Magazine
Vanishing habitat

August 4, 1997

Who wins and who loses when Uncle Sam cuts deals with landowners to protect endangered species with Habitat Conservation Plans -- the latest attempt to balance private-property rights with the protection of endangered species?

Feature

Habitat Conservation Plans
Controversy reigns over whether Habitat Conservation Plans - the latest attempt to balance private-property rights with the protection of endangered species - are doing more harm than good.
Critics say 'no surprises' means no protection
A report on the Habitat Conservation Plans conference in Washington, D.C., reveals a lot of uncertainty about whether or not HCPs are good for wildlife.
The feds won't enforce the ESA
Some say the real problem with habitat conservation lies in the government's unwillingness to really enforce the Endangered Species Act.
Timber's bad boy comes to the table
Biologist Lorin Hicks of Plum Creek Timber Co. says that the notorious logging company is now trying to do the right thing for endangered species with the help of HCPs.
Habitat plans are in full flood
In the Pacific Northwest, timber companies such as Weyerhaeuser are enthusiastic about HCPs because of the spotted owl.

Sidebar

'The real problem is lack of time'
In his own words, California biologist Dennis Murphy defends HCPs.
'I've never seen a good HCP'
In her own words, Environmental Law Fund attorney Tara Mueller blasts HCPs.
'We've turned down bad HCPs'
In his own words, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Region 1 Assistant Director Curt Smitch defends HCPs.
'Landowners need more incentives'
In his own words, scientist Michael Bean of the Environmental Defense Fund says HCPs give landowners a reason to protect wildlife.
'HCPs need peer-reviewed science'
In his own words, volunteer Michael Schindell with the National Endangered Species Network says HCPs have weak science.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Woodsy Owl's makeover; Ore. high school team no longer "Savages"; Rainbows not welcomed in Prineville, Ore.; shooting in Jackson, Wyo.; Helen Chenoweth on grizzlies; Wyo. Republican starts field hearings; Wis. Rep. Obey replies to critics; Missy Cow Cow.

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Out of the hot (visitors); in other news (Jon Christensen writing for New York Times).

News

A-LP looms liter
Animas-La Plata backers unveil a leaner new version of the proposed dam - A-LP "Lite" - but opponents still have plenty of criticism.
Forest plan powers through Congress
The Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery and Economic Stability Act passes in the House, but environmentalists have reservations about the untested logging techniques as well as the favoring of local solutions over some national interests.
Trouble for grizzly bear recovery plan
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's draft plan to restore grizzly bears to western Montana and central Idaho's Selway-Bitterroot ecosystem faces opposition from Republican Sens. Conrad Burns and Larry Craig.
A Colorado reality check: lions roam and kill
In separate attacks by mountain lions, a boy in Colorado's Mesa Verde National Park is wounded, and another boy, in Rocky Mountain National Park, is killed.
The Wayward West
Sen. Dale Bumpers and Rep. Elizabeth Furse plan to leave Congress; Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund changes name; Mike Mease travels in buffalo bus; Great Grizzly hikers trek to protect Mont. bear habitat; Mormon Trail wagon train.
Volunteers test county claims in potential wilderness areas
Some Utah county commissioners cite a law from 1866, R.S. 2477, to claim rights-of-way through BLM land prevent wilderness designation.
Owens Valley finally loses patience
Rural elected officials order Los Angeles to stop diverting 43 million gallons water a day from California's Owens Lake.
'Thrillcraft' leave a polluted, contentious wake
Across the country, conservationists battle the rapidly growing use of noisy, motorized water "thrillcraft," such as jet skis and power boats.
Judge clubs Sierra donor
A San Francisco Superior Court Judge rules against Ray Graham III in his suit against the Sierra Club Foundation.
No-show lets roads roll
The House of Representatives backs away from an amendment that would require logging companies to pay for their roads in national forests.
Co-existence criticized
Five environmental groups say that oil and gas drilling on the Shoshone National Forest threatens grizzly bear habitat.
Prairie dogs beat the bullet
The Colorado Wildlife Commission restricts "contest shoots" of small game, including prairie dogs and coyotes.
Jaguar limps onto the list
The rare jaguar is added to the Endangered Species list.
What's his are mines
In Colorado, some say controversial wilderness-land developer Tom Chapman may have goofed in acquiring two mining claims in the Spanish Peaks wilderness study area.
Whitewater comes roaring back
PacifiCorp releases water from Grace Dam for two days, and whitewater rapids roar down the Bear River through Grace, Idaho.
A do-over in Telluride
The Forest Service revises its approval of a ski area expansion onto public land in Telluride, Colo.
A cheatgrass antidote - maybe
The BLM's desire to use DuPont's pesticide Oust to kill a weed called cheatgrass provokes controversy.

Opinion

Foreman finds hope amid ecological rubble
Environmentalist Dave Foreman, in a talk in Paonia, Colo., praises conservation biology as a way to restore the wild, but hesitates to offer on-the-ground details of the cure.
'Road warriors' spread out over Utah
A "Road Warrior" for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance tries to find and document roads claimed to exist in BLM wilderness study areas.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE
    The Greater Yellowstone Coalition seeks a Communications Associate to support the advancement of GYC's mission by working closely with the Communications Coordinator and program staff...
  • MONTANA DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    YOUR POSITION WITH TNC The Director of Development (DoD) is responsible for directing all aspects of one or more development functions, which will secure significant...
  • DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATIONS COORDINATOR
    Development & Operations Coordinator Terms: 1.0 FTE (full-time), Salary DOE ($45,000 - $55,000) Benefits: Paid Time Off (12-24 days/year depending on tenure), Paid Holidays (10/year),...
  • GUIDE TO WESTERN NATIONAL MONUMENTS
    NEW BOOK showcases 70 national monuments across the western United States. Use "Guide10" for 10% off at cmcpress.org
  • CARBON RANCH PLANNER
    The Quivira Coalition (www.quiviracoaltion.org) is a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education,...
  • EDUCATION AND OUTREACH DIRECTOR
    Education and Outreach Program Director The Quivira Coalition (www.quiviracoaltion.org) is a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic,...
  • WESTERN DIVISION DIRECTOR OF FIELD PROGRAMS
    DEADLINE TO APPLY: October 29, 2021 LOCATION FLEXIBLE (WESTERN HUB CITY PREFERRED) Overview The Land Trust Alliance is the voice of the land trust community....
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH ASSOCIATE
    Communications and Outreach Associate Position Opening: www.westernlaw.org/communications-outreach-associate ************************************************* Location: Western U.S., ideally in one of WELC's existing office locations (Santa Fe or Taos, NM, Helena,...
  • FREELANCE GRAPHIC DESIGNER & PROJECT COORDINATOR (REMOTE)
    High Country News (HCN) is seeking a contract Graphic Designer & Project Coordinator to design promotional, marketing and fund-raising assets and campaigns, and project-manage them...
  • FILM AND DIGITAL MEDIA: ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF INDIGENOUS MEDIA, CULTURAL SOVEREIGNTY AND DECOLONIZATION (INITIAL REVIEW 12.1.21)
    Film and Digital Media: Assistant Professor of Indigenous Media, Cultural Sovereignty and Decolonization (Initial Review 12.1.21) Position overview Position title: Assistant Professor - tenure-track Salary...
  • REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST
    To learn more about this position and to apply please go to the following URL.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    "More Data, Less Digging" Find groundwater and reduce excavation costs!
  • 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
  • CENTRAL PARK CULTURAL RESOURCE SPECIALIST
    Agency: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Salary Range: $5,203 - $7,996 Position Title: Central Park Cultural Resource Specialist Do you have a background in Archaeology...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    Come live and work in one of the most beautiful places in the world! As our Staff Attorney you will play a key role in...
  • ARIZONA GRAZING CLEARINGHOUSE
    Dedicated to preventing the ecological degradation caused by livestock grazing on Arizona's public lands, and exposing the government subsidies that support it.
  • OPERATIONS MANAGER
    Position Summary: Friends of the Inyo (friendsoftheinyo.org) is seeking a new Operations Manager. The Operations Manager position is a full-time permanent position that reports directly...
  • WATER RIGHTS BUREAU CHIEF
    Water Rights Bureau Chief, State of Montana, DNRC, Water Resources Division, Helena, MT Working to support and implement the Department's mission to help ensure that...
  • DEVELOPMENT & OUTREACH ASSOCIATE
    Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is hiring! Who We Are: The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) is a small grassroots nonprofit based out of Juneau, Alaska,...
  • DESERT LANDS ORGANIZER
    Position Summary: Friends of the Inyo seeks a Desert Lands Organizer to assist with existing campaigns that will defend lands in the California desert, with...