You are here: home   Issues   The West's Biggest Bully   Waiving goodbye to wildlife protection

Waiving goodbye to wildlife protection

Document Actions
In your recent issue on oil and gas development in the Rockies (HCN, 8/18/03: Gas crisis puts Rockies in hot seat), you printed an industry group chart which purports to display the onerous “seasonal stipulations” attached to many BLM oil and gas leases, an example (in the industry’s view) of the “restrictions and impediments” hindering oil and gas development on the public lands.

A more telling presentation of the effect of such stipulations on oil and gas activities can be found at www.wy.blm.gov/pfo/wildlife.htm. It is the Pinedale BLM Field Office’s summary of “exceptions” (ie, waivers) to wildlife stipulations granted to oil and gas operators during the past season.

Of 173 requests for waivers from the stipulations protecting sage grouse, the BLM granted every one. This, despite the fact that sage grouse are rapidly dwindling on lands managed by the BLM. A similar situation exists for raptors — and for big game winter habitat, the BLM turned down just one waiver request.

The industry whines and complains that it is laboring under horrible “restrictions and impediments” to drilling. But the BLM seldom turns down the industry’s demands to be exempted from protective wildlife stipulations that they agreed to honor when they purchased the lease.

Dave Alberswerth
Washington, D.C.

The writer is The Wilderness Society’s BLM program director.

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup |
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. After the standoff, what's next for Bundy and BLM? |
  4. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  5. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  1. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  2. Locals resist a Bakkenization of the Beartooths | South-central Montanans oppose new drilling, forew...
  3. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  4. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  5. Will the Colorado River reach the Gulf of California once more? | Photographs of last month's historic water pulses....
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone