The Wayward West

  Forest Service officials in Driggs, Idaho, found a homemade fertilizer bomb on their office doorstep Oct. 19. Targhee National Forest Supervisor Jerry Reese thinks the bomb, which was quickly defused by a sheriff's deputy, might have been planted by someone upset with road closures meant to protect grizzly bear habitat. Off-road vehicle users and others have opposed the closings. Reese told the Jackson Hole Guide, "There are more positive ways of getting your concerns resolved."





Vail ski-resort officials worry they're getting burned by rumors. Some stories in circulation say the early November fires burned down Vail Mountain and destroyed 31 lifts, according to Chris Jarnot, marketing director for Vail and Beaver Creek. In fact, the fires destroyed a lodge, the ski patrol headquarters and did minimal damage to three lifts. Chair five, more seriously damaged, will be running by Christmas (HCN, 11/9/98). Vail is sending out more than 400,000 letters to skiers, explaining that the resort is open now, as usual. "It's a concern for us," Jarnot told the Vail/Beaver Creek Times, but "our reservations are holding strong."





Two weeks after the Vail fires, the Bureau of Reclamation announced it is tightening security at dams around the West. Visitors to Glen Canyon Dam below Utah's Lake Powell and to Flaming Gorge Dam on the Utah-Wyoming border will no longer be able to poke around without a tour guide. "There has been no one single incident or threat or situation that caused us to change the policy," BuRec spokesman Barry Wirth told the Salt Lake Tribune. "It's more the cumulative change in the atmosphere of our society."





Along the Jarbidge River in Nevada, Elko County crews bulldozed a Forest Service road in July, dumping debris into the river and prompting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide emergency endangered species protection for the Jarbidge bull trout (HCN, 9/14/98). Now, the county wants to work with the Forest Service to repair the road. But the county wants the road open, while the feds want it closed and planted with vegetation to keep more sediment from washing into the river. "We can fight over who owns the road later," county commissioner Tony Lesperance told the Elko Daily Free Press. "But if it turns out we own the road, I'll be the first to drive over their newly planted vegetation."





* Greg Hanscom


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