For Support of Efforts to Repair Adverse Environmental Effects of Surface Disturbances Caused by the Exploration of Fossil Energy from the Earth

WHEREAS, leases are being sold to private industry for extracting resources from public oil shale lands and public coal lands in the Western U. S.; and

WHEREAS, this activity is expected to involve sizeable tracts of lands and cause environmental changes that would eliminate the necessary habitat requirements of almost all native land mammals and have a cumulative impact on the surrounding regions; and

WHEREAS, the prototype impact studies in these arid areas indicate that the technology needed for re-establishing native plants which are necessary foods for native mammals is not available; and

WHEREAS, the major emphasis in research on plant re-establishment has been on exotic grasses rather than on native biota;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Society of Mammalogists supports potential and existing legislation requiring full rehabilitation of these areas; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that intensive research efforts be immediately initiated to acquire the technology needed to rehabilitate disturbed surfaces so they will provide a satisfactory habitat for native fauna.