DOAS submits comments on hydrofracking regulations —
In the latest official action on the issue of hydraulic fracturing gas drilling in NY State, the Department of Environmental Conservation recently took public comments on their draft regulations for permitting this activity. DOAS was among many organizations and citizens submitting comments calling the regulations flawed, and the timing of their release premature.
DEC has not yet finalized its environmental impact statement on hydrofracking, nor is an ongoing human health impact study review complete. This means they were unable to take these important documents into consideration in drafting the regulations.
What you can do —
There have been calls for extending the comment period on the regulations. If this happens, please submit your own comments. Also, continue to support local efforts on moratoriums and bans at the local level. It may well be that drilling will be allowed only in those communities that have demonstrated approval of the practice. The DOAS comments are available here.
Wolf protections to disappear? —
In a very disappointing extension of its misguided approach to wolf protection, the Obama administration is proposing to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list. This follows earlier decisions to hand over wolf management to several western states. This has lead to liberal hunting seasons in these areas, with killing of hundreds of wolves in the first year.
The restoration of wolves is considered one of the biggest successes of the Endangered Species Act since it was passed in 1973. However, the work is not finished. Delisting the gray wolf will set back four decades of progress and expose America’s wolves to unwarranted and unsustainable killing.
Delisting could also derail efforts to restore wolves to more of their historic range, including Colorado, the Pacific Northwest, Utah and California. Wolves are an important part of healthy ecosystems, keeping prey species in balance. An historic opportunity to revitalize some of the nation’s best remaining wildlife habitat would be lost.
The time may come when removing wolf protections should be considered, but this is not it.
What you can do —
Write President Barack Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20240) and let them know that wolves are important to you and to the environment. Tell them that delisting wolves is premature, and encourage efforts to reintroduce this iconic species to their original range.