Washington County, Utah “wilderness bill” faces much opposition, but could pass

This bill “designates” a lot of wilderness acreage, but it is very deceptive. A good portion of it is in Zion National Park. Wilderness designation is largely redundant there. Much roadless area in the vicinity would remain unprotected.The city of St. George and now sprawling nearby towns is another classic of bad planning and uncontrolled growth, although many of the individual developments are quite lovely, and were even planned to blend with the color of the desert cliffs and slopes.

The only limits to growth have been lack of water. Utah’s “Dixie” as it is called, is serious desert country. Unfortunately the real point of the bill is not wilderness, but privatizing a big chunk of public land so St. George can continue its march over the landscape. The bill would sell public land to pay for the building of a big pipeline all the way across southern Utah to tap Lake Powell in the state’s SE Corner and bring it to Washington County in the SW corner of Beehive State. Utility corridors would be authorized and also massive off road vehicle trail system.

So the real effect of the bill is not protection, but continued development of an energy and water guzzling culture. The looming end of the Lame Duck session of the old Congress may spell the end of this bill in its present form, but there is talk about an omnibus bill for the various “wilderness, with side-payment” bills, as I call them.

Here is the story of the hearing before Senator Larry Craig’s Senate subcommittee. “Dixie land bill faces obstacles. End of session in D.C. is a problem for growth measure for S. Utah.” By Suzanne Struglinski. The Deseret Morning News.

If you want to stop the wasteful use of land and energy and destruction, not the creation of real wilderness, you need to contact your Senator and ask them to oppose the Washington County Growth and Conservation Act.

Here is a detailed alert from SUWA, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Note that the lame duck adjouns for Thanksgiving, so there is probably time to stop it.

Scott Stouder: Idaho hunters must protect their public lands before it’s too late

Scott Stouder is a field coordinator for Trout Unlimited in Idaho. He lives in Riggins where steelhead fishing on the Salmon River and the short salmon seasons are very important.

Stouder is warning of Idaho’s development-oriented position of the Bush roadless area policy.

Stouder’s piece in today’s Idaho Statesman. 

Coalbed methane well reclamation not in compliance in Wyoming

The gas companies are not reclaiming the land as they are supposed to. I can hardly believe it, and they promised in their advertisements! 😮

Here is the sorry, but hardly surprising story in the Billings Gazette.

Posted in oil and gas, Wildlife Habitat. Comments Off on Coalbed methane well reclamation not in compliance in Wyoming

‘Canned hunting’ goes in garbage can [in Oregon]

Good news from Oregon. This was in the Oregonian.

Wild Bill on Pombo, Green Anger and the Endangered Species Act

Bill Schneider has a fine article on the defeat of Richard Pombo. Read it in New West.

In the view of most conservationists, Pombo wasn’t just an opponent, not an adversary, but a crazy man throwing bombs at everything good and decent. He had to be cut down.