Sierra Club says Roan Plateau endangered
The Roan Plateau is on the Sierra Club’s list of 50 endangered places in the United States that must be protected. The list, announced Thursday, also includes the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah, Valle Vidal in New Mexico, and the Red Desert of Wyoming, all of which need “urgent and bold action” to preserve them, according to the Sierra Club.”The Sierra Club’s America’s Great Outdoors highlights places of national significance and profiles areas chosen by citizen conservationists in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that are threatened, but can still be saved if we can summon the foresight and will to act now,” the club said on its Web site Thursday.The Bureau of Land Management is currently preparing a resource management plan for the Roan that includes potential natural-gas development on top of the plateau, which has sparked heated dissent from local and national environmental groups.”One of the purest strains of imperiled Colorado cutthroat trout can be found on Roan Plateau, along with big game such as elk, mule deer, and black bear, making the Plateau a Mecca for hunting, fishing and wildlife watching,” the Web site said.The Sierra Club also pointed out that if natural-gas drilling is allowed on the plateau, “the area will see an estimated 33 to 50 percent decrease in its mule deer population and an elimination of 97 percent of the public lands with backcountry recreation opportunities.”Of the alternatives offered by the BLM for management of the plateau, the Sierra Club said it supports the “middle-ground solution called the Community Alternative … This solution would protect core fish and wildlife habitat and important recreational opportunities that sustain local businesses and provide a high quality of life to area residents.”For more information about the Sierra Club’s 50 endangered places, go to http://www.sierraclub.com.
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