I became aware of an email from the group at care2.com concerning a petition to prevent opening federal land in Utah to oil and gas exploration.
Here’s a quote from a page (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/192320016) on their site:
“Without consulting the National Park Service, the BLM has opened thousands of acres for lease to oil and gas development near or directly adjacent to Arches, Canyonlands National Parks and Dinosaur National Monument.”
ARRRRRRRRGH, the greens strike again.
Sorry if I sound a little preachy here but this hit several nerves……….
My working cattle ranch in Northern Wyoming was drilled/explored in the 1960’s for oil and had 4 producing wells on it over it’s 3000 acres. Of course it is completely underlain by Hell Creek porous sandstone. I would dare anyone that hasn’t lived here for 10 years to show me where the drilling occurred back in the 60’s. There is NO obvious impact on the land and the old wells are plugged with concrete to prevent seepage into ground water from the oil bearing formations.
I hope they come back here for the 50 percent of the oil remaining after 1960’s style extraction as I own 1/4 mineral rights! I am even actively participating in re-routing a planned 36 inch natural gas pipeline being put through my little strip of Hell Creek formation. I had them move the planned pipeline trace a few miles from paleontological sensitive areas to a better route without paleontologic impact. Trans-Canada was happy to work with me. The “not in my backyard” policy in this country has to stop. I will have a total of 4 major pipelines running through my ranch with NO environmental impact and any of you back country lovers out there would be hard pressed to show me any significant visual impact just 5 years after the last pipeline was put in. In fact, the grasses they replanted are superior for grazing than the natural mix and the road system for me (the rancher) has been improved. Go figure, put in pipeline, get easier access to fossils.
Work with them, not against them in having them do it properly instead of putting up a road block to getting the energy that is a national security issue. If they are going to put wells in the DNM, find where they can and save the dinosaurs. It is time for you to start looking like I do. BTW, I find the Hell Creek is just fine and still full of fossils after the oil industry came and gone. Why would the BLM land adjacent to Arches be any different. Both locations have a similar western climate, cattle/wildlife graze similarly and there are fossils in the ground.
You would not believe the environmental study impact requirements regarding putting a 36 inch pipeline in the ground. Archaeologists, Botanists, and GPS survey crews have made a dozen trips up here this year already. So many eyes (mine included) have looked at the locations, that they are more likely to help find paleontological resources than hurt them. They guys just don’t send in the dozers as some would have you believe. I have a great bone site within 500 feet of a pipeline trace. Because I worked with the team, those bones will always be next to and not dozed under as backfill in a trench. Actually, I give myself too much credit, the cultural teams would have easily found those bones on the surface, avoided the area and got specialists involved in the discoveries.
Since surface bones are the ONLY ones your going to find, digging a hole might actually find more. All the better. How are you going to drive to the fossil sites without petroleum to fill your SUV with? But to the religiously green, no location is good for exploration. For instance, maybe I should sign the petition that keeps the B1 bombers from South Dakota from flying over my ranch (they do) because it gives cows the jitters. Of course, that is, before the federal government slaps an 87 dollar tax per cow for methane production (seriously). So many petitions so little time….. Just absurd! But I digress………… Don’t blindly sign petitions.