The Latest Bounce

  Lyle McNeal, the professor who helped restore churro sheep to the Navajo Reservation, won his suit for $44,000 in back pay from Utah State University. The suit highlighted the role of a land-grant college, with McNeal arguing that he helped the tribe build community (HCN, 1/31/00: Searching for pasture). University officials unsuccessfully defended their position - that McNeal's project was a money-loser and deserved to end.

Ducks won a reprieve if not a victory, thanks to a suit filed by Missoula, Mont., attorney Tom France, representing the National Wildlife Federation and several other groups. France sued the Natural Resources Conservation Service in South Dakota for attempting to unilaterally revise the definition of temporary wetlands. An out-of-court settlement negates the relaxed rules, which would have drained prairie potholes needed by birds on the wing.

In Idaho, five environmental groups won a federal court victory for the Clearwater National Forest, where federal officials had planned to log 500 acres of old-growth red cedar (HCN, 8/2/99: Old growth by the numbers). In his 70-page ruling, Judge Leif Erickson said logging on steep slopes of the Clearwater's North Fork could cause erosion and damage both fish and water quality.

And in Montana, thanks to organizer Gary Holmquist and hundreds of volunteers, 27,000 signatures were collected on petitions this summer, assuring that voters will get the chance to vote on whether to ban new game farms in the state (HCN, 1/31/00: Montana burns game farm elk). The citizens' effort was coordinated by the group MADCOW, Montanans Against the Domestication and Commercialization of Wildlife.

Digging in their heels, 100 activists from around the country have formed Environmentalists Against Gore. Dave Brower, Jeff St. Clair, David Orr, Scott Silver, Sara Folger, Tim Hermach, Janine Blaeloch and others say Gore sounds good, but doesn't deliver on green issues.

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