March 30, 2007
Discussion Topic: Drilling vs. Hunting on Public Lands
By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love
In a House Natural Recourses Committee hearing entitled "Access Denied: The growing conflict between fishing, hunting and energy development on federal lands,” conservationists and labor leaders testified Tuesday that energy development on public land is failing wildlife and squeezing out hunters and anglers.
From The Casper Star-Tribune:
"Energy development is not being done right on the public lands in the West," said Rollin Sparrowe, a Wyoming resident and board member of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and former supervisor of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service research programs on Rocky Mountains wildlife. . . .
Sparrowe noted that oil and gas leasing has accelerated since the November election. "People want to get as much leased as they can under the current administration before it's too late," he said.
Representatives Stevan Pearce (R-NM) and Don Young (R-AK) argued that the amount of land affected—“less than 5 percent of BLM” parcels—doesn’t justify all the fuss. Young added that, “If we continue down this path of not developing energy, you won't have any freedom in this country.”
Where do you stand on the topic?