Allard takes aim

  Last April, the League of Conservation Voters awarded Colorado Rep. Wayne Allard a score of zero for his environmental votes during his first 100 days in office. Now, Allard's rating might dip into the negative numbers.

A provision of Allard's in the 1995 Farm Bill would prohibit the Forest Service from changing management plans to maintain viable populations of wildlife. Allard inserted the change at the request of Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., who said he was tired of seeing logging stalled by the needs of spotted owls. The Wilderness Society's Mike Anderson says the amendment would make it illegal for the Forest Service to protect many animals - from goshawks in the Southwest to Alaskan wolves.

"This disembowels the Forest Service mission on every forest in the United States," says Ted Zukowski of the nonprofit Land and Water Fund.

Another of Allard's provisions would prohibit federal land-management agencies from setting more stringent environmental standards for water management than a state itself requires. This could free dams on federal lands from having to release water for wildlife. "This may be the most flagrant example yet of Congress' efforts to hand over control of our public lands to private interests while no one is looking," says Richard Domingue of Colorado Trout Unlimited.

Environmentalists say they were shocked to find these provisions tucked into the Farm Bill, and some federal agents hadn't even heard the news. "Oh my God," said Deputy Press Secretary of the Department of Agriculture Jim Peterson. "Allard does so many horrible things; it's hard to keep up."

* Heather Abel