The Wayward West

  Idaho has more wolves and one less wolf biologist. The Nez Perce tribe has fired Timm Kaminski, who led the tribe's wolf reintroduction program for the last 18 months, AP reports (HCN, 3/3/97). At the end of last year, six breeding pairs were roaming central Idaho. The tribe isn't saying why Kaminski was dismissed.

Idaho Rep. Helen Chenoweth and her Republican backers say they don't understand why their Capitol Hill colleagues won't pass laws defending private property rights. "We haven't got support from the leadership," she told CongressDaily. Even Idaho Sen. Dirk Kempthorne, who's leading a bipartisan effort to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act, seems to forget his anti--takings' constituency, says Nancie Marzulla, the head of a property-rights group. "I scratch my head and say, "Aren't we in the majority?" "

After filing for bankruptcy in January, Pegasus Gold Corp. is closing its Zortman-Landusky gold mine in Montana (HCN, 12/22/97). The company said it couldn't afford an expansion costing as much as $40 million. The nearby town of Malta mourned the loss of a good neighbor, but longtime opponents at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation applauded the news.

Utah's Lisbon Valley copper mine is gaining ground (HCN, 6/23/97). Last month, the Bureau of Land Management rejected an appeal by environmentalists, saying the San Juan County mine won't harm groundwater because it's suitable now only for farming and industry - uses that won't be affected by the mine, the agency says. Summo USA Corp. awaits a nod from the Interior Board of Land Appeals before breaking ground.

A Colorado judge has told the state's largest gold mine to get back to work - on cleanup. Judge Nancy Connick ruled March 3 that the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Co. (HCN, 5/18/92) must meet EPA standards, even if historic mining caused high acidity and metals concentrations in water near the mine.

" Dustin Solberg