MUIRNet-News Bytes

Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources From Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment

Editor's Note: I have reviewed the below Presidential Memorandum and left scratching my head.  On one level it appears worthless; but, left to a bureaucract with idle time, I believe will create opportunities for obstructionists inside the agencies to further stall projects.  Structurally, this seems to create another level of review within, or independent of, NEPA, that requires screening AND substantive direction to "avoid and then minimize harmful effects…and to ensure that any remaining harmful effects are effectively addressed…."
Derivations of the word “minimize” are littered throughout, starting with the second paragraph. Minimize is a very subjective term....

Presidential Memorandum of November 3, 2015
Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources From Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment
    Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense[,] the Secretary of the Interior[,] the Secretary of Agriculture[,] the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency[, and] the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    We all have a moral obligation to the next generation to leave America's natural resources in better condition than when we inherited them. It is this same obligation that contributes to the strength of our economy and quality of life today. American ingenuity has provided the tools that we need to avoid damage to the most special places in our Nation and to find new ways to restore areas that have been degraded.

Natural Resources, minimize, NEPA

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American Recreation CoalitionWashington, D.C. (Feb. 3, 2015) – President Barack Obama used his FY2016 budget request to outline plans to keep parks relevant to an increasingly urban and diverse nation and to invite all Americans to help support their parks.  His requests include $20 million annually to transport over a million urban youth to national parks and public lands, with dedicated youth coordinators to welcome them and their families, and a significant increase in the National Park Service (NPS) Centennial Challenge program, which leverages federal spending at least 1:1 with contributions and partner funding and helps reduce the large NPS deferred-maintenance backlog.

NPS, National Park Service


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Drones threaten safety and firefighting efforts


BOISE, IDAHO -- Federal, state, and local wildfire managers are cautioning individuals and organizations that unauthorized operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), often referred to as “drones,” within or near wildfires threatens the safety of both aerial and ground firefighters and hampers their ability to protect lives, property, and valuable natural and cultural resources.

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Western Governors Meet for Tough Topics

(06/09/14) CARSON CITY, Nev. - Water scarcity, extreme weather, oil and gas development and endangered species are among the tough topics at the Western Governors' Association meeting this week in Colorado Springs.

According to Land Tawney, executive director of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, declining populations of greater sage-grouse are intertwined with those issues. He said he believes keeping the species off the Endangered Species List can be accomplished. His group's new research shows that Wyoming got it right, with everyone sitting at the table to hash out pathways to move forward.

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Members Launch Endangered Species Act Working Group

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 9, 2013 - Members of the House of Representatives, representing a broad geographic range, today announced the creation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Working Group. This Working Group, led by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings and Western Caucus Co-Chair Cynthia Lummis, will examine the ESA from many angles. Throughout this year, the Working Group will hold a series of events, forums, and hearings that will invite discussion and input on ways in which the ESA (last reauthorized in 1988) may be working well, how it could be updated, and how to boost its effectiveness for both people and species.

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