Weekly feature by: Erica Prather

Objection, objection – I have an objection.
Refute, refuse, disapprove, disagree, dispute.
Oppose.
I object the numbers.

1,720 untouched acres
for 6 miles of road and
48 new methane venting pads to reach
17 million tons of coal
Over 50,000 comments that want to keep it in the ground
0 methane capture regulations
the adjacent West Elk Mine is the #1 polluter in the state of Colorado

I object to the mind-numbing sound of extraction in this quiet space.
I object to finding a loophole to the Roadless Forest Act for a bankrupt company.
I object the USFS neglect of the Endangered Species Act.
I object the USFS skirting of the Environmental Protection Act.
I object because the USFS did not address climate change.
I object because the USFS said this project’s response to – ‘will this harm the Canadian Lynx?’ – was a pithy maybe, probably, we don’t really know.
If you don’t know, don’t.
Defer. Defer. Defer.

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell…”

I found the way to this place. It holds intrinsic value for me. It does not have a number.

Public lands (we found our way there)
Public lands (the aspens flirted with the sky that day)
Public lands (no motorized vehicles! the signs are in all capital letters you know)
Public lands (this means you)
Public lands (I didn’t see a keep out sign)
Public lands (I was transfixed by the golden grove)
Public lands (from California to the new york island)
Public lands (metallic waste rock in the stream)
Public lands (arsenic in the rivers)
Public lands (mercury and lead in our veins)
Public lands  (where will all the methane go?)

Public lands are in the hands of the generation that grinds the hourglass sands

I object on the grounds that the USFS did not address the ESA or utilize NEPA to its fullest capacity. Outdated Biological Assessments dating from 2010 are not an acceptable source of information on which to judge the irreparable damage that will pockmark the landscape – just as the journey to the Sunset Roadless area attests. You can see these drainage pads from a satellite image. This is the message that we send to the rest of the world, to the universe, like an etching in rock – see what we value? It is spelled out in neat little squares. Anything orbiting earth can see.

One more number: 10
10 years of coal left in adjacent West Elk Mine. It is more than enough.
Will we fill the hourglass with soot? I object.

Categories: Weekly Features

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