High Country News October 28, 1996
The use of initiatives and referenda - direct democracy - to change the law for environmental reasons faces a challenge when big money enters the picture.
The Oregon Clean Streams Initiative, if passed, would enact the toughest grazing restrictions in the West in an attempt to keep cattle from fouling the waters.
Montana's Clean Water Initiative arouses fierce industry protest with its plan to keep long-lived hardrock mining wastes out of the water.
Idaho's Proposition 3 would void Gov. Phil Batt's deal to bring some nuclear waste into the state and would require that all such agreements in the future have citizen approval.
Colorado's Amendment 16 would allow state school trust lands to be managed for values other than money - and some fear that would mean harm to Colorado school budgets.
Braving blaze orange, passers through, Cal Sunderland writes: "Keep dancering."
Longtime HCN reader Ann Phillips is an educational consultant turned archaeologist.
A provision in the spending bill allows the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act to be waived for border projects such as fences - which could harm endangered species.
Utah county commissioners in San Juan, Garfield and Kane counties bulldoze illegal roads into BLM and Park Service lands, including wilderness study areas and the new Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
One-third of Grand Canyon air-tour operators are breaking the law by not reporting flights or paying required fees.
Forest Service Chief Jack Ward Thomas announces his retirement.
Oregon Caves National Monument says the surrounding Siskiyou National Forest is injuring the caves by logging, mining and grazing.
In Oregon, Judge Ancer Haggerty says all applications for grazing permits need to be reviewed to see if the grazing would pollute state water.
After an extended display of childishness, the 104th Congress ends by acting more like grown-ups.
The 104th Congress was a roller-coaster ride for environmentalists, as shown by a recap of some the Legislature's highlights.
Two editors of "Outdoor Life" magazine resign when Colorado bear biologist Tom Beck's essay critical of bear hunting is pulled from an issue of the magazine.
A columnist says that ballot initiatives designed the way they are in Colorado allow urban areas to dictate to rural areas on sensitive issues like hunting.
An explosion of blooming beargrass in the Northern Rockies leads to musing on the ways that wisdom differs from information.
Heard Around the West
Colorado too inefficient to be Switzerland; "Mrs. Paonia" in Denver; intoxicated police chiefs and neck-breaking veterinarians; doctors irk mining industry; free enterprise vs. Pepsi and Coke; spanking in Montana.