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Jack Fisher

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Natural Gas Project Cancelled in Australia

By Jack Fisher on 4/26/13 9:34 AM

Woodside Petroleum’s plans for a liquid natural gas plant in
Western Australia have been abandoned. Though still facing the threat of
offshore development, the decision is an exciting victory for NOLS Australia’s
classrooms and especially for the town of Broome where operations are based. The
school has been keeping close track of the project since 2011. At that time,
the proposal faced stiff opposition from a number of local indigenous and
environmental groups. James Price Point, the development’s proposed location,
is a large peninsula just north of Broome. The area is said to hold sacred
Aboriginal songlines and dinosaur
that are among the largest on the planet.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship

Earth Day Cold Frame Box Workshop at Pushroot Community Garden!

By Jack Fisher on 4/19/13 3:17 AM

Come to the Pushroot Community Garden on Saturday, April 27th
at 11am!

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship

Sequester Impacts National Park Service

By Jack Fisher on 3/15/13 7:47 AM

In the wake of the March 1, 2013 implementation of the
Federal sequester, some Department of the Interior Bureaus and Offices have
released statements that help to explain how their operations will be affected,
particularly during this year’s approaching spring and summer seasons.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Final Draft of Lander BLM Resource Management Plan Released

By Jack Fisher on 3/5/13 6:37 AM

On February 22, 2013, the Lander BLM
field office released its latest revision of the 2013 Resource Management Plan
(RMP). The RMP is a lengthy public
that “provides a framework for the future management direction and
appropriate use of BLM administered lands” in the office’s area of jurisdiction.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship

NOLS Parent Sally Jewell Nominated for Secretary of Interior

By Jack Fisher on 2/22/13 8:51 AM

The outdoor recreation industry is buzzing about President
and CEO of REI Sally Jewell’s recent nomination for Secretary of the Department
of the Interior
. After studying engineering at the University of Washington
in Seattle, Jewell was employed by Mobil Oil Company in Oklahoma and Colorado. She
then worked as a commercial banker for close to two decades before her most
recent position as President and CEO of Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI),
the Seattle-based outdoor retail giant.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship

NOLS Rocky Mountain Gets Examined for Energy Efficiency

By Jack Fisher on 2/18/13 4:22 AM

For the past several months, the Environmental
Stewardship and Sustainability
department has coordinated a series of
efficiency audits across a number of NOLS facilities. The rigorous inspection process
is designed to locate and evaluate existing energy and water efficiency problems
with appliances, plumbing fixtures and the structures themselves. After the
inspection is complete, the data is compiled and organized to help identify
waste-reduction solutions.

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Topics: NOLS Rocky Mountain, Environmental Stewardship

Tourism Groups Fight Mineral Development in Yukon’s Peel Watershed

By Jack Fisher on 2/8/13 7:48 AM

The Peel Watershed in northeastern Yukon Territory has been
the source of substantial controversy in recent years, the outcome of which
holds great importance to oil and gas companies, First Nations,
outfitters, and outdoor enthusiasts.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, NOLS Yukon

Utah BLM Sued Over Natural Gas Project

By Jack Fisher on 2/1/13 4:51 AM

Four conservation advocacy groups are suing the
Bureau of Land Management, BLM Utah State Director Juan Palma, and the
Department of the Interior. The
plaintiffs are troubled by the lack of investigation surrounding the potential
environmental repercussions of a proposed gas-drilling project along the Green
River, where NOLS operates courses.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship

Officials Give Alaska Dam Project Another Look

By Jack Fisher on 1/25/13 7:04 AM

In the next few years, a proposed dam on Alaska’s Susitna
River will face more scrutiny than originally anticipated. The Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) recently revised their initial research
plan, redesigning it to more thoroughly examine the project from a wider
variety of angles, including economic, environmental, and social standpoints.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship

Controversy Continues Around Brazil Dam Project

By Jack Fisher on 1/18/13 7:23 AM

The Belo Monte Dam on Brazil’s
Xingu River has long been a cause of uncertainty and controversy in northern
Amazonia. Since the project’s inception in 1975, a debate between the Brazilian
government and local tribal leaders and activists has been ongoing. Most
recently, the Brazilian Supreme Court lifted the project’s suspension. Though still facing opposition, frequent
disruption, strikes by workers, and the occasional delay of operations
, the
dam’s construction is currently underway.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship

Lease Buyout Spares Hoback Basin in the Wyoming Range

By Jack Fisher on 1/11/13 3:10 AM

Photo: Aaron Bannon

In a remarkable display of generosity and community cohesion, The Trust for Public Land recently announced the completion of a deal to purchase the leases attached to 58,000 acres of wilderness within the Bridger Teton National Forest surrounding Bondurant, Wyoming in the heart of the Wyoming Range. The $8.75 million needed to purchase the leases from Houston-based Plains Exploration and Production (PXP) was raised by over 1,000 individuals in just 90 days.

This buyout is Wyoming conservationists’ most significant victory in recent memory. It put a stop to PXP’s plans for the installation of 136 natural gas wells, and as a result guaranteed protection for the headwaters of the Hoback River along with wildlife migration routes, and prized hiking, climbing, fishing and hunting forever.

Though we do not operate in this area specifically, we commend this collaborative effort and success. NOLS runs several courses, including Adventure Courses for younger age groups, and backcountry skiing and winter camping in the Wyoming Range just to the south of the Hoback Basin. While students learn in a similar ecosystem and on similar terrain, the newly preserved area to their north will serve as an ever-present example of today’s struggle to maintain wild spaces.

This achievement sets a precedent for other land management scenarios that may arise in the future, and serves as a good example of the sense of persistence and determination that is important to instill in the leaders of tomorrow. Area residents agree that the buyout is something to be proud of, and many are wary that this situation will not be the last of its kind. In an interview at a backcountry fishing spot, Hoback Basin land owner and outdoorsman Dan Bailey comments, “There will be other battles that will come, but these are important initial battles to the success of preserving this area.”

Congratulations to The Trust for Public Land for their remarkable achievement, and thank you to all who contributed to the lasting protection of the Wyoming Range.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship