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William Perry Pendley (not wild horses) may be the biggest threat to public lands

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Source:  The Hill

Trump administration calls wild horses biggest threat to public lands — here are the real threats

“The livestock industry continues to run roughshod over the vast majority of our Western public lands, causing a cascade of major environmental problems.”

BY ERIK MOLVAR, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR

Acting BLM Director William Perry Pendley told the Society of Environmental Journalists in Colorado on Friday that wild horses were the biggest problem facing federal public lands in the West.

The silliness of this statement becomes obvious when one considers that wild horses don’t exist on more than 85 percent of BLM lands, and where they do occur, they have to share the range with domestic livestock which typically have an even bigger impact on the land.

Pendley’s misstatement would be funny if it weren’t so dishonest and is symptomatic of major problems stemming from placing one of the nation’s most vitriolic opponents of environmental conservation in charge of our biggest land management agency.

Let’s examine some of the real problems facing the Bureau of Land Management, from the standpoint of an environmental professional, to put Pendley’s claims in some context.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Erik Molvar is a wildlife biologist and executive director with Western Watersheds Project, an environmental conservation group dedicated to protecting and restoring watersheds and wildlife throughout the West.

Warning: A ‘Shrinking Window’ of Usable Groundwater

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Source: therevelator.org

New analysis reveals that we have much less water in our aquifers than we previously thought — and the oil and gas industry could put that at even greater risk.

by Tara Lohan

We’re living beyond our means when it comes to groundwater. That’s probably not news to everyone, but new research suggests that, deep underground in a number of key aquifers in some parts of the United States, we may have much less water than previously thought.

“We found that the average depth of water resources across the country was about half of what people had previously estimated,” says Jennifer McIntosh, a distinguished scholar and professor of hydrology and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona.

McIntosh and her colleagues — who published a new study about these aquifers in November in Environmental Research Letters — took a different approach to assessing groundwater than other research, which has used satellites to measure changes in groundwater storage. For example, a 2015 study looked at 37 major aquifers across the world and found some were being depleted faster than they were being replenished, including in California’s agriculturally intensive Central Valley.

McIntosh says those previous studies revealed a lot about how we’re depleting water resources from the top down through extraction, such as pumping for agriculture and water supplies, especially in places like California.

But McIntosh and three other researchers wanted to look at groundwater from a different perspective: They examined how we’re using water resources from the bottom up. More

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