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High Country News August 04, 1997

Feature

Habitat Conservation Plans: Who wins and who loses when Uncle Sam cuts deals with landowners to protect endangered species?

Controversy reigns over whether Habitat Conservation Plans - the latest attempt to balance private-property rights with the protection of endangered species - are doing more harm than good.

Critics say "no surprises' means no protection

A report on the Habitat Conservation Plans conference in Washington, D.C., reveals a lot of uncertainty about whether or not HCPs are good for wildlife.

The feds won't enforce the ESA

Some say the real problem with habitat conservation lies in the government's unwillingness to really enforce the Endangered Species Act.

Timber's bad boy comes to the table

Biologist Lorin Hicks of Plum Creek Timber Co. says that the notorious logging company is now trying to do the right thing for endangered species with the help of HCPs.

Habitat plans are in full flood

In the Pacific Northwest, timber companies such as Weyerhaeuser are enthusiastic about HCPs because of the spotted owl.

Dear Friends

Dear friends

Out of the hot (visitors); in other news (Jon Christensen writing for New York Times).

News

A-LP looms liter

Animas-La Plata backers unveil a leaner new version of the proposed dam - A-LP "Lite" - but opponents still have plenty of criticism.

Forest plan powers through Congress

The Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery and Economic Stability Act passes in the House, but environmentalists have reservations about the untested logging techniques as well as the favoring of local solutions over some national interests.

Trouble for grizzly bear recovery plan

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's draft plan to restore grizzly bears to western Montana and central Idaho's Selway-Bitterroot ecosystem faces opposition from Republican Sens. Conrad Burns and Larry Craig.

A Colorado reality check: lions roam and kill

In separate attacks by mountain lions, a boy in Colorado's Mesa Verde National Park is wounded, and another boy, in Rocky Mountain National Park, is killed.

The Wayward West

Sen. Dale Bumpers and Rep. Elizabeth Furse plan to leave Congress; Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund changes name; Mike Mease travels in buffalo bus; Great Grizzly hikers trek to protect Mont. bear habitat; Mormon Trail wagon train.

Volunteers test county claims in potential wilderness areas

Some Utah county commissioners cite a law from 1866, R.S. 2477, to claim rights-of-way through BLM land prevent wilderness designation.

Owens Valley finally loses patience

Rural elected officials order Los Angeles to stop diverting 43 million gallons water a day from California's Owens Lake.

'Thrillcraft' leave a polluted, contentious wake

Across the country, conservationists battle the rapidly growing use of noisy, motorized water "thrillcraft," such as jet skis and power boats.

Judge clubs Sierra donor

A San Francisco Superior Court Judge rules against Ray Graham III in his suit against the Sierra Club Foundation.

No-show lets roads roll

The House of Representatives backs away from an amendment that would require logging companies to pay for their roads in national forests.

Co-existence criticized

Five environmental groups say that oil and gas drilling on the Shoshone National Forest threatens grizzly bear habitat.

Prairie dogs beat the bullet

The Colorado Wildlife Commission restricts "contest shoots" of small game, including prairie dogs and coyotes.

Jaguar limps onto the list

The rare jaguar is added to the Endangered Species list.

What's his are mines

In Colorado, some say controversial wilderness-land developer Tom Chapman may have goofed in acquiring two mining claims in the Spanish Peaks wilderness study area.

Whitewater comes roaring back

PacifiCorp releases water from Grace Dam for two days, and whitewater rapids roar down the Bear River through Grace, Idaho.

A do-over in Telluride

The Forest Service revises its approval of a ski area expansion onto public land in Telluride, Colo.

A cheatgrass antidote - maybe

The BLM's desire to use DuPont's pesticide Oust to kill a weed called cheatgrass provokes controversy.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Woodsy Owl's makeover; Ore. high school team no longer "Savages"; Rainbows not welcomed in Prineville, Ore.; shooting in Jackson, Wyo.; Helen Chenoweth on grizzlies; Wyo. Republican starts field hearings; Wis. Rep. Obey replies to critics; Missy Cow Cow.

Opinion

'Road warriors' spread out over Utah

A "Road Warrior" for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance tries to find and document roads claimed to exist in BLM wilderness study areas.

Related Stories

'The real problem is lack of time'

In his own words, California biologist Dennis Murphy defends HCPs.

'I've never seen a good HCP'

In her own words, Environmental Law Fund attorney Tara Mueller blasts HCPs.

'We've turned down bad HCPs'

In his own words, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Region 1 Assistant Director Curt Smitch defends HCPs.

'Landowners need more incentives'

In his own words, scientist Michael Bean of the Environmental Defense Fund says HCPs give landowners a reason to protect wildlife.

'HCPs need peer-reviewed science'

In his own words, volunteer Michael Schindell with the National Endangered Species Network says HCPs have weak science.

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