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Sierra Club: Drilling endangers Roan PlateauGLENWOOD SPRINGS (AP) – A new listing by the Sierra Club of the 50 most endangered places in the nation includes the Roan Plateau because of oil and gas drilling.The list, released this week, also includes the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah, Valle Vidal in New Mexico, and the Red Desert of Wyoming, all of which need “urgent and bold action” to preserve them, according to the Sierra Club.”The Sierra Club’s America’s Great Outdoors highlights places of national significance and profiles areas chosen by citizen conservationists in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that are threatened, but can still be saved if we can summon the foresight and will to act now,” the club said on its website.The Bureau of Land Management is preparing a resource management plan for the Roan that includes potential natural-gas development on top of the plateau, which has already sparked heated dissent from local and national environmental groups.”One of the purest strains of imperiled Colorado cutthroat trout can be found on Roan Plateau, along with big game such as elk, mule deer, and black bear, making the Plateau a Mecca for hunting, fishing and wildlife watching,” the Web site said.The Sierra Club also said if natural-gas drilling is allowed on the plateau, “the area will see an estimated 33 to 50 percent decrease in its mule deer population and an elimination of 97 percent of the public lands with backcountry recreation opportunities.”Protect the pooch todayFourth of July can be a dog’s worst holiday.Dogs have the same three responses to stress – which includes explosive noises – as humans do: They fight, flee or freeze. Frightened by fireworks, dogs can chew through leashes, chew holes in walls, hide under beds, pace, drool or pant heavily.On July 5, many shelters nationwide fill with lost dogs that escape from yards and homes out of fear during fireworks, said Paul Owens, dog trainer and author of “The Dog Whisperer.””Many distressed dogs often become disoriented and, fueled by the intermittent crack of fireworks and the smell of gunpowder in the air, run for miles until there is no hope of finding their way back home by themselves,” he said.Two keys to keep dogs from running involve prevention and training.Owners can train dogs throughout the year by teaching them to lie down and relax no matter what distractions take place. People also can desensitize their dogs by playing a recording of fireworks at a low level and pairing it with food. As owners increase the volume of the explosive sounds and feed their dogs, the dogs learn to accept the noise, Owens said.Other ways to make dogs more comfortable on the Fourth of July include staying at home, turning on a radio, keeping dogs away from windows and in a quiet area, playing with dogs’ favorite toys or tiring them out during the day with exercise. (From the Summit Daily News)
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