Opinions

Pact to protect some of the Wyoming Range worth supporting

The U.S. Forest Service should look favorably upon a landmark agreement that will help preserve the Wyoming Range by significantly containing oil and gas drilling. It should also be embraced by environmental groups that have expressed some skepticism about the plan.
December 14, 2010

West's scarce water resources could be overburdened by oilshale work

It would be bad for the Western United States to run out of energy. It would be much worse for it to run out of water. And, as there are a lot more energy sources than there are water sources out here in the arid West, it would be folly itself to pursue even a truly promising new energy supply if...
December 7, 2010

Montana tribes, ranchers deserve praise for their wetlands work

Shortly before Montana's wetlands crusted over with ice and snow, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that its Wetlands Reserve Program has seen unprecedented enrollment this year and gave special mention to Montana's recent wetland conservation gains. It seems we have much to brag about...
December 6, 2010

Utah, legislators still at work to clarify public access to waterways

The fight over public access to Utah streams that flow over private property is far from over. A group of fly fishermen and river runners has filed suit to overturn the law the Legislature passed this year that tipped the balance in favor of private property owners. In the meantime, the Legislature...
November 29, 2010

USFS panel's finding of no negligence in Montana fire disappoints

It’s almost counterintuitive to think of a wildfire when it’s minus 20 degrees outside with the wind chill and there are eight to 10 inches of puffy snow on the ground. But that’s just what the recent announcement by the Helena National Forest regarding the cause and aftermath of the Davis fire has...
November 24, 2010

Wolf ruling points to need for negotiation

Supporters of Wyoming's wolf plan can claim a win in last week's ruling by U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson in Cheyenne. But it was far from a complete victory. While Johnson found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was wrong to have rejected the state's dual-classification plan for wolves,...
November 22, 2010

Utah county prefers blissful ignorance about air quality

Although air monitoring is spotty in the basin, two remote locations with monitors, Red Wash and Ouray, recorded 40 days last winter when ozone levels reached “unhealthy” levels as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency. The basin ozone, caused primarily by pollution from oil and gas...
November 9, 2010

A Call for Caution in Oil Shale Development

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced three new research leases for oil shale extraction in Colorado and Utah. Continuing to research the effects of oil shale development, instead of offering commercial leases, is the right way to go. The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union,...
November 6, 2010

At least 1 flower blooms: CARB releases cap-and-trade draft regulation

Last Friday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its draft cap-and-trade regulation for public review and comment. I haven’t had a chance to go through the entire proposal in detail yet but a few issues are immediately striking about CARBs draft rule. The rule represents a...
November 6, 2010

The Colorado River’s Future

Last month, Ken Salazar, the secretary of the interior, committed $1.5 million to establish a study group focusing on the Colorado River basin. Modest as the dollar amount sounds, this is a very good investment. The study will be the first of three river basin studies — called the WaterSMART...
November 1, 2010
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