He's no Milosevic

  Dear HCN,

I know Jon Marvel, and he's no Slobodan Milosevic. While Steve Stuebner's profile of anti-grazing activist Jon Marvel in the Aug. 2, 1999 issue of HCN revealed a man rightly deserving of the title maverick or gadfly, he certainly is no Slobodan Milosevic. In that article, editor Betsy Marston mistakenly cited an anonymous friend who allegedly called him "Slobodan Marvel." That (no longer) anonymous friend was me, and I never said that. What I told Marston was that an Owyhee County rancher had written into a Boise newspaper comparing Marvel to the Serbian dictator.

Whatever one thinks of Jon, no one can deny that he has shattered the premise that public rangelands are the exclusive fiefdom of ranchers whose livestock often destroy critically important fish and wildlife habitat. Those who know Jon also know he is not a misanthrope. A big part of what drives him is the realization that Idaho's schoolchildren are the real victims when the state leases its school endowment lands to livestock ranchers for a pittance.

I don't necessarily agree with all of Jon's tactics - sometimes he is "brazen" and "in your face." But he tells the truth as few dare to; he's restoring a sense of balance to the landscape, and most importantly, he's my friend.

Scott Bosse

Boise, Idaho