High Country News November 08, 1999
President Clinton and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt have a new strategy for protecting and managing the public lands, encouraging citizens and politicans to implement national conservation values in a regional and local way.
The latest struggle over the West's public lands centers on the Forest Service's huge system of logging roads, which conservationists want to see closed and obliterated, and off-road-vehicle users want opened to motorized recreation.
Paper delivery problems; visitors.
A federal judge clamps down on permits for new development in and around Tucson, Ariz., to protect habitat for the endangered cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl.
The Idaho Supreme Court rules that wilderness areas have reserved water rights "by implication."
The Montana Supreme Court says that the provision in the state's constitution that guarantees residents "a clean and healthful environment" protects the state's natural resources from actual, proven damage and potential harm.
A federal judge's ruling against the Forest Service's "categorical exclusion" provision, which had allowed smaller timber sales without environmental assessments, hurts small-scale loggers, sawmill workers and owners, such as Allen Todd of Hotchkiss, CO.
ASARCO merges with Grupa Mexico; illegal road through Vail wetland closed; billionaire helps conservationists buy Loomis State Forest; Bruce Babbitt and Gov. Mike Leavitt agree to outline of Rep. Jim Hansen's wilderness bill; Utah black-footed ferrets.
A huge, industrial hog farm would bring much-needed jobs and profits to South Dakota's Rosebud Sioux Reservation, but a growing number of tribal members have begun to criticize the project and worry about the waste it would produce.
The eight states and 30 Indian tribes of the Missouri River Basin have come to an agreement on how to manage the river, but environmentalists say the agreement will not help the river's endangered species and its other fish and wildlife.
The Forest Service is looking for public comments on its draft proposal for reshaping the 15-year management plans that guide the national forests.
The New York City-based Repatriation Foundation aims to restore Native American artifacts that end up in the art market to the tribes from which they came.
"The Road-Ripper's Guide to Wildland Road Removal" details the harm roads do, the benefits of removal and the best techniques to accomplish road removal.
Although the "Historical Public Exposures Studies" says public health risks from bomb-building at Rocky Flats near Denver, CO were low, Len Ackland's book, "Making a Real Killing: Rocky Flats and the Nuclear West," says risk can also mean catastrophe.
The Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nev., is scheduled for Jan. 22-29, 2000.
Montana Wilderness Association's annual conference will be held Dec. 3-4 in Butte.
Grants totaling more than $1,000 are being offered by Montana Audubon.
The Environmental Resource Center of Ketchum, Idaho, will pay tribute to the late Sen. Frank Church at its first lecture, Dec. 4, in Sun Valley.
The California Wildlands 2000 Conference will be held May 5-7.
The Boulder-based wolf recovery organization, Sinapu, is working on restoring the wolf to Colorado's San Juan Mountains.
Pat Wolff's multi-media presentation, "Stop the War on Wildlife," aims to convince audiences that government predator control is "wasteful, biologically unsound and not cost-effective."
The video, "A Toxic Train Runs Through It," investigates the long-lasting health impacts of a 1996 trail derailment and toxic chemical spill in Alberton, Montana.
The Park Service has completed a new General Management Plan that will guide resource management in Glacier National Park for the next few decades.
Scientists are considering new management strategies for whirling disease, as detailed in Trout Unlimited's report, "Whirling Disease in the U.S."
The Mineral Policy Center's new report, "Six Mines, Six Mishaps," says that outmoded mining regulations can be environmental disasters, while the National Academy of Sciences' report, "Hardrock Mining on Federal Lands," defends the existing laws.
Heard Around the West
Homes on the Range photos by High Country News readers
Hurricane Floyd showed the downside of factory farming when flooding in North Carolina created a nasty soup of agricultural waste and hog and chicken carcasses.
Native Montanan and former dirt-bike lover Shawn Regnerus, who turned against ORVs when a favorite place was overrun by them, now is the head of the Roads Scholars Project for the Predator Conservation Alliance.
Forest Service engineer Annie Connor began her career building roads and now heads the Clearwater National Forest's road-obliteration program.
In Utah, off-road vehicle recreation is exploding on the public lands, and beleaguered BLM officials are having trouble keeping up.