Gunnison Sage Grouse Downgraded to “Threatened,” Allowing Oil and Gas Development and Other Threats to Continue

WIKIMEDIA

WIKIMEDIA

WASHINGTON— Bowing to political pressure, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today designated the Gunnison sage grouse as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act instead of the more protective “endangered” status proposed in January 2013. Downgrading the grouse to “threatened” will let the agency propose a special pro-industry rule to continue allowing activities threatening the grouse’s habitat, including oil and gas development, livestock grazing and urban sprawl. The grouse has been recognized as endangered since 2000 and is at severe risk of extinction.

“The undeniable reality is that the Gunnison sage grouse is in on the verge of disappearing forever,” said Amy Atwood, endangered species legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It needs the full suite of legal protections that only recognition as an endangered species can provide.”

The Gunnison sage grouse’s range has declined to 7 percent of its historic range with most of the remaining populations in grave danger. The Service has acknowledged for 14 years the species needs protection under the Endangered Species Act but, following years of political interference, did not begin the listing process until after it entered into a pair of settlement agreements with the Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians in 2011.

“The Gunnison sage grouse has been recognized as endangered for 14 years and nothing the Fish and Wildlife Service has said today makes that any less true,” said Travis Bruner, executive director of Western Watersheds Project. “This decision suggests that the Fish and Wildlife Service, in contradiction with its mandate, has placed other priorities above protection of the Gunnison sage grouse.”

The listing process for the Gunnison sage is being handled by the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mountain-Prairie Region, located in Denver, which has repeatedly bowed to political pressure in recent months, having denied much-needed Endangered Species Act protection to the Montana grayling, wolverine and two Rocky Mountain plants.

“The efforts by agencies, counties, and the State of Colorado to conserve the Gunnison sage grouse are a step in the right direction, but full protection is needed in order to save this charismatic bird,” said Atwood.

The Gunnison sage grouse’s historic range included parts of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona, but the species now occurs only in seven small populations in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah, with only about 4,700 individuals remaining. Livestock grazing, oil and gas drilling, motorized recreation and urbanization have contributed to the ongoing decline of the bird.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 800,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Western Watersheds Project works to protect and restore public lands and wildlife in the West through education, public policy initiatives and legal advocacy.

Comment against BLM getting rid of wild horses to help those monsters #frack for oil and gas!

BLM Seeks Public Comment on Public Lands Nominated for Oil and Gas Exploration and Development

ELKO, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District Environmental Assessment (EA) for parcels of public land nominated for lease in the 2015 Competitive Oil & Gas Lease Sale is available for review. These parcels have the potential for future oil and gas exploration and development. The 30-day public review period concludes October 29, 2014.

The 24 parcels totaling 25,802.47 acres have been analyzed for potential impacts in the EA in accordance with the Oil & Gas Leasing Reform mandated in 2010.

Lease stipulations identified in the Elko (1987) and Wells (1985) Resource Management Plans are attached to applicable parcels to help protect resources. The EA is available for public review at: http://on.doi.gov/1rxlD8j

Inside the EA you will find information about how American wild horses will be impacted on page 64. It reads:

3.2.17 Wild Horses

Existing Conditions

There are 8 wild horse herd management areas (HMA) managed by the Elko District Office. They are the Owyhee, Rock Creek, Little Humboldt, Diamond Hills North, Maverick-Medicine, Antelope Valley, Goshute, and Spruce-Pequop HMAs. These eight HMAs total approximately 1.8 million acres and have an appropriate management level (AML) of 1,338 wild horses. Wild horses inhabit these HMAs year round. Deferred parcels 13 and 14 are within the Maverick /Medicine HMA and parcels 15 through 26 are located in the Antelope Valley HMA. The other parcels are not located within HMAs.

Effects of the Proposed Alternative

There are no direct impacts to wild horses associated with leasing, however wild horses can be found within some of the HMAs and future exploration could affect wild horses within those HMAs. Increased human and motorized activity could disrupt and displace wild horses. The wild horses inhabiting the area of the exploration could leave the area and move away from the noise and activity. During any long term or permanent activity it is probable that wild horses over time would become accustomed to the activity and resume normal activities at a reasonable distance. Construction of new fences as part of development production facilities could disrupt movement of free roaming wild horses and animals could be injured by colliding with any new fences.

Mitigations

Construction of fencing within a HMA would be evaluated during review of any development proposal to determine if flagging or other measures would be necessary to increase visibility to wild horses. Best management practices along with specific restrictions would be implemented to minimize negative impacts to wild horses.

The Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sale will be conducted on March​10, 2015.

If you have issues or concerns or need more information, contact Tom Schmidt, Project Lead at the BLM Elko District, at (775) 753-0200 or email at elfoweb@blm.gov

 

Watch the telling film Wild Horses and Renegades expose the truth behind wild horse roundups and removals.  You can go to https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wildhorses to watch the documentary. Here’s a rough preview:

 

 

Josh Fox’s Oscar nominated GASLAND I explains how tracking ruins the environment and our water especially. Available on Netflix.

 

GASLAND 2 explains how the oil and gas lobbies control democracy, putting us all at risk and poisoning our water in order to become a world leader in exporting liquid natural gas. There is a nice segment linking wild horse roundups with fracking in Wyoming. Here’s a trailer for Fox’s GASLAND 2. You can also watch the film on Netflix.

 

Sign and share the petition against tracking in wild horse land: https://www.change.org/p/sen-dianne-feinstein-don-t-frack-wild-horse-land

BREAKING NEWS: Call for Wyoming boycott and protests against roundups to frack the land for oil and gas

Protect Mustangs.org (Photo © Cat Kindsfather)

Protect Mustangs.org (Photo © Cat Kindsfather)

 

for immediate release

BREAKING NEWS: Call for Wyoming boycott and protests against roundups to frack the land for oil and gas

Native wild horses are facing destruction in the face of climate change with no evidence of overpopulation to justify BLM roundups

Rock Springs, WY. (September 21, 2014)–-The public is outraged more indigenous wild horses are being rounded up and permanently removed from public land for the water and fracking land grab. Protect Mustangs is calling for protests to stand up for American wild horses and for a tourism boycott targeted at Wyoming who promotes “Roam Free” in their marketing yet ignores wild horses in their state. More than 800 Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells wild horses are being rounded up from the public-private land known as the “Checkerboard” in southwest Wyoming. The Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) took the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to court to push the roundup through. Wild horses are terrified by choppers, their families ripped apart, forced into inhumane captivity, be at-risk for going to slaughter and forever lose their freedom to roam and contribute to the ecosystem. Several wild horses have already died brutal deaths in the roundup–some victims were only a few months old.

“Fracking for oil and gas is polluting the environment and wiping out America’s wild horses,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “The BLM must leave at least 150 wild horses in each herd to maintain genetic variability so they can adapt to the effects of climate change. It’s time for clean energy that can coexist with wildlife.”

BLM describes one large fracking project, Continental Divide-Creston, in saying, “The project is located on 1.1 million acres in the checkerboard pattern of mixed land ownership comprised of 59 percent federal, 37 percent private and 4 percent state-owned land. The eastern boundary of the project is approximately 25 miles west of Rawlins, Wyo. with the western boundary approximately 50 miles east of the city of Rock Springs.”

Field reports allege the BLM has inflated the population guesstimates to justify removals requested by the RSGA.

There is no evidence of overpopulation according to the National Academy of Sciences’ 2013 report.

On the other hand, internationally acclaimed wildlife biologist Craig Downer points out “much evidence exists for horse presence in the Americas, especially North America, during the post- Pleistocene and pre-Columbian period at dates scattered through the period beginning ca. 10,000 YBP and reaching very near to 1492 A.D. [Craig C. Downer, The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America, American Journal of Life Sciences. Vol. 2, No. 1, 2014, pp. 5-23. doi: 10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12]

“Native wild horses are a vanishing natural resource,” states Novak. “People need to stand up for what’s right. Innocent foals are dying in this roundup and that’s wrong.”

Protect Mustangs is calling for an immediate moratorium on roundups and removals for scientific population studies and holistic management. Advocates want to see genetically viable herds on public land but the BLM prefers to cater to the extractive industry who wants number so low wild horses will die off.

“Tourists come to Wyoming to observe wild horse families in their native habitat, so why are they going to decimate these herds?” asks Novak. “The tag line at the Wyoming tourism office is ‘Roam Free‘ but they are taking away native wild horses’ freedom forever. The public is angry and wants to boycott Wyoming tourism.”

The Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek herd management areas (HMAs) total approximately 2,427,220 acres with approximately 1,2427,220 acres in the Checkerboard. The roundup held up in court recently due to the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) Consent Decree ordered by the U.S. District Court on April 3, 2013, to remove all wild horses from private lands within the checkerboard portion of the complex in 2013. The RSGA appears to be heavily involved with energy development.

Members of the public are encouraged to watch GASLAND 2, contact their elected officials, peacefully protest the roundup and join America’s growing anti-fracking movement to stop the devastation of native wild horse habitat.

Protect Mustangs is a grassroots conservation nonprofit devoted to protecting native wild horses. Their mission is to educate the public about the indigenous wild horse, protect and research American wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Anne Novak, 415-531-8454, Anne@ProtectMustangs.org

Tami Hottes, 618-790-4339, Tami@ProtectMustangs.org

Photos, interviews and video available upon request

Links of interest™:

American Journal of Life Sciences: The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America http://bit.ly/1rV9tpr

Wild Free Roaming Horse & Burro Act http://1.usa.gov/1utVtmL

More foals die in Wyoming’s Checkerboard roundup: http://bit.ly/1wEU6Ua

NEPA: http://bit.ly/1B0e9Nd

GASLAND 2: http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/

BLM Oil & Gas leases: http://on.doi.gov/1sS8l3Z

National Academy of Sciences report on Wild Horses and Burros: http://bit.ly/1sT6agA

Protect Mustangs Calls for Fund for Wyoming Wild Horses (Horseback Magazine) http://bit.ly/1ylmS0s

Continental Divide-Creston: http://on.doi.gov/1uc04gX

Continental Divide-Creston expansion http://bit.ly/1pnSNmt

Defund the Roundups Petition: http://chn.ge/1sAAQHa

Petition for a 10 year moratorium on roundups for recovery and studies: http://chn.ge/1rdhXZ2

Don’t Frack Wild Horse Land Petition: http://chn.ge/1rdDzEV

Petition for shade and shelter for captive wild horses & burros: http://chn.ge/1DriOvN

PZP (birth control) sterilizes temp to perm and is a pesticide: http://bit.ly/1mzsP4Z

Link to BLM Wyoming Wild Horse and Burro Program: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Wild_Horses.html

Wyoming Tourism Office: http://www.wyomingtourism.org

Roundup footage & abuse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF49csCB9qM

www.ProtectMustangs.org
Protect Mustangs is a national nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.

 

BLM roundup in Wyoming

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your comments they will be posted soon.

Get the frack out of wild horse country! #PeoplesClimate March NYC & Oakland

PM Climate March NYC Sept 21 2014

Livestream People’s Climate March in NYC! http://new.livestream.com/accounts/467901/events/3400186

Sign and share the DON’T FRACK WILD HORSE LAND petition: https://www.change.org/p/sen-dianne-feinstein-don-t-frack-wild-horse-land

Northern California March at 2pm TODAY in #Oakland: @NorCalClimate #PeoplesClimate rally at Lake Merritt Amphitheater http://bit.ly/1vYeORj #PCM @350BayArea

Press Release: Mark Boone Junior helps save the mustangs

 © Gage Skidmore

© Gage Skidmore

For immediate release

Protect Mustangs rescues 14 young wild horses from slaughterhouse after BLM roundup

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. (May 7, 2014)—Against all odds, actor Mark Boone Junior (Batman Begins & Sons of Anarchy) and Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs, saved 14 young free-roaming wild horses from slaughter thanks to donations from Alicia Goetz, the Schnurmacher family and others. This unprecedented rescue seems to be the first time American wild horses have been purchased back from a slaughterhouse following a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) roundup. In March, the herd of 41 wild horses was rounded up by the BLM, using taxpayer funds, handed over to the the Wyoming Livestock Board and sold at auction to a Canadian slaughterhouse for human consumption abroad. The BLM claims everything they did was legal.

“If it’s legal then the law needs to change,” states Novak. “Americans love wild horses. They want to make sure they’re protected. Congress knows that and it’s time they represent the public who elected them into office—not interests who want to dispose of them.”

In 2004, former Montana Senator, Conrad Burns, added the Burns amendment to the Appropriations Act of 2005 without any public or Congressional discussion. The Burns amendment overruled many protections in the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. From that time forward, “unlimited sales” to slaughter has been legal.

Due to public outcry against selling wild horses for slaughter, the BLM uses middle men who sell the mustangs to the slaughterhouse. This time the scapegoat was the Wyoming Livestock Board, other times it’s men like Tom Davis. The 1,700 wild horses he purchased from the feds have never been accounted for. Advocates believe they went to slaughter in Mexico.

Public outcry over Tom Davis prompted BLM to revise their policy to avoid another fiasco in the future. A change in policy is not a change in law. It’s still legal for the BLM to allow slaughter and exportation of horse meat.

Out of the 41 wild horses rounded up on March 18th and 19th near Greybull, Wyoming, 37 were quickly sold to the slaughterhouse. 4 foals were saved by the co-owner of the auction house and later transferred to advocates. Protect Mustangs jumped in later on April 2nd to save the other 37 wild horses from being slaughtered. Chances were slim they would find any alive.

Boone and Novak quickly learned that a group of 23 mares and stallions had already perished. The two managed to prevent the last 14 orphaned wild youngsters from going to slaughter. The survivors are called the WY14. They range in age from 8 months to 2 years old.

“It’s a miracle we were able to get them out,” says Boone. “I can’t believe the EPA, in 2012, designated our wild horses as pests—especially when the horse originated in America.”

“American free-roaming wild horses are a returned-native species who contribute to the thriving natural ecological balance,” explains Novak. “They have value on the range because they reduce the risk of wildfires, reverse desertification and with climate change that’s really important.”

For generations, free-roaming wild horses lived in family bands north of Greybull and close to a former herd area called Dry Creek/Foster Gulch that was zeroed out in 1987 to make room for extractive uses such as bentonite mining.

In 1971 there were 339 wild herds in the West, but now there are only 179 left in all 10 western states combined.

Today the Bighorn Basin is preparing for another extractive boom but this time it’s about fracking for oil and gas with right-of-way corridors to service those fields. Is this why the small herd of 41 wild horses was suddenly ripped off public land?

The feds maintain the 41 wild horses were not wild even though they lived wild and free for generations.

Curiously reports have surfaced that a bucking string made up of wild mustangs was turned out by their original owner more than 40 years ago. If it could be proven these wild horses were on public land in 1971, they would be protected under the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act. The BLM claims the horses have been there for only 40 years not 43.

“It’s horrible for tourism that the State of Wyoming would allow this sort of thing,” states Boone. “The beauty of the Bighorn Basin is like no other place on earth but it won’t be the same now that these wild horses are gone.”

Go to www.ProtectMustangs.org to help the WY14 with your donation. Protect Mustangs is a California nonprofit based in San Francisco.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Anne Novak, 415.531.8454 Anne@ProtectMustangs.org

Tami Hottes, 618.790.4339 Tami@ProtectMustangs.org

Photos, video and interviews available upon request

Links of interest™:

Cody Enterprise: ‘Some’ horses avoid slaughter http://www.codyenterprise.com/news/local/article_99e78c52-d0a8-11e3-a6ac-001a4bcf887a.html

AP (Viral): Feds draw criticism for selling Wyoming horses for slaughter http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/04/20/feds-draw-criticism-for-selling-wyoming-horses-for-slaughter/

Sons of Anarchy’s Bobby Elvis wants to save 37 American wild horses http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6668

The horse and burro as positively contributing returned-natives in North America http://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.ajls.20140201.12.pdf

Native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562 

Wild horse overpopulation myth debunked: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6721

Washington Post (Viral) U.S. looking for ideas to help manage wild-horse overpopulation http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-looking-for-ideas-to-help-manage-wild-horse-overpopulation/2014/01/26/8cae7c96-84f2-11e3-9dd4-e7278db80d86_story.html

Huffington Post: Advisory board recommends BLM sterilize wild horses http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121030/us-wild-horses/

Westword: Callie Hendrickson, allegedly pro-slaughter appointee to the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2012/03/callie_hendrickson_wild_horse_board_slaughter.php

Advisory Board member endorses slaughter http://rtfitchauthor.com/2012/10/30/blm-wild-horse-burro-advisory-board-member-endorses-horse-slaughter-during-public-session/#comment-68620

BLM and wild horse slaughter: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=1141

Video footage of helicopter roundups: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF49csCB9qM

PEER: BLM doesn’t track cattle on Public land http://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/2013/01/24/blm-says-it-cannot-track-cattle-on-its-lands/

2012 EPA Pesticide Information for Fertility Control http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf

ProPublica: All the missing horses: What happened to the wild horses Tom Davis bought from the gov’t?http://www.propublica.org/article/missing-what-happened-to-wild-horses-tom-davis-bought-from-the-govt

Princeton University: Wildlife and cows can be partners, not enemies, in the search for food http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S32/93/41K10/index.xml?section=featured

Princeton and the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros Population Growth Study shows BLM roundups increase population growthhttp://www.ispmb.org/herd_social_structures.html

Horseback Magazine: Group takes umbridge at use of the word “feral” http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/19392

Petition to Defund and Stop the Roundups: http://www.change.org/petitions/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups

Petition for a Moratorium on roundups for recovery and scientific studies: http://www.change.org/petitions/sally-jewell-urgent-grant-a-10-year-moratorium-on-wild-horse-roundups-for-recovery-and-scientific-studies

Wyoming tourism “Roam Free”: http://www.wyomingtourism.org/

Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative (Bighorn Basin) http://wyia.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/brian-jeffries.pdf

KLS News BLM horses seized in suspected slaughter ring (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.ksl.com/?nid=960&sid=16686555#JFD7d0UvEtYOc4fi.99

Washington Post: The Story of Conrad Burns and Wild Horseshttp://blog.washingtonpost.com/benchconference/2006/10/they_reallly_do_shoot_horses_d.html

Christian Science Monitor and cross-posted by The Seattle Times (March 2, 2005) Law allows slaughter of wild horses for meat  by Brad Knickerbocker http://bit.ly/K8DWIF

Now, a law signed by President Bush will allow the slaughter and export of horse meat form thousands of wild horses. Horse lovers are urging reversal of the measure, which slipped into a recent federal appropriations bill by Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont.

Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burro Act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_and_Free-Roaming_Horses_and_Burros_Act_of_1971

Mark Boone Junior: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0095478/

Anne Novak:  https://twitter.com/TheAnneNovak  and  http://newsle.com/AnneNovak

www.ProtectMustangs.org Protect Mustangs educates, protects and preserves native and wild horses. The nonprofit conservation group strives for a 10 year moratorium on roundups and science-based holistic land management to reduce global warming.

 

#Gratitude 2 @GASLANDmovie 4 exposing #FRACKING wipes out #WildHorses ~ Come 2 Sacramento Rally 3/15

“We’re so grateful  Josh Fox answered our call for help and included the American wild horse crisis in his awesome film GASLAND Part 2,” says Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs. “We won’t sell out. We will continue to fight for their right to live wild and free.” www.ProtectMustangs.org

HBO released GASLAND Part 2 in 2013 to an audience of more than 40 million people. Since then the film’s audience has grown around the world.

Please sign and share the Petition for a Moratorium on Roundups for Scientific Studies before wild horses are tampered with using risky fertility control that sterilizes, are euthanized or are slaughtered. http://www.change.org/petitions/sally-jewell-urgent-grant-a-10-year-moratorium-on-wild-horse-roundups-for-scientific-research

Today America’s wild horses are underpopulated. The Spin Dr.s have released a huge campaign to fool Congress and the public into believing there are too many when the truth is the feds are managing our native wild horses to extinction.

Why? Follow the money and it leads you to Big Oil & Gas that wants to FRACK their native land and needs tons of water for fracking.

Come to the Rally to Stop Fracking in California this Saturday March 15th in Sacramento! California wild horses need you! https://www.facebook.com/events/727804507253568/

What else can you do? Email, call and meet with your senators and representative to request a moratorium on roundups for scientific studies to ensure their survival. Fertility control is premature. http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

Read the fine print, ask questions and beware of vague pledges people are asking your senators and representative to sign. Certain wild horse groups aren’t fighting for the herds’ freedom any more but are pushing for fertility control experiments and sanctuary-style management with restricted use pesticides (PZP, etc.) branded as “birth control” and without scientific studies on population when wild horses are underpopulated and are being managed to extinction by the feds.

IN THE NEWS: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=218

INFORMATION:

Are wild horses going to be sterilized due to an advocacy campaign? http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6356

The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America: http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

Press Release: No proof of overpopulation, no need for native wild horse fertility control http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4453

Bogus Science and Profiteering Stampeding Their Way into Wild Horse Country http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4475

Protect Mustangs speaks out against the Cloud Foundation’s PARTNERSHIP with BLM using risky PZP that could terminate natural selection: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4941

Wildlife Ecologist, Craig Downer, speaks out against using PZP in the Pryors: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4178

Report unveils wild horse underpopulation on 800,000 acre Twin Peaks range: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6278

GASLAND website: http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/

(Photo of Josh Fox & Anne Novak at the Oakland Preview of GASLAND Part 2. )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keystone XL does NOT work for US

 

Wild horses and burros are being pushed off the land for toxic drilling. They need a healthy environment to survive.

America’s students from 80 colleges protested against the Keystone XL Pipeline today. See raw footage (below) from the march in DC and the 398 brave ones who got arrested outside the White House to make a point.

We need climate justice for all creatures including indigenous wild horses and burros!

Monday 8:30 AM in San Francisco is the West Coast March and Rally! Info is here: http://xldissent.org/xl-dissent-west-coast/

Comment against the KXL here>>> http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=DOS-2014-0003-5966 Due March 7th!

Wild horses are getting pushed off the land for fracking! Watch GASLAND part II http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/

 

 

 

Fracking’s Terrifying Water Usage Trends Spell Disaster

PM frack_map

Almost half (47%) of all U.S. wells are being developed in regions with high to extremely high water stress. This means that more than 80 percent of the annual available water is already allocated to municipal, industrial and agricultural users in these regions. (Source: Ceres)

 

New study shows that fracking boom is happening in places that can least afford to lose precious water supplies

Jon Queally, staff writer

The irony of fracking: It destroys the natural resource it needs most. The tragedy for those living nearby fracking operations: That natural resource is the fresh—and increasingly scarce—water supply on which they, too, depend.

And not only does fracking—or hydraulic fracturing—demand enormous amounts of fresh water no matter where it takes places, a troubling new study released Wednesday found that a majority of places where the controversial drilling technique is most prevalent are the same regions where less and less water is available.

Overlay the regions where most of the fracking is being done in North American with the places experiencing the most troubling and persistent water resource problems and the resulting picture becomes an alarm bell as politicians and the fossil fuel industry continue to push fracking expansion as the savior for the U.S. and Canada’s energy woes.

According to the report, Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Stress: Water Demand by the Numbers (pdf), produced by the non-profit Ceres investor network, much of the oil and gas fracking activity in both the U.S. and Canada is happening in “arid, water stressed regions, creating significant long-term water sourcing risks” that will strongly and negatively impact the local ecosystem, communities, and people living nearby.

“Hydraulic fracturing is increasing competitive pressures for water in some of the country’s most water-stressed and drought-ridden regions,” said Ceres President Mindy Lubber, in announcing Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Stress: Water Demand by the Numbers. “Barring stiffer water-use regulations and improved on-the-ground practices, the industry’s water needs in many regions are on a collision course with other water users, especially agriculture and municipal water use.”

Richard Heinberg, senior fellow of the California-based Post Carbon Institute and author of a recent book on the “false promise” of the fracking industry, says the irony of the study’s findings “would be delicious if it weren’t so terrifying.”

“Nationally,” according to Heinberg, “only about 50 percent of fracking wastewater is recycled. Billions of gallons of freshwater are still taken from rivers, streams, and wells annually for this purpose, and—after being irremediably polluted—this water usually ends up being injected into deep disposal wells. That means it is no longer available to the hydrological cycle that sustains all terrestrial life.”

Click here to look at Ceres’ interactive map on fracking and water use.

The study drew on industry data detailing water usage from from 39,294 oil and gas wells from January 2011 through May 2013 and compared that information with “water stress indicator maps” developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI).

What it found:

Over 55 percent of the wells hydraulically fractured were in areas experiencing drought and 36 percent overlay regions with significant groundwater depletion – key among those, California which is in the midst of a historic drought and Texas, which has the highest concentration of shale energy development and hydraulic fracturing activity in the U.S.

Specifically:

In Texas, which includes the rapidly developing Eagle Ford and Permian Basin shale plays, more than half (52 percent) of the wells were in high or extreme high water stress areas. In Colorado and California, 97 and 96 percent of the wells, respectively, were in regions with high or extremely high water stress. Nearly comparable trends were also shown in New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Among hundreds of hydraulic fracturing companies whose water use was evaluated, those with the highest exposure to water sourcing risk are Anadarako (APC), Encana (ECA), Pioneer (PXD) and Apache (APA). Most of the wells being developed by each of these companies are in regions of high or extreme water stress. The top three service providers, Halliburton, (HAL) Schlumberger (SLB) and Baker Hughes (BHI), handled about half of the water used for hydraulic fracturing nationally and also face water sourcing risks.

Although water use for hydraulic fracturing is often less than two percent of state water demands, the impacts can be large at the local level, sometimes exceeding the water used by all of the residents in a county.

“It’s a wake-up call,” Professor James Famiglietti, a hydrologist at the University of California, Irvine, told the Guardian. “We understand as a country that we need more energy but it is time to have a conversation about what impacts there are, and do our best to try to minimise any damage.”

The irony of the latest findings, explained Heinberg in an email to Common Dreams, is based on the fact that “much of the fracking boom is centered in the western United States—Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and California—which just happens to be drying up, likely as a result of climate change. And that climate change, in turn, is happening because we’re burning fossil fuels like oil and natural gas.”

Heinberg observed that the Ceres report is largely written from the standpoint of the oil and gas companies—using much of their data—and directed at those who may be invested or would like to invest in the continuation or proliferation of the industry. However, he indicated, detailing the increasing difficulties the industry and its investors are likely to experience in sourcing water for their operations is still valuable for those opposed to fracking.

“In California, where I live,” he said, “we’re experiencing a 500-year drought. The grape-wine industry here in Sonoma County is facing disaster. Farmers in the Central Valley are weighing whether to plant at all this year. The fact that California’s Democratic governor [Jerry Brown] wants to spend what little water we have on fracking—which will only make our climate problems worse—makes the report frighteningly relevant.”

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Comments needed by February 10th against removing wild horses to frack northeastern Nevada

Note from the team at Protect Mustangs:

The Antelope Valley, Maverick Medicine and Goshute herd management areas (HMAs) will be ruined if 73 parcels proposed for lease, totaling approximately 125,000 acres, are taken away from native wild horses.The proposed action will push wild horses off their legal range. BLM will chase them with helicopters–removing them forever from their families and ripping away their freedom.

Follow the instructions in the BLM press release below to email your individual comments to BLM by midnight February 10th.

Request BLM halt the lease sale of areas within the wild horse HMAs slated for oil and gas development. Mention it will cause water, air and soil pollution and increase global warming, lower the water table as well as hurt wild horse territory.

Request a moratorium on roundups for scientific research on wild horse population dynamics and to ensure wild horses will be protected and preserved in freedom.

Use your own words to make your comments count. According to BLM, click and send comments don’t count beyond being one form comment. Email your comments today. Short and sweet is fine as long as you use your own words.

Some residents in northeastern Nevada have forgotten they have been blessed to use public land at subsidy pricing for generations. Now we are witnessing a worrisome trend with the Nevada Farm Bureau and the Nevada Association of Counties wanting to push America’s wild horses and burros off public land to control the water, forage and industrialization. They appear to be requesting BLM kill wild horses in holding to make room for more roundup victims.

It’s time for science to guide policy and for cooperative agreements to foster healthy rangeland and prevent native species wipe outs.

Thank you for sending your comments in today to protect the American public’s wild horses!

Photo credit: dgrinbergs / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: dgrinbergs / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

 

 

BLM Press Release:ELKO, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District is making available for public review an Environmental Assessment (EA) for parcels of public land nominated for lease within the Elko District in the 2014 Competitive Oil & Gas Lease Sale. These parcels have the potential for future oil and gas exploration and development. The 30-day public review period concludes Feb. 10, 2014.The BLM received nominations for 214 parcels of public land to offer for leasing, totaling more than 435,880 acres. The BLM deferred several of the nominated parcels to protect sage grouse habitat. Other parcels were removed because of cultural and Native American concerns. A detailed listing of deferred parcels is available in the EA and online. The remaining 73 parcels (125,220 acres) have been analyzed for potential impacts in the EA, in accordance with the Oil & Gas Leasing Reform mandated in 2010. Lease stipulations identified in the Elko (1987) and Wells (1985) Resource Management Plans are attached to all parcels to help protect resources. The EA is available for public review at: http://www.blm.gov/rv5c.The Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sale will be conducted on June 24, 2014. Additional information about the sale is available at http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/prog/energy.html.If you have issues or concerns or need more information, contact Allen Mariluch, Project Lead at the BLM Elko District, at (775) 753-0200 or email at amariluc@blm.gov.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
–BLM–