Friday, November 16, 2018

Climate change caused by humans

Hurricanes, blizzards and fires—apparently the globe has never had them  before Europeans landed on the shores of North America, the land of a peaceful people who never did anything to disturb the fish, trees and buffalo. Not even when Ohio was buried under a glacier 8,000 years ago was there such weather according to the white man causes everything bad movement.  Now there’s an argument about whether environmental regulations are creating the hazards that cause this massive loss of life, homes and natural beauty.  I read yesterday that some students are finding safe spaces inside the Pepperdine University Library!  We can only pray for their safety since they weren’t evacuated in time.

The natural environment and the built environment don’t always play well together.  We have more damage from hurricanes because people are building in areas that have always had storms, but not necessarily air conditioning or this much wealth to create massive estates “with a view.” We have terrible fires on wooded and scrub land because there are regulations  written by well meaning people  that encourage these tinderbox areas.  We have blizzards in the northeast that cause massive pile ups and traffic jams because when it happened 200 years ago there wasn’t a 24/7 news cycle and no one had long commutes to work attempting to funnel thousands of people into New York or DC.

Don’t blame President Trump just because he tweeted about the damage some regulations create.  He doesn’t hate ALL regulations and Executive Orders. It’s just that our media have the attention span of a gnat.   It has been well known for years what over-regulatory zeal has done to our country.  When we travelled in Arizona, California and Idaho in 2003 we certainly heard about it—and it was very apparent then.  Thousands of acres were dead or tinder dry, and no one was allowed to remove the dead wood or have controlled burns.  Glacier Park in Montana was on fire and we could hardly breathe.

Here’s a list of the necessary laws, regulations, boards, ruling agencies etc. that were required for ONE development in California. The Twin Lakes Fuel Reduction Project is located on the Bridgeport Ranger District of the HumboldtToiyabe National Forest  in Mono County, California.

A roadless rule?  How helpful is that during a fire?

Clean Air Act of 1970, as amended – The selected action is in compliance with the Clean Air Act, 1977 as amended.  All required permits will be secured to ensure compliance with federal and state laws. Pollutant emissions will be within state and federal standards.

The Great Basin Air Quality Control Board enforces compliance with the Clean Air Act. Burning permits are issued and administered by the GBAQCB Smoke production and management, as analyzed in the EA. 
Clean Water Act of 1977, as amended - The Clean Water Act (CWA) is a federal statute that requires states and tribes to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters (33U.S.C. 466 et seq., Title I, Section 101). The project does not involve the filling, alteration, or modification of any waterway or riparian area

Consultation with Tribal Governments (E.O. 13175) – Consultation with the interested Tribes of California and Nevada and consultation has been ongoing during project analysis and will continue through implementation. Other laws requiring consultation include: 
American Indian Treaty Rights – The proposed hazardous fuels treatments will not conflict with any known treaty provisions. 
Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 Public Law 96-95 12USC 470 
Native American Graves & Repatriation Act of 1990 - Public Law 101-60125 USC 3001

  Endangered Species Act of 1973 - The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (2011) identified the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep (SNBS) as the only endangered species that may occur in the analysis area. The analysis area contains a portion of the Twin Lakes herd unit and is adjacent to the Green Creek herd unit (USDI 2007a.) No SNBS have been documented in the Twin Lakes herd unit and no SNBS have been documented in the analysis area. 
Environmental Justice (E.O. 12898) (59 Fed. Register 7629, 1994) directs federal agencies to identify and address, as appropriate, any disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations and low income populations. This action will not result in unequal impacts on minority populations and low income population and complies with E.O. 12898. 
Floodplain Management (Executive Order 11988) and Protection of Wetlands (Executive Order 11990) – This action will not result in significant adverse impacts on wetlands or floodplains as they relate to protection of human health, safety, and welfare; preventing the loss of property values, and; maintaining natural systems. The goals of Executive Orders 11988 and 11990 will be met. All wetlands will be protected through design features which conform to Executive Order 11990. 
Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Executive Order 13186 – This action will comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This project may result in an “unintentional take” of individuals during proposed activities; however, the project complies with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director’s Order #131 related to the applicability of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to federal agencies and requirements for permits for “take”. This project complies with Executive Order 13186 because the analysis meets agency obligations as defined under the January 16, 2001 Memorandum of Understanding between the Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designed to complement Executive Order 13186. 
National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 - The Forest Service conducted an intensive cultural site survey of the project area. Results of the survey were documented in the Cultural Resource Report (see project record),. In a letter dated November 1, 2012, the California State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) concurred with the no adverse effect to Historic Properties and potentially eligible resources determination. This action will not have any direct or indirect effects on historically significant sites if the design features incorporated into the selected action are followed. 
2001 Roadless Rule - When developing the treatment proposal in the Inventoried Roadless Areas of the project, the Forest Service followed the direction outlined in the August 18, 2008, memorandum from the Chief of the Forest Service. The project was also reviewed for consistency by the Regional Forester as per the direction from the Chief dated June 8, 2012. Documentation of the Regional Forester’s review for consistency is available in the project file.

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