AM News Friday 7.26.13
Federal wildlife officials plan to send hunters into forests of the Pacific Northwest, beginning with the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in Humbolt county this fall, to shoot one species of owl to protect another facing extinction.
The Fish and Wildlife Service Tuesday released a final environmental
review to see if killing barred owls will allow northern spotted owls to reclaim territory they've been driven out of over the past half-century.
”If we don't manage barred owls, the probability of recovering the spotted
owl goes down significantly,” said Paul Henson, Oregon state supervisor.
The agency's action calls for killing 3,603 barred owls in four areas in
Oregon, Washington and Northern California -- including Humboldt County -- over the next four years.
”Shooting a few isolated areas of barred owl isn't going to help us as forest managers, nor is it going to help the forest be protected from wildfires, and
catastrophic wildfire is one of the big impediments to spotted owl recovery,” said Tom Partin, of the American Forest Resource Council.
Bob Sallinger, conservation director for the Audubon Society of Portland, said saving the spotted owl is of paramount importance, but the focus must remain on protecting habitat.
”To move forward with killing barred owls without addressing the fundamental cause of spotted owl declines, from our perspective, is not acceptable,” he said.
The news about the CHP arresting a reporter is making waves elsewhere in California. In a San Jose Mercury News editorial, the piece says "On
Tuesday, the protesters snuck onto the construction site once again -- but the only person arrested was the photographer for The Willits News,
who was there to document the latest protest.
This is clearly a tactic to discourage protesters by keeping them out of the
news. It's actually an acknowledgment of Caltrans' and California Highway
Patrol incompetence at controlling what happens at the site. It's wrong and
it's got to stop.
The CHP has spent at least $1 million trying to keep protesters off the
construction site. It has failed miserably, so it has apparently decided to try arresting or harassing members of the media who show up to cover the
The CHP has told protesters that when a journalist shows up, the first arrest will be the media, presumably so that the protests will go undocumented.
The CHP has harassed journalists even when they have a Caltrans escort
and even when they're in in a public right of way near the site.
The trespass law exempts people who "are engaging in activities protected by the California or United States Constitution," which Eberhard clearly was as a journalist covering a protest.
The protests are going to continue. Trying to keep the media away is
pointless and self-defeating.
Let's try ending the incompetence, and the news won't look so bad.
The Willits City Council met Wednesday night with the following actions and refused 3-2 a motion to allow CalTrans an extra 30 days to settle the terms under
which the Bypass contractor could use city Streets.
In 2010 the Willits Council negotiated an agreement with Cal Trans stating
that the Bypass Contractor can not use City Streets without prior written
approval of the City. 90 days had been allotted as a window of "conditional use" and, although an Ad Hoc Committee has been working since March to negotiate the terms of this approval,the principals from the Contractor and
Cal Trans have only recently become active in the negotiations.
Hoc Comittee recommended an extension to the 90 days of an additional
month to reach an agreement. After significant citizen input and discussion the council voted 3-2 ( Burton and Orenstein dissenting) not to extend the 90 day deadline for
conditional use of city streets which ends Friday.
City Manager Adrienne Moore said " We expect CalTrans to enforce the agreement with their contractors."
The City counsel is exploring legal avenues if they do not.
Stay Tuned for All About Money@ 9:00 AM
Pulitzer Prize winning author, Hedrick Smith, will be John Sakowicz''s guest
to discuss his new book, "What Happened to the American Dream?"