Palin & Chevron; Spill Disaster in the Making

There are 6-million gallons of crude sitting at the base of Mt. Redoubt-

Palin & Chevron; Spill Disaster in the Making. Shannyn Moore. Just a girl from Homer. Huffington Post.

Ms. Moore asks a good question:  “Why is there 6 million gallons of crude oil just sitting at the base of a live volcano? Currently, 6 million gallons of Alaska crude oil wait at the base of a volcano that has puked, spewed and gone half mad 19 times in the last 8 days.”

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ed. note: the last time Mt. Redoubt erupted the oil terminal was almost taken out. They built a dike around it later. So far it has held. Pretty reassuring!

The new lands bill has compensation for losses from wolves

Little discussed amendment to bill would pay livestock owners for losses, but also give grants to be proactive and use non-lethal measures-

Livestock operators are always getting new subsidies from the government, but this amendment could be positive because it is more than just paying people for their losses to wolves. It also provides grants to states to use non-lethal methods to prevent losses from happening.  Idaho has pretty much abandoned asking livestock operators from doing anything to prevent losses. Hopefully this amendment will change things.

Lands bill offers wolf-kill money. By The Associated Press.

Tester: Passage of ‘Wolf Kill Bill’ Was Common Sense. Montana Senator says, “… the Wolf Kill Bill isn’t just about repaying ranchers.” By Jon Tester, U.S. Senate, Guest Writer. New West.

Obama signs the omnibus public lands bill

Channels Bush and adds a presidential signing statement-
Updates to 4-2. State specific information added at end of post

There was much rejoicing as the President signed the Omnibus Public Lands Bill, usually and incorrectly called the giant new “wilderness bill.”

It does add 2-million acres to the National Wilderness Preservation System, but it does many other things, including protect 1.2 million acres of the Salt River Range, Wyoming Range, and Commissary Ridge areas in Western Wyoming from oil and gas leasing (and hence drilling). These areas will not be managed as Wilderness, although as a result of the bill, large parts of them will remain roadless. Drilling in these scenic, but unstable, wildlife rich areas would cause immense devastation. They still suffer from excessive livestock grazing.

The bill also designates new Wild and Scenic Rivers, including the first in dry Utah, where building dams on rivers has been a tradition. To win support for the bill, money was provided to study the rebuilding of the Teton Dam in Eastern Idaho, which failed catastrophically in 1976 when it was first being filled after a long fight with conservation groups who predicted it would not hold water. I should note that fighting this dam was my first major conservation issue.

There are 500,000 of new official Wilderness in Idaho and 316 miles of wild and scenic rivers  included in the larger Owyhee Canyonlands bill. This bill has sparked conflict among conservation groups, not because it designates Wilderness, but because it also releases to livestock development a number of roadless areas, plus other provisions. I have heard that the bill did undergo some improvement in the U.S. Senate when it was “cleaned up” by Committee Staff.

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Montana Public Radio Evening Commentary: Dan Brister

Dan Brister of Buffalo Field Campaign was featured on Montana’s Public Radio March 27, 2009 with this audio essay

A new web site, Lobos of the Southwest

Lobos of the Southwest is the first website totally devoted to the conservation of the Mexican wolf, although there is an “anti” web site.

This is a much needed development.

Lobos of the Southwest.

Megaconservation: Saving wildernesses on a giant scale

We need wildlife megacorridors-

Megaconservation: Saving wildernesses on a giant scale. By Jim Giles. New Scientist.

Volcano ash dusts Anchorage, airport closed

First ashfall on Anchorage-

Volcano ash dusts Anchorage, airport closed. Richard Mauer and Lisa Demer. McClatchy Newspapers.

Part of the Kenai Peninsula was also dusted.