The Wayward West
Friends of the Savage Rapids Dam say they can save salmon without tearing down the dam, but they'll need $450,000 from the state of Oregon to pay for it (HCN, 6/22/98). Critics say the plan to add a fish screen is simply an excuse to leave the dam on the Rogue River. "It does not help problems that the dam creates," says Bob Hunter of WaterWatch of Oregon.
In New Mexico, the Bureau of Land Management agreed to pull cattle from 40 miles of stream banks. The September deal settles a two-year-old lawsuit brought by Forest Guardians, which argued that the agency must kick cattle out of riparian areas so that native species such as the endangered willow flycatcher can recover (HCN, 5/11/98). "They will be fencing off some of the most productive land ranchers have," a ranching spokesman complained to the AP.
In Crested Butte, Colo., a dispute over a land trade between a resort and the Forest Service is settled (HCN, 9/14/98). Three groups dropped their appeals in exchange for a commitment from the Crested Butte Mountain Resort to build more affordable housing, preserve open space and draw a growth boundary at the ski area. "We're guardedly happy," said Sandy Shea of the High Country Citizens' Alliance.
More California condors will soar over the Arizona desert this fall. In November, biologists will set nine of the carrion-eaters free at Hurricane Cliffs just north of the Grand Canyon (HCN, 6/9/97). The six-month-old birds, with a wingspan that stretches nine feet, will join 15 endangered condors released nearby two years ago. "It's a major conservation event," says Bureau of Land Management biologist Mike Small, "like the wolves in Wyoming."
* Dustin Solberg