Is that sound science, or the sound of science being strangled? For years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has pressed the Army Corps of Engineers to operate its Missouri River dams to mimic natural river flows and help endangered fish and birds (HCN, 11/11/02: Corps stands behind status quo). But the Corps has consistently pushed back, and negotiations about the river’s future have been deadlocked. On Oct. 29, Assistant Secretary of the Interior Craig Manson ordered the team of wildlife agency biologists who have been working with the Corps off the case; in a leaked memo, he said it will be replaced with what he called "the SWAT team."
Wyoming rancher Frank Robbins
took another stand outside the BLM office in Worland,
Wyo. — and this time, he brought some friends (HCN, 9/29/03:
Reckless rancher cuts sweet deal in D.C.). Robbins, who has had a
long-running battle with the BLM over his illegal grazing
practices, was joined by more than 100 ranchers and supporters on
Nov. 11. They rallied to protest what one rancher called "abusive
bureaucrats running an illegal agenda."
Anti-grazing advocates have finally gotten their foot in
the door of Congress (HCN, 5/27/02: Grazing foes float a
buyout). Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Raúl Grijalva,
D-Ariz., have introduced the "Voluntary Grazing Permit Buyout Act,"
which would authorize $100 million to buy public-lands
ranchers’ grazing permits and permanently retire them. The
National Public Lands Grazing Campaign estimates that a buyout of
all federal grazing permits would cost $3.1
And the Interior Department has
ordered oil and gas companies to pay Indian tribes $2
million, to make up for underpayments in royalties for drilling on
Indian lands during 2001. (HCN, 5/12/03: Missing Interior money:
Piles or pennies?). Tribes say the government still owes them as
much as $137 billion in unpaid royalties from the last 115