Voters pummel planning, ban new elk farms

 

In an election full of murky results, at least two decisions were definitive. The region's twin growth-control initiatives, Colorado's Amendment 24 and Arizona's Proposition 202 (HCN, 10/23/00: Colorado's growth amendment rouses voters) were both defeated by more than 2-1 margins. Proponents of the initiatives blame the loss on relentless - and occasionally inaccurate - media campaigns by the development industry (see story page 16). Voters in Coconino County, Ariz., also soundly defeated Proposition 400 (HCN, 10/23/00: Arizona's 202 takes aim at sprawl), a county referendum aimed at blocking a $330 million development on the rim of the Grand Canyon.

The growth-control initiatives were often compared, favorably and unfavorably, to Oregon's statewide land-use plan. After Nov. 7, even that 27-year-old plan is in jeopardy. Oregon voters approved Measure 7, requiring landowners to be compensated when laws and regulations reduce their property values (HCN, 9/25/00: On the trail). Oregon officials say the initiative could cost state and local governments almost $4 billion a year, and critics say the giant pricetag will cripple the land-use program.

Progressive planning fared better in Washington state. Voters emphatically rejected Initiative 745 (HCN, 11/6/00: On the trail), which would have forced the state legislature to spend 90 percent of its transportation money on roads.

Also in Washington, voters approved a ban on body gripping animal traps. A similar proposal was defeated in Oregon. In Arizona, voters sank Proposition 102, which would have required a two-thirds "supermajority" to pass any wildlife-related ballot initiatives (HCN, 10/23/00: On the trail).

Perhaps the most controversial wildlife measure in the region, Montana's Initiative 143, was narrowly approved by voters, 52 percent to 48 percent. The measure, championed by a sportsmen's group called MADCOW (Montanans Against the Domestication and Commercialization of Wildlife) takes aim at Montana's 92 game farms, preventing existing owners from handing over their licenses to other individuals or entities (HCN, 10/23/00: Montana hunters blast game farms). Opponents immediately announced a legal challenge.

Montana Democrats hoped for a good showing in this year's election: Mint farmer Brian Schweitzer mounted an attention-getting campaign against incumbent Republican Sen. Conrad Burns, and the governorship and the state's lone House seat were up for grabs (HCN, 10/23/00: Democrats see the light in Montana). But Burns grabbed a narrow victory, Republican Judy Martz will move into the governor's office, and Republican Dennis Rehberg will represent Montana in the House. Native American turnout was high throughout the state (HCN, 10/9/00: On the trail), and six Native Americans, all Democrats, are headed to the state legislature - the highest number in history.

Republicans also dominated in Idaho (HCN, 9/25/00: On the trail), where Republican Butch Otter was easily elected to Helen Chenoweth-Hage's former House seat. Only three lonely Democrats remain in the state Senate, the fewest number since 1917, and only nine hung on in the state House. "I don't see a silver lining," Boise State University scientist Jim Weatherby told The Idaho Statesman. "We're talking about survival here."

Utahns also continued their Republican tradition: Gov. Mike Leavitt was re-elected, as were Sen. Orrin Hatch, Rep. Jim Hansen, and Rep. Chris Cannon. But in House District 2, Democrat Jim Matheson coasted to victory against Republican Derek Smith (HCN, 10/9/00: On the trail). Matheson, the son of popular former governor Scott Matheson, barely acknowledged his party affiliation during the campaign.

In Colorado, voters chose George W. Bush in the presidential election, but they gave Democrats an advantage in the state Senate for the first time in 40 years. In U.S. House District 2, incumbent Democratic Rep. Mark Udall defeated his Republican challenger by more than 16 percent of the vote; Ron Forthofer, the Green Party candidate for the seat (HCN, 10/23/00: Nader shakes up Western enviros), collected slightly over 4 percent.

As of Nov. 13, Washington's Senate race - and the balance of party power in the Senate - was still undecided. Incumbent Republican Sen. Slade Gorton led Democrat Maria Cantwell by 5,353 votes, with about 250,000 votes still to be counted. If the margin doesn't increase significantly, a recount will be required.

High Country News Classifieds
  • DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    The Methow Valley Citizens Council has a distinguished history of advocating for progressive land use and environmental values in the Methow Valley and Okanogan County...
  • ACTING INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS DESK EDITOR
    High Country News is seeking an Acting Indigenous Affairs Editor to oversee the work of our award-winning Indigenous Affairs Desk while our editor is on...
  • GRANTS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Cinnabar Foundation seeks an enthusiastic, team-oriented and knowledgeable Grants Program Director to work from their home in Montana. Established in 1983, the Cinnabar Foundation...
  • ARTEMIS PROGRAM MANAGER
    The Artemis Program Manager will work with National Wildlife Federation sporting and public lands staff to change this dynamic, continue to build upon our successful...
  • ALASKA SEA KAYAK BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Well-known and successful sea kayak, raft, hike, camp guiding & water taxi service. Sale includes everything needed to run the business, including office & gear...
  • MEMBERSHIP AND EVENTS PROGRAM COORDINATOR
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness seeks a detail-oriented and enthusiastic Membership and Events Coordinator to join our small, but mighty-fun team to oversee our membership...
  • PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT FACILITATOR
    ABOUT THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM Since opening in 1982, HIGH DESERT MUSEUM has brought together wildlife, culture, art and natural resources to promote an understanding...
  • LAND STEWARD, ARAVAIPA
    Steward will live on-site in housing provided by TNC and maintains preserve areas frequented by the visiting public and performs land management activities. The Land...
  • DEVELOPMENT WRITER
    Who We Are: The Nature Conservancy's mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create...
  • CONNECTIVITY SCIENCE COORDINATOR
    Position type: Full time, exempt Location: Bozeman preferred; remote negotiable Compensation: $48,000 - $52,000 Benefits: Major medical insurance, up to 5% match on a 401k,...
  • EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
    ArenaLife is looking for an Executive Assistant who wants to work in a fast-paced, exciting, and growing organization. We are looking for someone to support...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Mountain Lion Foundation is seeking an Executive Director. Please see our website for further information - mountainlion.org/job-openings
  • WASHINGTON DC REPRESENTATIVE
    Position Status: Full-time, exempt Location: Washington, DC Position Reports to: Program Director The Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) is seeking a Washington, DC Representative...
  • REGIONAL CAMPAIGN ORGANIZER
    Position Title: Regional Campaign Organizers (2 positions) Position Status: Full-time, exempt Location: Preferred Billings, MT; remote location within WORC's region (in or near Grand Junction...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    Western Watersheds Project seeks a Tenth Circuit Staff Attorney to bring litigation in the interests of protecting and restoring western watersheds and wildlife, particularly focused...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Driggs, ID based non-profit. Full time. Full job description available at tvtap.org. Submit cover letter and resume to [email protected]
  • ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSTRUCTION GEOPHYSICS
    - We find groundwater, buried debris and assist with new construction projects for a fraction of drilling costs.
  • SPRING MOUNTAINS SOLAR OFF GRID MOUNTAIN HOME
    Located 50 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada in the pine forest of Lee Canyon at 8000 feet elevation. One of a kind property surrounded...
  • MAJOR GIFTS MANAGER - MOUNTAIN WEST, THE CONSERVATION FUND
    Cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of 75-125 donors.
  • NATURE'S BEST IN ARAVAIPA CANYON
    10 acre private oasis in one of Arizona's beautiful canyons. Fully furnished, 2123 sq ft architectural custom-built contemporary home with spectacular views and many extras....