Singing the North Fork fracking blues and updating BLM policies

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“[I]t is far more difficult to quantify the economic benefits of healthy ecosystems.”

Yes. It is so much easier to quantify grazing, farming, mining, oil and gas production, hunting and water extraction—-the old ways of defining our resources. But beauty, viewsheds, quiet, habitat, recreational potential, air quality and ecosystems don’t covert as well to the mighty dollar.

This disparity makes it difficult to understand the value of other public lands such as Monuments and National Parks. The New West doesn’t yet have a convincing way to describe itself, let alone an accurate way to value the difference between Colorado National Monument and Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce National Park.

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