America Outdoors E-Bulletin
November 11, 2005
||Lynx Critical Habitat Proposed in Maine, Idaho, Montana, Minnesota
||The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently
announced the proposed designation of critical habitat for the contiguous
United States distinct population segment of the Canada lynx pursuant to the
Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. Approximately 26,935 square miles are
identified as proposed critical habitat in four units in the States of Idaho,
Maine, Minnesota, Montana, and Washington. Final designation may result in a
variety of public use restrictions on affected lands.
Unit 1 is located in northern Maine in portions of
Aroostook, Franklin, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Somerset Counties. Unit 2 is
located in northeastern Minnesota in portions of Cook, Koochiching, Lake and
St. Louis Counties. Unit 3 is located in northwestern Montana and a small
portion of northeastern Idaho in portions of Boundary County in Idaho and
Flathead, Glacier, Granite, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Missoula, Pondera,
Powell and Teton Counties in Montana. Unit 4 is located in north-central
Washington in portions of Chelan and Okanogan Counties.
Some lands in these areas are already committed to lynx
conservation and not slated for "critical habitat" status. For example, the
proposal does not include lands within Lynx Analysis Units in the Superior
National Forest in Minnesota, because they do not meet the definition of
critical habitat pursuant to section 3(5)(A) of the ESA as a consequence of the
Superior National Forest having amended its Forest Plan to adopt the Lynx
Conservation Assessment and Strategy. These lands are not included in the
estimated square miles of the proposed designation.
In addition, USFWS is not proposing to designate
critical habitat on the Federal lands within seven National Forests in Idaho,
Montana, and Washington that are covered by the May 2005 Conservation
Agreement, and therefore do not meet the definition of critical habitat.
These lands, however, are included in the
estimated square miles of the proposed designation owing to difficulties in
obtaining accurate estimates of the area of Federal land within each national
forest boundary in a timely manner. This will be corrected in the final
The USFWS will collect
comments from all interested parties until February 7, 2006. Public hearings
and informational sessions will be held on the following
December 7, 2005,
December 14, 2005,
January 10, 2006,
January 18, 2006,
||600 Industry Leaders to Convene at
||Attendance at Confluence should be the best in the past
five years with registrations already surpassing registration goals. An
exciting new agenda and a recovering industry are among the reasons for the
strong showing. Total attendance, including vendor representatives, will
surpass 600. Over 400 people are expected to attend the Night of the Caballeros
Party, a great celebration and reunion of industry leaders.
Several programs have been added to
the Confluence Agenda.
Register online and
check out the agenda
briefs. Click here to register
online. Southwest flies into Reno 800-435-9792. Other airline fares may be
accessed through www.sidestep.com.
For hotel reservations call the Silver Legacy at
800-687-8733 code AMERI for the $59 rate.
- A special meeting for
new members and first-time attendees is planned for Tuesday evening, 6:30 PM in
the Gold Room.
- The Experience
Economy. Michael Terry, Ph D has been added to the opening general session
on Wednesday, November 30th.
Processing Forum: How to Avoid Extra Charges, Charge-backs and other Costs,
with Diane Jablonski, ABN AMRO Merchant Services, is scheduled for Friday
afternoon, December 2nd.
- A few seats remain for
the optional seminar on Revenue and Profit Maximization scheduled for
Saturday, December 3rd. See the program descriptions for more information.
||Park Service Releases Final Grand Canyon River Management
||The final environmental impact statement (FEIS) to
revise the Colorado River Management Plan (CRMP) for Grand Canyon National Park
was released yesterday. The National Park Service (NPS) prepared the FEIS for
the CRMP under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
The Hualapai Tribe was a cooperating agency in the preparation of the
"We think it's a workable
plan," said Mark Grisham, Executive Director of the Grand Canyon River
Outfitters Association, "We would have done some things differently, but
recognize that the Park had a tough balancing act."
Private and commercial split allocations will be
retained with private use gaining an almost equal number of user days.
There will be significant changes
to commercial operations. Included among those
While the plan is
complete, a lot of mopping up remains. Outfitters and Grand Canyon National
Park will now scramble to implement a launch schedule for next year, which will
have to be completed by early January. Several observers, including the Park
Service, expect litigation. Some environmental groups want greater limits on
the number of people and others want to eliminate motorized use
- Commercial use is
spread out into the shoulder seasons with some launches in June and July moved
to April and September.
- Party size was cut
from a maximum of 36 passengers to a maximum of 28 passengers.
- 46 motorized launches
were cut. The ratio of commercial motorized use to oar use changed from the
current 3 to 1 (motorized to oar) to 2 to 1.
Publication of the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's Notice of Availability (NOA) in the
Federal Register on November 10, 2005 initiates a 30-day no-action
period. Although the NPS is not accepting public comment on the FEIS, the
document is available for public review. Following the 30-day no-action period,
a Record of Decision (ROD) will be prepared that documents the NPS decision and
rationale for that decision. The ROD will be released to the public and a
summary will be published in the Federal Register.
A complete copy of the FEIS can be downloaded at
www.nps.gov/grca/crmp. A CD with the
complete document is also available by sending an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to CRMP
Team at P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon AZ 86023.
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