Monday, February 10, 2014

ESA protection for sage grouse and Ellsworth AFB vectors at today's intersection

Huh, logging of legacy pine in the Black Hills goes on because there aren't enough litigators to sue the Forest Service.

WildEarth Guardians is based just up I-25 from the ranch yet they have had far-reaching influence on sage grouse and wolf protection in the Northern Rockies. They are even chastening Montana to consider putting wind farms where they don't kill threatened species.
In a recent Montana Standard opinion piece, state Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer waxed bellicose about the supposed hypocrisy of the Obama Administration and environmental groups for protecting sage grouse, while allowing wind farms to kill eagles with impunity. Montanans need only look across your southern border to my home state of Wyoming to see how big a mess the oil and gas industry can make of a state. We’ve got smog worse than Los Angeles in Pinedale, thanks to drilling without adequate pollution controls.
Sage grouse Endangered Species Act listing won’t be the end of the world, the end of the economy, or even the end of fossil fuel development in Montana. There would still be plenty of space for all types of activities. But if strong enough protections are adopted now, the birds will be able to recover to healthy population levels without needing to invoke the Endangered Species Act. [Eric Molvar, Sage grouse dilemma; Conservation offers opportunity for solutions, Montana Standard]
Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City has lost at least two aircraft in southeastern Montana and tells people that 'malfunctions' plague the aircraft yet acknowledge that bird strikes are all too common.

Wyoming's earth hater At-large Representative Cynthia Lummox Lummis wants to add a chilling effect to the Guardians' right to sue with something called H.R. 2919, the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act:
The bill would require more transparency for those who use the Equal Access to Justice Act. EAJA was passed by Congress in 1980. Lummis previously identified Santa Fe, N.M.-based WildEarth Guardians as a group that abused EAJA. Jeremy Nichols , the organization’s climate and energy program director, said in an email transparency is a great idea. He doesn’t believe environmental groups are abusing the law. Environmentalists sue to make sure the nation’s laws are enforced, he said. “Rep. Lummis should stop chasing conspiracy theories about environmental groups using EAJA to get rich and direct it toward solving real problems, like the fact that Wyoming -- the Equality State -- is still the worst state as far as gender pay inequality,” he said, referring to the latest report by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the median salary for women in Wyoming was 65.5 percent of men, the nation’s worst. [Laura Hancock, House committee endorses bill targeting environmental group lawsuits, Casper Star]

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