Energy Industry Moves in on Hunting and Fishing Habitat

One year later oil is gone and anglers are back:

The amazing resilience of the Mississippi River delta ecosystem was confirmed again last week when Breton National Wildlife Refuge, the barrier island chain off the southeast Louisiana coast that was marred by BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, was reopened to public use. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said, "Remnants of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been cleaned to the point that they no longer pose a threat to wildlife in these areas."

One of the many lessons the nation learned during BP's blow-out was that if such an insult had to happen along our coasts, this delta was probably best suited to recover from it. This sub-tropical habitat is living, growing, consuming and regenerating 24-7, 365. It's major threat was never the oil. That was a temporary problem on top of the permanent disaster of its' gradual destruction from the twin impacts of levees and canal dredging.

The speckled trout and red fish never left the area, and anglers fished around the islands all during the spill once those waters were declared safe.

Established in 1904, Breton is the second-oldest refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System. It includes the Chandeleur Islands and other islands arrayed in a broad arc across the coastal waters of St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes in Louisiana.

Sportsmen suffer setback at Missouri Breaks:

Montana federal judge, Sam Haddon, handed the oil and gas industry a major victory, and sportsmen a serious setback when he upheld the Bureau of Land Management's decision to open the Upper Missouri River Breaks Monument to oil and gas leasing.

Covering 375,000 acres along the Missouri River, the Breaks are prized by hunters and other sportsmen who had joined the court fight against the leasing.

Groups like the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership intend to stay involved on this issue, one of the many that find once-protected fish, wildlife and sportsmen's habitat along the Rocky Mountains under increasing attack from the energy industry.

Hunters, anglers urged to stay alert for the Bridger-Teton:

When it comes to monitoring energy development on public lands; never give up, never stop watching.

That was the message former Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal gave to hundreds attending the Rendezvous for the Wyoming Range last week regarding the on-going issue of expanding oil and gas development in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Although sportsmen have struck voluntary agreements with developers to go lightly, those promises are not legally binding. The Forest Service is expected to decide next month whether to issue a final EIS for the project or explore different alternatives that would require additional study, said Bridger-Teton National Forest Supervisor Jacque Buchanan.