The Wayward West

  Boise Cascade Corp. in Monmouth, Ore., got a nasty surprise on Christmas Day, when arson destroyed the timber company's regional headquarters. The Earth Liberation Front, which took credit for a $12 million fire at Vail Resort in Colorado last year (HCN, 11/9/98), has claimed responsibility. "Boise Cascade has been very naughty after ravaging the forests of the Pacific Northwest," says the group's statement. "Let this be a lesson to all greedy multinational corporations who don't respect their ecosystems."

Nevada's Great Basin National Park is now cattle-free. A seven-year struggle over grazing rights ended when The Conservation Fund helped raise $220,000 to buy out the grazing permits held by three ranchers on over 101,000 acres within park boundaries (HCN, 4/3/95). "I can't emphasize enough it was a win-win deal," rancher Helen Eldridge told the AP. "It was better to get anything and get out."

Treesitter Julia "Butterfly" Hill descended from her nest on Dec. 19, after living in an ancient redwood tree near Eureka, Calif., for over two years (HCN, 3/15/99). Hill and her supporters agreed to pay site-owner Pacific Lumber Co. $50,000 in exchange for a logging ban on a 200-foot buffer encompassing the tree.

La Plata County in southwest Colorado may be destined for more drilling (HCN, 3/15/99). BP Amoco wants to dig 550 more coal-bed gas wells over the next five to 10 years in a county that already leads the state in natural-gas production. A company spokesman told The Denver Post that existing wells don't adequately drain the gas, but locals disagree. "They still haven't figured out how to prevent the impacts caused by existing wells," says Gwen Lachelt of the San Juan Citizens Alliance. BP Amoco will present its plans to the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission later this month.

Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest has always allowed multiple mining operations to proceed without environmental analysis, violating its Land Management Plan (HCN, 10/12/98). A federal court recently ruled that the agency must consider the environmental impacts of mining. "This is a significant legal victory," says attorney Lori Cooper of the Siskiyou Regional Education Project. "The Forest Service can no longer ignore evidence that in-stream mining is killing our salmon and steelhead."

* Rebecca Clarren
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