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Steens Mountain

This last week, I watched a great episode of Oregon Field Guide.  It had a section detailing how wind farms in Oregon are doing damage to bat species.  You can see the episode here (it's the middle story in this half hour show).

Now, it's true... you drive up the Columbia River Gorge these days, and it's quite a sight to behold.  Turbine after turbine after turbine.

And I thought that someone on that Field Guide had a very interesting comment... he said, some day, all of these turbines are going to be seen like Bonneville Dam.  They just block a total flyway, particularly when it comes to species, like bats, that we know little about.

Two nights ago I started to think about the increasingly reckless energy speculation going on in Oregon.  I love the Gorge, but my heart always will belong to SE Oregon's wonderful Steens Mountain.

Surely, I thought, they're not going to develop wind energy there??

How wrong I was.

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Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 01:37 PM PST

Sanjay Gupta for HHS

by Land Use Watch

Given the crap that is Obama's cabinet, that is probably the BEST we can hope for.  (I am not actually being serious about Gupta for HHS... I am merely pointing out that given the continual disappointment with Obama's picks, I would not be surprised!)

Let's review...

1 Republican heading Transportation.

1 Republican heading Defense.

1 Republican heading Commerce.

1 hawk heading State.

1 wheres-the-beef idiot at Interior (Indeed.)

1 industry-tied EPA administrator.

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So it's been leaked that Ken Salazar is the nominee.

Wow, that's bad.  Very bad.  Even Mike Thompson had a higher LCV lifetime score (Salazar's is a meager 73).

Read some of the comments here:

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Bad, bad news.

[Note: for those readers who think we should just bury our head in the sands while Obama makes his picks without giving voice, this diary is probably not for you!]

Lots of hints suggesting that conservationist Raul Grijalva is OUT of the running for Secretary of Interior.  Why would a leading candidate such as Grijalva be tacitly questioning Obama's picks in a NY Times article unless he was make a hail mary pass?

And equally lots indicating that Blue Dog Democrat Mike Thompson, who voted FOR Bush's Healthy Forests Initiative and AGAINST roadless areas in Tongass, is the leading candidate.  Here too.

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Lots of recent speculation is indicating that the pivotal environmental role of Secretary of Interior is a contest between blue dog Rep Mike Thompson and Rep Raul Grijalva.

Thompson is supported by a variety of hunting groups; Grijalva is supported by a variety of environmental groups.

On paper, both appear to be pretty green.  Thompson scored between 77% and 93% over the years at League of Conservation Voters.  Grijalva has scored between 85 and 100%.

But simplistic percentages can be deceiving...

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Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 10:56 PM PST

Congratulations Hillary!

by Land Use Watch

Hillary did exceptionally well tonight.

She proved, again, that she is the only candidate that can reliably win big swing states.

She proved that she is a blood-and-guts fighter that will absolutely do what it takes to win against John McCain.

She opened the window and shed some sunlight on Obama's empty campaign, helping to reveal that Obama is not perfect... far from it.  And she helped show that Obama's support literally withers away (within a week!) when he is critiqued.

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The writing is on the wall.

The nominee for the Democratic Party, and the next President of the United States, will be Hillary Clinton.

Congratulations to all who supported her.  And on to the general election!  It's time to put the intra-party squabbling behind us... It's time for those who said that they would refuse to vote for Hillary to leave.  And it's time to crush the GOP!

Obama campaigners... you fought valiantly.  Your candidate is a good man.   He could be an outstanding vice-presidential candidate, and I urge you to push for Obama as Hillary's VP.  But now is the time to realize the lay of the land, just as Edwards supporters did, and rally around the clear nominee.

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As Eric Hoffer noted, "true believers", of which Daily Kos has its significant share, only become more adamant, more committed, and more vocal when their cause is undermined.

On this site, every day, Clinton supporters are subjected to a barrage of attacks... that the Clinton campaign is racist, didn't win Nevada, used dirty tricks, that they cheated, that they suppressed votes.  And on and on.

Daily, there is diary after diary pushing Obama and Edwards, almost always in manic tones.  The bizarre accusations and conspiracy theories give me some perspective on how many "regular folks" probably view anti-GOP conspiracy theories from us generally... you guys are just cookoo!

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So, it seems as though the ubiquitous "smartwater" is waging a war on regular water.  Indeed, I got a copy of some crappy magazine called "Movies Rock!" with last weeks The New Yorker.  The magazine is stuffed with advertisements, and a few terrible articles about music and movies.

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As I discussed earlier, there are two known Yangtze giant soft-shell turtles left in the world.  One is male.  The other is female.  This is the last chance for a seminal species.

We must do all we can to help this species survive.

Here's how...

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Months ago I mentioned the extinction of the Baiji -- a freshwater dolphin in China.

Read this article.

The same thing is happening now with the Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei).

"So many species are neglected," said Ms. Lu, who also heads the China affiliate of Conservation International. "Look at the baiji. The extinction was announced and what has been done? Nothing. People felt pity."

Then, alluding to the Yangtze giant soft-shell, also known as the Rafetus swinhoei, she added:

"This turtle will be next."

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Mon Nov 12, 2007 at 09:45 PM PST

Help Send Bird Killers to Jail!

by Land Use Watch

We need your help to ensure that people who intentionally and wantonly kill protected birds receive strong penalties! We have an unprecedented opportunity before us to increase protections for native birds.

Representatives DeFazio, Hooley, Wu and Blumenauer have introduced an amendment to the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act that would make it a felony to intentionally kill protected bird species. We need your help to ensure that this legislation is adopted by Congress!

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