Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The battle over wildlife areas and the economy

Matt’s Rant: Where do I start with this one? Bad enough that every scrap of open space is being reviewed for possible mineral and oil exploration but now reporters and political groups are trying to label wildlife conservation agencies as “environmental groups”. This language whitewashes the effort of organizations such as Trout Unlimited with the likes of PETA and Earth First movements that dwell on the lunatic fringe. In my view this is meant to weaken the fight and open the door to exploitation. “Save the children” has now turned to “Do it for the economy”.

Outdoor sport groups and wildlife enthusiasts are losing a lot of ground in this fight. I see the tables turning in this country like they never have before. In some instances politicians and journalists will skew the labels to make hunters, anglers and even bird watchers look like they are part of the problem. Go after the EPA if that is your gripe but stop eyeballing protected natural areas to hand over to the mineral and oil crowd. There will be no going back once these areas are all #$%^& up. Even the managing agencies both at the state and federal level oppose this new measure and consider it a serious blow to wildlife areas.

Bottom line: I am not against domestic exploration but have seen too many instances where the environment suffers greatly as a result. Limiting (or effectively ending) a state’s control over wildlife areas is an extremely dangerous move. Some things you have to fight tooth and nail. Otherwise what you love becomes nailed and toothless. Colorado has so much to lose.

Below is the actual article that got me all fired up:

Colorado hunting, fishing, bird- watching and other environment groups rallied Friday to oppose federal legislation that they say would hurt Western economies and natural resources.
The legislation — a spending bill pushed by House Republicans and up for a full House vote next week — would allow uranium mining on public lands near the Grand Canyon, limit the government's ability to set standards for controlling greenhouse-gas pollution and grant exemptions from laws to protect air and water. It would cut $2.1 billion from Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Interior programs that heavily affect Western states.

"What we have here is a recipe of toxic ingredients that'll make for a very foul stew," Colorado Wildlife Federation director Suzanne O'Neill said at the event in central Denver.

Colorado Trout Unlimited president Sinjin Eberle said the bill would weaken protection for rivers and landscapes, including the Black Canyon, just when they need greater protection. "This is a giveaway of our great outdoors," he said.

Supporters of the bill have targeted the EPA, in particular, accusing the agency of regulatory zeal that kills jobs. They contend the legislation is necessary to reduce spending, increase certainty for companies and encourage creation of jobs.


north america said...

And if we are tempted to trust the oil industry and government oversight, we need to look no farther than the Gulf of Mexico.

Priyanka said...

It is a sad affair. I wish man would for once start looking beyond his own interest.

Coloradocasters said...

@North America: Greatly appreciate the comment and support over a very controversial subject. Fantastic web page by the way and want to encourage others to stop by

@Priyanka: Agreed. It is frightening to see humans sell out things like clean air and water in troubled times. Other than taxpayer funds for exploration, there is little to be gained in most of these areas. More bandaid fixes as opposed to long term solutions. This is the thinking that will doom us a species.