Magazine
Outsourced

April 26, 2004

The Bush administration is outsourcing to private contractors jobs formerly done by employees of federal agencies, among them the job of the Forest Service Content Analysis Teams (CATs) – the people who receive and report the comments of the public. The team was sacked, many say to the detriment of the public connection, and with increased cost to taxpayers. Also in this issue: Controversial energy bill, to increase domestic oil and gas drilling and force federal agencies to expedite permits for energy projects on public lands, came back yet again, but was defeated in the Senate, 50-47.

Feature

Outsourced
The Bush administration is outsourcing to private contractors jobs formerly done by employees of federal agencies, among them the job of the Forest Service Content Analysis Teams (CATs) – the people who receive and report the comments of the public. The

Editor's Note

The other bottom line
In trading our public servants for government contractors, we're cutting the heart out of a public-trust ethic, and showing there's no faster way to demolish an institution than by parting it out to the lowest bidder.

Uncommon Westerners

Green investor Hal Brill: Bringing the Money Home
Investment advisor Hal Brill has found a way to help investors follow their conscience, succeed as socially responsible people, and get a return on their dollars.

Essays

The West's mythmakers are now its newcomers
Montana "characters" may be more a creation of newcomers who feed on and then in turn feed our Western myths than a real reflection of Montana’s character and past
Look for the best — and keep it
Safeguarding special places should come from those already settled in such places, but usually we fall into self-righteousness and apathy. A positive vision for local action requires setting priorities for the natural landscape that gives a place its spe

Dear Friends

Dear Friends
Visitors Knox Williams, Vince Matthews, Bill and Molly Pochciol, Randy Cracroft, John Trotter; recognition for John Horning with Conservation Leadership Award from Seatlle’s Wilburforce Foundation; condolence to the Sylvain family in Paonia, on the death

News

Senate rejects Energy Bill – again
Controversial energy bill, to increase domestic oil and gas drilling and force federal agencies to expedite permits for energy projects on public lands, came back yet again, but was defeated in the Senate, 50-47
Follow-up
Duwamish Indian Tribe, still fighting U.S. government over recognition, has bought its first piece of "owned" land near Port of Seattle, Washington
Fish farms take to the high seas
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Department is plotting a massive expansion of the U.S. fish-farming industry – but concerns are high among Indian tribes, health advocates and environmentalists
Water holes awash in controversy
Game managers and environmentalists disagree on the usefulness of artificial water holes for game; environmental groups say they spread disease, attract killer bees, and give predators a convenient spot to ambush prey. The Arizona Game and Fish Department
Drought forces Las Vegas to reach deeper for water
Lake Mead has dropped to about 58 percent of its capacity, and the quality of the water has changed, causing more expensive production and increased danger of not meeting health standards
Greenhouse gases go underground
Plans for permanently storing carbon dioxide in oil fields will benefit energy companies who already use carbon dioxide injection to boost output.

Book Reviews

Songs in the key of life
Earthjustice, best known for legal service for environmental causes, has released a CD with a message of making tomorrow better
Calendar
Making rivers work
Rivers for Life: Managing Water for People and Nature, by Sandra Postel and Brian Richter is deceptively wonky-looking, but sparkles. It drives home the necessity of reconsidering the ways we manage water, and is full of good ideas

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
In Colorado, a legislator’s faux pas slams Kansas and Texas; dog lover in California worries about stranger’s dog and gets trespassing charge; Idaho’s Legislature worries little about consistency; in Nevada, burglar caught by his DNA signature in yellowed

Letters