President’s Column – March 2001

Title: A Followup on Last Month’s Column

Author: Susan Landon

Publication: The Outcrop, March 2001, p. 3

The year is off to a great start. The 3D Seismic Symposium already has begun to generate many registrations and (as I write this column a month in advance) promises to be a great success! The leadership of RMAG is committed to delivery of reasonably priced and timely continuing education for our membership. We will not host a spring course this year, but we do encourage our members to take advantage of the educational opportunities provided by the AAPG convention in Denver in June. As we look forward to a fall symposium, the committee will be guided by input from the membership.

RMAG included a questionnaire with the dues statement; we have been pleased by the tremendous response. Thanks to all of you that took the time to fill it out and send it to the office.

In the last President’s column, I discussed the need for RMAG to be more active in public issues. The RMAG Board is considering adopting a policy statement on public lands and we are including a draft of that statement here. If you have any comments or questions, please let us know. Thanks.

Draft RMAG Public Lands Policy Statement

The Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists has nearly 2, 000 members with an interest in the geology, and particularly resource-related geology, of the Rocky Mountain region.

The Association supports access to public lands for environmentally responsible energy and mineral resource development. The vast extent of public lands, both federal and state managed, contains discovered and undiscovered resources that are vital to maintaining and improving our standard of living and economic security. Vast amounts of public land have already been set aside for parks, wilderness, and other recreational uses. Existing federal and state laws and regulations provide for protection of water, air, biological, and cultural resources such that exploration and development can proceed with little or no long-term environmental impact on the bulk of public lands.

Lack of access to the extensive public lands severely restricts development of domestic energy and mineral resources. After several relatively warm winters, natural gas reserves, which cannot easily be imported over long distances, are low. This creates high prices for consumers. The Rocky Mountain region, dominated by public land ownership, has been identified as one of the most promising natural gas provinces in the United States.

Encouraging imports of oil, metals, and other resources has the irresponsible effect of exporting environmental impacts related to development of these resources. It has also had adverse effects on the domestic economy and employment. As a major consumer of energy and mineral resources, the United States should be a world leader in environmentally responsible development of its own resources.