Thursday, October 22, 2009

Colorado Rep. Salazar seeks wilderness protection for Forest Service land in Centennial State

Coloradans may soon see more of the public land in their state protected by the Wilderness Act.

Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., has introduced a bill that would designate more than 60,000 acres on four national forests as wilderness.

In keeping with a trend in recent wilderness bills, the proposal forecloses any possibility of federal government water rights in the protected areas.

The measure must be approved by the House Natural Resources Committee before being considered on the floor or moving to the Senate.

Monday, October 12, 2009

NOAA scientists recommend protection of coastlines from oil and gas drilling

The federal government's chief oceanographers are recommending that the Obama administration preclude oil and gas drilling along much of the country's coastline.

The suggestion, which is not binding, was made last month by officials of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today.

It says that the Department of Interior should decline to approve permits that would allow drilling along much of the coast off Alaska, the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico.

NOAA also recommends caution in allowing oil and gas extraction activity in protected waters off California.

The Bush administration had indicated a willingness to allow drilling in all of those areas.

The Los Angeles Times has a detailed story.