By all accounts the 2014 B.A.S.S. Conservation Summit was a big success. The three day summit had 95 attendees including state Conservation Directors from 29 B.A.S.S. Nations, representatives from 31 different state and federal resources management agencies, and more than a dozen NGO, University and Industry partners.
AERF was there to help out with the summit providing plant management handbooks, giving presentations to the attendees, and participating in various discussions. . Of particular interest was the AERF-APMS award. This years recipient was Tony Beck (middle) or Lake Oconee Bassmasters, pictured with AERF's own Carlton Layne (left) and Mike Netherland, President of APMS (right). For more on B.A.S.S. Conservation, click HERE!
Waters Advocacy Webinar
The Waters Advocacy Coalition held a webinar February 27 on EPA's proposed rule regarding the "Waters of the U.S." Attendees were briefed about the Clean Water Act's background and the implications of the proposed rule's new definitions of waters. While the EPA claimed the new rule would have minimal economic impact, it was argued that EPA's analysis did not adequately address all the potential affects of the new definition. For a review of presentations given, click HERE under "water".
EPA Defends Use Of New Pollinator Framework
EPA is defending its framework for ensuring pesticides do not harm pollinators after being met with resistance. In Pollinator Stewardship Council et. al. v. U.S. EPA et al., environmental and beekeeper groups are targeting EPA's new pollinator risk assessment framework as part of their challenge to EPA's May 6 registration of sulfoxalfor, a nova-systemic pesticide that has been slightly altered from the controversial neonicotinoid class to prevent resistance. The case appears to mark a first legal test of the framework. Click HERE to read more.....
Calls to Ban Genetically Modified (GM) Crops in Wildlife Refuges
A new petition with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as it's target, focuses on calls to prohibit the use of neonicotinoid insecticides and the planting of genetically modified crops within national wildlife refuges. The petition criticizes the USFWS for allowing GM crops and neonicotinoid use within refuges.
The petition, drawn up by the Center for Food Safety (CFS), the Center for Biological Diversity, Beyond Pesticides and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). states, in regards to GM and neonicotinoid insecticides: "while common in industrial agriculture, [these] have no place on federal public lands set aside to provide refuge to wildlife", citing that the USFWS is failing to meet its obligations under the National Wildlife Refuge Act and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). At risk for loss is the food and habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife species that is traditionally farmed on such refuges. Click HERE to read more....