The Latest Bounce

 

The battle over Canadian softwood lumber imports is heating up (HCN, 3/26/01: U.S. mills fall under Canadian ax). In August, the U.S. Commerce Department slapped a 19 percent countervailing duty on Canadian wood and followed it up with a 13 percent anti-dumping duty on Oct. 31; the agency is investigating subsidy and dumping allegations and will make a final decision in March. Meanwhile, President Bush has appointed former Montana Gov. Marc Racicot as a special representative in softwood negotiations.

The U.S. Forest Service has announced that Jack Blackwell will be the regional forester for California. He replaces Brad Powell, who was instrumental in authorizing the Sierra Nevada Framework management plan before he was transferred in August to head the Northern Rockies region (HCN, 9/10/01: New forest chief becomes a lame duck). As chief of the Forest Service's Intermountain Region, Blackwell also signed off on the Sierra Nevada Framework.

A Colorado Division of Wildlife biologist says his research may have sparked chronic wasting disease in Colorado sheep and deer (HCN, 11/5/01: Wasting disease spreads in Colorado). According to the Denver Rocky Mountain News, Gene Schoonveld believes that during a nutritional study at Colorado State University in the late 1960s, sheep infected with scrapie may have passed it to deer populations, where it developed into chronic wasting disease. Some officials, however, say there's little evidence to support such a theory.

The radical environmental group Earth Liberation Front firebombed a BLM wild horse facility near Susanville, Calif., on Oct. 17. ELF released a statement saying the group took action to oppose "the (BLM's) continued war against the Earth" in which the agency has "rounded up thousands of wild horses and burros to clear the public land for grazing cattle." ELF gained notoriety in 1998, when it torched Vail's mountaintop lodge (HCN, 11/9/98: Vail fires outrage community).

Colorado voters derailed the I-70 corridor monorail proposal on Nov. 6. (HCN, 10/22/01: A monorail for the mountains?). The proposal, which would have allocated $50 million for initial studies, failed 2-1.