ESA WEIGHS IN ON ENDANGERED SPECIES AND URANIUM MINING
In April, the Ecological Society of America (ESA) submitted comments on a draft environmental impact statement from the Bureau of Land Management on potential effects of the withdrawal of federal land from uranium mining surrounding the Grand Canyon. ESA wrote in support of BLM's proposal to withdrawal one million acres for up to 20 years from uranium mining in the region. ESA noted that Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona is home to numerous species which fall under protection of the Endangered Species Act, emphasizing that many species of concern would be adversely impacted in the event uranium were to contaminate water resources in the Grand Canyon. ESA Strategies for Education, Ecology, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) students brought the issue to the Society's attention and also contributed a letter as individual ecologists.
In February, ESA joined the Society for Conservation Biology and several other societies in a letter to congressional leaders expressing concern with provisions of the House-passed Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011. The societies expressed concern with legislative efforts that would curtail the traditional use of science in decision-making related to the Endangered Species Act.
In June, ESA joined with nearly 30 environmental and scientific societies in a letter to Senators requesting their opposition to amendments from Sens. John Coryn (R-TX) and James Inhofe (R-OK) that would prohibit protection of the dunes sagebrush lizard and the lesser prairie chicken under the Act, in effect, legislating their removal from protection under the law.
ENCOURAGING CONGRESS TO INVEST IN SCIENCE
CONGRESSIONAL VISITS DAY 2011 - In March, this year's three ESA Graduate Student Policy Award (GSPA) winners spent the day on Capitol Hill to urge federal support of science. 2011 GSPA winners DANIEL EVANS (University of Washington), MICHAEL LEVY (West Virginia University) and KELLEN MARSHALL-GILLESPIE (University of Illinois-Chicago) joined teams of other scientists to encourage congressional support for the National Science Foundation's fiscal year 2012 budget request.
Sponsored by the Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition, and jointly spearheaded by ESA and the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), the groups met with nearly 50 congressional offices, highlighting the need for investment in scientific research and education and offering personal stories of the positive impact of NSF on the communities elected officials represent.
SCIENCE EDUCATION MEETINGS WITH COMMITTEE STAFFERS - In January, education and public affairs staff of ESA met with congressional staff of the House Education and Workforce Committee and House Science, Space and Technology Committee to discuss education for a competitive and diverse workforce. The meetings with both the Republican (majority) and Democratic (minority) staffers promoted the growing need to invest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM) programs.
17TH ANNUAL COALITION FOR NATIONAL SCIENCE FUNDING EXHIBIT - In May, ESA was among 30 organizations that participated in the 17th Annual Exhibition and Reception of the Coalition for National Science Funding. Entitled "STEM Research and Education: Underpinning American Innovation," the Capitol Hill event drew nearly 300 attendees, including five Members of Congress. Sponsored by ESA, SHARON COLLINGE (professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and incoming Vice President of Public Affairs (2011-2014)) discussed her work on restoring vernal pool plant communities on California's Travis Air Force Base.
ESA MEMBERS IN ACTION
|For more visit www.esa.org | unsubscribe|