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ACTION ALERTS–ACTION URGENTLY NEEDED

Action call #1 TENNESSEE WILDERNESS ACT PASSES – AT LAST

After a decade of futile effort, success at last!

We now have an additional ~20,000 acres in the Cherokee National Forest protected under the 1963 Wilderness Act. When the Tennessee Wilderness Act repeatedly failed to pass as stand-alone legislation, Senators Alexander and Corker included it in the must-pass Farm Bill. Rep. Phil Roe (R-1) became the House sponsor. On December 11, during the Lame Duck Session, both Houses of Congress passed the Farm Bill that had emerged from the conference committee with most of its environmental poison pills removed. The bill was signed into law a few days later.

What you can do

Please express your thanks to:

Senator Lamar Alexander (Ph: 202-224-4944; Fax: 202-228-3398 e-mail: lamar@alexander.senate.gov Local: 865-545-4253 (Fax 865-545-4252) 00 Market St., Suite 112 Knoxville 37902 and to Representative Phil Roe (Ph: 202- 225-6356 ; Fax: (202) 225-5714 email is through https://roe.house.gov/Contact Local: 423-247-8161(Fax: 423-247-0119) 205 Revere Street Kingsport, TN 37660 (Sen. Corker is now retired)

Action call #2 Campaign to include the Nolichucky in the National W&S Rivers System gains support – AT LAST

Campaign to include the Nolichucky in the National W&S Rivers System gains support

A campaign that got going in the summer of 2017 to designate the Nolichucky a National Wild & Scenic River (NL335 ¶1C) has since gained momentum. According to TSRA, the campaign has garnered thousands of endorsements from individuals and businesses and the support of many groups, including American Whitewater and the local chapter of Trout Unlimited. A petition has gathered well over 20,000 signatures, and a new endorsement webpage has been set up.

What you can do

To learn more about how you can support this effort, visit

https://www.noliwildandscenic.org/

Action call #3 Needed comments opposing proposed WOTUS rule changes are delayed by government shutdown

As ordered to do two years ago by Pres. Trump, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (CoE) have proposed a new definition of “waters of the United States” that essentially eliminates Clean Water Act protection from headwater and seasonally-flowing waterways and wetlands. Comments were to be received for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, and a hearing was scheduled, but the government shutdown has altered the originally proposed time line. The basic intent of the new rule is to replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule with a “simpler” version. The 2015 Clean Water Rule, under which we should be operating, was backed by a 400+ page document, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis (EPA/600/R-14/475F, January 2015). This presents the scientific evidence for the importance of the water resources, and the technical reasons that justify their protection under the 2015 rule. The Trump Administration is now trying to throw out and ignore the evidence in that document in the interest of political expediency.

The disastrous effects of the proposed rules changes can hardly be overstated. Water flows downhill, and pollution in watercourses, no matter how small, will end up in rivers whose waters we drink, or swim in, or recreate in. Wetlands provide essential wildlife habitat.

What you can do

We hope you will submit comments strongly opposing the proposed Rules change as soon as the comment period re-opens.

You can read the pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice at https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise. Unless instructions are changed by the government shut-down delay, written comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPAHQ-OW-2018-0149, should be submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, https://www.regulations.gov.

TCWP will post updates on the status of the rulemaking process in our Newsletter, website, Facebook page, and e-mail alerts.

Action call #4 Imminent threat to ANWR

[Information from Sierra Club and Greenpeace]

The Trump Administration and GOP leaders in Congress, dead set on getting oil and gas from Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), snuck a provision into the 2017 tax bill to open the 1002 Area to drilling (NL3394B).

The assault has started.

As a preliminary to extraction, a company called SAExploration (SAE), which offers “vertically-integrated seismic data acquisition and logistical support services,” has been green-lighted to seek out and test for oil in ANWR. The 90,000-pound “thumper trucks” likely to be used in this exploration would send shock waves deep into the tundra, threatening the Refuge’s delicate ecosystem, and compromising the food sources, health, and human rights of the Gwich’in Nation.

The American people have overwhelmingly opposed Arctic drilling every step of the way. With climate change already threatening this fragile wilderness, this pristine, natural landscape cannot withstand SAE’s disastrous testing.

What you can do

Please consider signing a petition opposing oil exploration in ANWR, contact reply@emails.sierraclub.org or info@greenpeaceusa.org.

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Special Projects

TCWP has many other opportunities to volunteer for short-term project (e.g.. preparing mailings, work a shift at the TCWP booth during festivals, work on a comment generation campaign)

Email Executive Director, Sandra Goss

Political Guide

Not sure which government representative you should contact? Consult this Political Guide