Ortenburg on Collaboration and the Red Lodge Experience

Here’s a link to a piece by Art Ortenburg on collaborative conservation in the Huffington Post.

The current grass-roots disaffection with federal involvement in land use is undeniable. Utah would like to float off and control all of its federal lands. “Return them to the people” is the slogan. That slogan is being heard repeatedly in the west. This is the time for a major push on the part of the administration to reawaken the collaborative spirit. Instead it is in the process of possibly reversing the “roadless area” principles of the Clinton administration so that new roads on public lands will be available for mining.

P.S. I don’t know what he’s talking about with regard to new roads on roadless public lands and mining.

4 thoughts on “Ortenburg on Collaboration and the Red Lodge Experience”

  1. That could be, but DOJ is supporting the 2001 Rule.. If he is going to criticize someone, I think heu should be clear exactly what he is criticizing them for doing.. otherwise it gives the impression that he doesn’t need to be careful about facts to reach conclusions. I think we would get to agreement on conclusions easier if we were more careful to spend time seeing if we agreed on the facts first.

  2. My understanding is that those are for mines under the 1872 Mining Act and venting wells on existing coal leases. It would be legally problematic for the Dept to do anything else.

    PS the article cited talks about expansion of the coal mines, technically I don’t think that’s correct. They have an existing federal lease to mine the coal underground. They are asking for road access to punch holes for methane drainage wells. My understanding is that those wells are used about 2-3 years and then the roads are obliterated, returning the area to a roadless state.

    Part of this might be due to the confusion about which mine. Public comment was recently taken on a proposal to expand. The Secretary was talking about methane drainage wells for existing leases.

    Here’s a press release published today that explains it more clearly and accurately.


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