On July 16, 1979  the Churchrock uranium mill tailings pond failed, spilling 1,000 tons of solid radioactive mill waste. 93 million gallons of acidic, radioactive tailings solution flowed into the Puerco River and downstream onto the Navajo Nation. To this day the spill is the largest release of radioactive material in U.S. history, but the accident received little media attention and poor cleanup response from the federal government.
Captain's Log Starship 1XE, Day 3 in the month November, Earth Calendar year 2018.
Turkey day is coming up and there is actually snow on the peaks, improved levels of water in reservoirs, and the valleys around Aspen are chilly and still passable as the hordes prepare to descend on this magical ski town, our own 'Never Never Land'.
The Roosevelt fire in the Bridger-Teton National Forest started on September 15th 2017. The fire burned over 60,000 acres and destroyed over 55 homes in the Hoback Ranches subdivision. U.S. Forest Service Investigators concluded that the fire was caused by an abandoned campfire. Landslides are a common concern in this area, and much more so since the fire.
Captain's Log Starship 1XE, Day 19 in the month October, Earth Calendar year 2018.
Variety is the spice of life.
And so it is fall, and anything goes: CAVU (ceiling absolute visibility unlimited), smoke, fog, rain and snow. Long bomber airfields and short diminutive aerodromes under high mountain passes in California and Oregon that were as exacting as they were beautiful.
Deep Creek flows from the Flat Tops and Deep Lake through one of Colorado's most spectacular and rugged canyons before it joins the Colorado River. Deep Creek was found to be the only creek "suitable" for Wild and Scenic designation by both the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. The canyon is one of the most unique and truly pristine untouched environments left in Colorado.
Utah reps are pushing HR 5727, a public lands bill that has some serious implications for redrock wildlands. For example, more than 900,000 acres of proposed wilderness is being left unprotected within Emery County, and other lands worthy of protection are being left out simply because they are not within arbitrary county lines. The current legislation would riddle proposed conservation areas with destructive motor vehicle routes, and contains insufficient protections for unique Utah landscapes like Labyrinth Canyon, Muddy Creek and the San Rafael Badlands.
Back to the Future. Back to Escalante. Well, the airport hasn't moved on the map and the ominous slots and boulders of Death Box Hollow sure look the same, but where is the airport? It was back in the early 80s when I last landed there but not much changes in this remote part of Utah, so I guess it is just the smoke and early morning haze that makes me question the location.
Wyoming's Red Desert is a remarkable landscape that spans the Great Divide Basin, includes thousands of acres of potential wilderness, and significant wildlife habitats and cultural areas. The majority of the Red Desert is public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The agency is currently rewriting the land-use plan for the region, which will establish management guidance for the next 15-20 years for much of this special place.
President Trump's Proclamation became effective upon signing on December 4, 2017 - removing nearly a million acres from national monument protection from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. As of that date the existing Clinton GSENM ceased to exist. The new Trump version of GSENM took its place, consisting of three new "units", shrunken sections of the old Monument.
The American Prairie Reserve's network of private land holdings are now open to the public for visitation and recreation. Now, some of the private lands owned by American Prairie Reserve no longer block access to adjacent federal and state lands, and the Reserve is partnering with the state to offer public wildlife hunting opportunities.