The Wayward West

  In early June, GOP leaders in the House promised to end logging subsidies for the timber industry, agreeing with the Clinton administration that "road credits' should die. Soon after, the Forest Service, for the second time in its history, posted a number for what its road-building program really lost last year: $88 million.

Jet-boat enthusiasts were not pleased by Olympic National Park's decision to ban "personal watercraft." But the Bluewater Network, based in San Francisco, cheered the decision and said it sets a precedent for a "system-wide ban on these high-impact machines." Each park will make its own decision on jetboats.

The Forest Service came out with a ban of its own June 1 against "permanent fixed anchors' for rock climbing in wilderness portions of national forests. That means no metal bolts drilled into rock, no pitons left behind, and no permanent slings or ropes. The Boulder, Colo.-based Access Fund quickly vowed to "block enforcement" and defend any climber arrested.

Colorado politics are getting yeasty. Former first lady Dottie Lamm seemed a shoo-in to win the Democratic nomination to run against Republican Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. Lt. Gov. Gail Schoettler seemed certain to be the party's nominee for governor. All that changed at the state convention when under-financed Gil Romero bested Lamm, and underdog Mike Feeley trumped Schoettler for top lines on the primary ballot. More startling was the upset at the Republican state convention. Popular Republican Rep. Scott McInnis had been talked out of challenging Sen. Campbell by party regulars, but at the GOP state convention Denver attorney Steve Eggert won enough votes to force Campbell into a primary anyway.

* Betsy Marston