A national land trust recently preserved over 21,000 acres as open space between Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo. (HCN, 2/28/00: Acre by acre). The tract, which is the largest area of undeveloped land remaining along Colorado's Front Range, was sold last week to The Conservation Fund, a Boulder, Colo.-based land trust, and Douglas County. "People often talk of how you can protect open space and prevent sprawl," says Douglas County Commissioner Jim Sullivan. "This is the best way."
Folks are signing up to
sue the U.S. Forest Service over its roadless initiative
(HCN, 11/8/99: A new road for the public lands). A new group,
including Boise Cascade Corp., a coalition of Idaho counties and a
rancher, wants to force the agency to include more public input in
the planning process. "They had one big scoping meeting where
everyone got together and sang "Kumbaya," but if they're going to
do something as big as this, people that live and work in those
forests should be allowed to plan," says plaintiff, rancher and HCN
board member Brad Little.
In Utah, Republican
Rep. Jim Hansen wants Congress to set a 10-year
deadline for acting on wilderness designation proposals.
Western Republicans who support the bill say federal agencies can
lock up land indefinitely while Congress decides. Democrats say the
bill's title, "America's Wilderness Protection Act," is misleading.
"If we were used-car salesmen, they'd throw us in jail and take our
license for doing something like that," Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.,
told The Salt Lake Tribune.
confident that a federal judge in Portland will rule that four
dams on the Lower Snake River violate water-quality
standards (HCN, 12/20/99: Unleashing the Snake). U.S.
District Judge Helen Frye has already ruled that the dams must
comply with the federal Clean Water Act, which could cost as much
as $900 million. "The court's order provides yet another reason for
the government to seriously consider dam removal," Nicole Cordan of
the National Wildlife Federation told The Seattle
Lynx lovers can shout hooray. On March 21,
after 10 years of petitioning, the Canada lynx was listed
as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act
(HCN, 6/12/95: In one man's hands, this lynx became a teacher). As
a result, lynx habitat in northern Washington, Idaho and Montana
forests could remain roadless and free from logging. But, says Joe
Scott of Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, "It remains to be seen if
the Forest Service will designate critical habitat; I think they'll
try not to."