Yellowtail throws in his hat
Environmentalists in Montana have a
congressional candidate they can enthusiastically support to fill
the seat vacated by Democratic Rep. Pat
He is Bill Yellowtail, 48, who quit his
job March 18 as regional administrator of the Environmental
Protection Agency in Denver. Three other Democrats, Mignon
Waterman, Leo Hudatz and Larry Jent, are also vying for the state's
one House seat. Williams announced Jan. 13 that he would not seek a
10th term in Congress (HCN, 2/5/96).
Yellowtail's announcement has been positive. "Bill has an excellent
environmental record," says Tom France of the National Wildlife
Federation. "He was a strong voice for the environment in the
Montana State Legislature and has been a good EPA administrator."
Yellowtail, from Wyola, Mont., is of Crow Indian
and Scottish-Irish descent. A Dartmouth College graduate, he served
in the Montana Senate from 1985-1993, when President Clinton
appointed him to the EPA.
The leading contender
for the Republican nomination, according to a late winter poll, is
rancher Alan Mikkelson. His communication director, Bowen
Greenwood, describes him as a "strong environmentalist who also
understands that the economics of Montana require a wise use of
An example of Mikkelson's
environmental priorities: Under his leadership, a Mission Valley
irrigation cooperative has repeatedly sued the Confederated Salish
and Kootenai tribes over a court decision that prohibits irrigators
from completely draining streams in late summer and killing off the
Flathead Indian Reservation fisheries.