The Relief Report ®
A newsletter covering regulatory reform efforts in Washington and across America, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, 202/543-4110, Fax 202/543-5975, E-mail [email protected] Web http://www.nationalcenter.org
Last December, Stephen Tvedten of Marne, Michigan received a terse letter from Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) informing him that he was in violation of the state's Environmental Protection Act. His alleged offense? Building two "wood debris" dams across an outlet stream to Spring Pond. "The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations," wrote David L. Price, District Representative of the DEQ's Land and Water Management Division. "We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all unauthorized activities at this location and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the strewn channel." Tvedten would have been only too happy to oblige the DEQ. The only problem is, he had nothing to do with the dams. Had officials at the DEQ used an ounce of common sense, they would have realized that the dams were constructed by beavers, not by Tvedten. The construction materials -- wood debris and brush -- should have given them a clue. In a tongue-in-cheek response to the DEQ, Tvedten wrote, "I would like to bring to your attention a real environmental quality... problem: Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the dam beavers alone." For more information on this story or other regulatory victim stories, contact David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research @ 202/543-4110 or [email protected].
The 1998 Wise Use Leadership Conference will be held April 17-19 at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Reno, Nevada. Each year the Wise Use Leadership Conference brings together some 100 leaders of the Wise Use Movement, a grassroots movement made up of property rights, farming, ranching, logging, and mining organizations dedicated to wise use/sound management of the nation's natural resources. The conference gives these leaders the opportunity to network and share ideas and strategies. This year's conference promises to be one of the most ambitious ever. The program will feature Congressional Insight, a fast-paced, performance-oriented game that immerses participants in the real world of a federal legislator. Congressional Insight is one of the best tools available for teaching grassroots activists what it is really like to be a Congressman or Senator, making them more effective in dealing with their legislators. Also on the program will be Wise Use Movement champion Congressman Helen Chenoweth. A block of rooms is being held at the Nugget at the special rate of $88 per night but only until March 20. Hotel reservations can be made by calling 1-800-648-1177. Registration costs for the event are as follows: $50 per person before April 1, $75 per person after April 1 and $100 per person at the door. Think tanks, companies or individuals interested in co-sponsoring the event or securing a spot on the agenda should contact Ron Arnold of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise @ 425/451-3959.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute has developed a list of
top ten reasons to oppose Senator Dirk Kempthorne's Endangered
Species Recovery Act (S. 1180). Some of our favorites: 1) The
Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says "nor shall
private property be taken for public use without just compensation,"
but S. 1180 provides no compensation for regulatory takings, just
or otherwise; 2) S. 1180 authorizes the federal government to
impose regional and state-wide Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs),
which are nothing more than vast centralized zoning schemes that
operate as legalized extortion rackets. HCPs force landowners
to pay the government for permission to use their own land, in
the form of land, money, or both; 3) If S. 1180 becomes law, the
GOP-controlled Congress will have enacted an explicit federal
land-use planning law for the first time in our nation's history;
4) S. 1180 authorizes the Interior Secretary to "withhold
or limit the availability of data requested" under the Freedom
of Information Act (FOIA). The FOIA exemption will put landowners
and regulated communities at a severe disadvantage, in effect
preventing them from challenging the regulations foisted upon
them; and 5) S. 1180 is endorsed by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt.
For a complete "Top Ten" list, contact the Competitive
Enterprise Institute @ 202/331-1010 or www.cei.org.
New Releases from The National Center for Public Policy Research Forthcoming
Earth Day 1998 Fact Sheet. Three-page, quick reference paper providing all the information one is likely to need for Earth Day 1998. The fact sheet provides a brief history of Earth Day, a summary of environmental progress since the first Earth Day, a list of myths and facts about the environment, an overview of the rising costs of regulations since the first Earth Day, and several notable Earth Day quotes.
For a copy, contact John Carlisle of The National Center for Public Policy Research @ 202/543-4110 or visit our website at www.nationalcenter.org/EarthDay98.html.
All editorial correspondence to The Relief Report should be directed to: The National Center for Public Policy Research * 501 Capitol Court, N.E. * Washington, D.C. 20002 * Tel 202/543-4110 * Fax 202/543-5975 * E-mail [email protected] * Web http://www.nationalcenter.org. Copyright 1998, The National Center for Public Policy Research. Coverage of meetings, activities or statements in the Relief Report does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints of material in the Relief Report permitted provided source is credited. To receive all National Center newsletters free by e-mail, visit http://www.nationalcenter.org or send a message to [email protected].###