May 14, 2001

Miscellaneous Subjects 82: 1. UFOs, Aliens and Secrets + 2. Videotaped UFO Disclosure Press Conference Available + 3. The Speech JFK Would Have Made (WHY JFK WAS SHOT) + 4. The environmental cost of driving + 5. DINOSAURS JR. - THE EMPEROR STRIKES OUT + 6. NRDC Launches New Website to Save Wild Places + 7. Canada's Capital Bucks Free Trade + 8. Deadline for comments on Navy sonar system to be extended to May 31


Hello everyone

As we struggle to protect the last remaining places on Earth where wildlife can still thrive - see "New Website to Save Wild Places" below - and as we are faced with the daunting prospect of run-away global warming, both a consequence of corporate-driven globalization and of the profligated lifestyle of less than 20% of humanity consuming 80% of the Earth's dwingling resources, we hear from the Disclosure Project that the secret, covert government based in the U.S. has been sitting for decades on technologies that could allegedly resolve our energy/pollution problems. And I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg of all "they" have been hiding from us all.

As the old Gipper said "We ain't see nothing yet!"

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000

All truth passes through 3 stages:
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

P.S. Make sure to read "The Underground Military" at: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A44024-2001May4.html

This revealing May 7 article is about officially non-existent U.S. facilities and "classified" operations and lots of depots filled up with stockpiled weapons and munitions in the whole Middle East. "From Central and South America to Israel to the Gulf, more than 200,000 U.S. military personnel (and who knows how many "contractors") are out there worldwide."




1.

NOTE FROM JEAN: Again, you may view for the next 6 months the whole ET/UFO disclosure press conference archived at: http://www.connectlive.com/events/disclosureproject/

From: Barb Taylor <majique@erols.com>
Date: Thursday, May 10, 2001
Subject: FW: ABC News Coverage - UFOs, Aliens and Secrets

UFOs, Aliens and Secrets

They're out there and the government knows.

That's according to a group of about 20 former government workers, many of them military and security officials, who stepped forward today to say they had witnessed evidence of aliens and unidentified flying objects and called for congressional hearings about such sightings. "These testimonies establish once and for all that we are not alone," said Steven Greer, director of the Disclosure Project, a nonprofit research organization dedicated to disclosing alleged alien sightings.

Greer, who organized the program at the National Press Club in Washington, argued that the United States and other governments have known about UFOs for at least 50 years and have been keeping the information secret.

Greer said there were some 400 witnesses who claim to have firsthand experience with UFO sightings or alien evidence, and are willing to testify before Congress. Among them is Daniel Sheehan, a well-known Washington lawyer who today acted as counsel for members of Greer's group.

Sheehan told reporters that during the Carter administration he found out about government-held UFO information that then-CIA Director George Bush, father of the current president, would not release.

Sheehan said he was then led into the National Archives where he was shown photographs of captured UFOs, complete with what appeared to be alien writing symbols, but he was only allowed to take notes on a yellow legal pad. He traced the photos onto the cardboard back of his pad, he said.

Military Denies UFOs

CLIP - (this part is the usual official governmental denial crap)

Alien Energy?

In another statement today, Donna Hare, a former NASA contract employee, said that Apollo astronauts saw an alien craft when they landed on the moon, but were told not to reveal it. Hare's source was a man who had been quarantined with the astronauts.

Former Air Force Maj. George Filer III told reporters that when he was at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, an alien craft came down, and an alien got out and was shot by a military policeman.

"Our security police went out there and found him at the end of the runway dead, Filer said.

"They asked me to brief the general staff," he said, but was later told not to. He said he would tell the story in front of Congress. Greer said extraterrestrials could provide a new, plentiful source of energy that would provide the world's energy needs.

Information from alien encounters, said Greer, could also have significant impact on the global environment and the quest for world peace.

---

More details at http://www.sightings.com/general10/dissd.htm

Former Government Employees Say It's Time to Reveal UFO Evidence

which includes, in addition to the above...

Disclosure Press Conference Review

By Dick Farley cloudrider@aol.com - The American UFO Newsletter

...who wrote the following:

It had an impressive array of witness (21 present in the flesh), many with solid and public credentials. For the first time, some "official" folks having UFO sightings or knowledge are saying, in front of (a bank of 12-plus TV cameras and "real" press) that they will testify before Congress. This is one initiative the "Majestic-12" gang will find it impossible to ignore, and with Rumsfeld-Bush space policies up for review, it will be along lines of opening up "black budget" projects where Congress will dig. Again, regardless of one's perspective or bias about the "players," today's event is singularly important because it's the best executed such initiative we've ever had.

CLIP

My sense is THIS disclosure initiative is getting support from official, if not necessarily "political," levels in the government and military, with an eye toward perhaps "cleaning up" bad secrets from the Cold War corroding public confidence. There no doubt are elements of the "Matrix of UFO Beliefs" this particular group is not interested in addressing (at least publicly), such as "mind control" allegations or "angelic/demonic" interpretations of alien abductions, "hybridization" suspicions or the ultimate intentions of the "visiting others." CLIP

See also at http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/wjla/20010509/lo/panel_calls_for_congressional_ufo_hearings_1.html

Panel Calls for Congressional UFO Hearings (May 09, 2001)

CLIP

“[Aliens] have circled around this planet. Some have been on this planet. They clearly want to communicate in peace," says Dr. Carol Rosin. They insist that this isn't about alien abduction, or about people being taken up into a spacecraft. This is a close encounter, they say, that hits a lot closer to home.

The Disclosure Project claims to have hundreds of unimpeachable interviews with government and military insiders that prove that aliens are watching, and are worried about our military capabilities, particularly nuclear weapons.

Dr. Steven Greer says, "I think what they are saying to us is that they don't want us going out into space with these weapons of mass destruction and I think they would be positively stopped."

Robert Salas, a retired Air Force Captain and FAA engineer, believes he saw aliens stop a missile from entering outer space. He was stationed as a launch officer at a missile silo in Montana in 1967 when what he thinks was a UFO suddenly appeared. "I reported it to my commander,” he says, “but as I was reporting it, our missiles started shutting down, so I'm convinced there was a direct relationship between the UFO and the missile shutdown."

CLIP

But at this point, the prospect of the United States Congress opening hearings on the subject is, at best, unlikely.




2.

From: Debbie Foch <webmaster@disclosureproject.org>
Date: Friday, May 11, 2001
Subject: Videotaped UFO Disclosure Press Conference Available

DISCLOSURE PROJECT STATUS: VIDEOTAPED UFO DISCLOSURE PRESS CONFERENCE AVAILABLE AT:
http://www.penexpress.com/noveltyitems.html

OVER 250,000 PEOPLE WERE LINED UP TO GO ON LINE AS THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB EVENT BEGAN AT 9 AM - THE LARGEST WEBCAST AUDIENCE IN THE HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB IN WASHINGTON DC.

TO DATE, APPOXIMATELY 1 BILLION PEOPLE WORLD WIDE HAVE HEARD OF THE EVENT AND SUPPORT IS GROWING FOR HEARINGS.

TEAM HAS MET WITH OVER 2 DOZEN SENATE AND HOUSE MEMBERS AND STAFF WITH WITNESSES PRESENT. URGENT THAT ALL CONCERNED WRITE THEIR 2 SENATORS AND THEIR HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE AND ASK FOR IMMEDIATE OPEN HEARINGS ON THE UFO MATTER. INFORM THEM THAT WE NEED LEGISLATION TO BAN SPACE WEAPONS AND A RELEASE OF ADVANCED ENERGY AND PROPULSION SYSTEMS THAT WILL SOLVE THE ENERGY CRISIS AND END GLOBAL WARMING AND POLLUTION.

See: http://www.disclosureproject.org

For more information please visit the CSETI web site http://www.cseti.org

To subscribe to this group, send an email to: CSETI_Announcements-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Note from Jean: See also at http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/2000/20010511/lo/399383_1.html

Giant, Mysterious Whirlpool Spotted Off California Coast (May 11, 2001)

Some scientists say that they've never seen anything like it. Others believe they have the answer in the "strange" light that Mike saw in the whirlpool. Could that light be coming from a flying saucer that crashed to earth? CLIP




3.

IF THIS IS NOT AN URBAN LEGEND, IT IS THE MOST STUNNING INFO I'VE SEEN IN A LONG TIME...

From: <CAP2283@aol.com>
Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2001
Subject: Fwd: The Speech JFK Would Have Made

I thought that the information about JFK's speech is extremely important. He was going to let the world know that we are "Not Alone" and that the E.T.'s are here to help us.

This e-mail I received today comes from the Cseti organization -- http://www.cseti.com

Dennis

From: Tony Craddock <webmaster@cseti.org>
To: "Steven M.Greer M.D." <DrSGreer@cs.com>
Subject: Fwd: The speech JFK would have made
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001

From: "Atasha McMillan" <atasha@starlink2.freeserve.co.uk>

WHY JFK WAS SHOT

"Citizens of this Earth, we are not alone."

With those dramatic words, President John F. Kennedy intended to inform the American public and the world at large that the U.S. government had made contact with aliens from deep space.

But before he could deliver the speech on November 22, 1963, the beloved leader was cut down by an assassin's bullets.

That is the astonishing claim of JFK researcher Professor Lawrence Merrick, author of an upcoming blockbuster book Killing the Messenger: The Death of JFK.

"We now know the real reason why President Kennedy was assassinated," declared Prof. Merrick of Cambridge, Mass.

"It appears that some individuals within our government were determined to maintain the secrecy surrounding captured UFOs -- and decided to silence the President before he could speak."

Prof. Merrick says he began a search for the undelivered speech after learning the President's original handwritten notes had fallen into the hands of Texas Governor John Connally -- who was riding in JFK's death car that fateful day in Dallas.

"I was surprised to find that Kennedy handed Connally the speech, which was on note cards, to look at, shortly before the motorcade set off at 12:55 p.m.," said Prof. Merrick.

The governor was badly wounded in the gun attack.

"Connally was terrified for his own life," said the historian.

"He placed the bloodstained index cards in a safety deposit box with orders to a trusted aide that the contents not be revealed until after his death."

When Gov. Connally died in 1993, the aide removed the cards and held on to them.

Last year, Prof. Merrick tracked down the aide, who passed the speech on with a guarantee of anonymity.

Prof. Merrick was flabbergasted when he read the cards. He took them to five handwriting analysts, who agreed the speech was "95 percent certain" to be Kennedy's.

Research reveals that just days before his trip to Dallas, JFK met with his predecessor President Dwight D. Eisenhower, notes Prof. Merrick.

"I believe he was seeking advice on whether to go public with the facts about UFOs," Prof. Merrick said. "But other government insiders apparently felt the truth about UFOs would cause widespread panic. And they were willing to kill to keep the information secret.

"I hope now President Clinton will give the speech that should have been delivered 36 years ago."

Here is what the President would have said:

My fellow Americans, people of the world, today we set forth on a journey into a new era. One age, the childhood of mankind, is ending and another age is about to begin.

The journey of which I speak is full of unknowable challenges, but I believe that all our yesterdays, all the struggles of the past, have uniquely prepared our generation to prevail.

Citizens of this Earth, we are not alone. God, in His infinite wisdom, has seen fit to populate His universe with other beings -- intelligent creatures such as ourselves.

How can I state this with such authority?

In the year 1947 our military forces recovered from the dry New Mexico desert the remains of an aircraft of unknown origin. Science soon determined that this vehicle came from the far reaches of outer space. Since that time our government has made contact with the creators of that spacecraft.

Though this news may sound fantastic -- and indeed, terrifying -- I ask that you not greet it with undue fear or pessimism. I assure you, as your President, that these beings mean us no harm.

Rather, they promise to help our nation overcome the common enemies of all mankind -- tyranny, poverty, disease, war.

We have determined that they are not foes, but friends. Together with them we can create a better world. I cannot tell you that there will be no stumbling or missteps on the road ahead.

But I believe that we have found the true destiny of the people of this great land: To lead the world into a glorious future.

In the coming days, weeks and months, you will learn more about these visitors, why they are here and why our leaders have kept their presence a secret from you for so long.

I ask you to look to the future not with timidity but with courage. Because we can achieve in our time the ancient vision of peace on Earth and prosperity for all humankind.

God bless you.




4.

MEANWHILE WE CONTINUE POLLUTING OUR PLANET WITH A TECHNOLOGY BASED ON PLAIN OLD FIRE...

From: "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@islands.vi>
Subject: The environmental cost of driving
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001

Friday, May 11, 2001

A California public policy group contends that drivers are failing to pay for the environmental harm they cause. With new forecasts of gas prices soaring to $3 to $5 per gallon in the United States this summer, consumers are once again talking about how expensive it is to operate a motor vehicle.

But a public policy group based in Oakland, California, claims that drivers actually pay less than half of the costs created by automobile use.

In a recently released paper, "Beyond Gas Taxes: Linking Driving Fees to Externalities," the group Redefining Progress claims that the costs of increased congestion, paving over land to create roads, accidents and pollution are never included in the costs of driving.

Redefining Progress defines itself as a group seeking to "ensure a more sustainable and socially equitable world." Its paper asserts that non-drivers, taxpayers and drivers alike pay every time another driver gets behind the wheel.

"A driver pays for gasoline, insurance and repairs in order to derive the benefits of driving but not for the traffic and pollution that affect nearby people," writes program director Mark Glickman, author of the paper. "There simply aren't financial incentives for drivers to take these costs into account when they drive, so as a society we all drive more than we would like."

The group suggests that drivers should be charged for the social costs created by automobile use through options other than gas taxes.

For example, charging for highway use during rush hour could be used to ease traffic problems by keeping people off the roads during those hours, and pay-as-you-drive insurance could reduce automobile crashes.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, some 230,957,227 passenger autos, pickups and vans are estimated to have traveled about 2.5 trillion miles in the United States during the year 2000.

One report puts the social cost of driving vehicles at almost $1 trillion per year. According to the American Automobile Association, the total cost of owning, maintaining and operating a vehicle was 53 cents per mile in 1997. Even if the cost per mile remained at this level for 2000, cars cost drivers over $1.3 trillion.

The Federal Highway Administration says that when you add the costs imposed on society by crashes, pollution, noise and congestion, a mid-range estimate for the total social costs of driving in 2000 would be $446.3 billion, or 18 cents per mile.

The Beyond Progress report cites other studies that indicate this estimate of social costs may be conservative. Some figure social costs of driving vehicles at almost $1 trillion per year.

According to Redefining Progress data, drivers paid an estimated $80.6 billion in fuel and vehicle taxes and tolls in 2000, but much of these revenues are dedicated to highway expansion and maintenance.

Auto insurance companies paid $108.4 billion in loss claims in 1999, some of which covered losses other than accidents.

The report notes: "Even if we consider all of these payments as compensation for social costs of driving, drivers cover less than half of the total bill created by cars. Other drivers, non-drivers and society at large cover the remaining $257 billion in costs that driving creates."

Copyright 2001, Environmental News Network




5.

A
DAILY GRIST
08 May 2001
http://www.gristmagazine.com

5.
DINOSAURS JR.
Wildlife across the globe faces the greatest risk of extinction since dinosaurs kicked the bucket, according to a report published by the Swiss-based World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the Washington, D.C.-based Future Harvest. The report says conservation strategies ain't working, in part because 45 percent of the world's major nature reserves are being used to grow food. But don't give up hope (however far-fetched). The report goes on to review successful examples of places where nature is being preserved in tandem with food production.

BBC News, Alex Kirby, 08 May 2001
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1318000/1318157.stm

---

DAILY GRIST
11 May 2001

2.
THE EMPEROR STRIKES OUT
Emperor penguins have been dying as global temperatures have risen, according to a study by French scientists published yesterday in the journal Nature. From 1952 until 1975, the penguin population near a French Antarctic base held steady around 6,000, but in the late 1970s, the number dropped to 3,000, where it has since stabilized. The scientists think warmer temperatures have killed off Antarctic krill, a main source of food for the penguin. Meanwhile, a supplement this month in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives outlines the possible health-related consequences of
global warming, including more heat strokes and the rise of diseases like malaria and yellow fever.

South Africa Independent, 09 May 2001
http://www.iol.co.za/html/frame_news.php?click_id=143&art_id=qw989435702187B245

MSNBC.com, Francesca Lyman, 09 May 2001
http://www.msnbc.com/news/570492.asp

Polar bare naked -- climate change threatens Arctic critters -- by Donella Meadows
http://www.gristmagazine.com/grist/citizen/citizen020501.stm




6.

From: "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@islands.vi>
Subject: NRDC Launches New Website to Save Wild Places
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001

From: "NRDC news" <news@nrdc.org>

CONTACT:
Robert Strickland, NRDC: 212-727-4533

NRDC LAUNCHES ENVIRONMENTAL INTERNET CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT THREATENED BIOGEMS

New Website Will Engage 1 Million On-Line Activists to Save Endangered Wild Places

http://www.savebiogems.org

NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 8, 2001) -- The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is harnessing the power of the Internet to save some of the world's most endangered wild places. The national environmental group has launched SaveBioGems.org, a new website that offers unparalleled opportunities to explore -- and protect -- remarkable natural areas in North and Central America. The "BioGems" are 12 ecologically unique areas that harbor some of the world's most precious wildlife and biological resources, yet each is threatened by commercial exploitation and in urgent need of protection. SaveBioGems.org is designed to mobilize more than one million on-line activists to give BioGems the protection they deserve.

Visually compelling and easy to navigate, SaveBioGems.org is a multimedia website -- with video clips of rare white Spirit Bears in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest, a slide show of the jaguars and macaws of Belize's Macal River Valley, and much more. The site vividly portrays the special beauty and significance of each of these natural treasures, explains how logging, mining, drilling and other industrial activities threaten them and allows online activists to defend each one by sending emails and faxes to corporate and governmental officials. The website also gives activists the chance to involve family and friends via stunning electronic postcards that will inspire them to learn more and join the fight.

Repeat visitors to SaveBioGems.org are given their own "Action Visa," a personalized page that tracks the progress of their efforts and allows them to accumulate "action credits" recording their positive work on behalf of the BioGems. Activists can return to their action visas at any time for campaign updates or to redeem their action credits for items evoking the beauty and grandeur of these extraordinary places.

The BioGems campaign has enlisted the support of celebrities to further galvanize online activists. Robert Redford and author Barbara Kingsolver have both circulated email messages urging readers to take action at the SaveBioGems.org website. Mr. Redford's letter can be found -- and easily forwarded to friends and family -- at http://www.savebiogems.org/redford.asp

Some of America's best loved national parks and wilderness preserves made the BioGems list, including the Florida Everglades, Yellowstone National Park and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The BioGems also include Central American sites, such as the Macal River Valley in Belize -- one of the last untouched wild places in our hemisphere and home to jaguars, tapirs and scarlet macaws.

The BioGems:

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska
Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica
Greater Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, California
Tongass National Forest, Alaska
Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia
Redrock Wilderness, Utah
Laguna San Ignacio, Mexico
Great North Woods, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York
Greater Everglades, Florida
Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala
Macal River Valley, Belize

###
NRDC is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, the organization has more than 400,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco. More information is available through NRDC's Website at http://www.nrdc.org.




7.

GOOD NEWS ON AN EXCELLENT INITIATIVE

Date: Thu, 10 May 2001
From: David Creighton <dcr8on@sympatico.ca>
Subject: Canada's Capital Bucks Free Trade

OTTAWA Indymedia--10 May 2001

On Wednesday [9 May] the City of Ottawa became the twentieth municipality in Canada to pass a resolution against the FTAA, GATS, and similar trade and investment agreements. Ottawa is Canada's fourth largest city and the nation's Capital.

Shoehorned between a contentious bilingualism debate and consideration of the new megacity's first budget, the resolution passed easily, 17 to 2 votes, in spite of representation from Canada's Minister of International Trade, Pierre Pettigrew.

Dissenting Councilor Wendy Stewart quoted a letter from the Minister assuring Councilors that "municipalities will retain the right to legislate in areas where we have jurisdiction," and that "the Resolution cannot give us the right to abrogate our NAFTA obligations."

But the Councilors had been thoroughly briefed, "more thoroughly briefed than on any issue before," confessed Mayor Bob Chiarelli. Councilors each received a 100-page briefing book, which many "read cover-to-cover." They received personal delegations from constituents, petitions, countless phone calls, letters, faxes and e-mails from hundreds of citizens.

Such intense lobbying by the loosely formed "Ottawa Coalition to Protect Municipal Democracy Against International Trade Pacts" [OCPMDAITP!] persuaded the City's Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee to approve the Resolution unanimously, on April 19th. City Council then endorsed the resolution, with only a single friendly amendment, in less than five minutes.

The Council's approval "shows that people without prior experience in bringing a resolution to the City Council of a major and very political Canadian city were able to do an amazing piece of work," said OCPMDAITP spokesperson Armand Coté. "With a terrific show of grass roots democracy, we swung the City Council behind the resolution which is a clear challenge to the present vision, or bad dream, of how society and nature should be arranged in the 'new world order'."

"This resolution takes head-on one of the most contentious subjects in our society, corporate driven globalization," spokesperson Emily Watkins said. "We learned that organization, focus, and a valid cause which speaks to and involves ordinary people in their real life is an underestimated social and political force," she said.

The first city to pass a trade and investment agreement resolution was Vancouver, in July 2000. Since then many other municipalities, and organizations of municipalities, plus two USA cities, have started examining the implications of these deals on their ability to govern.

In particular, as analyst Matt Sanger quotes the "recently liberated" FTAA draft chapter on "investor / state" relations: "The intentions of this chapter, Scope of Application, 7.1, applies to the entire territory of the Parties and to any level or order of government regardless of any inconsistent measure that may exist in legislation at those levels of government."

The recent Metalclad toxic waste dump case, in which the NAFTA tribunal ruled that the city of Guadalcazar in San Luis Potosi, Mexico did not have the right to protect public health and other matters under its jurisdiction, "demonstrated that the explicit provisions in NAFTA exempting municipal governments from Chapter 11 are not sufficient to protect municipal governments from the application of the provisions of Chapter 11," Mr Sanger said.

The cities of Kingston, Halifax, Brantford and others are expected to consider similar resolutions in the near future, spokesperson Derek McKee revealed.

The full text of the Resolution is available at: http://ontario.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=828&group=webcast

See also:
Bush Asks Congress to Grant Him a 'Fast Track' in Trade Talks
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/11/world/11TRAD.html




8.

Subject: Ocean Sanctity: NMFS Comment Period on LFAS Extended to May 31st
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001
From: Larry Morningstar <mana7@aloha.net>

From: Michael Jasny <mjasny@ucla.edu>

UPDATE: Deadline for comments on Navy sonar system to be extended to May 31

On March 19, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposed a rule allowing the U.S. Navy to deploy a controversial new sonar system, known as "Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active Sonar" (or LFA, for short). This opened a period of public comment that, due to extraordinary interest, was extended to May 18.

**We have just been told that NMFS is further extending its deadline for comments to May 31.** An official notice to this effect should appear in the Federal Register within the next several days.

These next few weeks represent the last, best opportunity for researchers, conservationists, and other members of the public to weigh in. We believe it is vital, if you have taken an interest in this issue, to present whatever information and analysis you can before the May 31 deadline.

A brief guide to help facilitate your comments (excerpted from our earlier posting) appears below.

Michael Jasny
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

---

- What is the proposed rule, and what exactly is at issue?

The proposed rule was born out of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the United States' premier law in this field. When it was passed back in 1972, this law set a moratorium on the harassing, hunting, capturing, and killing of marine mammals. It is agreed that the Navy cannot deploy this new technology without obtaining some sort of exemption. Two years ago, the Navy applied for an exemption known as a "small take permit," which is available under the law for activities that harass, hunt, capture, or kill--or, in other words, "take"--a small number of marine mammals, provided that they do so unintentionally.

Not all activities qualify. To grant a "small take permit," NMFS has to find that the activity won't "take" more than a small number of marine mammals within a specified area and won't have more than a negligible impact on any particular species or stock. Even if NMFS decides that the activity meets these standards, the agency must still ensure, using all available means and methods, that it has "the least practicable impact" on marine mammals. It is the Navy's responsibility in this process to ensure that the NMFS has information sufficient to make these judgments.

The proposed rule that has just been issued would, if adopted, grant the Navy a "small take permit" for LFA. NMFS' ability to issue such a permit under these terms-does it have sufficient information? can it say that the impact will be negligible? has it ensured that LFA will have the least practicable impact?-is what is at issue.

- Are emails accepted?

Unfortunately, the agency will NOT accept comments submitted by email or the Internet. Comments should be mailed to: Donna Wieting, Chief; Marine Mammal Conservation Division; Office of Protected Resources; National Marine Fisheries Service; 1315 East-West Highway; Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226.

Alternatively, you can send your comments to Ms. Wieting by fax. Her fax number is 301-713-0376. Please be aware that this fax number may be busy during work hours.

- What should comments include?

LFA, like any complex issue, raises more than a few questions for discussion and debate-but don't feel that you have to comment on every aspect of the program. The fact is that NMFS, in making its decision, will probably put greater weight on comments that are thoughtful and detailed about a specific topic than on comments that are comprehensive but sketchy. All comments are extremely valuable in demonstrating a strong public interest.

In general, comments should relate to the legal standards described above. But here, for example, are a few points to consider: whether there are any species or numbers of species in the areas of operations that NMFS has failed to consider (see the list of species under sec. 216.180 of the proposed rule); whether there are any regions (undersea canyons, seamounts, etc.) within the operations areas that have relatively high densities of marine mammals or of endangered and threatened species; whether there is any information about the impacts of noise--and not just on marine mammals, but on humans and other terrestrial mammals as well--that NMFS and the Navy haven't considered; whether calculations of "take" are accurate; whether the small take permit is even applicable to a global system.

CLIP

The Proposed Rule is available in .pdf format at http:www.nmfs.noaa.gov/prot_res/PR2/Acoustics_Program/LFAfr.pdf.

Additional information and updates will be posted on NRDC's website at http://www.nrdc.org.

If you have any questions about the comment process, or if you have special expertise in an area you would like to discuss, please feel free to contact Joel Reynolds (at jreynolds@nrdc.org or (323) 934-1210 (fax)) or Michael Jasny (at mjasny@ucla.edu or 323-934-1210 (fax)). And, if you can, please copy us on any comments that you send.

----

There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle.

- Robert Alden







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