Posted on March 9, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Budget cutting would threaten robust recreation economy
An arch in Colorado’s Rattlesnake Canyon, part of the system of National Conservation Lands. Photo courtesy BLM.
Staff ReportFRISCO — House Republicans are continuing their nearly relentless attack on public lands with a threatened move to take away funding for more than 30 million acres of National Conservation Lands, including popular Colorado areas like the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area and McInnis Canyons NCA.Gutting the budget for the National Conservation Lands threatens access to public lands that drive the nation’s outdoor economy and provide a livelihood for many Westerners.
The push by the House Resources Committee is at odds with President Obama’s budget, which recognizes these lands are underfunded and proposes an increase in funding. Dozens of national monuments and national conservation areas across the West—places like Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, just outside of Las Vegas — would have to shut their doors. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, Environment, national parks, public lands, wilderness | Tagged: Environment, House GOP, McInnis Canyons, national conservation lands, public lands, public lands wars | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 28, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
BLM rejects request for orderly master leasing plan
The BLM’s new management plan for the Tres Rios area is spurring criticism.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Residents and elected officials in southwest Colorado say a new management plan for a vast swath of public lands in the region favors oil and gas companies over community interests.
According to critics, the BLM Tres Rios land resource management plan would allow drilling near the edge of Mesa Verde National Park, adding to near-critical air pollution woes and disturbing important wildlife areas.
Most importantly, the federal agency ignored requests by local governments to ensure the orderly and safe development of fossil fuels. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, BLM, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands | Tagged: Colorado, Cortez, energy, Environment, fracking, Mesa Verde, national parks, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 18, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Browns Canyon, in central Colorado, will be designated as a national monument by President Barack Obama.
Central Colorado gorge a key piece of state’s recreation economy
FRISCO — A long campaign by public land advocates and their political allies has paid off, as President Barack Obama will use his executive power under the Antiquities Act to designate Browns Canyon, in Chaffee County, as a national monument.
Along with Browns Canyon, Obama is also designating the Honouliuli Internment Camp in Hawaii and Chicago’s historic Pullman neighborhood. An official White House announcement is expected Thursday. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, Colorado, Environment, public lands, rivers | Tagged: Antiquities Act, Arkansas River, Browns Canyon, Browns Canyon National Monument, Chaffee County Colorado, Colorado, Environment, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Congressman Jared Polis.
Colorado lawmaker expected to be a pro-environment voice on a panel led conservative Republicans who often undermine federal efforts to manage public lands on the behalf of all Americans
FRISCO — A languishing proposal to create new wilderness areas in the Colorado mountains may get a boost in Congress this year, as U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02) joins the House Natural Resources Committee.
In the last two years, the committee has been a bastion of anti-government rhetoric, in some cases considering bills that would significantly weaken protection for natural resources and public lands. As a member of the minority, Polis won’t be able to get any meaningful legislation passed on his own, but his pro-environmental voice will be a welcome addition for public lands advocates. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, Colorado, energy, Environment, forests, Hidden Gems wilderness, national parks, public lands, US Forest Service, wilderness | Tagged: energy, House Natural Resources Committee, Jared Polis, public lands, wilderness | 2 Comments »
Posted on November 29, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Uranium mining near the Grand Canyon? Say it ain’t so!
Industry groups once again appeal 20-year moratorium in court
FRISCO— Mining companies just won’t give up their dream of exploiting public lands around the Grand Canyon to profit from uranium mining.
Last week, the the National Mining Association and the American Exploration & Mining Association went back to court to try and overturn a 20-year moratorium on uranium mining that covers about 1 million acres in the region. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, Environment, federal government, public lands, water quality | Tagged: Environment, Grand Canyon, public lands, uranium mining | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 25, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Gridlock in Congress prompts request for designation
There’s a new push to create a national monument along the Arkansas River.
FRISCO — Citing gridlock in Congress, Colorado’s U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet have asked President Obama to consider designating Browns Canyon, in Chaffee County, as a national monument under the Antiquities Act.
The request comes as Congress has all but ignored a huge backlog of public lands bills primarily based on ideological opposition to land protection measures by House Republican committee chairs.
According to Udall and Bennet’s Nov. 25 letter to President Obama, community leaders in the Browns Canyon area suggested the Antiquities Act path, recognizing the significant economic benefits of the designation for regional tourism-based businesses. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, Colorado, economy, Environment, public lands, rivers, US Forest Service, wilderness | Tagged: Antiquities Act, Barack Obama, Browns Canyon, Browns Canyon National Monument, Mark Udall, Michael Bennet, public lands | 2 Comments »
Posted on November 14, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Will Colorado get a new wilderness area this year?
Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act passed by Senate committee
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — In what may become a Christmas miracle, Congress is poised to actually pass a land protection measure before the end of the session. Lawmakers this week said they reached a compromise on a bill to protect the Hermosa Creek watershed near Durango.
As written, the legislation would create a 70,000-acre special management area and a 37,000-acre Wilderness area in the San Juan National Forest. The compromise includes opening a huge section of alpine backcountry around Molas Divide to snowmobiling. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, Colorado, politics, public lands, wilderness | Tagged: Colorado, Environment, Hermosa Creek, public lands, wilderness | 2 Comments »