Archive for January, 2010

Hunters and anglers say Secretary Salazar’s announcement could lead to
balance and fairness in public lands management

DENVER – Sportsmen across the West today applauded Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s
announcement that he intends to restore balance and common sense to energy development on
America’s public lands.

In November, Salazar said his agency would conduct a comprehensive review of the country’s
onshore energy programs to “find out how we can make them more efficient and more rational.”
The initiatives he introduced today were welcomed by hunters and anglers concerned that oil and
gas drilling are threatening important fish and wildlife habitats on Western public lands.

“It’s great to have a new sheriff in town who isn’t afraid to be a real steward of our public
lands,” said Walt Gasson, executive director of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation.

In hailing the proposed changes, sportsmen said a return to a common-sense energy policy will
help protect America’s outdoor legacy.

“Our way of life depends on clean water and healthy habitat,” said Ken Neubecker, president of
Colorado Trout Unlimited. “As a fellow Westerner, Secretary Salazar recognizes that we all have
to play by the rules when it comes to public lands. After all, public lands are owned by all of us
and should be protected by all of us – whether we’re hunting, fishing or drilling for oil and gas.”

The sportsmen noted that hunting and fishing have long played a vital role in the Western
economy. In Colorado, hunting and fishing support more than 21,000 jobs and generated an
estimated $1.8 billion in 2007, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

“The economy here depends on all of us sharing our world-class natural resources,” Neubecker
said. “Secretary Salazar’s announcement is good news for local economies across the West. If
sportsmen didn’t have access to healthy fish and wildlife, our communities would face a huge
economic hit.”

Sportsmen appreciate how important energy is to the United States, but they have seen first-hand
the consequences of eight years of unprecedented access to public lands for energy development
with little oversight, said Brad Powell, energy director for Trout Unlimited.

“Secretary Salazar’s proposed policy reforms represent a giant leap in the right direction,” Powell
said. “Hunters and anglers across the country have endured the loss of some of their favorite

hunting and fishing lands, and now have reason for optimism. These planned reforms start to
bring some balance back to the management of our public lands.”

Other leading hunting and fishing organizations echoed Powell’s comments.

“Changes in the federal government’s approach to public-lands energy development were long
overdue,” said Steve Belinda, energy policy manager for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation
Partnership, “and sportsmen welcome the secretary’s announcement, which should contribute to
more balanced management of our shared resources.

“Citizens rely on public lands to escape the tumult of everyday society and reconnect with
nature,” Belinda added. “To safeguard these attributes, we must acknowledge that some places
are simply too sensitive for energy development – and that the public is an important stakeholder
in the management of our energy resources, fish and wildlife populations, and sporting

“This is a much-needed course correction,” said Kate Zimmerman, a senior policy advisor with
the National Wildlife Federation. “Now when we develop energy sources, the focus will be on
doing it the right way and in the right places.”

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Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development is a coalition of more than 500 businesses, organizations and
individuals dedicated to conserving irreplaceable habitats so future generations can hunt and fish on public lands. The coalition is led by Trout Unlimited, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and the National Wildlife Federation.

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