« Discussion Topic: Would You Vote for Rudy (Revisited)? | Main | Discussion Topic: Is the Bush Administration Out to Gut the Endangered Species Act? »

March 30, 2007

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/field-notes

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The Field Notes at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/field-notes.

Discussion Topic: Drilling vs. Hunting on Public Lands

In a House Natural Recourses Committee hearing entitled "Access Denied: The growing conflict between fishing, hunting and energy development on federal lands,” conservationists and labor leaders testified Tuesday that energy development on public land is failing wildlife and squeezing out hunters and anglers.

From The Casper Star-Tribune:

"Energy development is not being done right on the public lands in the West," said Rollin Sparrowe, a Wyoming resident and board member of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and former supervisor of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service research programs on Rocky Mountains wildlife. . . .

Sparrowe noted that oil and gas leasing has accelerated since the November election. "People want to get as much leased as they can under the current administration before it's too late," he said.

Representatives Stevan Pearce (R-NM) and Don Young (R-AK) argued that the amount of land affected—“less than 5 percent of BLM” parcels—doesn’t justify all the fuss. Young added that, “If we continue down this path of not developing energy, you won't have any freedom in this country.”

Where do you stand on the topic?


Mike Diehl

Young just handed out the whopper grandmother of dumbass statements. What... if we continue to protect land that Americans can use to encourage new generations in traditional American values, then there won't be any "freedom?"

Gee, I did not realize that the two go**amned cents that I will save over the lifetime of the oil field in the proposed drill area on ANWR was the difference between having "freedom" and having none at all.

I have a counterproposal. Americans in the lower 48 paid for the Alaskan purchase. Let's take all that money that Alaskans get from energy leases on *Federal* land in Alaska and distribute it among the rest of the 48. Then we'll see how long Mr. Young will prattle about the relationship between "Freedom" and the Alaskan oil fields.

Kristine Shreve

Seems that almost everything the government wants us to do is accompanied with the following scare tactic: "We'll lose our freedom if we don't do this."

This tactic seems particularly popular when the government wants us to voluntarily give away some of our freedom.

as moeggs

What in the hell does my freedom have to do with drilling for oil? Another "Bushism" Stupid, very stupid.


i don't think you can imagine how the coal bed methane extrtaction operations in Wyoming are devasting the once prisitine sage prairie. raping the land and fouling the rivers in the name of energy. BLM has sold out big time.


I worked in the uranium fields north east of Casper Wyoming for 11 years and I have seen drilling on a smaller scale than in Pindale with the gas wells.
What I have seen is the end result after the drilling is done when the reclamation is done and the wild life is thriveing. The company that I worked for had to take pictures before production began and when they are done they replace top soil where roads where made and natural plant seed is put in and now you can't tell there was a well field even there. In a nut shell what i'm trying to say is give them a chance and take a look in those areas where the drilling is being done in a couple years after they have done reclamation and I think you might be surprised.


Brent, I would not be surprised at all if responsible mining companies can indeed harvest resources with a minimal impact on the land. The problem is that many companies don't do this. This makes it difficult to take chances when in many places around the U.S. the environment has been irrepairably damaged. I like driving my vehicle and I enjoy my heated home, but I'd much rather make a sacrifice in these areas than take a chance and risk fouling up the wonderful American outdoors.

Matt Mallery

I enjoy freedom. My freedom to roam the fields and forests with a gun and hunt. To get away from the drone of ATVs. To get away from lawn mowers polluting the air just so people won't have to look at the native speicies of grasses and weeds growing where they have always grown. The freedom to be someplace other than a shopping mall spending money on Chinese made junk. The anti environmentalists talk a big game about freedom. To them, freedom is the right to exploit public land, my land, for their own wealth. I will never be able to afford to hunt on private ranches like the CEOs of the oil companies. I need public land for my outdoor experiences. Therefore, the oil and gas companies are taking my freedom. As far as restoring the land after use. The only reason the companies do that at all is because the environmentalists force them to, and that fight has been tooth and nail.

Our Blogs