Two of the West's greenest representatives in Congress have announced they will not run for re-election. One, nicknamed "Senator Public Lands' for his commitment to environmental issues during his four terms in office, is Arkansas Sen. Dale Bumpers, who led the fight to reform the 1872 Mining Law and raise grazing fees. The other is Oregon Rep. Elizabeth Furse, who became a hero to Northwest timber activists when she wrote a bill to repeal the 1995 salvage-logging rider. After four terms in office, Furse is returning to Oregon, possibly to start a political action committee ...


It's official. The Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund has been reborn as Earthjus-tice Legal Defense Fund. The new name was announced by actor Mel Gibson in a full-page ad in the New York Times Magazine ...


It chugs along like a VW van, but looks like a bison when it stops at tourist meccas around Yellowstone. Mike Mease hopes his bus dressed up as a buffalo will educate tourists about last winter's bison slaughter. Mease spent the past two winters videotaping the bison that were killed to protect cattle from brucellosis. Mease is the co-founder of a Missoula-based environmental group, Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers ...


Trying to draw attention to another native beast, the Great Grizzly Hikers will walk 300 miles of a vital migratory corridor for grizzly bears. The Missoula-based Alliance for the Wild Rockies organized this trek along the Continental Divide trail in Montana to promote protection for grizzly habitat ...


Under the motto "faith in every footstep," some 200 people on horseback, in wagons and pulling handcarts have successfully retraced the route of the original Mormon exodus from Nebraska to Utah. Despite greatly improved travel conditions, this re-enactment faced some hurdles that the original wagon train did not have to deal with 150 years ago. In Wyoming, for example, the highway patrol stalled the Mormon Trail Wagon Train for three hours for not having adequate signs to alert motorists.


* Heather Abel