Monday, May 4, 2015

PRTC expansion dooms sage grouse in Powder River basin

Sage grouse will be extinct in 100 years and could be extirpated from the Powder River basin in 30 years if their decline continues at its current rate, according to the Garton report released last week in Environment and Energy Daily. Santa Fe-based WildEarth Guardians says the study follows the bird’s cycles going back to 1965 and is a warning of what could happen if Western states don’t step up conservation efforts for the grouse.

Oil and gas production, pipelines, climate change and the newly expanded Powder River Training Complex are accelerating the extinction of the once-prolific bird.
Andrea Bowman, agent with the Bowman County NDSU Extension office, said one of her concerns rested with sage grouse, a species already drawing concern due to dwindling population. Bowman said her concern would be how the presence of the bombers would affect the sage grouse and area livestock. Potential bird aircraft strikes could also occur in the low MOA where migratory flyways converge, such as in Bowman County. [BOMBING OVER BOWMAN – PART II]
At least one Ellsworth B1-B bomber went down over southeastern Montana because of a bird strike and the Air Force has released murky findings in the downing of another which some have said was brought down by an irate Carter County rancher with a .30-30 Winchester.

In adopting the Environmental Impact Statement the Federal Aviation Administration added conditions before the implementation date including the establishment of "communications coverage—subject to the FAA’s acceptance—in new airspace areas prior to their use," according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
[The US Army has] found that protecting the birds would restrict the availability of training lands; limit the size of training lands and ranges; restrict the use of firing points; and impose restrictions on future development and construction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a Sept. 30 deadline to decide whether to propose the greater sage grouse for federal protection. [Casper Star-Tribune]
Settling ponds used in the coal bed methane industry in the Powder River Basin are breeding mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus also threatening the Greater Sage Grouse.

On the 45th anniversay of the Kent State massacre we have learned nothing: military madness is killing my country.

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