The Wayward West

  The revolving door to the Bureau of Land Management director's office took a spin in November. On the way out was Salt Lake City attorney Pat Shea, who headed the agency for just over a year. Shea has been promoted to acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, where he will help create policy for BLM lands, coal mining and off-shore oil drilling. Stepping into the director's office was the agency's former deputy director Tom Fry, the fifth person to hold the office in six years.

In the Sierra Club's San Francisco board room, club President Carl Pope took a cappuccino cream pie in the face during the annual board meeting in November. According to a press release from a group called the "Biotic Baking Brigade," Pope was "tried and pied" by the BBB for supporting a Habitat Conservation Plan for California's Headwaters Forest and backing the Quincy Library Group bill. The club firmly denies backing either project.

A judge gave California police the go-ahead in November to give protesters a shot in the face with pepper spray. Last fall, Humboldt County and Eureka, Calif., police officers doused the eyes of logging protesters who had chained themselves inside 25-pound metal sleeves at Pacific Lumber Co." s headquarters, and at the offices of pro-timber Republican Rep. Frank Riggs. The protesters sued, accusing the police of brutality. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker dismissed the case in October, stating the spray caused only "transient pain without significant risk of physical injury," reports AP.

A fifth Mexican wolf was found dead in the Southwest in late November. At present there are no Mexican wolves running free in the wild in the U.S., says U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist Wendy Brown. Managers recaptured the remaining two male wolves and placed them in acclimation pens with two females due to be released later this winter. In the future, the agency may skip the acclimation pens and take wolves directly to remote wilderness areas, says Brown. The reward for turning in wolf killers has risen to $35,000 (HCN, 11/23/98).

Cows are targets near Moses Lake, Wash., where snipers picked off at least 17 of the animals this fall. Some of the animals were shot with a small caliber weapon, while others looked like they also had been run over by a four-wheel-drive vehicle, reports AP. "When we find the shooters, we should use some good old-fashioned justice," said rancher Buddy Hampton. "Of course, we can't lynch anyone, but right now I'd sure like to."

* Greg Hanscom

and Gabriel Ross

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