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 Committee on Resources schedule


WASHINGTON - The Fish and Wildlife Service wants to dramatically scale back the California red-legged frog's official home, designating 737,912 acres as critical habitat.

While spanning 23 California counties, the plan unveiled Thursday is a long way from the 4.1 million acres originally proposed. Ranchers would be partially exempt from the environmental law that's protecting the threatened frog.

The largest native frog in the western United States, the red-legged amphibian is credited with inspiring Mark Twain's classic story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."

The latest proposal includes portions of Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Kern, Merced, Nevada, Stanislaus and Yuba counties as critical habitat for the frog. Critical habitat is not a refuge or preserve. Instead, it kicks in if a federal action - such as issuing a permit - threatens to destroy or harm the habitat. At that point, the Fish and Wildlife Service gets a say.

"The Fish and Wildlife Service has finally gotten it right," Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, said. "It just took them two years to do it."

Full Modesto Bee Story


WASHINGTON - Conservative defenders of private property and liberal protectors of the poor joined in an overwhelming House vote to prevent local and state governments from seizing homes and businesses for use in economic development projects.

The House legislation, passed 376-38, was in response to a widely criticized 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court last June that allowed eminent domain authority to be used to obtain land for tax revenue-generating commercial purposes.

That decision, said the House's third-ranked Republican, Deborah Pryce of Ohio, "dealt a blow to the rights of property owners across the country."

The bill would withhold for two years all federal economic development funds from states and localities that use economic development as a rationale for property seizures. It also would bar the federal government from using eminent domain powers for economic development.

It now goes to the Senate, where Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has introduced similar legislation.

The ruling in Kelo v. City of New London allowed the Connecticut city to exercise state eminent domain law to require several homeowners to cede their property for commercial use.

Full Associated Press Article


Tues: Fisheries & Oceans
(10AM - 1324 LHOB)
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 3552, the Coastal Barrier Resources Reauthorization Act

Wed: Full Committee
(10AM - 1324 LHOB)
Oversight Hearing on "the Second Discussion Draft of Legislation Regarding Off-Reservation Indian Gaming."

Water & Power
(2PM - 1334 LHOB)
Legislative on HR 3618; HR 3626; HR 3967

Thurs: Forest & Forest Health
(9:30AM - 1334 LHOB)
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 4200, The Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act

NEPA Task Force
(10AM - 1324 LHOB)
NEPA Litigation: The Causes, Effects and Solutions

National Parks
(1PM - 1334 LHOB)
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 413, H.R. 452, H.R. 1307


Environmental group Greenpeace was fined for damaging the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park near Palawan Island in the Philippines when its ship hit the coral reef.

Full Article




Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

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