Posted on June 8, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A proposed bill in Congress would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct testing on the impact of marijuana use on driving.
Colorado Congressman Jared Polis eyes federal guidelines for marijuana-impaired drivers
FRISCO — Teaming up with California Republican Tom McClintock, Colorado Congressman Jared Polis is continuing his efforts keep the federal government from interfering in state marijuana laws.
The McClintock-Polis Marijuana Amendment, which failed on a narrow House vote, would have prevented the federal Drug Enforcement Agency from prosecuting individuals who use, sell, or possess marijuana in compliance with state laws. Continue reading
Filed under: business, Colorado | Tagged: Cannabis, Colorado, Congress, Congressmand Jared Polis, federal marijuana laws, marijuana laws, marijuana-impaired driving | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 31, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
The biggest threat of wildfires in early summer is in Alaska and northwestern Canada.
Year-to-date wildfire activity is well below the average of the last 10 years
FRISCO — While the wildfire season is off to a relatively slow start — at least compared to blistering pace of the past 10 years, Forest Service fire experts are still expecting an above-average season, and there is concern once again that the agency might have to use money and personnel from other programs to address the threat.
So far this year, wildfires have burned across about 390,000 acres through the end of May. The average for the pst 10 years is about 1.2 million acres. But the agency won’t let down its guard, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told Congress during a recent budget hearing. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, forest fires, forests | Tagged: Congress, Environment, Tom Tidwell, U.S. Forest Service, wildfire funding, Wildfires | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 26, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘The health of sage grouse populations is directly linked to that of the sagebrush landscape. More than 350 species rely on the sagebrush ecosystem including elk, mule deer and pronghorn’
Can greater sage-grouse get some love from Congress?
FRISCO — In a bid to avoid an endangered species listing for greater sage-grouse, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennett led a group of fellow Democrats urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund an array of conservation measures by multiple federal land management agencies. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, Congress, endangered species, Greater sage-grouse, sagebrush ecosystems | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 1, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
GOP Anti-science speeches found to contribute to overall greenhouse gas crisis
Although CO2 is generally described as colorless and odorless, emissions of the gas at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. are so high they sometimes become visible to the naked eye. A recent climate study shows that most of the CO2 is being emitted during anti-science speeches by GOP lawmakers in Congress, @bberwyn photo.
By Robby Nerbwin
FRISCO — A new climate study released Wednesday, April 1 shows that cutting anti-science rhetoric by GOP politicians could go a long way toward helping the U.S. meet its stated intention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of a global deal to avoid catastrophic global warming impacts. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: April Fools, climate change, CO2, Congress, global warming, politics | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Proposed legislation undermines Endangered Species Act
Gray wolves. Photo courtesy USFWS.
FRISCO — Politicians are once again meddling with wolf conservation in a process that never ends well for the animals. Last week, Republican lawmakers from Wisconsin, Wyoming and Minnesota introduced House legislation that would remove federal protection from gray wolves in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes states.
Already under political pressure, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ended protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan in 2011 and in Wyoming in 2012. Federal judges overturned both decisions for failing to follow the best science and for prematurely turning management over to state fish and game agencies hostile to wolves. Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, Congress, wildlife, wolves | 4 Comments »
Posted on September 25, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
More public land fees ahead?
‘Stealth’ bill pending in House after passing committee without a hearing
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — In a classic bit of stealth lawmaking, House Resources Committee chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) last month opened the door for more widespread recreation day use fees on federal lands.
Without a committee hearing, Hastings sent HR 5204 (The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Modernization Act of 2014) to the floor of the House, where it could, according to critics, become law without any public hearing at all as a rider to a budget bill. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, federal government, national parks, public lands | Tagged: Congress, Doc Hastings, national forests, pay-to-play, public lands, recreation fees | 6 Comments »
Posted on September 5, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Does this look like any congressman you know?
Lots of ruffled feathers and foot-stomping …
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Watching the House Committee on Natural Resources field hearings on greater sage-grouse and the Endangered Species Act was a bit like watching the birds themselves during their magnificent mating ritual — a lot of puffed up rhetoric, ruffled feathers and foot-stomping, but very little substance.
The main take-home message appeared to be that there’s a vast conspiracy of liberal judges, conservation groups and Obama administration officials colluding to destroy the American way of life in the rural West (specifically Montana and Wyoming, where the hearings were held).
That’s probably not surprising, considering the list of witnesses was hand-picked by the committee’s ultra-conservative and anti-environmental GOP leadership, but the inflammatory words used by some of the more extreme committee members still comes as a shock. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, Congress, conservation, Doc Hastings, endangered species act, House Natural Resources Committee, sage grouse, wildlife | Leave a comment »