Natural gas extraction keeps getting dirtier

“Fracking” is the latest assault on our land, water, wildlife and health-

Hydrofracking injects water and toxic chemicals deep into the rock to create pockets of volatile hydrocarbons (natural gas of a variety). Unfortunately, the toxic mess underground often doesn’t stay there.  It comes out into surface waters, often carrying the original chemicals plus new pollutants, such as radioactivity, picked up underground.  These new fracking wells are poorly regulated, and, of course, the budget battle is being used to make sure they stay barely regulated.

Drilling Down. Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers. New York Times.

What the frack is the matter with the gas industry? By Matt Marusiak. Tainted Green

They’ve made a mess of Pennsylvania and they are spreading out.

Top House Democrats launch investigation into ‘fracking’ on public lands. By Andrew Restuccia. The Hill. This would seem to be good news, but in the new U.S. House the Koch Brothers pretty much run this committe.

Earthjustice’s lawyers chastise Schweitzer for comments on wolf management

Where do wolves stand?

Also, a discussion about wolf delisting

Here is an article that reasonably sums up where wolves are in the political landscape. Contrary to what I’ve read in other articles, it appears that Carter Niemeyer supports delisting only conditionally. He will likely be marginalized for it.

Niemeyer said that while he agrees wolves should be off the endangered species list, Simpson’s path to get there is inadvisable. “It sets a terrible precedent to delist them outside the normal delisting procedures,” he said. He worries that if the ESA is bypassed, slow and cumbersome as it may be, the results could open a Pandora’s box.

“Reasonable people need to prevail right now, otherwise we’re going to get a political fix that is going to be unacceptable.”

As debate rages, Wood River Valley sees less of predators.
By Ariel Hansen – Magic Valley Times-News

This mirrors my sentiment but I would add that I don’t think that the states or the USFWS have been negotiating in good faith. The states, particularly Idaho and Wyoming, and increasingly Montana, have a toxic view towards wolves. With the new draft legislation it appears that they don’t want to even consider managing wolves using science and rational thought. The legislatures seem to perpetuate every anti-wolf myth and made up tale that the anti side can come up with. The USFWS, despite contrary assertions by the extreme anti-wolf crowd, hasn’t budged from it’s stance that a sustainable wolf population only requires 10-15 breeding pairs per state even though those estimates were made at a time when understanding of wolves and population ecology was in its infancy. Now the science indicates that a much higher population is required.

Read the rest of this entry »

Final Draft of Idaho Wolf Legislation

Legislation rescinds the 2002 Wolf Management Plan and calls for $500 per head bounty on wolves.

The draft bill appears to have been written by Runft & Steele Law Offices, PLLC in Boise, Idaho and was distributed to a group of politically connected people.

The bill is radical and shows that anti-wolf forces will seek eradication of wolves in Idaho if national legislation to remove all protections from wolves is or isn’t successful. Obviously eradication of wolves in Idaho is far more important than educational funding which, as you know is being cut. Of course the funding for the bounty program, if the bill is passed unchanged, “will be paid by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game from its General Operating Budget”.

There are several more provisions in the bill which remove all protections for wolves and rescinds all cooperation with federal agencies.

The bill is available for download and pasted below. Read the rest of this entry »

Yellowstone National Park Finally Has a New Superintendent. Tell him to STOP Slaughtering Yellowstone’s Buffalo! Now!

This is from Paul Richard’s blog at Alternet.

Other articles by Richards can be found at http://blogs.alternet.org/paulrichards/.

Richards is a journalist with more than 43 years’ experience in Western politics and resource issues. He has served as editor or co-editor of three newspapers, newsman and editor for The Associated Press, and elections manager for The AP, UPI, ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC.

Posted in Bison, Yellowstone National Park. Comments Off on Yellowstone National Park Finally Has a New Superintendent. Tell him to STOP Slaughtering Yellowstone’s Buffalo! Now!

Unwelcome Invaders: Wild Pigs Pose a Serious New Threat to Idaho

Exotic species threatens agriculture, the environment and wildlife

There has been a growing problem in central Oregon from wild pigs and now they are showing up in Idaho. This is a real threat to the ecology of Idaho and should be taken very seriously by the Idaho Fish and Game.

Unwelcome Invaders: Wild Pigs Pose a Serious New Threat to Idaho | Exotic species threatens agriculture, the environment and wildlife.
by Deanna Darr – Boise Weekly

Will dryup of Lake Mead prompt Western conservatives to think of climate change?

Secretary of Interior Salazar thinks so-

I don’t think it will, not as the so-called conservatives in office today look at the world.  However, back in the world of facts where Lake Mead isn’t far from the level of “dead pool,” there will be enormous consequences for all the Colorado River Basin states: Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, California.

Salazar: Colorado River issue could push conservatives to face climate change. By Karoun Demirjian. Las Vegas Sun

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego places Lake Mead at a 50% chance to run dry by 2020, with its enormous power production inoperative by 2017.  They gave a 10% chance it would be  inoperable by 2014.