Utah Wilderness News, May 17, 2011

Study: Climate change has significant impact on Southwest soil

“The study found, for instance, that biological soil crusts held up well against climate shifts. Data collected in the national parks, where the land is largely protected from vehicles, livestock and other disturbances, suggest that vulnerable areas outside the parks can also be managed to minimize soil impacts. Lisa Bryant, a soil scientist for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Utah, said information like the climate-dust study helps her agency formulate its plans for the 22.9 million acres under its jurisdiction in Utah.” Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune

Wild Lands Policy continues to be misunderstood, debated

“It’s no secret that large swaths of BLM land are already earmarked for energy extraction. In the West’s five biggest oil and gas producing states (Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming), 42 percent of BLM land is already leased to the industry. And if the areas that would receive extra scrutiny under Salazar’s order aren’t, as their critics maintain, the most obvious candidates for wilderness protection, neither are they troves of fossil fuel. ‘Most of them are not candidates for oil and gas development, and probably never will be,’ says John Leshy, the top Interior solicitor under President Clinton. ‘The vast majority of lands that have attraction to the industry are available to them.’” Read more – High Country News