Scientists team up to track fish

Capital News Service
LANSING — Biologists and scientists have teamed up to track fish across the Great Lakes using sound—a literal Great Lakes echo. It’s like the world’s biggest game of Marco Polo, but with fish. The Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation Systems, or GLATOS, is a network of researchers sharing fish-tracking data from across the Great Lakes basin. Acoustic telemetry tracks fish by surgically inserting a tracker into them before releasing them back into the water. As the fish travels, it emits an audible ping that can be picked up by markers placed in bodies of water across the region.

Seeking ‘Eureka!’ cries to solve environmental problems

Capital News Service
LANSING — The state’s $1 million incentive for anyone who comes up with a new and innovative solution to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great part of a trend in using cash incentives to crowdsource and solve natural resource problems.
For instance, Michigan State University recently sponsored a challenge to redesign water foundations. The winning team won $15,000. “The students are innovative and energetic and we were very excited to support student team learning and effort through problem solving,” said Professor Joan Rose, an MSU expert in water quality and public health safety. Another example: The Michigan Design Council has sponsored contests for K-12 students to develop products to better enjoy the state’s water and winter. “So far we’ve been quite successful and have had very unique and sophisticated solutions to huge problems,” said Jeff De Boer, chair of the council.

Invasive species gang up on native crayfish

Capital News Service
LANSING — Invasive species in the Great Lakes are ganging up against native species. A new study looking into invasive zebra and quagga mussels’ relationship with invasive rusty crayfish illustrates how the harm they cause together can be greater than either of them alone. “What we found was that these invasive crayfish are really good at exploiting the resources provided by the (invasive) mussels,” said Mael Glon, who worked on this research while pursuing a master’s degree at Central Michigan University. “I don’t just mean eating them, because they are eating them, but they’re also eating what grows from what’s filtered from the mussels.”
The study was a collaboration between Central Michigan University (CMU) and Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. It tested how the presence of the invasive mussels affected the growth and activity of both the invasive rusty crayfish and the native virile crayfish.

Detroit architect honored in new book

Capital News Service
LANSING — Admirers of architect Wirt Rowland finally have the biography they were looking for. It was a long time coming. Rowland was arguably the premier skyscraper architect of the early 20th century. He designed prominent buildings around the country for years. Yet his name is hardly known outside of architectural circles, and no one had bothered to write a book about the man.

Two species – one to preserve, one to control – challenge dam removal

Capital News Service
LANSING — A proposed dam removal along the Grand River faces significant delays due to its potential to disrupt river ecosystems. The environmental risks involve the fate of two species: sea lamprey and snuffbox mussels. One needs to be kept out while the other needs to be protected. The Sixth Street Dam in downtown Grand Rapids was installed in the mid-1800s to help ship milled logs downstream by controlling the water’s height and flow. It drowned the river’s naturally occurring rapids, allowing logs to float over them. Eventually log transportation no longer relied on the river, but the dam remained.

Capital News Service Bonus Budget – May 5

Bonus Week, May 5, 2017
To: CNS Editors
From: Perry Parks, Eric Freedman and Sheila Schimpf
For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Pechulano Ali, (517) 940-2313, For other issues contact Perry Parks,, (517) 388-8627 or Eric Freedman, THIS IS BONUS WEEK: Here is our end-of-the-semester file of stories that you may not have had space for in the past few months but remain timely. SUMMER ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS PACKAGES: Again this summer, CNS plans to move three packages – in June, July and August — of Michigan environmental stories in partnership with Great Lakes Echo. Here is your file:
(New story) DEERDISEASE: As the Department of Natural Resources expands educational efforts about chronic wasting disease, a bipartisan bill to raise awareness and prevent spread of the disease is moving through the House.

Wildlife officials, lawmakers fight deer-killing disease

Capital News Service
LANSING — As the  Department of Natural Resources (DNR) expands educational outreach about chronic wasting disease, a bipartisan bill to raise awareness and prevent spread of the disease is moving through the state House. The bill would increase the fine for importing deer carcasses or parts into the state, from the current range of $50-$500 to a new range of $500-$2,000. The goals of the increased penalty are both to reduce the likelihood that chronic wasting disease will spread among Michigan deer and to raise awareness about the seriousness of the problem. The bill unanimously passed the House Committee on Natural Resources in late April. Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette, is the main sponsor, as well as the committee’s minority vice-chair.

Bills would eliminate concealed-carry regulations

Capital News Service
LANSING — Some lawmakers are working to remove the licensing requirement for concealed pistol carriers. Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona, has introduced bills to eliminate concealed pistol license, or CPL, laws. Cole said he doesn’t want to make it easier to obtain a gun or loosen those regulations, but he wants to ensure that “law-abiding citizens” don’t need to jump through hoops to carry a concealed pistol for self-defense. “The idea is to promote constitutional freedom,” Cole said. Cole also argues that current law can create “inadvertent criminals.”
“I have a CPL, my wife does not.

Bill seeks to reduce penalty of expired concealed pistol license

Capital News Service
LANSING — People with concealed pistols could avoid felony charges for expired licenses under a bill introduced by Rep. Shane Hernandez, R-Port Huron. Under current law, anyone with an expired concealed pistol license who still carries his or her concealed weapon could be charged with a felony, even if it’s only been a few days since the license expired, Hernandez said. Hernandez said he was inspired to introduce the bill after hearing about a staffer’s friend who faced such a charge because of a recently expired icense during a routine traffic stop. The bill would reduce that felony to a civil misdemeanor with a $330 fine if someone’s license has been expired for six months or less. Hernandez also said offenders could get out of paying the fine if they’re able to prove they renewed their license within 60 days of the violation.

Pro-immigrant groups to rally on May Day

Capital News Service
LANSING — On May Day, workers and immigrants across Michigan will rally to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. Under the slogan “Rise up,” the Michigan effort is a part of national action across 200 cities on Monday, May 1. The seven Michigan cities scheduled to participate are Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Pontiac, Battle Creek and Rochester. The action in Michigan is primarily sponsored by Michigan United, a statewide civil rights organization. Other pro-immigrant groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Michigan Muslim Community Council and Emerge USA, are also supporting the event.