Stanley Cooper Sr. Chapter #251 - Trout Unlimited
Subscribe to SCTU eBulletin and email updates
|Join eBulletin and Updates|
Contact your State Senator on the following:
Dear TU Members:
Thank you so much for your efforts to contact Senators on House Bill 1565. It’s clear from this week’s action on the bill that they are definitely listening to our concerns! That being said, there still one major core concern that has not been addressed—the removal of the requirement to maintain existing riparian buffers in HQ/EV watersheds.
On Monday, HB1565 was amended and voted out in the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee. The amendments do two things:
(1) Clarified that the replacement buffer must occur along special protection waters within the same drainage list (according to chapter 93). This does not mean that the replacement buffer has to be installed on the same stream. As you know each drainage list is unique and can encompass significant acreage and multiple counties. While TU asked for “drainage” to be clarified and this amendment does that, we are still not pleased that the replacement buffer does not have to be on the same stream because one stream will always be losing the benefits of the buffer.
(2) Tried to strengthen practices that can be used instead of a buffer, by requiring the alternatives used to be “collectively…substantially equivalent to a riparian buffer…” This recognizes that riparian buffers are the most effective management tool.
Bottom line: the amended bill still allows for existing riparian buffers to be destroyed in the headwater streams—potentially trout streams.
Because of a glitch in the legislative printing office yesterday, no action was taken yesterday on the amended bill, which is now known as HB1565 (P.N.4258). That gives us an extra day to make sure our voices are heard!
Here are the talking points to use with your Senator:
1. Although the amendments clarified the bill and made slight improvements, we are still opposed to the bill because it fails to require maintenance of existing riparian buffers in high quality and exceptional value watersheds.
2. We currently have a system that requires riparian buffers, but allows for flexibility through waivers and exemptions. If there is an issue with delays in the waiver process, let’s look for an administrative fix rather try to legislatively fix the problem and as a result allow for existing buffers to be destroyed.
3. Stress that there are no equivalents to a riparian buffer—these are the best and most effective management tool for protecting streams and we need to protect our best streams (EV and HQ).
Please continue to urge your members to contact Senators today and throughout the week. I just learned that the bill will have its second consideration today—so the bill may have its final vote as early as next Tuesday! To find your senator, http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/index.cfm
15th Annual Fly Fishing Youth Camp Date TBA, 2015