Warner Pacific College
October 5, 2010
The environment, our land, air and water are precious. Sometimes I believe we take it for granted. Regulations have been put in place by congress for the safety and sustainability of our environment. We as people need to be more aware of our responsibility to protect our environment, and be aware of what the activities that we are doing that are depleting our natural resources. As the population grows at record amounts so does the threat to our air, water, and soil.
There are many environmental regulations; I have chosen to look at the Bureau of land management in Oregon and Washington. The Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, is where the BLM roots started (blm.gov, nd). As the West was beginning poor farming, and timber harvesting had adverse effects to the environment. The BLM began regulations to help sustain the ecological and economic growth, as well as providing habitat for many threatened and endangered fish and wildlife. They maintain information on public land from present to the Land Ordinance of 1785, showing how they are used, how funds are generated, what plants/animals live there and what effect wildfire and prescribed fires have and much more. The BLM manages two million acres of forest in western Oregon and in Washington most lands are east of the Cascade Mountain Range, (blm.gov, nd). They manage more land than any other federal agency, a total of 256 million acres. This land is known as the National System of Public Lands located in 12 Western states (blm.gov, nd). The budget for the Bureau is approximately $1 billion, with a mission to “sustain health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations” (blm.gov, nd). Some of the accomplishments are managing outdoor recreation, energy production, livestock grazing, mineral development and conserving historical, cultural and natural resources on the public lands.
In the 19th century as the first national parks, forests and wildlife Congress saw the value of the resources rather than being used for settlement. Without the Bureau of Land Management regulations the parks, reserves, wildlife and resources would quickly become polluted, destroyed, or extinct. As the BLM regulations are in effect most of us don’t realize all the benefits that they are doing to maintain this beautiful Western United States.
Not until reading this article and the environmental book did I really know what environmental studies was all about. I have been blessed by living in Oregon all my life, my children were raised here and their grandparents as well. I do want the beauty of this country to be around for my children’s children, children, and it is up to each one of us to support the BLM, do our part in helping the environment by paying attention to what is going on in our environment. The cost at times may seem high but I wonder how much more would it cost should the regulations not be in effect.
Withgott, J. , & Bennan, S. (2008). Environment: The Science Behind the Stories (3rd
ed.). New York. Pearson Benjamin Cummings. ISBN: 13: 978-0-8053-9573-0
U.S. Department of the Interior (nd). Bureau of Land Management. About the BLM
http://www.blm.gov/or/about/blmfacts2.php retrieved October 3, 2010