Letter: Environmentalists painting with too broad a brush
The author of the opinion in the Post Independent published on April 14, Peter Pearsall, is typical of the one size fits all when campaigning for withdrawal to protect a species he thinks is endangered.
He appears to preach that the sage grouse population needs protection on 200,000 acres when in spite of Wyoming hunting the bird in its habitat, the flock is increasing.
Sage grouse, pheasants and other birds that lay their eggs on the ground are subject to predators raiding the nests. Will it be necessary to put a bounty on those animals? In Wyoming the hunters would have a dual purpose to be in the fields.
Pearsall applies to sage grouse the usual environmentalist policy to withdraw all lands whether affected or not. We have this in a small area in our area. Environmental organizations want withdrawal of a big area which includes a small acreage for potential productive oil and gas development.
Some groups want existing BLM leases canceled when, in part, their own actions have prevented drilling activity to extend the leases. They bring up all kinds of side issues like traffic, air pollution, water use, etc. just to grasp straws to prevent multiple use.
Some associations and individuals seem to think wildlife will be disturbed by oil and gas development but it is OK for hunters, campers and vehicles to do so. Oil and gas developers have historically agreed to restrictions that protect wildlife during mating seasons and the like.
I am reminded of former President Bill Clinton’s withdrawal of the Escalante Staircase area that includes some valuable mineral deposits. Instead of excluding the areas of interest to developers, he painted the area with the broad brush of keep out.
In most cases it seems drilling companies and their personnel are more responsible in protecting the environment than the withdrawal addicts.
Jack E. Blankenship
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Mind Springs coverage needs balance