While the hearing was mostly focused on new ways to produce 3-D maps of oil and gas reserves and advances in directional drilling, there was also discussion of the impacts that new and improving drilling technologies can have on wild landscapes, like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Both seek to open up Wilderness-quality lands – those untrammeled places protected by The Wilderness Act of 1964 – to development, mining and other destructive uses. They also attack lands deemed Inventoried Roadless Areas, which are not allowed to be developed.
The 150 million plus acres are home to thousands of species of birds, fish, and wildlife – nearly 21 million acres of these incredible landscapes are permanently protected from degradation and destruction in the National Wilderness Preservation System.
Around this time of year I begin planning wildflower photography hikes. My only requirement for these adventures is that the trail must have a good variety of flowers. A bonus is if the trail is known for having any rare flowers or plants.
Our western wild lands were dealt a heavy blow recently when Congress passed a bill to fund the federal government through the remainder of fiscal year with a provision that prohibits the use of funds to implement the Bureau of Land Management’s