29 May 2010, 11:24am
Latest Wildlife News
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Agency cancels meeting over protest fears

By TIM HEARDEN, Capital Press, May 28, 2023 [here]

A California state official cited fears of “armed civil disobedience” as a reason for canceling a meeting with ranchers about special permits required for water diversions.

One of the ranchers called the explanation “despicable” and said it’s “another example of how bureaucracy has lost touch with the person who’s putting the food on their table.”

The tempers are flaring over the state Department of Fish and Game’s plan to implement a watershed-wide permitting program in two remote valleys of Siskiyou County near the Oregon state line.

Mark Stopher, the department’s acting regional manager, canceled a workshop in Etna, Calif., on March 27 because he couldn’t be there and didn’t want to expose subordinates to what he heard would be a vocal protest, he said.

“I’ve stood up in front of angry crowds,” said Stopher, who is based in Redding, Calif. “I’m a little hesitant to put some of my biologists out there who haven’t had the same experience. … It became likely that we were not going to be able to achieve the purpose of our meeting.”

Stopher said he received several calls about people discussing armed rebellion and that “I tend to discount that,” but “there’s a possibility that somebody would do something to get arrested.”

When told of Stopher’s remarks, Etna rancher Jeff Fowle said ranchers in the Scott and Shasta valleys have always acted civilly and professionally with Fish and Game officials but were bothered by the way the agency was approaching the permits.

“I know there are a multitude of people and families who are upset with this entire process and upset with the way that Fish and Game has gone about informing the public,” Fowle said. “They have been very bold and distasteful in the process and I know that that has negatively influenced probably the majority of the residents of this valley.”

Ranchers in the Scott and Shasta river watersheds have been told they could face fines or jail if they don’t participate in a watershed-wide permitting program or obtain streambed alteration and incidental take permits on their own. The state is trying to preserve populations of threatened coho salmon.

Some ranchers assert the state is violating their water and property rights by requiring the permits, which would involve inspections of their land and cost an estimated $100 to $200 a year for each cubic foot per second of water to which a landowner is entitled. … [more]

29 May 2010, 11:23am
Latest Wildlife News
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Another Wallowa County calf killed by wolves

Capital Press, May 28, 2023 [here]

Joseph area rancher Karl Patton has lost a calf to wolves, federal and state wildlife authorities confirmed today, May 28.

Patton discovered the dead calf late Thursday and a wolf attack was confirmed by federal wolf hunter Marlyn Riggs the same day and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials today.

That brings to three the number of wolf predations confirmed in Wallowa County within three weeks by ODFW, which ranchers thought met the state’s definition of “chronic” depredation. A finding that the kills are chronic would permit the ranchers to shoot wolves found harassing cattle as well as actually attacking.

But rancher Rod Childers, wolf committee chairman for the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, said ODFW also requires that the kills be on adjacent lands. He said the ranchers are appealing to ODFW officials in Salem for a variance.

Earlier this week, ODFW issued permits to five ranch owners and employees to shoot wolves but only if they are caught in the act of attacking.

Two other calf kills had been confirmed by Riggs and ranchers say they suspect more calves missing earlier are due to wolf activity. Patton earlier had spotted wolves in his pasture.

“We know these wolves will keep killing,” Childers said.

“While everyone is enjoying a three-day holiday, the ranchers of Wallowa County will be out looking for dead calves.”

29 May 2010, 11:22am
Latest Wildlife News
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Gray Wolves Rebound, To Neighbors’ Unease

Close Encounters, Animal Killings Worry Wisconsin Town; Federal Government Pushes to Allow Hunting, Trapping

By JOE BARRETT, WSJ Online, May 29, 2023 [here]

HARRISON, Wis. — David Schoone, a farmer in this lush region of northern Wisconsin, says a lone gray wolf sneaked up on his school-age daughter three years ago as she bounced on a trampoline in his backyard.

More recently, Mr. Schoone was chased into his pickup truck by a wolf, and his cousin’s wife had to run from two wolves that descended on her from opposite sides of a shed. This month, he lost two young steer to wolves.

“We gotta watch all the time,” said Mr. Schoone, 43 years old, who carries a loaded rifle when he works in his fields or goes for a walk, even though he can only legally shoot a wolf in the act of attacking a human. “They don’t show any fear of us.”

Gray wolves, which resemble tall, lean huskies and can weigh more than 100 pounds, were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by 1950. Since being placed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act in 1974, they have made a dramatic comeback, with some 4,000 in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan and nearly 1,700 in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. … [more]

29 May 2010, 11:21am
Latest Wildlife News
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Alaska sues feds over predator control

By MARK THIESSEN, Associated Press, May 28, 2023 [here]

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Friday, seeking a court order allowing it to go ahead with a controversial predator control program.

At issue is the state’s plan to kill wolves to preserve a caribou herd inside the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge on Unimak Island, beginning as early as Tuesday.

Last week, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced it would begin shooting some wolves on Unimak, the eastern-most island in the Aleutian chain, to protect caribou calving grounds as part of its aerial predator control program.

While the program is in place in at least six locations around Alaska, it would be the first time in recent history that aerial predator control would be used inside a national refuge in Alaska.

The department planned on using two biologists and four pilots to kill wolves.

The feds responded Monday, cautioning the state that killing the wolves without a special use permit would be considered “a trespass on the refuge” and immediately referred to the U.S. attorney.

The state has interpreted that as federal officials blocking the program. The lawsuit, which names U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan Gould, his agency and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, seeks a court order allowing the state to kill seven wolves while the litigation continues. …

Caribou are an important subsistence food for approximately 62 people living on the island, but the animal numbers have been declining. In 2002, there were more than 1,200 caribou. Last year, fewer than 300 were counted. The state has an unofficial estimate of up to 30 wolves.

The state says the killing of wolves is imperative to protect this year’s caribou calves. …

“The actions of Fish and Wildlife have set the stage for the worst possible outcome - the potential disappearance of this caribou herd and a total loss of subsistence opportunity in the area for the foreseeable future,” Alaska Fish and Game Commissioner Denby Lloyd said in a prepared statement.

“We pushed as hard as we could, recognizing that time was running out fast, but I wasn’t going to put my employees into a situation in which the federal government prosecutes them for carrying out their state responsibilities,” he said.

The lawsuit claims Fish and Wildlife is violating the Alaska National Interests Lands Conservation Act, the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and a memorandum of understanding with the state. … [more]

27 May 2010, 12:28pm
Latest Fire News
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Homeowner recalls escape from N. Mich. forest fire

By JOHN FLESHER (AP), May 21, 2023 [here]

SOUTH BRANCH TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Glenn King was cleaning his basement when sheriff’s deputies pounded on the front door, warning that a wildfire (Meridian Boundary Fire) was bearing down on his frame house in the northern Michigan backwoods.

“They told me to evacuate,” King said. “In three minutes.”

The 62-year-old retiree quickly loaded family portraits, irreplaceable mementos and Paco, his red Labrador, into his Jeep and raced down an unpaved route toward a state highway. It was midafternoon Tuesday, but the smoke became so thick he could barely see.

“You could hear the fire roaring like a train,” King said.

Authorities said 12 homes were destroyed and two damaged by the inferno that broke out Tuesday and blasted across jack pine forests in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula after a local resident lost control of a brush fire.

The fire, about 60 miles east of Traverse City, covered roughly 8,800 acres. The fire was considered 80 percent contained, or secure enough that flames were unlikely to jump the line dug around the perimeter. … [more]

27 May 2010, 12:24pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Hundreds show support in Cody for state to manage predator

By Richard Reeder, Cody Enterprise, May 24, 2023 [here]

The wolf impact rally in Cody on Saturday attracted several hundred people to talk about the future of the gray wolf.

The rally in City Park, held on a blustery cool day, was sponsored by the Cody Country Outfitters and Guides, and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife groups. It featured a variety of speakers hoping to educate the public about the need for delisting the predator.

For one of the first times in a public event, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation executive director David Allen shared his group’s views about the wolf issue.

“We were not at the table when we needed to be,” he said. “But now we are all about getting back to our foundation’s roots.

“We won’t wander off point anymore - we are a hunter conservation group,” he added. “And we support sound, science-based management by the state of the wolf.”

Allen said the dispute about wolves isn’t just about the predator, but is an ideological war between hunters and environmental groups.

He said he believes there are strong anti-gun and anti-hunting agendas driving the ongoing legal battles about delisting.

Allen said ultimately sportsmen and hunters will pay for whatever outcome results from the wolf controversy.

“Once this is all over, the environmental groups will walk away and we will have to clean up the mess,” he said. “Hunters and sportsmen have created the wildlife system in the West.” … [more]

27 May 2010, 12:23pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Judge dismisses Nevada wild horse roundup lawsuit

By Frank X. Mullen Jr., Reno Gazette Journal, May 25, 2023 [here]

A federal judge Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought by horse activists that sought to halt the roundups of wild horses in Nevada and the stockpiling of the animals in Midwestern facilities.

District Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington, D.C., dismissed the lawsuit against government agencies by In Defense of Animals, Nevada wildlife ecologist Craig Downer and Verdi children’s author Terri Farley on the grounds that the parties did not have standing to take legal action in the matter of holding the horses in a long-term facility and because the roundup in the Calico area of Nevada ended in February.

“We remain confident in the merits of our case and look forward to pursuing this legal issue in the near future,” said William J. Spriggs, lead counsel for Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney. “The Bureau of Land Management’s practice of removing horses from the Western range and warehousing them in Midwestern holding facilities is flat out illegal, and the judge’s preliminary ruling in this regard was correct.”

BLM officials said they are withholding comment until they study the decision.

The lawsuit sought to stop a roundup of 2,500 wild horses from the half-million-acre herd management Calico area complex, comprised primarily of publicly owned lands north of Gerlach. … [more]

27 May 2010, 12:05pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Fresno judge lifts delta pumping restrictions

By John Ellis, The Fresno Bee, May 26, 2023 [here]

A federal judge in Fresno on Tuesday temporarily lifted Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta pumping restrictions designed to help endangered salmon, siding with urban and agricultural water users who said the move would not harm the fish.

The order by U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger will be in place until June 15. For west-side agriculture — including farmers and ranchers in the Westlands Water District — that could mean an extra 200,000 acre-feet of water, said Tom Birmingham, Westlands’ general manager.

In real-world terms, he added, it will mean an additional 75,000 acres of farmland could be put back into production — and with it more people put to work.

“I am thrilled with the ruling,” he said.

But in the complicated world of water law, whether the increased water deliveries actually happen is still unclear.

Pumping restrictions designed to protect another threatened fish, the tiny delta smelt, have been on the back burner because they are less restrictive than those covering the salmon. But now that the salmon restrictions have been lifted, “in theory, the smelt restrictions should limit” pumping, said Doug Obegi, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, which opposed the water users’ request.

Even Birmingham admitted as much, saying the possibility exists that the smelt pumping restrictions could wipe out every drop of water gained by Tuesday’s ruling. … [more]

27 May 2010, 12:04pm
Uncategorized
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Monument concerns prompt meeting

Illinois Valley News, May 26, 2023 [here]

Tuesday afternoon, May 18, Josephine County Commissioner Sandi Cassanelli traveled to Yreka, Calif. to attend a five-hour meeting regarding a proposal to create the Siskiyou Crest National Monument.

The monument, being promoted by the Ashland-based Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center environmental group, would encompass more than 600,000 acres in Josephine and Jackson counties in Oregon, and Del Norte and Siskiyou counties in California.

Cassanelli said that other attendees at the meeting, held at the Yreka Community Theater, included Tom Kitchar, of the Waldo Mining District; Jackson County Commissioner C.W. Smith, and representatives from U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management Medford office.

Another attendee was Rob Patridge from the office of 2nd District Congressman Greg Walden (R-Oregon).

Siskiyou County officials are concerned that designation of a monument would limit various activities on public land in the area, Cassanelli said. They could include grazing, logging, mining and riding all-terrain vehicles. Fire suppression issues also are important to county officials, she added.

Another fear, Cassanelli said, is that President Obama possibly could use the American Antiquities Act of 1906 to establish the monument without an open public process.

“It’s out of BLM’s control if the president declares a monument,” Cassanelli said.

The five-hour meeting was attended by more than 400 people, Cassanelli said. A hand count was taken to determine how many people were in support of the monument proposal, she said, and only one person expressed that sentiment.

Officials from the counties that would be affected by the monument designation are planning to submit documentation of their opposition to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Cassanelli said.

“Now is the time for us to band together,” she said. “If we do it together, there’s some hope.”

27 May 2010, 12:01pm
Latest Climate News
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Signs of Global Cooling

Late spring snowstorm surprises Utahns

KSL.com, May 24th, 2010 [here]

SALT LAKE CITY — Many Utahns woke up to a blanket of snow Monday morning. The wet and slushy weather caused a few problems throughout the day, but the late storm was mostly an inconvenience.

The storm produced the latest spring snow ever recorded at Salt Lake City International Airport. It arrived late Sunday night and produced huge, heavy snowflakes as Salt Lake City commuters arrived for work Monday morning. … [more]

Record low of 32 set at Spokane airport today

by Mike Prager, The Spokesman-Review, May 24, 2023 [here]

Cool spring weather continues across the Inland Northwest with a record low of 32 at Spokane International Airport this morning.

Forecasters said they do not see any kind of big warm up through this week.

This morning’s weather began with a freeze warning from the National Weather Service, and many locations saw cold temperatures. Spokane International Airport had a temperature of 32 degrees, which breaks the old record of 35 set in 1975. … [more]

Cold weather isn’t imaginary … we’re setting records for late spring

The Sacramento Bee, May 24, 2023 [here]

Northern California matched or broke cold records from Redding to Stockton this weekend, the National Weather Service reported Sunday.

And more cold — and likely rain — is on its way.

In fact, the region is facing the coldest spell for this late in the season in more than a half century. … [more]

Brazilian Coffee Crops May Face Frost Next Week

By Lucia Kassai, Business Week, May 24, 2023 [here]

(Bloomberg) — Coffee crops in Brazil, the world’s largest producer and exporter of the bean, may be harmed by frost next week as a cold air mass approaching the southeast of the country pushes temperatures down, a forecaster said.

The cold front from the South Pole may damage arabica coffee plantations in some areas of the South of Minas Gerais, the country’s biggest coffee-producing region, said Expedito Rebello, head of research at the government’s Meteorology Institute, known as Inmet. … [more]

Coral reefs off Fla. Keys already at risk, now under oil threat

By KATY BISHOP, Scripps Howard News Service, 05/24/2010 [here]

… This past winter’s cold spells had “drastic” effects on corals, and experts have just begun to collect data on the loss of corals that resulted, Ruzicka added.

Corals that were 200 to 300 years old and perfectly healthy died during the five-day cold snap in January, said Causey. … [more]

27 May 2010, 11:58am
Latest Forest News
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County passes ordinance opposing designation of Otero Mesa as a national monument

By Laura London, Alamogordo Daily News, 5/22/2010 [here]

After about two hours of spirited discussion during a public hearing Thursday night, the Otero County Commission passed an ordinance opposing the designation of Otero Mesa as a national monument.

The commission moved the meeting from its usual place in the county administrative building to the commission’s larger former chambers in the county courthouse to accommodate the crowd that was expected. The room was full, with most people standing along the walls because there weren’t enough chairs.

A news release issued from Gov. Bill Richardson’s office March 18 states the Obama administration may be considering 14 sites across the West for national monument status, including Otero Mesa. President Obama could make Otero Mesa a national monument by executive order by invoking the Antiquities Act, according to discussions at previous county meetings.

Commission Chairman Doug Moore opened discussion at the regular meeting Thursday by saying he was opposed to the process that could be used to create the monument, a presidential signature without any local input or due process.

“I think that is at the heart of my opposition to the creation,” Moore said. “There may very well be some well-founded reasons for that area to be considered. I believe it inappropriate to do that consideration without local process and consideration of local custom and culture.”

Commissioner Clarissa McGinn agreed, and said passing the ordinance would require any agency to come to the county and local citizens first before taking action to create a national monument on Otero Mesa.

“I consider it a preemptive action so that we can all be involved before that were to happen, with our input,” McGinn said. … [more]

27 May 2010, 11:57am
Latest Wildlife News
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Backers of dam-removal plan fail at polls

Mallams: ‘Our elected officials aren’t listening’

By MITCH LIES, Capital Press , May 24, 2023 [here]

That combination of political stances on Klamath County commission candidate Dennis Linthicum’s website was a winning combination — particularly the part about opposing the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, which calls for removing four dams on the Klamath River.

Opposition to dam removal helped the political newcomer win nearly 63 percent of the vote in the May 18 Klamath County Republican primary to unseat longtime commissioner John Elliott.

Elliott has been a supporter of the dam agreement.

Linthicum now faces Democrat Kirk Oakes in the general election.

Rep. Bill Garrard, R-Klamath Falls, who also opposes the agreement and dam removal, scored a convincing win May 18, securing 64 percent of the vote in the Republican primary for House District 56.

His opponent, wheat farmer Karl Scronce, supports the agreement.

“The people have spoken,” said Tom Mallams, a Klamath County rancher and vocal opponent of dam removal.

Mallams pointed to three recent polls that show more than 65 percent of Klamath County voters oppose the agreement and dam removal. Still, he said, Klamath County commissioners endorsed the plan.

“Our elected officials aren’t listening to people,” Mallams said. “That is what the problem is.”

Scronce agreed that supporting dam removal is an unpopular position.

“I’m sure it played a role (in my defeat),” he said. “It had to have played a role.” … [more]

27 May 2010, 11:56am
Latest Climate News
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My moment of rock-star glory at a climate change sceptics’ conference in America

James Delingpole, Spectator.com.uk, 26th May 2010 [here]

Wow! Finally in my life I get to experience what it’s like to be a rock star and I’m loving every moment. OK, so the drugs are in pretty short supply. As too is the meaningless sex with nubile groupies. But what do I care, the crowd love me and I love them. God bless America! God bless the Heartland Institute’s Fourth International Conference on Climate Change!

You’d think it would be quite dull, a conference of 700 climate sceptics (or ‘realists’, as we prefer to call ourselves) cooped up for two and half days of intense panel sessions (‘Quantifying the Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Organisms’; ‘Green Eggs and Scam: the Myth of Green Jobs’; ‘Analysis of the Russian Segment of the HADCRUT3 Database’) and lectures (beginning at 7.30 a.m). But I haven’t had so much fun in years.

First, the hospitality. They know how to look after you, these right-leaning US think tanks — even modest-sized ones like the free-market Heartland Institute, which suffers the misfortune of being largely funded by private donors rather than — contrary to what you’re told by many greens — Big Oil, Big Carbon or Big Totally Evil. Food is good. Booze is plentiful. …

more »

27 May 2010, 9:55am
Latest Fire News
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Forest Service may end ban on using firefighting aircraft at night

The head of the federal agency also tells a U.S. Senate panel that water-dropping helicopters would have been used on the first night of the Station fire had they been available

By Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times, May 27, 2023 [here]

The head of the U.S. Forest Service told a Senate panel Wednesday that water-dropping helicopters would have been deployed during the critical first night of last summer’s disastrous Station blaze if they had been available and that the agency is considering ending its decades-long ban on using federal firefighting aircraft after dark.

Under sometimes pointed questioning by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D- Burbank), Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell also defended the agency’s handling of the fire the next morning, when a heavy aerial assault did not begin until several hours after daylight. He said aircraft alone would not have stopped the flames from racing through the Angeles National Forest.

Schiff later expressed doubt that an earlier air attack on Day 2 would have been ineffective because of steep terrain, as the Forest Service determined after an internal review. “The conclusion that it would not have helped anyway is a little too facile,” he said.

Schiff said he was confident that the Forest Service would resume flying at night, a tactic it abandoned in the 1970s after a fatal crash. “We are moving toward a change in policy,” he said.

Feinstein, who chairs the Senate subcommittee that held Wednesday’s hearing, said that equipping the Forest Service with night-flying aircraft is a “real priority,” especially in California. She said global warming and enduring droughts have heightened the danger of huge wildfires that threaten neighborhoods.

“Fires are not going to get better, they’re going to get worse,” she said. “The air assets are critical, and they have to be in place, they have to be accessible…. We have to do better.”

She noted that cost estimates for a new fleet of Forest Service air tankers exceed $1.5 billion but said she would push for the funding.

Tidwell said the Forest Service is weighing that option and several others for a return to flying during darkness, including an increased reliance on aircraft owned by local agencies, such as the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which routinely flies at night. He said recommendations could be released by year’s end.

Regarding the Station fire, which broke out on Aug. 26, Tidwell said, “If we would have had helicopters available that night, we would have used helicopters.”

He said the county department had turned down an informal Forest Service request to assign a night-flying copter to the fire. County Chief Deputy John Tripp, however, said in a subsequent interview that there is no record of the request.

Tripp also disputed a Forest Service account that a county chopper left the blaze the first night because it was needed for non-fire medical evacuations. He said the copter actually went to the fire after a medical call and left when the Forest Service released all choppers at nightfall.

“They have their facts wrong,” Tripp said.

The Forest Service will look into the matter further, spokesman David Sandretti said. “There’s a conflict,” he said. … [more]

EPA Offers Cash for Propaganda

by Alex Newman, The New American, 28 April 2023 [here]

The Environmental Protection Agency is offering thousands of taxpayer dollars and free publicity to whoever produces the most compelling pro-government-regulation propaganda, it announced on its website and in a YouTube video.

“Almost every aspect of our lives is touched by federal regulations,” the contest announcement correctly points out. “Even before you leave the house in the morning, government regulations help set the price of the coffee you drink, the voltage of electricity your alarm clock uses, and the types of programming allowed on the morning news.”

But rather than point out the total lack of constitutional authority for said rules — or the growing regulation-induced economic burden shouldered by struggling American families and businesses — the EPA is bribing citizens and legal residents to create propaganda promoting the “importance” of the thousands of arbitrary edicts spewed forth by Leviathan’s myriad bureaucracies.

“Create a short video, not to exceed 90 seconds in length, explaining why rules are important” urges the EPA’s online announcement. Additionally, the video should discuss “why the average American should care about federal regulations.” Presumably, a threat of jail time or over a trillion dollars in wasted “compliance” costs are not the reasons being sought for why people should care. To be eligible for the prize, the entry must also direct viewers to www.regulations.gov, a federal website which touts itself as “your online source for U.S. government regulations from nearly 300 federal agencies.”  … [more]

 
  
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