Natural Resources

Fall 2011 Natural Resources Law Class at UB

Oil or Lubricant in Ellicott Creek October 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — justinemmiller @ 2:15 pm

So i was kayaking down Ellicott creek Thursday afternoon when i noticed oil or lubricant floating on top of the creek about a half mile upstream from maple and north forest in Williamsville, it started near the Amherst Highway Dept. location on the creek.My friend said it was probably not oil but  a lubricant because it wasn’t black, just a rainbow on top of the water.

I was worried about it so my friend called the police who said they would be sending someone to test it. When we arrived at maple and north forest, the endpoint of our journey and i decided to take a sample of the oily water. Apparently the police called the amherst highway dept, the people i think caused the spill because it started at their property during what sounded like construction. the man that came out of the hwy dept truck staring as me as i took the sample asked me what i was doing and said “can i help you” rudely. then he left without taking any samples. he just looked at it and decided it wasnt worth dealing with i guess.

Who should i have called? what should i do if i go out there this week and its still all oily?


Does the very presence of people in the wilderness mean that its not wilderness anymore? October 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — justinemmiller @ 5:31 am

I thought about this discussion in class in the context of my outdoor experiences. I had always thought of canoeing and camping and to be “low impact” activities on the environment, however when thought about in a larger context, they probably do affect plant and animal life.

But, if human presence means that it isnt “wilderness” anymore, then humans cant really experience wilderness at all.

I know to me it sure seems like wilderness paddling down a creek or camping in the woods, but really is it?

I think it depends on the extent of the human activity in the area, and the density of the people, but that is just my opinion.

It could be that  I am just reluctant to admit that just by being there I am messing it up somehow.

I guess wilderness must be a more relative idea than I realized in the past.

Our personal definitions probably depend on how “deep” into the wilderness we’ve gone before.