Natural Resources

Fall 2011 Natural Resources Law Class at UB

I’ll Have the Sauteed Silverfin, Please. September 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Adam Barth @ 8:31 pm

Much has been said about the concern for the Great Lakes ecosystem with the threat of the Asian Carp.  Should the Asian Carp make it in to Lake Michigan, not only could a very valuable fishing industry be decimated, but an entire ecosystem could be destroyed.  Concerns are that the carp would out-compete the current fish living in the great lakes for food, causing the current native species to slowly fade out.

Politicians at the state and federal levels and different federal agencies have thrown out plenty of ideas of what to do about this, but some in Chicago have proposed an altogether different response.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources had a public tasting event where they hired a professional chef to concoct some dishes made from the Asian Carp, trying to demonstrate its capabilities as a food source.  Most tasters didn’t mind, and actually enjoyed the taste, and there are potential plans to catch the carp and distribute it to various food banks and homeless shelters. Unfortunately, for both the restaurant scene and even food banks, there is the issue of marketing. People don’t want to think about eating the “Asian Carp.” These problems are hardly knew to the seafood industry. Many of you may enjoy eating the Chilean Seabass (hopefully not too often, because it is an endangered species, victim of overfishing), but what you may not know is that the Chilean Seabass was previously referred to as the “Patagonian Toothfish.”  If you went in to a seafood restaurant, i’d bet you’d be more likely to order the “seabass” than the “toothfish”  With that said, some suggest the Carp needs to be re-marketed as the “silverfin.”

The Illinois DNR hasn’t figured out how exactly it will catch and process the fish for food banks, as the plans are still early in development.

So what do we think, is this a proper and effective way to protect the great lakes ecosystem? Many of the concerns are to protect the Great Lakes fishing industry, not to protect the great lakes themselves. Does this change your perception of it, that the major concerns aren’t ecological diversity but rather protecting an economic industry? Maybe ecological diversity and the economic industry are too closely related for this to matter.


Today in the Federal Register… September 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Adam Barth @ 8:53 pm

The discussion in class made me (probably no one else) curious about the Federal Register, so here I am sitting on my laptop after a life-changing discussion in class on Admin Law dissecting today’s Federal Register.
I figured I would look around and see what topics somewhat relevant to our class appear.

Without further ado, Here are a few of my favorites from Federal Register Volume 76 Number 183.

From the Fisheries and Wildlife Service, “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; U.S. Captive-Bred
Inter-subspecific Crossed or Generic Tigers”
They state that the purpose of the regulation is to “eliminate the exemption from registering and reporting under the CBW
regulations by persons who want to conduct otherwise-prohibited activities under the Act with live inter-subspecific crossed or generic tigers born in the United States.” It does not specify what exactly “otherwise prohibited activities are” but perhaps any of you with a particular affinity toward tigers could look in to this and do your civic duty by participating in the notice and comment process (which has been extended and will last until October 21)


From the Forestry Service, “Information Collection; Qualified Products List for Class A Foams for Wildland Firefighting.”
The Forest Service is requesting comments from individuals interested in determining the process to select firefighting chemicals and selecting the final chemicals to be used. Anyone interested in protecting our forests may want to investigate some of the potential hazards and benefits of these chemicals and participate in the notice and comment process.


Last, and most relevant to our class thus far, from the Bureau of Land Management, “Notice of Filing of Plats of Survey; North Dakota”
Here, the BLM has resurveyed some land in North Dakota at the request of the Great Plains Region Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The reason for the resurvey was “to determine boundaries of individual and tribal trust lands.” If for any reason, you feel very strongly about the survey that was done and disagree with its findings, i encourage you to send your comments to the Bureau of Land Management at 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana 59101-4669.