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Our Mission


The mission of the Au Sable Big Water Preservation Association is to conserve and watch over the reach of river from Mio Dam to Alcona Pond and support the best interests of the entire Au Sable River system.


Water Withdrawal
We are a proud member of the Au Sable River Watershed Restoration Committee (ARWRC). Visit them at:
www.ausablerestoration.org









HOW THEY VOTED IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE
ON WATER WITHDRAWAL:

House Bills 5065 -5073 –

Several of these bills have been voted out of the House, but are tie-barred to several additional bills which have not yet been voted on.  On Wednesday May 21, 2008, HB 5065, 5066, 5070, and 5073 were passed.

HB5065 contains the language which defines “adverse resource impacts”, and limits the amount of impact that can be caused to fish in coldwater streams to a less than 1% predicted decrease in abundance.  Essentially this states that large-quantity water withdrawals can expand in the future, but only up to the point where they are predicted to cause damage.  The votes cast on this bill yesterday (passed 57-50) clearly indicate where Representatives stand on protecting coldwater fisheries in Michigan.  Please take note on who supported it and who didn’t, and let them know that you were watching.

Yeas – Accavitti, Cushingberry, Jackson, Miller, Angerer, Dean, Johnson, Polidori, Bauer, Dillon, Jones, Robert, Rocca, Bennett, Donigan, Lahti, Sak, Bieda, Ebli, Law (K), Scott, Brandenburg, Espinoza, LeBlanc, Smith (A), Byrnes, Farrah, Leland, Smith (V), Byrum, Gaffney, Lemmons, Tobocman, Cheeks, Gillard, Lindberg, Vagnozzi, Clack, Gonzales, Mayes, Valentine, Clemente, Hammel, McDowell, Ward, Condino, Hammon, Meadows, Warren, Constan, Hood, Meisner, Wojno, Corriveau, Hopgood, Melton, Young, Coulouris.

Nays -  Acciavatti, Green, Meltzer, Proos, Agema, Griffin, Moolenaar, Robertson, Amos, Hansen, Moore, Schuitmaker, Ball, Hildenbrand, Moss, Shaffer, Booher, Hoogendyk, Nitz, Sheen, Brown, Horn, Nofs, Sheltrown, Calley, Hune, Opsommer, Simpson, Casperson, Jones (R), Palmer, Spade, Caswell, Knollenberg, Palsrok, Stahl, Caul, LaJoy, Pastor, Stakoe, Elsenheimer,  Law (D), Pavlov, Steil, Emmons, Marleau, Pearce, Walker, Garfield, Meekhof.

The details of the votes on the other bills can be found in the attached journal record for the House vote.  HOUSE_VOTE  I encourage you to read through the attachments as they will show how your legislators voted on each bills, if they introduced amendments, and if they provided testimony for or against the bills.  In many cases Representatives from areas with lots of great coldwater fisheries, that support the local economy, voted against protections for those resources.  As the House still has several bills in this package to vote on, please take the opportunity to contact your Representative about how they voted on May 21, 2008, and encourage them to support the remaining House bills that are part of this package. 

Senate Bill 860 (S-6) - the less protective option for our aquatic resources.  This bill was voted on May 15, 2008. 

Senator Prusi offered an amendment to SB860 to reduce the allowable damage to coldwater fisheries from 3% to less than 1%.  The amendment was not passed, it received a tie vote, 19-19, with the following votes cast: 

Yeas – Anderson, Clark-Coleman, Kahn, Scott, Barcia, Clarke, Olshove, Switalski, Basham, Gleason, Prusi, Thomas, Brater, Hunter, Richardville, Whitmer, Cherry, Jacobs, Schauer

Nays – Allen, Cropsey, Jansen, Patterson, Birkholz, Garcia, Jelinek, Sanborn, Bishop, George, Kuipers, Stamas, Brown, Gilbert, McManus, Van Woerkom, Cassis, Hardiman, Pappageorge

This vote should very clearly show which Senators favor protecting our coldwater fisheries (Yeas) and which do not (Nays).  This was a very specific amendment, and an opportunity for senators to support protecting Michigan's coldwater fisheries.  Those voting Nay were only voting against our coldwater fisheries.  Please take note of this.

Several other amendments were introduced that would have improved the implementation of the new legislation, would have allowed great public input, or would have been in the public’s best interest.  You can read how Senate votes were cast on each of these amendments in the attached “Journal” logs.

SENATE_WATER (which can also be found online at http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(kuvngab110voiresv0z0f545))/mileg.aspx?page=Journals  ).  On the overall vote for the SB860 the following votes were cast (24-14 passed):

Yeas – Allen, Cropsey, Jansen, Patterson, Barcia, Birkholz, Garcia, Jelinek, Richardville, Sanborn, Bishop, George, Kahn, Kuipers, Stamas, Brown, Gilbert, McManus, Van Woerkom, Cassis, Hardiman, Pappageorge, Switalski, Gleason

Nays – Anderson, Clark-Coleman, Scott, Clarke, Olshove, Basham, Prusi, Thomas, Brater, Hunter, Whitmer, Cherry, Jacobs, Schauer

This information was derived from an e-mail by Dr. Bryan Burroughs, Executive Director, Michigan Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

For more on his views click here BURROUGHS_WATER

Latest on Water Withdrawal

http://www.record-eagle.com/opinion/local_story_213195108.html  

http://www.detnews.com/article/20090806/OPINION01/908060336/1008/Despit 

Try Out The New Water Assessment Tool


Agreement scores new, concrete protections
for Michigan water resources


Bipartisan pact not perfect, but a key win for Michigan’s citizens; earns endorsement from Great Lakes, Great Michigan coalition.

Lansing, MI
-- A bipartisan agreement announced today establishes important and concrete protections for Michigan’s streams and makes water conservation an integral part of the state’s water stewardship efforts.

The deal, reached after years of negotiation and research, was endorsed today by Great Lakes, Great Michigan – a coalition of more than 70 civic, environmental, business and sporting organizations.

“This package is a signal of the legislature’s commitment to protecting our world-class water resources,” said James Clift of the Michigan Environmental Council. “With other states and nations increasingly eyeing Great Lakes water for diversion or profit, it is critical we double our effort to protect and preserve our water for future generations.”

The bipartisan compromise left some shortcomings, but keeps intact core principles:

  • Approves the eight-state Great Lakes Compact against large scale water diversions (Michigan will become the 7th state to approve it)
  • Ensures that users do not excessively harm aquatic resources by taking too much water.
  • Adopts conservation principles to  be utilized by water users.
  • Adds public input into decisions about large-scale water uses that might impact local ecosystems.

“Yesterday, not a drop of Michigan’s precious water was adequately protected from withdrawal or diversion,” said Dr. Grenetta Thomassey of Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council. “With these laws, 75 percent of streamflows are safe from being siphoned away; and the remainder are subject to rules ensuring availability to business, industry, farmers, and citizens for reasonable use.”

Michigan is the only state entirely within the Great Lakes watershed, which contains almost 20 percent of the planet’s fresh surface water. Increasing demand for fresh water is expected to ratchet up pressure to divert water from the watershed, where it would be lost forever to the Great Lakes system.

Recent months have seen notables including a Democratic presidential candidate and Ohio’s lieutenant governor suggest that water might be siphoned from the lakes.

“We have no intention of letting our water be taken to subsidize sprawl in Atlanta or irrigate golf courses in Arizona,” said Gayle Miller of the Sierra Club’s Michigan Chapter. “This is a firm step toward saying, ‘no’.”

The legislation uses a combination of a new scientific geographic information system-based water withdrawal assessment tool along with other criteria to determine whether large-scale water withdrawals within the state are harmful.

“To our knowledge, no other state in the country is using science to protect water resources in this way; and no state has protected as much of their water resources as we are doing with these laws,” said Clift. “This is a pioneering effort.”

Great Lakes, Great Michigan coalition members said they would regroup in coming months to fight for additional protections not included in the package.

“We are extremely disappointed that the legislature failed to strengthen our important public trust protections, which affirms that water is a public resource that belongs to Michiganders and not to corporations or profit-takers,” said Cyndi Roper of Clean Water Action. “We intend to revisit this issue.”

Other tweaks, such as adjusting allowable streamflow reductions in certain types of rivers, may also be necessary in the future.

Contact:

James Clift, Michigan Environmental Council: 517-256-0553, Cyndi Roper

Clean Water Action: 517-490-1394, Dr. Grenetta Thomassey

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council: 231-838-5193, Abby Rubley

Michigan League of Conservation Voters: 517-420-6777, Gayle Miller

Sierra Club: 517-484-2372

Read more about the bill here:  WATER_BILL_TCEAGLE