Drakes Bay oyster farm closes doors after long wilderness struggle

It’s the end of the line for Drake’s Bay Oys­ter Co. On Dec. 31, after a long bat­tle with the Nation­al Park Ser­vice, the Cal­i­for­nia Coastal Com­mis­sion, the Depart­ment of the Inte­ri­or and wilder­ness advo­cates, own­er Kevin Lun­ny and his fam­i­ly will vacate the stark­ly beau­ti­ful Drake’s Estero, a 2,500-acre estu­ary where some of the […]

A vast land grab to ‘protect’ water

ANALYSIS/OPINION In Novem­ber, com­ments closed on a pro­pos­al by the Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engi­neers to rede­fine “waters of the Unit­ed States,” as set forth in the Clean Water Act of 1977. While Sen. Edmund Muskie, Maine Demo­c­rat, author of the 1977 law, required 88 pages for his entire statute, […]

Land protection credits come under fire in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. – Con­ser­va­tion ease­ments that sup­pos­ed­ly pro­tect Vir­ginia lands from devel­op­ment are com­ing under increas­ing fire for abu­sive prac­tices. One law­mak­er calls the sit­u­a­tion at a Fauquier Coun­ty farm “a trav­es­ty.” Oth­ers wor­ry that untold mil­lions of pub­lic dol­lars are dis­ap­pear­ing into pri­vate coffers.

Committee Report Uncovers Lack of Independence & Accountability of Peer Review Process for ESA Listing Decisions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Nat­ur­al Resources Com­mit­tee major­i­ty staff released a report today that ques­tions the inde­pen­dence and account­abil­i­ty of  the peer review process in recent Endan­gered Species Act (ESA) list­ing deci­sions.  The report enti­tled, “Under the Micro­scope: An exam­i­na­tion of the ques­tion­able sci­ence and lack of inde­pen­dent peer review in Endan­gered Species Act listing […]

RI Regional Plan Strips Property Rights

With an area of 1212 square miles, Rhode Island is the small­est of the fifty states, but is about to take one of the biggest leaps in the nation.  The RI Divi­sion of Plan­ning is advanc­ing a HUD sup­port­ed sus­tain­able devel­op­ment plan that cre­ates a sin­gle region out of every coun­ty, city and com­mu­ni­ty in […]

Utah to seize own land from government, challenge federal dominance of Western states

Trans­fer of Pub­lic Lands Act’ demands Wash­ing­ton relin­quish 31.2 mil­lion acres by Dec. 31 In three weeks, Utah intends to seize con­trol of 31.2 mil­lion acres of its own land now under the con­trol of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment. At least, that’s the plan. In an unprece­dent­ed chal­lenge to fed­er­al dom­i­nance of West­ern state lands, Utah Gov. Gary […]

The Government Owns Over 623 Million Acres. Why Does It Need More?

Insa­tiable ­– that would seem to be the word that best describes the appetite of some in Con­gress and their friends in the envi­ron­men­tal com­mu­ni­ty. Con­gress has added over 450 pages to the defense autho­riza­tion bill to des­ig­nate wilder­ness, cre­ate new parks, des­ig­nate Wild and Scenic Rivers and fund Nation­al Her­itage areas – things that have […]

The Disappearing States

Excerpts from a recent news arti­cle from McClatchy News­pa­pers: Rise in trade spurs U.S. to pro­tect tur­tles 1.       “The U.S. gov­ern­ment is propos­ing a new lev­el of pro­tec­tion for cer­tain fresh­wa­ter tur­tles, con­cerned that a mas­sive increase in over­seas demand for the rep­tiles could hurt their long-term prospects.” 2.       “While none of the four species […]