Betreff: NRDC's BioGems News, February 2005
Von: BioGems News
Datum: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 14:32:44 -0500 (EST)

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Saving Endangered Wild Places - BioGems News

Protect the Roan Plateau's Magnificent Heights

The Bureau of Land Management has released a new draft management plan that would allow oil and gas drilling on the fragile, uppermost ranges of Colorado's Roan Plateau. The plateau is one of the most biologically diverse areas in Colorado -- home to elk, deer, cutthroat trout and many rare plants -- and its clear streams, plunging canyons and forests of aspen and spruce offer exceptional fishing, camping and sightseeing.

But with roughly half of the plateau area already in the hands of oil and gas companies, the summit and cliffs of this national treasure have become one of the region's last remnants of wild beauty. We are calling on the BLM to adopt a more balanced land management strategy and prohibit oil and gas development on the plateau's most ecologically sensitive lands.

» Urge the BLM to revise its draft management plan for the Roan Plateau.

In the News
In a move that could lead to increased pressure to log the Tongass National Forest, T.F., Inc., a forest products consulting group based in Washington state, has begun negotiations to reopen and operate the Ketchikan veneer mill in Alaska. If reopened, the mill may put wild and roadless areas in the Tongass National Forest at risk, either by using trees directly from these areas now or at some point in the future, or by increasing the overall regional demand for logs at a time when the U.S. Forest Service has reopened Tongass roadless lands to logging. The wild reaches of the Tongass provide a rainforest haven for bald eagles, brown bears, wild salmon and other wildlife. Last year, nearly 60,000 messages from BioGems Defenders helped persuade an Oregon-based timber products company to withdraw from talks to restart the Ketchikan mill. Now, we are calling on you once again to ensure this facility stays shuttered as long as the Forest Service continues to leave roadless areas in the Tongass at risk.

» Urge T.F., Inc., to halt negotiations over the Ketchikan veneer mill until the Forest Service reinstates protections for Tongass roadless areas.

Ignoring the significance of the largest remaining swath of Chihuahuan desert grassland in North America, the Bureau of Land Management has approved a plan to open nearly all of New Mexico's Otero Mesa to exploratory oil and gas drilling. BioGems Defenders sent more than 46,600 messages last year in an urgent effort to block this disastrous scheme, which fails to take into account the environmental impacts of drilling on groundwater and grasslands. NRDC has launched a legal battle to keep well pads, roads and pipelines out of Otero Mesa, and we'll keep you posted on any new developments.

Early this year, BioGems Defenders sent more than 336,000 messages to Congress protesting oil development in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. With your huge outpouring of support for this irreplaceable region, the total number of messages BioGems Defenders have sent since the launch of our initiative four years ago soared past the 5 million mark!

Taking part in an Earth Day event this year? NRDC can provide handouts, including BioGems bookmarks, environmental guides and Nature's Voice. To request materials, email us at Be sure to include "Earth Day" in the subject line and provide your name, mailing address and the quantity of materials you are requesting. Supplies are limited.

Congratulations to Sarah L. Simpson of Brunswick, Georgia, the winner of NRDC's whale-watching trip sweepstakes. Sarah and her guest will spend five days at the Laguna San Ignacio whale nursery in Baja California, Mexico -- one of the best wildlife-viewing areas on the planet. We extend our thanks to Baja Discovery, which helped make the sweepstakes possible. Enjoy the trip, Sarah!

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BioGems Defenders:

Action Messages Sent:

» See the timeline of victories we've won

Did You Know?
The Everglades is home to 68 threatened or endangered plant and animal species, including manatees, wood storks, red-cockaded woodpeckers and American crocodiles.

» Learn more from the Greater Everglades fast facts

To Do Even More...
You can support NRDC's BioGems campaign to
save these and other threatened wild places.

» Click here to donate

Nature's Voice: BioGems campaigns are featured in Nature's Voice, our online bulletin of environmental campaigns and victories.

Photo credits: Roan Plateau: © Colorado Environmental Coalition/Brandon Jett; elk: © Brian Stablyk/Getty Images; eagle: © Raymond K. Gehman.