The Wayward West

  Don't expect to hear Utah environmentalists crying for 5.7 million acres of wilderness, says Kevin Walker of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (HCN, 8/4/97). SUWA and other groups are almost finished with a two-year "re-inventory" of the state's wild lands. Since the first inventory, new trails, roads and mines have knocked some areas out of the running, but Walker says some wild areas were skipped the first time around. Rather than playing numbers games with acreage, activists are focusing on protecting all places that meet wilderness standards. Walker's new rallying cry: "Protect Wild Utah!'

Near Moab, Utah, the Bureau of Land Management's Kate Kitchell says an agency study shows there's not enough gold in Westwater Canyon to allow brothers Ray and Ron Pene to work their mining claims (HCN, 10/16/95). The Penes have vowed to fight the decision. "They can leave me alone, talk to me about buying me out or go to court," Ron told the Moab Times-Independent.

Nevada rancher Wayne Hage may get his day in court with the federal government in September. Hage sued the government for $28 million in 1991, arguing that agents kicked his cattle off federal allotments to make room for a national park northeast of Tonopah (HCN, 10/30/95). The state, not the feds, had control over the allotments, he told the Associated Press, because "the federal government cannot create property."

The former manager of the Louisiana-Pacific waferboard plant in Olathe, Colo., will spend the next five months in prison. In April, Dana Dulohery pled guilty to disabling pollution-control equipment and lying to state officials about smoke leaving the plant. The company's motto was to "maximize production, and to hell with the law and the environment," said U.S. District Judge Lewis Babcock. Dulohery has agreed to testify against the company in further hearings in April.

Wyoming's South Pass, which served as a passage west for thousands of immigrants in the 1800s, has a new line of defense against the Altamont Corp." s planned oil pipeline. The pass made the World Monument Fund's list of the world's most endangered sites. Lander, Wyo., historian Tom Bell hopes the designation will convince the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission not to renew Altamont's permit in the area. Also on the global list: Fort Apache in Arizona, Colorado's Mesa Verde cliff dwellings, and the California gold mining ghost town of Bodie.

* Greg Hanscom

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