From the daily archives: Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wild Bill’s column in New West.

I should add that so far this year, grizzly encounters of all kinds seem to be way down although their population is not. Much of the credit may go to the good whitebark pine nut crop that appeared in many places.

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I always wondered why the Virgin River looked so oddly entrenched and actively eroding in Zion NP. It may be an indirect effect of the loss of the cougar. As any visitor will attest, the deer are everywhere.

Cougar predation key to ecosystem health

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Brodie Farquhar is writing in New West about the snowmobiles in Yellowstone, which are supposed to be much quieter now with their 4-stroke engines.

I didn’t realize this, but the Park is going to have yet another comment period on snowmobiles. This time it is on a draft environmental […]

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In the past five years, the Bush administration has leased 35 million acres of federal land for oil and gas drilling — the equivalent of 15 Yellowstone National Parks.

It’s wrecking the West.

It’s violating the law — courts have held the government ignored the National Environmental Policy Act’s requirement to weigh environmental consequences of the leases.

And this policy isn’t producing energy independence. The U.S. Geological Survey’s rough inventory for the entire West adds up to about 8 billion barrels of oil.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey