The latest bounce


Pay your user fees or pay the price, says the Forest Service (HCN, 2/14/00: Land of the fee). The agency is prosecuting Terry Dahl, 58, of Southern California for failing to buy a $5 Adventure Pass and ignoring 11 warnings left on his car while he recreated in the Los Padres National Forest. The Adventure Pass program was developed as a way for the cash-strapped agency to maintain trails, restrooms and campgrounds, but critics like Dahl say Americans shouldn't have to pay to use public land. If found guilty, Dahl faces up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

It's no secret that many Utahns don't want the Goshute tribe to store nuclear waste on its reservation (HCN, 9/1/97: A nuclear dump proposal rouses Utah), but recently Sen. Terry Spencer, R-Layton, took this protest to a new level by proposing four pieces of legislation. One bill would impose a 75 percent tax on any waste headed to the site; another would appropriate $1.6 million for a legal battle against the tribe. The third would prevent the tribe from using county water, roads or sewage facilities at the waste site. A final bill promises unspecified economic and educational rewards to the tribe if it abandons the plan.

In late January, the Interior Department proposed a rule that would allow the Hopi tribe in Arizona to take eaglets from the Wupatki National Monument for an ancient sacrifice ritual (HCN, 12/18/00: When two traditions collide). Opponents, who fear the proposed legislation could open national parks to the taking of wildlife, plan to take the case to court if it is signed into law. The policy, although printed in the Federal Register, is currently being held for review by the Bush administration.

Electric cars may be headed for mainstream America. In order to reduce smog, the California air-quality officials ordered auto manufacturers to make, and car dealers to sell, 3 million electric cars over the next decade. State officials say this move - the first such mandate in the nation - sets a precedent for other states that plan to mimic California's anti-pollution laws.

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