Grey Whales Not To Be Tracked By Sonar

Heeding a plea from environmentalists, on January 24, 2003 a US federal judge barred scientists from using sonar to track migrating grey whales along the California coast. A scientist from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts had planned to test the sonar to see if it could detect whales on their voyage. But environmentalists said the noise could cause stress to the whales. The environmentalists sued to block use of the sonar, saying the US government had not done proper environmental evaluation before issuing Woods Hole scientist Peter Tyack a permit. Judge Samuel Conti sided with the environmentalists and barred Tyack from conducting his five-year study.

-Vancouver Sun, January 25, 2003

The February, 2002 issue of Backpacker Magazine begins a series of features entitled "Quietest Spots in the US", places like South Dakota's Wind Cave National Park and Buffalo Gap National Grassland, or Northern California's Kalmiopsis Wilderness. The Warayuma Peak Wilderness sees only 200 visitors per year, as compared to Grand Canyon National Park, some 150 miles away, which sees some 4.5 million per year.

Parks Canada Tackles Camper Noise

The following is excerpted from a flyer distributed to visitors at Canada's Banff National Park:

Shhh........ Sound travels in the great outdoors! Please show consideration for your fellow campers by avoiding excessive noise at ANY time of the day, and especially after 11 pm.
The use of stereos at high volume, yelling, loud partying, or any other behaviour that impairs the quality of park experience for fellow campers will not be tolerated.
To encourage quiet time, Parks Canada has established a FIRE BAN between 12:00 am and 6:00 am in the Village I campground.
To report inconsiderate or unsafe behaviour, please contact campground staff or call the RCMP @ 762-2226 (in Banff, Alberta, Canada).
For the safety and wellbeing of all, the RCMP WILL enforce these and other regulations. Individuals who choose not to comply with campground rules may be evicted and/or charged.

Calgary Outlaws Excessive Engine Idling

Following the example of other cities such as Toronto, where idling over three minutes can garner a $2,000 fine, the environment committee of Calgary has ordered a draft by-law prohibiting motorists from excessively idling, and from driving smoke-spewing oil burning vehicles.

Canadians idle their engines an average of 5 to 10 minutes a day in winter, totalling more than 75 million idling minutes every day, according to the federal Department of Natural Resources.

One alderman suggested establishing a telephone line to take complaints about excessive idlers.

-Vancouver Sun, December 6, 2002

Noise Rage Fatality in San Francisco

In the early morning hours of February 5, 2003, a man was parked in front of a Mission District residence blaring rap and hip-hop on his car stereo. The resident waited for several songs, then he went to ask the driver to turn down the music. Words, then blows were exchanged, and after a few minutes of struggle, the driver sustained fatal wounds and died at the scene. Witnesses' reports varied regarding who started and escalated the fight.

-Bay City News, February 5, 2003

Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Spring 2003

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