Western Watersheds' collateral damage
You presented Laird Lucas as a dedicated and talented environmental lawyer fighting big corporations and corrupt government (HCN, 10/31/11, "The people v. the agency"). That makes his close association with Western Watersheds Project (WWP) puzzling. For 10 years, I have volunteered to represent environmental ethics on a cooperative management team for a family-owned and -operated ranch. The team, on which WWP declined to participate, includes representatives from a number of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, the public and the ranch family. Members have worked together to improve the ecological health of the public and private lands used by the ranch, to protect wildlife -- especially sage grouse -- and to maintain the ranch's economic viability. WWP has consistently belittled, misrepresented and blocked this effort. Meanwhile, WWP has made pronouncements and lodged administrative appeals -- and earmarked pay-off money from El Paso Corporation -- to further its agenda of removing cattle and families from Western lands. Environmentally responsible ranchers and government employees, taxpayer money, civility and consensus building are collateral damage of that agenda.