|Week Twenty-One February 11 - February 17|
Entry - 02-17-08
Entry - 02-17-08
Post Independent [02-14-08]
"Wildlife commissioners field all sorts of questions in Glenwood"
State wildlife officials meet with citizens and discuss anticipated oil and gas impacts to wildlife on proposed development in Garfield Creek State Wildlife Area - a refuge near us. In the article, the Division of Wildlife tries to communicate fractured jurisdiction and efforts to work with other agencies. This article helps highlight the plight of wildlife in our state when it comes to the overwhelming political structure that prevents good management and balance between mineral development and habitat.
Post Independent [02-15-08]
"Wildlife area gas leases contested in New Castle"
From the article: "The Bureau of Land
Management on Thursday sold a federal mineral lease underneath the Garfield
Creek State Wildlife Area near New Castle even though the Colorado Division
of Wildlife had asked the agency to delay the sale indefinitely.
I couldn't be happier to see the DOW put in this request. It demonstrates
that director, Thomas Remington, understands the role of critical habitat to
the health of deer and elk herds, and is taking actual measures to protect
the herds in this region. I can attest to his statement above that the area
"provides crucial winter range for deer and elk that are finding fewer and
fewer places to inhabit without conflict." Our area has been one of those
"fewer and fewer" places, but they must endure because EnCana is
doing nothing to mitigate their impacts to the herd that relies on this land
for winter range.
Grand Junction daily Sentinel [02-14-08]
"Buescher's rival touts mineral perspective"
This article explores the complicated politics of energy development. In it, House District 55 candidate Laura Bradford - a mineral owner, challenges Buescher for his seat, but others warn of the political risk of taking a position which could be construed as too favorable to industry - when the candidate themselves enjoy lucrative ties to industry.
From the article: "Grand Junction Mayor Jim Doody, a Mesa County Commission candidate, has attacked incumbent Commissioner Craig Meis for his ties to the energy industry,
Doody’s attacks include Meis’ ownership of an energy-consulting firm.
Sirota said candidates who line themselves up as proponents of unbridled energy exploration without any environmental or public health conditions could find themselves in trouble with voters who, though conservative, value open space and wildlife."
As for me, I consider myself a conservative
deeply aligned with sound wildlife and habitat preservation practices. As an
Independent voter, I expect to see an emphasis on balanced development and
common sense environmental protections from candidates hoping I'll help vote
them into office. If they don't deliver - they're outta here - Republican or
Democrat.... doesn't matter.
Post Independent [02-14-08]
"The battle to block drilling in Rulison blast site continues"
From the article: "The Colorado Oil and
Gas Conservation Commission last month told a group of area residents and
local organizations who sought to block 16 drilling permits within three
miles of the Project Rulison nuclear blast site that they did not have
standing to ask for a hearing over the permits.
Can you even believe this? This is in reference to a site where a nuke was set off decades ago in an effort to "stimulate" gas deposits. When we moved out to this area, there were Geiger counters (used to measure radiation) still hanging in trees. A friend once talked about his family getting into their sedan and driving up to see the effect of the nuke before it was detonated. He said he remembers sitting looking over the front seat between his parents and watching windows shatter in homes and walls crack from the explosion.
Industry and of course mineral owners want this resource big-time - because, just think what a nuke might have done underground and just think what the gas pockets might look like! Normally, the gas pockets are like little pancakes tossed out in layers among what is called tight sands. Tight sands make gas recovery from this strata infeasible. So the government - at the urging of industry, decided to set nukes off underground to see what might happen. Well, despite modeling and best-guesses, no one really knows, and the Department of Energy basically abandoned the project and clean-up and monitoring of the Rulison site.
Along came "fracing" - a way to set off tiny explosions along the shaft of a well bore hole - and presto - suddenly gas recovery from tight sands is feasible. Of course, there is little concern and "Clean Water Act" exemptions for what goes on underground in these cases. And only the enviro folk and some toxicologists want to talk about what goes into the ground water. But, it looks like fracing will be a big player in drilling this one-time nuke site, once again up for grabs to industry and up-wind of the rest of us.
Can you spot the deer moving up the mountain? You can see them highlighted in red on the next photo. These deer are working their way up a very step incline from Summerhawk's valley floor. You can tell by their body posture that they are struggling. They are moving in rough terrain on an east-facing slope through probably two and a half feet of snow. They have moved back into the area - but only in small numbers. Although some of the deep snows of last week and the week prior have melted down significantly, there is still much to go before the browsing of branches gets a lot easier.
|"Ice mountain melted ages ago and made this ridge, this
place of changes.
Now we are rooted in it, we of the old ones, we of the new ones from afar; oatgrass meadow, Douglas fir thicket, we are rooted in the ridge of changes in the time of changes.
The winds carry strange smells; this is a day of change.
Great ones above and below, bless us!
O shining One above, feed us, feed us with you light!
Bless us, dark earth as we give back that which we have received as we
make a forest of blessing a ridge of blessing for the future to grow upon."
-- Chinook Psalter
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