The latest bounce


An estimated 2,000 people marched in Seattle to commemorate the Nov. 30 anniversary of the World Trade Organization protests (HCN, 12/20/99: WTO limps home from Seattle). The peaceful event turned ugly late in the evening, when about 50 people clashed with police; the confrontation eventually resulted in 140 arrests. Most of those arrested were charged with failing to disperse.

No one has been arrested yet for the attack on the 1,000-year-old redwood that was home to logging protester Julia Butterfly Hill for nearly two years (HCN, 3/15/99: Julia Butterfly won't come down). On Nov. 25, one of Hill's supporters discovered a deep chainsaw gash near the base of the tree. A team of arborists and foresters is working to stabilize the 200-foot-tall tree, which could topple at any time.

Smaller trees are toppling near Santa Fe, N.M. The city has begun logging in its watershed, hoping to protect water quality by reducing the risk of catastrophic fire in the area (HCN, 7/31/00: In New Mexico, a surprising proposal rises from the flames). La Montana de Truchas, a small restoration forestry group, won a contract from the city to thin trees on about 300 acres of the 17,000-acre watershed. Most of the rest of the land is owned by the Forest Service, which plans to begin thinning next summer.

Restoration was also the theme at a Dec. 4 ceremony on the Northern Ute reservation in Utah. In a formal agreement with the federal government, the tribe regained ownership of about 85,000 acres of land. The Utes will give the government 9 percent of the royalties from oil and natural-gas development on the land, and those funds will help clean up the Atlas uranium tailings pile on the bank of the Colorado River near Moab (HCN, 1/31/00: Arizona gets a new monument).

Solutions are harder to find in Colorado, where the state is struggling to keep black-tailed prairie dogs off the endangered species list (HCN, 8/16/99: Standing up for the underdo). On Nov. 16, in an effort to satisfy federal demands for tougher protection, the Colorado Wildlife Commission banned sport hunting of the species. The unexpected move outraged recreational shooters, didn't satisfy environmentalists and left the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service unimpressed.

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