A federal judge in Idaho has ordered the state to stop killing badgers, ravens and coyotes. Last February, in an attempt to increase numbers of declining sage grouse, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission authorized Wildlife Services to kill the bird's predators (HCN, 2/26/01: Idaho predators are under the gun). The court ruling is the result of a lawsuit filed by the Committee for Idaho's High Desert, the Predator Defense Institute of Oregon, and the Boulder, Colo.-based Animal Law Center.
Predator control was
shot down in Colorado, also (HCN, 2/12/01: Coyote killing
continues). In late March, the state's House Appropriations
Committee killed funding for an eight-year Division of Wildlife
study that had been approved by the Legislature. The study would
have allowed agents to shoot coyotes in an effort to boost mule
deer populations, and would have cost $365,000 for the first year
The U.S. Department of Interior is facing
some unlikely opposition to developing oil and
gas on public land near Jackson Hole, Wyo. Sen. Craig
Thomas, R-Wyo., traditionally a proponent of multiple use, says he
supports a proposal by national forest supervisor Kniffy Hamilton
to ban drilling on 370,000 acres of the Bridger-Teton National
Forest (HCN, 3/26/01: Forest supervisor faces down oil
Federal officials can no longer blame
an "activist judge" for their bad fortune in a class action lawsuit
over mismanaged Indian money. In 1999, U.S.
District Judge Royce Lamberth ordered the Interior and Treasury
departments to account for billions of dollars held in trust for
Native Americans (HCN, 1/31/00: Judge rules on Indian money mess).
Government lawyers appealed, but in February, a federal appeals
court agreed with Lamberth, ordering the agencies to account for
the missing money. The government can appeal to the U.S. Supreme
Court until April 23.
senators don't want former Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., to retire
(HCN, 10/23/00: Stalking Slade). The entire coalition of Senate
Republicans, except for Arizona Sen. John McCain, has asked
President George Bush to make Gorton, 73, a federal
judge. Gorton, who last November lost a re-election bid
to Democrat Maria Cantwell, was called a "20th century Indian
fighter" by many Native American tribes in the