Don't forget Friends of the Earth

  Dear HCN,


As the former Colorado Plateau regional representative over a 10-year period (1974-1984) of Friends of the Earth, I applaud the efforts of the Grand Canyon Trust to involve local residents in resolving the region's environmental issues (HCN, 4/4/94). Not every regional controversy, of course, such as the once-proposed massive coal strip mine to be sited below the overlooks of Bryce Canyon National Park, can be successfully resolved through consensus.


It may be instructive to add a historical perspective to the Grand Canyon Trust's "negotiating a settlement with the Navajo Power Plant to slash sulfur dioxide emissions by 90 percent by 1999."


If I am to believe the letter in my files from the congressional staffer most intimately involved with this subject, the issue of visibility impairment caused by coal-fired power plants in the Colorado Plateau initially came to the attention of federal regulators in 1975, when they saw a slide presentation I'd developed, "Visibility Degradation in the Southwestern Parklands." It focused on the impacts to regional visibility caused by the Navajo Power Plant.


Seven years later, a TV audience of millions watched a PBS documentary, "The Regulators, Our Invisible Government," which traced the history of the 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments by following the development of the visibility issue through the legislative and federal regulatory processes.


While that film made for good television by enhancing my role of photographic documentarian to "former park ranger goes to Washington on a mission from God to save the national parks," the show overlooked the most important aspect of the whole story. It was Friends of the Earth's clean air lobbyist, Rafe Pomerance, who conceived of and wrote a visibility protection amendment. He also arranged for me to speak to key Washington, D.C., audiences on behalf of the canyon country as he steered the amendment through Congress and later led the charge to block efforts to undermine it during the regulatory process.


The Visibility Protection Amendment (Section 169A) of the Clean Air Act of 1977 and its subsequent regulations were specifically written to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions at the Navajo Power Plant. Any later accomplishment towards that end owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the vision and leadership of Rafe Pomerance in providing the legal foundation for that opportunity. The installation of sulfur dioxide controls at the Navajo Power Plant represents to me, at least, dramatic affirmation that the environmental movement functions most effectively when local grass-roots activists and career professionals work together in an atmosphere based on common concerns, mutual respect and shared authority.





Gordon Anderson


Manitou Springs, Colorado


High Country News Classifieds
  • CARPENTER WANTED
    CARPENTER WANTED. Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rainforest on the coast, Hike the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg...
  • DYNAMIC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    VARD is seeking an Executive Director to lead a small legal & planning staff dedicated to the health and sustainability of Teton Valley Idaho and...
  • WATER PROJECT MANAGER, UPPER SAN PEDRO (ARIZONA)
    Based in Tucson or Sierra Vista, AZ., the Upper San Pedro Project Manager develops, manages, and advances freshwater conservation programs, plans, and methods focusing on...
  • CAMPAIGNS DIRECTOR
    Southeast Alaska Conservation is hiring. Visit https://www.seacc.org/about/hiring for info. 907-586-6942 [email protected]
  • FINANCE & GRANTS MANAGER
    The Blackfoot Challenge, located in Ovando, MT, seeks a self-motivated, detail-oriented individual to conduct bookkeeping, financial analysis and reporting, and grant oversight and management. Competitive...
  • WADE LAKE CABINS, CAMERON MT
    A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and run a business on the shore of one of the most beautiful lakes in SW Montana....
  • CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, BOOKS, CULTURE AND COMMENTARY (PART-TIME, CONTRACT)
    High Country News is seeking a Contributing Editor for Books, Culture and Commentary to assign and edit inquisitive, inspiring, and thought-provoking content for HCN in...
  • STATEWIDE COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    ABOUT US Better Wyoming is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that educates, organizes, and mobilizes Wyoming residents on behalf of statewide change. Learn more at...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    TwispWorks is a 501(c)3 that promotes economic and cultural vitality in the mountainous Methow Valley, the eastern gateway to North Cascades National Park in Washington...
  • CLEAN ENERGY ADVOCATE OR DIRECTOR
    Location: Helena, Montana Type: Permanent, full time after 1-year probationary period. Reports to: Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs. Travel: Some overnight travel, both in-state...
  • PROFESSIONAL GIS SERVICES
    Custom Geospatial Solutions is available for all of your GIS needs. Affordable, flexible and accurate data visualization and analysis for any sized project.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Restore Hetch Hetchy, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, seeks experienced development professional to identify and engage individuals and institutions who are inspired to help underwrite...
  • PUBLIC LANDS COUNSEL
    The successful candidate will be the organization's lead counsel on public lands issues, including reviewing federal administrative actions and proposed policy and helping to shape...
  • HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR
    Solar Energy International (SEI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit education organization with a mission to provide industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy to empower...
  • TRAINING MANAGER
    This is a full-time position based out of our Paonia office. This position is responsible for organizing all of Solar Energy International's renewable energy trainings....
  • GUIDE TO WESTERN NATIONAL MONUMENTS
    NEW BOOK showcases 70 national monuments across the western United States. Use "Guide10" for 10% off at cmcpress.org
  • RARE CHIRICAHUA RIPARIAN LAND FOR SALE
    40 acres: 110 miles from Tucson: native trees, grasses: birder's heaven::dark sky/ borders state lease & National forest/5100 ft/13-16 per annum rain
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    "More Data, Less Digging" Find groundwater and reduce excavation costs!
  • LUNATEC ODOR-FREE DISHCLOTHS
    are a must try. They stay odor-free, dry fast, are durable and don't require machine washing. Try today.
  • 10 ACRES OF NEW MEXICO HIGH DESERT
    10 Acres of undeveloped high desert land in central NM, about 45 minutes from downtown Albuquerque. Mixed cedar and piñon pine cover. Some dirt roadways...