Headlines – June 1, 2023 benita
Opponents Urge Against BLM Conservation Proposal
The Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, is under attack by western lawmakers after introducing its Conservation and Landscape Health Rule to the public in Denver last week.
The BLM oversees almost 250 million acres of U.S. federally owned land, which is used for recreation, livestock grazing, timber harvesting, and oil and gas drilling. Under the draft proposal, the BLM would have authority to prioritize ecosystem health over these other uses. That would include creating so-called conservation leases, which would set aside vulnerable land and waterways for restoration practices for periods up to ten years.
Several Colorado state representatives, mayors and city council members praised the rule last week. In a letter, they described the plan as a way to mitigate drought, fires, wildlife loss and other effects of climate change.
Several Republican lawmakers, including representatives from Montana, Washington State and Wyoming, have opposed the plan, saying its allowance of conservation leases would shut out those currently using the land such as ranchers and oil companies.
But BLM officials say the proposal will protect the land and ensure that its multiple uses can endure climate challenges.
Rights Group Sues Amazon For Lack Of Worker Break Time
A worker’s rights organization is suing Amazon for allegedly not giving Denver employees time for breaks, even to use the bathroom.
In a press release Wednesday, rights group Towards Justice said it filed a lawsuit last week on behalf of three workers who claim they urinate in bottles and defecate in dog waste bags in the back of delivery vans so that they can meet Amazon’s strict delivery quotas.
The plaintiffs, drivers Leah Cross, Marco Granger-Rivera, and Ryan Schilling say Amazon’s “elaborate tracking” makes stopping for a restroom difficult.
They claim trash cans at Amazon fulfillment centers are filled with bottles of urine that employees toss out after driving shifts.
The suit says the working conditions violate Colorado wage laws because employees are forced to skip breaks and are not compensated for them. The three plaintiffs have agreed to represent other Amazon drivers, but the Denver state court will have to approve the proposed class action lawsuit.
Colorado Bills Tackle Eating Disorder Triggers
Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera signed two bills Tuesday aimed at reducing the epidemic of eating disorders in Colorado that have also become a crisis nationwide.
One new law will largely ban the use of body mass index, or BMI, as a measurement for how to treat eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. Health experts say eating disorders are linked to mental health challenges, not BMI. The law will also limit the sale of diet pills to minors, because taking them can lead to eating disorders or make them worse.
The second bill will develop programs and resources to tackle the eating disorder crisis, including mental health research and public awareness programs at schools.
According to The Associated Press, nearly 30 million Americans suffer from eating disorders and over 10,000 die from them every year.
Biden To Address Graduates At Air Force Academy
President Joe Biden will be in Colorado Springs today to give the commencement speech to graduating U.S. Air Force Academy cadets. This will be Biden’s third time as commencement speaker at the Academy. He gave previous speeches as vice president in 2009 and 2014.
In a press release Wednesday, Governors John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet welcomed Biden to Colorado. They also urged that the president keep the Space Command Headquarters in Colorado Springs instead of moving it to Huntsville, Alabama — a decision made by former President Donald Trump during his term.
Hickenlooper, Bennet, and other opponents of the move say the decision was political and could disrupt and endanger national security.
Boulder Council Considers Allowing E-Bikes On Open Space
Boulder’s City Council is expected to approve an ordinance that will allow electric bikes on some open space trails.
According to Boulder Reporting Lab, 34 miles of city trails already used by conventional bikes soon might be buzzing with electric ones as well.
The Open Space Board of Trustees voted 3-2 against the proposal in February, saying e-bikes violate its Visitor Master Plan, which doesn’t allow motorized activities.
If the ordinance passes, e-bikes will be officially welcome on the Boulder Canyon Trail and certain trails east of Broadway, including Boulder Valley Ranch, Marshall Mesa, and the South Boulder Creek Path.
Boulder Walk Or Bike To Work Month Begins
In related news, Walk or Bike to Work Month begins today. The City of Boulder is teaming up with Community Cycles and other local partners to host events throughout June. Those who sign up to ride on Bike to Work Day on Wednesday, June 28th, can take part in a statewide celebration that includes free breakfast stations and an after-work happy hour. More information can be found on bouldercolorado.gov.
Headlines – June 1, 2023 benita