Utah Wilderness News, April 14, 2011

Compromise is a winning trend

“In a 2008 lawsuit brought against the developer by the nonprofit groups, a federal court ruled that more analysis was needed to determine the potential impacts on air quality of 60 natural-gas wells proposed by Enduring Resources about 35 miles south of Vernal. Faced with the judge’s order to re-examine its reports, the developer agreed to reduce the scale of its Rock House Project, cut the number of new well pads and roads and restrict truck traffic near the White River.”  Editorial – The Salt Lake Tribune

Western representatives staunchly defend wild lands policy

“The wild lands covered by the BLM policy not only provide serene beauty, their protection can strengthen local economies. From hunting and fishing guides and outfitters, to outdoors equipment stores, bait and tackle shops, gas stations and grocery stores in rural towns, the dollars of outdoor users keep cash registers ringing.

As the BLM moves forward with resource management plans, it should consider all potential public uses for lands under its purview, uses that include hunting and fishing, hiking and camping, and other types of wilderness recreation. As this debate continues, let’s not lose sight of why we westerners choose to live and raise our families amid the splendors of the wide open spaces; and why others from across the country come to visit and support our western communities.”  Op-ed – The Hill’s Congress Blog

Last-minute budget deal forbids implementation of Interior’s wild lands policy

“The wild lands policy rider, of course, has nothing to do with the budget,” McIntosh said. “It’s a result of an extreme outlook that attempts to force BLM to favor oil and gas and off-road vehicles over the quiet and solitude of wilderness, and it ignores the fact that wilderness is, and always has been, one of many multiple uses.”  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune

“’At stake now are millions of acres of Utah’s redrock wilderness that the Bush BLM acknowledged contain wilderness values but declined to protect,’ warned Peterson-Cremer. ‘Many of these acres were on track to gain increased protections from oil and gas drilling and off-road vehicle damage that had been authorized by the Bush-era BLM. Now, that progress is threatened as Big Oil and other wilderness foes in Congress pressure the White House to trample our wilderness heritage.’”  Read more – Environment News Service

“The budget agreement unveiled today includes a gift from the Grand Oil Party to its big energy benefactors: it blocks the Interior Department from implementing a policy to protect pristine public lands from development. The rider to the FY2011 continuing resolution prevents Interior from using funds to implement the wild lands policy through the end of this fiscal year, which ends on September 30.”  Read more – The Wonk Room

Uncertainty looms over the impact of 1st major US tar sands mine

“Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, director of the International Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, says the rewards simply aren’t worth the risks. ‘Refining the oil (from tar sands) creates more greenhouse gases than traditional crude,’ said Casey-Lefkowitz. ‘With projects such as Keystone, we have concerns such as pipeline leaks due to the corrosive nature of the bitumen and the high temperatures in which it would be transported.’”  Read more – The Seattle Times