Although he lost his bid for the gubernatorial
nomination in New Mexico, Democrat Jim Baca is still fighting for
environmental causes. At a meeting of the Nevada Outdoor Recreation
Association in Reno, Baca said it is residents of the urban areas
who are thinking ahead and bringing a stronger momentum for change.
He also said that national environmental organizations are losing
battles because they have become too insulated inside the
Washington beltway. "The real grass roots of the West have to be
reinvigorated," he emphasized, since wise-use groups have
discovered what environmentalists learned 20 years ago:
Organizations with local influence can make a real difference. When
asked why no major environmental laws had passed in the first two
years of the Clinton administration, Baca said no one in the White
House understands Western issues. "Gore is not a Westerner and
Babbitt's just another politician."