Saturday, June 9, 2012

Today's intersection: oil and bison

Bison/Oil Well

It started yesterday while looking for the rest of this year's story about wild Yellowstone bison being moved by a state livestock agency from Montana into a national park mostly in Wyoming.

Heralded hitherto hie the Helena Independent Record, a court order and a pending lawsuit halted the having of helicopters to harass, haze, and herd the horde:
Overall, state livestock workers spent a combined 1,146 hours working bison on the west side of Yellowstone this season, compared with 942 hours during the 2011 bison drive.
This morning, while reading a piece from the editors of the Great Falls Tribune as they said:
Before white people came, bison roamed the plains along the Missouri River along with many other animals, but human newcomers in the 19th century nearly wiped out the powerful animal that fed Indian tribes. Much of the uproar lately is over whether to allow bison to roam on public lands in Montana. However, some conservation groups have already bought property from retiring ranchers and other landowners in rural Montana to allow them to place bison herds on their own private property. These pro-bison groups also have obtained some federal grazing leases once held by cattle ranchers. And Native American tribes are beginning to run bison herds as well.

Some conservationists were feeling pretty good about protection for the beautiful area along the east side of the Rockies until the recent oil and gas boom in eastern Montana and western North Dakota. Now oil and gas fever has spread across the state, right up to the dramatic Rocky Mountain Front.
intrepid Montana Cowgirl commenter, Lynn, emailed this story to ip from the Globe and Mail:

Gord Johnston’s tranquil life along the Red Deer River in central Alberta was shattered Thursday night as the nauseating scent of crude oil hung in the air and a coffee-coloured liquid lapped the banks near his home. While the company is still investigating the cause and precise location of the spill, it estimated that 1,000 to 3,000 barrels of crude, or 160,000 to 480,000 litres, has leaked. But cleanup and containment won’t be easy and could take all summer, officials said. But unlike previous incidents, this spill isn’t in a remote location and it comes as the continent is in the midst of heated debates over construction of the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines. In 2010, there were 687 failures, the majority of them leaks, which resulted in 3,416 cubic metres of spilled hydrocarbons. Loretta Leonhardt, who owns property where the latest spill occurred, said she is concerned. “We all love the oil industry in Alberta, but I think they’ve been really lax on what they’ve been doing for the environment,” she said.
President Obama: rewild the Upper Missouri River Basin.


freegan said...

larry kurtz said...

This morning from Kit Fischer, National Wildlife Federation, Missoula in the Billings Gazette: "Seventy percent said they support restoration of wild bison in and around the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge."