NWF: Bill on drilling permits could be vehicle to fund well inspections

Tue, 07/29/2014

A recent federal report shows thousands of potentially risky wells on public lands haven't been inspected. Photo by Jack Dempsey

By Judith Kohler

WASHINGTON -- A proposal to extend a pilot program aimed at preventing backlogs of drilling applications for federal lands provides an opportunity to address another backlog – uninspected oil and gas wells on our public lands.

Kate Zimmerman, the National Wildlife Federation’s public lands policy director, urged the Senate committee hearing S. 2440 on Tuesday to give as much consideration to safeguarding human and environmental health as the quick processing of drilling permits. 

Bipartisan Public Lands Renewable Energy Development bills get hearings in Congress

Corey Fisher, July 26, 2014


In this day and age, it’s not often that folks from both sides of the political spectrum can get together and support a proposal affecting public lands. It’s even rarer to have congressmen from both parties, in both houses of Congress, moving legislation forward.  Yet, that’s exactly what is happening when the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act receives hearings in both House and Senate committees this week. 

One of the unique things about renewable energy development is the permanence to it. This is both good and challenging. Good because it’s a cleaner, sustainable source of energy that can’t be used up in the same way as fossil fuels. Challenging because once a solar field or wind farm goes in, it’s there for the long haul.

This necessitates smart planning.


National Forests Support Recreation Economy

Frank Sturges
Every year, over 160 million visitors head to our National Forests and Grasslands. Outdoor recreation enthusiasts contribute more to the economy than anything else the U.S. Forest Service does—more even than timber, grazing, and mineral development combined.
Tapping our public lands for economic value should emphasize the benefits of the recreation economy rather than shortsighted timber harvest expansions that can harm our landscapes.
Visitors come to National Forests to hunt and fish, bike and hike, view wildlife, and paddle some of our most incredible rivers. Some head outdoors simply to de-stress and relax. While they’re doing that, though, they are making jobs and providing an economic boost.

Sportsmen, wildlife advocates back bill to protect Browns Canyon bill

Wed, 07/23/2014

Photo by Susan Mayfield

By Judith Kohler

DENVER  –   Sportsmen’s and wildlife groups are urging members of Congress to support a bill that would permanently protect Colorado ’s Browns Canyon, a treasured wildlife and recreation area.

The Senate National Parks Subcommittee was scheduled Wednesday to consider S. 1794, a bill by Colorado Sen. Mark Udall that would establish the 22,000-acre Browns Canyon National Monument. The hearing represents a step forward after more than two decades of work by grassroots organizations and elected officials to conserve the nationally known whitewater rafting site and important fishing and hunting spot, National Wildlife Federation and Colorado Wildlife Federation representatives said.