In the wake of the Los Alamos fire, New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici, R, is proposing a bill that some worry is another "salvage rider" (HCN, 9/2/96: Last line of defense). Domenici says that in order to reduce fire danger, federal agencies should be able to thin trees without enduring lengthy environmental review. Environmentalists say agencies must be subject to the public process or old-growth forests will be clear-cut.
Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, D, doesn't
think policing and backpacking go hand in hand. His amendment to a
spending bill would bar the Forest Service from enforcing the
Recreation Fee Demonstration Program (HCN,
2/14/00: Land of the fee). "Proponents of the rec fee program claim
it is wildly popular with the public," DeFazio told The Columbian.
"If it's so popular, then there's no need for
In Washington, 150 Canada
geese are on "death row" and will be killed as soon as
federal wildlife agents find charities willing to take the meat
(HCN, 3/13/00: Goose got your gander?). To control burgeoning geese
populations that litter parks with feces, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture plans to kill 3,150 more birds by the end of
Utah Republican Rep. Jim Hansen wanted to
prevent Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt from planning for managing
any of the seven national monuments designated
since January. Hansen didn't get his way (HCN, 6/19/00" Babbitt's
monument tour blazes on). Forty-six Republicans broke ranks to kill
his rider on June 16.
Employers across the
country, including many in Western resort towns, are short on
workers - 10 million short according to the U.S. Department of
Labor (HCN, 4/24/00: At your service). Now, business owners are
pushing Congress to approve a new work visa. It
would allow unskilled foreigners to move to America to work without
hope of citizenship. Labor unions say this proposal would kill the
American worker's ability to make a decent wage.