A golf course planned for a national forest has landed in the rough. In 1998, the Sierra Club legally challenged a 1997 decision allowing Dempsey Construction to expand Snowcreek Golf Course onto 95 acres of national forest (HCN, 2/16/98). This month, Inyo National Forest Supervisor Jeff Bailey withdrew the permission. "We have determined that there are other, and perhaps better options than expanding the golf course under a special use permit," Bailey said. He added that a land exchange might be one option for Dempsey.
California's largest lake, the Salton Sea, churned up 7.6 million
dead tilapia on Aug. 4. The lake turns up dead fish every August,
but this was the highest one-day death toll ever recorded, and
scientists say the Salton Sea, southwest of Palm Springs and the
Coachella Valley, is dying. Brown pelicans are also dying, of avian
botulism. "This is an ecosystem in rapidly failing health," Milt
Friend, lead scientist in a federal evaluation of the lake, told
the Los Angeles Times.
"US Force-you Serv-us, Dept.
of Aggravation," read the sign propped in the back of an old Forest
Service truck at a protest in Twisp, Wash., Aug. 14. Oregon-based
activist Scott Silver had organized a "Fee Demo Day of Protest"
with events in Utah, Colorado and Oregon, as well as Washington.
Silver worries that Congress may extend user fees beyond its
three-year test period (HCN, 10/13/97). Fees are like "the
difference between romantic love and paid sex," said Silver. "It
changes the experience totally. It can't be wild if it's not free."
An attempt to banish pike
from California's Lake Davis failed (HCN, 5/25/98). State officials
thought they had killed all of the predatory fish when they
poisoned the lake in 1997, but this spring, fishermen hauled in at
least 40 pike. The state Department of Fish and Game says the fish
survived the poisoning by congregating in "safe spots," or springs
at the bottom of the lake. "Any proposal to try poison again would
set off something like a civil war in Plumas County," reports the
San Francisco Examiner.
Miner Walt Freeman won't be striking it rich soon on the Siskiyou
National Forest in Oregon. Forest Service Supervisor Mike Lunn
decided on Aug. 13 that Freeman must first prove his nickel,
chromium and iron ore mine can make money. According to a Forest
Service analysis, Freeman would lose $10 million on his proposed
Nicore mine on Rough and Ready Creek (HCN, 10/12/98). Agency
staffer Rochelle Desser, who was in charge of the analysis, told
The Oregonian, "Every truckload would be a losing truckload."