• The Bush administration squandered a massive opportunity and possibly set us years back when it issued its Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) today for energy corridors that will criss-cross our Western public lands carrying electricity, oil and gas. As outlined in the new plan, the corridors transportservice only fossil fuel sources such as coal, and leavinge renewable energy sources—like wind and solar—completely out of the picture.

  • When I think about birds of prey, the first idea that comes to mind is a strong sense of presence. Even more when it is the Golden eagle. This bird is the king of the skies — a great hunter living in mountainous areas.

    But this royalty member, beyond its magnificent features, is vulnerable to human activities. Without our efforts to protect the roadless forests the bird calls home, human impacts would be far worse.

  • Right now, visitors can carry a gun in a National Park as long as it is unloaded and stored. These are the rules that many Americans have been following for decades. So, if you hunt in a National Forest and cross into a park, that is how you have proceeded.

    This year, the Bush Administration announced its intent to change these rules. It should not surprise anyone to know that the administration is altering the rules without any analysis of how this might affect visitors and wildlife.

  • The redrock canyon-riddled sandstone badlands of southern Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is host to more than one million acres of rugged wild country. Few signs of modern humans can be found. Hiking through these spectacular wildlands, I have experienced the wildness that makes this region a perfect escape from the flurry of city life.

  • I recently had the chance to see Arctic Tale, a National Geographic documentary film geared towards children that tells the story of a young polar bear (Nanu) and walrus (Seela) from birth to adulthood. The movie touches on a few examples of how climate change is affecting these animals and pulls at the heartstrings in the process.

    In one scene, Nanu’s brother collapses from hunger and exhaustion. He dies and has to be left behind as his mother and sister move on in search of food.

  • Our neighbors in Canada recently undertook an initiative that just may be the biggest land conservation victory for the United States in decades. It ensures that massive amounts of greenhouse gases won't be released and added to global warming. The province of Ontario placed at least 55 million acres off limits from development in order to prevent the escape of the carbon dioxide associated with deforestation.

  • The Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size, stratified and eye-catching rock layers, and more than 227 river miles. Most of us have stories to tell about visiting this icon of America. Mine began at the Canyon’s edge in Arizona while camping in the Kaibab National Forest in November. We were treated to a 3 a.m. Leonid meteor storm that only arrives once a century.

  • French satirist Voltaire once cautioned against hasty action saying, “Burn not your house to frighten away the mice.” Pushing a scorched Earth energy policy during its last days in office, the Bush Administration is prematurely rushing toward commercial leasing and production of oil shale resources in the Rocky Mountain West. The Department of the Interior Nov.

  • The Bush administration released new oil shale regulations on November 18th and, true to form, put the cart before the horse. The administration has set the “rules of the road” for oil shale, which are supposed to ensure development proceeds in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. Such a move not only ignores the wishes of two western governors, federal and state agency officials, local communities affected and numerous members of Congress, but places political expediency ahead of good governance.

  • Signaling a refreshing new direction in White House leadership, President-elect Barack Obama today indicated that global warming will be one of his top priorities as president. In a video address to a bipartisan group of U.S. governors and officials from governments around the globe who were meeting in Los Angeles, Obama promised the group that his presidency “will mark a new chapter in America’s leadership on climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process.” The president-elect pledged to: