Browsing All Posts filed under »Environmental Ethics«

The (unequal justice) Code of the West

May 25, 2014


c stewartCowboy anarchist Cliven Bundy and Utah San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman remain free. I have been writing to Utah 2nd District Congressman Chris Stewart expressing my alarm at the situation. [read more . . .]

Exclosures – August 2012

August 19, 2012


Kirsten and I went up to the Fish Lake National Forest and camped on Thousand Lake Mountain in southern Utah for a couple of nights this last Thursday through Saturday August 16-18.  This area is just north of Torrey and we like to get up there in the summer just to get out and to […]

More public hurt from welfare ranching . . .

March 14, 2012


What to do about the Cattlemen’s Beef Association's imperial control over federal land-use policy in the West? From an essay by Christopher Ketchum in The American Prospect comes some acute observations about the power abuse in the face of common sense and at the expense of the public and the land:

“It’s almost a matter of religiosity that the real costs of ranching are paid for by the public,” says Brian Ertz, media director with the Western Watersheds Project. “Democratic and Republican congresspersons alike make their way up through political environments of extreme livestock--culture-dominated political organizations. The statehouses are dominated by livestock interests, and that’s where the federal representatives cut their teeth.” Click on title for more . . .

What happened to conservatives conserving?

December 23, 2011


It seems to me the rabid right in American politics today have lost track of some of their guiding principles, some of the great virtues.  Ted Williams writes in a recent blog, " we need to grow our web of friends among those who are politically middle-of-the-road or even slightly to the right, and among those in small towns and the hinterlands. Too often we think the only field where we can gather new backers is the progressive/liberal one, but clubs such as Republicans for Environmental Protection, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, and Trout Unlimited strongly show that there are more than a few folks caring about wild things who are not progressives, who may even be conservatives."  Ted thinks that Piety, Prudence, Posterity are principals that conservatives naturally honor, and if they applied them to how they live in place, they would find they should be, in fact and act, conservationists.  . . . >>more

American Drinking Water Gets a D-. Republicans want it to get an F.

December 9, 2011


"Bipartisan analyses have repeatedly shown that the cost of environmental regulation is exponentially cheaper than the costs of toxic cleanup and medical care." And yet the fearful shriek that environmental regulation "kills jobs" while the hamstrung EPA can't even adequately test or develop standards for two-thirds of the pollutants detected in water. Enough already. . . . more>>

Regulators Taken Hostage by Cows

November 30, 2011


Mary O'Brien of the Grand Canyon Trust says it is like doing a study on obesity and not considering what people eat. The BLM is spending $40 million of taxpayer stimulus funds to do a "ecoregional assessment study" but ruling out ahead of time the impact of grazing. The regulators are afraid of upsetting the regulated. Regulatory capture at it's worst. Are we Alice at the Mad Hatter's table? Here's Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman with more.

Mike Noel embarasses himself all the way to the U.K.

October 14, 2011


Speaking of cronyism, I can't resist posting this one. Rick Perry's campaign is caught censoring scientific climate in this report from The Guardian in Britain. And, as they note,

In Utah, meanwhile, Mike Noel, a Republican member of the Utah state legislature called on the state university to sack a physicist who had criticised climate science doubters. The university rejected Noel's demand, but the physicist, Robert Davies said such actions had had a chilling effect on the state of climate science. "We do have very accomplished scientists in this state who are quite fearful of retribution from lawmakers, and who consequently refuse to speak up on this very important topic. And the loser is the public," Davies said in an email. "By employing these intimidation tactics, these policymakers are, in fact, successful in censoring the message coming from the very institutions whose expertise we need.". . . more>>

It is not Disneyland out there, but how about a warning?

October 13, 2011


This one seems like a tricky call to me. The natural outdoors is not Disneyland and we all need to look out for ourselves. But in this case would it have been so hard for the Division of Wildlife Resources or the Forest Service to put up signs that warned campers of the threat? Some judges say yes, some say no. Who is right? . . . more>>

Ranchers wearing Tevas!

October 6, 2011


Earlier I made a post referring to an article about grazing and land management in the Los Angeles Times. Now here is one from The Atlantic, featuring 21st century ranchers, one even wearing Tevas. Tevas on a Suburu driving rancher is not something you see every day. The Atlantic has picked up on the critical idea that managing range land to optimize grass growth can make a significant impact on global carbon sequestration. It's good to see that deceptively benign appearing grazing practices are being seen in the national press as a globally important issue. But, once again, it is the local "way of life" that stands in the way. Can Wall Street actually help? . . . more>>

What if your “way of life” is destructive?

October 6, 2011


The main argument for grazing cows on public land in the West is that it is and has been a "way of life." Even the ranchers admit it is not economic. The rugged cowboy is a favorite modern day icon for the West and we all often feel a fondness for the idea he is still out there. Until you see a creek or meadow after the cows have been through. Here's an article in the Los Angeles Times where allotments are being rested from cows, and allowed to recover. Will the National Forest Service make the right decision to keep the cows our, save a landscape and a rare trout species, or will "way of life" prevail? . . . more>>

Post-Primeval Poop Primer

September 22, 2011


The first shit in the woods is a pure rite of passage for any mountain person. Sure, you can be a casual day hiker for years and avoid it, and maybe even last through a few overnight trips. But sooner or later, you’ll need to confront your ancestral self and drop one amongst the evergreens, without your favorite magazine, scented candle, or plush bathroom rug under your toes. Brendon Leonard takes us for a true out back journey. . . .more>>