Thursday, April 21, 2016

Save Public Lands from a Super Pollutant

Save Public Lands from a Super Pollutant Bookmark and Share

America's beautiful & unique wild spaces are being destroyed. Our 'public' lands & the wildlife that call it home need protection from the fa├žade of government (run by corrupt corporations/sociopathic profit-greed driven interests like fossil fuel industry/Koch Brothers), we have created...

Public lands, those held in trust by the federal government for the American people, offer an important defense against climate change. Our public lands provide a variety of resources that enable wildlife and communities to reduce the impacts of a shifting environment. As such, it is important that we manage development on our public lands in a manner that will reduce the threat of climate change to the local wildlife and communities.

Specifically, public lands:

•Protect ecosystems, like forests, which provide carbon storage and sequestration services along with vital habitat for wildlife
•Ensure biodiversity is conserved so that resilient ecosystems are able to provide the clean air and water we need
•Connect landscapes and provide migration corridors for wildlife to shift their habitat as the climate changes

Four federal agencies primarily manage this land: the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the National Park Service (NPS), and the Forest Service (FS). The BLM manages most of this land (247.3 million acres) and has a multiple use mandate that ensures the agency balances the land use needs of recreation, conservation, and resource extraction – including oil and gas development.

This multiple use policy, along with the fact that many of our public lands are resource-rich, has resulted in the development of over 100,000 oil and gas wells on BLM managed land. These wells present serious pollution problems, such as methane and other greenhouse gas emissions, that add to climate change and harm wildlife. Oil and gas infrastructure, including ancillary roads and pipelines, fragments habitat and creates migration barriers for wildlife like pronghorn and mule deer.

Also, it is important public lands remain intact for the local communities that depend on them. Tribal lands are very often adjacent to or surrounded by federal lands and the health of tribal lands and wildlife are intertwined with the health of public lands. NWF and the organization’s tribal partners, such as the National Tribal Air Association (NTAA), recognize that Native American Tribes are among those most impacted by climate change and methane emissions only magnify that threat.

Strong methane regulations are critical to reducing the impact of greenhouse gases on the health of tribal communities (see more on linked page)