Letter: Stewards of the land
December 20, 2015
Editor's note: This letter was originally addressed to the Bureau of Land Management
You wish us to narrow our vision to "specific details in the draft environmental-impact study." Your environmental-impact study is based on that of the U.S. Forest Service, which sees its mission to be to "sustain the health and diversity of the nation's forests." Without getting into the mushy emotional of "broad position statements," I'll just list the specifics of drilling in the Thompson Divide and its environs, an inappropriate area of possibly poor returns: Fouled air, water and habitat. Migration routes ghettoized. Watersheds tapped. The added noise of blasts from drilling. Truck dust and noise. Social stress as services struggle. Drill-baby-drill economic and social boom and bust.
The Bureau of Land Management is stretched to the limit as corporations attend to the bottom line by cutting corners. A specific: holding tanks filled with slurry of sand, chemicals, polluted water. They leak. Always. There are never enough appropriations from central government for never enough inspectors.
Also: Socialized costs outsourced to worker families' taxes. Scorched forests, more haul routes, wildlife struggling or decimated, ranching threatened. Is there ever enough?
We are still animals, not gods, dependent on a fragile planet. Start over with Alternative 5.
Let's see if we can become stewards.
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