Conservation Committee

Minutes

February 6th 2008

THOSE PRESENT: Kirk Cunningham, Deirdre Butler, and Linda Batlin. We met for the first time at the Sierra Club SW Regional Office, 1650 38th St, Suite 202. This will be our future meeting site.

1. NATIONAL FOREST UPDATE.

IPG Forest Chair Todd Sanford is about to become a new father, and so some impacts to his schedule and level of activism may be expected. We need to try to get more people involved in forest management issues. Despite this change, Todd has said that he would like to do the following:

1) Help get the rmc-cons-forests listserve up and running (and soliciting new subscribers). There has been some unexplained problems at the national Club office for doing this. Once the listserve is established, he wants to monitor Southern Rockies Conservation Alliance email traffic on Forest issues and summarize that traffic to list subscribers.

2) Rep. Udall has introduced three bills that allegedly deal with the beetle kill issue on National Forest lands, mostly by increasing funding for cutting projects, helping to establish commercial uses of the excess wood, and expediting any such projects generally. These bills have raised some serious concerns among Colorado environmental groups dealing with National Forest issues. Todd will be looking at these bills more closely and making some recommendations for alerts or endorsements. Contact Todd at tjsanfo@yahoo.com for additional information.

2. WILDLIFE - Deirdre Butler

* Regarding the excessive death of ducks on sewage treatment plant ponds, Deirdre has asked the CDOW for any information supposedly generated by a research project last year, with negative results so far. She has also contacted Sharon Rose at the US Fish and Wildlife Service research facility regarding the research results, but nothing from her, either. Deidre has heard rumors that ill ducks found at the treatment plant sites have been transported to a rehabilitation facility in the Colorado Springs area, even though closer such facilities are available. Some of the duck die in transit. Another rumor is that the substance on the feathers that destroys their water-proofing character is petroleum-like, and she is worried that human handlers of these animals may be exposed to either a toxic substance or disease organism. Another problem is that though these birds are migratory, CDOW rules require them to be transported to within 10 miles of their cature locale, and such long-distance transport can stress them.

* The comment period on the EPA’s proposed reregistering of wildlife poisons 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) and M-44 (cyanide) has been extended to March 5th. For more information, contact Deirdre (deirdre@cogico.com).

3. URBAN LAND DEVELOPMENT CONFLICTS WITH WILDLIFE CORRIDORS

The IPG has been asked to help out with two such issues, one in Louisville along South Boulder Rd., - the Cottonwood corridor, - and the other in Lafayette, further east, at 119th St and South Boulder Rd - Powers Marsh. In both cases, new developments would impinge on wetlands or riparian habitat with substantial wildlife values and have other ill effects. Kirk will be meeting with local citizen activists and composing any comments for submission on behalf of the IPG.

4. WATER QUALITY.

Through the Chapter’s Water Sentinels program, Kirk will be helping students and teachers at Manhattan Middle School do sampling at a new location - Goose Creek near its intersection with Boulder Creek on east Pearl St. The City of Boulder and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be doing a riparian restoration project along Goose Creek starting later this year and would like some baseline water quality data. In particular, there is one location, near the business park on the south side of east Pearl St. where heavily iron-polluted water is contaminating Goose Creek and our sampling may aid in finding out where that pollution comes from.

5. LEGISLATIVE BILLS ON WHICH THE SIERRA CLUB HAS TAKEN A POSITION - FOR YOUR INTEREST AND FOR USE IN CONTACTING YOUR LEGISLATOR

HB1169 OHVs on Public Lands Curry, Tochtrop
SUPPORT
This bill would allow state peace officers to enforce transportation restrictions on federal public lands. So, when an off highway vehicle is going off the trail and damaging habitat, they don't have to wait for a federal officer to issue a ticket. The bill passed out of the House on January 30th on a vote of 43 22. It will now go to the Senate Agriculture committee.

HB 1107 Utility Energy Efficiency Programs Levy
SUPPORT
Directs Coops and Municipal Utilities to provide energy efficiency programs for customers. It is going to the House Transportation Committee 2/5, and likely to be on the floor early next week.

HB 1141 Sufficient Water Supply Curry, Bacon
SUPPORT
Provides local governments with the tools they need to make informed decisions about the sufficiency and sustainability of water supplies for proposed developments. The bill will be heard in the House Local Government Committee 2/5.

HB 1160 Homegrown Power (net metering) Solano, Shaffer
SUPPORT
Requires Munis and REAs to provide residents who generate 10KW and businesses who generate 25KW with a net meter and a one toone credit. The bill has passed 2nd reading and will be on the House floor soon.

HB 1161 Uranium and Water Quality Fischer, Kafalas, Johnson
SUPPORT
Makes Uranium in "situ mining" a designated mining operation regulated by the mining reclamation board. Requires restoration of the water to pre mining condition. Requires mining applicants to notify nearly landowners. Being heard in the Seante Agriculture Committee.