News about environmental studies resources or events provided by the MSU Libraries. For more information visit the Environmental Studies Resources web page or contact Jon Harrison at email@example.com
Is a oil well grinding away in your backyard 24/7? What can a township do?
Not much, Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis quickly learned. State law sets minimum setbacks from homes for an oil well at only 450 feet. West Bay had followed all the rules. As his phone rang off the hook with resident complaints, Stathakis discovered that a decades-old provision in state zoning law specifically prohibits counties and townships from regulating the drilling and operation of oil and gas wells — it's the only industry that gets such treatment.
Oil and gas developers insist there's no new trend of bringing drilling activity into more urban, residential settings. But a number of similar conflicts have occurred in recent months. In addition to Shelby Township, drilling has riled neighbors in Scio Township, the Rochester Hills area and elsewhere.
Handcuffed by state law, townships are still finding ways to push back. A number have issued moratoriums on drilling while they assess their regulations. They're also looking at the powers they do have in zoning and police powers to, if not control drilling and fracking itself, regulate the activities associated with it that they believe impact the health, safety and welfare of their communities.
For the full article, see Keith Matheny, "As oil wells enter neighborhoods, townships push back", Detroit Free Press, February 5, 2015.
Michigan forests face a variety of current and potential pest threats, but they are also recovering thanks to recent rain and snow fall, the 2014 Annual Report from the Department of Natural Resources said.
The report lists 11 key tree pests, most of them introduced, and two that have the potential to reach the state in coming years. For each, it notes symptoms and what is being done to reduce or eliminate the pest (for non-native species).
While trees will need a few more years of normal precipitation to fully recover, the report notes that the last two years have helped trees recover, though the cold winter last year damaged some non-native trees.
It also notes that no additional counties were added to the emerald ash borer quarantine zone in 2014.
Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #54, Report 24, February 4, 2015. Full access requires a subscription or a visit to a subscribing library such as the Michigan State University Main Library. For assistance in accessing the database, stop by the MSU Library Reference Desk.
2014 Fisheries Division Annual Report.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Lansing, 2015.
2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management of the U.S. Department of the Interior
Includes 14 potential lease sales in eight areas including the Mid-Atlantic off the Virginia coast. Proposes priority development in the Gulf of Mexico and “one potential lease sale late in the program for … areas offshore Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. Calls for geological and geophysical surveying activities in an area 50 miles offshore.
Annual Coal Report 2013
Energy Information Administration
Provides information about coal production, number of mines, productive capacity, reserves, employment, prices and more. Coal production fell below one billion short tons for the first time since 1993.
Arctic NWR Comprehensive Conservation Plan
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Complete updated comprehensive conservation plan including Executive Summary. Revises the 1988 plan to provide management direction for the next 15-20 years.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan: Final Environmental Impact Statement: Executive Summary
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Revises the 1988 Plan to provide management direction for the next 15-20 years for the ANWR region.
Data regarding hydraulic fracturing distributions and treatment fluids, additives, proppants, and water volumes applied to wells drilled in the United States from 1947 through 2010. USGS Data Series 868.
Gallegos, Tanya J. Gallegos, and Brian Varela. 2015.
Estimated annual agricultural pesticide use for counties of the conterminous United States, 2008-12.
USGS Data Series 907. Baker, Nancy T. and Wesley W. Stone. 2015.
Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases. Technidues and Methods 15.
Edited by J. Christian Franson, Milton Friend, Samantha E.J. Gibbs, Margaret A. Wild. U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service 2015.
Human-Induced Earthquakes from Deep-Well Injection: A Brief Overview.
Folger, Peter, and Tiemann, Mary. Congressional Research Service, 2014.
Keystone XL pipeline: report together with minority views (to accompany S. 147).
United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Publishing Office, 2015.
Michigan timber industry—an assessment of timber product output and use, 2008.
Haugen, David E. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station, 2014.
NASA, NOAA Find 2014 Warmest Year in Modern Record
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
2014 was the warmest to date and 9 of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000. Argues the warming trend increases the importance of climate study and the impacts of human activity.
Obama Administration Moves to Protect Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Agency press release with summary of plans to protect some 12 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in northern Alaska from development.
Proceedings 19th Central Hardwood Forest Conference.
The quality of our Nation's waters: water quality in the glacial aquifer system, northern United States, 1993-2009.
Kelly L. Warner, Joseph D. Ayotte. USGS, 2014.
The quality of our Nation's waters: water quality in Principal Aquifers of the United States, 1991-2010.
Leslie A. Desimone, Peter B. McMahon, Michael R. Rosen. U.S. Geological Survey, 2014.
Contains the major findings of national and regional assessments of the quality of groundwater in the 60+ principal aquifers that supply most of the groundwater used in the U.S. for drinking, irrigation, and other uses.
Shale Gas and EU Energy Security
European Parliamentary Research Service
This paper addresses the question whether and to what extent shale gas can contribute to European energy security. While some European regions have significant shale resources, issues of public acceptance and environmental impact will make it more expensive to acquire.
State of the Climate Summary Report 2014
National Climatic Data Center
Reports that average U.S. temperatures in 2014 exceeded the 20th Century average for the 18th consecutive year. Provides information on temperature, precipitation and significant weather events for 2014.
Trends in Hydraulic Fracturing Distributions and Treatment Fluids, Additives, Proppants, and Water Volumes Applied to Wells Drilled in the United States from 1947 through 2010: data analysis and comparison to the literature.
U.S. Geological Survey, Reston VA. 2014.
Identifies hydraulic fracturing trends in drilling methods and use of fluids/chemical additives in nearly 1 million wells drilled in the U.S. over a 60 year time period. Compares these findings to the literature to establish a common understanding of how newer technology has affected water use volumes and other factors.
U.S. Crude Oil Export Policy: Background and Considerations
From the Congressional Research Service, posted by the Federation of American Scientists.
Examines the historical reasons for restrictions on the exporting of crude oil by the U.S., the current push to drop or revise the ban, and various considerations that need to be kept in mind including price effects, energy security, international trade policy, and environmental issues.
Fishing is a yearround activity and when the thermometer plunges below freezing in Michigan, most anglers have little choice but to hit the hard water. Ice fishing becomes the go to activity until spring.
For beginning anglers, ice fishing offers one significant advantage: access. Boatless anglers, who otherwise are limited to shorelines or fishing piers much of the year, can often access entire lakes. That inspires some anglers to proclaim that icefishing season is their favorite time of year.
Fortunately, ice fishing can be relatively simple. All that’s needed to start is a way to make a hole in the ice (an auger or spud), a way to clear the slush from it (an inexpensive scoop), and rudimentary equipment.
So how do you get started?
There’s a good opportunity coming soon. Feb.14-15 is Michigan’s annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend, when no license is needed to participate. There are handson educational events scheduled at a number of areas. In addition, the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center in Cadillac holds ontheice fishing events every Saturday at noon.
Novice anglers often can find assistance nearby. Tom Goniea, a fisheries biologist at the Department of Natural Resources, says finding a mentor helps shorten the learning curve.
Ask around," Goniea said. "Ask the guys at work or the folks at church. Ice fishermen make up a community that’s usually quite willing to introduce others to the sport. “And most ice fishermen have enough equipment that they can get you started if you go with them so you can see what you need."
DNR fisheries biologist Christian LeSage agrees.
"There‘s a big social component to ice fishing," he said. "When you get out on the ice people are usually friendly -- they’re willing to tell you what they’re doing, what they’re using, and how they’re catching fish."
Except for largemouth and smallmouth bass – bass season closes Jan. 1 and doesn’t completely reopen until the Saturday before Memorial Day – anglers who ice fish can pursue all species they target the rest of the year. Ice fishing can range from fishing for panfish on a farm pond to making miles long sojourns on the Great Lakes in pursuit of walleyes, lake trout or other top of the food chain predators.
LeSage recommends people start with panfish. He likes bluegills.
"You can try it on a small pond in a park," he said. "And you don’t need extravagant gear. If you go places where people have been fishing, you don’t even need an auger -- you can reopen a hole with a hammer. "Most veteran fishermen know that the best fishing is at dawn and dusk, but you can catch bluegills throughout the day. You can catch them in shallow water. You can catch a lot in a small area. And they’re delicious."
What’s nicest about bluegills is that they can be found almost everywhere and, as fishing quarry, are relatively unsophisticated. All you need is a basic gear. Small fiberglass rods with simple, spring tension spoons can be yours for less than $10 and you will see accomplished ice anglers using them. Add some light line, a few low cost tear drops (small weighted hooks) and a container of insect larvae (wax worms or spikes, the early life stages of bee moths or flies, respectively) and you’re in business. Lower your bait to the bottom, begin slowly working it upward in the water column until you start getting bites, and then fish at that depth. It can (and does) get much more complicated with expensive rods, sonar fish finders, and a plethora of other equipment.
But many anglers never acquire all that gear and continue to enjoy productive bluegill fishing. As you progress in the sport and explore other icefishing opportunities, the equation becomes decidedly more complex. Get addicted to walleye fishing and you’ll be into snowmobile or quad runners, insulated ice shanties, GPS, underwater cameras – the list is endless.
But some factors never change: The first rule of ice fishing is to be safe. Good, strong ice can support a semitruck, but every year there are tragedies that often involve recklessness. Make sure the ice is safe. Even arctic temperatures won’t guarantee it, especially if there’s an insulating layer of snow on top. You can get up to date info from bait shops around fishing locales, but always make sure yourself. Carry a spud to test the ice in front of you as you venture forth. Don’t approach ice that is discolored or has objects (such as vegetation or timber) protruding through it. Be especially careful of rivers (current can degrade ice quickly) or springfed lakes and ponds where warmer water can cause thin spots in an otherwise solid surface.
Always carry basic emergency gear, just in case. Ice picks (or homemade alternatives constructed of nails in dowels) will give you a way to get purchase on the ice should you break through. Carry a rope to toss to someone else who breaks through.
DNR News Release, January 29, 2015
Michigan officials considering a 10,000 acre land deal in the UP
Jan 27, 2015
Michigan and China to work together on aquaculture development
Michigan Radio Newsroom
Jan 26, 2015
Muskegon conference will teach ice rescue techniques
Jan 25, 2015
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