark, which buries aquatic life. C-SAW believes that the permit's provision for a one-acre Zone of Deposit is illegal under the Clean Water Act, which requires dischargers to use the best technologies available to reduce pollutants. According to Gershon Cohen, C-SAW's Project Director, "Timber companies have been getting away with destroying estuarine habitat in Alaska for over 40 years. This LTF general permit should not allow the practice to continue, especially when cost-effective alternatives exist." Many logging operations in the US already strip the bark from togs to make saleable mulch.

86 Ski-doo! Bluewater Network made waves again in December and January, for spearheading tough new marine engine regulations, then for an eco-labeling program for marine motors in California (see article in this issue). Bluewater is seeking to ban snowmobiles from National Parks as an "inappropriate" form of recreation. BWN has also called on the EPA, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and California's Department of Fish and Game to regulate these polluting and dangerous craft. This winter Bluewater was featured on CNN, ABC, NPR, USA Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Detroit News, and more.

Safe shrimp, safe turtles The nation's second largest natural foods store chain, Wild Oats/Alfalfa's, expanded its distribution of certified turtle-safe shrimp from three to all twelve Colorado stores, after Teri Shore of Sea Turtle Restoration Project spoke at the national "Wildstock" meeting in Denver. She and Georgia shrimper Howell Boone explained how turtle-safe certification helps save endangered sea turtles, recognizes responsible shrimpers, and gives shrimp lovers an environmental choice. Wild Oats may offer the shrimp nationally by year's end. A resolution to establish a marine reserve for endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles along Padre Island, Texas was passed by the more than 500 participants of the 19th Annual International Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation in March in South Padre Island, Texas.

SAVE supports sustainability in Taiwan In January, SAVE advisor Professor Randy Hester, of the University of California at Berkeley, traveled to Taiwan to discuss with the Vice Premier a sustainable plan for coastal Tainan County, Taiwan, with conservation areas for the critically endangered black-faced spoonbill and economic development through ecotourism. Hesler also met with several interested local elected officials. In March, SAVE sent another scientific delegation to Taiwan to meet with politicians, fishermen, and local environmental groups. Students in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning program at UC Berkeley joined experts to present conservation plans and case studies on ecotourism.

Brewer protests Yosemite development In January, EII founder David Brewer traveled to Yosemite, as he has for eighty-one years, this time to protest the National Park Service's plans to widen El Portal Road, desecrating sections of the Merced River. Sixty people demonstrated at the site of ongoing road construction and river destruction. Construction was temporarily halted following the demonstration.

Mega-conservation in Asia Two Earth Island projects, the China Biodiversity Network and Baikal Watch, have taken a lead in creating the Northeast Asia Pacific Environmental Partnership (NAPEP) of more than 100 eco-activist and scientific institutions. NAPEP members will develop megaregional environmental projects. One of these is the Tureen River Program, where China, Russia, and North Korea meet. A similar group will protect key bird species in Northeast Asia, such as the Oriental white stork. Programs are training officials and activists in maintaining wetlands.

Paper Tool Box launched ReThink Paper has finished its Paper Tool Box. This all-purpose, eco-paper resource guide is designed for purchasing managers, printers, graphic artists, publishers, non-profit organizations, companies, public officials, and the general public to promote ecologically responsible day-to-day paper use. The Tool Box outlines the case for shifting away from the wood-and chlorine-based pulp and paper industry, provides a comprehensive overview of tree-free and high-content recycled paper options, and offers suggestions for reducing overall paper use. To find it, just tog on to <www.rethinkpaper.org>!

Earth Day every day A branch of the Earth Day Network is now stationed here at 300 Broadway. United Networks of Environmental Efforts is a non-profit group working on the Earth-day 2000 Campaign as well as "Global CPR" ideas. A San Francisco Bay Area Earth Day Coalition will coordinate various organizations and events on global climate and renewable energy resources. United Networks will organize fundraising sports events that bring attention to local, national and global ecological issues. For info, call Richard Stockton at (415) 394-0405.

Welcome new Board members A warm welcome to our new EII board members: Andrea Cousins, a Community Development Consultant interested in environmental justice issues; Elisabeth R. Gunther, an Attorney "Of Counsel" for Goodman|Kang, LLP in San Francisco who is a former EII board member; Angana P. Chatterji, a Development Consultant and Associate at UC Berkeley's Asia Forest Network; and Denise D. Fort, a Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico interested in water issues.

Medicinal plants and Tibetan medicine The Tibetan Plateau Project has launched a new internet discussion group (listserv) to promote discussion and exchange of information on the topics of medicinal plant conservation and traditional Tibetan medicine. For your free listserv subscription, send an email to <tppei@earthisland. org> with the phrase "subscribe <tpptibmed-plants-info>" in the body of the message, or visit the TPP web site at <www. earthisland.org/tpp/programs. htm>.

IMMP to Baja and Japan The International Marine Mammal Project and the Oceanic Society led an ecotour to Mexico's San Ignacio Lagoon to visit gray whales and other fauna and flora. Guests discussed the campaign to stop the proposed Mitsubishi-Mexican government salt production plant in the pristine lagoon. Mark Berman was invited by the Free Orca Society of Japan to speak about marine mammal conservation and the success of the relocation of Keiko to Iceland. Mark spoke with Dr. Paul Spong of the Pacific Orca Society at schools, fora, and press conferences. The campaign included discussions on how to stop the Port Nagoya Aquarium from capturing and importing orcas from Norway.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:PS
Publication:Earth Island Journal
Geographic Code:0JINT
Date:Jun 22, 1999
Words:1540
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