I and the Bird

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Good News Tuesday

The past 6 years haven't had a lot of good news for environmentalists. Global warming, oil drilling, Katrina, urban sprawl blah blah blah it's not been a party that's for sure.

Recently, however, some events have occured that have given enviros something to celebrate. Here ya go:

A year ago everyone as abuzz about the rediscovery of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker in Arkansas. 6 months ago, those who celebrated the birds re-finding awoke with a bad hangover and the news that, well, that little video clip probably didn't show an IBWO. Things were grim, until recent stories have come our proclaiming that the Ivory-Billed is alive and well in the remote forests of the Florida panhandle. Although no photos or video have been produced, there have been many sightings, several discovered nest cavities and hundreds of recorded kent calls. Bravo.

Second, a federal judge last night blocked an Interior Department plan to lease 389,000 acres around Alaska's Teshekpuk Lake for oil and gas drilling. Teshekpuk Lake provides crucial summer breeding grounds to millions of geese and other shorebirds, as well as habitat for caribou, bears and fish. In his decision, Judge Singleton cited the Interior's failure to assess potential environmental impacts of the plan. Bravo.

Third (but not least), a judge in San Fransisco last week invalidated the Bush administration's plan to overturn the 2001 Roadless Rule. Passed by President Clinton, the Roadless Rule protects 49 million acres of national forestland from logging and mining. Bush repealed the rule and instead left it up to state governors do decide the fate of their roadless areas, knowing full well that most state governors would choose logging dollars over the conservation of resources. The judge, as in the Teshekpuk Lake case, cited improper analysis of that environmental impacts of logging in roadless areas in his decision. Bravo.

I'll be at the 9:30 Club tonight drinking beers and being thankful I live in a country where laws are upheld and good things can happen.
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