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July 3, 2007

America Outdoors E-News

 
IRS Warns of New E-Mail Scam Bald Eagle Delisted but New Restrictions May Be Imposed
Free Guide to Buying Insurance World Spotlight Position on Adventure Vacation.com for $1,000 Per Year
OutdoorMind Offers $100 Discounts to AO Members
IRS Warns of New E-Mail Scam
  The Internal Revenue Service recently alerted taxpayers to the latest versions of an e-mail scam intended to fool people into believing they are under investigation by the agency's Criminal Investigation division.

The e-mail purporting to be from IRS Criminal Investigation falsely states that the person is under a criminal probe for submitting a false tax return to the California Franchise Tax Board. The e-mail seeks to entice people to click on a link or open an attachment to learn more information about the complaint against them. The IRS warned people that the e-mail link and attachment is a Trojan Horse that can take over the person's computer hard drive and allow someone to have remote access to the computer.

The IRS does not send out unsolicited e-mails or ask for detailed personal and financial information. Additionally, the IRS never asks people for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts.

Recipients should forward the e-mails to phishing@irs.gov (follow the instructions).

Other fraudulent e-mail scams try to entice taxpayers to click their way to a fake IRS Web site and ask for bank account numbers. Another widespread e-mail tells taxpayers the IRS is holding a refund (often $63.80) for them and seeks financial account information. Still another email claims the IRS's 'anti-fraud commission' is investigating their tax returns.

Bald Eagle Delisted but New Restrictions
May Be Imposed
  On June 28, 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decided to remove the bald eagle from the federal list of threatened and endangered species, and thus remove the eagle from protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In a related action, FWS has strengthened protections for eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA).

A Summary of the related actions is provided below.
  • " A final rule at 72 Fed. Reg. 31132 (June 5, 2007) codifies a definition of "disturb" that will broaden the statutory prohibition against "take" of eagles under the BGEPA. "Take" has a broad legal meaning that includes disturbing eagles in a way that might disrupt breeding or nesting.
  • FWS also issued new National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines. The Management Guidelines suggest that "routine activities" that predate successful nesting, are unlikely to "disturb" eagles. Specific direction is given in the guidelines to different activities, such as use of motorized watercraft, helicopter over-flight, and non motorized recreation. Restrictions on new construction and oil and gas development are the most stringent where the activities do not pre-date successful nesting. Recreational activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, hunting and similar non motorized activities that existed prior to nesting, are not likely to disturb eagles (and may continue unabated), according to the guidelines. If the use did not pre-date successful nesting, then a 330 foot buffer around the nest is recommended during breeding season. These requirements impact any user, not just those operating on federal lands. Click here to download the new Bald Eagle Management Guidelines.
  • FWS has issued a proposed rule to create a permit program to authorize limited take of bald and golden eagles where the take is associated with, and not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. 72 Fed. Reg. 31141 (June 5, 2007).
The new regulatory definition of "disturb" makes it unlawful "to agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that causes, or is likely to cause, based on the best scientific information available, (1) injury to an eagle, (2) a decrease in its productivity … or (3) nest abandonment …." 72 Fed. Reg. 31132, 31140 (emphasis added).

The Guidelines also provide recommendations for avoiding disturbance at foraging areas and communal roost sites. Guidelines at 14. These include:
  • Minimizing activities in eagles' flight paths.
  • Locating water-dependent facilities away from eagle foraging areas.
  • Avoiding boating and fishing near eagle foraging areas.
  • Not using explosives within ½ mile (1 mile in open areas) of eagle roosts.
  • Locating aircraft corridors no closer than 1,000 feet from roost sites.
   
Free Guide to Buying Insurance
  Need help understanding the insurance maze? Check out this website for small business hosted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (State Regulators). There is even a quick and easy Consumer Information Source that allows you to get the total complaint count for a prospective insurer for all states in which a companies' policies are written. Check it out at http://www.insureuonline.org/smallbusiness/
   
World Spotlight Position on Adventure Vacation.com for $1,000 Per Year
  Traffic to AdventureVacation.com is increasing rapidly with the new content added to the site. The site now gets 7,000 visits per month. Six rotating World Spotlight positions are available to AO members at $1,000 per position. Advertisers can expect to get about 600 redirects annually from the AO site with a World Spotlight ad and 4,000 direct views of their page on the AO site that includes your trip and contact information. Contact dbrown@americaoutdoors.org for a rate sheet for all the advertising positions.
 
OutdoorMind Offers $100 Discounts to AO Members
  OutdoorMind offers AO members a $100 discount on Web hosting. For more information contact Laurel King at 800-276-0776.
   
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America Outdoors Staff Title E-mail address
David L. Brown Executive Director dbrown@americaoutdoors.org
Robin Brown Communications Director robin@americaoutdoors.org
Office Phone 865-558-3595
Office Fax 865-558-3598

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