Montana Outdoors

April 20, 2007

Our environment in jeopardy

Filed under: Conservation, Environment, Montana, Nature, Outdoors — montucky @ 9:48 pm

Yesterday in Kalispell Montana there was a lawsuit settlement which cleared the way for an individual to operate a gravel pit approximately two miles from the junction of U.S. Highway 2 and Going to the Sun Road, between the highway and the Glacier National Park boundary. As this story in The Daily Interlake describes. Once again simple human greed triumphs over the common good.

Recently the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks issued a “Red Alert” on energy leases throughout Montana. This story from New West Travel & Outdoors describes the imminent threat to wildlife and the environment posed by rampant leasing of public and private lands for fossil fuel exploration and development, especially natural gas and coal bed methane development. To me it is an extremely frightening situation.

How are these two stories related? The way these situations can be controlled, I think the only way they can be controlled, is through our elected officials; our votes count! It is not just in Montana, Idaho or Wyoming that the environment is under attack, but literally in every one of these United States. Perhaps the lawsuits brought by conservation and environmental groups have the potential to slow down the exploitation and destruction of the environment, but it’s my opinion that ultimately our choices in who and what we vote for, who and what we support, and how good we are at voicing our opinions to our elected officials are the only things that can bring it under control.


  1. I notice your comment about this not being in just Montana, Wyoming or Idaho. It seems that there are so many of these stories that you share with us that it’s easy to think that’s the case. Of course, all I have to do is look around my neighborhood to see how much has been cleared in the last five years for more new houses, schools, stores and Wal-Mart!

    there are so many things to consider when voting…it is so hard for me to decide just what the number one issue is when looking at candidates. It’s almost enough to send me back to non-voting, but I know that’s no answer either.

    thanks for helping to educate us all…


    Comment by skouba — April 21, 2007 @ 1:31 pm

  2. I think one of the measurements of our wild country is the amount of roadless area still remaining in our National Forests. In many states there are no roadless areas left, and, while the roadless area still remaining in Montana seems huge, it is under fire and diminishing rapidly, and it’s not like we can go make more.

    As a comparison, if you look at Texas, there is only one forest that has any roadless area, The Texas National forest. In it are only 4,093 acres of roadless area, and even those are not categorized as “off limits to road building”. Texas has practically no roadless area left.

    Montana still has 6,228,416 acres of roadless area and 2,423,209 or 39% of them are categorized as “off limits to road building”. This is the total in all 9 National Forests in the state.

    Incidentally, this data came from a web site constructed by Nelson Guda who is the Associate Director of The Environmental Science Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.

    As far as voting goes, I know what you mean. The last several times I’ve voted for a Democratic Senator and while I’m not at all pleased about some of the things he has done and supported, I am very pleased at others. I supported a Republican for Montana’s only House seat and for a long time thought he was doing a great job only to discover recently he is really selling out to the energy exploration (and exploitation) interests. Sometimes it’s a coin toss I guess.


    Comment by montucky — April 21, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

  3. this is interesting montucky. it seems like so much when you say that, but thinking back 200 years, when Lewis and Clark set out to find more elbow room, just how quickly a whole lot can change…

    yeah, roads are a big thing in TX. Maybe you have heard about our Governor’s plan to put a big “corridor” thru the state, taking lots of farmer’s land.

    voting…maybe I should just take a coin to the voting booth w/ me…


    Comment by skouba — April 21, 2007 @ 5:32 pm

  4. Yes, in the days of Lewis and Clark, it was possible to “go find more”, but no longer.

    No I hadn’t heard of the “corridor” thru Texas. More roads, less farm land, more energy use… and on and on and on.


    Comment by montucky — April 21, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

  5. the corridor was a big issue in our gov. election last year. I think the “proposal” is pretty bad. I don’t think it’s a proposal, I think it’s a done deal.

    off topic here, but I am going to start a new blog. It will be another pretty cheesy, worthless blog (hoping to be able to use it for ads as well in a few months) but thought I’d drop you the link anyway. I hope to maintain it, we’ll see how it goes….

    Each New Day


    Comment by skouba — April 21, 2007 @ 9:31 pm

  6. I checked out your new site and left a note there. I don’t see how you can keep track of all of them! That must be a real chore. I have only this one and WU (which looks like it’s down again at the moment) and it seems to take a lot of time just keeping up. I have you now with 9 sites including your lense, is that right?

    I have been vacillating between trying to develop something here on WordPress and just stopping completely. I seem to have lost much of my exuberance for it lately. I do have some things I want to do when the snowpack will let me into the high country again though, so I’ll probably end up staying with it, and I really do like the features on this site. Besides, even though it’s harder now, I can still keep in touch with at least most of our friends from WU.


    Comment by montucky — April 21, 2007 @ 10:19 pm

  7. I know what you mean about keeping up w/ all the blogs. I actually just talked w/ merry about that too. but see, none of those others are really serious, meaningful. maybe the sowingseeds one, but it is draining to me and I am not good about keeping it up. I am losing the “exurbance” too for that kind of blogging I guess…but these others, well the lens, I do nothing to that. these others, two are my kids’, and the rest I use mainly for ad purposes. so I am mostly writing fluff in between. that is why I have to keep it simple. and sticking w/ a “format” makes it a little easier to do as well. for example, I know one is going to be a list, one a poem, one a place I’ve never been but want to see, one a did you know….?, and one a family activity and this new one will be some small thing I learned each day. I don’t post on them every day either and before this, never did any commenting on them. but now I have started more of that so I can keep in touch w/ all my cyber friends.

    I too often debate about chucking the whole thing. but right now I am trying to make a few extra bucks w/ all these “little” blogs. that is the main reason I started all those outside of writing up. how’s that for a “confession” 🙂

    as for folks like you and merry, your blogs are meaningful and really say something. I bet that is why it would be hard for you to do too many of them….


    Comment by skouba — April 22, 2007 @ 7:11 am

  8. oh yeah, plus you have a life! 🙂


    Comment by skouba — April 22, 2007 @ 7:12 am

  9. I guess in my saner moments I have to think that there are things about maintaining a weblog that make it all worth the effort.

    I especially like your sowingseeds blog: that one has lots of promise. I also got a lot out of your posts on homeschooling. I think you could develop that line into a really great weblog. Those posts are informative and very well done!


    Comment by montucky — April 22, 2007 @ 8:29 am

  10. hey, btw, sorry to have gotten so off topic here….

    thanks for checking out my other blogs. funny, because sowingseeds is my least favorite. I think the idea is good, but I am not the one who should write it! I am still struggling to raise my own kids and I have a very brown thumb! funny thing, every time I think about deleting it, either you or trick falls comes by saying how you like that one….

    also appreciate your kind words and encuoragement on the homeschooling topics. at first I was rather hesitant, but had very good feedback for the most part. I don’t know if it ever really ever helped anybody, but it was good to write down all my ideas and I really like sharing ideas w/ others. they can use them, disregard them or tweak them to work for their family. and the encouragement I have gotten from so many of you (at WU) has really been a confidence booster for me (funny, since I don’t really know many of you) and has helped to learn some things along the way as well.

    I am thinking I need to go thru WU-if/when it comes back up-and copy those homeschooling posts (I have most on my word processor though). My mom and dad are wanting me to put those articles on a website they are trying to develop.


    Comment by skouba — April 22, 2007 @ 11:26 am

  11. Definitely copy those homeschooling posts! They were very interesting to me, and my kids are already grown and gone. They must be very helpful to those who are involved in or interested in homeschooling.

    I’m also beginning to understand that we actually have very little idea about where all our weblog posts go, who reads them, and what kind of effect it has on their thinking and actions. You most likely have had far more impact than you realize.


    Comment by montucky — April 22, 2007 @ 1:32 pm

  12. thanks….


    Comment by skouba — April 22, 2007 @ 2:01 pm

  13. Jessie

    I will be back soon for more info!


    Trackback by Jessie — August 2, 2007 @ 6:35 pm

  14. Texas State Parks Camping

    Is it true that we are currently experiencing a travel boom?


    Trackback by Texas State Parks Camping — August 16, 2007 @ 11:02 am

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