Going Green

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Utah Land Use Debate

This is a familiar debate, but just like others of similar nature, they've not quite honed in on what I think is the real issue.

BLM wilderness quality study heats up debate on land use, energy development

Source: Copyright 2007, Salt Lake Tribune
Date: September 25, 2007
Byline: Patty Henetz

A belated evaluation of wilderness-quality public lands around Price promises to do little to quell a public lands debate that has raged since the Bureau of Land Management issued its long-range plan for the area three years ago.

At the heart of the new study is whether more than 937,000 acres of wilderness-quality lands - which the BLM and a citizens group identified as such a decade ago - should be protected from oil and gas drilling damage during a time of national energy uncertainty.

But it won't stop there.

Because the supplement is one of several signature BLM land plans for southern Utah due this fall, it also will test the Bush administration's willingness to push natural gas development on federal land in the state even though the yield would do little to ease the nation's energy crunch.

The BLM study supplements...(complete article here).

The debate is being couched in terms of energy versus the environment. The environmental groups use the word conservation when they really mean preservation. There is a difference. Conservation is wise use of resources, preservation is leaving things as they are.

The real debate here is economic survival for the people living in the affected area. Oil and gas development generates revenue, creates jobs, and fuels growth. Preservation of undeveloped lands primarily benefits a relatively small number of people who have lots of money and little to do other than spend it. They believe the world is for their own personal benefit and that depopulating it (except for "their kind") would be just fine. It is the same groups that fund organizations like PETA, Green Peace, Abortion Clinics, and all the other radical organizations that put anything other than humanity first.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a wilderness experience. I enjoy hunting, fishing, camping and hiking. I also enjoy being able to drive my SUV to places where I can do those things. Conservation is about a sustainable balance. We must balance between short and long-term needs of humanity. Wilderness areas are reservoirs of genetic diversity that could be beneficial in the future. It is our responsibility to husband such resources wisely. It is also incumbent upon us to not force unwarranted economic restrictions upon citizens for the benefit of the few.

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