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
» Urge the BLM to revise its
draft management plan for the Roan Plateau.
OUT OF TONGASS WILDLANDS
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.
PLAN APPROVED FOR OTERO MESA
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.
DEFENDERS REACH NEW MILESTONE
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 email@example.com.
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.
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!